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Leviticus 21:10-15

Context
Rules for the High Priest

21:10 “‘The high 1  priest – who is greater than his brothers, on whose head the anointing oil is poured, who has been ordained 2  to wear the priestly garments – must neither dishevel the hair of his head nor tear his garments. 3  21:11 He must not go where there is any dead person; 4  he must not defile himself even for his father and his mother. 21:12 He must not go out from the sanctuary and must not profane 5  the sanctuary of his God, because the dedication of the anointing oil of his God is on him. I am the Lord. 21:13 He must take a wife who is a virgin. 6  21:14 He must not marry 7  a widow, a divorced woman, or one profaned by prostitution; he may only take a virgin from his people 8  as a wife. 21:15 He must not profane his children among his people, 9  for I am the Lord who sanctifies him.’”

1 tn The adjective “high” has been supplied in the translation for clarity, as in many English versions.

2 tn Heb “and he has filled his hand.” For this expression see the note on Lev 8:33.

3 tn Regarding these signs of mourning see the note on Lev 10:6. His head had been anointed (v. 10a) so it must not be unkempt (v. 10b), and his garments were special priestly garments (v. 10a) so he must not tear them (v. 10b). In the translation “garments” has been employed rather than “clothes” to suggest that the special priestly garments are referred to here; cf. NRSV “nor tear his vestments.”

4 tc Although the MT has “persons” (plural), the LXX and Syriac have the singular “person” corresponding to the singular adjectival participle “dead” (cf. also Num 6:6).

5 sn Regarding “profane,” see the note on Lev 10:10 above.

6 tn Heb “And he, a wife in her virginity he shall take.”

7 tn Heb “take.” In context this means “take as wife,” i.e., “marry.”

8 tc The MT has literally, “from his peoples,” but Smr, LXX, Syriac, Targum, and Tg. Ps.-J. have “from his people,” referring to the Israelites as a whole.

9 tc The MT has literally, “in his peoples,” but Smr, LXX, Syriac, Targum, and Tg. Ps.-J. have “in his people,” referring to the Israelites as a whole.



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