Numbers 17:1–13

Aaron’s Staff Is Chosen

17 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the Israelites,a and take from among them twelve staffs, a staff from each familyb from among all their leaders according to their families’ households. Write the name of each man on his staff, and the name of Aaron on the staff of Levi, because one staff is for the head of each of their families.c You must then put them in the tent of assembly befored the testimonye where I meet with you. And it will happen, the man whom I will choose, his staff will blossom, and so I will rid from upon myself the grumblings of the Israelites,f who are grumbling against you.” Moses spoke to the Israelites,g and all their leaders gave him a staff for each leader, one from each of their families,h twelve staffs, and the staff of Aaron was in the midst of their tribes. And Moses put the staffs before Yahweh in the tent of testimony.

Then the next day, Moses went into the tent of the testimony, and behold the staff of Aaron for the house of Levi blossomed and put forth a flower and produced blossoms, and it produced almonds. Then Moses brought out to all the Israelitesi all the staffs before the presence of Yahweh, and they saw, and each man took his staff. 10 And Yahweh said to Moses, “Bring back the staff of Aaron before the testimonyj as a guard and sign for the children of rebellion, and let them finish their grumblings before me and not die.” 11 So Moses did; just as Yahweh commanded him, so he did.

12 And the Israelitesk said to Moses, saying, “Look! We will die! We will be destroyed! All of us will perish! 13 Anyone who approaches the tabernacle of Yahweh will die. Will we all die?”l

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Numbers 16:1–26:65

Korah, Dathan, and Abiram Rebel

16 Now Korah son of Izhar, son of Kohath, son of Levi, and Dathan and Abiram sons of Eliab, and On son of Peleth, the descendantsa of Reuben, took two hundred and fifty men from the Israelites,b leaders of the community summoned from the assembly, renowned men,c and they confrontedd Moses. They were assembled in front of Moses and Aaron, and they said to them, “You take too much upon yourselves!e 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?”

When Moses heard this, he fell on his face. And 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. Do this: take for yourselves censers, Korah and all of your company;f tomorrow put fire in them and place incense on them beforeg Yahweh; the man whom Yahweh chooses will be the holy one. You take too much upon yourselves, sons of Levi!”

And Moses said to Korah, “Please listen, sons of Levi! Is it too little for you that the God of Israel set you apart from the community of Israel to allow you to approach himh to do the work of the tabernacle of Yahweh, to stand beforei the community to serve them? 10 He has allowed you to approach him,j you with all your brothers, the descendantsk of Levi, but yet you also seek the priesthood. 11 Therefore you and your company that has banded together against Yahweh. What is Aaron that you grumble against him?”

12 Moses sent to call for Dathan and Abiram son of Eliab, but they said, “We will not come!l 13 Is 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? 14 Surely, 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!”m

15 Then 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.” 16 And Moses said to Korah, “You and your entire company will be beforen Yahweh tomorrow, you and they and Aaron. 17 Each one take his censer, and put incense on ito and you will present it beforep Yahweh, and each of you bring his censer, two hundred and fifty censers, you and Aaron, each his censer.” 18 So 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. 19 And Korah summoned them, the entire community, by the doorway of the tent of assembly, and the glory of Yahweh appeared to all the community.

20 And Yahweh spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, 21 “Separate yourselves from the midst of this community, that I can destroy them in a moment.” 22 And 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?”

23 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 24 “Speak to the community, saying, ‘Move away from the dwelling of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.’ ” 25 So Moses stood up and went to Dathan and Abiram; the elders of Israel followed after him. 26 He said to the community, saying, “Please turn away from the tents of these wicked men, and do not touch anything that belongs to them,q or you will be destroyed with all their sins.” 27 And so they moved away from around the dwellingsr 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. 28 And Moses said, “In this you will know that Yahweh has sent me to do all these works; it is not from my heart. 29 If they die a natural deaths or if a natural fate is visited upon them,t Yahweh has not sent me. 30 But if Yahweh creates something new, and the ground opens its mouth and swallows them up and all that belongs to them,u and they go down alive to Sheol, and you will know that these men have despised Yahweh.”

31 And it happened, as soon as he finished speakingv all these words, the ground that was under them split open. 32 The land opened its mouth and swallowed them up with their houses and every person that belonged to Korahw and all the property. 33 They 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. 34 All Israel who were around them fled at their cry, because they said, “Lest the land swallow us up!” 35 And fire went out from Yahweh, and it consumed the two hundred and fifty men presenting the incense.

36x And Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 37 “Say to Eleazar son of Aaron the priest, ‘Take outy the censers from among the place of burning because they are sacred, and scatter

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