Leviticus 21:13

13 “ ‘The woman he marries must be a virgin.

Read Leviticus 21:13 Using Other Translations

And he shall take a wife in her virginity.
And he shall take a wife in her virginity.
“The high priest may marry only a virgin.

What does Leviticus 21:13 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Leviticus 21:13

And he shall take a wife in her virginity.
] One, and not two, or more, as Ben Gersom observes; and so Maimonides says F17, an high priest might never take two women together; for it is said, "a wife", or "woman", one, and not two; and so it is explained in the Talmud F18; for though polygamy was practised by the Israelites, and even by the common priests, yet these writers suppose it was by no means allowed to an high priest: among the Egyptians, though they took as many wives as they pleased, their priests, married but one F19; and so a minister of the New Testament is to be the husband of one wife, ( 1 Timothy 3:2 ) ; and this wife the high priest was to take was to be a "virgin", one that not only had never known a man, but that was never betrothed to any; yea, according to the Talmudists F20, who was not quite ripe for marriage, or the time of her puberty not fully completed, which was the age of twelve years; within, or somewhat before that time, the high priest was to marry her, that it might be out of all doubt that she was a pure virgin; since it is said, "in her virginity", within the time of her puberty, before it was quite up; this, by many, is thought to be an emblem of Christ and his church; as he was typified by the high priest, so the church by the virgin he married, which is espoused to Christ as a chaste virgin, ( 2 Corinthians 11:2 ) .


F17 Hilchot Issure Biah, c. 17. sect. 13.
F18 T. Bab. Yebamot, fol. 59. 1.
F19 Diodor. Sicul. l. 1. p. 72.
F20 T. Bab. Yebamot, ibid. Maimon. ut supra. (Cele Hamikdash, c. 5. sect. 5, 6.)
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