Some special stipulations for priests (Leviticus 22)
1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
2 Speak unto Aaron and to his sons, that they separate themselves from the holy things of the children of Israel, and that they profane not my holy name in those things which they hallow unto me: I am the LORD.
3 Say unto them, Whosoever he be of all your seed among your generations, that goeth unto the holy things, which the children of Israel hallow unto the LORD, having his uncleanness upon him, that soul shall be cut off from my presence: I am the LORD.
4 What man soever of the seed of Aaron is a leper, or hath a running issue; he shall not eat of the holy things, until he be clean. And whoso toucheth any thing that is unclean by the dead, or a man whose seed goeth from him;
5 Or whosoever toucheth any creeping thing, whereby he may be made unclean, or a man of whom he may take uncleanness, whatsoever uncleanness he hath;
6 The soul which hath touched any such shall be unclean until even, and shall not eat of the holy things, unless he wash his flesh with water.
7 And when the sun is down, he shall be clean, and shall afterward eat of the holy things; because it is his food.
8 That which dieth of itself, or is torn with beasts, he shall not eat to defile himself therewith: I am the LORD.
9 They shall therefore keep mine ordinance, lest they bear sin for it, and die therefore, if they profane it: I the LORD do sanctify them.
10 There shall no stranger eat of the holy thing: a sojourner of the priest, or an hired servant, shall not eat of the holy thing.
11 But if the priest buy any soul with his money, he shall eat of it, and he that is born in his house: they shall eat of his meat.
12 If the priest’s daughter also be married unto a stranger, she may not eat of an offering of the holy things.
13 But if the priest’s daughter be a widow, or divorced, and have no child, and is returned unto her father’s house, as in her youth, she shall eat of her father’s meat: but there shall no stranger eat thereof.
14 And if a man eat of the holy thing unwittingly, then he shall put the fifth part thereof unto it, and shall give it unto the priest with the holy thing.
15 And they shall not profane the holy things of the children of Israel, which they offer unto the LORD;
16 Or suffer them to bear the iniquity of trespass, when they eat their holy things: for I the LORD do sanctify them.
17 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
18 Speak unto Aaron, and to his sons, and unto all the children of Israel, and say unto them, Whatsoever he be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers in Israel, that will offer his oblation for all his vows, and for all his freewill offerings, which they will offer unto the LORD for a burnt offering;
19 Ye shall offer at your own will a male without blemish, of the beeves, of the sheep, or of the goats.
20 But whatsoever hath a blemish, that shall ye not offer: for it shall not be acceptable for you.
21 And whosoever offereth a sacrifice of peace offerings unto the LORD to accomplish his vow, or a freewill offering in beeves or sheep, it shall be perfect to be accepted; there shall be no blemish therein.
22 Blind, or broken, or maimed, or having a wen, or scurvy, or scabbed, ye shall not offer these unto the LORD, nor make an offering by fire of them upon the altar unto the LORD.
23 Either a bullock or a lamb that hath any thing superfluous or lacking in his parts, that mayest thou offer for a freewill offering; but for a vow it shall not be accepted.
24 Ye shall not offer unto the LORD that which is bruised, or crushed, or broken, or cut; neither shall ye make any offering thereof in your land.
25 Neither from a stranger’s hand shall ye offer the bread of your God of any of these; because their corruption is in them, and blemishes be in them: they shall not be accepted for you.
26 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
27 When a bullock, or a sheep, or a goat, is brought forth, then it shall be seven days under the dam; and from the eighth day and thenceforth it shall be accepted for an offering made by fire unto the LORD.
28 And whether it be cow or ewe, ye shall not kill it and her young both in one day.
29 And when ye will offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving unto the LORD, offer it at your own will.
30 On the same day it shall be eaten up; ye shall leave none of it until the morrow: I am the LORD.
31 Therefore shall ye keep my commandments, and do them: I am the LORD.
32 Neither shall ye profane my holy name; but I will be hallowed among the children of Israel: I am the LORD which hallow you,
33 That brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I am the LORD.
The Hebrew word "naw-zar´" translated "separate themselves from" in verse 2 means that the priest should "treat the holy things as sacred or sanctified." In keeping with that introduction to this chapter, a priest with any of the issues of uncleanness found in the preceding chapters would make that priest disqualified for any of his ceremonial duties (verses 1-9). Several, but not all, of those incidents which cause one to be unclean are specified in verses 4-8. Notice the gravity of such a blatant disregard by the priest of this provision in verse 3 when it says, "...that soul shall be cut off from my presence."
