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Korach Text Study Sheet

                Lessons and Symbolism from Korah

Numbers Chapter 17

1 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 2 Order Eleazar son of Aaron the priest to remove the fire pans — for they have become sacred — from among the charred remains; and scatter the coals abroad. 3 [Remove] the fire pans of those who have sinned at the cost of their lives, and let them be made into hammered sheets as plating for the altar — for once they have been used for offering to the Lord, they have become sacred — and let them serve as a warning to the people of Israel. 4 Eleazar the priest took the copper fire pans which had been used for offering by those who died in the fire; and they were hammered into plating for the altar, 5 as the Lord had ordered him through Moses. It was to be a reminder to the Israelites, so that no outsider — one not of Aaron's offspring — should presume to offer incense before the Lord and suffer the fate of Korah and his band.

6 Next day the whole Israelite community railed against Moses and Aaron, saying, "You two have brought death upon the Lord's people!" 7 But as the community gathered against them, Moses and Aaron turned toward the Tent of Meeting; the cloud had covered it and the Presence of the Lord appeared.

8 When Moses and Aaron reached the Tent of Meeting, 9 the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 10 "Remove yourselves from this community, that I may annihilate them in an instant." They fell on their faces. 11 Then Moses said to Aaron, "Take the fire pan, and put on it fire from the altar. Add incense and take it quickly to the community and make expiation for them. For wrath has gone forth from the Lord: the plague has begun!" 12 Aaron took it, as Moses had ordered, and ran to the midst of the congregation, where the plague had begun among the people. He put on the incense and made expiation for the people; 13 he stood between the dead and the living until the plague was checked. 14 Those who died of the plague came to fourteen thousand and seven hundred, aside from those who died on account of Korah. 15 Aaron then returned to Moses at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting, since the plague was checked.

16 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 17 Speak to the Israelite people and take from them — from the chieftains of their ancestral houses — one staff for each chieftain of an ancestral house: twelve staffs in all. Inscribe each man's name on his staff, 18 there being one staff for each head of an ancestral house; also inscribe Aaron's name on the staff of Levi. 19 Deposit them in the Tent of Meeting before the Pact, where I meet with you. 20 The staff of the man whom I choose shall sprout, and I will rid Myself of the incessant mutterings of the Israelites against you. 

21 Moses spoke thus to the Israelites. Their chieftains gave him a staff for each chieftain of an ancestral house, twelve staffs in all; among these staffs was that of Aaron. 22 Moses deposited the staffs before the Lord, in the Tent of the Pact. 23 The next day Moses entered the Tent of the Pact, and there the staff of Aaron of the house of Levi had sprouted: it had brought forth sprouts, produced blossoms, and borne almonds. 24 Moses then brought out all the staffs from before the Lord to all the Israelites; each identified and recovered his staff.

25 The Lord said to Moses, "Put Aaron's staff back before the Pact, to be kept as a lesson to rebels, so that their mutterings against Me may cease, lest they die." 26 This Moses did; just as the Lord had commanded him, so he did.
27 But the Israelites said to Moses, "Lo, we perish! We are lost, all of us lost! 28 Everyone who so much as ventures near the Lord's Tabernacle must die. Alas, we are doomed to perish!"

Numbers Chapter 26:

8 Born to Pallu: Eliab. 9 The sons of Eliab were Nemuel, and Dathan and Abiram. These are the same Dathan and Abiram, chosen in the assembly, who agitated against Moses and Aaron as part of Korah's band when they agitated against the Lord. 10 Whereupon the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up with Korah—when that band died, when the fire consumed the two hundred and fifty men—and they became an example. 11 The sons of Korah, however, did not die.

Sun, July 12 2020 20 Tammuz 5780