Leviticus 22

1 The LORD said to Moses,
2 “Tell Aaron and his sons to treat with respect the sacred offerings the Israelites consecrate to me, so they will not profane my holy name. I am the LORD.
3 “Say to them: ‘For the generations to come, if any of your descendants is ceremonially unclean and yet comes near the sacred offerings that the Israelites consecrate to the LORD, that person must be cut off from my presence. I am the LORD.
4 “ ‘If a descendant of Aaron has a defiling skin disease[a] or a bodily discharge, he may not eat the sacred offerings until he is cleansed. He will also be unclean if he touches something defiled by a corpse or by anyone who has an emission of semen,
5 or if he touches any crawling thing that makes him unclean, or any person who makes him unclean, whatever the uncleanness may be.
6 The one who touches any such thing will be unclean till evening. He must not eat any of the sacred offerings unless he has bathed himself with water.
7 When the sun goes down, he will be clean, and after that he may eat the sacred offerings, for they are his food.
8 He must not eat anything found dead or torn by wild animals, and so become unclean through it. I am the LORD.
9 “ ‘The priests are to perform my service in such a way that they do not become guilty and die for treating it with contempt. I am the LORD, who makes them holy.
10 “ ‘No one outside a priest’s family may eat the sacred offering, nor may the guest of a priest or his hired worker eat it.
11 But if a priest buys a slave with money, or if slaves are born in his household, they may eat his food.
12 If a priest’s daughter marries anyone other than a priest, she may not eat any of the sacred contributions.
13 But if a priest’s daughter becomes a widow or is divorced, yet has no children, and she returns to live in her father’s household as in her youth, she may eat her father’s food. No unauthorized person, however, may eat it.
14 “ ‘Anyone who eats a sacred offering by mistake must make restitution to the priest for the offering and add a fifth of the value to it.
15 The priests must not desecrate the sacred offerings the Israelites present to the LORD
16 by allowing them to eat the sacred offerings and so bring upon them guilt requiring payment. I am the LORD, who makes them holy.’ ”

Unacceptable Sacrifices

17 The LORD said to Moses,
18 “Speak to Aaron and his sons and to all the Israelites and say to them: ‘If any of you—whether an Israelite or a foreigner residing in Israel—presents a gift for a burnt offering to the LORD, either to fulfill a vow or as a freewill offering,
19 you must present a male without defect from the cattle, sheep or goats in order that it may be accepted on your behalf.
20 Do not bring anything with a defect, because it will not be accepted on your behalf.
21 When anyone brings from the herd or flock a fellowship offering to the LORD to fulfill a special vow or as a freewill offering, it must be without defect or blemish to be acceptable.
22 Do not offer to the LORD the blind, the injured or the maimed, or anything with warts or festering or running sores. Do not place any of these on the altar as a food offering presented to the LORD.
23 You may, however, present as a freewill offering an ox[b] or a sheep that is deformed or stunted, but it will not be accepted in fulfillment of a vow.
24 You must not offer to the LORD an animal whose testicles are bruised, crushed, torn or cut. You must not do this in your own land,
25 and you must not accept such animals from the hand of a foreigner and offer them as the food of your God. They will not be accepted on your behalf, because they are deformed and have defects.’ ”
26 The LORD said to Moses,
27 “When a calf, a lamb or a goat is born, it is to remain with its mother for seven days. From the eighth day on, it will be acceptable as a food offering presented to the LORD.
28 Do not slaughter a cow or a sheep and its young on the same day.
29 “When you sacrifice a thank offering to the LORD, sacrifice it in such a way that it will be accepted on your behalf.
30 It must be eaten that same day; leave none of it till morning. I am the LORD.
31 “Keep my commands and follow them. I am the LORD.
32 Do not profane my holy name, for I must be acknowledged as holy by the Israelites. I am the LORD, who made you holy
33 and who brought you out of Egypt to be your God. I am the LORD.”

Leviticus 22 Commentary

Chapter 22

Laws concerning the priests and sacrifices.

- In this chapter we have divers laws concerning the priests and sacrifices, all for preserving the honour of the sanctuary. Let us recollect with gratitude that our great High Priest cannot be hindered by any thing from the discharge of his office. Let us also remember, that the Lord requires us to reverence his name, his truths, his ordinances, and commandments. Let us beware of hypocrisy, and examine ourselves concerning our sinful defilements, seeking to be purified from them in the blood of Christ, and by his sanctifying Spirit. Whoever attempts to expiate his own sin, or draws near in the pride of self-righteousness, puts as great an affront on Christ, as he who comes to the Lord's table from the gratification of sinful lusts. Nor can the minister who loves the souls of the people, suffer them to continue in this dangerous delusion. He must call upon them, not only to repent of their sins, and forsake them; but to put their whole trust in the atonement of Christ, by faith in his name, for pardon and acceptance with God; thus only will the Lord make them holy, as his own people.

