Thoughts and teaching on Leviticus chapter 21
Chapters 21 and 22 of Leviticus deal with instructions which were given directly for both Aaron and his sons to observe. The various headers (21:1,10,16, 22:2,18) begin with this indication though the final passage which begins at 22:26 may be a more general ordinance aimed at the entire congregation and 22:18 includes the nation of Israel in its header.
The structure of chapter 21 outlines, firstly, the requirements laid upon all of Aaron’s sons who stood as priests in the Tabernacle (21:1-9) then, secondly, a stricter code for the High Priest who was ‘chief among his brethren’ (21:10-15) and, finally, qualifying conditions for any of Aaron’s subsequent offspring to be able to be considered as priests in the Tabernacle.
The first two detailed the conduct that was becoming the priests while the last outlined how a descendent may gain entry into the priesthood.
Lev 21:1-15 - Priestly Conduct
Comparisons between the conduct of the Aaronic priests and the High Priest
21:1-4 - They were allowed to take care of their immediate family when they died (v.2-3) but weren’t allowed to participate in the arrangements for the death of their wives (v.4) because they weren’t direct descendants in the family line either through themselves or their parents to the first generation.
Wenham, however, notes (page 290)
‘The priest’s wife is not explicitly mentioned in this list of people. Since she is “one flesh” with him, the law simply takes it for granted that he would defile himself for her’
though I don’t see, in this instance, why this should be accepted from silence. Harrison notes something similar, though (page 209).
21:10-12 - The restrictions placed upon the High Priest were more severe. There was no one amongst his direct descendants who he was allowed to become defiled for upon their death. The High Priest wasn’t even allowed to go into the tent where the body lay to pay his last respects but was to keep as far away from defilement as he could.
So long as the High Priest wasn’t an only child and had at least one brother still alive, the necessary requirements of Israelite culture would have been largely performed by the Aaronic priests (see 21:2-3) though there would have been notable exceptions that would have had to have been dealt with by ‘outsiders’.
And, if that seemed severe, 21:10 commands the High Priest not to let the hair of the head hang loose and not to rend his garments as a sign of grief at the loss of a close relative (see Lev 10:6 and its context).
21:5-6 - This may be a reversion to the passage of Scripture that’s found in Lev 19:26-28 where we noted that the context was of the cultic practises of pagan religions. However, the wording is somewhat different here so it’s possible to take it as a regulation that the facial hair must be allowed to grow naturally with no fashion or cultic alterations made (as Wenham appears to do - page 291). However, as you’ll see below, I’ve taken it to be an allusion to cultic ritual especially as a future regulation in Deut 14:1 (my italics) states
‘You are the sons of YHWH your God; you shall not cut yourselves or make any baldness on your foreheads for the dead’
Judging from this verse, the regulation was a continuation of the legislation detailing the priest’s necessary reaction to death within his family and friends and expands the general legislation given to all the Israelites. It should go without saying that the priesthood shouldn’t accept marks that resemble pagan rites but it’s repeated here and also expanded upon.
Making marks in the skin is almost certainly of cultic significance and is mentioned along with hair alterations in the passage in Deuteronomy.
Thompson’s commentary on Deut 14:1b is excellent here and I make no apologies for quoting a large section of it (page 177)
‘The cutting of the body and the shaving of the head were common mourning rites in the ancient Near East and are referred to in numerous places in the Old Testament (Is 3:24, 15:2, 22:12, Jer 16:6, 41:5, Ezek 7:18, Amos 8:10, Micah 1:16). The mutilation of the body persists still in some countries, eg in New Guinea, where a mourner, especially a woman, removes a joint of a finger, and in extreme cases more than one finger joint. Such practices were forbidden in Israel, both because they hinted at some conformity to pagan practices and also because Israel had respect for the body as God’s creation which was not to be disfigured or misused (cf Lev 19:27,28)...A number of Israel’s laws seem to have in mind the cult of the dead. Thus contact between the living and the dead through various media was forbidden (18:11), while physical contact with dead bodies led to ritual uncleanness (Nu 19:11-18; 31:19). There might be here an underlying opposition to rites connected with the Canaanite god Mot (cf 26:14, Ezek 8:14). In any case, all such practices were forbidden to Israel’
There’s no mention of this regulation being applicable to the High Priest but, as an Aaronic priest, it would have had to have been observed. The secondary legislation is designed to tighten up the regulations for the application to the High Priest and it’s taken that, when the laws are not repeated, they are equally applicable.
