16.1. Now Korah, the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, and Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab and On, the son of Pelet, sons of Reuben, took courage, 2. and they rose up in front of Moses, with certain of the children of Israel, two hundred fifty princes of the congregation, those called to the assembly, men of renown. 3. And they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron and said to them, “You take too much upon yourselves, seeing the entire congregation is holy, everyone of them, and the LORD* is among them. Why do you lift up yourselves above the congregation of the LORD*?” 4. And when Moses heard, he fell upon his face. 5. Then he spoke to Korah and to the whole company saying, “Tomorrow the LORD* will show who are His (2 Tim. 2:19) and who is holy, and will cause him to come near to Him. Even him whom He has chosen will He cause to come near to Him. 6. Do this: Take fire-pans, Korah and all his company, 7. and put fire in them and put incense in them before the LORD* tomorrow. And it will be that the man whom the LORD* does choose, he will be holy. You take too much upon yourselves, you sons of Levi.” 8. And Moses said to Korah, “Listen, now, you sons of Levi: 9. is it 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 He has brought you near to Him, and all your brothers the sons of Levi with you, and seek the priesthood also? 11. For which cause you and all your company are gathered together against the LORD*, and what is Aaron, that you murmur against him?” 12. And Moses sent to call Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab and they said, “We will not come up. 13. Is it a small thing that you have brought us up out of a land that flows with milk and honey to kill us in the wilderness, that you make yourself altogether a prince over us? 14. Moreover you have not brought us into a land that flows with milk and honey or given us inheritance of fields and vineyards. Will you put out the eyes of these men? We will not come up.”
16:15. And Moses was very angry and said to the LORD*, “Do not respect their offering! I have not taken one donkey from them, neither have I hurt one of them.” 16. And Moses said to Korah, “You and all your company be before the LORD*: you and they and Aaron, tomorrow. 17. And every man take his fire-pan and put incense in it and every man bring his fire-pan before the LORD*, two hundred fifty fire-pans; you also and Aaron, each of you his fire-pan.” 18. And each man took his fire-pan and put fire in it and laid incense on it, and stood at the door of the Tent of Meeting with Moses and Aaron. 19. And Korah gathered the entire congregation against them at the door of the Tent of Meeting: and the glory of the LORD* appeared to the whole congregation.
16:20. And the LORD* spoke to Moses and to Aaron saying, 21. “Separate yourselves from among this congregation, so I can consume them in a moment.”
22. And they fell upon their faces and said, “O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, will one man sin and will You be angry with the whole congregation?”
16:23. And the LORD* spoke to Moses saying, 24. “Speak to the congregation saying, ‘Get up from around the dwelling of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.’” 25. And Moses rose and went to Dathan and Abiram, and the elders of Israel followed him. 26. And he spoke to the congregation saying, “Now! Turn away from the tents of these wicked men! (2 Tim. 2:19) Do not touch anything of theirs lest you be consumed in all their sins!”
16:27. So they got up from the dwelling of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram on every side, and Dathan and Abiram came out and stood in the door of their tents, their wives, their sons, and their little children. 28. And Moses said, “By this you will know that the LORD* has sent me to do all these works, for I have not done them of my own mind. 29. If these men die the common death of all men or if they are visited after the visitation of all men, then the LORD* has not sent me. 30. But if the LORD* does a new thing and the earth opens its mouth and swallows them up, with all that are theirs, and they go down alive into the pit, then you will understand that these men have provoked the LORD*.”
