And the LORD said unto Moses, Speak unto the priests the sons of Aaron, and say unto them, There shall none be defiled for the dead among his people:
But for his kin, that is near unto him, that is, for his mother, and for his father, and for his son, and for his daughter, and for his brother,
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
They shall not make baldness upon their head, neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard, nor make any cuttings in their flesh.
not make baldness
This custom is also called rounding the corners of the head, (ch. 19:27,) and seems to have been performed in honour of some idol.
The Hebrew peath zakon, may denote the whiskers; as the Syriac phatho signifies. These are by the Arabs, according to Niebuhr, still cut entirely off, or worn quite short; and hence they are called by Jeremiah, [qtswtsy p'h] those with cropped whiskers. Perhaps some superstition, of which we are ignorant, was connected with this; but whether or not, it was the object of Moses to keep the Israelites distinct from other nations.
They shall be holy unto their God, and not profane the name of their God: for the offerings of the LORD made by fire, and the bread of their God, they do offer: therefore they shall be holy.
They shall not take a wife that is a whore, or profane; neither shall they take a woman put away from her husband: for he is holy unto his God.
that is a whore
Thou shalt sanctify him therefore; for he offereth the bread of thy God: he shall be holy unto thee: for I the LORD, which sanctify you, am holy.
And the daughter of any priest, if she profane herself by playing the whore, she profaneth her father: she shall be burnt with fire.
she shall be burnt
And he that is the high priest among his brethren, upon whose head the anointing oil was poured, and that is consecrated to put on the garments, shall not uncover his head, nor rend his clothes;
Genesis 37:34 Job 1:20 Matthew 26:65 All human corpses were considered as unclean. Whoever touched one was unclean for seven days, and was obliged on the third and seventh day to purify himself according to the Mosaic instructions. In the case of the priest it went still farther; insomuch, that even mourning for the dead by any external sign, such as tearing their clothes, defiled them. Hence such mournings were absolutely forbidden to be used in any case, and by the other priests also, except in the case of their very nearest relations, for whom they were allowed to mourn. This statue is founded on the importance of sustaining the decency and purity of Divine worship. The servants of the Deity were to keep themselves at a distance from every thing that in the least degree savoured of uncleanness.
Neither shall he go in to any dead body, nor defile himself for his father, or for his mother;
Neither shall he go out of the sanctuary, nor profane the sanctuary of his God; for the crown of the anointing oil of his God is upon him: I am the LORD.
for the crown
And he shall take a wife in her virginity.
Neither shall he profane his seed among his people: for I the LORD do sanctify him.
for I the
Speak unto Aaron, saying, Whosoever he be of thy seed in their generations that hath any blemish, let him not approach to offer the bread of his God.
For whatsoever man he be that hath a blemish, he shall not approach: a blind man, or a lame, or he that hath a flat nose, or any thing superfluous,
a blind man
Or crookbackt, or a dwarf, or that hath a blemish in his eye, or be scurvy, or scabbed, or hath his stones broken;
or, too slender. or hath.
No man that hath a blemish of the seed of Aaron the priest shall come nigh to offer the offerings of the LORD made by fire: he hath a blemish; he shall not come nigh to offer the bread of his God.
In the above list of blemishes, we meet with some that might render the priest contemptible in the eyes of men; and others that would be very great impediments in the discharge of his ministerial duties.
He shall eat the bread of his God, both of the most holy, and of the holy.
and of the holy
Only he shall not go in unto the vail, nor come nigh unto the altar, because he hath a blemish; that he profane not my sanctuaries: for I the LORD do sanctify them.
for I the Lord
And Moses told it unto Aaron, and to his sons, and unto all the children of Israel.