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Leviticus 10:2

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Next to Moses and Aaron, none were more likely to be honourable in Israel than Nadab and Abihu. There is reason to think that they were puffed up with pride, and that they were heated with wine. While the people were prostrate before the Lord, adoring his presence and glory, they rushed into the tabernacle to burn incense, though not at the appointed time; both together, instead of one alone, and with fire not taken from the altar. If it had been done through ignorance, they had been allowed to bring a sin-offering. But the soul that doeth presumptuously, and in contempt of God's majesty and justice, that soul shall be cut off. The wages of sin is death. They died in the very act of their sin. The sin and punishment of these priests showed the imperfection of that priesthood from the very beginning, and that it could not shelter any from the fire of God's wrath, otherwise than as it was typical of Christ's priesthood.
Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

The fire which had just before sanctified the ministry of Aaron as well pleasing to God, now brought to destruction his two eldest sons because they did not sanctify Yahweh in their hearts, but dared to perform a self-willed act of worship; just as the same Gospel is to one a savor of life unto life, and to another a savor of death unto death 2 Corinthians 2:16.

Ellen G. White
Fundamentals of Christian Education, 427-8

The Lord himself has spoken upon this subject of the care of the body. He says in His word, “If any man destroyeth the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” 1 Corinthians 3:17, R. V. This scripture enjoins a conscientious care of the body, and condemns all ignorant or careless neglect. And again: “Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.” “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20; 10:31. FE 427.1

The intelligent, conscientious care of our bodies is due to our Heavenly Father, who “so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” We are individually the property of Christ, His purchased possession. It is required of each one of us to preserve our health and strength by the practice of temperance in all things. The appetites and passions must be controlled, that through them we shall not weaken or defile God's human temple. FE 427.2

Anything that lessens the physical power enfeebles the mind, and makes it less clear to discriminate between good and evil, between right and wrong. This principle is illustrated in the case of Nadab and Abihu. God gave them a most sacred work to perform, permitting them to come near to Himself in their appointed service; but they had a habit of drinking wine, and they entered upon the holy service in the sanctuary with confused minds. There was the sacred fire, which was kindled by God himself; but they used the common fire upon their censers, when they offered incense to ascend as a sweet fragrance with the prayers of God's people. Because their minds were clouded by an unholy indulgence, they disregarded the divine requirement; “and there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord.” FE 427.3

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Ellen G. White
Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4a, 11-15

When the people journeyed, the ark of the covenant was borne before them. “And the cloud of the Lord was upon them by day, when they went out of the camp. And it came to pass, when the ark set forward, that Moses said, Rise up, Lord, and let thine enemies be scattered, and let them that hate thee flee before thee. And when it rested, he said, Return, O Lord, unto the many thousands of Israel.” 4aSG 11.1

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Ellen G. White
Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4a, 127

The priests, who ministered in sacred things, were commanded to wash their feet and their hands before entering the tabernacle in the presence of God to importune for Israel, that they might not desecrate the sanctuary. If the priests had entered the sanctuary with their mouths polluted with tobacco, they would have shared the fate of Nadab and Abihu. And yet professed Christians bow before God in their families to pray with their mouths defiled with the filth of tobacco. They go to the house which they have dedicated to God, professing to worship him, with a stupefying quid of tobacco in their mouths, and the high-colored saliva staining their lips and chin, and their foul breath polluting the atmosphere. They leave their poisonous filth either upon the floor, or in receptacles prepared for the purpose. This is the offering they present to God. Instead of the cloud of fragrant incense filling the house as in the case of the ancient tabernacle, it is filled with the sickening, polluted odor of ejected tobacco spittle and quids, and the air breathed by the congregation is poisoned. 4aSG 127.1

Men who have been set apart by the laying on of hands, to minister in sacred things, often stand in the desk with their mouths polluted, their lips stained, and their breath tainted with the defilements of tobacco. They speak to the people in Christ's stead. How can such service be acceptable to a holy God, who required the priests of Israel to make such special preparations before coming into his presence, lest his sacred holiness should consume them for dishonoring him, as in the case of Nadab and Abihu? These may be assured that the mighty God of Israel is still a God of cleanliness. They profess to be serving God while they are committing idolatry, by making a God of their appetite. Tobacco is their cherished idol. To it every high and sacred consideration must bow. They profess to be worshipping God, while at the same time they are violating the first commandment. They have other gods before the Lord. “Be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord.” 4aSG 127.2

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Ellen G. White
Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4a, 124-5

