16:10 He has brought you near and all your brothers, the sons of Levi, with you. Do you now seek 1 the priesthood also?
16:35 Then a fire 2 went out from the Lord and devoured the 250 men who offered incense.
16:40 It was a memorial for the Israelites, that no outsider who is not a descendant of 3 Aaron should approach to burn incense before the Lord, that he might not become like Korah and his company – just as the Lord had spoken by the authority 4 of Moses.
1 tn The verb is the Piel perfect. There is no imperfect tense before this, which makes the construction a little difficult. If the vav (ו) is classified as a consecutive, then the form would stand alone as an equivalent to the imperfect, and rendered as a modal nuance such as “would you [now] seek,” or as a progressive imperfect, “are you seeking.” This latter nuance can be obtained by treating it as a regular perfect tense, with an instantaneous nuance: “do you [now] seek.”
sn Moses discerned correctly the real motivation for the rebellion. Korah wanted to be the high priest because he saw how much power there was in the spiritual leadership in Israel. He wanted something like a general election with himself as the candidate and his supporters promoting him. The great privilege of being a Levite and serving in the sanctuary was not enough for him – the status did not satisfy him. Korah gave no rebuttal. The test would be one of ministering with incense. This would bring them into direct proximity with the
2 tn For a discussion of the fire of the
3 tn Heb “from the seed of.”
4 tn Heb “hand.”