1 Now Korah, the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, and Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On, the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men: 2 And they rose up before Moses, with certain of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation, men of renown: 3 And they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said to them, You take too much on you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the LORD is among them: why then lift you up yourselves above the congregation of the LORD?
4 And when Moses heard it, he fell on his face: 5 And he spoke to Korah and to all his company, saying, Even to morrow the LORD will show who are his, and who is holy; and will cause him to come near to him: even him whom he has chosen will he cause to come near to him. 6 This do; Take you censers, Korah, and all his company; 7 And put fire therein, and put incense in them before the LORD to morrow: and it shall be that the man whom the LORD does choose, he shall be holy: you take too much on you, you sons of Levi.
8 And Moses said to Korah, Hear, I pray you, you sons of Levi: 9 Seems it but a small thing to you, that the God of Israel has separated you from the congregation of Israel, to 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 he has brought you near to him, and all your brothers the sons of Levi with you: and seek you the priesthood also? 11 For which cause both you and all your company are gathered together against the LORD: and what is Aaron, that you murmur against him?
12 And Moses sent to call Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab: which said, We will not come up: 13 Is it a small thing that you have brought us up out of a land that flows with milk and honey, to kill us in the wilderness, except you make yourself altogether a prince over us? 14 Moreover you have not brought us into a land that flows with milk and honey, or 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 wroth, and said to the LORD, Respect not you their offering: I have not taken one ass from them, neither have I hurt one of them. 16 And Moses said to Korah, Be you and all your company before the LORD, you, and they, and Aaron, to morrow: 17 And take every man his censer, and put incense in them, and bring you before the LORD every man his censer, two hundred and fifty censers; you also, and Aaron, each of you his censer. 18 And they took every man his censer, and put fire in them, and laid incense thereon, and stood in the door of the tabernacle of the congregation with Moses and Aaron. 19 And Korah gathered all the congregation against them to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation: and the glory of the LORD appeared to all the congregation.
20 And the LORD spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying, 21 Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment. 22 And they fell on their faces, and said, O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, shall one man sin, and will you be wroth with all the congregation?
Moses Separates the People
23 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 24 Speak to the congregation, saying, Get you up from about the tabernacle of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.
25 And Moses rose up and went to Dathan and Abiram; and the elders of Israel followed him. 26 And he spoke to the congregation, saying, Depart, I pray you, from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of their’s, lest you be consumed in all their sins. 27 So they got up from the tabernacle of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, on every side: and Dathan and Abiram came out, and stood in the door of their tents, and their wives, and their sons, and their little children. 28 And Moses said, Hereby you shall know that the LORD has sent me to do all these works; for I have not done them of my own mind. 29 If these men die the common death of all men, or if they be visited after the visitation of all men; then the LORD has not sent me. 30 But if the LORD make a new thing, and the earth open her mouth, and swallow them up, with all that appertain to them, and they go down quick into the pit; then you shall understand that these men have provoked the LORD.
The Earth Swallows Up Korah
31 And it came to pass, as he had made an end of speaking all these words, that the ground split asunder that was under them: 32 And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that appertained to Korah, and all their goods. 33 They, and all that appertained to them, went down alive into the pit, and the earth closed on them: and they perished from among the congregation. 34 And all Israel that were round about them fled at the cry of them: for they said, Lest the earth swallow us up also. 35 And there came out a fire from the LORD, and consumed the two hundred and fifty men that offered incense.
The Censers Reserved for Holy Use
36 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 37 Speak to Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest, that he take up the censers out of the burning, and scatter you the fire yonder; for they are hallowed. 38 The censers of these sinners against their own souls, let them make them broad plates for a covering of the altar: for they offered them before the LORD, therefore they are hallowed: and they shall be a sign to the children of Israel. 39 And Eleazar the priest took the brazen censers, with which they that were burnt had offered; and they were made broad plates for a covering of the altar: 40 To be a memorial to the children of Israel, that no stranger, which is not of the seed of Aaron, come near to offer incense before the LORD; that he be not as Korah, and as his company: as the LORD said to him by the hand of Moses.
Murmuring and Plague
41 But on the morrow all the congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron, saying, You have killed the people of the LORD. 42 And it came to pass, when the congregation was gathered against Moses and against Aaron, that they looked toward the tabernacle of the congregation: and, behold, the cloud covered it, and the glory of the LORD appeared. 43 And Moses and Aaron came before the tabernacle of the congregation. 44 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 45 Get you up from among this congregation, that I may consume them as in a moment. And they fell on their faces. 46 And Moses said to Aaron, Take a censer, and put fire therein from off the altar, and put on incense, and go quickly to the congregation, and make an atonement for them: for there is wrath gone out from the LORD; the plague is begun. 47 And Aaron took as Moses commanded, and ran into the middle of the congregation; and, behold, the plague was begun among the people: and he put on incense, and made an atonement for the people. 48 And he stood between the dead and the living; and the plague was stayed. 49 Now they that died in the plague were fourteen thousand and seven hundred, beside them that died about the matter of Korah. 50 And Aaron returned to Moses to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation: and the plague was stayed.
Question for Your Bible Studies:
1. Why were Korah and his followers punished by God and thus swallowed by the earth?
Read to get the answer: Rarely Known Cause of Korah and His Followers Being Swallowed by the Earth
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