So, after standing vigil for seven days in front of the Ohel Moed (Tent of Appointment, where sacrifices are made), Moshe tells Aaron and his sons to offer up some sacrifices: a calf, a ram, a hairy goat, an ox and a grain gift, all of which come from the elders of Israel.

All are slaughtered, the details of which we can skip.  Hint: it involves blood spattering.

Now Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Avihu, take a pan and put strange (unauthorized) fire and incense into it.  The fire goes out from the presence of God and consumes them.  They die.

Moses says to Aaron: ‘This is it what the LORD spoke.’ 

Aaron is silent.

Food for Thought

Why did Nadab and Avihu die?

Were they just inexperienced youngsters, literally playing with fire?  Were they drunk?  (The parsha indirectly suggests this later when God speaks to Aaron saying “Do not drink wine, you and your sons, when you enter the Tent of Appointment.”)  Did they take it on themselves to carry this fire without permission?  Did God want to make an example of them?