25 December 2014

Strange Fire Before the Lord

(From Chapter 4 of Strange Flesh: The Bible and Homosexuality by Steve Wells)

During the Exodus, Moses took seventy elders up to the mountaintop to see God, along with Aaron and his two sons, Nadab and Abihu.

Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel: And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness. And upon the nobles of the children of Israel he laid not his hand: also they saw God, and did eat and drink. Exodus 24:9-11
Little else is said about Nadab and Abihu until Leviticus 10, where God burns them to death for offering “strange fire before the Lord.”
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. Leviticus 10:1-2
The Bible provides no clue about what this “strange fire” might have been, but Howard Eilberg-Schwartz suggests in God’s Phallus (pp.189-193) that it was some type of sexual offense against God -- either failing to avert their gaze while viewing God’s nakedness, exposing their own nakedness to God, or making some type of sexual advance to God.

Sort of puts the strange in "strange fire" now, doesn't it?

1 comment:

Andrew Hall said...

I remember reading those passages, but never understood this whole "strange fire" business. Interesting.