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Leviticus 21:1–5

Holiness and the Priests

21 And the Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the priests, the sons of Aaron, and say to them, aNo one shall make himself unclean for the dead among his people, except for his closest relatives, his mother, his father, his son, his daughter, his brother, or his virgin sister (who is near to him because she has had no husband; for her he may make himself unclean). He shall not make himself unclean as a husband among his people and so profane himself. bThey shall not make bald patches on their heads, nor shave off the edges of their beards, nor make any cuts on their body.

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Leviticus 21:1–5 — The New International Version (NIV)

The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the priests, the sons of Aaron, and say to them: ‘A priest must not make himself ceremonially unclean for any of his people who die, except for a close relative, such as his mother or father, his son or daughter, his brother, or an unmarried sister who is dependent on him since she has no husband—for her he may make himself unclean. He must not make himself unclean for people related to him by marriage, and so defile himself.

“ ‘Priests must not shave their heads or shave off the edges of their beards or cut their bodies.

Leviticus 21:1–5 — King James Version (KJV 1900)

And the Lord said unto Moses, Speak unto the priests the sons of Aaron, and say unto them, There shall none be defiled for the dead among his people: But for his kin, that is near unto him, that is, for his mother, and for his father, and for his son, and for his daughter, and for his brother, And for his sister a virgin, that is nigh unto him, which hath had no husband; for her may he be defiled. But he shall not defile himself, being a chief man among his people, to profane himself. They shall not make baldness upon their head, neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard, nor make any cuttings in their flesh.

Leviticus 21:1–5 — New Living Translation (NLT)

The Lord said to Moses, “Give the following instructions to the priests, the descendants of Aaron.

“A priest must not make himself ceremonially unclean by touching the dead body of a relative. The only exceptions are his closest relatives—his mother or father, son or daughter, brother, or his virgin sister who depends on him because she has no husband. But a priest must not defile himself and make himself unclean for someone who is related to him only by marriage.

“The priests must not shave their heads or trim their beards or cut their bodies.

Leviticus 21:1–5 — The New King James Version (NKJV)

And the Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the priests, the sons of Aaron, and say to them: ‘None shall defile himself for the dead among his people, except for his relatives who are nearest to him: his mother, his father, his son, his daughter, and his brother; also his virgin sister who is near to him, who has had no husband, for her he may defile himself. Otherwise he shall not defile himself, being a chief man among his people, to profane himself.

‘They shall not make any bald place on their heads, nor shall they shave the edges of their beards nor make any cuttings in their flesh.

Leviticus 21:1–5 — New Century Version (NCV)

The Lord said to Moses, “Tell these things to Aaron’s sons, the priests: ‘A priest must not make himself unclean by touching a dead person. But if the dead person was one of his close relatives, he may touch him. The priest may make himself unclean if the dead person is his mother or father, son or daughter, brother or unmarried sister who is close to him because she has no husband. The priest may make himself unclean for her if she dies. But a priest must not make himself unclean if the dead person was only related to him by marriage.

“ ‘Priests must not shave their heads, or shave off the edges of their beards, or cut their bodies.

Leviticus 21:1–5 — American Standard Version (ASV 1901)

And Jehovah said unto Moses, Speak unto the priests, the sons of Aaron, and say unto them, There shall none defile himself for the dead among his people; except for his kin, that is near unto him, for his mother, and for his father, and for his son, and for his daughter, and for his brother, and for his sister a virgin, that is near unto him, that hath had no husband; for her may he defile himself. He shall not defile himself, being a chief man among his people, to profane himself. They shall not make baldness upon their head, neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard, nor make any cuttings in their flesh.

Leviticus 21:1–5 — 1890 Darby Bible (DARBY)

And Jehovah said to Moses, Speak unto the priests, the sons of Aaron, and say unto them, There shall none make himself unclean for a dead person among his peoples, except for his immediate relation, who is near unto him—for his mother, and for his father, and for his son, and for his daughter, and for his brother; and for his sister, a virgin, that is near unto him, who hath had no husband, for her may he make himself unclean. He shall not make himself unclean who is a chief among his peoples, to profane himself. They shall not make any baldness upon their head, neither shall they shave off the corners of their beard, nor make any cuttings in their flesh.

Leviticus 21:1–5 — GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

The Lord spoke to Moses, “Tell the priests, Aaron’s sons: None of you should become unclean by touching one of your relatives who has died. However, you are allowed to become unclean when one of your nearest relatives dies. These relatives include your mother, father, son, daughter, or brother, and especially an unmarried virgin sister who is still close to you. As the head of your people, you should never become unclean. That would make you unholy. 

“You should never mourn by shaving bald spots on your heads, shaving the edges of your beards, or slashing your bodies. 

Leviticus 21:1–5 — The Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

The Lord said to Moses: “Speak to Aaron’s sons, the priests, and tell them: A priest is not to make himself ceremonially unclean for a dead person among his relatives, except for his immediate family: his mother, father, son, daughter, or brother. He may make himself unclean for his young unmarried sister in his immediate family. He is not to make himself unclean for those related to him by marriage and so defile himself.

“Priests may not make bald spots on their heads, shave the edge of their beards, or make gashes on their bodies.

Leviticus 21:1–5 — The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

The Lord said to Moses: Speak to the priests, the sons of Aaron, and say to them:

No one shall defile himself for a dead person among his relatives, except for his nearest kin: his mother, his father, his son, his daughter, his brother; likewise, for a virgin sister, close to him because she has had no husband, he may defile himself for her. But he shall not defile himself as a husband among his people and so profane himself. They shall not make bald spots upon their heads, or shave off the edges of their beards, or make any gashes in their flesh.

Leviticus 21:1–5 — The Lexham English Bible (LEB)

Then Yahweh said to Moses, “Speak to the priests, Aaron’s sons, and say to them, ‘One must not make himself unclean for a dead person among his own people, except for his direct relative closest to him: his mother and his father, and his son and his daughter, and his brother, and for his sister, a virgin, who is closest to him, who has not had a husband—for her he may defile himself. He must not make himself unclean as a kinsman by marriage, defiling himself.

“ ‘And they shall not shave bald patches on their head, and they shall not shave off the corner of their beard, and they shall not make a cut in their body.

Leviticus 21:1–5 — New International Reader’s Version, 1998 ed. (NIrV) (NIrV)

The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the priests, the sons of Aaron. Tell them, ‘A priest must not make himself “unclean” by going near the dead body of any of his people. But he can go near the body of a close relative. It could be his mother, father, son, daughter or brother. He can also go near a sister who is not married. She would have depended on him because she did not have a husband. The priest can make himself “unclean” by going near her body. But he must not make himself “unclean” by going near the bodies of people who were only related to him by marriage. Going near them would make him “unclean.”

“ ‘Priests must not shave any part of their heads. They must not shave off the edges of their beards. They must not make cuts on their bodies when someone dies.

Leviticus 21:1–5 — New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update (NASB95)

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the priests, the sons of Aaron, and say to them:

No one shall defile himself for a dead person among his people,

except for his relatives who are nearest to him, his mother and his father and his son and his daughter and his brother,

also for his virgin sister, who is near to him because she has had no husband; for her he may defile himself.

‘He shall not defile himself as a relative by marriage among his people, and so profane himself.

‘They shall not make any baldness on their heads, nor shave off the edges of their beards, nor make any cuts in their flesh.