Leviticus 21:4
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
He must not make himself unclean for people related to him by marriage, and so defile himself.

New Living Translation
But a priest must not defile himself and make himself unclean for someone who is related to him only by marriage.

English Standard Version
He shall not make himself unclean as a husband among his people and so profane himself.

Berean Study Bible
He is not to defile himself for those related to him by marriage, and so profane himself.

New American Standard Bible
'He shall not defile himself as a relative by marriage among his people, and so profane himself.

King James Bible
But he shall not defile himself, being a chief man among his people, to profane himself.

Christian Standard Bible
He is not to make himself unclean for those related to him by marriage and so defile himself.

Contemporary English Version
Don't make yourself unclean by attending the funeral of someone related to you by marriage.

Good News Translation
He shall not make himself unclean at the death of those related to him by marriage.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
He is not to make himself unclean for those related to him by marriage and so defile himself."

International Standard Version
Because he is a husband among his people, he is not to defile himself, thereby polluting himself.

NET Bible
He must not defile himself as a husband among his people so as to profane himself.

New Heart English Bible
He shall not defile himself, being a chief man among his people, to profane himself.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
As the head of your people, you should never become unclean. That would make you unholy.

JPS Tanakh 1917
He shall not defile himself, being a chief man among his people, to profane himself.

New American Standard 1977
‘He shall not defile himself as a relative by marriage among his people, and so profane himself.

Jubilee Bible 2000
He shall not defile himself for the prince among his people, to profane himself.

King James 2000 Bible
But he shall not otherwise defile himself, being a chief man among his people, to profane himself.

American King James Version
But he shall not defile himself, being a chief man among his people, to profane himself.

American Standard Version
He shall not defile himself, being a chief man among his people, to profane himself.

Douay-Rheims Bible
But not even for the prince of his people shall he do any thing that may make him unclean.

Darby Bible Translation
He shall not make himself unclean [who is] a chief among his peoples, to profane himself.

English Revised Version
He shall not defile himself, being a chief man among his people, to profane himself.

Webster's Bible Translation
But he shall not defile himself, being a chief man among his people, to profane himself.

World English Bible
He shall not defile himself, being a chief man among his people, to profane himself.

Young's Literal Translation
A master priest doth not defile himself among his people -- to pollute himself;
Study Bible
Holiness Required of Priests
3or his unmarried sister who is near to him, since she has no husband. 4He is not to defile himself for those related to him by marriage, and so profane himself. 5Priests must not make bald spots on their heads, shave off the edges of their beards, or make cuts in their bodies.…
Cross References
Leviticus 21:3
or his unmarried sister who is near to him, since she has no husband.

Leviticus 21:5
Priests must not make bald spots on their heads, shave off the edges of their beards, or make cuts in their bodies.

Treasury of Scripture

But he shall not defile himself, being a chief man among his people, to profane himself.

or, the verse may be read, being an husband among his people, he shall not defile himself for his wife, etc.

Ezekiel 24:16,17 Son of man, behold, I take away from you the desire of your eyes …







(4) But he shall not defile himself, being a chief man . . . --Better, A husband shall not defile himself among his people when he had profaned himself. As the seven exceptions to the general rule began with his wife, whose funeral rites the priestly husband is allowed to attend, the verse before us restricts this permission to his legally prescribed wife. If he contracted a marriage which profaned him, he could not attend to her funeral ceremonies. The last clause, which is here translated, "when he had profaned him," literally denotes "to profane himself," "with respect to his profanation"--i.e., with respect to a marriage by which he profaned himself. This is the interpretation which the administrators of the Law attached to the verse, and which is transmitted in the Chaldee version of Jonathan. It is not only in perfect harmony with the context, but does least violence to this manifestly disordered text. The translations exhibited in the Authorised version, both in the text and in the margin, as well as most of those suggested by modern commentators, leave the clause unexplained, since it manifestly means something else than defiling himself by contracting impurity through contact with the dead, as is evident from the fact that it is not added in the other instances where the priest is forbidden to defile himself by attending to the dead. (See Leviticus 21:1-11.)

But he shall not defile himself, being a chief man among his people,.... Which is not to be understood of any lord or nobleman or any chief ruler or governor of the people; for the context speaks only of priests, and not of other personages; besides, such might defile themselves, or mourn for their dead, as Abraham did for Sarah; nor of any husband for his wife, for even a priest, as has been observed, might do this for his wife, and much more a private person; nor is there any need to restrain it, as some Jewish writers do, to an adulterous wife, which a husband might not mourn for, though he might for his right and lawful wife; but there is nothing in the text, neither of an husband, nor a wife: the words are to be interpreted of a priest, and either of him as considered as a person of eminence, consequence, and importance, and sons giving a reason why he should not defile himself for the dead, because he was a principal person among his people to officiate for them in sacred things; wherefore if he did not take care that he was not defiled for the dead, which might often happen, he would be frequently hindered from doing his office for the people, which would be attended with ill consequence to them; and therefore the above cases are only excepted, as being such that rarely happened: or rather the words are to be considered as a prohibition of defiling himself "for any chief" (s), or principal man, lord, ruler, or governor, among his people; even for such an one he was not to defile himself, being no relation of his:

to profane himself; make himself unfit for sacred service, or make himself a common person; put himself upon a level with a common private man, and be no more capable of serving at the altar, or doing any part of the work off priest, than such an one.

(s) "in principe populi sui", V. L. so Pesicta & Ben Melech in loc. & Kimchi Sepher Shorash. rad. 4. But he shall not defile himself—"for any other," as the sense may be fully expressed. "The priest, in discharging his sacred functions, might well be regarded as a chief man among his people, and by these defilements might be said to profane himself" [Bishop Patrick]. The word rendered "chief man" signifies also "a husband"; and the sense according to others is, "But he being a husband, shall not defile himself by the obsequies of a wife" (Eze 44:25).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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