16:5 Then he said to Korah and to all his company, “In the morning the Lord will make known who are his, and who is holy. He will cause that person 1 to approach him; the person he has chosen he will cause to approach him.
16:7 put fire in them, and set incense on them before the Lord tomorrow, and the man whom the Lord chooses will be holy. You take too much upon yourselves, you sons of Levi!”
16:10 He has brought you near and all your brothers, the sons of Levi, with you. Do you now seek 2 the priesthood also?
16:35 Then a fire 3 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 4 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 5 of Moses.
16:46 Then Moses said to Aaron, “Take the censer, put burning coals from the altar in it, place incense on it, and go quickly into the assembly and make atonement for them, for wrath has gone out from the Lord – the plague has begun!” 16:47 So Aaron did 6 as Moses commanded 7 and ran into the middle of the assembly, where the plague was just beginning among the people. So he placed incense on the coals and made atonement for the people. 16:48 He stood between the dead and the living, and the plague was stopped.
1 tn Heb “him.”
2 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
3 tn For a discussion of the fire of the
4 tn Heb “from the seed of.”
5 tn Heb “hand.”
6 tn Heb “took.”
7 tn Or “had spoken” (NASB); NRSV “had ordered.”