16:31. And it happened, as he had made an end of speaking all these words, that the ground split that was under them, 32. and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, their houses, all the men that were for Korah, and all their goods. 33. They and all that was theirs went down alive into the pit, and the earth closed upon them, and they perished from among the congregation. 34. And all Israel that were around them fled at their cry, for they said, “Lest the earth swallow us up.” 35. And a fire came out from the LORD* and consumed the two hundred fifty men who offered incense. (Jude 11)
Fire-pans Cover Altar
17.1. And the LORD* spoke to Moses saying, 2. “Speak to Elazar the son of Aaron the priest, to take up the fire-pans of the burning and scatter the fire yonder, for they are holy. 3. The fire-pans of those who sinned and lost their own lives, let them be used to make broad plates to cover the altar, for they offered them before the LORD*, therefore they are holy and they will be a sign to the children of Israel.” 4. And Elazar the priest took the bronze fire-pans that those who had been burned had offered, and they made broad plates for a covering of the altar 5. to be a memorial for the children of Israel, that no stranger who is not of the seed of Aaron, could come near to offer incense before the LORD*, so he would not be like Korah, and like his company, as the LORD* said to him by the hand of Moses.
17:6. But on the next day the entire congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron saying, “You have killed the people of the LORD*.” 7. And it was, when the congregation was gathered against Moses and against Aaron, that they looked toward the Tent of Meeting and, behold, the cloud covered it and the glory of the LORD* appeared. 8. And Moses and Aaron came before the Tent of Meeting. 9. And the LORD* spoke to Moses saying, 10. “Get up from among this congregation, so I can consume them as in a moment.” And they fell upon their faces.
17:11. And Moses said to Aaron, “Take a fire-pan and put fire from it on the altar and put incense on it and carry it quickly to the congregation and make atonement for them, for anger has gone out from the LORD*. The plague has begun.” 12. And Aaron took as Moses commanded, and ran into the midst of the congregation and, behold, the plague had begun among the people, and he put incense on it and made atonement for the people. 13. And he stood between the dead and the living, and the plague was stayed. 14. Now those who died in the plague were fourteen thousand seven hundred, besides those that died about the matter of Korah. 15. And Aaron returned to Moses at the door of the Tent of Meeting and the plague was stayed.
17:16. And the LORD* spoke to Moses saying, 17. “Speak to the children of Israel, and each one of them take a staff according to the house of their fathers, of all their princes according to the house of their fathers twelve staffs: write each man’s name upon his staff. 18. And you will write Aaron’s name upon the staff of Levi, for one staff will be for the head of the house of their fathers. 19. And you will lay them up in the Tent of Meeting before the Testimony, where I shall meet with you. 20. And it will be that the staff of the man whom I shall choose will blossom, and I shall make to cease from Me the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they murmur against you.”
17:21. And Moses spoke to the children of Israel and each one of their princes gave him a staff, one for each prince, according to their fathers’ houses, twelve staffs, and the staff of Aaron was among their staffs. 22. And Moses laid up the staffs before the LORD* in the Tent of Testimony. 23. And it was on the next day that Moses went into the Tent of Testimony and, behold, for the house of Levi the staff of Aaron had budded and brought forth buds and bloomed blossoms and yielded almonds.
17:24. And Moses brought out all the staffs from before the LORD* to all the children of Israel, and they looked and each man took his staff.
17:25. And the LORD* said to Moses, “Bring Aaron’s staff again before the Testimony, to be kept for a token against the rebels, so their murmurings will cease from Me and so they won’t die.” 26. And Moses did so, as the LORD* commanded him, so he did.
17:27. And the children of Israel spoke to Moses saying, “Behold, we are dying, we are perishing, we are all perishing. 28. Everyone who comes near, who comes near the Tabernacle of the LORD* will die. Will we totally perish?”
Highest Standards for Priests
18.1. And the LORD* said to Aaron, “You and your sons and your father’s house with you will bear any sin in the Sanctuary, and you and your sons with you will bear any iniquity of your priesthood. 2. And bring your brothers also of the tribe of Levi, the tribe of your father, with you so they can be joined with you and minister with you, but you and your sons with you will minister before the Tent of Testimony. 3. And they will keep your charge and the charge of the entire Tabernacle, only they will not come near the vessels of the Sanctuary and the altar, so neither they nor you would also die. 4. And they will be joined to you and keep the charge of the Tent of Testimony for all the service of the Tabernacle and a stranger will not come near you. 5. And you will keep the charge of the Holy Place and the charge of the altar, so there will no longer be wrath upon the children of Israel. 6. And I AM, behold, I have taken your brothers the Levites from among the children of Israel. They are given to you as a gift for the LORD*, to do the service of the Tent of Meeting. 7. Therefore you and your sons with you will keep your priest’s office for everything of the altar and within the veil, and you will serve. I have given your priest’s office to you as a service of gift, and the stranger that comes near will be put to death.”
