Chapter 10

1Now Aharon's sons Nadav and Avihu each took his fire pan, put fire in it, and laid incense on it; and they offered before Hashem alien fire, which He had not enjoined upon them.

אוַיִּקְחוּ בְנֵי־אַהֲרֹן נָדָב וַאֲבִיהוּא אִישׁ מַחְתָּתוֹ וַיִּתְּנוּ בָהֵן אֵשׁ וַיָּשִׂימוּ עָלֶיהָ קְטֹרֶת וַיַּקְרִבוּ לִפְנֵי יְהֹוָה אֵשׁ זָרָה אֲשֶׁר לֹא צִוָּה אֹתָם׃

2And fire came forth from Hashem and consumed them; thus they died at the instance of Hashem.

בוַתֵּצֵא אֵשׁ מִלִּפְנֵי יְהֹוָה וַתֹּאכַל אוֹתָם וַיָּמֻתוּ לִפְנֵי יְהֹוָה׃

3Then Moshe said to Aharon, “This is what Hashem meant when He said: Through those near to Me I show Myself holy, And gain glory before all the people.” And Aharon was silent.

va-YO-mer mo-SHEH el a-ha-RON HU a-sher di-BER a-do-NAI lay-MOR bik-ro-VAI e-ka-DAYSH v'-al p'-NAY khol ha-AM e-ka-VAYD va-yi-DOM a-ha-RON

גוַיֹּאמֶר מֹשֶׁה אֶל־אַהֲרֹן הוּא אֲשֶׁר־דִּבֶּר יְהֹוָה לֵאמֹר בִּקְרֹבַי אֶקָּדֵשׁ וְעַל־פְּנֵי כָל־הָעָם אֶכָּבֵד וַיִּדֹּם אַהֲרֹן׃

10:3   Through those near to Me I show Myself holy

A replica of the mishkan in Timna Park, Israel. The Holy of Holies is located behind the curtain.

The death of Aharon’s sons, Nadav and Avihu, occurs in the midst of the joyous inauguration ceremony of the Mishkan. The Sages explain that they are so moved by the closeness they feel to Hashem at this moment of revelation, that Nadav and Avihu desire to get even closer with an offering of their own which they bring in the Holy of Holies. Though their intentions are pure, the offering is unauthorized and the entry into the Holy sanctuary forbidden, so they are punished. Their desire for closeness is reflected in Moshe’s words to Aharon, “Through those near to Me I show Myself holy.” Nadav and Avihu are indeed close to God, but this closeness does not allow them to bend the rules. By punishing those who were closest to Him, God’s name is sanctified, as He teaches the important lesson that everyone, even those who are most powerful and respected, must be held to the same standard.

4Moshe called Mishael and Elzaphan, sons of Uzziel the uncle of Aharon, and said to them, “Come forward and carry your kinsmen away from the front of the sanctuary to a place outside the camp.”

דוַיִּקְרָא מֹשֶׁה אֶל־מִישָׁאֵל וְאֶל אֶלְצָפָן בְּנֵי עֻזִּיאֵל דֹּד אַהֲרֹן וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵהֶם קִרְבוּ שְׂאוּ אֶת־אֲחֵיכֶם מֵאֵת פְּנֵי־הַקֹּדֶשׁ אֶל־מִחוּץ לַמַּחֲנֶה׃

5They came forward and carried them out of the camp by their tunics, as Moshe had ordered.

הוַיִּקְרְבוּ וַיִּשָּׂאֻם בְּכֻתֳּנֹתָם אֶל־מִחוּץ לַמַּחֲנֶה כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר מֹשֶׁה׃

6And Moshe said to Aharon and to his sons Elazar and Itamar, “Do not bare your heads and do not rend your clothes, lest you die and anger strike the whole community. But your kinsmen, all the house of Yisrael, shall bewail the burning that Hashem has wrought.

ווַיֹּאמֶר מֹשֶׁה אֶל־אַהֲרֹן וּלְאֶלְעָזָר וּלְאִיתָמָר בָּנָיו רָאשֵׁיכֶם אַל־תִּפְרָעוּ וּבִגְדֵיכֶם לֹא־תִפְרֹמוּ וְלֹא תָמֻתוּ וְעַל כָּל־הָעֵדָה יִקְצֹף וַאֲחֵיכֶם כָּל־בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל יִבְכּוּ אֶת־הַשְּׂרֵפָה אֲשֶׁר שָׂרַף יְהֹוָה׃

7And so do not go outside the entrance of the Tent of Meeting, lest you die, for Hashem's anointing oil is upon you.” And they did as Moshe had bidden.

זוּמִפֶּתַח אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד לֹא תֵצְאוּ פֶּן־תָּמֻתוּ כִּי־שֶׁמֶן מִשְׁחַת יְהֹוָה עֲלֵיכֶם וַיַּעֲשׂוּ כִּדְבַר מֹשֶׁה׃

8And Hashem spoke to Aharon, saying:

חוַיְדַבֵּר יְהֹוָה אֶל־אַהֲרֹן לֵאמֹר׃

9Drink no wine or other intoxicant, you or your sons, when you enter the Tent of Meeting, that you may not die. This is a law for all time throughout the ages,

טיַיִן וְשֵׁכָר אַל־תֵּשְׁתְּ אַתָּה וּבָנֶיךָ אִתָּךְ בְּבֹאֲכֶם אֶל־אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד וְלֹא תָמֻתוּ חֻקַּת עוֹלָם לְדֹרֹתֵיכֶם׃

10for you must distinguish between the sacred and the profane, and between the unclean and the clean;

יוּלֲהַבְדִּיל בֵּין הַקֹּדֶשׁ וּבֵין הַחֹל וּבֵין הַטָּמֵא וּבֵין הַטָּהוֹר׃

11and you must teach the Israelites all the laws which Hashem has imparted to them through Moshe.