21:7-8 - There were specific laws pertaining to the procurement of a wife. A divorcee, a harlot and a woman who’d been raped (the RSV uses the word ‘defiled’ - see Gen 34:1-5,13,27 for the use of this word in this context - other commentators interpret the phrase to mean just that the woman had had sexual intercourse prior to a marriage relationship but I take the phrase to be a bit stronger than this) are all forbidden to the Aaronic priest - though not, it appears, a widow. That this category of woman was allowed gives us the reason why a virgin isn’t specified as being necessary for the priest to marry.
21:13-15 - A widow is excluded from amongst the possibles for a wife which were permissible for ordinary priests. Additionally (or consequently) a virgin bride is specified as being the only possible choice of wife for him - not even a young woman who had had pre-marital sex was allowed to be taken as a wife.
21:9 - Any daughter of the priest who took up harlotry was to be put to death because her lifestyle was a reflection upon her father’s ministry.
There’s no mention of this requirement for the High Priest but it’s more than likely that it was equally applicable - it wasn’t mentioned simply because the law wasn’t tightened for application to the chief priest.
In addition, the High Priest wasn’t allowed to go out from the confines of the Tabernacle (21:12) so that ceremonial defilement might not be imparted to Him. This is a strange command seeing as Aaron appears to have frequently gone about the camp and would have conversed with people (for instance, Num 16:46-50) and it’s best to see it in the context of the death of father and mother. Therefore Wenham notes (page 291) that it
‘...does not mean that the high priest lived in the sanctuary, only that his duties there took precedence over family ties, even when his parents died’
It can at once be seen that the High Priest was under greater controls and restrictions when it came to moral conduct in his life. Who, honestly, who loved life and wanted to experience the pleasures around him, would have chosen (if it was possible to do so) to be a High Priest? Even so, the priesthood was a privilege and honour that nothing else could match or compare with - but the responsibilities were relative to the position.
Having now seen the distinction between ordinary priests in the line of Aaron and the High Priest, we need to ask ourselves why these restrictions applied.
Why did God choose these restrictions as being binding upon both the Aaronic priests and the line of High Priests? What was the purpose of these regulations? And, importantly, what did the Jew of the day understand by them (as opposed to what seems like they may mean for us in the twentieth century)?
There are a couple of additional requirements that are laid upon the High Priest that I’ve outlined above but I want here to deal with the four themes that are used for each of the two groups (including the second and fourth which I’ve commented on as being logically applicable as well to the High Priest as to the ordinary Aaronic priest) - Death, Cuttings, Marriage and Descendant’s Conduct.
The Mosaic legislation concerning the requirements of those who have contact with a human dead body are contained in Num 19:11-13. Though the regulation occurs well after the passage under consideration, it’s likely that some sort of practise was already being observed before the law was recorded.
Numbers requires the person who’s had contact with death to be unclean for seven (or seven parts of) days with ceremonial cleansings both on the third and seventh days with water. If those two washings weren’t performed then the person must bear his uncleanness.
The subsequent passage (Num 19:14-22) deals with people who come into the tent where a dead person lies. These people, too, were to be considered ceremonially unclean for a period of seven days before they could achieve cleansing.
The High Priest wasn’t even allowed to let his hair hang loose and to tear his garments as a demonstration of his sorrow (22:10) and, as Wenham notes (page 291)
‘His hair had been anointed and his clothes specially designed for him. If he disturbed them, it could serve to nullify his consecration’
When we read of the High Priestly legislation concerning death, then it can be seen that the intention is to keep the High Priest forever ready to minister to God on behalf of the people. The rule concerning the prohibition of entering a tent where a dead person lay is equally severe because it was a matter of need for the nation that the chief priest was continually ready to intercede and mediate on their behalf at a moment’s notice. The Aaronic priests, however, could be given some leeway as there was more than one of them - but there were still restrictions laid upon them to prevent the possibility that there might be a time when no Aaronic priest was able to minister to the Lord on behalf of the people through contamination with a dead body.
