Leviticus 10:7
And you shall not go out from the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, lest you die: for the anointing oil of the LORD is on you. And they did according to the word of Moses.
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(7) From the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.—Better, away from the entrance of the tent of meeting. (See Leviticus 1:3.) But Aaron and his sons are not to quit the court of the sanctuary to take part in the burial.

For the anointing of the Lord is upon you.—The reason why they are not to join in the funeral rites is that they had been devoted by this holy unction to the service of God. Earthly relations were, therefore, not to interfere with the duties to God. Hence, it was sin for priests to mourn when they ministered before the Lord. (See Leviticus 21:10-12.) This law was strictly observed during the second Temple. When an officiating priest heard of the death of a relative, he did not quit the sanctuary, lest it should appear that he had greater love for the dead person than for the living God.

Leviticus 10:7. Ye shall not go from the tabernacle — Where at this time they were, because this happened within seven days of their consecration: for the oil of the Lord is upon you — You are devoted and consecrated to the service of God and of his people, which, therefore, it is proper you should prefer before all funeral solemnities, and which must not be omitted out of respect to any person whatsoever. The ministers of religion ought to consider that this law is still binding upon them, as to the spirit and intention of it. They, of all men, ought to be so heavenly-minded, and of such elevated affections, as to maintain an unbroken manly fortitude, amid all the calamities and afflictions, both private and public, which are incident to humanity in its present state. Though religion does not require that they should divest themselves of their passions, yet they ought to be examples to others how to moderate those passions, and keep them within due bounds; especially they must not be so swallowed up in the sorrows of the world as to be incapacitated thereby for discharging their duty to God.10:3-7 The most quieting considerations under affliction are fetched from the word of God. What was it that God spake? Though Aaron's heart must have been filled with anguish and dismay, yet with silent submission he revered the justice of the stroke. When God corrects us or ours for sin, it is our duty to accept the punishment, and say, It is the Lord, let him do what seemeth him good. Whenever we worship God, we come nigh unto him, as spiritual priests. This ought to make us very serious in all acts of devotion. It concerns us all, when we come nigh to God, to do every religious exercise, as those who believe that the God with whom we have to do, is a holy God. He will take vengeance on those that profane his sacred name by trifling with him.The anointing oil ... is upon you - See Leviticus 8:12, Leviticus 8:30. The holy oil, as the symbol of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Life and immortality and joy, was the sign of the priests being brought near to Yahweh. It was therefore by its meaning connected both with the general law which forbade the high priest ever to put on signs of mourning on account of death Leviticus 21:10-12, and with the special reason for the prohibition on this occasion. 6. Uncover not your heads—They who were ordered to carry out the two bodies, being engaged in their sacred duties, were forbidden to remove their turbans, in conformity with the usual customs of mourning; and the prohibition "neither rend your garments," was, in all probability, confined also to their official costume. For at other times the priests wore the ordinary dress of their countrymen and, in common with their families, might indulge their private feelings by the usual signs or expressions of grief. Ye shall not go out from the door of the tabernacle, where at this time they were, either because this happened within seven days of their consecration; see Leviticus 8:35; or because they were longer detained there about some other holy ministrations. Though the former may seem more probable, because the meat-offering here mentioned, Leviticus 10:12, and the sin-offering, Leviticus 10:16, were part of the consecration-offerings. The anointing oil of the Lord is upon you. You are persons consecrated peculiarly to God’s service, which therefore it is just and reasonable you should prefer before all funeral solemnities. And ye shall not go out from the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die,.... That is, they were not to relinquish the service of the sanctuary, on the account of the death of these relations of theirs, and through grief for it, but go on in it; not Aaron on account of his children, nor his sons on account of their brethren: from hence, says Ben Gersom, we learn, that whatsoever priest leaves his service, and goes out of the sanctuary, is guilty of death: some think the seven days of consecration were not quite over, during which time Aaron and his sons were obliged to continue there, on pain of death, Leviticus 8:33 but it is pretty plain those days were over, and that it was the day after the consecration was finished; see Leviticus 9:1 and See Gill on Leviticus 10:2 wherefore this respects their continuance in the tabernacle on the day the above affair happened, and they were obliged to continue in and go through the service of the day, notwithstanding that:

for the anointing oil of the Lord is upon you; a learned man (o) infers from hence, that this affair happened within the days of consecration, they being every day afresh anointed with oil, at least had it, with the blood of the sacrifices, sprinkled on them, on their garments, taking it in the strict sense, for the oil being still upon them; whereas it seems only to signify, that inasmuch as they were consecrated with oil to the priest's office, they were under obligation to continue and perform their service without being let or hindered by what had happened:

and they did according to the word of Moses; they showed no tokens of mourning on account of the dead, and did not offer to go out of the tabernacle and leave their service.

(o) Clayton's Chronology of the Hebrew Bible, p. 353.

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.
7. for the anointing oil of the Lord is upon you] The commands of this verse do not necessarily imply that the seven days of consecration (Leviticus 8:33) are not yet ended, for a similar statement is applied in Leviticus 21:12 to the high priest at all times.

