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Bamidbar 16 Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB)

16 Now Korach ben Yitzhar ben Kehat ben Levi, and Datan and Aviram, the Bnei Eliav, and On ben Pelet, Bnei Reuven, became insolent;

And they rose up before Moshe, with certain of the Bnei Yisroel, two hundred and fifty Nasi’ei Edah, chosen from the assembly, men of renown;

And they gathered themselves together against Moshe and against Aharon, and said unto them, Ye take too much upon you, seeing Kol HaEdah are Kadoshim, every one of them, and Hashem is among them; why then lift ye up yourselves above the Kehal Hashem?

And when Moshe heard it, he fell upon his face;

And he spoke unto Korach and unto all his edah, saying, In the boker Hashem will show who are His, and who is the kadosh; and will cause him to come near unto Him: even him whom He hath chosen will He cause to come near unto Him.

This do: take you fire pans, Korach, and all his edah;

And put eish therein, put ketoret in them before Hashem tomorrow; it shall be that the man whom Hashem doth choose, he shall be haKadosh; ye take too much upon you, ye Bnei Levi.

And Moshe said unto Korach, Hear, now, ye Bnei Levi:

Seemeth it but a small thing unto you, that Elohei Yisroel hath separated you from the Adat Yisroel, to bring you near to Himself to do the Avodat Mishkan Hashem, and to stand before the Edah to minister unto them?

10 And He hath brought thee near to Him, and all thy brethren the Bnei Levi with thee; and seek ye the Kehunah also?

11 For which cause both thou and all thy edah are gathered together against Hashem; and what is Aharon, that ye murmur against him?

12 And Moshe sent to call Datan and Aviram, the Bnei Eliav, which said, We will not come up.

13 Is it a small thing that thou hast brought us up out of an Eretz zavach cholov udevash, to kill us in the midbar, yet thou also keep trying to dominate us?

14 Moreover thou hast not brought us into an Eretz zavach cholov udevash, or given us nachalah of sadeh and kerem; wilt thou gouge out the eyes of these men? We will not come up.

15 And Moshe was very angry, and said unto Hashem, Respect not thou their minchah; I have not taken one donkey from them, neither have I wronged one of them.

16 And Moshe said unto Korach, Be thou and all thy edah before Hashem, thou, they, and Aharon, tomorrow;

17 And take every man his fire pan, put ketoret in them, and bring ye before Hashem every man his fire pan, 250 fire pans; thou also, and Aharon, each of you his fire pan.

18 And they took every man his fire pan and put eish in them and laid ketoret thereon, and stood in the entrance of the Ohel Mo’ed with Moshe and Aharon.

19 And Korach gathered kol haedah against them unto the entrance of the Ohel Mo’ed; and the Kavod Hashem appeared unto Kol HaEdah.

20 And Hashem spoke unto Moshe and unto Aharon, saying,

21 Separate yourselves from among this edah, that I may consume them in a moment.

22 And they fell upon their faces, and said, El Elohei HaRuchot L’Chol Basar, shall one man sin, and wilt Thou be angry with Kol HaEdah?

23 And Hashem spoke unto Moshe, saying,

24 Speak unto HaEdah, saying, Get you up away from the mishkan Korach, Datan, and Aviram.

25 And Moshe rose up and went unto Datan and Aviram; and the Ziknei Yisroel followed him.

26 And he spoke unto HaEdah, saying, Move back, now, from the tents of these anashim resha’im, and touch nothing of theirs, lest ye be consumed in all their chattot.

27 So they moved back from the mishkan Korach, Datan, and Aviram, on every side; Datan and Aviram came out, and stood in the entrance of their tents, their wives, their banim, and their little ones.

28 And Moshe said, Hereby ye shall know that Hashem hath sent me to do all these ma’asim; for I have not done them of mine own will.

29 If these men die the common death of kol haAdam, or if they be visited after the visitation of kol haAdam, then Hashem hath not sent me.

30 But if Hashem creates a new thing, and haadamah open her mouth, and swallow them up, with all that appertain unto them, and they go down chayyim into Sheol; then ye shall have da’as that these men have spurned Hashem.

31 And it came to pass, as he had made an end of speaking all these devarim, that haadamah split asunder that was under them:

32 And ha’aretz opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, their batim (houses), all the men that were of Korach, and all their possessions.

