Rebellion Against Moses and Aaron
1Now #Ex. 6:21Korah the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, with #Num. 26:9; Deut. 11:6Dathan and Abiram the sons of Eliab, and On the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men; 2and they rose up before Moses with some of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty leaders of the congregation, #Num. 1:16; 26:9representatives of the congregation, men of renown. 3#Num. 12:2; 14:2; Ps. 106:16They gathered together against Moses and Aaron, and said to them, “You take too much upon yourselves, for #Ex. 19:6all the congregation is holy, every one of them, #Ex. 29:45and the Lord is among them. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the Lord?”
4So when Moses heard it, he #Num. 14:5; 20:6fell on his face; 5and he spoke to Korah and all his company, saying, “Tomorrow morning the Lord will show who is #(2 Tim. 2:19)His and who is #Lev. 21:6–8, 12holy, and will cause him to #Ezek. 40:46; 44:15, 16come near to Him. That one whom He chooses He will cause to come near to Him. 6Do this: Take censers, Korah and all your company; 7put fire in them and put incense in them before the Lord tomorrow, and it shall be that the man whom the Lord chooses is the holy one. You take too much upon yourselves, you sons of Levi!”
8Then Moses said to Korah, “Hear now, you sons of Levi: 9Is it #1 Sam. 18:23; Is. 7:13a small thing to you that the God of Israel has #Num. 3:41, 45; 8:13–16; Deut. 10:8separated you from the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to Himself, to do the work of the tabernacle of the Lord, and to stand before the congregation to serve them; 10and that He has brought you near to Himself, you and all your brethren, the sons of Levi, with you? And are you seeking the priesthood also? 11Therefore you and all your company are gathered together against the Lord. #Ex. 16:7, 8And what is Aaron that you complain against him?”
12And Moses 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 #Ex. 16:3; Num. 11:4–6a land flowing with milk and honey, to kill us in the wilderness, that you should #Ex. 2:14; Acts 7:27, 35keep acting like a prince over us? 14Moreover #Num. 14:1–4you have not brought us into #Ex. 3:8; Lev. 20:24a land flowing with milk and honey, nor given us inheritance of fields and vineyards. Will you put out the eyes of these men? We will not come up!”
15Then Moses was very angry, and said to the Lord, #Gen. 4:4, 5“Do not respect their offering. #1 Sam. 12:3; Acts 20:33I have not taken one donkey from them, nor have I hurt one of them.”
16And Moses said to Korah, “Tomorrow, you and all your company be present #1 Sam. 12:3, 7before the Lord—you and they, as well as Aaron. 17Let each take his censer and put incense in it, and each of you bring his censer before the Lord, two hundred and fifty censers; both you and Aaron, each with his censer.” 18So every man took his censer, put fire in it, laid incense on it, and stood at the door of the tabernacle of meeting with Moses and Aaron. 19And Korah gathered all the congregation against them at the door of the tabernacle of meeting. Then #Ex. 16:7, 10; Lev. 9:6, 23; Num. 14:10the glory of the Lord appeared to all the congregation.
20And the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, 21#Gen. 19:17; Jer. 51:6“Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may #Ex. 32:10; 33:5consume them in a moment.”
22Then they #Num. 14:5fell on their faces, and said, “O God, #Num. 27:16; Job 12:10; Eccl. 12:7; Heb. 12:9the God of the spirits of all flesh, shall one man sin, and You be angry with all the #Gen. 18:23–32; 20:4congregation?”
23So the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 24“Speak to the congregation, saying, ‘Get away from the tents of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.’ ”
25Then Moses rose and went to Dathan and Abiram, and the elders of Israel followed him. 26And he spoke to the congregation, saying, #Gen. 19:12, 14, 15, 17“Depart now from the tents of these wicked men! Touch nothing of theirs, lest you be consumed in all their sins.” 27So they got away from around the tents of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram; and Dathan and Abiram came out and stood at the door of their tents, with their wives, their sons, and their little #Ex. 20:5; Num. 26:11children.
28And Moses said: #Ex. 3:12; John 5:36“By this you shall know that the Lord has sent me to do all these works, for I have not done them #Num. 24:13; John 5:30of my own will. 29If these men die naturally like all men, or if they are #Ex. 20:5; Job 35:15; Is. 10:3visited by the common fate of all men, then the Lord has not sent me. 30But if the Lord creates #Job 31:3; Is. 28:21a new thing, and the earth opens its mouth and swallows them up with all that belongs to them, and they #(Ps. 55:15)go down alive into the pit, then you will understand that these men have rejected the Lord.”
31#Num. 26:10; Ps. 106:17Now it came to pass, as he finished speaking all these words, that the ground split apart under them, 32and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, with their households and #Num. 26:11; 1 Chr. 6:22, 37all the men with Korah, with all their goods. 33So they and all those with them went down alive into the pit; the earth closed over them, and they perished from among the assembly. 34Then all Israel who were around them fled at their cry, for they said, “Lest the earth swallow us up also!”
35And #Lev. 10:2; Num. 11:1–3; 26:10; Ps. 106:18a fire came out from the Lord and consumed the two hundred and fifty men who were offering incense.
36Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 37“Tell Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, to pick up the censers out of the blaze, for #Lev. 27:28they are holy, and scatter the fire some distance away. 38The censers of #Prov. 20:2; Hab. 2:10these men who sinned against their own souls, let them be made into hammered plates as a covering for the altar. Because they presented them before the Lord, therefore they are holy; #Num. 17:10; Ezek. 14:8and they shall be a sign to the children of Israel.” 39So Eleazar the priest took the bronze censers, which those who were burned up had presented, and they were hammered out as a covering on the altar, 40to be a memorial to the children of Israel #Num. 3:10; 2 Chr. 26:18that no outsider, who is not a descendant of Aaron, should come near to offer incense before the Lord, that he might not become like Korah and his companions, just as the Lord had said to him through Moses.
Complaints of the People
41On the next day #Num. 14:2; Ps. 106:25all the congregation of the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron, saying, “You have killed the people of the Lord.” 42Now it happened, when the congregation had gathered against Moses and Aaron, that they turned toward the tabernacle of meeting; and suddenly #Ex. 40:34the cloud covered it, and the glory of the Lord appeared. 43Then Moses and Aaron came before the tabernacle of meeting.
44And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 45“Get away from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment.”
And they fell on their faces.
46So Moses said to Aaron, “Take a censer and put fire in it from the altar, put incense on it, and take it quickly to the congregation and make atonement for them; #Lev. 10:6; Num. 18:5for wrath has gone out from the Lord. The plague has begun.” 47Then Aaron took it as Moses commanded, and ran into the midst of the assembly; and already the plague had begun among the people. So he put in the incense and made atonement for the people. 48And he stood between the dead and the living; #Num. 25:8; Ps. 106:30so the plague was stopped. 49Now those who died in the plague were fourteen thousand seven hundred, besides those who died in the Korah incident. 50So Aaron returned to Moses at the door of the tabernacle of meeting, for the plague had stopped.