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:
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
16:3 And they gathered themselves together against Moses and against
Aaron, and said unto them, Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are
holy, every one of them, and the LORD is among them: wherefore then lift ye
up yourselves above the congregation of the LORD?
Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, along with 250 princes of the assembly, rose up against Moses and Aaron, saying,
You take too much authority for yourselves.
Everyone in the congregation is holy, and God is with them.
Why do you lift yourselves above God's congregation?
And when Moses heard it, he fell upon his face:
And he spake unto Korah and unto all his company, saying, Even to morrow
the LORD will shew who are his, and who is holy; and will cause him to come
near unto him: even him whom he hath chosen will he cause to come near unto
When Moses heard it, he fell upon his face, and said to
Koarh and his companions,
Tomorrow God will show who belongs to him and who is holy.
This do; Take you censers, Korah, and all his company;
And put fire therein, and put incense in them before the LORD to morrow:
and it shall be that the man whom the LORD doth choose, he shall be holy: ye
take too much upon you, ye sons of Levi.
And Moses said unto Korah, Hear, I pray you, ye sons of Levi:
Seemeth it but a small thing unto you, that the God of Israel hath
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 unto them?
And he hath brought thee near to him, and all thy brethren the sons of
Levi with thee: and seek ye the priesthood also?
For which cause both thou and all thy company are gathered together
against the LORD: and what is Aaron, that ye murmur against him?
Korah and his companions will put fire and incense in their censers, and
God will choose who is holy. 
And Moses sent to call Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab: which said,
We will not come up:
Is it a small thing that thou hast brought us up out of a land that
floweth with milk and honey, to kill us in the wilderness, except thou make
thyself altogether a prince over us?
Moreover thou hast not brought us into a land that floweth with milk and
honey, or given us inheritance of fields and vineyards: wilt thou put out
the eyes of these men? we will not come up.
But Dathan and Abiram said
We won't come up, even if you put out the eyes of these men. 
And Moses was very wroth, and said unto the LORD, Respect not thou their
offering: I have not taken one ass from them, neither have I hurt one of
Moses was angry and said to God,
Don't respect their offering.
I haven't hurt them or taken one ass from them.
And Moses said unto Korah, Be thou and all thy company before the LORD,
thou, and they, and Aaron, to morrow:
And take every man his censer, and put incense in them, and bring ye
before the LORD every man his censer, two hundred and fifty censers; thou
also, and Aaron, each of you his censer.
Moses said to Korah,
Tomorrow you and your companions will appear before God, as will Aaron.
Each of your 250 men will put incense in his censer, and Aaron will do likewise.
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.
And they did that.
And Korah gathered all the congregation against them unto the door of the
tabernacle of the congregation: and the glory of the LORD appeared unto all
And then "the glory of the Lord" appeared.
God decides to kill everyone (but Moses talks him out of it)
And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying,
Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment.
God said to Moses and Aaron,
Get away from the congregation, because I am going to kill everyone.
And they fell upon their faces, and said, O God, the God of the spirits of
all flesh, shall one man sin, and wilt thou be wroth with all the congregation?
And Moses and Aaron fell on their faces, and said,
Shall the God of the spirits of all flesh be angry at all the congregation because of one man's sin? 
God kills Korah and his companions
And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
Speak unto the congregation, saying, Get you up from about the tabernacle
of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.
And Moses rose up and went unto Dathan and Abiram; and the elders of
Israel followed him.
God said to Moses,
Say this to the congregation,
Leave the tabernacle of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.
And he spake unto the congregation, saying, Depart, I pray you, from the
tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of their's, lest ye be consumed
in all their sins.
Moses said to the congregation,
Leave the tents of these wicked men, and don't touch anything of theirs,
or you will be killed for their sins. 
So they gat 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.
So the congregation left the tabernacle of Koarah, Dathan, and Abiram, and Dathan and Abiram came to the door of their
tents with their wives and children.
And Moses said, Hereby ye shall know that the LORD hath sent me to do all
these works; for I have not done them of mine own mind.
If these men die the common death of all men, or if they be visited after
the visitation of all men; then the LORD hath not sent me.
But if the LORD make a
new thing, and the earth open her mouth, and swallow them up, with all that
appertain unto them, and they go down quick into the pit; then ye shall
understand that these men have provoked the LORD.
Here's how you'll know that God has sent me:
If these men die of natural causes, then God hasn't sent me.
But if God makes the earth open up and swallow them, with their families and belongings,
then these men have provoked God. 
And it came to pass, as he had made an end of speaking all these words, that the ground clave
asunder that was under them:
And the earth opened
her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that
appertained unto Korah, and all their goods.
They, and all that
appertained to them, went down alive into the pit, and the earth closed upon
them: and they perished from among the congregation.
When Moses finished speaking, the earth opened up and swallowed Korah, his family, his house, and
everything that belonged to him.
God kills 250 incense burners
And all Israel that were round about them fled at the cry of them: for they said, Lest the earth
swallow us up also.
Everyone who survived God's killing ran away saying,
Get away or God will make the earth swallow us too!
And there came out a fire from the LORD, and consumed the two hundred and fifty men that
And God sent a fire to burn to death the 250 men that offered incense. 
And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
Speak unto Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest, that he take up the
censers out of the burning, and scatter thou the fire yonder; for they are
God said to Moses, 
Say this to Eleazar, the son of Aaron,
Take the censers from the burning remains, because they are holy.
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 unto the
children of Israel.
