Numbers 16

Numbers 16

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(Read Numbers 16 Part 1 First)

29 If these men die a natural death, then the LORD has not sent me.

30 But if the LORD performs a miracle and the ground opens up and swallows them and all their belongings, and they go down alive into the grave, then you will know that these men have despised the LORD."

31 He had hardly finished speaking the words when the ground suddenly split open beneath them.

32 The earth opened up and swallowed the men, along with their households and the followers who were standing with them, and everything they owned.

33 So they went down alive into the grave, along with their belongings. The earth closed over them, and they all vanished.

34 All of the people of Israel fled as they heard their screams, fearing that the earth would swallow them, too.

35 Then fire blazed forth from the LORD and burned up the 250 men who were offering incense.

36 And the LORD said to Moses,

37 "Tell Eleazar son of Aaron the priest to pull all the incense burners from the fire, for they are holy. Also tell him to scatter the burning incense

38 from the burners of these men who have sinned at the cost of their lives. He must then hammer the metal of the incense burners into a sheet as a covering for the altar, for these burners have become holy because they were used in the LORD's presence. The altar covering will then serve as a warning to the people of Israel."

39 So Eleazar the priest collected the 250 bronze incense burners that had been used by the men who died in the fire, and they were hammered out into a sheet of metal to cover the altar.

40 This would warn the Israelites that no unauthorized man--no one who was not a descendant of Aaron--should ever enter the LORD's presence to burn incense. If anyone did, the same thing would happen to him as happened to Korah and his followers. Thus, the LORD's instructions to Moses were carried out.

41 But the very next morning the whole community began muttering again against Moses and Aaron, saying, "You two have killed the LORD's people!"

42 As the people gathered to protest to Moses and Aaron, they turned toward the Tabernacle and saw that the cloud had covered it, and the glorious presence of the LORD appeared.

43 Moses and Aaron came and stood at the entrance of the Tabernacle,

44 and the LORD said to Moses,

45 "Get away from these people so that I can instantly destroy them!" But Moses and Aaron fell face down on the ground.

46 And Moses said to Aaron, "Quick, take an incense burner and place burning coals on it from the altar. Lay incense on it and carry it quickly among the people to make atonement for them. The LORD's anger is blazing among them--the plague has already begun."

47 Aaron did as Moses told him and ran out among the people. The plague indeed had already begun, but Aaron burned the incense and made atonement for them.

48 He stood between the living and the dead until the plague was stopped.

49 But 14,700 people died in that plague, in addition to those who had died in the incident involving Korah.

50 Then because the plague had stopped, Aaron returned to Moses at the entrance of the Tabernacle.

Read Numbers 17

New Living Translation Bible and Notes used with permission Tyndale House Publishers.

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