33 They, and all that were of them, went down chayyim into Sheol, and ha’aretz closed over them; and they perished from the midst of the Kahal.

34 And Kol Yisroel that were round about them fled at the cry of them, for they said, Lest ha’aretz swallow us up also.

35 And there came out from Hashem an eish, and consumed the 250 men that offered ketoret.

36 (17:1) And Hashem spoke unto Moshe saying,

37 (17:2) Speak unto Eleazar ben Aharon HaKohen that he take up the fire pans out of the burning, and scatter thou the eish yonder; for they are set apart as kodesh.

38 (17:3) The fire pans of these chatta’im against their own nefashot, let them make them hammered-out sheets for a covering of the Mizbe’ach: for they offered them before Hashem, therefore they became kadosh; and they shall be an ot unto the Bnei Yisroel.

39 (17:4) And Eleazar HaKohen took the bronze fire pans, wherewith they that were burned had offered; and they made hammered-out sheets for an overlay of the Mizbe’ach:

40 (17:5) To be a memorial reminder unto the Bnei Yisroel, that no zar, which is not of the zera Aharon, encroach to offer ketoret before Hashem; that he be not as Korach, and as his edah, as Hashem said to him by the hand of Moshe.

41 (17:6) But the next day Kol Adat Bnei Yisroel murmured against Moshe and against Aharon, saying, Ye have killed the Am Hashem.

42 (17:7) And it came to pass, when HaEdah was gathered against Moshe and against Aharon, that they looked toward the Ohel Mo’ed; and, hinei, the Anan covered it, and the Kavod Hashem appeared.

43 (17:8) And Moshe and Aharon came before the Ohel Mo’ed.

44 (17:9) And Hashem spoke unto Moshe saying,

45 (17:10) Get you away from among this edah, that I may consume them as in a moment. And they fell upon their faces.

46 (17:11) And Moshe said unto Aharon, Take a fire pan, and put eish therein from off the Mizbe’ach, and put ketoret, and go quickly unto HaEdah, and make kapporah for them; for there is Ketzef (Wrath) gone out from Hashem; the plague is begun.

47 (17:12) And Aharon took as Moshe commanded, and ran into the midst of the Kahal; and, hinei, the plague was begun among HaAm: and he offered ketoret, and made kapporah for HaAm.

48 (17:13) And he stood between the mesim and the chayyim; and the plague was stopped.

49 (17:14) Now they that were the mesim in the maggefah (plague) were fourteen thousand and seven hundred, in addition to those who were mesim by reason of Korach.

50 (17:15) And Aharon returned unto Moshe unto the entrance of the Ohel Mo’ed; and the plague was stayed.

Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB)

Copyright © 2002, 2003, 2008, 2010, 2011 by Artists for Israel International

Numbers 16 New International Version (NIV)

Korah, Dathan and Abiram

16 Korah son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, and certain Reubenites—Dathan and Abiram, sons of Eliab, and On son of Peleth—became insolent[a] and rose up against Moses. With them were 250 Israelite men, well-known community leaders who had been appointed members of the council. They came as a group to oppose Moses and Aaron and said to them, “You have gone too far! The whole community is holy, every one of them, and the Lord is with them. Why then do you set yourselves above the Lord’s assembly?”

When Moses heard this, he fell facedown. Then he said to Korah and all his followers: “In the morning the Lord will show who belongs to him and who is holy, and he will have that person come near him. The man he chooses he will cause to come near him. You, Korah, and all your followers are to do this: Take censers and tomorrow put burning coals and incense in them before the Lord. The man the Lord chooses will be the one who is holy. You Levites have gone too far!”

Moses also said to Korah, “Now listen, you Levites! Isn’t it enough for you that the God of Israel has separated you from the rest of the Israelite community and brought you near himself to do the work at the Lord’s tabernacle and to stand before the community and minister to them? 10 He has brought you and all your fellow Levites near himself, but now you are trying to get the priesthood too. 11 It is against the Lord that you and all your followers have banded together. Who is Aaron that you should grumble against him?

