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Leviticus 22 Living Bible (TLB)

22 1-2 The Lord told Moses, “Instruct Aaron and his sons to be very careful not to defile my holy name by desecrating the people’s sacred gifts; for I am Jehovah. From now on and forever, if a priest who is ceremonially defiled sacrifices the animals brought by the people or handles the gifts dedicated to Jehovah, he shall be discharged from the priesthood. For I am Jehovah!

“No priest who is a leper or who has a running sore may eat the holy sacrifices until healed. And any priest who touches a dead person, or who is defiled by a seminal emission, or who touches any reptile or other forbidden thing, or who touches anyone who is ceremonially defiled for any reason— that priest shall be defiled until evening and shall not eat of the holy sacrifices until after he has bathed that evening. When the sun is down, then he shall be purified again and may eat the holy food, for it is his source of life. He may not eat any animal that dies of itself or is torn by wild animals, for this will defile him. I am Jehovah. Warn the priests to follow these instructions carefully, lest they be declared guilty and die for violating these rules. I am the Lord who sanctifies them.

10 “No one may eat of the holy sacrifices unless he is a priest; no one visiting the priest, for instance, nor a hired servant, may eat this food. 11 However, there is one exception—if the priest buys a slave with his own money, that slave may eat it, and any slave children born in his household may eat it. 12 If a priest’s daughter is married outside the tribe, she may not eat the sacred offerings.[a] 13 But if she is a widow or divorced and has no son to support her, and has returned home to her father’s household, she may eat of her father’s food again. But otherwise, no one who is not in the priestly families may eat this food.

14 “If someone should eat of the holy sacrifices without realizing it, he shall return to the priest the amount he has used, with 20 percent added; 15 for the holy sacrifices brought by the people of Israel must not be defiled by being eaten by unauthorized persons, for these sacrifices have been offered to the Lord. 16 Anyone who violates this law is guilty and is in great danger because he has eaten the sacred offerings; for I am Jehovah who sanctifies the offerings.”

17-18 And the Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron and his sons and all the people of Israel that if an Israelite or other person living among you offers a burnt offering sacrifice to the Lord—whether it is to fulfill a promise or is a spontaneous freewill offering— 19 it will only be acceptable to the Lord if it is a male animal without defect; it must be a young bull or a sheep or a goat. 20 Anything that has a defect must not be offered, for it will not be accepted.

21 “Anyone sacrificing a peace offering to the Lord from the herd or flock, whether to fulfill a vow or as a voluntary offering, must sacrifice an animal that has no defect, or it will not be accepted: 22 An animal that is blind or disabled or mutilated, or which has sores or itch or any other skin disease, must not be offered to the Lord; it is not a fit burnt offering for the altar of the Lord. 23 If the young bull or lamb presented to the Lord has anything superfluous or lacking in its body parts, it may be offered as a freewill offering, but not for a vow. 24 An animal that has injured genitals—crushed or castrated—shall not be offered to the Lord at any time. 25 This restriction applies to the sacrifices made by foreigners among you as well as those made by yourselves, for no defective animal is acceptable for this sacrifice.”

26-27 And the Lord said to Moses, “When a bullock, sheep, or goat is born, it shall be left with its mother for seven days, but from the eighth day onward it is acceptable as a sacrifice by fire to the Lord. 28 You shall not slaughter a mother animal and her offspring the same day, whether she is a cow or ewe. 29-30 When you offer the Lord a sacrifice of thanksgiving, you must do it in the right way, eating the sacrificial animal the same day it is slain. Leave none of it for the following day. I am the Lord.

31 “You must keep all of my commandments, for I am the Lord. 32-33 You must not treat me as common and ordinary. Revere me and hallow me, for I, the Lord, made you holy to myself and rescued you from Egypt to be my own people! I am Jehovah!”


  1. Leviticus 22:12 the sacred offerings, literally, “the elevation of the holy things.”
Living Bible (TLB)

The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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