21:1 The Lord said to Moses: “Say to the priests, the sons of Aaron – say to them, ‘For a dead person 1 no priest 2 is to defile himself among his people, 3 21:2 except for his close relative who is near to him: 4 his mother, his father, his son, his daughter, his brother, 21:3 and his virgin sister who is near to him, 5 who has no husband; he may defile himself for her.
1 tn The Hebrew term נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh, “soul, person, life”) can sometimes refer to a “dead person” (cf. Lev 19:28 above and the literature cited there).
2 tn Heb “no one,” but “priest” has been used in the translation to clarify that these restrictions are limited to the priests, not to the Israelites in general (note the introductory formula, “say to the priests, the sons of Aaron”).
3 tc The MT has “in his peoples,” but Smr, LXX, Syriac, Targum, and Tg. Ps.-J. have “in his people,” referring to the Israelites as a whole.
4 tn Heb “except for his flesh, the one near to him.”
5 tn Cf. v. 2a.