יאוּלְהוֹרֹת אֶת־בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֵת כָּל־הַחֻקִּים אֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר יְהֹוָה אֲלֵיהֶם בְּיַד־מֹשֶׁה׃

12Moshe spoke to Aharon and to his remaining sons, Elazar and Itamar: Take the meal offering that is left over from Hashem's offerings by fire and eat it unleavened beside the mizbayach, for it is most holy.

יבוַיְדַבֵּר מֹשֶׁה אֶל־אַהֲרֹן וְאֶל אֶלְעָזָר וְאֶל־אִיתָמָר בָּנָיו הַנּוֹתָרִים קְחוּ אֶת־הַמִּנְחָה הַנּוֹתֶרֶת מֵאִשֵּׁי יְהֹוָה וְאִכְלוּהָ מַצּוֹת אֵצֶל הַמִּזְבֵּחַ כִּי קֹדֶשׁ קָדָשִׁים הִוא׃

13You shall eat it in the sacred precinct, inasmuch as it is your due, and that of your children, from Hashem's offerings by fire; for so I have been commanded.

יגוַאֲכַלְתֶּם אֹתָהּ בְּמָקוֹם קָדֹשׁ כִּי חָקְךָ וְחָק־בָּנֶיךָ הִוא מֵאִשֵּׁי יְהֹוָה כִּי־כֵן צֻוֵּיתִי׃

14But the breast of elevation offering and the thigh of gift offering you, and your sons and daughters with you, may eat in any clean place, for they have been assigned as a due to you and your children from the Israelites' sacrifices of well-being.

ידוְאֵת חֲזֵה הַתְּנוּפָה וְאֵת שׁוֹק הַתְּרוּמָה תֹּאכְלוּ בְּמָקוֹם טָהוֹר אַתָּה וּבָנֶיךָ וּבְנֹתֶיךָ אִתָּךְ כִּי־חָקְךָ וְחָק־בָּנֶיךָ נִתְּנוּ מִזִּבְחֵי שַׁלְמֵי בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל׃

15Together with the fat of fire offering, they must present the thigh of gift offering and the breast of elevation offering, which are to be elevated as an elevation offering before Hashem, and which are to be your due and that of your children with you for all time—as Hashem has commanded.

טושׁוֹק הַתְּרוּמָה וַחֲזֵה הַתְּנוּפָה עַל אִשֵּׁי הַחֲלָבִים יָבִיאוּ לְהָנִיף תְּנוּפָה לִפְנֵי יְהֹוָה וְהָיָה לְךָ וּלְבָנֶיךָ אִתְּךָ לְחָק־עוֹלָם כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוָּה יְהֹוָה׃

16Then Moshe inquired about the goat of sin offering, and it had already been burned! He was angry with Elazar and Itamar, Aharon's remaining sons, and said,

טזוְאֵת שְׂעִיר הַחַטָּאת דָּרֹשׁ דָּרַשׁ מֹשֶׁה וְהִנֵּה שֹׂרָף וַיִּקְצֹף עַל־אֶלְעָזָר וְעַל־אִיתָמָר בְּנֵי אַהֲרֹן הַנּוֹתָרִם לֵאמֹר׃

17“Why did you not eat the sin offering in the sacred area? For it is most holy, and He has given it to you to remove the guilt of the community and to make expiation for them before Hashem.

יזמַדּוּעַ לֹא־אֲכַלְתֶּם אֶת־הַחַטָּאת בִּמְקוֹם הַקֹּדֶשׁ כִּי קֹדֶשׁ קָדָשִׁים הִוא וְאֹתָהּ נָתַן לָכֶם לָשֵׂאת אֶת־עֲוׂן הָעֵדָה לְכַפֵּר עֲלֵיהֶם לִפְנֵי יְהֹוָה׃

18Since its blood was not brought inside the sanctuary, you should certainly have eaten it in the sanctuary, as I commanded.”

יחהֵן לֹא־הוּבָא אֶת־דָּמָהּ אֶל־הַקֹּדֶשׁ פְּנִימָה אָכוֹל תֹּאכְלוּ אֹתָהּ בַּקֹּדֶשׁ כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוֵּיתִי׃

19And Aharon spoke to Moshe, “See, this day they brought their sin offering and their burnt offering before Hashem, and such things have befallen me! Had I eaten sin offering today, would Hashem have approved?”

יטוַיְדַבֵּר אַהֲרֹן אֶל־מֹשֶׁה הֵן הַיּוֹם הִקְרִיבוּ אֶת־חַטָּאתָם וְאֶת־עֹלָתָם לִפְנֵי יְהֹוָה וַתִּקְרֶאנָה אֹתִי כָּאֵלֶּה וְאָכַלְתִּי חַטָּאת הַיּוֹם הַיִּיטַב בְּעֵינֵי יְהֹוָה׃

20And when Moshe heard this, he approved.

כוַיִּשְׁמַע מֹשֶׁה וַיִּיטַב בְּעֵינָיו׃