Intemperance in eating and in drinking, and the indulgence of base passions have benumbed the fine sensibilities, so that sacred things have been placed upon a level with common things. Nadab and Abihu drank too freely of wine, and the result was, they used common fire instead of sacred, and were destroyed for thus dishonoring God. When appetite is left to control reason, sacred things are not discerned. God expressly commanded the children of Israel not to eat swine's flesh. The heathen used this meat as an article of food. God prohibited the Hebrews the use of swine's flesh because it was hurtful. It would fill the system with humors, and in that warm climate often produced leprosy. Its influence upon the system in that climate was far more injurious than in a colder climate. But God never designed the swine to be eaten under any circumstances. Swine were useful. In a fruitful country, where there was much to decay upon the ground, which would poison the atmosphere, herds of swine were permitted to run free, and devoured the decaying substances, which was a means of preserving health. Other animals were forbidden to be eaten by the Israelites, because they were not the best articles of food. 4aSG 124.1

If the Israelites had manifested a spirit of submission to God's wise prohibitions, he would have removed from them everything injurious to their health, and would have suffered no sickness to be among them. But he gave them what they lusted for, because they would not submit to him. 4aSG 124.2

Appetite has been indulged to the injury of health. Stimulating drinks have been used freely, which have confused the brain and brought down man to the level of the brute creation. While intoxicated, every degree of crime has been committed, and yet the perpetrators have been excused in many instances, because they knew not what they were doing. This does not lessen the guilt of the criminal. If by his own hand he puts the glass to his lips, and deliberately takes that which he knows will destroy his reasoning faculties, he becomes responsible for all the injury he does while intoxicated, at the very moment he lets his appetite control him, and he barters away his reasoning faculties for intoxicating drinks. It was his own act which brought him even below the brutes, and crimes committed when he is in a state of intoxication should be punished as severely as though the person had all the power of his reasoning faculties. 4aSG 124.3

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Ellen G. White
Prophets and Kings, 482

Nor dared they risk the enervating effect of luxury and dissipation on physical, mental, and spiritual development. They were acquainted with the history of Nadab and Abihu, the record of whose intemperance and its results had been preserved in the parchments of the Pentateuch; and they knew that their own physical and mental power would be injuriously affected by the use of wine. PK 482.1

Daniel and his associates had been trained by their parents to habits of strict temperance. They had been taught that God would hold them accountable for their capabilities, and that they must never dwarf or enfeeble their powers. This education was to Daniel and his companions the means of their preservation amidst the demoralizing influences of the court of Babylon. Strong were the temptations surrounding them in that corrupt and luxurious court, but they remained uncontaminated. No power, no influence, could sway them from the principles they had learned in early life by a study of the word and works of God. PK 482.2

Had Daniel so desired, he might have found in his surroundings a plausible excuse for departing from strictly temperate habits. He might have argued that, dependent as he was on the king's favor and subject to his power, there was no other course for him to pursue than to eat of the king's food and drink of his wine; for should he adhere to the divine teaching, he would offend the king and probably lose his position and his life. Should he disregard the commandment of the Lord he would retain the favor of the king and secure for himself intellectual advantages and flattering worldly prospects. PK 482.3

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 3, 295

God distinguished Aaron by choosing him and his male posterity for the priesthood. His sons ministered in the sacred office. Nadab and Abihu failed to reverence the command of God to offer sacred fire upon their censers with the incense before Him. God had forbidden them, upon pain of death, to present the common fire before Him with the incense. 3T 295.1

But here is seen the result of loose discipline. As these sons of Aaron had not been educated to respect and reverence the commands of their father, as they disregarded parental authority, they did not realize the necessity of explicitly following the requirements of God. When indulging their appetite for wine and while under its exciting stimulus, their reason was clouded, and they could not discern the difference between the sacred and the common. Contrary to God's express direction, they dishonored Him by offering common instead of sacred fire. God visited them with His wrath; fire went forth from His presence and destroyed them. 3T 295.2

Aaron bore his severe affliction with patience and humble submission. Sorrow and keen agony wrung his soul. He was convicted of his neglect of duty. He was priest of the most high God, to make atonement for the sins of the people. He was priest of his household, yet he had been inclined to pass over the folly of his children. He had neglected his duty to train and educate them to obedience, self-denial, and reverence for parental authority. Through feelings of misplaced indulgence, he failed to mold their characters with high reverence for eternal things. Aaron did not see, any more than many Christian parents now see, that his misplaced love and the indulgence of his children in wrong was preparing them for the certain displeasure of God and for His wrath to break forth upon them to their destruction. While Aaron neglected to exercise his authority, the justice of God awakened against them. Aaron had to learn that his gentle remonstrance, without a firm exercise of parental restraint, and his imprudent tenderness toward his sons were cruelty in the extreme. God took the work of justice into His own hands and destroyed the sons of Aaron. 3T 295.3

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