English Standard Version

Numbers 16:1–40

Korah’s Rebellion

16 Now iKorah the son of Izhar, son of Kohath, son of Levi, and jDathan and Abiram the sons of Eliab, and On the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men. And they rose up before Moses, with a number of the people of Israel, 250 chiefs of the congregation, chosen from the assembly, well-known men. kThey assembled themselves together against Moses and against Aaron and said to them, l“You have gone too far! For mall in the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the Lord?” When Moses heard it, nhe fell on his face, and he said to Korah and all his company, “In the morning the Lord will show owho is his,1 and who is pholy, and will bring him near to him. The one qwhom he chooses he will rbring near to him. Do this: take scensers, Korah and all his company; put fire in them and put incense on them before the Lord tomorrow, and the man whom the Lord chooses shall be the holy one. tYou have gone too far, sons of Levi!” And Moses said to Korah, “Hear now, you sons of Levi: is it utoo small a thing for you that the God of Israel has vseparated you from the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to himself, to do service in the tabernacle of the Lord and to stand before the congregation to minister to them, 10 and that he has brought you near him, and all your brothers the sons of Levi with you? And would you seek the priesthood also? 11 Therefore it is against the Lord that you and all your company have gathered together. What is wAaron that you grumble against him?”

12 And Moses sent to call Dathan and Abiram the sons of Eliab, and they said, “We will not come up. 13 Is it xa small thing that you have brought us up out of ya land flowing with milk and honey, to kill us in the wilderness, that you must also zmake yourself a prince over us? 14 Moreover, you have not 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 will not come up.” 15 And Moses was very angry and said to the Lord, a“Do not respect their offering. bI have not taken one donkey from them, and I have not harmed one of them.”

16 And Moses said to Korah, “Be present, you and all your company, cbefore the Lord, you and they, and Aaron, tomorrow. 17 And dlet every one of you take his censer and put incense on it, and every one of you bring before the Lord his censer, e250 censers; you also, and Aaron, each his censer.” 18 So every man took his censer and put fire in them and laid incense on them and stood at the entrance of the tent of meeting with Moses and Aaron. 19 Then Korah assembled all the congregation against them at the entrance of the tent of meeting. fAnd the glory of the Lord appeared to all the congregation.

20 And the Lord spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying, 21 g“Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them hin a moment.” 22 And they ifell on their faces and said, “O God, jthe God of the spirits of all flesh, kshall one man sin, and will you be angry with all the congregation?” 23 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 24 “Say to the congregation, Get away from the dwelling of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.”

25 Then Moses rose and went to Dathan and Abiram, and the elders of Israel followed him. 26 And he spoke to the congregation, saying, l“Depart, please, from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of theirs, lest you be swept away with all their sins.” 27 So they got away from the dwelling of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. And Dathan and Abiram came out and stood mat the door of their tents, together with their wives, their sons, and their little ones. 28 And Moses said, “Hereby you shall know that the Lord has sent me to do all these works, and that it has not been nof my own accord. 29 If these men die as all men die, or if they are visited by the fate of all mankind, othen the Lord has not sent me. 30 But if the Lord creates something new, and pthe ground opens its mouth and swallows them up with all that belongs to them, and they qgo down alive into Sheol, then you shall know that these men have despised the Lord.”

31 rAnd as soon as he had finished speaking all these words, the ground under them split apart. 32 And the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, with their households and sall the people who belonged to Korah and all their goods. 33 So they and all that belonged to them went down alive into Sheol, and the earth closed over them, and tthey perished from the midst of the assembly. 34 And all Israel who were around them fled at their cry, for they said, “Lest the earth swallow us up!” 35 And ufire came out from the Lord and consumed vthe 250 men offering the incense.

36 2 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 37 “Tell Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest to take up the censers out of the blaze. Then scatter the fire far and wide, for they have become holy. 38 As for the censers of wthese men who have sinned at the cost of their lives, let them be made into hammered plates as a covering for the altar, for they offered them before the Lord, and they became holy. xThus they shall be a sign to the people of Israel.” 39 So Eleazar the priest took the bronze censers, which those who were burned had offered, and they were hammered out as a covering for the altar, 40 to be a reminder to the people of Israel, so ythat no outsider, who is not of the descendants of Aaron, should draw near to burn incense before the Lord, lest he become like Korah and his company—as the Lord said to him through Moses.

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