Leviticus 21:20

20 or who is a hunchback or a dwarf, or who has any eye defect, or who has festering or running sores or damaged testicles.

Read Leviticus 21:20 Using Other Translations

Or crookbackt, or a dwarf, or that hath a blemish in his eye, or be scurvy, or scabbed, or hath his stones broken;
or a hunchback or a dwarf or a man with a defect in his sight or an itching disease or scabs or crushed testicles.
or is hunchbacked or dwarfed, or has a defective eye, or skin sores or scabs, or damaged testicles.

What does Leviticus 21:20 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Leviticus 21:20

Or crookbackt
That has a protuberance, or bunch upon his back, one that we commonly call "hunchbacked"; the Targums of Jonathan and Jerusalem paraphrase it,

``whose eyebrows lying cover his eyes;''

and so Jarchi, interprets it, the hair of whose eyebrows is long and lying; and so other Jewish writers understand it of some deformity about the eyes, the hair of the eyebrows being thick and heavy over them, and so hinder the sight, at least it makes the person not so sightly and graceful; it is said F2, he that hath no eyebrows, or but one eyebrow, is the "Gibben" (the word here used) spoken of in the law, ( Leviticus 21:20 ) :

or a dwarf;
one of a small stature, as Aben Ezra, as generally hunchbacked persons are, and so unfit to attend the altar, being scarce able to reach up to it, and do the business of it, as well as must make a very mean appearance; but the above Targums understand this also of some blemish about the eyes, paraphrasing it

``or he that has no hair on his eyebrows,''

just the reverse of the former; Jarchi seems to understand it of a thin small film upon the eye; though something of that kind seems to be intended in the next clause:

or that hath a blemish in his eye;
a mixture, a confusion, or rather a suffusion in it, as the above Targum; in which, as one of them says, the white is mixed with the black, and with which agrees what is said in the Misnah F3, where it is asked, what is the confusion or suffusion? the white which spreads in the his, and enters into the black of the eye; it seems to be a white speck in the pupil of the eye, and so Jarchi, Kimchi F4, and others interpret it:

or be scurvy or scabbed;
both these were kinds of ulcers, according to the Jewish writers, particularly Jarchi, who says of the first, that it is a dry scab within and without; and of the other, that it is the Egyptian scab, which is moist without and dry with it; and so the Targum of Jonathan:

or hath his stones broken;
this is differently interpreted in the Misnah F5, and by other Jewish writers; some say it signifies one that has no testicles, or only one; so the Septuagint and the Jerusalem Targum: others, whose testicles are broken or bruised, so Jarchi: or are inflated, so Akiba, Aben Ezra, and the Targum of Jonathan; some understand it of an "hernia" or rupture, when a man is burstened: all which may in a moral and mystical sense signify either some defect in the understanding, or vices in the heart or life, which render unfit for public service in the sanctuary.


F2 Becorot, c. 7. sect. 2.
F3 Ib. c. 6. sect. 2.
F4 Ut supra, (Sepher Shorash.) rad. (llb) .
F5 Becorot, c. 7. sect. 5.
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