OCTOBER 10 (Year One)
On the eighth day, Moses called for Aaron and his sons and the elders of Israel. He said to Aaron, “Take a bull and a ram. There must be nothing wrong with them. The bull will be a sin offering, and the ram will be a burnt offering. Offer these animals to the Lord. Tell the Israelites, ‘Take a male goat for a sin offering, and take a calf and a lamb for a burnt offering. The calf and the lamb must each be one year old. There must be nothing wrong with them. Take a bull and a ram for fellowship offerings. Take these animals and a grain offering mixed with oil for an offering to the Lord. Do this because the Lord will appear to you today.’”
So all the people came to the Meeting Tent. They all brought the things that Moses had commanded. All the people stood before the Lord. Moses said, “You must do what the Lord commanded. Then the Glory of the Lord will appear to you.”
Then Moses told Aaron: “Go do what the Lord commanded. Go to the altar and offer sin offerings and burnt offerings. Do what will make you and the people pure. Take the people’s sacrifices and make them pure.”
So Aaron went to the altar. He killed the bull for the sin offering. This sin offering was for himself. Then the sons of Aaron brought the blood to Aaron. Aaron put his finger in the blood and put it on the corners of the altar. Then he poured out the blood at the base of the altar. He took the fat, the kidneys, and the fat part of the liver from the sin offering. He burned them on the altar just as the Lord had commanded Moses. Then Aaron burned the meat and skin on a fire outside the camp.
Next, Aaron killed the animal for the burnt offering. His sons brought the blood to him, and he sprinkled the blood around on the altar. Aaron’s sons gave the pieces and head of the burnt offering to Aaron, and he burned them on the altar. He also washed the inner parts and the legs of the burnt offering and burned them on the altar.
Then Aaron brought the people’s offering. He killed the goat of the sin offering that was for the people. He offered the goat for sin, like the earlier sin offering. He brought the burnt offering and offered it, just as the Lord had commanded. He brought the grain offering to the altar. He took a handful of the grain and put it on the altar beside that morning’s daily sacrifice.
Aaron also killed the bull and the ram that were the fellowship offerings from the people. His sons brought the blood to him, and he sprinkled this blood around on the altar. Aaron’s sons also brought him the fat of the bull and the ram. They brought the fat tail, the fat covering the inner parts, the kidneys, and the fat part of the liver. Aaron’s sons put these fat parts on the breasts of the bull and the ram. Aaron burned them on the altar. He lifted the breasts and the gift of the right thigh to show he was offering them before the Lord, just as Moses had commanded.
Then Aaron lifted up his hands toward the people and blessed them. After he finished offering the sin offering, the burnt offering, and the fellowship offerings, he came down from the altar.
Moses and Aaron went into the Meeting Tent. They came out and blessed the people. Then the Glory of the Lord appeared to all the people. Fire came out from the Lord and burned the burnt offering and fat on the altar. When all the people saw this, they shouted with joy and then bowed to the ground to show their respect.
Then Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu made a mistake. They took their incense dishes and put some fire and incense in them. But they did not use the fire that was on the altar—they took fire from some other place and brought it to the Lord. This was not what he had commanded. So fire came from the Lord and destroyed Nadab and Abihu, and they died there in front of the Lord.
Then Moses said to Aaron, “The Lord says, ‘The priests who come near me must respect me. I must be holy to them and to all the people.’” So Aaron did not say anything about his sons dying.
Aaron’s uncle Uzziel had two sons. They were Mishael and Elzaphan. Moses said to these sons, “Come here and get your cousins’ bodies and carry them away from this holy place and take them outside the camp.”
So Mishael and Elzaphan obeyed Moses. They carried the bodies of Nadab and Abihu outside the camp. Nadab and Abihu were still wearing their special woven shirts.
Then Moses spoke to Aaron and his other sons Eleazar and Ithamar. He said, “Don’t show any sadness! Don’t tear your clothes or mess up your hair! If you do anything to show your sadness, you will be killed, and the Lord will show his anger against everyone. But let all the other people of Israel, your relatives, cry for those the Lord destroyed with fire. But you must not even leave the entrance of the Meeting Tent. If you leave, you will die because the Lord’s anointing oil is on you.” So Aaron, Eleazar, and Ithamar obeyed Moses.
Then the Lord said to Aaron, “You and your sons must not drink wine or beer when you come into the Meeting Tent. If you do, you will die. This law continues forever through your generations. You must be able to clearly tell the difference between what is holy and what is not holy, between what is clean and what is unclean. And you must teach the people about all the laws that the Lord gave them through Moses.”
Aaron had two sons who were still alive, Eleazar and Ithamar. Moses said to Aaron and his two sons, “When people give sacrifices as a gift to the Lord, some of the grain offering is not burned. Use that grain to make bread without yeast. You priests must eat that bread near the altar because that grain is very holy. The portion of food for you and your sons will come from the special gifts to the Lord, so you must eat that food in a holy place.
“You, your sons, and your daughters may all eat the breast and thigh that were lifted up before the Lord as an offering. But you must eat these in a place that is clean because they come from the fellowship offerings. They are your share of those offerings that the Israelites give to God. The people must bring the gifts of fat from their animals as part of the sacrifice. They must also bring the thigh of the fellowship offering and the breast that is lifted up to show it is offered in front of the Lord. Then it will be your share of the offering. It will belong to you and your children. That part of the sacrifices will be your share forever, just as the Lord said.”
Moses looked for the goat of the sin offering, but it was already burned up. Moses became very angry with Aaron’s other sons Eleazar and Ithamar. Moses said, “Why did you not eat the sin offering in the holy area! That meat is very holy! God gave it to you to carry away the guilt of the people—to make the people pure before the Lord. That goat’s blood was not brought into the Holy Place. So you should have eaten the meat in the holy area, just as I commanded!”
But Aaron said to Moses, “Look, today they brought their sin offering and burnt offering before the Lord. But you know what happened to me today! Do you think the Lord would be happy if I ate the sin offering today?”
When Moses heard this, he agreed.