Leviticus 19-21 New Revised Standard Version

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Laws of Holiness and Justice

19 1  The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 2  Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them: You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy. 3  You shall each revere your mother and father, and you shall keep my sabbaths: I am the Lord your God. 4  Do not turn to idols or make cast images for yourselves: I am the Lord your God. 5  When you offer a sacrifice of well-being to the Lord, offer it in such a way that it is acceptable in your behalf. 6  It shall be eaten on the same day you offer it, or on the next day; and anything left over until the third day shall be consumed in fire. 7  If it is eaten at all on the third day, it is an abomination; it will not be acceptable. 8  All who eat it shall be subject to punishment, because they have profaned what is holy to the Lord; and any such person shall be cut off from the people. 9  When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the very edges of your field, or gather the gleanings of your harvest. 10  You shall not strip your vineyard bare, or gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the alien: I am the Lord your God.

11  You shall not steal; you shall not deal falsely; and you shall not lie to one another. 12  And you shall not swear falsely by my name, profaning the name of your God: I am the Lord. 13  You shall not defraud your neighbor; you shall not steal; and you shall not keep for yourself the wages of a laborer until morning. 14  You shall not revile the deaf or put a stumbling block before the blind; you shall fear your God: I am the Lord. 15  You shall not render an unjust judgment; you shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great: with justice you shall judge your neighbor. 16  You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people, and you shall not profit by the blood of your neighbor: I am the Lord. 17  You shall not hate in your heart anyone of your kin; you shall reprove your neighbor, or you will incur guilt yourself. 18  You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against any of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.

19  You shall keep my statutes. You shall not let your animals breed with a different kind; you shall not sow your field with two kinds of seed; nor shall you put on a garment made of two different materials. 20  If a man has sexual relations with a woman who is a slave, designated for another man but not ransomed or given her freedom, an inquiry shall be held. They shall not be put to death, since she has not been freed; 21  but he shall bring a guilt offering for himself to the Lord, at the entrance of the tent of meeting, a ram as guilt offering. 22  And the priest shall make atonement for him with the ram of guilt offering before the Lord for his sin that he committed; and the sin he committed shall be forgiven him. 23  When you come into the land and plant all kinds of trees for food, then you shall regard their fruit as forbidden; three years it shall be forbidden to you, it must not be eaten. 24  In the fourth year all their fruit shall be set apart for rejoicing in the Lord. 25  But in the fifth year you may eat of their fruit, that their yield may be increased for you: I am the Lord your God. 26  You shall not eat anything with its blood. You shall not practice augury or witchcraft. 27  You shall not round off the hair on your temples or mar the edges of your beard. 28  You shall not make any gashes in your flesh for the dead or tattoo any marks upon you: I am the Lord. 29  Do not profane your daughter by making her a prostitute, that the land not become prostituted and full of depravity.

30  You shall keep my sabbaths and reverence my sanctuary: I am the Lord. 31  Do not turn to mediums or wizards; do not seek them out, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God. 32  You shall rise before the aged, and defer to the old; and you shall fear your God: I am the Lord. 33  When an alien resides with you in your land, you shall not oppress the alien. 34  The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God. 35  You shall not cheat in measuring length, weight, or quantity. 36  You shall have honest balances, honest weights, an honest ephah, and an honest hin: I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt. 37  You shall keep all my statutes and all my ordinances, and observe them: I am the Lord.

The Penalties for Acts of Immorality

20 1  The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 2  Say further to the people of Israel: Any of the people of Israel, or of the aliens who reside in Israel, who give any of their offspring to Molech shall be put to death; the people of the land shall stone them to death. 3  I myself will set my face against them, and will cut them off from the people, because they have given of their offspring to Molech, defiling my sanctuary and profaning my holy name. 4  And if the people of the land should ever close their eyes to them, when they give of their offspring to Molech, and do not put them to death, 5  I myself will set my face against them and against their family, and will cut them off from among their people, them and all who follow them in prostituting themselves to Molech. 6  If any turn to mediums and wizards, prostituting themselves to them, I will set my face against them, and will cut them off from the people. 7  Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy; for I am the Lord your God. 8  Keep my statutes, and observe them; I am the Lord; I sanctify you. 9  All who curse father or mother shall be put to death; having cursed father or mother, their blood is upon them.

