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The Book of Bamidbar (Numbers):
Chapter 16



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1 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, sons of Reuben, took men;

2 and they rose up in face of Moses, with certain of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty men; they were princes of the congregation, the elect men of the assembly, men of renown;

3 and they assembled themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said unto them: 'Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and HaShem is among them; wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the assembly of HaShem?'

4 And when Moses heard it, he fell upon his face.

5 And he spoke unto Korah and unto all his company, saying: 'In the morning HaShem will show who are His, and who is holy, and will cause him to come near unto Him; even him whom He may choose will He cause to come near unto Him.

6 This do: take you censors, Korah, and all his company;

7 and put fire therein, and put incense upon them before HaShem to-morrow; and it shall be that the man whom HaShem doth choose, he shall be holy; ye take too much upon you, ye sons of Levi.'

8 And Moses said unto Korah: 'Hear now, ye sons of Levi:

9 is it but a small thing unto you, that the G-d of Israel hath separated you from the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to Himself, to do the service of the tabernacle of HaShem, and to stand before the congregation to minister unto them;

10 and that He hath brought thee near, and all thy brethren the sons of Levi with thee? and will ye seek the priesthood also?

11 Therefore thou and all thy company that are gathered together against HaShem--; and as to Aaron, what is he that ye 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 thou hast brought us up out of a land flowing with milk and honey, to kill us in the wilderness, but thou must needs make thyself also a prince over us?

14 Moreover thou hast not brought us into a land flowing with milk and honey, nor given us inheritance of fields and vineyards; wilt thou put out the eyes of these men? we will not come up.'

15 And Moses was very wroth, and said unto HaShem: 'Respect not thou their offering; I have not taken one ass from them, neither have I hurt one of them.'

16 And Moses said unto Korah: 'Be thou and all thy congregation before HaShem, thou, and they, and Aaron, to-morrow;

17 and take ye every man his fire-pan, and put incense upon them, and bring ye before HaShem every man his fire-pan, two hundred and fifty fire-pans; thou also, and Aaron, each his fire-pan.'

18 And they took every man his fire-pan, and put fire in them, and laid incense thereon, and stood at the door of the tent of meeting with Moses and Aaron.

19 And Korah assembled all the congregation against them unto the door of the tent of meeting; and the glory of HaShem appeared unto all the congregation.

20 And HaShem spoke unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying:

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

22 And they fell upon their faces, and said: 'O G-d, the G-d of the spirits of all flesh, shall one man sin, and wilt Thou be wroth with all the congregation?'

23 And HaShem spoke unto Moses, saying:

24 'Speak unto the congregation, saying: Get you up from about the dwelling of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.'

25 And Moses rose up and went unto Dathan and Abiram; and the elders of Israel followed him.

26 And he spoke unto the congregation, saying: 'Depart, I pray you, from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of theirs, lest ye be swept away in all their sins.'

27 So they got them up from the dwelling of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, on every side; and Dathan and Abiram came out, and stood at the door of their tents, with their wives, and their sons, and their little ones.

28 And Moses said: 'Hereby ye shall know that HaShem hath sent me to do all these works, and that I have not done them of mine own mind.

29 If these men die the common death of all men, and be visited after the visitation of all men, then HaShem hath not sent Me.

30 But if HaShem make a new thing, and the ground open her mouth, and swallow them up, with all that appertain unto them, and they go down alive into the pit, then ye shall understand that these men have despised HaShem.'

31 And it came to pass, as he made an end of speaking all these words, that the ground did cleave asunder that was under them.

32 And the earth opened her mouth and swallowed them up, and their households, and all the men that appertained unto Korah, and all their goods.

33 So they, and all that appertained to them, went down alive into the pit; and the earth closed upon them, and they perished from among the assembly.

34 And all Israel that were round about them fled at the cry of them; for they said: 'Lest the earth swallow us up.'

35 And fire came forth from HaShem, and devoured the two hundred and fifty men that offered the incense.


Sources: Portions copyright © 1997 by Benyamin Pilant, All Rights Reserved
JPS Electronic Edition Copyright © 1998 by Larry Nelson, All Rights Reserved
Jewish Bible

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