Cross References 62

  • 1. S Leviticus 19:8
  • 2. S Exodus 20:7; S Matthew 5:33
  • 3. Ezekiel 44:8
  • 4. Ezra 8:28
  • 5. Leviticus 7:20,21; Numbers 19:13
  • 6. Leviticus 15:2-15">Lev Leviticus 15:2-15; Leviticus 14:1-32; Leviticus 15:2-15
  • 7. Lev 11:24-28,39
  • 8. Lev 11:24-28,43
  • 9. S Leviticus 15:7
  • 10. Haggai 2:13
  • 11. S Leviticus 11:24
  • 12. S Leviticus 14:8
  • 13. Numbers 18:11
  • 14. S Leviticus 11:39
  • 15. S Exodus 22:31; Leviticus 17:15
  • 16. S Leviticus 11:40
  • 17. Leviticus 11:44
  • 18. S Leviticus 8:35
  • 19. S Exodus 28:38
  • 20. ver 16; S Exodus 28:43
  • 21. Leviticus 20:8
  • 22. ver 13; Exodus 12:45; Exodus 29:33
  • 23. Genesis 17:13; Exodus 12:44
  • 24. S Leviticus 4:2
  • 25. Leviticus 5:15
  • 26. S Leviticus 19:8
  • 27. Numbers 18:32
  • 28. Numbers 18:11
  • 29. S Exodus 28:38
  • 30. S ver 9
  • 31. Leviticus 20:8
  • 32. Numbers 15:16; Numbers 19:10; Joshua 8:33
  • 33. S Leviticus 1:2
  • 34. ver 21; S Genesis 28:20; Numbers 15:8; Psalms 22:25; Psalms 76:11; Psalms 116:18
  • 35. S Leviticus 7:16
  • 36. S Leviticus 1:3; Leviticus 21:18-21; Numbers 28:11; Deuteronomy 15:21
  • 37. S Leviticus 1:2
  • 38. S Leviticus 1:3; Deuteronomy 15:21; Deuteronomy 17:1; Ezekiel 43:23; Ezekiel 45:18; Ezekiel 46:6; Malachi 1:8; Malachi 1:8,14; Hebrews 9:14; 1 Peter 1:19
  • 39. S Exodus 28:38
  • 40. S Leviticus 1:2
  • 41. S Exodus 32:6; S Leviticus 3:6; Numbers 15:3,8
  • 42. S Leviticus 7:16
  • 43. S Exodus 12:5; Malachi 1:14
  • 44. Amos 4:5
  • 45. S Leviticus 21:20
  • 46. S Leviticus 21:6
  • 47. S Leviticus 1:3; S Leviticus 3:1; Numbers 19:2
  • 48. S Leviticus 1:3
  • 49. S Exodus 22:30
  • 50. S Exodus 22:30
  • 51. S Exodus 28:38
  • 52. Deuteronomy 22:6,7
  • 53. S Leviticus 7:12; Psalms 107:22
  • 54. Leviticus 7:15
  • 55. Leviticus 11:44
  • 56. Deuteronomy 4:2,40; Psalms 105:45
  • 57. S Exodus 22:31
  • 58. Leviticus 18:21
  • 59. S Leviticus 10:3
  • 60. Leviticus 20:8
  • 61. S Exodus 6:6
  • 62. S Genesis 17:7; Leviticus 11:45

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. The Hebrew word for "defiling skin disease" , traditionally translated “leprosy,” was used for various diseases affecting the skin.
  • [b]. The Hebrew word can refer to either male or female.

Chapter Summary


In this chapter several laws are delivered out, forbidding the priests to eat of holy things, when in any uncleanness, or at any time what dies of itself, or is torn of beasts, Le 22:1-9; also showing who belonging to the priests might or might not eat of the holy things, Le 22:10-16; and others requiring that whatever offerings were brought by the children, of Israel, they should be perfect and without blemish, Le 22:17-25; and also declaring what age a creature should be of when sacrificed, and the time when thank offerings were to be eaten, Le 22:26-30; concluding with an exhortation to observe the commands of God, and sanctify him, and not profane his name, Le 22:31-33.

Leviticus 22 Commentaries

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