WHAT STRONG DRINK BROUGHT TO AARON'S SONS
Leviticus x: 1, to 11.
 SOON after the Tabernacle was set up in the middle of the
camp of Israel, and the priests began the daily service
of worship, a sad event took place, which gave great
sorrow to Aaron the priest, to his family, and to all
the people. The two older sons of Aaron, whose names
were Nadab and Abihu, were one day in the Holy Place.
It was a part of their work to take in a censer some
burning coals from the great altar of burnt-offering in
front of the Tabernacle, and with these coals to light
the fire in the small golden altar of incense, which
stood inside the Holy Place, near the vail.
These young men had been drinking wine, and their heads
were not clear. They did not think of what they were
doing; and instead of taking the fire from the altar of
burnt-offering, they took some other fire, and with
this went into the Holy Place to burn the incense upon
the golden altar. God was angry with these young men
for coming into his holy house in a drunken state, and
for doing what he had forbidden them to do; for no fire
except that from the great altar was allowed in the
While they were standing by the golden altar, fire came
out from it, and they both fell down dead in the Holy
Place. And when Moses heard of it, he said: "This is
the sign that God's house is holy, and that God's
worship is holy; and God will make people to fear him,
because he is holy." And Moses would not allow Aaron,
the father of these two men, to touch their dead
bodies. He said, "You have on the robes of the
high-priest, and you are leading in the service of
worship. God's work must go on, and must not stop for
your trouble, great as it is."
Then Aaron stood by the altar, and offered the
 his heart was very sad. And the cousins of Aaron, by
the command of Moses, went into the Holy Place and
carried out the dead bodies of the two young men,
dressed as they were in their priests' robes. And they
buried these men outside the camp, in the desert.
And Moses said:
"After this, let no priest drink wine or strong drink
before he enters the Tabernacle. Be sober, when you are
leading the worship of the people, so that you will
know the difference between the things that are holy
and those that are common; and so that you may teach
the people all the laws which the Lord has given them."
The rule that Moses gave to the priests to be kept when
they were leading the worship of the people, not to
drink wine or strong drink, is a good rule for every
one to keep, not only when worshipping God, but at all
Besides these two sons of Aaron who had died, there
were two other sons, named Eleazar and Ithamar. These
young men took their older brothers' places in the
services of the Tabernacle; and they were very careful
to do exactly as the Lord had bidden them.
THE BRAZEN ALTAR