Numbers 16-18 Amplified Bible (AMP)
16 Now Korah the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, with Dathan and Abiram the sons of Eliab, and On the son of Peleth, descendants of Reuben, took action, 2 and they rose up [in rebellion] before Moses, together with some of the Israelites, two hundred and fifty leaders of the congregation chosen in the assembly, men of distinction. 3 They assembled together against Moses and Aaron, and said to them, “You have gone far enough, for all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the Lord?”
4 And when Moses heard this, he fell face downward; 5 and he spoke to Korah and all his company, saying, “In the morning the Lord will show who belongs to Him, and who is holy, and will bring him near to Himself; the one whom He will choose He will bring near to Himself. 6 Do this: Take censers for yourselves, Korah and all your company, 7 then put fire in them and place incense on them in the presence of the Lord tomorrow; and the man whom the Lord chooses shall be the one who is holy. You have gone far enough, you sons of Levi.”
8 Then Moses said to Korah, “Hear now, you sons of Levi, 9 does it seem 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 that He has brought you near [to Him], Korah and all your brothers, sons of Levi with you? Would you seek the priesthood also? 11 Therefore you and all your company are gathered together against the Lord; but as for Aaron, who is he that you murmur against him?”
12 Then Moses sent to call Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab; but they said [defiantly], “We will not come up. 13 Is it a small thing that you have brought us up out of a land [of plenty] [a]flowing with milk and honey to kill us in the wilderness, but you would also lord it over us? 14 Indeed, you have not brought us into a land flowing with milk and honey, nor given us an inheritance of fields and vineyards. Will you gouge out the eyes of these men? We will not come up!”
15 Then Moses became very angry and said to the Lord, “Pay no attention to their offering! I have not taken one donkey from them, nor have I harmed any one of them.” 16 Moses said to Korah, “You and all your company are to appear before the Lord tomorrow, both you and they along with Aaron. 17 Each of you take his censer and put incense on it, and each of you bring his censer before the Lord, two hundred and fifty censers; also you and Aaron shall each bring his censer.” 18 So they each took his own censer and put fire on it and laid incense on it; and they stood at the doorway of the Tent of Meeting (tabernacle), with Moses and Aaron. 19 Then Korah assembled all the congregation against Moses and Aaron at the doorway of the Tent of Meeting (tabernacle). And the glory and brilliance of the Lord appeared to all the congregation.
20 Then the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, 21 “Separate yourselves from among this congregation, so that I may consume them immediately.” 22 But they fell on their faces [before the Lord], and said, “O God, God of the spirits of all flesh! When one man sins, will You be angry with the entire congregation?”
23 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 24 “Say to the congregation, ‘Get away from around the tents of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.’”
25 Then Moses arose and went to Dathan and Abiram, and the elders of Israel followed him. 26 And he said to the congregation, “Get away from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of theirs, or you will be swept away in all their sin.” 27 So they got back from around the tents of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram; and Dathan and Abiram came out and stood at the doorway of their tents with their wives and their sons and their little children. 28 Then Moses said, “By this you shall know that the Lord has sent me to do all these works; for I do not act of my own accord. 29 If these men die the common death of all mankind or if what happens to everyone happens to them, then [you will know for sure that] the Lord has not sent me. 30 But if the Lord creates an entirely new thing, and the ground opens its mouth and swallows them up, along with all that belongs to them, and they descend alive into Sheol (the nether world, the place of the dead), then you will understand that these men have spurned and rejected the Lord!”
31 As soon as Moses finished speaking all these words, the ground under them split open; 32 and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them and their households, and all the men who supported Korah, with all their possessions. 33 So they and all that belonged to them went down alive to Sheol; and the earth closed over them, and they perished from among the assembly. 34 All Israel who were around them fled at their outcry, for they said, “The earth may swallow us also.” 35 Fire also came forth from the Lord and consumed the two hundred and fifty men who were offering the incense.
36 [b]Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 37 “Tell Eleazar the son of Aaron, the priest, that he is to pick up the censers from the midst of the blaze for they are holy; and you scatter the burning coals abroad. 38 As for the censers of these people who have sinned at the cost of their lives, have the censers made into hammered sheets as a plating for the altar [of burnt offering], for they were presented before the Lord and they are sacred. They shall be a [warning] sign to the sons of Israel.” 39 So Eleazar the priest took the bronze censers which the Levites who were burned had offered, and they were hammered out [into broad sheets] as a plating for the [bronze] altar [of burnt offering], 40 as a reminder to the sons of Israel so that no layman—that is, one who is not of the descendants of Aaron should approach to offer incense before the Lord; so that he will not become like Korah and as his company—just as the Lord had said to him through Moses.