Lev 22:3 specifies that, should any priest have contact with the holy things when they’re ceremonially unclean, they would be removed from the presence of the Lord permanently. Therefore the intention of the legislation is to maintain the line of the High Priesthood and to secure Aaronic priests who can effectively stand to minister for the sake of the nation of Israel.
There’s significance here as we consider Jesus and the position that the New Testament proclaims Him to hold. Hebrews 6:20 states that Jesus has
‘...become a high priest forever...’
and Rom 8:34 that Jesus
‘...intercedes for us’
and Heb 7:24 that Jesus
‘...holds His priesthood permanently, because He continues forever’
If Jesus continues forever as a High Priest on our behalf then that means that in Him there’s no uncleanness, no contamination of spiritual death but that He remains perfectly alive and one with the Father, consuming all uncleanness and unrighteousness through His work of the cross. He must be the source of Living Water that cleanses all uncleanness from every situation and circumstance as previously discussed in my notes on the Feast of Tabernacles.
There are also relevant similarities with ourselves as types of Aaronic priests who minister alongside Christ in His ministry into the world.
I have taken the legislation recorded for the Aaronic priests to be equally binding upon the High Priest for the reasons explained above. I also believe that the regulations had to do with a similar one outlined in Lev 19:27 where the context favoured a prohibition against cultic marks being made that were bleed overs from the pagan rites of religions that were round about them, but also Deut 14:1 that mentions the practise specifically with the qualifying phrase ‘for the dead’.
In this context, therefore, it’s apparent, initially, that the considerations outlined above concerning death within the family and friends is equally applicable. But here, it must be noted, not even marks that were significant in other cultures to express sorrow were permissible when death was experienced.
A priest mustn’t only keep himself pure from death and the culture’s requirements of bereavement but he must shun the use of symbols that are founded upon pagan religion. That should be equally applicable for New Testament believers and not just a consideration for the Old Testament priesthood and nation of Israel.
A priest, being a pure vessel in His service of YHWH must be set apart solely to Him. Therefore the verse that follows the command reads (Lev 21:6)
‘They shall be holy to their God, and not profane the name of their God; for they offer the offerings by fire to YHWH, the bread of their God; therefore they shall be holy’
where the word ‘holy’ means a separation to the things of God. It would be profanity if, set apart as the sole property of God, they associated themselves with practices that were part of religions that were opposed to the requirements of the Law.
Similarly, believers in the New Testament who have the fulness of God dwelling bodily in Jesus (Col 1:19) should never be able to conceive of a need to use bleed overs from pagan and occultic sources in their experience on this earth but, rather, He should be everything to them at all points of their existence. Therefore Paul writes in II Cor 11:2-3 (my italics)
‘I feel a divine jealousy for you, for I betrothed you to Christ to present you as a pure bride to her one Husband. But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ’
Purity of service as New Covenant priests is necessary - and that purity is compromised when we take upon ourselves elements of pagan practices that contradict the life we have in Christ.
Both Wenham and Harrison don’t appear to directly address the issue of why certain women were debarred from marrying either the Aaronic priests or the High Priest. They each give different reasons for the prohibition for the priests but their explanations don’t seem to stand up to closer scrutiny.
Harrison notes (page 210)
‘Because the priests present the holy offerings on behalf of the congregation, they are to be given the respect appropriate to such an exalted position’
and Wenham (page 291)
‘They may not marry those known to be wayward in sexual behaviour’
Concerning the former quote, we’re not informed that the reason for the legislation is respect and, concerning the latter, a woman divorced from her husband (21:7) is certainly not guilty of ‘wayward’ sexual behaviour otherwise she would either have been found guilty of adultery (Lev 20:10) and been put to death or found innocent having been subject to the regulations concerning her husband’s jealousy (Num 5:11-31).
When we come to the reasons for the prohibitions concerning the High Priest, Wenham (page 292), after repeating Harrison’s assertion concerning the ‘respect appropriate’, notes
‘...it may mean that by marrying such a girl he will ensure her children are really his own’
but a nine month wait before sexual union would have been sufficient to prove the point and, besides, a woman’s virginity could only realistically be proven on the wedding night (Deut 22:13-21).
