The LORD said to Moses, "Tell the priests to avoid making themselves ceremonially unclean by touching a dead relative
unless it is a close relative -- mother or father, son or daughter, brother
or virgin sister who was dependent because she had no husband.
As a husband among his relatives, a he must not defile himself.
"The priests must never shave their heads, trim the edges of their beards, or cut their bodies.
They must be set apart to God as holy and must never dishonor his name. After all, they are the ones who present the offerings to the LORD by fire, providing God with his food, and they must remain holy.
"The priests must not marry women defiled by prostitution or women who have been divorced, for the priests must be set apart to God as holy.
You must treat them as holy because they offer up food to your God. You must consider them holy because I, the LORD, am holy, and I make you holy.
If a priest's daughter becomes a prostitute, defiling her father's holiness as well as herself, she must be burned to death.
"The high priest, who has had the anointing oil poured on his head and has been ordained to wear the special priestly garments, must never let his hair hang loose b or tear his clothing.
He must never defile himself by going near a dead person, even if it is his father or mother.
He must not desecrate the sanctuary of his God by leaving it to attend his parents' funeral, because he has been made holy by the anointing oil of his God. I am the LORD.
"The high priest must marry a virgin.
He must not marry a widow, a divorced woman, or a woman defiled by prostitution. She must be a virgin from his own clan,
that he may not dishonor his descendants among the members of his clan, because I, the LORD, have made him holy."
Then the LORD said to Moses,
"Tell Aaron that in all future generations, his descendants who have physical defects will not qualify to offer food to their God.
No one who has a defect may come near to me, whether he is blind or lame, stunted or deformed,
or has a broken foot or hand,
or has a humped back or is a dwarf, or has a defective eye, or has oozing sores or scabs on his skin, or has damaged testicles.
Even though he is a descendant of Aaron, his physical defects disqualify him from presenting offerings to the LORD by fire. Since he has a blemish, he may not offer food to his God.
However, he may eat from the food offered to God, including the holy offerings and the most holy offerings.
Yet because of his physical defect, he must never go behind the inner curtain or come near the altar, for this would desecrate my holy places. I am the LORD who makes them holy."
So Moses gave these instructions to Aaron and his sons and to all the Israelites.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)