Leviticus 21:5

Hebrew Bible

3 and his virgin sister who is near to him, who has no husband—he may defile himself for her. 4 He must not defile himself as a husband among his people so as to profane himself. 5 Priests must not have a bald spot shaved on their head, they must not shave the corner of their beard, and they must not cut slashes in their body. 6 “‘They must be holy to their God, and they must not profane the name of their God, because they are the ones who present the Lord’s gifts, the food of their God. Therefore they must be holy. 7 They must not take a wife defiled by prostitution, nor are they to take a wife divorced from her husband, for the priest is holy to his God.

Letter of Jeremiah 1:31


29 Sacrifices to them may even be touched by women in their periods or at childbirth. Since you know by these things that they are not gods, do not fear them. 30 For how can they be called gods? Women serve meals for gods of silver and gold and wood; 31 and in their temples the priests sit with their clothes torn, their heads and beards shaved, and their heads uncovered. 32 They howl and shout before their gods as some do at a funeral banquet. 33 The priests take some of the clothing of their gods to clothe their wives and children.

 Notes and References

"... A special plea seems to be entered in relation to contemporary conduct towards the dead. Though from a literary point of view our author is dependent upon Ahikar directly for 4:17, yet it is quite clear that he is inculcating an actual religious practice. In fact, at the time our author lived, it would appear to have been a subject of considerable dispute as to whether such offerings were right and proper and a matter of duty (compare Sirach 7:33; Job 4:17) or whether they were definitely to be excluded by Judaism and its adherents (Sirach 30:18, 19; Epistle of Jeremiah 31, 32; Wisdom of Solomon 14:15, 19:3; Sibylline Oracles 8:382-384). At the time when Jubilees 22:17 was written they were apparently regarded as characteristic of the Gentiles ..."

Charles, R. H. The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament (p. 198) Oxford University Press, 1913

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