1Korah 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 insolent2and rose up against Moses. With them were 250 Israelite men, well-known community leaders who had been appointed members of the council.3They 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?’4When Moses heard this, he fell face down.5Then 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 make that person come near him. The man he chooses he will cause to come near him.6You, Korah, and all your followers are to do this: take censers7and 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!’8Moses also said to Korah, ‘Now listen, you Levites!9Isn’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?10He has brought you and all your fellow Levites near himself, but now you are trying to get the priesthood too.11It is against the Lord that you and all your followers have banded together. Who is Aaron that you should grumble against him?’12Then Moses summoned Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab. But they said, ‘We will not come!13Isn’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!14Moreover, 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? No, we will not come!’15Then 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.’16Moses said to Korah, ‘You and all your followers are to appear before the Lord tomorrow – you and they and Aaron.17Each 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.’18So 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.19When 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.20The Lord said to Moses and Aaron,21‘Separate yourselves from this assembly so that I can put an end to them at once.’22But Moses and Aaron fell face down 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?’23Then the Lord said to Moses,24‘Say to the assembly, “Move away from the tents of Korah, Dathan and Abiram.” ’25Moses got up and went to Dathan and Abiram, and the elders of Israel followed him.26He 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.’27So 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.28Then 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:29if these men die a natural death and suffer the fate of all mankind, then the Lord has not sent me.30But 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.’31As soon as he finished saying all this, the ground under them split apart32and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them and their households, and all those associated with Korah, together with their possessions.33They 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.34At their cries, all the Israelites around them fled, shouting, ‘The earth is going to swallow us too!’35And fire came out from the Lord and consumed the 250 men who were offering the incense.36The 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 –38the 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.’39So 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,40as 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.41The next day the whole Israelite community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. ‘You have killed the Lord’s people,’ they said.42But when the assembly gathered in opposition to Moses and Aaron and turned towards the tent of meeting, suddenly the cloud covered it and the glory of the Lord appeared.43Then Moses and Aaron went to the front of the tent of meeting,44and the Lord said to Moses,45‘Get away from this assembly so that I can put an end to them at once.’ And they fell face down.46Then 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.’47So 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.48He stood between the living and the dead, and the plague stopped.49But 14,700 people died from the plague, in addition to those who had died because of Korah.50Then Aaron returned to Moses at the entrance to the tent of meeting, for the plague had stopped.
English Standard Version
1Now Korah the son of Izhar, son of Kohath, son of Levi, and Dathan and Abiram the sons of Eliab, and On the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men. (Ex 6:16; Ex 6:18; Ex 6:21; Nu 26:9; Nu 27:3; Jud 1:11)2And they rose up before Moses, with a number of the people of Israel, 250 chiefs of the congregation, chosen from the assembly, well-known men.3They assembled themselves together against Moses and against Aaron and said to them, “You have gone too far! For all in 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?” (Ex 19:6; Nu 16:7; Ps 106:16)4When Moses heard it, he fell on his face, (Nu 14:5; Nu 20:6)5and he said to Korah and all his company, “In the morning the Lord will show who is his, and who is holy, and will bring him near to him. The one whom he chooses he will bring near to him. (Ex 28:1; Le 10:3; Nu 3:10; Nu 16:3; Nu 17:5; 1Sa 2:28; Ps 65:4; Ps 105:26; Eze 40:46; Eze 44:15; 2Ti 2:19)6Do this: take censers, Korah and all his company; (Le 10:1)7put fire in them and put incense on them before the Lord tomorrow, and the man whom the Lord chooses shall be the holy one. You have gone too far, sons of Levi!” (Nu 16:3)8And Moses said to Korah, “Hear now, you sons of Levi:9is it too small a thing for you that the God of Israel has separated you from the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to himself, to do service in the tabernacle of the Lord and to stand before the congregation to minister to them, (Nu 8:14; Nu 16:13; De 10:8; 1Sa 18:23; Isa 7:13; Eze 16:20)10and that he has brought you near him, and all your brothers the sons of Levi with you? And would you seek the priesthood also?11Therefore it is against the Lord that you and all your company have gathered together. What is Aaron that you grumble against him?” (Ex 16:8; 1Co 3:5)12And Moses sent to call Dathan and Abiram the sons of Eliab, and they said, “We will not come up.13Is it a small thing that you have brought us up