(4) Wine and strong drink forbidden (8, 9)

Aaron is the direct recipient of God’s commands here and in Numbers 18:1; Numbers 18:8; Numbers 18:20 only. Elsewhere they are given ‘unto Moses and unto Aaron’ or ‘unto Moses, saying, Speak unto Aaron.’

According to an old tradition, Nadab and Abihu offered strange fire when under the influence of wine. The close connexion of this prohibition with the record of their transgression is probably the basis of this tradition. In many ancient cults wine was forbidden to priests and other officials. Cp. Ezekiel 44:21.Verse 7. - The priests are not to be taken away from their duties at the door of the tabernacle, that is, the court in front of the tabernacle, even for the sake of burying their dead. They had now been in the court for eight days continuously, and they had to remain there until, in the fulfillment of their public function, they had eaten the sacrificial meal. Cf. Matthew 8:21, 22, "Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. But Jesus said unto him, Follow me." God's service comes before all things.

CHAPTER 10:8-20 Nadab and Abihu took their censers (machtah, Exodus 25:38), and having put fire in them, placed incense thereon, and brought strange fire before Jehovah, which He had not commanded them. It is not very clear what the offence of which they were guilty actually was. The majority of expositors suppose the sin to have consisted in the fact, that they did not take the fire for the incense from the altar-fire. But this had not yet been commanded by God; and in fact it is never commanded at all, except with regard to the incense-offering, with which the high priest entered the most holy place on the day of atonement (Leviticus 16:12), though we may certainly infer from this, that it was also the rule for the daily incense-offering. By the fire which they offered before Jehovah, we are no doubt to understand the firing of the incense-offering. This might be called "strange fire" if it was not offered in the manner prescribed in the law, just as in Exodus 30:9 incense not prepared according to the direction of God is called "strange incense." The supposition that they presented an incense-offering that was not commanded in the law, and apart from the time of the morning and evening sacrifice, and that this constituted their sin, is supported by the time at which their illegal act took place. It is perfectly obvious from Leviticus 10:12. and 16ff. that it occurred in the interval between the sacrificial transaction in ch. 9 and the sacrificial meal which followed it, and therefore upon the day of their inauguration. For in Leviticus 10:12 Moses commands Aaron and his remaining sons Eleazar and Ithamar to eat the meat-offering that was left from the firings of Jehovah, and inquires in Leviticus 10:16 for the goat of the sin-offering, which the priests were to have eaten in a holy place. Knobel's opinion is not an improbable one, therefore, that Nadab and Abihu intended to accompany the shouts of the people with an incense-offering to the praise and glory of God, and presented an incense-offering not only at an improper time, but not prepared from the altar-fire, and committed such a sin by this will-worship, that they were smitten by the fire which came forth from Jehovah, even before their entrance into the holy place, and so died "before Jehovah." The expression "before Jehovah" is applied to the presence of God, both in the dwelling (viz., the holy place and the holy of holies, e.g., Leviticus 4:6-7; Leviticus 16:13) and also in the court (e.g., Leviticus 1:5, etc.). It is in the latter sense that it is to be taken here, as is evident from Leviticus 10:4, where the persons slain are said to have lain "before the sanctuary of the dwelling," i.e., in the court of the tabernacle. The fire of the holy God (Exodus 19:18), which had just sanctified the service of Aaron as well-pleasing to God, brought destruction upon his two eldest sons, because they had not sanctified Jehovah in their hearts, but had taken upon themselves a self-willed service; just as the same gospel is to one a savour of life unto life, and to another a savour of death unto death (2 Corinthians 2:16). - In Leviticus 10:3 Moses explains this judgment to Aaron: "This is it that Jehovah spake, saying, I will sanctify Myself in him that is nigh to Me, and will glorify Myself in the face of all the people." אכּבד is unquestionably to be taken in the same sense as in Exodus 14:4, Exodus 14:17; consequently אקּדשׁ is to be taken in a reflective and not in a passive sense, in the Ezekiel 38:16. The imperfects are used as aorists, in the sense of what God does at all times. But these words of Moses are no "reproof to Aaron, who had not restrained the untimely zeal of his sons" (Knobel), nor a reproach which made Aaron responsible for the conduct of his sons, but a simple explanation of the judgment of God, which should be taken to heart by every one, and involved an admonition to all who heard it, not to Aaron only but to the whole nation, to sanctify God continually in the proper way. Moreover Jehovah had not communicated to Moses by revelation the words which he spoke here, but had made the fact known by the position assigned to Aaron and his sons through their election to the priesthood. By this act Jehovah had brought them near to Himself (Numbers 16:5), made them קרבי equals ליהוה קרבים "persons standing near to Jehovah" (Ezekiel 42:13; Ezekiel 43:19), and sanctified them to Himself by anointing (Leviticus 8:10, Leviticus 8:12; Exodus 29:1, Exodus 29:44; Exodus 40:13, Exodus 40:15), that they might sanctify Him in their office and life. If they neglected this sanctification, He sanctified Himself in them by a penal judgment (Ezekiel 38:16), and thereby glorified Himself as the Holy One, who is not to be mocked. "And Aaron held his peace." He was obliged to acknowledge the righteousness of the holy God.
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