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The Blue Letter Bible

Numbers 16 :: New Living Translation (NLT)

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Korah’s Rebellion
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 16:1 - One day Korah son of Izhar, a descendant of Kohath son of Levi, conspired with Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On son of Peleth, from the tribe of Reuben.
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 16:2 - They incited a rebellion against Moses, along with 250 other leaders of the community, all prominent members of the assembly.
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 16:3 - They united against Moses and Aaron and said, “You have gone too far! The whole community of Israel has been set apart by the LORD, and he is with all of us. What right do you have to act as though you are greater than the rest of the LORD’s people?”
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 16:4 - When Moses heard what they were saying, he fell face down on the ground.
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 16:5 - Then he said to Korah and his followers, “Tomorrow morning the LORD will show us who belongs to him[fn] and who is holy. The LORD will allow only those whom he selects to enter his own presence.
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 16:6 - Korah, you and all your followers must prepare your incense burners.
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 16:7 - Light fires in them tomorrow, and burn incense before the LORD. Then we will see whom the LORD chooses as his holy one. You Levites are the ones who have gone too far!”
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 16:8 - Then Moses spoke again to Korah: “Now listen, you Levites!
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 16:9 - Does it seem insignificant to you that the God of Israel has chosen you from among all the community of Israel to be near him so you can serve in the LORD’s Tabernacle and stand before the people to minister to them?
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 16:10 - Korah, he has already given this special ministry to you and your fellow Levites. Are you now demanding the priesthood as well?
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 16:11 - The LORD is the one you and your followers are really revolting against! For who is Aaron that you are complaining about him?”
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 16:12 - Then Moses summoned Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, but they replied, “We refuse to come before you!
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 16:13 - Isn’t it enough that you brought us out of Egypt, a land flowing with milk and honey, to kill us here in this wilderness, and that you now treat us like your subjects?
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 16:14 - What’s more, you haven’t brought us into another land flowing with milk and honey. You haven’t given us a new homeland with fields and vineyards. Are you trying to fool these men?[fn] We will not come.”
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 16:15 - Then Moses became very angry and said to the LORD, “Do not accept their grain offerings! I have not taken so much as a donkey from them, and I have never hurt a single one of them.”
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 16:16 - And Moses said to Korah, “You and all your followers must come here tomorrow and present yourselves before the LORD. Aaron will also be here.
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 16:17 - You and each of your 250 followers must prepare an incense burner and put incense on it, so you can all present them before the LORD. Aaron will also bring his incense burner.”
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 16:18 - So each of these men prepared an incense burner, lit the fire, and placed incense on it. Then they all stood at the entrance of the Tabernacle[fn] with Moses and Aaron.
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 16:19 - Meanwhile, Korah had stirred up the entire community against Moses and Aaron, and they all gathered at the Tabernacle entrance. Then the glorious presence of the LORD appeared to the whole community,
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 16:20 - and the LORD said to Moses and Aaron,
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 16:21 - “Get away from all these people so that I may instantly destroy them!”
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 16:22 - But Moses and Aaron fell face down on the ground. “O God,” they pleaded, “you are the God who gives breath to all creatures. Must you be angry with all the people when only one man sins?”
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 16:23 - And the LORD said to Moses,
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 16:24 - “Then tell all the people to get away from the tents of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.”
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 16:25 - So Moses got up and rushed over to the tents of Dathan and Abiram, followed by the elders of Israel.
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 16:26 - “Quick!” he told the people. “Get away from the tents of these wicked men, and don’t touch anything that belongs to them. If you do, you will be destroyed for their sins.”
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 16:27 - So all the people stood back from the tents of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. Then Dathan and Abiram came out and stood at the entrances of their tents, together with their wives and children and little ones.
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 16:28 - And Moses said, “This is how you will know that the LORD has sent me to do all these things that I have done—for I have not done them on my own.
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 16:29 - If these men die a natural death, or if nothing unusual happens, then the LORD has not sent me.
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 16:30 - But if the LORD does something entirely new and the ground opens its mouth and swallows them and all their belongings, and they go down alive into the grave,[fn] then you will know that these men have shown contempt for the LORD.”
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 16:31 - He had hardly finished speaking the words when the ground suddenly split open beneath them.
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 16:32 - The earth opened its mouth and swallowed the men, along with their households and all their followers who were standing with them, and everything they owned.
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 16:33 - So they went down alive into the grave, along with all their belongings. The earth closed over them, and they all vanished from among the people of Israel.
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 16:34 - All the people around them fled when they heard their screams. “The earth will swallow us, too!” they cried.
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 16:35 - Then fire blazed forth from the LORD and burned up the 250 men who were offering incense.
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 16:36 - [fn]And the LORD said to Moses,
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 16:37 - “Tell Eleazar son of Aaron the priest to pull all the incense burners from the fire, for they are holy. Also tell him to scatter the burning coals.
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 16:38 - Take the incense burners of these men who have sinned at the cost of their lives, and hammer the metal into a thin sheet to overlay the altar. Since these burners were used in the LORD’s presence, they have become holy. Let them serve as a warning to the people of Israel.”
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 16:39 - So Eleazar the priest collected the 250 bronze incense burners that had been used by the men who died in the fire, and he hammered them into a thin sheet to overlay the altar.
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 16:40 - This would warn the Israelites that no unauthorized person—no one who was not a descendant of Aaron—should ever enter the LORD’s presence to burn incense. If anyone did, the same thing would happen to him as happened to Korah and his followers. So the LORD’s instructions to Moses were carried out.
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 16:41 - But the very next morning the whole community of Israel began muttering again against Moses and Aaron, saying, “You have killed the LORD’s people!”
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 16:42 - As the community gathered to protest against Moses and Aaron, they turned toward the Tabernacle and saw that the cloud had covered it, and the glorious presence of the LORD appeared.
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 16:43 - Moses and Aaron came and stood in front of the Tabernacle,
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 16:44 - and the LORD said to Moses,
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 16:45 - “Get away from all these people so that I can instantly destroy them!” But Moses and Aaron fell face down on the ground.
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 16:46 - And Moses said to Aaron, “Quick, take an incense burner and place burning coals on it from the altar. Lay incense on it, and carry it out among the people to purify them and make them right with the LORD.[fn] The LORD’s anger is blazing against them—the plague has already begun.”
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 16:47 - Aaron did as Moses told him and ran out among the people. The plague had already begun to strike down the people, but Aaron burned the incense and purified[fn] the people.
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 16:48 - He stood between the dead and the living, and the plague stopped.
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 16:49 - But 14,700 people died in that plague, in addition to those who had died in the affair involving Korah.
Unchecked Copy BoxNum 16:50 - Then because the plague had stopped, Aaron returned to Moses at the entrance of the Tabernacle.
NLT Footnotes
Greek version reads God has visited and knows those who are his. Compare 2 Tim 2:19.
Hebrew Are you trying to put out the eyes of these men?
Hebrew the Tent of Meeting; also in 16:19, 42, 43, 50.
Hebrew into Sheol; also in 16:33.
Verses 16:36-50 are numbered 17:1-15 in Hebrew text.
Or to make atonement for them.
Or and made atonement for.

Holy Bible, New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Full copyright information is provided here. Visit the New Living Translation website.

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