16 Now iKorah the son of Izhar, son of Kohath, son of Levi, and jDathan and Abiram the sons of Eliab, and On the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men. 2 And they rose up before Moses, with a number of the people of Israel, 250 chiefs of the congregation, chosen from the assembly, well-known men. 3 kThey assembled themselves together against Moses and against Aaron and said to them, l“You have gone too far! For mall in the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the Lord?” 4 When Moses heard it, nhe fell on his face, 5 and he said to Korah and all his company, “In the morning the Lord will show owho is his,1 and who is pholy, and will bring him near to him. The one qwhom he chooses he will rbring near to him. 6 Do this: take scensers, Korah and all his company; 7 put fire in them and put incense on them before the Lord tomorrow, and the man whom the Lord chooses shall be the holy one. tYou have gone too far, sons of Levi!” 8 And Moses said to Korah, “Hear now, you sons of Levi: 9 is it utoo small a thing for you that the God of Israel has vseparated you from the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to himself, to do service in the tabernacle of the Lord and to stand before the congregation to minister to them, 10 and that he has brought you near him, and all your brothers the sons of Levi with you? And would you seek the priesthood also? 11 Therefore it is against the Lord that you and all your company have gathered together. What is wAaron that you grumble against him?”
12 And Moses sent to call Dathan and Abiram the sons of Eliab, and they said, “We will not come up. 13 Is it xa small thing that you have brought us up out of ya land flowing with milk and honey, to kill us in the wilderness, that you must also zmake yourself a prince over us? 14 Moreover, you have not brought us into a land flowing with milk and honey, nor given us inheritance of fields and vineyards. Will you put out the eyes of these men? We will not come up.” 15 And Moses was very angry and said to the Lord, a“Do not respect their offering. bI have not taken one donkey from them, and I have not harmed one of them.”
16 And Moses said to Korah, “Be present, you and all your company, cbefore the Lord, you and they, and Aaron, tomorrow. 17 And dlet every one of you take his censer and put incense on it, and every one of you bring before the Lord his censer, e250 censers; you also, and Aaron, each his censer.” 18 So every man took his censer and put fire in them and laid incense on them and stood at the entrance of the tent of meeting with Moses and Aaron. 19 Then Korah assembled all the congregation against them at the entrance of the tent of meeting. fAnd the glory of the Lord appeared to all the congregation.
20 And the Lord spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying, 21 g“Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them hin a moment.” 22 And they ifell on their faces and said, “O God, jthe God of the spirits of all flesh, kshall one man sin, and will you be angry with all the congregation?” 23 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 24 “Say to the congregation, Get away from the dwelling of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.”
25 Then Moses rose and went to Dathan and Abiram, and the elders of Israel followed him. 26 And he spoke to the congregation, saying, l“Depart, please, from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of theirs, lest you be swept away with all their sins.” 27 So they got away from the dwelling of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. And Dathan and Abiram came out and stood mat the door of their tents, together with their wives, their sons, and their little ones. 28 And Moses said, “Hereby you shall know that the Lord has sent me to do all these works, and that it has not been nof my own accord. 29 If these men die as all men die, or if they are visited by the fate of all mankind, othen the Lord has not sent me. 30 But if the Lord creates something new, and pthe ground opens its mouth and swallows them up with all that belongs to them, and they qgo down alive into Sheol, then you shall know that these men have despised the Lord.”
31 rAnd as soon as he had finished speaking all these words, the ground under them split apart. 32 And the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, with their households and sall the people who belonged to Korah and all their goods. 33 So they and all that belonged to them went down alive into Sheol, and the earth closed over them, and tthey perished from the midst of the assembly. 34 And all Israel who were around them fled at their cry, for they said, “Lest the earth swallow us up!” 35 And ufire came out from the Lord and consumed vthe 250 men offering the incense.
36 2 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 37 “Tell Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest to take up the censers out of the blaze. Then scatter the fire far and wide, for they have become holy. 38 As for the censers of wthese men who have sinned at the cost of their lives, let them be made into hammered plates as a covering for the altar, for they offered them before the Lord, and they became holy. xThus they shall be a sign to the people of Israel.” 39 So Eleazar the priest took the bronze censers, which those who were burned had offered, and they were hammered out as a covering for the altar, 40 to be a reminder to the people of Israel, so ythat no outsider, who is not of the descendants of Aaron, should draw near to burn incense before the Lord, lest he become like Korah and his company—as the Lord said to him through Moses.