out of a land flowing with milk and honey, to kill us in the wilderness, that you must also make yourself a prince over us? (Ex 2:14; Ex 3:8; Nu 16:9; Ac 7:27; Ac 7:35)14Moreover, you have not brought us into a land flowing with milk and honey, nor given us inheritance of fields and vineyards. Will you put out the eyes of these men? We will not come up.”15And Moses was very angry and said to the Lord, “Do not respect their offering. I have not taken one donkey from them, and I have not harmed one of them.” (Ge 4:4; 1Sa 12:3; Ac 20:33; 2Co 7:2)16And Moses said to Korah, “Be present, you and all your company, before the Lord, you and they, and Aaron, tomorrow. (Ex 16:9; 1Sa 12:3; 1Sa 12:7)17And let every one of you take his censer and put incense on it, and every one of you bring before the Lord his censer, 250 censers; you also, and Aaron, each his censer.” (Nu 16:6; Nu 16:35)18So every man took his censer and put fire in them and laid incense on them and stood at the entrance of the tent of meeting with Moses and Aaron.19Then Korah assembled all the congregation against them at the entrance of the tent of meeting. And the glory of the Lord appeared to all the congregation. (Le 9:23)20And the Lord spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying,21“Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment.” (Ge 19:17; Ge 19:22; Ex 33:5; Nu 16:45; Ps 73:19; Jer 51:6; Re 18:4)22And they fell on their faces and said, “O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, shall one man sin, and will you be angry with all the congregation?” (Ge 18:23; Nu 14:5; Nu 16:45; Nu 20:6; Nu 27:16; 2Sa 24:17; Job 12:10; Ec 12:7; Isa 57:16; Zec 12:1)23And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying,24“Say to the congregation, Get away from the dwelling of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.”25Then Moses rose and went to Dathan and Abiram, and the elders of Israel followed him.26And he spoke to the congregation, saying, “Depart, please, from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of theirs, lest you be swept away with all their sins.” (Ge 19:12; Isa 52:11; 2Co 6:17; Re 18:4)27So they got away from the dwelling of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. And Dathan and Abiram came out and stood at the door of their tents, together with their wives, their sons, and their little ones. (Ex 33:8)28And Moses said, “Hereby you shall know that the Lord has sent me to do all these works, and that it has not been of my own accord. (Jer 23:16; Eze 13:2; Eze 13:17)29If these men die as all men die, or if they are visited by the fate of all mankind, then the Lord has not sent me. (1Ki 22:28)30But if the Lord creates something new, and the ground opens its mouth and swallows them up with all that belongs to them, and they go down alive into Sheol, then you shall know that these men have despised the Lord.” (Ge 4:11; Nu 16:33; Ps 55:15)31And as soon as he had finished speaking all these words, the ground under them split apart. (Nu 26:10; Nu 27:3; De 11:6; Ps 106:17)32And the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, with their households and all the people who belonged to Korah and all their goods. (Nu 26:11; 1Ch 6:22; 1Ch 6:27)33So they and all that belonged to them went down alive into Sheol, and the earth closed over them, and they perished from the midst of the assembly. (Jud 1:11)34And all Israel who were around them fled at their cry, for they said, “Lest the earth swallow us up!”35And fire came out from the Lord and consumed the 250 men offering the incense. (Le 10:2; Nu 11:1; Nu 16:17; Ps 106:18)36 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying,37“Tell Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest to take up the censers out of the blaze. Then scatter the fire far and wide, for they have become holy.38As for the censers of these men who have sinned at the cost of their lives, let them be made into hammered plates as a covering for the altar, for they offered them before the Lord, and they became holy. Thus they shall be a sign to the people of Israel.” (Nu 17:10; Nu 26:10; 1Ki 2:23; Pr 20:2; Hab 2:10)39So Eleazar the priest took the bronze censers, which those who were burned had offered, and they were hammered out as a covering for the altar,40to be a reminder to the people of Israel, so that no outsider, who is not of the descendants of Aaron, should draw near to burn incense before the Lord, lest he become like Korah and his company—as the Lord said to him through Moses. (Nu 3:10; 2Ch 26:18)41But on the next day all the congregation of the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and against Aaron, saying, “You have killed the people of the Lord.” (Nu 14:2)42And when the congregation had assembled against Moses and against Aaron, they turned toward the tent of meeting. And behold, the cloud covered it, and the glory of the Lord appeared. (Ex 40:34; Le 9:23; Nu 16:19)43And Moses and Aaron came to the front of the tent of meeting,44and the Lord spoke to Moses, saying,45“Get away from the midst of this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment.” And they fell on their faces. (Nu 16:21; Nu 16:22; Nu 16:24)46And Moses said to Aaron, “Take your censer, and put fire on it from off the altar and lay incense on it and carry it quickly to the congregation and make atonement for them, for wrath has gone out from the Lord; the plague has begun.” (Le 10:6; Nu 8:19; Nu 11:33; 1Ch 27:24)47So Aaron took it as Moses said 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.48And he stood between the dead and the living, and the plague was stopped. (Nu 16:50; Nu 25:8; 2Sa 24:25; Ps 106:30)49Now those who died in the plague were 14,700, besides those who died in the affair of Korah. (Nu 27:3)50And Aaron returned to Moses at the entrance of the tent of meeting, when the plague was stopped.