Leviticus 10 Commentary

Leviticus 10 Commentary: Carelessness in worship punished.


Chapter 10 opens with a very sad event. Two sons of Aaron perish in the process of duty. They attempt to offer an unauthorized fire before the LORD. The result is swift and fatal. Nadab and Abihu die on the spot. Moses offers little consolation as he repeats the LORD’S uncompromising commands. Family relations are put aside. Aaron and his surviving sons are ordered to remain in the sanctuary – that’s how they mourned Nadab and Abihu.

Further instructions are given to Aaron on alcohol. No drinking. The anointing on their lives would not permit them to indulge. Verse 9 commands Aaron not to drink – of course drunkenness was not even mentioned. The issue is on drinking, whether it results in being drunk or not. Today, the saint being the priest, may stay away from alcohol because of the anointing on their lives – the Holy Spirit in them.

Whether Nadab and Abihu were drank on duty or not is a matter we can speculate on. But we do know for sure that the instruction on alcohol is meant to prevent carelessness on duty, which may result in divine judgments like we have in the opening verses of this chapter. Sad story indeed. It does however show us the seriousness of worship. It is never to be taken lightly.

We are off to a scary start to ministry in the sanctuary – no child-play here. The LORD gives us chance to do the right thing but not casually. The consequences can be very bad.

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Published by Joseph Malekani

Joseph Malekani is a born-again Christian with a strong PAOG/Baptist background. He is heavily involved in student ministry with ZAFES – an IFES movement with focus on student ministry in Zambia. He is married to Audrey and they have two lovely children.

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