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, chosen from 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 do you lift yourselves up above the assembly of Yahweh?”

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

8And Moses 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?
  10He has brought you near and all your brothers the sons of Levi with you! And would you seek the priesthood as well?
  11So it is against Yahweh that you and all your followers have gathered together. And Aaron, who is he that you murmur against him?”

12Moses sent to call Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, but they said, “We will not 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 the ruler over us, yes, the ruler?
  14Moreover, you have not brought us into a land flowing with milk and honey, nor given us an inheritance of fields and vineyards. Will you gouge out the eyes of these men? We will not come up.”

15Then Moses became very angry and said to Yahweh, “Do not respect their offering. I have not taken one donkey from them, nor have I hurt one of them.”
  16Moses said to Korah, “You and all your company be there before Yahweh; you and they and Aaron tomorrow;
  17and let each man take his censer and put incense on them, and let each man bring before Yahweh his censer, 250 censers; you also, and Aaron, each is to bring his censer.”

18So every man took his censer and they put fire in them and laid incense on them and stood at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting, as did Moses and Aaron.
  19Korah assembled all the congregation against them at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting. Then the glory of Yahweh appeared to all the congregation.
  20And Yahweh spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying,
  21“Separate yourselves from among this congregation, so that I may put an end to them in a moment!”

22And they 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.
  26And he spoke to the congregation, saying, “Depart 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, with their wives and their sons and their little ones.

28And Moses said, “This is how you will know that Yahweh has sent me to do all these works; that they are not from my own heart.
  29If these men die the common death of all men, or if they are visited according to the visitation of all men, then Yahweh has not sent me.
  30But if Yahweh creates a new creation, and the ground opens its mouth and swallows them up with all that belongs to them, and they go down alive into Sheol, then you will know that these men have had contempt for Yahweh.”

31And then as soon as he made an end of speaking all these words, 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 belonged to Korah and all their property.
  33So they and all theirs, went down alive into Sheol; and the earth closed on them and they perished from among the assembly.
  34Then all Israel that were around them fled at their crying out, for they said, “Lest the earth swallow us up!”
  35Then fire 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 pick up the censers out of the blaze, because they are holy, and scatter the fire some distance away.
  38As for the censers of those who sinned at the cost of their own lives, let them be made into hammered plates for a covering of the altar, because they offered them before Yahweh so they are holy; and they will be a sign to the children of Israel.”

39So Eleazar the priest took the bronze censers that those who were burned up had offered, and they were hammered out and made into a covering for the altar
  40to be a reminder to the children of Israel so that no stranger, one who is not of the seed of Aaron, was to come near to burn incense 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 the people of Yahweh!”
  42But it came to pass as the congregation was assembling 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.

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

46Then Moses 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.”
  47So Aaron did as Moses said, and ran into the midst of the assembly. And behold, the plague had begun among the people, so he put on the incense and made atonement for the people.
  48He stood between the dead and the living, and the plague was stopped.
  49But those who died from the plague were 14,700, besides those who died about the matter of Korah.
  50Then Aaron returned to Moses to the entrance of the Tent of Meeting, and the plague had stopped.

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