0 Korah's Rebellion (Num 15-16)

Episode 60: Korah's rebellion

(Numbers 15-16)

A man gathering sticks on the sabbath is stoned to death

15 32 While they were in the wilderness, the Israelites found a man picking up sticks on the sabbath. 33 They brought him to Moses and Aaron and asked them what to do with him.

35 God said to Moses,

The man shall be put to death. All the congregation shall stone him to death.

36 So they stoned him, and he died, as God commanded Moses.

The Sabbath Breaker Stoned James Tissot

Put fringes on your garments

37 God said to Moses,

38 Make fringes in the border of your garments and put upon the fringe a blue cord. This must done in all future generations. 39 The fringe will remind you to remember all my commandments and do them. And to not seek after your own heart and eyes, after which you used to go a whoring.

16 Korah's Rebellion

1-2 Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, along with 250 princes of the assembly, rose up against Moses and Aaron and said,

3 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?

4 When Moses heard it, he fell on his face, and said to Korah and his companions,

5 Tomorrow God will show who belongs to him and who is holy. 16 Each of your 250 men will put incense in his censer, and Aaron will do likewise.

18 So they did that. 19And then the glory of the Lord appeared.

God decides to kill everyone (but Moses talks him out of it)

20 God said to Moses and Aaron,

21 Get away from the congregation because I am going to kill everyone.

22 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

26 Moses said to the congregation,

28 Here's how you'll know that God has sent me: If these men die of natural causes, then God hasn't sent me. 29 But if God makes the earth open up and swallow them, with their families and belongings, then these men have provoked God.

31-33 When Moses finished speaking, the earth opened up and swallowed Korah, his family, his house, and everything that belonged to him.

The Death of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, 1865, Gustave Doré

God kills 250 incense burners

34 Everyone who survived God's killing ran away saying,

Get away or God will make the earth swallow us too!

35 And God sent a fire to burn to death the 250 men that offered incense.

36 God said to Moses,

37 Say this to Eleazar, the son of Aaron,

Take the censers from the burning remains because they are holy.

38 The censers of these sinners became holy when I burned them to death.

39 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.

41The next day, the Israelites complained to Moses and Aaron, saying,

You have killed the people of the Lord.

42 Then they looked toward the tabernacle, and the glory of the Lord appeared.

Aaron stops God's from killing everyone by burning incense

46 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.

47 And it worked. When Aaron started burning incense, God stopped killing people.

God kills 14,700 in a plague

49 But not before 14,700 people died in God's plague.

A few more words about this episode

Some things I left out
Instructions for animal sacrifices (Num 15:1-23)
See Episode 37 (Ex 29:22 - 30:10), Episode 43 (Lev 1-4), Episode 44 (Lev 5-7)
Things you must do if you sin through ignorance (Num 15:24-31)
See Episode 43 (Lev 1-4), Episode 44 (Lev 5-7)
Drunk With Blood: God's killings in the Bible
Sticks and stones: A man gathering sticks on the Sabbath day is stoned to death
Korah and his companions are buried alive (along with their families)
God burned 250 people to death for burning incense
God killed 14,700 for complaining about God's killings
Dwindling in Unbelief
The Numbers 15:32-36 Challenge to Bible Believers
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