41 But on the next day all the congregation of the people of Israel zgrumbled against Moses and against Aaron, saying, “You have killed the people of the Lord.” 42 And when the congregation had assembled against Moses and against Aaron, they turned toward the tent of meeting. And behold, athe cloud covered it, and bthe glory of the Lord appeared. 43 And Moses and Aaron came to the front of the tent of meeting, 44 and the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 45 c“Get away from the midst of this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment.” dAnd they fell on their faces. 46 And Moses said to Aaron, “Take your censer, and put fire on it from off the altar and lay incense on it and carry it quickly to the congregation and make atonement for them, for ewrath has gone out from the Lord; the plague has begun.” 47 So Aaron took it as Moses said and ran into the midst of the assembly. And behold, the plague had already begun among the people. And he put on the incense and made atonement for the people. 48 And he stood between the dead and the living, and fthe plague was stopped. 49 Now those who died in the plague were 14,700, gbesides those who died in the affair of Korah. 50 And Aaron returned to Moses at the entrance of the tent of meeting, when the plague was stopped.
Aaron’s Staff Buds
17 1 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 h“Speak to the people of Israel, and get from them staffs, one for each fathers’ house, from all their chiefs according to their fathers’ houses, twelve staffs. Write each man’s name on his staff, 3 and write Aaron’s name on the staff of Levi. For there shall be one staff for the head of each fathers’ house. 4 Then you shall deposit them in the tent of meeting before the testimony, iwhere I meet with you. 5 And the staff of the man jwhom I choose shall sprout. Thus I will make to cease from me kthe grumblings of the people of Israel, which they grumble against you.” 6 Moses spoke to the people of Israel. And all their chiefs gave him staffs, one for each chief, according to their fathers’ houses, twelve staffs. And the staff of Aaron was among their staffs. 7 And Moses deposited the staffs before the Lord in lthe tent of the testimony.
8 On the next day Moses went into the tent of the testimony, and behold, the staff of Aaron for the house of Levi had sprouted and put forth buds and produced blossoms, and it bore ripe almonds. 9 Then Moses brought out all the staffs from before the Lord to all the people of Israel. And they looked, and each man took his staff. 10 And the Lord said to Moses, “Put back mthe staff of Aaron before the testimony, to be kept nas a sign for the rebels, othat you may make an end of their grumblings against me, lest they die.” 11 Thus did Moses; as the Lord commanded him, so he did.
12 And the people of Israel said to Moses, “Behold, we perish, we are undone, we are all undone. 13 pEveryone who comes near, who comes near to the tabernacle of the Lord, shall die. Are we all to perish?”
Duties of Priests and Levites
18 So the Lord said to Aaron, “You and your sons and your father’s house with you shall qbear iniquity connected with the sanctuary, rand you and your sons with you shall bear iniquity connected with your priesthood. 2 And with you bring your brothers also, the tribe of Levi, the tribe of your father, that they may sjoin you and tminister to you while you and your sons with you are before the tent of the testimony. 3 They shall keep guard over you and uover the whole tent, vbut shall not come near to the vessels of the sanctuary or to the altar wlest they, and you, die. 4 They shall join you and keep guard over the tent of meeting for all the service of the tent, xand no outsider shall come near you. 5 And you shall ykeep guard over the sanctuary and over the altar, zthat there may never again be wrath on the people of Israel. 6 aAnd behold, I have taken your brothers the Levites from among the people of Israel. bThey are a gift to you, given to the Lord, to do the service of the tent of meeting. 7 And cyou and your sons with you shall guard your priesthood for all that concerns the altar and dthat is within the veil; and you shall serve. I give your priesthood as a gift,1 and eany outsider who comes near shall be put to death.”
