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Leviticus 16:1 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— And Jehovah spake unto Moses, after the death of the two sons of Aaron, when they drew near before Jehovah, and died;
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— And the LORD spake unto Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron, when they offered before the LORD, and died;
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— Now the LORD spoke to Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron, when they had approached the presence of the LORD and died.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— And the LORD spoke to Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron, when they offered before the LORD, and died:
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— And Jehovah spoke to Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron, when they came near before Jehovah and died;
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— And Yahweh spake unto Moses, after the death of the two sons of Aaron,—when they had offered strange fire before Yahweh, and died.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— And Jehovah speaketh unto Moses, after the death of the two sons of Aaron, in their drawing near before Jehovah, and they die;
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— And the Lord spoke to Moses, after the death of the two sons of Aaron when they were slain upon their offering strange fire:
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— And the LORD spake vnto Moses, after the death of the two sonnes of Aaron, when they offered before the LORD, and died.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— And the Lord spoke to Mosheh{gr.Moses} after the two sons of Aaron died in bringing strange fire before the Lord, so they died.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— And Yahweh spake unto Mosheh after the death of the two sons of Aharon, when they offered before Yahweh, and died;

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
And Yhw יָהוֶה 3068
{3068} Prime
From H1961; (the) self Existent or eternal; Jehovah, Jewish national name of God.
spake 1696
{1696} Prime
A primitive root; perhaps properly to arrange; but used figuratively (of words) to speak; rarely (in a destructive sense) to subdue.
<8762> Grammar
Stem - Piel (See H8840)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 2447
unto x413
(0413) Complement
(Used only in the shortened constructive form (the second form)); a primitive particle, properly denoting motion towards, but occasionally used of a quiescent position, that is, near, with or among; often in general, to.
M מֹשֶׁה 4872
{4872} Prime
From H4871; drawing out (of the water), that is, rescued; Mosheh, the Israelitish lawgiver.
after 310
{0310} Prime
From H0309; properly the hind part; generally used as an adverb or conjugation, after (in various senses).
the death 4194
{4194} Prime
From H4191; death (natural or violent); concretely the dead, their place or state (hades); figuratively pestilence, ruin.
of the two 8147
{8147} Prime
(The first form being dual of H8145; the second form being feminine); two; also (as ordinal) twofold.
sons 1121
{1121} Prime
From H1129; a son (as a builder of the family name), in the widest sense (of literal and figurative relationship, including grandson, subject, nation, quality or condition, etc., (like H0001, H0251, etc.).
of Ahrn אַהֲרֹן, 175
{0175} Prime
Of uncertain derivation; Aharon, the brother of Moses.
when they offered 7126
{7126} Prime
A primitive root; to approach (causatively bring near) for whatever purpose.
<8800> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Infinitive (See H8812)
Count - 4888
before 6440
{6440} Prime
Plural (but always used as a singular) of an unused noun (פָּנֶה paneh, {paw-neh'}; from H6437); the face (as the part that turns); used in a great variety of applications (literally and figuratively); also (with prepositional prefix) as a preposition (before, etc.).
Yhw יָהוֶה, 3068
{3068} Prime
From H1961; (the) self Existent or eternal; Jehovah, Jewish national name of God.
and died; 4191
{4191} Prime
A primitive root; to die (literally or figuratively); causatively to kill.
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Leviticus 16:1

_ _ Leviticus 16:1-34. How the High Priest must enter into the Holy Place.

_ _ after the death of the two sons of Aaron, when they offered before the Lord, and died — It is thought by some that this chapter has been transposed out of its right place in the sacred record, which was immediately after the narrative of the deaths of Nadab and Abihu [Leviticus 10:1-20]. That appalling catastrophe must have filled Aaron with painful apprehensions lest the guilt of these two sons might be entailed on his house, or that other members of his family might share the same fate by some irregularities or defects in the discharge of their sacred functions. And, therefore, this law was established, by the due observance of whose requirements the Aaronic order would be securely maintained and accepted in the priesthood.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Leviticus 16:1-4

_ _ Here is, I. The date of this law concerning the day of atonement: it was after the death of the two sons of Aaron (Leviticus 16:1), which we read, Leviticus 10:1. 1. Lest Aaron should fear that any remaining guilt of that sin should cleave to his family, or (seeing the priests were so apt to offend) that some after-sin of his other sons should be the ruin of his family, he is directed how to make atonement for his house, that it might keep in with God; for the atonement for it would be the establishment of it, and preserve the entail of the blessing upon it. 2. The priests being warned by the death of Nadab and Abihu to approach to God with reverence and godly fear (without which they came at their peril), directions are here given how the nearest approach might be made, not only without peril, but to unspeakable advantage and comfort, if the directions were observed. When they were cut off for an undue approach, the rest must not say, “Then we will not draw near at all,” but, “Then we will do it by rule.” They died for their sin, therefore God graciously provides for the rest, that they die not. Thus God's judgments on some should be instructions to others.

_ _ II. The design of this law. One intention of it was to preserve a veneration for the most holy place, within the veil, where the shechinah, or divine glory, was pleased to dwell between the cherubim: Speak unto Aaron, that he come not at all times into the holy place, Leviticus 16:2. Before the veil some of the priests came every day to burn incense upon the golden altar, but within the veil none must ever come but the high priest only, and he but on one day in the year, and with great ceremony and caution. That place where God manifested his special presence must not be made common. If none must come into the presence-chamber of an earthly king uncalled, no, not the queen herself, upon pain of death (Esther 4:11), was it not requisite that the same sacred respect should be paid to the Kings of kings? But see what a blessed change is made by the gospel of Christ; all good Christians have now boldness to enter into the holiest, through the veil, every day (Hebrews 10:19, Hebrews 10:20); and we come boldly (not as Aaron must, with fear and trembling) to the throne of grace, or mercy-seat, Hebrews 4:16. While the manifestations of God's presence and grace were sensible, it was requisite that they should thus be confined and upon reserve, because the objects of sense the more familiar they are made the less awful or delightful they become; but now that they are purely spiritual it is otherwise, for the objects of faith the more they are conversed with the more do they manifest of their greatness and goodness: now therefore we are welcome to come at all times into the holy place not made with hands, for we are made to sit together with Christ in heavenly places by faith, Ephesians 2:6. Then Aaron must not come near at all times, lest he die; we now must come near at all times that we may live: it is distance only that is our death. Then God appeared in the cloud upon the mercy-seat, but now with open face we behold, not in a dark cloud, but in a clear glass, the glory of the Lord, 2 Corinthians 3:18.

_ _ III. The person to whom the work of this day was committed, and that was the high priest only: Thus shall Aaron come into the holy place, Leviticus 16:3. He was to do all himself upon the day of atonement: only there was a second provided to be his substitute or supporter, in case any thing should befal him, either of sickness or ceremonial uncleanness, that he could not perform the service of the day. All Christians are spiritual priests, but Christ only is the high priest, and he alone it is that makes atonement, nor needed he either assistant or substitute.

_ _ IV. The attire of the high priest in this service. He was not to be dressed up in his rich garments that were peculiar to himself: he was not to put on the ephod, with the precious stones in it, but only the linen clothes which he wore in common with the inferior priests, Leviticus 16:4. That meaner dress did best become him on this day of humiliation; and, being thinner and lighter, he would in it be more expedite for the work or service of the day, which was all to go through his hands. Christ, our high priest, made atonement for sin in our nature; not in the robes of his own peculiar glory, but the linen garments of our mortality, clean indeed, but mean.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

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Geneva Bible Translation Notes

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Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance

Leviticus 10:1-2 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. ... And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD.
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