They said three things. Rabbi Eliezer says: The honor of your friend should be as dear to you as your own, and do not be easy to anger, and repent one day before your death. And warm yourself by the fire of the Sages, but be cautious around their coals that you should not be burned, for their bite is the bite of a fox, and their sting is the sting of a scorpion, and their hiss is the hiss of a Seraph, and all of their words are like burning coals.
And the sons of Aaron, Nadav and Avihu, took, each of them his coal-pan, and they put fire therein, and they laid incense thereon; and they offered before the L-rd a strange fire, which He had not commanded them.
An angel of the LORD appeared to him in a blazing fire out of a bush. He gazed, and there was a bush all aflame, yet the bush was not consumed.
“Come out,” He called, “and stand on the mountain before the LORD.” And lo, the LORD passed by. There was a great and mighty wind, splitting mountains and shattering rocks by the power of the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind—an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake.
They emerged from the cave, and saw people who were plowing and sowing. Rabbi Shimon bar Yoḥai said: These people abandon eternal life of Torah study and engage in temporal life for their own sustenance. The Gemara relates that every place that Rabbi Shimon and his son Rabbi Elazar directed their eyes was immediately burned. A Divine Voice emerged and said to them: Did you emerge from the cave in order to destroy My world? Return to your cave. They again went and sat there for twelve months. They said: The judgment of the wicked in Gehenna lasts for twelve months. Surely their sin was atoned in that time. A Divine Voice emerged and said to them: Emerge from your cave. They emerged. Everywhere that Rabbi Elazar would strike, Rabbi Shimon would heal. Rabbi Shimon said to Rabbi Elazar: My son, you and I suffice for the entire world, as the two of us are engaged in the proper study of Torah.
The Gemara relates a similar incident. Rav happened to come to a certain place where he decreed a fast but rain did not come. The prayer leader descended to lead the service before him and recited: He Who makes the wind blow, and the wind blew. He continued and said: And Who makes the rain fall, and the rain came. Rav said to him: What are your good deeds? He said to him: I am a teacher of children, and I teach the Bible to the children of the poor as to the children of the rich, and if there is anyone who cannot pay, I do not take anything from him. And I have a fishpond, and any child who neglects his studies, I bribe him with the fish and calm him, and soothe him until he comes and reads.