The Agora
Bible Commentary

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Leviticus 21

Lev 21:1

Lev 21; 22: "Having set down the practical applications of holiness for the people, the Law now gives consideration to the priests. They are to manifest a separateness more exclusive and complete than the people, for they are Yahweh's representatives to the world. The ordinary priests are to be without blemish as far as is physically possible, whilst the High Priest is required to manifest an exclusiveness even more extreme than the priests. Instructions are given concerning the conduct, appearance, food and offerings of such. In view of their high office they were expected to be ceremonially "clean" (Isa 52:11), and to shadow forth the righteousness at which all Israelites were to aim. The High Priest typified the status and person of the Lord Jesus as High Priest after the order of Melchizedek; the ordinary priests represented his brethren. Of the former it is written that he 'offered himself without spot unto God' (Heb 9:14), for he 'did no sin' (1Pe 2:22). Of the latter it is taught that they are called to be 'holy and without blame' before God in love' (Eph 1:4), 'perfect and complete in all the will of God' (Col 4:12), 'perfect and entire and lacking nothing' (Jam 1:4). This is shadowed forth in the instructions now given" (Expos).

Lev 21:9

IF A PRIEST'S DAUGHTER DEFILES HERSELF BY BECOMING A PROSTITUTE... SHE MUST BE BURNED IN THE FIRE: Cp Rev 18:8: the destruction of "Babylon" suggests the death of a priest's daughter who has prostituted herself; the truth of God had been corrupted by the ones who should have kept it pure. In like manner Israel is described in Eze 16.

Lev 21:10

Vv 10,11: The High Priest could not approach any dead body, even that of a near relative. Even more stringent than rule for sons (vv 1-3).

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