Leviticus 22

Chapter 22

Protecting What Is Sanctified. 1 The Lord spoke to Moses saying, 2 “Tell Aaron and his son to treat the holy things of the children of Israel with respect so that they not profane my holy name by those things that they have consecrated to me. I am the Lord.

3 “Say to them: Any of your descendants who approaches these holy things that the children of Israel have consecrated to the Lord while he is unclean, that person will be cut off from my presence. I am the Lord.

4 “Any descendant who is a leper or who has a discharge shall not eat of the holy things until he is clean. Whoever touches anything made unclean by contact with a dead person or who has had an emission of semen 5 or whoever touches any creeping thing that can make him unclean, or touches a man whose uncleanness he acquires, whatever the source of uncleanness, 6 if someone touches one such a person, then he shall be unclean until the evening, and he shall not eat of the holy things unless he bathes himself with water. 7 When the sun sets, he shall be clean. He can then eat the holy things, for it is his food. 8 He shall not eat anything that died on its own or was torn apart by wild beasts, thereby defiling himself. I am the Lord. 9 They shall therefore observe my statutes lest they become guilty and die when they profane it. I am the Lord, who sanctifies them.[a]

10 “No foreigner can eat the holy things. No guest of the priest or hired hand can eat the holy things. 11 But if the priest buys a slave, the slave can eat it, and if a slave is born to his household, he can eat his food. 12 If a priest’s daughter marries an outsider, she cannot eat an offering of the holy things. 13 But if a priest’s daughter is a widow or divorced and she has no children, and she has returned to her father’s household as when she was young, she can eat from her father’s portion of food, but no outsider is to eat of it. 14 If someone eats some of the holy things by accident, he is to add a fifth to its value and give the holy thing to the priest. 15 They must not profane the holy things of the children of Israel that they offer to the Lord 16 lest they bear the guilt of their trespass when they eat their holy things. I am the Lord, who consecrates them.”

17 Acceptable Offerings.[b]The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 18 “Speak to Aaron and to his sons and to all the children of Israel saying: If anyone from the house of Israel or from among the aliens living in Israel presents a burnt offering as a votive offering or a free-will offering to the Lord, 19 it must be a male without blemish from among the cattle or the sheep or the goats, for you to be found acceptable. 20 You shall offer nothing with a defect; it shall not be acceptable for you. 21 If someone offers a peace offering as the fulfillment of a vow or as a free-will offering, whether it be from the cattle or the sheep, it must be perfect to be acceptable. It must have no defect. 22 You shall not offer anything that is blind or injured or maimed, or anything with sores or scabs or scales. You shall not use these as an offering to the Lord by fire, on the altar to the Lord. 23 You can offer a young bull or a lamb that has any parts that are in excess or lacking as a free-will offering, but it is not acceptable for a votive offering. 24 You shall not offer anything that is bruised or crushed or broken or cut to the Lord. You shall not make this type of offering in your land. 25 You shall not offer food from a foreigner’s hand to your God. All of these things have their corruption in them and their blemishes in them; they are not acceptable for you.”

26 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 27 “When a young bull or a sheep or a goat is brought as an offering, you shall leave it for seven days with its mother. On the eighth day, it shall be acceptable as an offering made by fire to the Lord. 28 You are not to kill a cow or ewe with its young on the same day. 29 When you offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving[c] to the Lord, you are to do it in the correct manner. 30 You shall eat it on the day that you offer it; none of it is to be left over until the next day. I am the Lord. 31 You shall observe my commandments and obey them. I am the Lord.

32 “You shall not profane my holy name, for I am to be hallowed among the children of Israel. I am the Lord who hallows you, 33 who brought you out of the land of Egypt to be your God. I am the Lord.”


  1. Leviticus 22:9 Although many of the laws regarding cleanness were the same for the priests and other people, the penalties for the priests who were defiled were very harsh (see chs. 11–14).
  2. Leviticus 22:17 This section clearly shows that physical imperfections disqualified any animal, or thing that approached the altar, just as it did the priest as seen in chapter 21.
  3. Leviticus 22:29 Sacrifice of thanksgiving: unlike a fellowship offering that could be eaten the following day (Lev 7:16), the thanksgiving offering had to be consumed on the same day.

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