Numbers Chapter 16  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Commentary on Num 16
Korah Incites Rebellion

1Now Korah the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, with Dathan and Abiram the sons of Eliab, and On the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men:
  2and they rose up before Moses, with certain of the children of Israel, 250 rulers of the congregation, called to the assembly men of renown;
  3and they assembled themselves together against Moses and against Aaron and said to them, “You take too much on yourself, since all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and Yahweh is among them; why then lift yourselves up above the assembly of Yahweh?”

4When Moses heard it, he fell on his face
  5and he spoke to Korah and to all his company, saying, “In the morning Yahweh will show who are his and who is holy, and will cause him to come near to him; even him whom he will choose he will cause to come near to him.
  6Do this: take censers, Korah and all his company,
  7and put fire in them and put incense on them before Yahweh tomorrow; and it will be that the man whom Yahweh chooses, he will be holy. You have gone too far, you sons of Levi!”

8Moses said to Korah, “Hear now, you sons of Levi!
  9Is it a small thing to you that the God of Israel has separated you from the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to himself to do the service of the tabernacle of Yahweh and to stand before the congregation to minister to them,
  10and that he has brought you near and all your brothers the sons of Levi with you? And do you seek the priesthood also?
  11Therefore you and all your company are gathered together against Yahweh; and Aaron, what is he that you murmur against him?”

12Moses sent to call Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab; and they said, “We won’t come up;
  13is it a small thing that you have brought us up out of a land flowing with milk and honey to kill us in the wilderness, but you must also make yourself a governor over us, indeed, to govern us?
  14Moreover you haven’t brought us into a land flowing with milk and honey, nor given us inheritance of fields and vineyards; will you put out the eyes of these men? We won’t come up.”

15Moses was very angry and said to Yahweh, “Do not respect their offering. I have not taken one donkey from them, neither have I hurt one of them.”
  16Moses said to Korah, “You and all your company go before Yahweh, you and they and Aaron tomorrow;
  17and each man take his censer and put incense on them, and each man bring before Yahweh his censer, 250 censers; you also, and Aaron, each his censer.”

18They each took his censer and put fire in them and laid incense on them, and stood at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting with Moses and Aaron.
  19Korah assembled all the congregation against them to the entrance of the Tent of Meeting. Then the glory of Yahweh appeared to all the congregation.
  20Yahweh spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying,
  21“Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment!”

22They fell on their faces and said, “God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, will one man sin and you be angry with the whole congregation?”

23Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
  24“Speak to the congregation, saying, ‘Get away from around the tent of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram!’”

25Moses rose up and went to Dathan and Abiram; and the elders of Israel followed him.
  26He spoke to the congregation, saying, “Depart, please, from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of theirs lest you be consumed in all their sins!”
  27So they went away from the tent of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram on every side: and Dathan and Abiram came out and stood at the entrance of their tents, and their wives and their sons and their little ones.

28Moses said, “This is how you will know that Yahweh has sent me to do all these works. For they are not from my own mind.
  29If these men die the common death of all men, or if they are visited according to the visitation of all men; then Yahweh hasn’t sent me.
  30But if Yahweh make a new thing, and the ground open its mouth and swallow them up with all that appertain to them, and they go down alive into Sheol, then you will understand that these men have despised Yahweh.”

31It came to pass, as he made an end of speaking all these words, that the ground split apart that was under them;
  32and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, and their households, and all the men who appertained to Korah and all their goods.
  33So they and all that appertained to them went down alive into Sheol; and the earth closed on them and they perished from among the assembly.
  34All Israel that were around them fled at their cry, for they said, “Lest the earth swallow us up!”
  35Fire came out from Yahweh, and devoured the 250 men who offered the incense.

36Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
  37“Speak to Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest, that he take up the censers out of the burning and scatter the fire yonder; for they are holy,
  38even the censers of these sinners against their own lives. And let them be made beaten plates for a covering of the altar, for they offered them before Yahweh; therefore they are holy, and they will be a sign to the children of Israel.”

39Eleazar the priest took the bronze censers that those who were burned had offered, and they beat them out for a covering of the altar
  40to be a reminder to the children of Israel so that no stranger, one who is not of the seed of Aaron, will come near to turn incense into smoke-perfume before Yahweh, so that he does not end up like Korah and his company, as Yahweh spoke to him by Moses.

41But on the next day all the congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron, saying, “You have killed Yahweh’s people!”
  42It came to pass when the congregation was assembled against Moses and against Aaron that they looked toward the Tent of Meeting, and behold, the cloud covered it and the glory of Yahweh appeared.

43Moses and Aaron came to the front of the Tent of Meeting.
  44Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
  45“Get away from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment!” They fell on their faces.

46Moses said to Aaron, “Take your censer and put fire from off the altar in it and lay incense on it, and carry it quickly to the congregation and make atonement for them, for wrath has gone out from Yahweh! The plague has begun.”
  47Aaron did as Moses said, and ran into the middle of the assembly; and behold, the plague has begun among the people And he put on the incense and made atonement for the people.
  48He stood between the dead and the living, and the plague was stayed.
  49Now those who died by the plague 14,700 besides those who died about the matter of Korah.
  50Aaron returned to Moses to the entrance of the Tent of Meeting, and the plague was stayed.

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