New International Reader's Version

Leviticus 22

1The Lord said to Moses, “Here is what I want you to tell Aaron and his sons. Tell them to treat the sacred offerings with respect. They are the offerings the Israelites set apart to honor me. So Aaron and his sons must never treat my name as if it were not holy. I am the Lord.

“Say to them, ‘Suppose a man in your family line is “unclean.” And suppose he comes near the sacred offerings. They are the offerings the Israelites set apart to honor me. That man must not be allowed to serve me as a priest. That applies for all time to come. I am the Lord.

“ ‘Suppose a man in Aaron’s family line has a skin disease. Or suppose liquid waste is flowing out of his body. Then he can’t eat the sacred offerings until he is made pure and clean. Suppose he touches something made “unclean” by coming near a dead body. Or suppose he touches someone who has semen flowing from his body. Then he will be “unclean.” Or suppose he touches any crawling thing that makes him “unclean.” Or suppose he touches any person who makes him “unclean.” It does not matter what “unclean” thing he touches. It will make him “unclean.” The one who touches anything of that kind will be “unclean” until evening. He must not eat any of the sacred offerings unless he has taken a bath. When the sun goes down, he will be “clean.” After that, he can eat the sacred offerings. They are his food. He must not eat anything found dead or torn apart by wild animals. If he does, it will make him “unclean.” I am the Lord.

“ ‘The priests must do what I require. But suppose they make fun of what I require. Then they will become guilty and die. I am the Lord. I make them holy.

10 “ ‘Only a member of a priest’s family can eat the sacred offering. The guest of a priest can’t eat it. A priest’s hired worker can’t eat it either. 11 But suppose a priest buys a slave with money. Or suppose slaves are born in his house. Then they can eat the sacred food. 12 Suppose a priest’s daughter marries someone who is not a priest. Then she can’t eat any of the food brought as a sacred gift. 13 But suppose the priest’s daughter becomes a widow or is divorced. She does not have any children. And she returns to live in her father’s house, where she lived when she was young. Then she can eat her father’s food. But a person who does not belong to a priest’s family can’t eat any of it.

14 “ ‘Suppose someone eats a sacred offering by mistake. Then they must pay back the priest for the offering. They must also add a fifth of its value to it. 15 The priests must not allow the sacred offerings to become “unclean.” They are the offerings the Israelites bring to the Lord. 16 The priests must not allow the offerings to become “unclean” by letting the people eat them. If they do, they will bring guilt on the people. They will have to pay for what they have done. I am the Lord. I make them holy.’ ”

Sacrifices the Lord Does Not Accept

17 The Lord spoke to Moses. He said, 18 “Speak to Aaron and his sons. Speak to all the Israelites. Tell them, ‘Suppose any of you brings a gift for a burnt offering to the Lord. It does not matter whether you are an Israelite or an outsider who lives in Israel. It does not matter whether you bring the offering to keep a promise or because you choose to give it. 19 You must bring a male animal without any flaws if you want the Lord to accept it from you. It does not matter whether it is from your cattle, sheep or goats. 20 Do not bring an animal that has any flaws. If you do, the Lord will not accept it from you. 21 Suppose any of you brings an animal for a friendship offering to the Lord. Then it must not have any flaws at all. If it does, the Lord will not accept it. It does not matter whether the animal is from your herd or flock. It does not matter whether you bring it to keep a promise or because you choose to give it. 22 Do not offer a blind animal to the Lord. Do not bring a hurt or wounded animal. And do not offer one that has warts or boils or running sores. Do not place any of them on the altar as a food offering presented to the Lord. 23 But suppose you bring an offering you choose to give. Then you can bring an ox or a sheep whose body is twisted or too small. But the Lord will not accept it if you offer it to keep a promise. 24 You must not offer the Lord a male animal whose sex glands have been hurt. The glands also must not be crushed, torn or cut. You must not offer that kind of animal in your own land. 25 And you must not accept that kind of animal from someone who comes from another land. You must not offer it as food for your God. He will not accept it from you. Its body is twisted and has flaws.’ ”

26 The Lord spoke to Moses. He said, 27 “When a calf, lamb or goat is born, it must remain with its mother for seven days. From the eighth day on, I will accept it as a food offering presented to me. 28 Do not kill a cow and its calf on the same day. Do not kill a female sheep and its lamb on the same day.

29 “Sacrifice a thank offering to me in the right way. Then I will accept it from you. 30 You must eat it that same day. Do not leave any of it until morning. I am the Lord.

31 “Obey my commands. Follow them. I am the Lord. 32 Do not treat my name as if it were not holy. The Israelites must recognize me as the holy God. I am the Lord. I made you holy. 33 I brought you out of Egypt to be your God. I am the Lord.”