Heave Offerings for Priests
18:8. And the LORD* spoke to Aaron, “Behold, I also have given you the charge of My heave offerings of all the holy things of the children of Israel. I have given them to you and to your sons by reason of the anointing, by an ordinance forever. 9. This will be yours of the most holy things, reserved from the fire: every offering of theirs, every grain offering of theirs, every sin offering of theirs, and every guilt offering of theirs, which they will render to Me, will be most holy for you and for your sons. 10. You will eat it in the most Holy Place, every male will eat it. It will be holy to you.
18:11. “And this is yours, the heave offering of their gift, with all the wave offerings of the children of Israel. I have given them to you and to your sons and to your daughters with you, by a statute forever: everyone that is clean in your house will eat of it.”
Best of Everything for the Priests
18:12. “All the best of the oil, all the best of the wine, of the wheat, the First Fruits of those which they will offer to the LORD*, I have given them to you. 13. And whatever is first ripe in the land, which they will bring to the LORD*, will be yours. Everyone that is clean in your house will eat of it. 14. Everything devoted in Israel will be yours. 15. Everything that opens the womb in all flesh, which they bring to the LORD*, whether it is of men or beasts, will be yours. Nevertheless the firstborn of man you will surely redeem, and the firstling of unclean beasts you will redeem. 16. And those that are to be redeemed from a month old you will redeem, according to your estimation, for the money of five shekels, after the shekel of the Sanctuary, which is twenty gerahs. 17. But the firstling of an ox, or the firstling of a sheep, or the firstling of a goat, you will not redeem; they are holy: you will sprinkle their blood on the altar and will burn their fat for an offering made by fire, for a sweet savor to the LORD*. 18. And their flesh will be yours, as the wave breast and the right shoulder are yours. 19. I have given to you and your sons and your daughters with you allthe heave offerings of the holy things, which the children of Israel offer to the LORD*, by a statute forever: it is a Covenant of Salt forever before the LORD* to you and to your seed with you.”
Tithe Instead of Inheritance
18:20. And the LORD* spoke to Aaron, “You will have no inheritance in their land, nor will you have any part among them. I AM your part and your inheritance among the children of Israel. 21. And, behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tithe in Israel for an inheritance, for their service which they serve, the service of the Tent of Meeting. 22. Nor may the children of Israel from now on come near the Tent of Meeting, lest they bear sin and die. 23. But the Levites will do the service of the Tent of Meeting and they will bear their iniquity. It will be a statute forever throughout your generations that among the children of Israel Levites have no inheritance. 24. But the tithes of the children of Israel, which they offer as a heave offering to the LORD*, I have given to the Levites to inherit. Therefore I have said to them, Among the children of Israel they will have no inheritance.”
18:25. And the LORD* spoke to Moses saying, 26. “You will speak to the Levites and say to them, When you take from them the tithes of the children of Israel which I have given you for your inheritance, then you will offer a heave offering of it for the LORD*, a tenth of the tithe. 27. And your heave offering will be reckoned to you as though it were the grain of the threshing floor and as the fullness of the wine press. 28. Thus you also will offer a heave offering to the LORD* of all your tithes, which you take from the children of Israel, and you will give from it the LORD’s* heave offering to Aaron the priest. 29. Out of all your gifts you will offer every heave offering of the LORD*, of all the best of it, the holy part of it out of it. 30. Therefore you will say to them, When you have heaved the best of it from it, then it will be counted to the Levites as the increase of the threshing floor and as the increase of the wine press. 31. And you will eat it in every place, you and your households, for it is your reward for your service in the Tent of Meeting. 32. And you will bear no sin by reason of it, when you have heaved from it the best of it: neither will you profane the holy things of the children of Israel, lest you die.”
Next week’s Torah readings: Khukat