1. Leviticus 10:4 (ESV)
  2. Exposition

Why are the cousins of the deceased brothers summoned?

Leviticus 10:4 (ESV)

4 And Moses called Mishael and Elzaphan, the sons of Uzziel the uncle of Aaron, and said to them, “Come near; carry your brothers away from the front of the sanctuary and out of the camp.”

Two nephews of Aaron, cousins of the deceased brothers, are appointed to remove the dead bodies, so that Aaron and his surviving sons can continue in their priestly ministry. Aaron, Eleazar, and Ithamar have to refrain from usual expressions of mourning. Should they make themselves unfit for the ministry, they might also die (verses 6–7).