Leviticus 10:1
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Aaron's sons Nadab and Abihu took their censers, put fire in them and added incense; and they offered unauthorized fire before the LORD, contrary to his command.

King James Bible
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.

Darby Bible Translation
And the sons of Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, took each of them his censer, and put fire in it, and put incense on it, and presented strange fire before Jehovah, which he had not commanded them.

World English Bible
Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer, and put fire in it, and laid incense on it, and offered strange fire before Yahweh, which he had not commanded them.

Young's Literal Translation
And the sons of Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, take each his censer, and put in them fire, and put on it perfume, and bring near before Jehovah strange fire, which He hath not commanded them;

Leviticus 10:1 Parallel
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

And Nadab and Abihu - took either of them his censer - The manner of burning incense in the temple service was, according to the Jews, as follows: -

"One went and gathered the ashes from off the altar into a golden vessel, a second brought a vessel full of incense, and a third brought a censer with fire, and put coals on the altar, and he whose office it was to burn the incense strewed it on the fire at the command of the governor. At the same time all the people went out of the temple from between the porch and the altar. Each day they burned the weight of a hundred denaries of incense, fifty in the morning, and fifty in the evening. The hundred denaries weighed fifty shekels of the sanctuary, each shekel weighing three hundred and twenty barleycorns; and when the priest had burned the incense, he bowed himself down and went his way out. See Maimonides' Treatise of the Daily Service, chap. iii. So when Zacharias, as his lot fell, burned incense in the temple, the whole multitude of the people were without at prayer while the incense was burning, Luke 1:9, Luke 1:10. By this service God taught them that the prayers of his faithful people are pleasing to him, whilst our High Priest, Christ Jesus, by his mediation puts incense to their prayers; (see Psalm 141:2; Romans 8:34; Hebrews 8:1, Hebrews 8:2; Hebrews 9:24; Revelation 8:3, Revelation 8:4); for the priests under the law served unto the example and shadow of heavenly things; Hebrews 8:5." See Ainsworth in loco.

In the preceding chapter we have seen how God intended that every part of his service should be conducted; and that every sacrifice might be acceptable to him, he sent his own fire as the emblem of his presence, and the means of consuming the sacrifice - Here we find Aaron's sons neglecting the Divine ordinance, and offering incense with strange, that is, common fire, - fire not of a celestial origin; and therefore the fire of God consumed them. So that very fire which, if properly applied, would have sanctified and consumed their gift, became now the very instrument of their destruction! How true is the saying, The Lord is a consuming fire! He will either hallow or destroy us: he will purify our souls by the influence of his Spirit, or consume them with the breath of his mouth! The tree which is properly planted in a good soil is nourished by the genial influences of the sun: pluck it up from its roots, and the sun which was the cause of its vegetative life and perfection now dries up its juices, decomposes its parts, and causes it to moulder into dust. Thus must it be done to those who grieve and do despite to the Spirit of God. Reader, hast thou this heavenly fire? Hear then the voice of God, Quench not the Spirit. Some critics are of opinion that the fire used by the sons of Aaron was the sacred fire, and that it is only called strange from the manner of placing the incense on it. I cannot see the force of this opinion.

Which he commanded them not - Every part of the religion of God is Divine. He alone knew what he designed by its rites and ceremonies, for that which they prefigured - the whole economy of redemption by Christ - was conceived in his own mind, and was out of the reach of human wisdom and conjecture. He therefore who altered any part of this representative system, who omitted or added any thing, assumed a prerogative which belonged to God alone, and was certainly guilty of a very high offense against the wisdom, justice, and righteousness of his Maker. This appears to have been the sin of Nadab and Abihu, and this at once shows the reason why they were so severely punished. The most awful judgments are threatened against those who either add to, or take away from, the declarations of God. See Deuteronomy 4:2; Proverbs 30:6; and Revelation 22:18, Revelation 22:19.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge


Leviticus 16:1 And the LORD spoke to Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron, when they offered before the LORD, and died;

Leviticus 22:9 They shall therefore keep my ordinance, lest they bear sin for it, and die therefore, if they profane it: I the LORD do sanctify them.

Exodus 6:23 And Aaron took him Elisheba, daughter of Amminadab, sister of Naashon, to wife; and she bore him Nadab, and Abihu, Eleazar...

