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Tuesday, January 1 2019
A Bible Journey, 100: The Flames Of Nadab and Abihu
"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"
Nadab and Abihu were the eldest sons of the newly-appointed and established High Priest Aaron (see also Why Did The High Priest Make Sacrifices?). Their death-causing presumptuousness (they were killed by fire from the LORD for offering "strange fire" at Him) changed the course of Bible history, at least in that it was not either of their lines that became the succession of the High Priest, but their younger brother Eleazar (incidentally, the Hebrew name "Eleazar" is rendered in the Greek of the New Testament as "Lazarus" i.e. the famous Lazarus was actually called "Eleazar").
The LORD God (Who was and is Jesus Christ; see The Real Jesus: The Word Of The LORD God and A Bible Journey, 56: The Sacred Name) gave very specific commands for the conduct of the Levite priests. Included with those commands were warnings of what would happen to those who chose to make themselves ignorant of the Word of God (ignorant means to ignore; it has nothing to do with intelligence or education).
"28:43 And they shall be upon Aaron, and upon his sons, when they come in unto the tabernacle of the congregation, or when they come near unto the altar to minister in the holy place; that they bear not iniquity, and die: it shall be a statute for ever unto him and his seed after him." (Exodus 28:43 KJV)
Nadab and Abihu nevertheless "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." The prescribed result came instantly: "And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD."
"10:1 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. 10:2 And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD. 10:3 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." (Leviticus 10:1-3 KJV)
The charred bodies of Nadab and Abihu were removed from the camp - which in effect exiled them from the borders of the nation.
"10:4 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.
Moses then reiterated the Word of the LORD to Aaron and his next two sons, Eleazar and Ithamar (Eleazar later succeeded his father as High Priest after Aaron died; see From Moses And Aaron To Joshua and Eleazar).
"10:6 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. 10:7 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." (Leviticus 10:6-7 KJV)
There was also a repeated warning about not serving at the Tabernacle when intoxicated by wine (or any other seed-bearing plant; see Seed-Bearing Plants: For Food Or For Folly?).
"10:8 And the LORD spake unto Aaron, saying, 10:9 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: 10:10 And that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean; 10:11 And that ye may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the LORD hath spoken unto them by the hand of Moses." (Leviticus 10:8-11 KJV)
The priesthood then continued as designed. The removal of the two eldest sons of Aaron, Nadab and Abihu ("3:2 And these are the names of the sons of Aaron; Nadab the firstborn, and Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar" Numbers 3:2 KJV) was recovered by the promotion of the two youngest sons of Aaron, Eleazar and Ithamar.
"10:12 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: 10:13 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. 10:14 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. 10:15 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." (Leviticus 10:12-15 KJV)
It was a stark lesson, but one that was never forgotten or repeated by Aaron, Eleazar or Ithamar.
"10:16 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, 10:17 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? 10:18 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.
Fact Finder: What is the timeless lesson and warning of Nadab and Abihu that applies even more to Christianity today?
This Day In History, January 1
45 BC: The Julian calendar, named after Julius Caesar (see The Roman Emperors: Julius Caesar), began to be used for the first time.
42 BC: The Roman Senate posthumously deified Julius Caesar - an irony and/or a hypocrisy, considering that he had been assassinated by Roman Senators in the Senate itself (see The Politics Of Rome; also What Did A Father Of Democracy Predict About It?).
193: The accession of Pertinax, the 19th Roman emperor (see also Why Are Politicians Called Left Or Right?).
990: Russia adopted Rome's "Julian" Calendar.
1500: Portuguese explorers landed on the coast of South America; they named the place Rio de Janeiro ("River of January").
1515: King Louis XII of France (1498-1515) died at age 52. Francis, Duke of Angouleme, succeeded Louis as Francis I.
1583: Rome's Gregorian Calendar was adopted in Belgium (see Pope Gregory's Calendar).
1651: Charles II, son of Charles I, was crowned king of Scotland.
1773: In Olney, England, the hymn "Amazing Grace" was first played, by John Newton.
1785: London's oldest newspaper, The Times, began publishing as the Daily Universal Register.
1801: The Act of Union of England, Scotland and Ireland formed the United Kingdom.
1804: After leading a rebellion against the French colonial forces, Jean-Jacques Dessalines declared Haiti independent of France.
1833: Britain claimed sovereignty over the Falkland Islands.
1863: Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation that formally freed all slaves in the U.S.
Most of the leaders of the New England revolution in 1776 were and remained slave owners through their entire lives e.g. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were lifetime slave holders, including after proclaiming "freedom" and "all men are created equal" for themselves.
1871: While German armies besieged Paris, a new German Reich, with the king of Prussia, Wilhelm, as its inaugural emperor, was proclaimed in the Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles.
1877: Queen Victoria of England was proclaimed empress of India.
1894: The Manchester Ship Canal in England began operation.
1901: The Commonwealth of Australia began with Edmond Barton as its first Prime Minister.
1912: China became a republic following the Wuchang Uprising (see also The First Chinese American War).
1915: During the First World War (1914-1918; see also The Assassination That Triggered Two World Wars), the German submarine U-24 sank the British battleship Formidable in the English Channel, near Plymouth.
1925: The capital city of Norway, known as Christiana since 1674, resumed its name of Oslo.
1934: Alcatraz became a U.S. Federal prison. The U.S. today (2018) has the highest civilian incarceration rate in the world, with 737 U.S. citizens in every 100,000 behind bars; the U.S. has less than 5% of the world population, but its citizens compose 25% of the world's incarcerated (apart from the many military and political prisons and "interrogation centers" that are operated by the U.S. military and CIA around the world).
1946: Emperor Hirohito of Japan announced that he was not a god.
1947: The Canadian Citizenship Act 1946 came into effect, thereby converting British subjects into Canadian citizens. Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King became the first Canadian citizen.
1950: In sovereign defiance to United Nations and Vatican pressure to make Jerusalem an "international city," nearly the entire Israeli government was transferred from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Israel Of Judah).
1956: Sudan gained independence from Britain and Egypt.
1958: The 1957 Treaty of Rome took effect, establishing a six-nation European Economic Community among West Germany, France, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg.
1959: Cuban communist forces under Fidel Castro overthrew the CIA and Mafia-backed (the Cuba scenes in the Godfather movies are historically correct) regime of Fulgencio Batista and took control of the government of Cuba. The people of Cuba went from being ruled by a fascist dictator to being ruled by a communist dictator (see also When Do Liberals Become Conservatives?).
1973: Britain, Ireland and Denmark entered the European Economic Community, now called the European Union.
1975: During the "Watergate" criminal investigations, John Ehrlichman (Counsel and Assistant to the President), John Mitchell (United States Attorney General) and H.R. Haldeman (White House Chief of Staff) were found guilty of conspiracy, obstruction of justice and perjury (see also The Impeachment Of The President).
1981: Greece was admitted as the 10th member of the European Economic Community.
1992: Boutros Boutros Ghali of Egypt succeeded Javier Perez de Cuellar of Peru as United Nations Secretary General.
1993: Independent Czech and Slovak Republics were established from the former Czechoslovakia.