Numbers 16:39
And Eleazar the priest took the brasen censers, wherewith they that were burnt had offered; and they were made broad plates for a covering of the altar:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(39) Wherewith they that were burnt had offered.—Or, which they who were burnt had brought nigh (i.e. unto the Lord).

16:35-40 A fire went out from the Lord, and consumed the two hundred and fifty men that offered incense, while Aaron, who stood with them, was preserved alive. God is jealous of the honour of his own institutions, and will not have them invaded. The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord. The censers are devoted, and, as all devoted things, must be made serviceable to the glory of God. This covering of the altar would remind the children of Israel of this event, that others might hear and fear, and do no more presumptuously. They brought destruction on themselves both in body and soul. Thus all who break the law and neglect the gospel choose and love death.These sinners against their own souls - That is, "against their own lives." By their sin they had brought destruction upon themselves. 39, 40. the brazen censers … made broad plates to be a memorial—The altar of burnt offerings, being made of wood and covered with brass, this additional covering of broad plates not only rendered it doubly secure against the fire, but served as a warning beacon to deter all from future invasions of the priesthood. No text from Poole on this verse.

And Eleazar the priest took the brazen censers,.... The metal of which these censers were made is particularly observed, to show that they were fit for the use they were ordered to be put unto, namely, for a covering of the altar of burnt offering, which was covered with brass, that being very suitable, since fire was continually burning on it; and by this it appears that these censers were different from those of Aaron and his sons, for theirs were silver ones; the high priest on the day of atonement indeed made use of golden one, but at all other times he used a silver one (b); and so did the common priests every day, morning and night, when they offered incense (c):

wherewith they that were burnt had offered; the two hundred fifty men burnt with fire from the Lord, having offered incense to him with the brazen censers:

and they were made broad plates for a covering of the altar; not by Eleazar, but by workmen skilled in the art of drawing or beating any kind of metal into thin plates, by the direction and order of Eleazar.

(b) Misn. Yoma, c. 4. sect. 4. (c) Misn. Tamid, c. 5. sect. 5.

And Eleazar the priest took the brazen censers, wherewith they that were burnt had offered; and they were made broad plates for a covering of the altar:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Numbers 16:39(Or Numbers 17:1-5). After the destruction of the sinners, the Lord commanded that Eleazar should take up the censers "from between the burning," i.e., from the midst of the men that had been burned, and scatter the fire (the burning coals in the pans) far away, that it might not be used any more. "For they (the censers) are holy;" that is to say, they had become holy through being brought before Jehovah (Numbers 16:39); and therefore, when the men who brought them were slain, they fell as banned articles to the Lord (Leviticus 27:28). "The censers of these sinners against their souls" (i.e., the men who have forfeited their lives through their sin: cf. Proverbs 20:2; Habakkuk 2:10), "let them make into broad plates for a covering to the altar" (of burnt-offering). Through this application of them they became a sign, or, according to Numbers 16:39, a memorial to all who drew near to the sanctuary, which was to remind them continually of this judgment of God, and warn the congregation of grasping at the priestly prerogatives. The words, יהיה ולא, in Numbers 16:40, introduce the predicate in the form of an apodosis to the subject, which is written absolutely, and consists of an entire sentence. היה with כּ signifies, "to experience the same fate as" another.
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