Numbers 16 Bible Commentary

The Geneva Study Bible

(Read all of Numbers 16)
16:3 And they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said unto them, a [Ye take] too much upon you, seeing all the congregation [are] holy, b every one of them, and the LORD [is] among them: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the LORD?

(a) Or let it suffice you: meaning, to have abused them this long.
(b) All are equally holy: therefore no one should be preferred above other: thus the wicked reason against God's ordinance.

16:5 And he spake unto Korah and unto all his company, saying, Even to morrow the LORD will shew who [are] his, and [who is] holy; and will cause [him] to come near unto him: even [him] whom he hath c chosen will he cause to come near unto him.

(c) To be the priest and to offer.

16:7 And put fire therein, and put incense in them before the LORD to morrow: and it shall be [that] the man whom the LORD doth choose, he [shall be] holy: d [ye take] too much upon you, ye sons of Levi.

(d) He lays the same to their charge justly, with which they wrongfully charged him.

16:10 And he hath brought thee near [to e him], and all thy brethren the sons of Levi with thee: and seek ye the priesthood also?

(e) To serve in the congregation, as in the verse before.

16:13 [Is it] a small thing that thou hast brought us up f out of a land that floweth with milk and honey, to kill us in the wilderness, except thou make thyself altogether a prince over us?

(f) Thus they spoke contemptuously, preferring Egypt to Canaan.

16:14 Moreover thou hast not brought us into a land that floweth with milk and honey, or given us inheritance of fields and vineyards: wilt thou g put out the eyes of these men? we will not come up.

(g) Will you make those who searched the land believe that they did not see that which they saw?

16:16 And Moses said unto Korah, Be thou and all thy company h before the LORD, thou, and they, and Aaron, to morrow:

(h) At the door of the tabernacle.

16:19 And Korah gathered all the l congregation against them unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation: and the glory of the LORD appeared unto all the congregation.

(l) All that were of their faction.

16:26 And he spake unto the congregation, saying, Depart, I pray you, from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of theirs, lest ye be consumed k in all their sins.

(k) With them that have committed so many sins.

16:28 And Moses said, Hereby ye shall know that the LORD hath sent me to do all these works; for [I have] not [done them] of mine own l mind.

(l) I have not invented them from my own brain.

16:30 But if the LORD make m a new thing, and the earth open her mouth, and swallow them up, with all that [appertain] unto them, and they go down quick into n the pit; then ye shall understand that these men have provoked the LORD.

(m) Or, show a strange sight.
(n) Or, deep and dark places of the earth.

16:38 The censers of these sinners o against their own souls, let them make them broad plates [for] a covering of the altar: for they offered them before the LORD, therefore they are hallowed: and they shall be a p sign unto the children of Israel.

(o) Who caused their own death.
(p) Of God's judgments against rebels.

16:40 [To be] a memorial unto the children of Israel, that no stranger, which [is] not of the seed of Aaron, come near to offer incense before the LORD; that he be not as q Korah, and as his company: as the LORD said to him by the hand of Moses.

(q) Who presumed above his calling.

16:46 And Moses said unto Aaron, Take a censer, and put fire therein from off the r altar, and put on incense, and go quickly unto the congregation, and make an atonement for them: for there is wrath gone out from the LORD; the plague is begun.

(r) For it was not lawful to take any other fire, but of the altar of burnt offering, (Leviticus 10:1).

16:47 And Aaron took as Moses commanded, and ran into the midst of the congregation; and, behold, the s plague was begun among the people: and he put on incense, and made an atonement for the people.

(s) God had begun to punish the people.

16:48 And he stood between the dead and the living; and the t plague was stayed.

(t) God drew back his hand and stopped punishing them.