12 Then Moses summoned Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab. But they said, “We will not come! 13 Isn’t it enough that you have brought us up out of a land flowing with milk and honey to kill us in the wilderness? And now you also want to lord it over us! 14 Moreover, you haven’t brought us into a land flowing with milk and honey or given us an inheritance of fields and vineyards. Do you want to treat these men like slaves[b]? No, we will not come!

15 Then Moses became very angry and said to the Lord, “Do not accept their offering. I have not taken so much as a donkey from them, nor have I wronged any of them.”

16 Moses said to Korah, “You and all your followers are to appear before the Lord tomorrow—you and they and Aaron. 17 Each man is to take his censer and put incense in it—250 censers in all—and present it before the Lord. You and Aaron are to present your censers also. 18 So each of them took his censer, put burning coals and incense in it, and stood with Moses and Aaron at the entrance to the tent of meeting. 19 When Korah had gathered all his followers in opposition to them at the entrance to the tent of meeting, the glory of the Lord appeared to the entire assembly. 20 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, 21 “Separate yourselves from this assembly so I can put an end to them at once.”

22 But Moses and Aaron fell facedown and cried out, “O God, the God who gives breath to all living things, will you be angry with the entire assembly when only one man sins?”

23 Then the Lord said to Moses, 24 “Say to the assembly, ‘Move away from the tents of Korah, Dathan and Abiram.’”

25 Moses got up and went to Dathan and Abiram, and the elders of Israel followed him. 26 He warned the assembly, “Move back from the tents of these wicked men! Do not touch anything belonging to them, or you will be swept away because of all their sins. 27 So they moved away from the tents of Korah, Dathan and Abiram. Dathan and Abiram had come out and were standing with their wives, children and little ones at the entrances to their tents.

28 Then Moses said, “This is how you will know that the Lord has sent me to do all these things and that it was not my idea: 29 If these men die a natural death and suffer the fate of all mankind, then the Lord has not sent me. 30 But if the Lord brings about something totally new, and the earth opens its mouth and swallows them, with everything that belongs to them, and they go down alive into the realm of the dead, then you will know that these men have treated the Lord with contempt.

31 As soon as he finished saying all this, the ground under them split apart 32 and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them and their households, and all those associated with Korah, together with their possessions. 33 They went down alive into the realm of the dead, with everything they owned; the earth closed over them, and they perished and were gone from the community. 34 At their cries, all the Israelites around them fled, shouting, “The earth is going to swallow us too!”

35 And fire came out from the Lord and consumed the 250 men who were offering the incense.

36 The Lord said to Moses, 37 “Tell Eleazar son of Aaron, the priest, to remove the censers from the charred remains and scatter the coals some distance away, for the censers are holy— 38 the censers of the men who sinned at the cost of their lives. Hammer the censers into sheets to overlay the altar, for they were presented before the Lord and have become holy. Let them be a sign to the Israelites.”

39 So Eleazar the priest collected the bronze censers brought by those who had been burned to death, and he had them hammered out to overlay the altar, 40 as the Lord directed him through Moses. This was to remind the Israelites that no one except a descendant of Aaron should come to burn incense before the Lord, or he would become like Korah and his followers.

41 The next day the whole Israelite community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. “You have killed the Lord’s people,” they said.

42 But when the assembly gathered in opposition to Moses and Aaron and turned toward the tent of meeting, suddenly the cloud covered it and the glory of the Lord appeared. 43 Then Moses and Aaron went to the front of the tent of meeting, 44 and the Lord said to Moses, 45 “Get away from this assembly so I can put an end to them at once.” And they fell facedown.

46 Then Moses said to Aaron, “Take your censer and put incense in it, along with burning coals from the altar, and hurry to the assembly to make atonement for them. Wrath has come out from the Lord; the plague has started.” 47 So Aaron did as Moses said, and ran into the midst of the assembly. The plague had already started among the people, but Aaron offered the incense and made atonement for them. 48 He stood between the living and the dead, and the plague stopped. 49 But 14,700 people died from the plague, in addition to those who had died because of Korah. 50 Then Aaron returned to Moses at the entrance to the tent of meeting, for the plague had stopped.[c]


  1. Numbers 16:1 Or Peleth—took men
  2. Numbers 16:14 Or to deceive these men; Hebrew Will you gouge out the eyes of these men
  3. Numbers 16:50 In Hebrew texts 16:36-50 is numbered 17:1-15.
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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