Numbers – Chapter 16: Korah, Dathan, and Abiram

In our last look into the book of Numbers we learned that God gives everyone a tassel to wear so the people don’t whore themselves out.  Yes, seriously.  Maybe God will provide condoms to the people in Numbers 16.  🙂

“Korah 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 insolent and rose up against Moses.” – Numbers 16:1-2

This sets the tone for the chapter.

“They 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?’” – Numbers 16:3

Good question.  Someone is finally standing up to Moses and asking legitimate questions.

“In the morning the Lord will show who belongs to him and who is holy, and he will have that person come near him. The man he chooses he will cause to come near him.” – Numbers 16:5

Moses says this.  Will God finally appear to the people?

“Moses also said to Korah, ‘Now listen, you Levites!  Isn’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?’” – Numbers 16:8-9

Yeah, isn’t it enough that God has made you His slave?

“It is against the Lord that you and all your followers have banded together.” – Numbers 16:11

Apparently God does not approve of labor unions.

“The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, ‘Separate yourselves from this assembly so I can put an end to them at once.’” – Numbers 16:20-21

God is going to put an end to the rabble rousers!  However, read this carefully.  At the moment God has only spoken to Moses and Aaron, not the rest of the people.

“But Moses and Aaron fell facedown 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?’” – Numbers 16:22

Well now, this is an interesting twist!

“Then 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: If these men die a natural death and suffer the fate of all mankind, then the Lord has not sent me. 3ut 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.’” – Numbers 16:28-30

Lines are drawn in the sand.

“As soon as he finished saying all this, the ground under them split apart and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them and their households, and all those associated with Korah, together with their possessions. They 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. At their cries, all the Israelites around them fled, shouting, ‘The earth is going to swallow us too!’ And fire came out from the Lord and consumed the 250 men who were offering the incense.” – Numbers 16:31-35

Hmmmm…what to think of this?  For starters, the Lord never appears to the people.  Did He cause this directly?  We don’t know.  The Bible describes an intense earthquake, an event that has happened many, many times on Earth.  Let’s assume for a second God does exist and directly caused this event.  What was the reason?  A few people asked Moses questions.  A few people were skeptical and wanted evidence.  A few people were critically thinking.  The result this thinking?  Death and destruction at the hands of God.  If there is a God, He is so insecure that He kills anyone who thinks critically.

“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.” – Numbers 16:40

Burn some incense and you shall die!!!

“But when the assembly gathered in opposition to Moses and Aaron and turned toward the tent of meeting, suddenly the cloud covered it and the glory of the Lord appeared.” – Numbers 16:42

It’s a cloud people, get over it.

“The plague had already started among the people, but Aaron offered the incense and made atonement for them. He stood between the living and the dead, and the plague stopped. But 14,700 people died from the plague, in addition to those who had died because of Korah. Then Aaron returned to Moses at the entrance to the tent of meeting, for the plague had stopped.” – Numbers 16:47-50

God killed 14,700 people simply for asking questions.  Wow!

There’s a lot to digest in Numbers 16, but it basically boils down to God being very insecure.  He still refuses to show Himself to the people.  Instead, He sends down a plague that kills everyone who questions Him.  This is a sick, disgusting, and evil God.

Coming Soon:  Numbers – Chapter 17:  The Budding of Aaron’s Staff

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3 thoughts on “Numbers – Chapter 16: Korah, Dathan, and Abiram

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