Harrison appears to be nearer the truth when he notes (page 210)
‘The wife of the high priest was to be chaste at the time of marriage...since anyone less pure would defile his own sanctity...’
and this relates directly to Lev 21:15 where it talks about the regulation being instituted so that
‘...he may not profane his children among his people...’
and, concerning the Aaronic priests in Lev 21:7, the Law states that
‘...the priest is holy to his God’
Certainly, the idea behind the legislation concerning marriage appears to be sanctity and holiness, not respect or, primarily, security that the offspring are his.
But, and this is quite a difficult question, how does the priest’s separation to God require him to have only certain partners in marriage?
Leaving aside all the above explanations, I want to suggest that it has to do with Gen 2:24 where it reads
‘Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh’
It’s very difficult to base a large doctrine on this one verse but it appears as if sexual intercourse unites participants - I know from experience that, when my wife and I were married, we started discovering that problems the other had began to be real problems when we’d never experienced them before! In some ‘mysterious’ way (and the Bible is very quiet on exactly what takes place here) the two become one.
Both the Aaronic priests and the High Priest were required to join through sexual union with a woman who’d no living husband - the former being allowed to marry a widow but the latter forbidden. When the priest stood to minister in the Tabernacle, therefore, he stood pure before God with no influence from any other individual attributable to him through sexual union.
This sounds very peculiar, I know. But if separation and holiness is at the heart of the legislation then the purity of the line is necessary from the point of view of human influence. The High Priest must only marry a virgin so that there would be no possible influence from any other character - his offspring being solely the result of his and his wife’s sexual union and soul influence.
I’m only touching the bare surface of this subject - and the reader may feel it better to opt for one of the other explanations suggested by either Wenham or Harrison - but, if this is correct, then it has relevance for the New Testament believer in that he needs to be free from the influence of anything that has attached itself to him, whether that be influences from pre- or post-christian days.
The previous requirement concerning ‘cuttings’ taught us not to use symbols from the pagan religions around us - this regulation speaks to us of not allowing any false influences to guide our service of God. Either we must endeavour not to unite ourselves with negative influences or we need to have them dealt with through the work of the cross.
There must also be an allusion here to Jesus, the great High Priest, who’ll marry His bride who’s pure and undefiled before Him. Therefore Paul writes to his readers (II Cor 11:2 - my italics) that
‘I feel a divine jealousy for you, for I betrothed you to Christ to present you as a pure bride to her one husband’
and Rev 19:7-8 (my italics) reads
‘...Let us rejoice and exult and give Him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to be clothed with fine linen, bright and pure...’
What the High Priest in the Old Testament was ordered to observe, served as a pointer towards what the ultimate High Priest would expect of His people.
4. Descendant’s Conduct
We come to the most difficult of all the verses. Both Harrison and Wenham merely repeat the verse in their own words, a tactic which is normally employed by scholars when something baffles them! I can’t say that all the questions posed about this verse can be answered (certainly not by me) but there are some things that can be said.
The verse reads
‘And the daughter of any priest, if she profanes herself by playing the harlot, profanes her father; she shall be burned with fire’
Though the verse is recorded for us under the regulations for the Aaronic priests, it would necessarily be applicable to the High Priest.
So, what can be said?
We’ve previously seen in Lev 19:29 that harlotry endangered the life of the nation. If daughters were given over into prostitution (for whatever reason) it opened up the way for the land to ‘become full of wickedness’. As we noted when we commented on that verse, individual sin bleeds over into the society in which it’s committed and even more so when the nature of the sin must involve others.
The Law is strangely silent on the punishment due to a harlot should one be found practising her services in the land - in fact, it’s probably true to say that the Law didn’t forbid the practice because God knew the weakness inherent in man and wasn’t going to directly address the issue until the New Covenant (the strength for self-control is bestowed upon all who need it through the work of the Holy Spirit).
But there’s one verse that speaks of the punishment of a harlot (Deut 22:21) and it occurs at the end of a passage where a betrothed virgin is found to have had previous sexual relations. She’s considered to have ‘played the harlot’ and is stoned to death.
Therefore, we have no real point of reference to illuminate the passage for, should a daughter of anybody else turn to prostitution, there was no penalty stated as to be imposed - only if the father had pushed his daughter into such an occupation (Lev 19:29) and then the punishment was upon the father not the daughter. Returning to the passage in question, it’s quite straightforward to see that the daughter of the priest would profane herself by becoming a harlot - she was ‘holy’ offspring, a descendant of a man set apart for service in the Tabernacle before the Lord, so her sexual relationships would profane her standing before Him. That part, indeed, is straightforward.
