The death of the sons of Aharon, Lev. 10:1-2

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Isaac Fried
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The death of the sons of Aharon, Lev. 10:1-2

Postby Isaac Fried » Thu Apr 16, 2015 10:30 pm

We read in Lev. 10:1-2
וַיִּקְחוּ בְנֵי אַהֲרֹן נָדָב וַאֲבִיהוּא אִישׁ מַחְתָּתוֹ וַיִּתְּנוּ בָהֵן אֵשׁ וַיָּשִׂימוּ עָלֶיהָ קְטֹרֶת וַיַּקְרִיבוּ לִפְנֵי יהוה אֵשׁ זָרָה אֲשֶׁר לֹא צִוָּה אֹתָם וַתֵּצֵא אֵשׁ מִלִּפְנֵי יהוה וַתֹּאכַל אוֹתָם וַיָּמֻתוּ לִפְנֵי יהוה
NIV: "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.  So fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord."

Did they use an inventive noxious concoction of which they suffocated? From verse 5
וַיִּשָּׂאֻם בְּכֻתֳּנֹתָם אֶל מִחוּץ לַמַּחֲנֶה
we understand that they were actually not seared, so that the אֵשׁ may mean but fume.

Isaac Fried, Boston University

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