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 some men. 2They rose up before Moses, with some of the children of Israel, two hundred fifty princes of the congregation, called to the assembly, men of renown. 3They assembled themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said to them, “You take too much on yourself, since all the congregation are holy, everyone of them, and the Lord is among them! Why do you lift yourselves up above the Lord’s assembly?”
4When Moses heard it, he fell on his face. 5He said to Korah and to all his company, “In the morning, the Lord will show who are his, and who is holy, and will cause him to come near to him. Even him whom he shall choose, he will cause to come near to him. 6Do this: have Korah and all his company take censers, 7put fire in them, and put incense on them before the Lord tomorrow. It shall be that the man whom the Lord chooses, he shall 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 Lord’s tabernacle, 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? Do you seek the priesthood also? 11Therefore you and all your company have gathered together against the Lord! What is Aaron that you complain 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 prince over 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 the Lord, “Don’t 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 the Lord, you, and they, and Aaron, tomorrow. 17Each man take his censer and put incense on it, and each man bring before the Lord his censer, two hundred fifty censers; you also, and Aaron, each with his censer.”
18They each took his censer, and put fire in it, and laid incense on it, and stood at the door of the Tent of Meeting with Moses and Aaron. 19Korah assembled all the congregation opposite them to the door of the Tent of Meeting.
The Lord’s glory appeared to all the congregation. 20The Lord 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, shall one man sin, and will you be angry with all the congregation?”
23The Lord 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. Dathan and Abiram came out, and stood at the door of their tents with their wives, their sons, and their little ones.
28Moses said, “Hereby you shall know that the Lord 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 experience what all men experience, then the Lord hasn’t sent me. 30But if the Lord makes a new thing, and the ground opens its mouth, and swallows them up with all that belong to them, and they go down alive into Sheol,#16:30 Sheol is the place of the dead. then you shall understand that these men have despised the Lord.”
31As he finished speaking all these words, the ground that was under them split apart. 32The earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up with their households, all of Korah’s men, and all their goods. 33So they, and all that belonged to them went down alive into Sheol.#16:33 Sheol is the place of the dead. 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 the Lord, and devoured the two hundred fifty men who offered the incense.
36The Lord 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 away from the camp; for they are holy, 38even the censers of those who sinned against their own lives. Let them be beaten into plates for a covering of the altar, for they offered them before the Lord. Therefore they are holy. They shall be a sign to the children of Israel.”
39Eleazar the priest took the bronze censers which those who were burned had offered; and they beat them out for a covering of the altar, 40to be a memorial to the children of Israel, to the end that no stranger who isn’t of the offspring of Aaron, would come near to burn incense before the Lord, that he not be as Korah and as his company; as the Lord spoke to him by Moses.
41But on the next day all the congregation of the children of Israel complained against Moses and against Aaron, saying, “You have killed the Lord’s people!”
42When the congregation was assembled against Moses and against Aaron, they looked toward the Tent of Meeting. Behold, the cloud covered it, and the Lord’s glory appeared. 43Moses and Aaron came to the front of the Tent of Meeting. 44The Lord 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, put fire from the altar in it, lay incense on it, carry it quickly to the congregation, and make atonement for them; for wrath has gone out from the Lord! The plague has begun.”
47Aaron did as Moses said, and ran into the middle of the assembly. The plague had already begun among the people. 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 were fourteen thousand seven hundred, in addition to those who died about the matter of Korah. 50Aaron returned to Moses to the door of the Tent of Meeting, and the plague was stopped.