Leviticus 10:9

9 “You and your sons are not to drink wine or other fermented drink whenever you go into the tent of meeting, or you will die. This is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come,

Leviticus 10:9 in Other Translations

9 Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations:
9 "Drink no wine or strong drink, you or your sons with you, when you go into the tent of meeting, lest you die. It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations.
9 “You and your descendants must never drink wine or any other alcoholic drink before going into the Tabernacle. If you do, you will die. This is a permanent law for you, and it must be observed from generation to generation.
9 "When you enter the Tent of Meeting, don't drink wine or strong drink, neither you nor your sons, lest you die. This is a fixed rule down through the generations.
9 "You and your sons are not to drink wine or beer when you enter the tent of meeting, or else you will die; this is a permanent statute throughout your generations.

Leviticus 10:9 Meaning and Commentary

Leviticus 10:9

Do not drink wine or strong drink
This law following upon the affair of Nadab and Abihu has caused some to think, and not without some reason, that they were drunk with wine or strong drink, when they offered strange fire; and indeed it is hardly to be accounted for upon any other foot that they should do it; but having feasted that day upon the peace offerings, and drank freely, it being the first day of their entrance on their office, they were, it may be supposed, elated and merry, and drank more than they should; wherefore this law was given, to restrain from such a disorderly and scandalous practice; not only wine, which is inebriating, but strong drink also is forbidden, which, as Aben Ezra says, is made either of a sort of wheat, or honey, or dates: and so Kimchi F16 and Ben Melech on the place after him observe, that this includes whatsoever inebriates, besides wine; and that their doctors say, whosoever drinks milk or honey (they must mean some strong liquor extracted from thence), if he enters into the tabernacle he is guilty:

thou nor thy sons with thee;
the Targum of Jonathan adds, as did thy sons, who died by the burning of fire; that is, he and his sons were to avoid drinking wine or strong drink to excess, as his two sons had done, which led them to offer strange fire, for which they suffered death:

when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die;
they might drink wine at other times, in a moderate manner; but it seems by this they were not to drink any at all when they were about to go to service, or to enter into the tabernacle in order to do it: indeed, according to the Jewish canons, every priest that is fit for service, if he drinks wine, it is forbidden him to enter in (to the tabernacle, and so) from the altar (of burnt offering) and inward (into the holy place); and if he goes in and does his service it is profane (unlawful and rejected), and he is guilty of death by the hand of heaven; and he that drinks the fourth part (of a log) of wine at one time, of wine forty days old; but if he drinks less than a fourth part of wine, or drinks a fourth part and stops between, and mixes it with water, or drinks wine out of the press within forty days (i.e. not quite so many days old), though more than a fourth part, he is free, and does not profane his service; if he drinks more than a fourth part of wine, though it is mixed, and though he stops and drinks little by little, he is guilty of death, and his service is profane (or rejected); if he is drunk with the rest of liquors that make drunk, he is forbidden to go into the sanctuary; but if he goes in and serves, and he is drunk with the rest of liquors that make drunk, whether of milk or of figs (a strong liquor made of them), he is to be beaten, but his service is right; for they are not guilty of death but on account of wine in the hour of service; and it does not profane service, but being drunken with wine F17: in imitation of this, Heathen priests were forbid wine, and abstained from it, particularly the Egyptian priests; at whom it is said F18, some of them never drink any wine, and others taste but a little of it, because it is said to harm the nerves, to fill the head, or make it heavy, to hinder invention and excite to lust:

[it shall be] a statute for ever throughout all your generations:
even to the coming of the Messiah; and now under the Gospel dispensation, though wine in moderation is allowed Gospel ministers, yet they are not to be given to it; it is a shame to any Christian man to be drunk with wine, and more especially a minister, and still more so when in his service; see ( Ezekiel 44:21 ) .


F16 Sepher Shorashim, Rad. (rkv) .
F17 Maimon. Hilchot Biath Hamikdash, c. 1. sect. 1. 2.
F18 Chaeremon apud Porphyr. de Abstinentia, l. 4. c. 6.

Leviticus 10:9 In-Context

7 Do not leave the entrance to the tent of meeting or you will die, because the LORD’s anointing oil is on you.” So they did as Moses said.
8 Then the LORD said to Aaron,
9 “You and your sons are not to drink wine or other fermented drink whenever you go into the tent of meeting, or you will die. This is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come,
10 so that you can distinguish between the holy and the common, between the unclean and the clean,
11 and so you can teach the Israelites all the decrees the LORD has given them through Moses.”

Cross References 3

  • 1. Genesis 9:21; Exodus 29:40; Leviticus 23:13; Numbers 15:5; Deuteronomy 28:39; Isaiah 5:22; Isaiah 22:13; Isaiah 28:1; Isaiah 29:9; Isaiah 56:12; Jeremiah 35:6; Hosea 4:11; Habakkuk 2:15-16
  • 2. Numbers 6:3; Numbers 28:7; Deuteronomy 14:26; Deuteronomy 29:6; Judges 13:4; Proverbs 20:1; Proverbs 23:29-35; Proverbs 31:4-7; Isa Numbers 28:7; Ezekiel 44:21; Micah 2:11; Luke 1:15; S Ephesians 5:18; 1 Timothy 3:3; Titus 1:7
  • 3. S Exodus 12:14
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