Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Leviticus 21:23

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

He shall not go in unto the veil - The priest with a blemish was not permitted to enter into the holy of holies, nor to burn incense, nor to offer the shew-bread, nor to light the golden candlestick, etc. In short, he was not permitted to perform any essential function of the priesthood.

  1. The great perfection required in the Jewish high priest was intended principally to point out the perfection of that priesthood of which the Jewish was only the type. And yet, as the apostle assures us, that law made nothing perfect, but pointed out that most perfect priesthood and sacrifice by which we draw near to God.
  2. As none who had a blemish could enter into the holy of holies, and this holy of holies was a type of the kingdom of God, so nothing that is defiled can enter into heaven; for he gave himself for his Church that he might purify it to himself, and present it at last before the presence of the Divine glory having neither spot nor wrinkle, nor any such thing, Ephesians 5:27; a passage which evidently refers to the directions in the preceding verse. Reader, art thou become a king and priest unto God and the Lamb? and hast thou obtained, or art thou earnestly seeking, that holiness without which thou canst not see the kingdom of heaven?
Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible
Verses 16-24

He was not treated as an outcast, but enjoyed his privileges as a son of Aaron, except in regard to active duties.

Leviticus 21:20

A dwarf - One who is small and wasted, either short, as in the text, or slender, as in the margin. It is hardly likely that dwarfishness would be overlooked in this enumeration. So most critical authorities.

Scurry or scabbed - These words most probably include all affected with any skin disease.

Leviticus 21:22

See Leviticus 2:3 note; Leviticus 6:25 note.

Leviticus 21:23

Sanctuaries - The places especially holy, including the most holy place, the holy place, and the altar.

This law is of course to be regarded as one development of the great principle that all which is devoted to the service of God should be as perfect as possible of its kind.