Numbers 16:1–50

Korah’s Rebellion

1 Now aKorah the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, with bDathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took action,

2 and they rose up before Moses, 1together with some of the sons of Israel, two hundred and fifty leaders of the congregation, 2achosen in the assembly, men of renown.

3 They assembled together aagainst Moses and Aaron, and said to them, “1bYou have gone far enough, for all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and cthe Lord is in their midst; so why do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the Lord?”

4 When Moses heard this, ahe fell on his face;

5 and he spoke to Korah and all his company, saying, “Tomorrow morning the Lord will show who is His, and awho is holy, and will bring him near to Himself; even bthe one whom He will choose, He will bring near to Himself.

6 “Do this: take censers for yourselves, Korah and all 1your company,

7 and put fire in them, and lay incense upon them in the presence of the Lord tomorrow; and the man whom the Lord chooses shall be the one who is holy. 1aYou have gone far enough, you sons of Levi!”

8 Then Moses said to Korah, “Hear now, you sons of Levi,

9 ais it 1not enough for you that the God of Israel has separated you from the rest of the congregation of Israel, bto bring you near to Himself, to do the service of the tabernacle of the Lord, and to stand before the congregation to minister to them;

10 and that He has brought you near, Korah, and all your brothers, sons of Levi, with you? And are you aseeking for the priesthood also?

11 “Therefore you and all your company are gathered together aagainst the Lord; but as for Aaron, 1who is he that byou grumble against him?”

12 Then Moses sent 1a summons to Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab; but they said, “We will not come up.

13 “Is it 1not enough that you have brought us up out of a aland flowing with milk and honey bto have us die in the wilderness, but you would also lord it over us?

14 “Indeed, you have not brought us ainto a land flowing with milk and honey, nor have you given us an inheritance of bfields and vineyards. Would you 1cput out the eyes of 2these men? We will not come up!”

15 Then Moses became very angry and said to the Lord, “aDo not regard their offering! bI have not taken a single donkey from them, nor have I done harm to any of them.”

16 Moses said to Korah, “You and all your company be present before the Lord tomorrow, both you and they along with Aaron.

17 “Each of you take his firepan and put incense on 1it, and each of you bring his censer before the Lord, two hundred and fifty firepans; also you and Aaron shall each bring his firepan.”

18 So they each took his own censer and put fire on 1it, and laid incense on 1it; and they stood at the doorway of the tent of meeting, with Moses and Aaron.

19 Thus Korah assembled all the congregation against them at the doorway of the tent of meeting. And athe glory of the Lord appeared to all the congregation.

20 Then the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying,

21 aSeparate yourselves from among this congregation, bthat I may consume them instantly.”

22 But they fell on their faces and said, “O God, aGod of the spirits of all flesh, bwhen one man sins, will You be angry with the entire congregation?”

23 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying,

24 “Speak to the congregation, saying, ‘aGet back from around the dwellings of Korah, Dathan and Abiram.’ ”

25 Then Moses arose and went to Dathan and Abiram, with the elders of Israel following him,

26 and he spoke to the congregation, saying, “aDepart now from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing that belongs to them, bor you will be swept away in all their sin.”

27 So they got back from around the dwellings of Korah, Dathan and Abiram; and Dathan and Abiram came out and stood at the doorway of their tents, along with their wives and atheir sons and their little ones.

28 Moses said, “By this you shall know that athe Lord has sent me to do all these deeds; for this is not 1my doing.

29 “If these men die 1the death of all men or 2if they suffer the afate of all men, then the Lord has not sent me.

30 “But aif the Lord 1brings about an entirely new thing and the ground opens its mouth and swallows them up with all that is theirs, and they bdescend alive into 2Sheol, then you will understand that these men have spurned the Lord.”

31 As he finished speaking all these words, the ground that was under them split open;

32 and athe earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, and their households, and ball the men who belonged to Korah with their possessions.

33 So they and all that belonged to them went down alive to 1Sheol; and the earth closed over them, and they perished from the midst of the assembly.

34 All Israel who were around them fled at their 1outcry, for they said, “The earth may swallow us up!”

35 aFire also came forth from the Lord and consumed the btwo hundred and fifty men who were offering the incense.

36 1Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying,

37 “Say to Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, that he shall take up the censers out of the midst of the 1blaze, for they are holy; and you scatter the 2burning coals abroad.

38 “As for the censers of these 1men who have sinned at the cost of their lives, let them be made into hammered sheets for a plating of the altar, since they did present them before the Lord and they are holy; and athey shall be for a sign to the sons of Israel.”

39 So Eleazar the priest took the bronze censers which the men who were burned had offered, and they hammered them out as a plating for the altar,

40 as a 1reminder to the sons of Israel that ano 2layman who is not of the 3descendants of Aaron should come near bto burn incense before the Lord; so that he will not become like Korah and his company—just as the Lord had spoken to him 4through Moses.

Murmuring and Plague

41 But on the next day all the congregation of the sons of Israel agrumbled against Moses and Aaron, saying, “You are the ones who have caused the death of the Lord’s people.”

42 It came about, however, when the congregation had assembled against Moses and Aaron, that they turned toward the tent of meeting, and behold, the cloud covered it and athe glory of the Lord appeared.

43 Then Moses and Aaron came to the front of the tent of meeting,

44 and the Lord spoke to Moses, saying,

45 1aGet away from among this congregation, that I may consume them instantly.” Then they fell on their faces.

46 Moses said to Aaron, “Take your censer and put in it fire from the altar, and lay incense on it; then bring it quickly to the congregation and amake atonement for them, for bwrath has gone forth from the Lord, the plague has begun!”

47 Then Aaron took it as Moses had spoken, and ran into the midst of the assembly, for behold, the plague had begun among the people. aSo he put on the incense and made atonement for the people.

48 He took his stand between the dead and the living, so that the plague was checked.

49 aBut those who died by the plague were 14,700, besides those who bdied on account of Korah.

50 Then Aaron returned to Moses at the doorway of the tent of meeting, for the plague had been checked.

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