Leviticus 21:16
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
The LORD said to Moses,

New Living Translation
Then the LORD said to Moses,

English Standard Version
And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,

Berean Study Bible
Then the LORD said to Moses,

New American Standard Bible
Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,

King James Bible
And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

Christian Standard Bible
The LORD spoke to Moses:

Contemporary English Version
The LORD told Moses

Good News Translation
The LORD commanded Moses

Holman Christian Standard Bible
The LORD spoke to Moses: "

International Standard Version
The LORD told Moses,

NET Bible
The LORD spoke to Moses:

New Heart English Bible
The LORD spoke to Moses, saying,

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The LORD spoke to Moses,

JPS Tanakh 1917
And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying:

New American Standard 1977
Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,

Jubilee Bible 2000
And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying,

King James 2000 Bible
And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying,

American King James Version
And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,

American Standard Version
And Jehovah spake unto Moses, saying,

Douay-Rheims Bible
And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying:

Darby Bible Translation
And Jehovah spoke to Moses, saying,

English Revised Version
And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

Webster's Bible Translation
And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,

World English Bible
Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,

Young's Literal Translation
And Jehovah speaketh unto Moses, saying,
Study Bible
Restrictions Against Those with Blemishes
16Then the LORD said to Moses, 17“Say to Aaron, ‘For the generations to come, none of your descendants who has a physical defect may approach to offer the food of his God.…
Cross References
Leviticus 21:15
so that he does not defile his offspring among his people, for I am the LORD who sanctifies him.'"

Leviticus 21:17
"Say to Aaron, 'For the generations to come, none of your descendants who has a physical defect may approach to offer the food of his God.

Treasury of Scripture

And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,







(16) And the Lord spake unto Moses.--In the preceding part of this chapter the priests were forbidden voluntarily to disfigure themselves, or to disqualify themselves and their descendants for their sacred office by illegal alliances. The legislator, therefore, now passes on to other blemishes, which, though not voluntarily contracted, likewise disqualify the priests for performing sacerdotal duties in the sanctuary.

Verses 16-24. - Perfection of the body being typical of perfection of the mind and of the whole man, and symbolical perfection being required of the priest of God, none may be admitted to the priesthood with bodily defects, or excrescences, or grievous blemishes. The translation dwarf, in verse 20, is better than the marginal rendering "too slender," or withered. Being the descendants of Aaron, these priests, blemished as they were, were to be supported as the other priests were supported. He shall eat the bread of his God, both of the most holy, and of the holy; that is, the priests' portions of the meat offerings (Leviticus 2:3, 10; Leviticus 6:17), of the sin offerings (Leviticus 6:29), of the trespass offerings (Leviticus 7:1), of the shewbread (Leviticus 24:9), which were most holy, and of the heave offerings, wave offerings, firstfruit offerings, firstlings, and things devoted (Numbers 11:11-19), which were holy. They were also apparently employed in the less formal and conspicuous duties of the priests, such as examining lepers, and any other functions which did not bring them nigh unto the altar. But they were not to profane God's sanctuaries, by which is meant the holy of holies, the holy place, and the court in which the altar stood. To none of these is the blemished priest to be admitted for the purpose of officiating, though he might enter the court and probably the holy place for other purposes, and might eat the offerings of the priests in the accustomed place.



And the Lord spake unto Moses,.... After he had spoken to him of the holiness of the priests, that they should not defile themselves, neither with the dead nor with impure marriages, he proceeded to add some things concerning blemishes in their bodies, which rendered them unfit for the service:

saying; as follows. 16-24. Whosoever he be … hath any blemish, let him not approach to offer the bread of his God—As visible things exert a strong influence on the minds of men, any physical infirmity or malformation of body in the ministers of religion, which disturbs the associations or excites ridicule, tends to detract from the weight and authority of the sacred office. Priests laboring under any personal defect were not allowed to officiate in the public service; they might be employed in some inferior duties about the sanctuary but could not perform any sacred office. In all these regulations for preserving the unsullied purity of the sacred character and office, there was a typical reference to the priesthood of Christ (Heb 7:26). 21:1-24 Laws concerning the priests. - As these priests were types of Christ, so all ministers must be followers of him, that their example may teach others to imitate the Saviour. Without blemish, and separate from sinners, He executed his priestly office on earth. What manner of persons then should his ministers be! But all are, if Christians, spiritual priests; the minister especially is called to set a good example, that the people may follow it. Our bodily infirmities, blessed be God, cannot now shut us out from his service, from these privileges, or from his heavenly glory. Many a healthful, beautiful soul is lodged in a feeble, deformed body. And those who may not be suited for the work of the ministry, may serve God with comfort in other duties in his church.
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