Aaron offers sacrifice
1: And it came to pass on the eighth day, that Moses called Aaron and his sons, and the elders of Israel; 2: And he said unto Aaron, Take thee a young calf for a sin offering, and a ram for a burnt offering, without blemish, and offer them before the LORD. 3: And unto the children of Israel thou shalt speak, saying, Take ye a kid of the goats for a sin offering; and a calf and a lamb, both of the first year, without blemish, for a burnt offering; 4: Also a bullock and a ram for peace offerings, to sacrifice before the LORD; and a meat offering mingled with oil: for to day the LORD will appear unto you. 5: And they brought that which Moses commanded before the tabernacle of the congregation: and all the congregation drew near and stood before the LORD. 6: And Moses said, This is the thing which the LORD commanded that ye should do: and the glory of the LORD shall appear unto you. 7: And Moses said unto Aaron, Go unto the altar, and offer thy sin offering, and thy burnt offering, and make an atonement for thyself, and for the people: and offer the offering of the people, and make an atonement for them; as the LORD commanded. 8: Aaron therefore went unto the altar, and slew the calf of the sin offering, which was for himself. 9: And the sons of Aaron brought the blood unto him: and he dipped his finger in the blood, and put it upon the horns of the altar, and poured out the blood at the bottom of the altar: 10: But the fat, and the kidneys, and the caul above the liver of the sin offering, he burnt upon the altar; as the LORD commanded Moses. 11: And the flesh and the hide he burnt with fire without the camp. 12: And he slew the burnt offering; and Aaron's sons presented unto him the blood, which he sprinkled round about upon the altar. 13: And they presented the burnt offering unto him, with the pieces thereof, and the head: and he burnt them upon the altar. 14: And he did wash the inwards and the legs, and burnt them upon the burnt offering on the altar. 15: And he brought the people's offering, and took the goat, which was the sin offering for the people, and slew it, and offered it for sin, as the first. 16: And he brought the burnt offering, and offered it according to the manner. 17: And he brought the meat offering, and took an handful thereof, and burnt it upon the altar, beside the burnt sacrifice of the morning. 18: He slew also the bullock and the ram for a sacrifice of peace offerings, which was for the people: and Aaron's sons presented unto him the blood, which he sprinkled upon the altar round about, 19: And the fat of the bullock and of the ram, the rump, and that which covereth the inwards, and the kidneys, and the caul above the liver: 20: And they put the fat upon the breasts, and he burnt the fat upon the altar: 21: And the breasts and the right shoulder Aaron waved for a wave offering before the LORD; as Moses commanded. 22: And Aaron lifted up his hand toward the people, and blessed them, and came down from offering of the sin offering, and the burnt offering, and peace offerings. 23: And Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle of the congregation, and came out, and blessed the people: and the glory of the LORD appeared unto all the people. 24: And there came a fire out from before the LORD, and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat: which when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces.
Aaron’s sons sin and are killed
1: And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not. 2: And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD. 3: Then Moses said unto Aaron, This is it that the LORD spake, saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified. And Aaron held his peace. 4: And Moses called Mishael and Elzaphan, the sons of Uzziel the uncle of Aaron, and said unto them, Come near, carry your brethren from before the sanctuary out of the camp. 5: So they went near, and carried them in their coats out of the camp; as Moses had said. 6: And Moses said unto Aaron, and unto Eleazar and unto Ithamar, his sons, Uncover not your heads, neither rend your clothes; lest ye die, and lest wrath come upon all the people: but let your brethren, the whole house of Israel, bewail the burning which the LORD hath kindled. 7: And ye shall not go out from the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: for the anointing oil of the LORD is upon you. And they did according to the word of Moses.
Rules for Priests
8: And the LORD spake unto Aaron, saying, 9: Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations: 10: And that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean; 11: And that ye may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the LORD hath spoken unto them by the hand of Moses. 12: And Moses spake unto Aaron, and unto Eleazar and unto Ithamar, his sons that were left, Take the meat offering that remaineth of the offerings of the LORD made by fire, and eat it without leaven beside the altar: for it is most holy: 13: And ye shall eat it in the holy place, because it is thy due, and thy sons' due, of the sacrifices of the LORD made by fire: for so I am commanded. 14: And the wave breast and heave shoulder shall ye eat in a clean place; thou, and thy sons, and thy daughters with thee: for they be thy due, and thy sons' due, which are given out of the sacrifices of peace offerings of the children of Israel. 15: The heave shoulder and the wave breast shall they bring with the offerings made by fire of the fat, to wave it for a wave offering before the LORD; and it shall be thine, and thy sons' with thee, by a statute for ever; as the LORD hath commanded. 16: And Moses diligently sought the goat of the sin offering, and, behold, it was burnt: and he was angry with Eleazar and Ithamar, the sons of Aaron which were left alive, saying, 17: Wherefore have ye not eaten the sin offering in the holy place, seeing it is most holy, and God hath given it you to bear the iniquity of the congregation, to make atonement for them before the LORD? 18: Behold, the blood of it was not brought in within the holy place: ye should indeed have eaten it in the holy place, as I commanded. 19: And Aaron said unto Moses, Behold, this day have they offered their sin offering and their burnt offering before the LORD; and such things have befallen me: and if I had eaten the sin offering to day, should it have been accepted in the sight of the LORD? 20: And when Moses heard that, he was content.
In today’s reading we see how Aaron offers sacrifice and it is accepted but we also see that his sons offer strange fire to the lord and the Lord executes them. Then we have more rules described to enable the priests to offer correctly. Aaron’s ministry began on the eighth day - the day of a new beginning. Aaron offers a sacrifice which is the first sacrifice to commence his ministry and all the people draw near to the Tabernacle. His ministry began with an atonement for sin. When everything was finished he blessed the people. The glory of the LORD appeared to the people and fire came from the Lord and consumed the whole burnt offering. When the people saw this they shouted in surprise and fear and fell to the earth. Then we have the record of the offering of Nahab and Abihu who offered incense that was not specified by the Lord. Fire came out from the Lord and they died where they stood. Moses called for Mishael and Elzaphan the sons of Uzziel the uncle of Aaron to come near to the sanctuary and they were to pick them up and carry them in their coats out of the camp. It was the custom for men in mourning to be bear headed and to tear their clothes but Moses warned them not to do this because they would die because they were carrying the oil of anointing on them. The people of Israel mourned but these men did not. They remained in the Tabernacle. Aaron received more instructions to enable them to serve the Lord. The first was that they were to be free of all alcohol. Sobriety would be a key element of their ability to discern between clean and unclean. Eleazar and Ithamar the sons that were left behind were instructed to eat the meat offering. When everything was being cleared up Moses tried to find the goat but it had been destroyed by fire from the Lord. It was a sad day for Aaron and a day of mourning for Israel.