The censers of these sinners became holy when I burned them to death.
They will be a sign to the Israelites.
And Eleazar the priest took the brasen censers, wherewith they that were
burnt had offered; and they were made broad plates for a covering of the
To be a memorial unto 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
Eleazar took the censers and made a memorial out of them, to remind the Israelites that no one but the descendants
of Aaron may offer incense to God.
And to remind everyone not to be like Koarh and his companions.
The people complain about God's killings
But on the morrow all
the congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and
against Aaron, saying, Ye have killed the people of the LORD.
The next day, the Israelites complained to Moses and Aaron, saying,
You have killed the people of the Lord. 
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.
Then the people looked toward the tabernacle, and the glory of the Lord appeared.
God decides to kill everyone (again)
And Moses and Aaron came before the tabernacle of the congregation.
And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
Get you up from among this congregation, that I may consume them as in a
moment. And they fell upon their faces.
God said to Moses,
Get away from the congregation, because I am going to kill them all. 
And Moses and Aaron fell upon their faces.
Aaron stops God's from killing everyone by burning incense
And Moses said unto Aaron, Take a censer, and put fire therein from off
the altar, and put on incense, and go quickly unto the congregation, and
make an atonement for them: for there is wrath gone out from the LORD; the plague is begun.
Moses said to Aaron,
Get a censer and burn some incense in it to make an atonement for the congregation. 
Because God is angry and has sent a plague on the people.
And Aaron took as Moses commanded, and ran into the midst of the
congregation; and, behold, the plague was begun among the people: and he put on incense,
and made an atonement for the people.
And he stood between the dead and the living; and the plague was stayed.
And it worked. When Aaron started burning incense, God stopped killing people.
God kills 14,700 in a plague
Now they that died in the plague were fourteen thousand and seven hundred, beside them that
died about the matter of Korah.
And Aaron returned unto Moses unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation: and the plague was stayed.
But not before 14,700 people died in God's plague. 
- They rose up before Moses. (v.2)
Korah, Dathan, and Abiram (along with 250 "princes of the assembly") -- the first freethought/democracy martyrs
-- refused to follow Moses blindly, saying that everyone is holy and should be free to think for him or herself.
What the Bible says about democracy
- The man whom the LORD doth choose, he shall be holy. (v.7)
Moses challenges Korah and his companions to an an old-fashioned, incense-swinging, prayer contest,
where God picks the winner.
That will show who is holy and who is not.
- We will not come up. (v.12)
Dathan and Abiram said they wouldn't participate in Moses's holier-than-thou contest, not even if Moses
pokes out the eyes of these men.
(It's not clear -- to me anyway --who "these men" refers to.)
- Shall one man sin, and wilt thou be wroth with all the congregation? (v.22)
When God threatens to kill everyone because of Korah's complaint, Aaron and Moses fall on their faces
And, while still on their faces, they try to talk God out of it (again - see
Ex 32:11-12 and
Num 14:11-35), saying, "Are you going to kill
everyone for one man's sin?"
Is "the God of the spirits of all flesh" one of God's many names?
- Touch nothing of their's, lest ye be consumed in all their sins. (v.26)
After talking God out of killing everyone, Moses tells the people to get away from the tents of Korah and his
companions and tells them not to touch any of their belongings. Otherwise, God will kill them.
- If the LORD make a new thing, and the earth open her mouth, and swallow them up....
Moses calls off the incense-burning contest and comes up with a new test.
If God makes the ground
swallow Korah and his companions and their families, then everyone will know who God likes and who he doesn't.
And, by golly, the earth opened up and swallowed Korah, his family, his house, and everything that belonged to him.
Did God bury alive all of Korah's children?
Drunk With Blood: Korah and his companions are buried alive
(along with their families)
- There came out a fire from the LORD, and consumed the two hundred and fifty
men that offered incense. (v.35)
DWB: God burned 250 people
to death for burning incense
- Take up the censers out of the burning ... for they are hallowed. (v.37)
After burning the 250 guys that offered incense, God tells Moses to keep their censers
(because they are holy) to remind everyone not to offer incense without a license.
- Ye have killed the people of the LORD. (v.41)
After God killed Korah, his companions, their families, and 250 incense burners, the people complained saying,
"ye have killed the people of the Lord."
- Get you up from among this congregation, that I may consume
them as in a moment. v.45)
So God, who doesn't take kindly to criticism, threatens to kill everyone (Again).
- Moses said unto Aaron, Take a censer, and put fire therein. (v.46)
Moses prevents God from killing everyon by sending Aaron out to burn some incense.
- They that died in the plague were fourteen thousand and seven hundred. (v.49)
But not before God killed 14,700 in a plague.
DWB: God killed 14,700
for complaining about God's killings
- Dwindling in Unbelief
- The good people in the Bible
- Top 50 Bible stories for kids
- God's 20th Killing: The
opposing party is buried alive (along with their familes) (16:31-33)
- God's 21st Killing: 250 burned
to death for offering incense (16:35)
- People burned to death by God
- God's 22nd Killing: 14,700 killed for
complaining about God's killings (16:46-49)
- How many has God killed?
(Complete list and estimated total) (16:27, 41)
- The Top Ten Biblical Plagues
- Is there anything the God of the
Bible could do that a believer wouldn't call good? (16:27-35)
- The 9 Most Badass Bible Verses
(Numbers 16:23, 31-33)
- Slate Blogs the Bible by David Plotz
- Do Jews Have Heaven and Hell?