Korah, Dathan, and Abiram Rebel
1Now Korah son of Izhar, son of Kohath, son of Levi, and Dathan and Abiram sons of Eliab, and On son of Peleth, the descendants#Or “sons” of Reuben, 2took two hundred and fifty men from the Israelites,#Literally “sons/children of Israel” leaders of the community summoned from the assembly, renowned men,#Literally “men of name” and they confronted#Literally “they rose up before” Moses. 3They were assembled in front of Moses and Aaron, and they said to them, “You take too much upon yourselves!#Literally “It is much for you” All of the community is holy, every one of them, and Yahweh is in their midst, so why do you raise yourselves over the assembly of Yahweh?”
4When Moses heard this, he fell on his face. 5And he said to Korah and to his entire company, saying, “Tomorrow morning Yahweh will make known who is his and who is holy, and he will bring him near to him, whomever he chooses he will bring near to him. 6Do this: take for yourselves censers, Korah and all of your company;#Hebrew “his company” 7tomorrow put fire in them and place incense on them before#Literally “in the presence of” Yahweh; the man whom Yahweh chooses will be the holy one. You take too much upon yourselves, sons of Levi!”
8And Moses said to Korah, “Please listen, sons of Levi! 9Is it too little for you that the God of Israel set you apart from the community of Israel to allow you to approach him#Literally “to bring you near to him” to do the work of the tabernacle of Yahweh, to stand before#Literally “in the presence of” the community to serve them? 10He has allowed you to approach him,#Literally “He has brought you near” you with all your brothers, the descendants#Or “sons” of Levi, but yet you also seek the priesthood. 11Therefore you and your company that has banded together against Yahweh. What is Aaron that you grumble against him?”
12Moses sent to call for Dathan and Abiram son of Eliab, but they said, “We will not come!#Hebrew “We will not come up!” 13Is it too little that you have brought us from a land that flows with milk and honey to kill us in the desert, and that you also appoint yourself as a ruler over us? 14Surely, you have not brought us to a land that flows with milk and honey, and you have not given us the inheritance of fields and a vineyard. Will you gouge out the eyes of these men? We will not come!”#Hebrew “We will not come up!”
15Then Moses became angry, and he said to Yahweh, “Do not notice their grain offering. I have not offered one donkey from them, and I have not mistreated one of them.” 16And Moses said to Korah, “You and your entire company will be before#Literally “in the presence of” Yahweh tomorrow, you and they and Aaron. 17Each one take his censer, and put incense on it#Hebrew “on them” and you will present it before#Literally “in the presence of” Yahweh, and each of you bring his censer, two hundred and fifty censers, you and Aaron, each his censer.” 18So each of them took his censer, and they put fire on them, and they placed incense on them; they stood at the doorway of the tent of the assembly of Moses and Aaron. 19And Korah summoned them, the entire community, by the doorway of the tent of assembly, and the glory of Yahweh appeared to all the community.
20And Yahweh spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, 21“Separate yourselves from the midst of this community, that I can destroy them in a moment.” 22And they fell on their faces, and they said, “God, God of the spirits of all flesh, will one man sin and you become angry toward the entire community?”
23Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 24“Speak to the community, saying, ‘Move away from the dwelling of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.’ ” 25So Moses stood up and went to Dathan and Abiram; the elders of Israel followed after him. 26He said to the community, saying, “Please turn away from the tents of these wicked men, and do not touch anything that belongs to them,#Literally “that is to them” or you will be destroyed with all their sins.” 27And so they moved away from around the dwellings#Hebrew “dwelling” of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram; and Dathan and Abiram came out standing at the doorway of their tents, with their wives, sons, and little children. 28And Moses said, “In this you will know that Yahweh has sent me to do all these works; it is not from my heart. 29If they die a natural death#Literally “If they die like the death of every human” or if a natural fate is visited upon them,#Literally “If the fate of every human is visited upon them” Yahweh has not sent me. 30But if Yahweh creates something new, and the ground opens its mouth and swallows them up and all that belongs to them,#Literally “All that is for them” and they go down alive to Sheol, and you will know that these men have despised Yahweh.”
31And it happened, as soon as he finished speaking#Literally “to speak” all these words, the ground that was under them split open. 32The land opened its mouth and swallowed them up with their houses and every person that belonged to Korah#Literally “that was to Korah” and all the property. 33They went down alive to Sheol, they and all that belonged to them, and the land covered over them, and they perished from the midst of the assembly. 34All Israel who were around them fled at their cry, because they said, “Lest the land swallow us up!” 35And fire went out from Yahweh, and it consumed the two hundred and fifty men presenting the incense.
36#Numbers 16:36–17:13 in the English Bible is 17:1–28 in the Hebrew Bible And Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 37“Say to Eleazar son of Aaron the priest, ‘Take out#Literally “raise up” the censers from among the place of burning because they are sacred, and scatter the fire outside. 38The censers of these who have sinned#Literally “sinners” at the cost of their lives, let them be made into gilded leafing plating for the altar; because they presented them before Yahweh,#Literally “in the presence of Yahweh” they are holy; and they will be a sign for the Israelites.’ ”#Literally “sons/children of Israel” 39Eleazar the priest took the bronze censers that the ones who were burned presented, and they hammered them out thinly as plating for the altar; 40it was a memorial for the Israelites,#Literally “sons/children of Israel” so that no strange man#NASB translates “no layman” who is not from the offspring#Literally “the seed” of Aaron should approach the presence of Yahweh to burn a smoke offering;#That is, an incense offering he will not be like Korah and his company, just as Yahweh had spoken to him by the hand of Moses.#Or “through Moses”
The Israelites Grumble
41The next day all the community of the Israelites#Literally “sons/children of Israel” grumbled against Moses and Aaron, saying, “You have killed the people of Yahweh!” 42Then, when the community had gathered against Moses and Aaron, they turned to the tent of assembly, and behold, the cloud covered it, and the glory of Yahweh appeared. 43And Moses and Aaron came to the front of the tent of assembly, 44and Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 45“Get away from the midst of this community, and I will finish them in an instant,”#Or “in a moment” but they fell on their faces. 46And Moses and Aaron said, “Take the censer, and put fire on it from the altar. Place incense on it, and bring it quickly to the community, and make atonement for them, because wrath went out from the presence of Yahweh, and a plague has begun.” 47And so Aaron took it just as Moses had spoken, and he ran into the midst of the assembly, for behold, the plague had begun among the people; so he gave the incense and made atonement for the people. 48He stood between the dead and between the living, and the plague was stopped. 49Those who died by the plague were fourteen thousand seven hundred, besides those who died on account of Korah. 50Then Aaron returned to Moses at the doorway of the tent of assembly, and the plague was stopped.