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Nadab and Abihu

Nadab and Abihu were the two oldest sons of Aaron (Exodus 6:23) who served as priests (see Levites) along with their father at The Tabernacle during the Wilderness Journey. The Lord (see Rock Of Ages) had clearly instructed them how they were carry out their responsibilities, but Nadab and Abihu foolishly took it upon themselves to do it in a manner of their own choosing.

Levite Priest Instructed And Trained

The Lord taught them what they were to do, and how they were to do it, and they agreed.

"And He said to Moses, "Come up to The Lord (see Mount Sinai), you and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, and worship afar off. Moses alone shall come near to The Lord; but the others shall not come near, and the people shall not come up with him." Moses came and told the people all the words of The Lord and all the ordinances; and all the people answered with one voice, and said, "All the words which The Lord has spoken we will do." (Exodus 24:1-3 RSV)

"Then bring near to you Aaron your brother, and his sons with him, from among the people of Israel, to serve me as priests - Aaron and Aaron's sons, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar. (Exodus 28:1 RSV)

Doing It Their Way

Not long afterward however, Nadab and Abihu made an offering to The Lord in defiance of His command. It cost them their lives.

"Now Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer, and put fire in it, and laid incense on it, and offered unholy fire before The Lord, such as He had not commanded them. And fire came forth from the presence of The Lord and devoured them, and they died before The Lord."

"Then Moses said to Aaron, "This is what The Lord has said, 'I will show Myself holy among those who are near Me, and before all the people I will be glorified.'" And Aaron held his peace."

"And Moses called Mishael and Elzaphan, the sons of Uzziel the uncle of Aaron, and said to them, "Draw near, carry your brethren from before the sanctuary out of the camp. So they drew near, and carried them in their coats out of the camp, as Moses had said." (Leviticus 10:1-5 RSV)

A Vital Lesson For Christian-Professing People Today

The Holy Bible has three overall purposes:

God never left it up to humans to decide how to obey Him, but only if they will obey Him. God made us all free to do it His Way, or our way. Worshiping Him in His Way will lead to eternal life, worshiping Him in our way will have a very different result. In the Words of Jesus Christ:

"Not every one who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to Me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your Name, and cast out demons in Your Name, and do many mighty works in Your Name?' And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you evildoers.'"

"Every one then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house upon the rock; and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And every one who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house upon the sand; and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell; and great was the fall of it." (Matthew 7:21-27 RSV)

Fact Finder: Which of Aaron's obedient sons succeeded him as high priest?
See Eleazar


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