Murmuring and Plague
41 But on the next day the entire congregation of the Israelites murmured against Moses and Aaron, saying, “You have caused the death of the people of the Lord.” 42 When the congregation was assembled against Moses and Aaron, they turned and looked at the Tent of Meeting (tabernacle), and behold, the cloud covered it and the glory and brilliance of the Lord appeared. 43 Then Moses and Aaron came to the front of the Tent of Meeting (tabernacle), 44 and the Lord spoke to Moses saying, 45 “Get away from among this congregation, so that I may consume them immediately.” Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces [in silence before the Lord]. 46 Moses said to Aaron, “Take a censer and put fire in it from the altar and lay incense on it; then bring it quickly to the congregation and make atonement for them, for wrath has gone forth from the Lord; the plague has begun!” 47 So Aaron took the burning censer as Moses commanded, and ran into the midst of the assembly; and behold, the plague had [already] begun among the people; and he put on the incense and made atonement for the people. 48 He stood between the dead and the living, so that the plague was brought to an end. 49 But those who died in the plague were 14,700, besides those who died because of Korah. 50 Then Aaron returned to Moses at the doorway of the Tent of Meeting (tabernacle), for the plague had been brought to an end.
Aaron’s Rod Buds
17 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to the sons of Israel and get rods from them, a rod for each father’s household, from all their leaders according to their fathers’ households, twelve rods. Write every man’s name on his rod, 3 and write Aaron’s name on the rod of Levi [his ancestor]; for there is one rod for the head of each of their fathers’ households. 4 You shall then deposit them in the Tent of Meeting (tabernacle) in front of [the ark of] the Testimony, where I meet with you. 5 It shall be that the rod of the man whom I choose will bud, and I will no longer hear the constant grumblings of the Israelites, who are grumbling against you.” 6 So Moses spoke to the Israelites, and each of their leaders gave him a rod, one for each leader according to their fathers’ households, twelve rods, and the rod of Aaron was among their rods. 7 So Moses deposited the rods before the Lord in the Tent of the Testimony (tabernacle).
8 Now on the next day Moses went into the Tent of the Testimony, and [c]the rod of Aaron of the tribe of Levi had sprouted and put out buds and produced blossoms and yielded [ripe] almonds. 9 Moses brought out all the rods from the presence of Lord to all the Israelites; and they looked, and each man took his rod. 10 But the Lord said to Moses, “Put Aaron’s rod back before the Testimony [in the ark], to be kept as a [warning] sign for the rebellious and contentious, so that you may put an end to their murmurings [of discontent] against Me, so that they do not die.” 11 And Moses did so; just as the Lord had commanded him, so he did.
12 The sons of Israel said to Moses, “Look, we perish, we are doomed, all doomed! 13 Everyone who approaches, who approaches the tabernacle of the Lord, must die. Are we to perish completely?”
Duties of Levites
18 So the Lord said to Aaron, “You and your sons and your father’s household (family) with you shall bear the guilt in connection with the sanctuary [that is, through your service as priests you will atone for the offenses which the people unknowingly commit when brought into contact with the manifestations of God’s presence]; and you and your sons with you shall bear the guilt in connection with your priesthood [that is, your own unintentional offenses]. 2 But bring with you also your brothers, the tribe of Levi, the tribe of your father (ancestor), so that they may join with you and serve you [as assistants], while you and your sons with you are before the Tent of the Testimony [the Holy Place where only priests may go, and the Most Holy Place which only the high priest may enter]. 3 And the Levites shall attend to your duty [as assistants] and to the duties of all the tent (tabernacle); only they shall not approach the articles of the sanctuary and the altar, or both they and you will die. 4 They shall join you and attend to the duties of the Tent of Meeting—all the service of the tent—and no stranger [no layman, anyone who is not a Levite] may approach you [and your sons]. 5 So you shall attend to the duties of the sanctuary and the duties of the altar [of burnt offering and the altar of incense], so that there will no longer be wrath on the Israelites [as with Korah, Dathan, and Abiram]. 6 Behold, I Myself have taken your fellow Levites from among the sons of Israel; they are a gift to you, given (dedicated) to the Lord, to do the service for the Tent of Meeting (tabernacle). 7 Therefore you and your sons with you shall attend to your priesthood for everything concerning the altar [of burnt offering and the altar of incense] and [of the Holy of Holies] within the veil, and you are to serve. I am giving you the priesthood as a bestowed service, but the stranger (outsider, layman) who approaches shall be put to death.”