But how can she be said to profane her father by her conduct? The set up here is that the conduct of a priest’s offspring affects his service of and standing before God. There certainly appears to be a bleed over into the New Testament when Paul writes concerning the office of the elder (I Tim 3:4) that
‘He must manage his own household well, keeping his children submissive and respectful in every way; for if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how can he care for God’s church?’
But here the idea is that, if the offspring of the elder were to pull away from the family authority, the father would suffer for the sin of the child - not the child for their own sin. Therefore, as a passage to illuminate Lev 21:9, it’s useless. Indeed, I still have no answer for the question that I posed just a few sentences back - it appears that there’s no good reason for the statement of the Law even though there would have been a reason that appears now to be lost!
Similarly, why is the punishment laid upon her to be burned in fire rather than to be stoned with stones? If it was just a matter of removing the sin from the land, then execution through whatever method would have sufficed, so why fire? Are we looking at a type of cleansing here and that for the High Priest (for example in Num 31:23)?
Again, the text doesn’t say and I can think of no other Scripture which might point us toward a sufficient interpretation - even though the Law commands one other punishment of burning in Lev 20:14, there’s no explanation given there as to the reason except that it’s done
‘...that there may be no wickedness among you’
So, I’ve chosen not to avoid the issue - if I had’ve done I would have been able to be considered a ‘great’ commentator like Harrison or Wenham (no offence meant)! But neither can I offer or suggest any interpretation that gives a rational explanation of both why the father is profaned for the conduct of his daughter and why the punishment is with fire.
21:16-24 - Priestly Qualifications
Comparisons between the offerer and the offering
If the sacrifices to be offered in the Tabernacle are to be free from blemishes (Lev 22:17-25), then so must the offerer be (Lev 21:16-24). In this way, both the offerer and offering are seen to be united in perfection. But the similarity doesn’t just stop there with the summary of both titles being ‘without blemish’ - when we look at the exact restrictions placed upon each we find that there are distinct similarities for both.
The following may seem just like a list (which it is!) but the similarities can more easily be seen by comparing the Scriptural passages.
21:17 - blemishes
22:19-21 - blemishes
These two passages represent the summary of the details that follow. Though the Law states that both the human and the animal were not to have any blemishes, it needs to define what it means by the word so that Israel can be assured that it stays within the intent of the Law. Therefore the details are listed...
21:18 - blind
21:20 - sight defect
22:22 - blind
The sight defect isn’t specified - perhaps it could have been a cataract or maybe even short- or long-sightedness. It’s probably not specified for the animal because of the difficulty in determining whether the animal had an optical problem or not - it would hardly have been feasible to determine any imperfection in the sight when much of that has to be determined by the individual and their ability to see.
21:18 - lame
22:22 - disabled
21:18 - mutilated face
Wenham notes (page 292 note 7) that there may be good cause to translate the phrase with the word ‘split nose’ due to the etymology of the word. Whatever, it does mention some sort of mutilation even if the latter translation is a more specific term.
21:19 - injured foot or hand
Wenham translates the word for ‘injured’ by ‘broken’ (page 289). There’s no direct parallel with the offering’s specification in the RSV but, as Wenham translates it rather differently, there may be a similarity here that the RSV obscures.
22:22 - mutilated
The last two words from chapter 22 are translated by Wenham by ‘broken bones or cuts’ (page 293) though he doesn’t indicate why he’s translated the words this way.
21:18 - limb too long
22:23 - a ‘part’ too long or too short
The latter could be offered but only as a freewill offering and it wasn’t to be taken in payment for a vow. Wenham translates ‘part’ as ‘limbs’ but, again, there’s no explanation offered. The RSV’s translation is a generalisation that could be applied to other appendages such as ears.
21:20 - itching disease
22:22 - itch
21:20 - scabs
22:22 - scabs
21:20 - crushed testicles
22:24 - testicles bruised, crushed, torn or cut
Wenham translates the words in the second reference with the phrase ‘castrated in anyway’ which gives the sense rather than a strict translation.