8 Then the Lord spoke to Aaron, “Behold, fI have given you charge of the contributions made to me, all the consecrated things of the people of Israel. I have given them to you gas a portion and to your sons as a perpetual due. 9 This shall be yours of the most holy things, reserved from the fire: every offering of theirs, every grain offering of theirs and every hsin offering of theirs and every iguilt offering of theirs, which they render to me, shall be most holy to you and to your sons. 10 In a most holy place shall you eat it. Every male may eat it; it is holy to you. 11 This also is yours: the contribution of their gift, all the jwave offerings of the people of Israel. I have given them to kyou, and to your sons and daughters with you, as a perpetual due. lEveryone who is clean in your house may eat it. 12 mAll the best of the oil and all the best of the wine and of the grain, nthe firstfruits of what they give to the Lord, I give to you. 13 The first ripe fruits of all that is in their land, owhich they bring to the Lord, shall be yours. lEveryone who is clean in your house may eat it. 14 pEvery devoted thing in Israel shall be yours. 15 qEverything that opens the womb of all flesh, whether man or beast, which they offer to the Lord, shall be yours. Nevertheless, rthe firstborn of man you shall redeem, and the firstborn of unclean animals you shall redeem. 16 And their redemption price s(at a month old you shall redeem them) you shall fix at five shekels2 in silver, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, twhich is twenty gerahs. 17 uBut the firstborn of a cow, or the firstborn of a sheep, or the firstborn of a goat, you shall not redeem; they are holy. You shall sprinkle their blood on the altar and shall burn their fat as a food offering, with a pleasing aroma to the Lord. 18 But their flesh shall be yours, as vthe breast that is waved and as the right thigh are yours. 19 wAll the holy contributions that the people of Israel present to the Lord I give to you, and to your sons and daughters with you, as a perpetual due. xIt is a covenant of salt forever before the Lord for you and for your offspring with you.” 20 And the Lord said to Aaron, “You shall have no inheritance in their land, neither shall you have any portion among them. yI am your portion and your inheritance among the people of Israel.
21 z“To the Levites I have given every tithe in Israel for an inheritance, in return for their service that they do, their service in the tent of meeting, 22 aso that the people of Israel do not come near the tent of meeting, blest they bear sin and die. 23 But cthe Levites shall do the service of the tent of meeting, dand they shall bear their iniquity. It shall be a perpetual statute throughout your generations, and among the people of Israel they shall have no inheritance. 24 For the tithe of the people of Israel, which ethey present as a contribution to the Lord, I have given to the Levites for an inheritance. Therefore I have said of them that they shall have no inheritance famong the people of Israel.”
25 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 26 “Moreover, you shall speak and say to the Levites, ‘When you take from the people of Israel the tithe that I have given you from them for your inheritance, then you shall present a contribution from it to the Lord, ga tithe of the tithe. 27 hAnd your contribution shall be counted to you as though it were the grain of the threshing floor, and as the fullness of the winepress. 28 So you shall also present a contribution to the Lord from all your tithes, which you receive from the people of Israel. And from it you shall give the Lord’s contribution to Aaron the priest. 29 Out of all the gifts to you, you shall present every contribution due to the Lord; from each its best part is to be dedicated.’ 30 Therefore you shall say to them, ‘When you have offered from it the best of it, ithen the rest shall be counted to the Levites as produce of the threshing floor, and as produce of the winepress. 31 And you may eat it in any place, you and your households, for it is jyour reward in return for your service in the tent of meeting. 32 And you shall kbear no sin by reason of it, when you have contributed the best of it. But you shall not lprofane the holy things of the people of Israel, lest you die.’”
Laws for Purification
19 Now the Lord spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying, 2 “This is the statute of the law that the Lord has commanded: Tell the people of Israel to bring you a red heifer without defect, in which there is no blemish, mand on which a yoke has never come. 3 And you shall give it to Eleazar the priest, and nit shall be taken outside the camp and slaughtered before him. 4 And Eleazar the priest shall take some of its blood with his finger, and osprinkle some of its blood toward the front of the tent of meeting seven times. 5 And the heifer shall be burned in his sight. pIts skin, its flesh, and its blood, with its dung, shall be burned. 6 And the priest shall take qcedarwood and hyssop and scarlet yarn, and throw them into the fire burning the heifer. 7 Then the priest rshall wash his clothes and bathe his body in water, and afterward he may come into the camp. But the priest shall be unclean until evening. 8 sThe one who burns the heifer rshall wash his clothes in water and bathe his body in water and shall be unclean until evening. 9 And a man who is clean shall gather up tthe ashes of the heifer and deposit them outside the camp in a uclean place. And they shall be kept for the water for vimpurity for the congregation of the people of Israel; it is a sin offering. 10 And the one who gathers the ashes of the heifer rshall wash his clothes and be unclean until evening. And this shall be a perpetual statute for the people of Israel, and for the stranger who sojourns among them.
11 w“Whoever touches the dead body of any person shall be unclean seven days. 12 He xshall cleanse himself with the water on the third day and on the seventh day, and so be clean. But if he does not cleanse himself on the third day and on the seventh day, he will not become clean. 13 Whoever touches a dead person, the body of anyone who has died, and does not cleanse himself, ydefiles the tabernacle of the Lord, zand that person shall be cut off from Israel; because the water for impurity was not thrown on him, he shall be unclean. His uncleanness is still on him.
