“If the daughter of a priest is married to a man who is not a priest, she is not to have a share of the food set aside from the holy things. But if the daughter of a priest is a widow or divorcee and has no child, and she is sent back to her father’s house as when she was young, she may share in her father’s food; but no one not a priest is to share in it. If a person eats holy food by mistake, he must add one-fifth to it and give the holy food to the priest. “-Leviticus 22:12-13
Verse 12 tells us that if a priest’s daughter marries a commoner who is outside of the priestly line, she is no longer eligible to eat of the sacred food.
She becomes joined to her husband (as one flesh) and thus ownership of her transfers from her natural parents to her husband.
However, if some tragedy occurs that would force her to move back into her father’s house like death or divorce, then she is once again eligible to partake of the HOLY food.
In this case, the identity she had with her husband shifts back to her being a member of her father’s household.
But notice the caveat attached to this rule.
She can only move back into her parent’s house unless she “has no child”.
What does this imply?
The idea is that if she has a son who is now an adult, it is his responsibility per Torah law to care for his widowed or divorced mother.
Since this son is obviously not a priest, the mother’s ineligibility to partake of the HOLY food remains.
Moving on, verses 13-15 deal with what to do if someone NOT eligible to eat the sacred food actually does.
Understand that we’re talking about an UNINTENTIONAL action here.
These rules only apply if it was an honest mistake.
If someone through trickery or blatant disregard for the Law ate of the HOLY food, He or she would be under God’s judgement.
Given that this was an honest mistake, the penalty is not so steep.
The trespasser must pay for the full value of the sacrifice with 20% added on top.
What we can take away from all of this is that mercy and grace are available for those who make honest mistakes.
But, even if mercy and grace are provided, there is still a consequence for affronting YHVH’s HOLINESS.
One cannot tamper with the HOLINESS of God, even unintentionally, are there not be any consequences.
This is something we must not forget.