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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Blemish

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(מוּם, μῶμος; once תְּבִלֻּל, blear-eyed, Leviticus 21:20). There were various kinds of blemishes, i.e. imperfections or deformities, which excluded men from the priesthood, and animals from being offered in sacrifice. These blemishes are described in Leviticus 21:17-23; Leviticus 22:19-25; Deuteronomy 15:21. We learn from the Mishna (Zebachim, 12:1; Becoroth. 7:1) that temporary blemishes excluded a man from the priesthood only as long as those blemishes continued. The rule concerning animals was extended to imperfections of the inward parts: thus, if an animal, free from outward blemish, was found, after being slain, internally defective, it was not offered in sacrifice. The natural feeling that only that which was in a perfect condition was fit for sacred purposes, or was a becoming offering to the gods, produced similar rules concerning blemishes among the heathen nations (comp. Pompon. Let. De Sacerdot. cap. 6; Herodot. ii, 38; Iliad, i; 66; Ser. vius, ad Virg. AEn. ii, 4).

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McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Blemish'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tce/b/blemish.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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