The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Book of Leviticus
There were two of Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abiu, who took up their censers and put coals and incense into them, to burn unhallowed fire in the Lord’s presence,✻ not in accordance with his command;
whereupon the Lord sent down fire which devoured them, and they died there in the Lord’s presence.
And Moses told Aaron, The Lord gave us warning of this when he said: I mean to vindicate my holiness among those who come near me, win reverence in the eyes of the whole people. And with that, Aaron kept silence.
Meanwhile, Moses summoned Misael and Elisaphan, sons of Oziel that was Aaron’s uncle, and said to them, Go and remove the bodies of your brethren from the tabernacle door, and carry them away from the camp.
So they went without more ado and took them up just as they lay there, still clothed in their robes of linen; and they carried them away as he bade them.
Then Moses said to Aaron and his sons Eleazar and Ithamar, Do not bare your heads or rend your garments, on pain of death, and such vengeance as may overtake the whole people; let your brethren, and all the race of Israel bewail this fresh kindling of the Lord’s fire.
You must not, on pain of death, leave the tabernacle door, with the oil of your consecration still upon you. So they did as Moses bade them.
The Lord, too, said to Aaron,
When you are for entering the tabernacle, thou and thy sons, drink neither wine nor strong drink, on pain of death; such is the commandment you must observe, age after age.
It is your task to distinguish between what is holy and what is profane, what is defiled and what is clean;
and to teach the sons of Israel all these commandments of mine, the Lord’s word to them through Moses.
And now Moses said to Aaron, and to his surviving sons, Eleazar and Ithamar, You must take up what is left of the bloodless sacrifice offered to the Lord, and eat it, still unleavened, near the altar; it is set apart for holy uses,
and on holy ground it must be eaten, as the share given to thee and to thy sons in the Lord’s own offering; such was the Divine command.
The breast, too, that was held up in worship, and the shoulder that was set apart, you must eat in a place that is clean of all defilement, thou and thy sons and thy daughters, too, with thee. This share of the welcome-offerings the sons of Israel bring is kept for thee and thy children;
priestly hands have lifted up, in the Lord’s presence, the shoulder and the breast and the fat which was afterwards burnt on the altar, and it is the Lord’s bidding that they should belong to thee and thy sons, by right perpetual.
Meanwhile, when Moses went to look for the goat that was their transgression-victim, he found its body all consumed by fire, and angered by this, he asked Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron’s two surviving sons,
Why did you not eat, on holy ground, this transgression-victim, all holiness, which was handed over to you so that you might take the faults of the people on yourselves, and make intercession for them in the Lord’s presence?
Its blood had not been carried within the sanctuary; you should have eaten it on holy ground, in obedience to the commandment that was given me.
But Aaron’s answer was, Why, this very day transgression-victim and burnt-sacrifice have been offered to the Lord, and thou seest what has befallen me in spite of it. How could I find acceptance with the Lord in eating my share of it, with a heart so mournful?
And with that, Moses was content.✻
The Holy Bible