10  If a man commits adultery with the wife of his neighbor, both the adulterer and the adulteress shall be put to death. 11  The man who lies with his father's wife has uncovered his father's nakedness; both of them shall be put to death; their blood is upon them. 12  If a man lies with his daughter-in-law, both of them shall be put to death; they have committed perversion, their blood is upon them. 13  If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall be put to death; their blood is upon them. 14  If a man takes a wife and her mother also, it is depravity; they shall be burned to death, both he and they, that there may be no depravity among you. 15  If a man has sexual relations with an animal, he shall be put to death; and you shall kill the animal. 16  If a woman approaches any animal and has sexual relations with it, you shall kill the woman and the animal; they shall be put to death, their blood is upon them. 17  If a man takes his sister, a daughter of his father or a daughter of his mother, and sees her nakedness, and she sees his nakedness, it is a disgrace, and they shall be cut off in the sight of their people; he has uncovered his sister's nakedness, he shall be subject to punishment. 18  If a man lies with a woman having her sickness and uncovers her nakedness, he has laid bare her flow and she has laid bare her flow of blood; both of them shall be cut off from their people. 19  You shall not uncover the nakedness of your mother's sister or of your father's sister, for that is to lay bare one's own flesh; they shall be subject to punishment. 20  If a man lies with his uncle's wife, he has uncovered his uncle's nakedness; they shall be subject to punishment; they shall die childless. 21  If a man takes his brother's wife, it is impurity; he has uncovered his brother's nakedness; they shall be childless.

22  You shall keep all my statutes and all my ordinances, and observe them, so that the land to which I bring you to settle in may not vomit you out. 23  You shall not follow the practices of the nation that I am driving out before you. Because they did all these things, I abhorred them. 24  But I have said to you: You shall inherit their land, and I will give it to you to possess, a land flowing with milk and honey. I am the Lord your God; I have separated you from the peoples. 25  You shall therefore make a distinction between the clean animal and the unclean, and between the unclean bird and the clean; you shall not bring abomination on yourselves by animal or by bird or by anything with which the ground teems, which I have set apart for you to hold unclean. 26  You shall be holy to me; for I the Lord am holy, and I have separated you from the other peoples to be mine. 27  A man or a woman who is a medium or a wizard shall be put to death; they shall be stoned to death, their blood is upon them.

The Holiness of the Priests

21 1  The Lord said to Moses: Speak to the priests, the sons of Aaron, and say to them: No one shall defile himself for a dead person among his relatives, 2  except for his nearest kin: his mother, his father, his son, his daughter, his brother; 3  likewise, for a virgin sister, close to him because she has had no husband, he may defile himself for her. 4  But he shall not defile himself as a husband among his people and so profane himself. 5  They shall not make bald spots upon their heads, or shave off the edges of their beards, or make any gashes in their flesh. 6  They shall be holy to their God, and not profane the name of their God; for they offer the Lord's offerings by fire, the food of their God; therefore they shall be holy. 7  They shall not marry a prostitute or a woman who has been defiled; neither shall they marry a woman divorced from her husband. For they are holy to their God, 8  and you shall treat them as holy, since they offer the food of your God; they shall be holy to you, for I the Lord, I who sanctify you, am holy. 9  When the daughter of a priest profanes herself through prostitution, she profanes her father; she shall be burned to death.

10  The priest who is exalted above his fellows, on whose head the anointing oil has been poured and who has been consecrated to wear the vestments, shall not dishevel his hair, nor tear his vestments. 11  He shall not go where there is a dead body; he shall not defile himself even for his father or mother. 12  He shall not go outside the sanctuary and thus profane the sanctuary of his God; for the consecration of the anointing oil of his God is upon him: I am the Lord. 13  He shall marry only a woman who is a virgin. 14  A widow, or a divorced woman, or a woman who has been defiled, a prostitute, these he shall not marry. He shall marry a virgin of his own kin, 15  that he may not profane his offspring among his kin; for I am the Lord; I sanctify him.

16  The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 17  Speak to Aaron and say: No one of your offspring throughout their generations who has a blemish may approach to offer the food of his God. 18  For no one who has a blemish shall draw near, one who is blind or lame, or one who has a mutilated face or a limb too long, 19  or one who has a broken foot or a broken hand, 20  or a hunchback, or a dwarf, or a man with a blemish in his eyes or an itching disease or scabs or crushed testicles. 21  No descendant of Aaron the priest who has a blemish shall come near to offer the Lord's offerings by fire; since he has a blemish, he shall not come near to offer the food of his God. 22  He may eat the food of his God, of the most holy as well as of the holy. 23  But he shall not come near the curtain or approach the altar, because he has a blemish, that he may not profane my sanctuaries; for I am the Lord; I sanctify them. 24  Thus Moses spoke to Aaron and to his sons and to all the people of Israel.

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