Numbers 16:1 - 16:50
Korah Rises Up Against MosesNow 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 others, 2 and they rose up before Moses, together with some of the sons of Israel, 250 leaders of the congregation, those called upon by the assembly, men of renown. 3 Then they assembled together against Moses and Aaron, and said to them, “You have gone far enough, for all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and Yahweh is in their midst; so why do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of Yahweh?” 4 And Moses heard this and fell on his face; 5 and he spoke to Korah and all his congregation, saying, “Tomorrow morning Yahweh will show who is His, and who is holy, and will bring him near to Himself; even the one whom He will choose, He will bring near to Himself. 6 Do this: take censers for yourselves, Korah and all your congregation, 7 and put fire in them, and lay incense upon them in the presence of Yahweh tomorrow; and the man whom Yahweh chooses shall be the one who is holy. You have gone far enough, you sons of Levi!” 8 Then Moses said to Korah, “Hear now, you sons of Levi, 9 is it not enough for you that the God of Israel has separated you from the rest of the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to Himself, to perform the service of the tabernacle of Yahweh, and to stand before the congregation to minister to them; 10 and that He has brought you near, Korah, and all your brothers, sons of Levi, with you? And are you seeking for the priesthood also? 11 Therefore you and all your congregation are gathered together against Yahweh; but as for Aaron, who is he that you grumble against him?” 12 Then Moses sent a summons to Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab; but they said, “We will not come up. 13 Is it not enough that you have brought us up out of a land flowing with milk and honey to put us to death in the wilderness, but you would also lord it over us? 14 Indeed, you have not brought us into a land flowing with milk and honey, nor have you given us an inheritance of fields and vineyards. Would you put out the eyes of these men? We will not come up!” 15 Then Moses became very angry and said to Yahweh, “Do not regard their offering! I have not taken a single donkey from them, nor have I done harm to any of them.” 16 And Moses said to Korah, “You and all your congregation be present before Yahweh tomorrow, both you and they along with Aaron. 17 And each of you take his firepan and put incense on it, and each of you bring his censer near before Yahweh, 250 firepans; also you and Aaron shall each bring his firepan.” 18 So they each took his own censer and put fire on it, and laid incense on it; and they stood at the doorway of the tent of meeting, with Moses and Aaron. 19 Thus Korah assembled all the congregation against them at the doorway of the tent of meeting. And the glory of Yahweh appeared to all the congregation. 20 Then Yahweh spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, 21 “Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them instantly.” 22 But they fell on their faces and said, “O God, God of the spirits of all flesh, when one man sins, will You be angry with the entire congregation?” 23 Then Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 24 “Speak to the congregation, saying, ‘Get back from around the dwellings of Korah, Dathan and Abiram.’” 25 Then Moses arose and went to Dathan and Abiram, with the elders of Israel following him, 26 and he spoke to the congregation, saying, “Turn aside now from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing that belongs to them, lest you be swept away in all their sin.” 27 So they got back from around the dwellings of Korah, Dathan and Abiram; but Dathan and Abiram came out and stood at the doorway of their tents, along with their wives and their sons and their little ones. 28 And Moses said, “By this you shall know that Yahweh has sent me to do all these deeds; for this is not from my heart. 29 If these men die the death of all men or if they suffer the fate of all men, then Yahweh has not sent me. 30 But if Yahweh creates an entirely new thing and the ground opens its mouth and swallows them up with all that is theirs, and they go down to Sheol alive, then you will know that these men have spurned Yahweh.” 31 And it happened that as he finished speaking all these words, the ground that was under them split open; 32 and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, and their households, and all the men who belonged to Korah with their possessions. 33 So they and all that belonged to them went down to Sheol alive; and the earth closed over them, and they perished from the midst of the assembly. 34 Then all Israel who were around them fled at their outcry, for they said, “Lest the earth swallow us up!” 35 Fire also came forth from Yahweh and consumed the 250 men who were bringing near the incense. 36 Then Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 37 “Say to Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, that he shall take up the censers out of the midst of the blaze, and you scatter the burning coals abroad; for they are holy. 38 As for the censers of these men who have sinned at the cost of their lives, make them into hammered sheets for a plating of the altar, since they brought them near before Yahweh, and they are holy; and they shall be for a sign to the sons of Israel.” 39 So Eleazar the priest took the bronze censers which the men who were burned had brought near, and they hammered them out as a plating for the altar, 40 as a memorial to the sons of Israel that no outsider who is not of the seed of Aaron should come near to burn incense before Yahweh; so that he will not become like Korah and his congregation—just as Yahweh had spoken to him by the hand of Moses.
Grumbling and Plague41 But on the next day all the congregation of the sons of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron, saying, “You are the ones who have caused the death of the people of Yahweh.” 42 It came about, however, when the congregation had assembled against Moses and Aaron, that they turned toward the tent of meeting, and behold, the cloud covered it and the glory of Yahweh appeared. 43 Then Moses and Aaron came to the front of the tent of meeting, 44 and Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 45 “Get away from among this congregation, that I may consume them instantly.” Then they fell on their faces. 46 And Moses said to Aaron, “Take your censer and put in it fire from the altar, and lay incense on it; then bring it quickly to the congregation and make atonement for them, for wrath has gone forth from Yahweh, the plague has begun!” 47 Then Aaron took it as Moses had spoken, and ran into the midst of the assembly, for behold, the plague had begun among the people. So he put on the incense and made atonement for the people. 48 And he took his stand between the dead and the living, so that the plague was checked. 49 But those who died by the plague were 14,700, besides those who died on account of Korah. 50 Then Aaron returned to Moses at the doorway of the tent of meeting, for the plague had been checked.