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Leviticus 22:20-25

Context
22:20 You must not present anything that has a flaw, 1  because it will not be acceptable for your benefit. 2  22:21 If a man presents a peace offering sacrifice to the Lord for a special votive offering 3  or for a freewill offering from the herd or the flock, it must be flawless to be acceptable; 4  it must have no flaw. 5 

22:22 “‘You must not present to the Lord something blind, or with a broken bone, or mutilated, or with a running sore, 6  or with a festering eruption, or with a feverish rash. 7  You must not give any of these as a gift 8  on the altar to the Lord. 22:23 As for an ox 9  or a sheep with a limb too long or stunted, 10  you may present it as a freewill offering, but it will not be acceptable for a votive offering. 11  22:24 You must not present to the Lord something with testicles that are bruised, crushed, torn, or cut off; 12  you must not do this in your land. 22:25 Even from a foreigner 13  you must not present the food of your God from such animals as these, for they are ruined and flawed; 14  they will not be acceptable for your benefit.’”

1 tn Heb “all which in it [is] a flaw.” Note that the same term is used for physical flaws of people in Lev 21:17-24. Cf. KJV, ASV, NRSV “blemish”; NASB, NIV, TEV “defect”; NLT “with physical defects.”

2 tn Heb “not for acceptance shall it be for you”; NIV “it will not be accepted on your behalf” (NRSV and NLT both similar).

3 tn The meaning of the expression לְפַלֵּא־נֶדֶר (lÿfalle-neder) rendered here “for a special votive offering” is much debated. Some take it as an expression for fulfilling a vow, “to fulfill a vow” (e.g., HALOT 927-28 s.v. פלא piel and NASB; cf. NAB, NRSV “in fulfillment of a vow”) or, alternatively, “to make a vow” or “for making a vow” (HALOT 928 s.v. פלא piel [II פלא]). Perhaps it refers to the making a special vow, from the verb פָלַא (pala’, “to be wonderful, to be remarkable”); cf. J. Milgrom, Numbers (JPSTC), 44. B. A. Levine, Leviticus (JPSTC), 151 and 193, suggests that this is a special term for “setting aside a votive offering” (related to פָלָה [palah, “to set aside”]). In general, the point of the expression seems to be that this sacrifice arises as a special gift to God out of special circumstances in the life of the worshiper.

4 tn Heb “for acceptance”; NAB “if it is to find acceptance.”

5 tn Heb “all/any flaw shall not be in it.”

6 tn Or perhaps “a wart” (cf. NIV; HALOT 383 s.v. יַבֶּלֶת, but see the remarks in J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 358).

7 sn See the note on Lev 21:20 above.

8 sn This term for offering “gift” is explained in the note on Lev 1:9.

9 tn Heb “And an ox.”

10 tn Heb “and stunted” (see HALOT 1102 s.v. I קלט).

11 sn The freewill offering was voluntary, so the regulations regarding it were more relaxed. Once a vow was made, the paying of it was not voluntary (see B. A. Levine, Leviticus [JPSTC], 151-52, for very helpful remarks on this verse).

12 sn Compare Lev 21:20b.

13 tn Heb “And from the hand of a son of a foreigner.”

14 tn Heb “for their being ruined [is] in them, flaw is in them”; NRSV “are mutilated, with a blemish in them”; NIV “are deformed and have defects.” The MT term מָשְׁחָתָם (moshkhatam, “their being ruined”) is a Muqtal form (= Hophal participle) from שָׁחַת (shakhat, “to ruin”). Smr has plural בהם משׁחתים (“deformities in them”; cf. the LXX translation). The Qumran Leviticus scroll (11QpaleoLev) has תימ הם[…], in which case the restored participle would appear to be the same as Smr, but there is no בְּ (bet) preposition before the pronoun, yielding “they are deformed” (see D. N. Freedman and K. A. Mathews, The Paleo-Hebrew Leviticus Scroll, 41 and the remarks in J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 358).



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