No stranger was to eat a sanctified thing (verses 10-16). We see in Leviticus 1-7 (see notes) that some of the sacrifices made by the priests on behalf of the people (i.e. peace offerings) also specified that a portion of that sacrifice would provide food for the priests and Levites If the priest happened to have outside guests in his home when he arrived there with this altar food, only those born in that household or slaves bought by the priest were permitted to partake. Since no cattle were to be slaughtered outside of this procedure of sacrificing, if you wanted to partake of some of the meat of your herd, it was necessary to bring it to the priest as a peace offering. The one who brought the sacrifice was able to take a portion of the meat back with him to his house for consumption, while the priest was given a portion for his household according to Leviticus 17 (see notes).
It occurs to me that, without this provision on behalf of the priests, those priests would come home to a house full of guests each day. What some folks won't do for a good steak! Oh...and the priest's daughter lost a benefit when she married according to verse 12. In that scenario, the daughter of the priest lost her meal ticket as well. However, verse 13 says, in essence, "Lose the husband and get your meal ticket back again."
And don't even think about bringing an inferior animal for sacrifice (verses 17-28). Those offerings would not be accepted. There are some interesting provisions in verses 27-28 that protect an animal from being sacrificed, if only for a few additional days; all cattle were permitted to live at least for their first seven days in this world. According to verse 29, there was no specified occasion for these offerings; they were to be offered "at your own will." Verse 30 specifies that the Hebrews could not stockpile their meat; it had to be eaten the same day it was offered before the priest. These offerings were just as much a part of the Mosaic Law as those offerings that were mandated according to verses 31-33.
The Feasts/Festivals of Israel (Leviticus 23)
1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts.
3 Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings.
4 These are the feasts of the LORD, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons.
5 In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD’S passover.
6 And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread.
7 In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.
8 But ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD seven days: in the seventh day is an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.
9 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
10 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest:
11 And he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it.
12 And ye shall offer that day when ye wave the sheaf an he lamb without blemish of the first year for a burnt offering unto the LORD.
13 And the meat offering thereof shall be two tenth deals of fine flour mingled with oil, an offering made by fire unto the LORD for A SWEET SAVOUR: AND THE DRINK OFFERING THEREOF SHALL BE OF WINE, THE FOURTH PART of an hin.
14 And ye shall eat neither bread, nor parched corn, nor green ears, until the selfsame day that ye have brought an offering unto your God: IT SHALL BE a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.
15 And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete:
16 Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the LORD.
17 Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals: they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baken with leaven; they are the firstfruits unto the LORD.
18 And ye shall offer with the bread seven lambs without blemish of the first year, and one young bullock, and two rams: they shall be for a burnt offering unto the LORD, with their meat offering, and their drink offerings, even an offering made by fire, of sweet savour unto the LORD.
19 Then ye shall sacrifice one kid of the goats for a sin offering, and two lambs of the first year for a sacrifice of peace offerings.
20 And the priest shall wave them with the bread of the firstfruits for a wave offering before the LORD, with the two lambs: they shall be holy to the LORD for the priest.
21 And ye shall proclaim on the selfsame day, that it may be an holy convocation unto you: ye shall do no servile work therein: it shall be a statute for ever in all your dwellings throughout your generations.
22 And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not make clean riddance of the corners of thy field when thou reapest, neither shalt thou gather any gleaning of thy harvest: thou shalt leave them unto the poor, and to the stranger: I am the LORD your God.
23 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
24 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation.
25 Ye shall do no servile work therein: but ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD.
26 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
27 Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD.
28 And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the LORD your God.
29 For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people.
30 And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people.
31 Ye shall do no manner of work: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.
32 It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath.
33 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
34 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the LORD.
35 On the first day shall be an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.
36 Seven days ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: it is a solemn assembly; and ye shall do no servile work therein.
37 These are the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD, a burnt offering, and a meat offering, a sacrifice, and drink offerings, every thing upon his day:
38 Beside the sabbaths of the LORD, and beside your gifts, and beside all your vows, and beside all your freewill offerings, which ye give unto the LORD.
39 Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto the LORD seven days: on the first day shall be a sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a sabbath.
40 And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days.
41 And ye shall keep it a feast unto the LORD seven days in the year. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations: ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month.
42 Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths:
43 That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
44 And Moses declared unto the children of Israel the feasts of the LORD.
These "feasts" found in chapter 23 are festivals. When we see the word feast, we think "food." The Hebrew word here for "feast" means "an appointed time or season." In other words, we're talking special Jewish holidays. Seven of the feasts observed by the Jews are found here in Leviticus 23. Two feasts originated later on in Jewish history: Feast of Dedication (Lights or Hanukkah), and Purim. Following is a table showing those days that Jews observe in scripture on an annual basis. Notice the extreme importance placed upon the observance of the Day of Atonement in verse 29 when it says that those who decline to do so "shall be cut off from among his people." The detailed instructions for this special day are found in Leviticus 16 (see notes).