Pretensions of Korah; rebellion of Dathan and Abiram
1 Korah, son of Izhar, son of Kohath, from the tribe of Levi—and also Dathan and Abiram, sons of Eliab, and On, son of Peleth, from the tribe of Reuben—rebelled against Moses. 2 Two hundred fifty Israelites followed him; all were well known leaders in the community and members of the council.
3 They came together and ad dressed Moses and Aaron saying, “It is enough! The whole community is consecrated to Yahweh and he lives among them. Why then, do you set yourselves over the community of Yahweh?”
4 When Moses, heard this, he threw himself face downward on the ground. 5 Then he said to Korah and all his followers, “Tomorrow morning Yahweh will make known who be longs to him, and who is consecrated to him and may approach him. He himself will let the one he has chosen approach.” 6 You Korah with all your followers, take your censers tomorrow. 7 Then you will fill them with burning coals and put incense in them before Yahweh, and Yahweh will indicate the one who is holy. Sons of Levi, you have gone too far!”
8 Moses said to Korah, “Listen to me now, you sons of Levi. 9 Is it not enough for you that the God of Israel has set you apart from the rest of the community of Israel, and called you close to himself for service in the Holy Tent of Yahweh, to stand before this community and perform the sacred service on their behalf? 10 He has called you to be near him, you and all your brother Levites with you, and now you want the office of priesthood as well! 11 What is the misdeed of Aaron that you complain against him? It is against Yahweh himself that you and your followers have rebelled.”
12 Moses sent messengers to summon Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, but they said, “We will not come up. 13 Is it not enough that you have brought us up out of a land flowing with milk and honey to die in the wilderness? Do you also want to lord it over us? 14 You did not bring us into a land flowing with milk and honey, nor give us an inheritance of fields and vineyards. Do you suppose that all these people are blind? We will not come.”
15 Moses then became angry and said to Yahweh, “Do not look favorably on their offering. I have not taken a single donkey, nor have I harmed any of them.”
16 Moses said to Korah, “You and all your company be present before Yahweh tomorrow, you and they, together with Aaron. 17 Each of you take his censer, put incense in it and present it before Yahweh—250 censers!—and Aaron will do the same.” 18 So every man took his censer and put incense in it and they stood at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting with Moses and Aaron. 19 Korah assembled all the community against them at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting and the Glory of Yahweh appeared to all the community.
20 Then Yahweh spoke to Moses and Aaron, 21 “Stand aside from this community so that I may immediately destroy them.” 22 They fell on their faces and said, “God, God of the spirits of all mortals, for one man’s sin will you be come angry with the whole congregation?”
23 Yahweh answered Moses, 24 “Speak to the community and say this: Move away from the tents of Korah, Dathan and Abiram.”
25 Moses got up and went towards Dathan and Abiram, and the elders of Israel followed him. 26 He spoke to the community saying, “Move away from the tents of these wicked men and touch nothing that belongs to them lest you perish because of all their sins.” 27 They withdrew from the area near the tents of Korah, Da than and Abiram; they came out and were standing with their wives, their sons and little ones.
28 Then Moses said, “By this you shall know that Yahweh sent me to do all these deeds and that it is not my doing. 29 If these men die a natural death, merely suffering the fate of all men, then Yahweh has not sent me. 30 But if Yahweh works a miracle and the earth, opening its mouth, swallows them, together with all they possess, and they descend alive to Sheol, you will know that these men have rejected Yahweh.”
31 As Moses finished saying all this, the earth under them split in two, 32 opened its mouth and en gulfed them with their household and all the men who belonged to Korah with their pos sessions. 33 They descended alive to Sheol with all that belonged to them; the earth covered them and they perished from the midst of the assembly. 34 On hearing their cries, all the Israelites who were around them fled, for they said, “Let not the earth swallow us as well!”
35 A fire then came forth from Yah weh and consumed the 250 men who were offering incense.