14 “This is the law when someone dies in a tent: everyone who comes into the tent and everyone who is in the tent shall be unclean seven days. 15 And every aopen vessel that has no cover fastened on it is unclean. 16 bWhoever in the open field touches someone who was killed with a sword or who died naturally, or touches a human bone or a cgrave, shall be unclean seven days. 17 For the unclean they shall take dsome ashes of the burnt sin offering, and fresh1 water shall be added in a vessel. 18 Then a clean person shall take ehyssop and dip it in the water and sprinkle it on the tent and on all the furnishings and on the persons who were there and on whoever touched the bone, or the slain or the dead or the grave. 19 And the clean person shall sprinkle it on the unclean fon the third day and on the seventh day. gThus on the seventh day he shall cleanse him, and he shall hwash his clothes and bathe himself in water, and at evening he shall be clean.
20 “If the man who is unclean does not cleanse himself, ithat person shall be cut off from the midst of the assembly, since he has defiled the sanctuary of the Lord. Because the water for impurity has not been thrown on him, he is unclean. 21 And it shall be a statute forever for them. The one who sprinkles the water for impurity shall wash his clothes, and the one who touches the water for impurity shall be unclean until evening. 22 And jwhatever the unclean person touches shall be unclean, and anyone who touches it shall be unclean until evening.”
The Death of Miriam
The Waters of Meribah
2 mNow there was no water for the congregation. nAnd they assembled themselves together against Moses and against Aaron. 3 And the people oquarreled with Moses and said, “Would that we had perished pwhen our brothers perished before the Lord! 4 Why have you brought the assembly of the Lord into this wilderness, that we should die here, both we and our cattle? 5 And qwhy have you made us come up out of Egypt to bring us to this evil place? It is no place for grain or figs or vines or pomegranates, and there is no water to drink.” 6 Then Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly to the entrance of the tent of meeting and rfell on their faces. sAnd the glory of the Lord appeared to them, 7 and the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 8 t“Take the staff, and assemble the congregation, you and Aaron your brother, and tell the rock before their eyes to yield its water. So uyou shall bring water out of the rock for them and give drink to the congregation and their cattle.” 9 And Moses took the staff vfrom before the Lord, as he commanded him.
Moses Strikes the Rock
10 Then Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock, and he said to them, w“Hear now, you rebels: shall we bring water for you out of this rock?” 11 And Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock with his staff twice, uand water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their livestock. 12 And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because xyou did not believe in me, yto uphold me as holy in the eyes of the people of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land that I have given them.” 13 zThese are the waters of Meribah,1 where the people of Israel quarreled with the Lord, and through them he showed himself holy.
Edom Refuses Passage
14 aMoses sent messengers from Kadesh to bthe king of Edom: “Thus says cyour brother Israel: You know all the hardship that we have met: 15 dhow our fathers went down to Egypt, eand we lived in Egypt a long time. fAnd the Egyptians dealt harshly with us and our fathers. 16 And gwhen we cried to the Lord, he heard our voice and hsent an angel and brought us out of Egypt. And here we are in Kadesh, a city on the edge of your territory. 17 iPlease let us pass through your land. We will not pass through field or vineyard, jor drink water from a well. We will go along the King’s Highway. We will not turn aside to the right hand or to the left until we have passed through your territory.” 18 But Edom said to him, “You shall not pass through, lest I come out with the sword against you.” 19 And the people of Israel said to him, “We will go up by the highway, kand if we drink of your water, I and my livestock, lthen I will pay for it. Let me only pass through on foot, nothing more.” 20 But he said, m“You shall not pass through.” And Edom came out against them with a large army and with a strong force. 21 Thus Edom nrefused to give Israel passage through his territory, so Israel oturned away from him.
The Death of Aaron
22 And they journeyed from pKadesh, and the people of Israel, the whole congregation, came to qMount Hor. 23 And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron at Mount Hor, on the border of the land of Edom, 24 r“Let Aaron be gathered to his people, for he shall not enter the land that I have given to the people of Israel, because syou rebelled against my command at the waters of Meribah. 25 Take Aaron and Eleazar his son and bring them up to Mount Hor. 26 And strip Aaron of his garments and put them on Eleazar his son. And Aaron rshall be gathered to his people and shall die there.” 27 Moses did as the Lord commanded. And they went up Mount Hor in the sight of all the congregation. 28 tAnd Moses stripped Aaron of his garments and put them on Eleazar his son. And Aaron died there uon the top of the mountain. Then Moses and Eleazar came down from the mountain. 29 And when all the congregation saw that Aaron had perished, vall the house of Israel wept for Aaron thirty days.