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Leviticus 10:1-7 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 10

Nadab and Abihu. [a]Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu took their censers and, putting incense on the fire they had set in them, they offered before the Lord unauthorized fire, such as he had not commanded. Fire therefore came forth from the Lord’s presence and consumed them, so that they died in the Lord’s presence. Moses then said to Aaron, “This is as the Lord said:

Through those near to me I will be sanctified;
    in the sight of all the people I will obtain glory.”[b]

But Aaron said nothing. [c]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.” So they drew near and carried them by means of their tunics outside the camp, as Moses had commanded.

Conduct of the Priests. Moses said to Aaron and his sons Eleazar and Ithamar, “Do not dishevel your hair or tear your garments, 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, you shall not go beyond the entrance of the tent of meeting, else you shall die; for the anointing oil of the Lord is upon you.” So they did as Moses told them.


  1. 10:1–2 Nadab and Abihu are the older sons of Aaron (Ex 6:23–24). Their sin apparently involves using embers from an unapproved source instead of the altar (cf. 16:12). The fire that destroys them is the same type found in 9:24.
  2. 10:3 The explanation for the divine reaction indicates that improper cultic actions desecrate God and compromise God’s glory. Desecration evokes divine punishment (cf. Ex 28:43; Nm 4:15, 19–20). Those near to me: i.e., cultic officials.
  3. 10:4–5 Moses has lay people remove the bodies so that the priests can continue their cultic activities free of contamination by a corpse (cf. Nm 19).
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 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.


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