For I read the Bible through a lens, squinting - 1 Corinthians 13:12

Strange Fire [draft]

Leviticus 10

One day, Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu decided it would be nice to offer fire before the Lord. They took their censers, sprinkled in some incense to make it smell nice, and lit them.

‘The Lord is going to love this new sandalwood scent!’ said Nadab cheerily.

‘I hope so,’ replied his brother. ‘I really want to please him.’

2 But, as they stepped through the door of the tabernacle, God smelled the incense and was enraged. He shot a torrent of fire at them like a blowtorch, incinerating them instantly.

Moses ran up to where his nephews had been standing and found only charred corpses. ‘Why did you do this, Lord!’ he cried.

‘Because,’ bellowed the Lord, ‘the fire they went to offer me was strange!’

‘Strange? What the fuck are you talking about?’

‘It smelled different, and it scared me…’ whimpered the Lord.

‘Jesus Christ!’ spat Moses. ‘You’re immortal! Nothing can harm you!’

Meanwhile, Aaron, who had witnessed the whole thing, was stood frozen with his mouth hanging open in shock.

3 Moses turned to him and said, ‘See, this is what I was talking about when I said, “The Lord is bad tempered cunt!”’ 4 Then he called to his cousins Mishael and Elzaphan, ‘Come and carry these bodies out of here. No father should have to see their kids looking like fossil fuel.’

5 His cousins came and attempted to lift one of the corpses, but their legs and arms snapped off in their hands. Aaron burst into tears and ran off.

‘For fuck’s sake!’ yelled Moses. ‘Fetch a shovel…’

6 After the bodies were cleared away, Moses said to Aaron and his remaining sons, Eleazar and Ithamar, ‘Look, I understand you’re going to want to mourn the loss of Abihu and Nadab, but if you do, God will get pissed off at you. He really doesn’t understand human emotions. So, don’t tear your clothes or pour dust on your heads, as is our strange mourning tradition.’

‘Well, if we can’t mourn,’ sobbed Eleazar, ‘I’ll just stay in my room.’

7 ‘No!’ warned Moses. ‘If you leave the entrance to the tent of meeting, God will burn you too. Plus, you’re all covered in anointing oil; if one of you burns, you’ll probably set the others on fire.’

8 Suddenly, the Lord appeared and said, ‘Hi, Aaron.’

Aaron recoiled with fright.

9 ‘Wow, he’s jumpy,’ remarked the Lord. ‘Listen, I’ve decided that I’m going to have to set some ground rules for entering my tent. We wouldn’t want anyone else having an unfortunate accident.’

Aaron ground his teeth and inhaled sharply. ‘Uh huh,’ he grunted.

10 The Lord continued, ‘For a start, in case you didn’t get the message from what just happened, don’t switch to a different incense without telling me. It freaked me out!’

Aaron’s sons sniffled and clung to their father.

11 ‘Also, I don’t want any of you fuckers coming into my tent drunk! I know you like your wine, but I swear if I catch you drunk in my special place, I’ll kill you!’ And with, he disappeared.

12 Moses looked at Aaron sternly and said, ‘You’d better give the grain offering to the Lord to get back on his good side. And for the love of God, make sure there’s no yeast in it!’

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