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Sunday School

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BACKGROUND FOR THE LESSON. The context of this week’s lesson deals with the deaths of Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abihu (see Leviticus 10:1-2; 16:1). The LORD set them on fire because they “offered strange fire before the LORD, which He commanded them not to do” (see Leviticus 10:1). The term “strange fire” refers to “unauthorized fire.” The fire on the altar of burnt offering was never to go out (see Leviticus 6:12-13) implying that it was holy. Although we are not told exactly what they did, it’s possible that Nadab and Abihu brought coals of fire to the altar from another source, making the sacrifice unholy. Whatever they did that God didn’t allow, abused their office as priests in a flagrant act of disrespect to God. Our lesson begins not long after that. Although our text revolves around Aaron’s part in the Day of Atonement, whoever the high priest was in the future would be expected to perform the same ceremonies as Aaron was commanded to do. This would make the people pure (see Leviticus 16:9-10). This is where our lesson begins.

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