Nadab and Abihu
1* Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu took their censers and, putting incense on the fire they had set in them,a they offered before the Lord unauthorized fire, such as he had not commanded. 2Fire therefore came forth from the Lord’s presence and consumed them,b so that they died in the Lord’s presence. 3Moses then said to Aaron, “This is as the Lord said:
Through those near to me I will be sanctified;
But Aaron said nothing. 4* Then Moses summoned Mishael and Elzaphan, the sons of Aaron’s uncle Uzziel, with the order, “Come, carry your kinsmen from before the sanctuary to a place outside the camp.” 5So they drew near and carried them by means of their tunics outside the camp, as Moses had commanded.
Conduct of the Priests
6Moses said to Aaron and his sons Eleazar and Ithamar, “Do not dishevel your haird or tear your garments,e lest you die and bring God’s wrath also on the whole community. While your kindred, the rest of the house of Israel, may mourn for those whom the Lord’s fire has burned up, 7you shall not go beyond the entrance of the tent of meeting,f else you shall die; for the anointing oil of the Lord is upon you.” So they did as Moses told them.
8The Lord said to Aaron: 9When you are to go to the tent of meeting, you and your sons are forbidden, by a perpetual statute throughout your generations, to drink any wine or strong drink, lest you die.g 10You must be able to distinguish between what is sacred and what is profane, and between what is clean and what is unclean;* h 11and you must be able to teach the Israelites all the statutes that the Lord has given them through Moses.
The Eating of the Priestly Portions
12Moses said to Aaron and his surviving sons, Eleazar and Ithamar, “Take the grain offering* left over from the oblations to the Lord, and eat it beside the altar in the form of unleavened cakes, since it is most holy. 13You must eat it in a sacred place because it is your and your sons’ due from the oblations to the Lord; such is the command I have received. 14i The brisket of the elevated offering and the leg* of the contribution, however, you and your sons and daughters may eat, in a clean place; for these have been assigned to you and your children as your due from the communion sacrifices of the Israelites. 15The leg of the contribution and the brisket of the elevated offering shall be brought in with the oblations of fat to be raised as an elevated offering before the Lord. They shall belong to you and your children as your due forever, as the Lord has commanded.”
16Moses inquired closely about the goat of the purification offering* and discovered that it had all been burned. So he was angry with the surviving sons of Aaron, Eleazar and Ithamar, and said, 17j “Why did you not eat the purification offering in the sacred place, since it is most holy? It has been given to you that you might remove the guilt of the community and make atonement for them before the Lord. 18Since its blood was not brought inside the sanctuary, you should certainly have eaten the offering in the sanctuary, as I was commanded.” 19Aaron answered Moses, “Even though they presented their purification offering and burnt offering before the Lord today, still this misfortune has befallen me. Had I then eaten of the purification offering today, would it have been pleasing to the Lord?” 20On hearing this, Moses was satisfied.
Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition copyright 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.