1 And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not.After the fire, the fire still burns.
2 And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD.
3 Then Moses said unto Aaron, This is it that the LORD spake, saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified. And Aaron held his peace.
4 And Moses called Mishael and Elzaphan, the sons of Uzziel the uncle of Aaron, and said unto them, Come near, carry your brethren from before the sanctuary out of the camp.
5 So they went near, and carried them in their coats out of the camp; as Moses had said.
6 And Moses said unto Aaron, and unto Eleazar and unto Ithamar, his sons, Uncover not your heads, neither rend your clothes; lest ye die, and lest wrath come upon all the people: but let your brethren, the whole house of Israel, bewail the burning which the LORD hath kindled.
7 And ye shall not go out from the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: for the anointing oil of the LORD is upon you. And they did according to the word of Moses.
8 And the LORD spake unto Aaron, saying,
9 Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations:
10 And that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean;
11 And that ye may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the LORD hath spoken unto them by the hand of Moses.
12 And Moses spake unto Aaron, and unto Eleazar and unto Ithamar, his sons that were left, Take the meat offering that remaineth of the offerings of the LORD made by fire, and eat it without leaven beside the altar: for it is most holy:
13 And ye shall eat it in the holy place, because it is thy due, and thy sons' due, of the sacrifices of the LORD made by fire: for so I am commanded.
14 And the wave breast and heave shoulder shall ye eat in a clean place; thou, and thy sons, and thy daughters with thee: for they be thy due, and thy sons' due, which are given out of the sacrifices of peace offerings of the children of Israel.
15 The heave shoulder and the wave breast shall they bring with the offerings made by fire of the fat, to wave it for a wave offering before the LORD; and it shall be thine, and thy sons' with thee, by a statute for ever; as the LORD hath commanded.
16 And Moses diligently sought the goat of the sin offering, and, behold, it was burnt: and he was angry with Eleazar and Ithamar, the sons of Aaron which were left alive, saying,
17 Wherefore have ye not eaten the sin offering in the holy place, seeing it is most holy, and God hath given it you to bear the iniquity of the congregation, to make atonement for them before the LORD?
18 Behold, the blood of it was not brought in within the holy place: ye should indeed have eaten it in the holy place, as I commanded.
19 And Aaron said unto Moses, Behold, this day have they offered their sin offering and their burnt offering before the LORD; and such things have befallen me: and if I had eaten the sin offering to day, should it have been accepted in the sight of the LORD?
20 And when Moses heard that, he was content.
- #1: When Aaron's boys burn some incense, the Almighty is, well, incensed.
- #2: YHWH breathed fire that "devoured them."
Moses says "The supposedly good and merciful Lord just torched your kids for lighting a little patchouli! What the fuck, seriously what the fuck!? Aaron screams bloody murder at Yahweh and calls him an evil child murderer.Moses tells Aaron that the Lord insists that people "glorify" him (not sure why incense is an affront to a guy who considers flaming animal sacrifice on unleavened toast "a sweet savour"), and Aaron keeps silent.
- #4: Moe tells a couple of his nephews to escort their brethren away from the camp. (So, that fancy-ass sanctuary is just at a camp; these people do not travel light.)
- #5: They carried them out "in their coats." (Is it like transporting a murder victim in a rolled up rug?)
- #6: Moses tells Aaron and his remaining unbroiled sons not to uncover their heads or to tear their clothes in response to the Great One's torching of his loved ones, otherwise He'll be wrathful (and will probably kill all the Israelites). Everyone but the father and surviving brothers is allowed to mourn. (My, isn't this the most uplifting story you've ever read?)
- #7: Also, Aaron and his uncharred kids aren't allowed to leave the tabernacle, because the Lord's anointing oil is on them (well, sure, that makes sense.). If they leave, they die (Mario Puzo's got nothing on Mr. Bible Writer Man). They do as Moses advises.
- #8: Now, the Lord speaks directly to Aaron (wow, a brush with greatness, and it only cost him two kids!), saying...
- #9: Don't you, your sons — or anyone in your family tree, ever — drink wine or hard liquor in the tabernacle. Otherwise you'll die. (So, that's why chalices have that warning label, "Aaronids may burst into flames. Consult your genealogist to see if transubstantiation is right for you.")
- #10: And demonstrate "the difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean." (Hint: holy is flash-frying kids that burn sandalwood. And a minor quibble, Mr. BWM — use parallel structure, bubele, so we can tell which goes with which. Are holy and unclean the good ways? Or is unholy and clean?)
- #11: And "teach the children of Israel all the statutes" that God handed down to Moses.
- #12: Moses tells Aaron and his uncooked children to eat the remainder of the holy burnt-offering meat. (Some etiquette tips you can only pick up in the good book. If your boss ever torches your brother's kids, suggest the he and his surviving sons eat leftover meat from a fiery ritual. If that "meat" is actually a baked good, why is he telling Aaron to eat it without leaven? At this traumatic moment, was he really concerned that the bereaved was going to start sprinkling Fleischmann's yeast on his matzo?)
- #13: And they should "eat it in the holy place," because it's their share of God's receipts.
- #14: Also, eat the "wave breast and heave shoulder... in a clean place." Daughters eat, too!
- #15: Your sons (daughters, too?) will alway get that wavy, heave-y food.
- #16: Moses seeks out the sin-offering goat, which was burnt. And he gets mad at Aaron's surviving sons, saying...
- #17: Why haven't you eaten the goat "in the holy place"? God, after all, gave it to them to unburden the congregation of their sins.
- #18: Look, he tells them, the blood wasn't "brought in within the holy place," so you should have eaten it in that blessed place like I told you!
- #19: Aaron says Moses, they did offer their sin and burnt offerings, and look how things turned out for me. If I'd eaten the sin offering, would the Lord have accepted it? (OK, I'm a little confused here. Is he saying that he thinks he'd have had a better day if he'd eaten the offerings, or what?)
- #20: Moses finds contentment in Aaron's response (whereas I'm confused by Aaron's response and generally freaked out by this chapter).