Exodus 24:1,9 And he said to Moses, Come up to the LORD, you, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel...

Exodus 28:1 And take you to you Aaron your brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel...

Numbers 3:3,4 These are the names of the sons of Aaron, the priests which were anointed, whom he consecrated to minister in the priest's office...

Numbers 26:61 And Nadab and Abihu died, when they offered strange fire before the LORD.


Leviticus 16:12 And he shall take a censer full of burning coals of fire from off the altar before the LORD...

Exodus 27:3 And you shall make his pans to receive his ashes, and his shovels, and his basins, and his meat hooks, and his fire pans...

Exodus 38:3 And he made all the vessels of the altar, the pots, and the shovels, and the basins, and the meat hooks, and the fire pans...

Numbers 16:6,7,17,46 This do; Take you censers, Korah, and all his company...

Hebrews 9:4 Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna...

put incense

Exodus 30:1-9,34-36 And you shall make an altar to burn incense on: of shittim wood shall you make it...

Exodus 31:11 And the anointing oil, and sweet incense for the holy place: according to all that I have commanded you shall they do.

Exodus 37:29 And he made the holy anointing oil, and the pure incense of sweet spices, according to the work of the apothecary.

Exodus 40:27 And he burnt sweet incense thereon; as the LORD commanded Moses.

1 Kings 13:1,2 And, behold, there came a man of God out of Judah by the word of the LORD to Bethel: and Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense...

2 Chronicles 26:16-20 But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction: for he transgressed against the LORD his God...

Psalm 141:2 Let my prayer be set forth before you as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.

Jeremiah 44:8,15,19-21 In that you provoke me to wrath with the works of your hands, burning incense to other gods in the land of Egypt...

Luke 1:9-11 According to the custom of the priest's office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord...

Revelation 8:3-5 And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given to him much incense...


Leviticus 9:24 And there came a fire out from before the LORD, and consumed on the altar the burnt offering and the fat: which when all the people saw...

Leviticus 16:12 And he shall take a censer full of burning coals of fire from off the altar before the LORD...

Numbers 16:18,46 And they took every man his censer, and put fire in them, and laid incense thereon...


Exodus 30:9 You shall offer no strange incense thereon, nor burnt sacrifice, nor meat offering; neither shall you pour drink offering thereon.

Deuteronomy 4:2 You shall not add to the word which I command you, neither shall you diminish ought from it...

Deuteronomy 12:32 What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: you shall not add thereto, nor diminish from it.

Deuteronomy 17:3 And has gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven...

Jeremiah 7:31 And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom...

Jeremiah 10:5 They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them...

Jeremiah 32:35 And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom...

Bp. Hall says, `It is a dangerous thing, in the service of God, to decline from his institutions; we have to do with a God, who is wise to prescribe his own worship--just to require what he has prescribed--and powerful to avenge what he has not prescribed.'

Strange Fire
'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. 2. And there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord. 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. 4. And Moses called Mishael
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Brief Directions How to Read the Holy Scriptures once Every Year Over, with Ease, Profit, and Reverence.
But forasmuch, that as faith is the soul, so reading and meditating on the word of God, are the parent's of prayer, therefore, before thou prayest in the morning, first read a chapter in the word of God; then meditate awhile with thyself, how many excellent things thou canst remember out of it. As--First, what good counsels or exhortations to good works and to holy life. Secondly, what threatenings of judgments against such and such a sin; and what fearful examples of God's punishment or vengeance
Lewis Bayly—The Practice of Piety

Cross References
Exodus 6:23
Aaron married Elisheba, daughter of Amminadab and sister of Nahshon, and she bore him Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar.

Exodus 24:1
Then the LORD said to Moses, "Come up to the LORD, you and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel. You are to worship at a distance,

Exodus 24:9
Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel went up

Leviticus 16:1
The LORD spoke to Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron who died when they approached the LORD.

Leviticus 16:12
He is to take a censer full of burning coals from the altar before the LORD and two handfuls of finely ground fragrant incense and take them behind the curtain.

Numbers 3:2
The names of the sons of Aaron were Nadab the firstborn and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar.

Numbers 3:4
Nadab and Abihu, however, died before the LORD when they made an offering with unauthorized fire before him in the Desert of Sinai. They had no sons, so Eleazar and Ithamar served as priests during the lifetime of their father Aaron.

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