There are a handful of other points in the two lists that haven’t been mentioned here. Firstly, the legislation concerning the offerer mentions both the ‘hunchback’ (21:20 - Wenham notes that the Hebrew word may mean ‘misshapen eyebrows’ - page 292 note 7) and the ‘dwarf’ (21:20 - again Wenham notes that the word may mean an ‘eye complaint’ - page 292 note 7). If the alternate translations are the correct ones, then there’d be a running together of meaning in the three consecutive conditions (misshapen eyebrows, eye complaint and sight defect).
There’s no parallel in the classification of acceptable animals.
Secondly, concerning the offering, Lev 22:22 notes the condition ‘having a discharge’. The complaint has already been mentioned in the Law pertaining to the entire Israelite nation in Leviticus chapter 15 and would have been equally applicable to the priests as it was to everyone else. Once considered unclean, they wouldn’t have been allowed to minister before the Lord until they’d been purified in accordance with the regulations.
Finally, Lev 22:25 points out that, even if the animal had been purchased from a foreigner, the restrictions still applied. The Israelites mustn’t think that, because the animal wasn’t theirs, they could get away with offering an animal that was blemished - perfection was necessary regardless of the source.
The above has hopefully shown that, under the Law, the offering (the sacrificial animal) must be as perfect as the offerer (the officiating priest). This has implication when we look at the New Testament and Christ.
He’s recognised as being both the offerer (Heb 2:17, 3:1, 4:14, 7:23-25, 8:1-2) and offering (Heb 9:12, 10:10), both of which must be perfect to the same degree, seeing as the comparisons are extremely close in similarity to one other. Not only this, but Jesus is also spoken of as being the ‘unblemished’ sacrifice (Heb 9:14, I Peter 1:19).
Though the Jew would never have been able to fathom the reason for the almost identical perfection of both offerer and offering, the Law looked forward to the time when both aspects of the sacrificial service would find a unification and harmony in the one man Jesus Christ (the perfect and ultimate High Priest) who offered Himself (the once-for-all-time perfect sacrifice) on the altar of the cross of Calvary, thus securing a redemption that’s both final and eternal.
The Levitical regulations in 21:16-24 go on to mention the rights of those blemished individuals and their relationship to the holy food (it will go on in the next chapter to mention it in the context of different scenarios - 22:10-16). Even though Aaron’s offspring may be forbidden from being ministers in the sanctuary to God (and the legislation is laid upon all Aaron’s sons, not just the High Priest - Cp 21:8 and 21:17 where it talks of the one who offers the ‘bread of his God’) because of physical imperfections, they still have the right to eat what would be rightfully his from both the holy and most holy items (21:22).
I noted above that the legislation for the priest didn’t mention bodily discharges and that this was part of a general command to the Israelites in chapter 15 that would have been equally applicable. Another reason for its exclusion here would be that the list of blemishes here did not debar the priest from partaking of the holy food whereas a bodily discharge would have done (see 22:4). Therefore the list seems to only include blemishes that can be wholly said not to restrict the person from participation in the priest’s food allocation.
Finally, it must be noted that there was never an intention to cause any of the types of people who are mentioned in 21:16-24 from being incapable of coming into a relationship with God. That the Law specified physical perfection not only for the offerer and offering but also for the residents is certain (see, for instance, Deut 23:1) but Isaiah saw that physical imperfection wasn’t the foundational requirement for a relationship with God (Is 56:3-5). In the New Testament also we see the Ethiopian Eunuch receiving the word of the Gospel and being baptised for the forgiveness of his sins (Acts 8:26-40).
Therefore, salvation was always to the person with faith - not to the physically perfect. But, for a time, physical perfection was necessary to be specified in both the offerer and offering as an allegorical window into the person and work of Christ, that He and His work would be perfect and without blemish.
God still requires the unblemished offering of our lives for His service (Phil 2:15, II Peter 3:14 - both of which speak of the need for the believer not to be ‘blemished’) - but physical and mental perfection aren’t a requirement for admission into the Church. Indeed, as many physically and mentally imperfect people will testify, acceptance before God came when they were in that condition but deliverance came out of their situation through the power and provision of the Holy Spirit.
Leviticus Home Page
Old Doctrines Home Page