Numbers 16:1-18:30


Israel was unsettled.  Korah, a Levite, alongside Dathan and Abiram, descendants from Reuben, and gathered 250 Israelites.  Chieftains, representatives, men.  They challenged Moses’s leadership for taking them out of Egypt to die in a desert.

Those who were rebelling wished to prove their worthiness to priesthood and leadership.  They offered incense.  Moses had the rest of the congregation disassociate with Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.

Korah, Dathan, and Abiram stood their ground, firmly in front of their tents with their family.  Moses appealed to them, that their fate was not to be his decision but a decision of G-d.  The earth beneath Korah, Dathan, and Abiram opened and swallowed them and their houses alongside all the men who stood with Korah and all their property.  The 250 men were then consumed by fire.

Eleazar, the Kohen, took the copper censers from the victims and hammered them into an overlay for the alter as a reminder that only the descendants of Aaron shall be priests.

A plague falls on the Israelites, Aaron offers incense to atone for the people.  14,700 died in the plague.

G-d ordered Moses to collect staffs from all the chieftains.  Aaron’s name was to be engraved into the staff of Levi, and the staffs were to be placed in the tent of meeting.  The staff of the chosen man will bloom.  The following day, Aaron’s staff was covered with blossoms and ripe almonds.

Aaron’s staff was placed in front of the Arc as a reminder that he is divinely ordained.

G-d commands that a portion of the crops, wine, oil, and first-born livestock be given to the Kohanim.