Nadab was the first son of Aaron and one of Israel’s early priests
“Then bring near to you Aaron your brother, and his sons with him, from among the people of Israel, to serve me as priests—
Aaron and Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar.” EXODUS 28:1 ESV
It’s not what you know, but who you know” can only get you so far. In the end, you will still be held responsible for your own actions.
As Aaron’s firstborn son, Nadab witnessed the plagues in Egypt, saw God’s people delivered through the Red Sea, and enjoyed the daily
manna delivered to the Hebrew camp (Exodus 16). He tasted the waters of Marah and Elim (Exodus 15), saw water flow from a rock (Exodus 17), and probably saw for himself the tablets containing the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20). Being the son of Aaron and the nephew of Moses, Nadab certainly had a front-row seat from which to witness God’s
miraculous show of power.
Nadab also became one of Israel’s first priests—a position that he qualified for because he descended from Aaron. He represented the people’s sacrifices and concerns to God and helped care for the holy
objects of worship. Because of his position, he was allowed to approach God on Mt. Sinai along with seventy elders of Israel (Exodus 24:1, 9).
But pedigree and position did not spare Nadab and his brother from God’s judgment when they made an offering to God that did not meet His holy standards. Nadab and his brother were instantly killed, providing the people with a powerful reminder that God’s holiness is not to be taken lightly by anyone.