The Priests’ Portion
8 Then the Lord spoke to Aaron, “Now behold, I [the Lord] have entrusted you with My heave offerings, even all the holy gifts of the Israelites, I have given them to you as a portion, and to your sons as a continual allotment. 9 This shall be yours of the most holy things, [reserved] from the fire: every offering of the people, every grain offering and sin offering and guilt offering, which they shall render (give) to Me, shall be most holy for you and for your sons. 10 You shall eat it as the most holy thing; every male [of your family] shall eat it. It shall be holy to you. 11 This also is yours: the heave offering of their gift, including all the wave offerings of the Israelites. I have given them to you and to your sons and to your daughters with you as a continual allotment; everyone in your household who is [ceremonially] clean may eat it. 12 All the best of the fresh [olive] oil, and all the best of the new wine and of the grain, the first fruits of those which they give to the Lord, I give them to you. 13 The first ripe fruits of all that is in the land, which they bring to the Lord, shall be yours; everyone in your household who is [ceremonially] clean may eat it. 14 Every devoted thing in Israel [everything that has been promised to the Lord with an oath] shall be yours. 15 Every firstborn of the womb of all flesh, whether it is man or animal, which they bring to the Lord, shall be yours; nevertheless, the firstborn of man you shall most certainly redeem, and the firstborn of unclean animals you shall redeem. 16 And their redemption price, from a month old you shall redeem, according to your [d]valuation, for the [fixed] price of five shekels in silver, in accordance with the shekel of the sanctuary, which is twenty gerahs. 17 But the firstborn of a cow or of a sheep or of a goat you shall not redeem; they are holy [and belong to the Lord]. You shall sprinkle their blood on the altar and shall offer up their fat in smoke as an offering by fire, for a sweet and soothing aroma to the Lord. 18 Their meat shall be yours, like the breast of a wave offering and like the right thigh. 19 All the offerings of the holy things, which the Israelites offer to the Lord I have given to you and to your sons and your daughters with you as a continual allotment. It is an everlasting covenant of [e]salt [that cannot be dissolved or violated] before the Lord to you and to your descendants with you.” 20 Then the Lord said to Aaron, “You shall have no inheritance in the land [of the Israelites], nor have any portion [of land] among them. I am your portion and your inheritance among the children of Israel.
21 “Behold, I have given the Levites all the tithe in Israel as an inheritance, in return for their service which they perform, the service of the Tent of Meeting (tabernacle). 22 The Israelites shall never again approach the Tent of Meeting [the covered sanctuary, the Holy Place, and the Holy of Holies], or they [who do] will incur sin and die. 23 Only the Levites shall perform the service of the Tent of Meeting (tabernacle), and they shall bear their iniquity; it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations, that the Levites shall have no inheritance [of land] among the children of Israel. 24 But the tithe of the Israelites, which they present as an offering to the Lord, I have given to the Levites as an inheritance; therefore I have said to them, ‘They shall [f]have no inheritance among the children of Israel.’”
25 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 26 “Moreover, you shall speak to the Levites and say to them, ‘When you take from the Israelites the tithe which I have given to you from them as your inheritance, then you shall present an offering from it to the Lord, a tithe of the tithe [paid by the people]. 27 Your offering shall be credited to you as the grain from the threshing floor or as the full produce from the wine vat. 28 Likewise you shall also present an offering to the Lord from all your tithes, which you receive from the Israelites; and from it you shall give the Lord’s offering to Aaron the priest. 29 Out of all your gifts, you shall present every offering due to the Lord, from all the best of it, even the sacred part from them.’ 30 Therefore you shall say to them, ‘When you have offered the best from it, then the rest shall be credited to the Levites as the product of the threshing floor, and as the product of the wine vat. 31 You may eat it anywhere, you and [the members of] your households, for it is your compensation in return for your service in the Tent of Meeting (tabernacle). 32 You will bear no sin because of it when you have offered the best of it; but you shall not profane the sacred gifts of the children of Israel, or you will die [because of it].’”
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