Numbers 161 Then, behold, Korah the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, with Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and also On the son of Peleth, of the sons of Ruben, 2 rose up against Moses, with two hundred fifty others of the sons of Israel, leading men of the assembly, and who, at the time of a council, would be called by name. 3 And when they had stood against Moses and Aaron, they said: “Let it be sufficient for you that the entire multitude is of holy ones, and that the Lord is among them. Why do you elevate yourselves above the people of the Lord?” 4 When Moses had heard this, he fell prone on his face. 5 And speaking to Korah, and to the entire multitude, he said: “In the morning, the Lord will cause it to be known who belongs to him, and which holy ones he will join to himself. And whomever he will choose, they shall be close to him. 6 Therefore, do this: Each one of you, Korah and all your associates, take your censer, 7 and drawing fire into it tomorrow, place incense upon it before the Lord. And whomever he will choose, the same shall be holy. You sons of Levi have been raised up greatly.” 8 And he said again to Korah: “Listen, sons of Levi. 9 Is it a small thing to you, that the God of Israel has separated you from all the people, and has joined you to himself, so that you would serve him in the rituals of the tabernacle, and stand before gatherings of the people, and minister to him? 10 Was the reason that he caused you and all your brothers, the sons of Levi, to approach him, so that you would even claim for yourselves the priesthood too, 11 and so that your entire group would stand against the Lord? For what is Aaron that you should murmur against him?” 12 Therefore, Moses sent to call for Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, who responded: “We will not come. 13 Is it a small matter to you, that you have led us away from a land that was flowing with milk and honey, so as to kill us in the desert, unless you could also be a ruler over us? 14 You have led us, it is true, to a land that flows with streams of milk and honey, and you have given us possession of fields and vineyards. But will you also tear out our eyes? We will not come.” 15 And Moses, being very angry, said to the Lord: “Do not look with favor on their sacrifices. You know that I have not accepted from them, at any time, so much as a young donkey, nor have I afflicted any of them.” 16 And he said to Korah: “You and your congregation, stand alone before the Lord, and apart from Aaron, tomorrow. 17 Let each one of you take censers, and place incense in them, offering to the Lord two hundred fifty censers. Let Aaron also hold his censer.” 18 When they had done this, Moses and Aaron stood up, 19 and, having crowded the entire multitude close to them at the door of the tabernacle, the glory of the Lord appeared to them all. 20 And the Lord, speaking to Moses and Aaron, said: 21 “Separate yourselves from the midst of this congregation, so that I may suddenly destroy them.” 22 But they fell prone on their faces, and they said, “O most strong One, the God of the spirits of all flesh, should your anger rage against all, for the sin of one?” 23 And the Lord said to Moses: 24 “Instruct the entire people to separate from the tents of Korah, and Dathan, and Abiram.” 25 And Moses rose up and went to Dathan and Abiram. And the elders of Israel followed him, 26 and he said to the crowd, “Withdraw from the tabernacles of these impious men, and touch nothing which pertains to them, lest you become involved in their sins.” 27 And when they had withdrawn from their tents all around, Dathan and Abiram came out and stood at the entrance of their pavilions, with their wives and children, and with all their associates. 28 And Moses said: “By this shall you know that the Lord has sent me to do all that you discern, and that I have not brought these things out of my own heart: 29 If these men pass away by the common death of men, or if they will be visited by a scourge, of a kind by which others are often visited, then the Lord did not send me. 30 But if the Lord accomplishes something new, so that the earth opens its mouth and swallows them whole, along with everything that belongs to them, and they descend alive into the underworld, then you shall know that they have blasphemed the Lord.” 31 Therefore, as soon as he had ceased to speak, the earth broke open under their feet. 32 And opening its mouth, it devoured them with their tabernacles and their entire substance. 33 And they descended alive, the ground closing around them, into the underworld, and they perished from the midst of the mulititude. 34 Yet truly, all of Israel, which was standing all around, took flight at the clamor of those who were perishing, saying, “Lest perhaps the earth may swallow us whole also.” 35 Then, too, a fire, going forth from the Lord, put to death the two hundred fifty men who were offering the incense. 36 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 37 “Instruct Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, to take up the censers which lie in the burning, and to scatter the fire to one side and another, because they were sanctified 38 in the deaths of these sinners. And let him form them into plates, and affix them to the altar, because incense had been offered in them to the Lord, and they were sanctified, and so that the sons of Israel may discern in them a sign and a memorial.” 39 Therefore, Eleazar the priest took the bronze censers, by which those whom the burning devoured had made an offering, and he formed them into plates, affixing them to the altar, 40 so that the sons of Israel would have, thereafter, something to admonish them, lest any stranger, or anyone who is not of the offspring of Aaron, might approach to offer incense to the Lord, and lest he endure what happened to Korah, and to all his congregation, when the Lord spoke to Moses. 41 Then, the following day, the entire multitude of the sons of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron, saying: “You have put to death the people of the Lord.” 42 And when there arose a sedition, and the tumult increased, 43 Moses and Aaron fled to the tabernacle of the covenant. But after they had entered it, the cloud covered it, and the glory of the Lord appeared. 44 And the Lord said to Moses: 45 “Withdraw from the midst of this multitude, and I will destroy them immediately.” And while they were lying on the ground, 46 Moses said to Aaron: “Take the censer, and draw fire into it from the altar; place incense upon it, and continue on, quickly, to the people, to pray for them. For already wrath has gone forth from the Lord, and the scourge rages.” 47 When Aaron had done this, and he ran into the midst of the multitude, which the burning fire was now destroying, and he offered the incense. 48 And standing between the dead and the living, he prayed for the people, and the scourge ceased. 49 But the number of those who were struck down was fourteen thousand men, and seven hundred, aside from those who had perished in the sedition of Korah. 50 And Aaron returned to Moses at the door of the tabernacle of the covenant, after the destruction quieted.
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