1 One day Korah son of Izhar, a descendant of Kohath son of Levi, conspired with Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On son of Peleth, from the tribe of Reuben.
2 They incited a rebellion against Moses, involving 250 other prominent leaders, all members of the assembly.
3 They went to Moses and Aaron and said, "You have gone too far! Everyone in Israel has been set apart by the LORD, and he is with all of us. What right do you have to act as though you are greater than anyone else among all these people of the LORD?"
4 When Moses heard what they were saying, he threw himself down with his face to the ground.
5 Then he said to Korah and his followers, "Tomorrow morning the LORD will show us who belongs to him and who is holy. The LORD will allow those who are chosen to enter his holy presence.
6 You, Korah, and all your followers must do this: Take incense burners,
7 and burn incense in them tomorrow before the LORD. Then we will see whom the LORD chooses as his holy one. You Levites are the ones who have gone too far!"
8 Then Moses spoke again to Korah: "Now listen, you Levites!
9 Does it seem a small thing to you that the God of Israel has chosen you from among all the people of Israel to be near him as you serve in the LORD's Tabernacle and to stand before the people to minister to them?
10 He has given this special ministry only to you and your fellow Levites, but now you are demanding the priesthood as well!
11 The one you are really revolting against is the LORD! And who is Aaron that you are complaining about him?"
12 Then Moses summoned Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, but they replied, "We refuse to come!
13 Isn't it enough that you brought us out of Egypt, a land flowing with milk and honey, to kill us here in this wilderness, and that you now treat us like your subjects?
14 What's more, you haven't brought us into the land flowing with milk and honey or given us an inheritance of fields and vineyards. Are you trying to fool us? We will not come."
15 Then Moses became very angry and said to the LORD, "Do not accept their offerings! I have not taken so much as a donkey from them, and I have never hurt a single one of them."
16 And Moses said to Korah, "Come here tomorrow and present yourself before the LORD with all your followers. Aaron will also be here.
17 Be sure that each of your 250 followers brings an incense burner with incense on it, so you can present them before the LORD. Aaron will also bring his incense burner."
18 So these men came with their incense burners, placed burning coals and incense on them, and stood at the entrance of the Tabernacle* with Moses and Aaron.1
19 Meanwhile, Korah had stirred up the entire community against Moses and Aaron, and they all assembled at the Tabernacle entrance. Then the glorious presence of the LORD appeared to the whole community,
20 and the LORD said to Moses and Aaron,
21 "Get away from these people so that I may instantly destroy them!"
22 But Moses and Aaron fell face down on the ground. "O God, the God and source of all life," they pleaded. "Must you be angry with all the people when only one man sins?"
23 And the LORD said to Moses,
24 "Then tell all the people to get away from the tents of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram."
25 So Moses got up and rushed over to the tents of Dathan and Abiram, followed closely by the Israelite leaders.
26 "Quick!" he told the people. "Get away from the tents of these wicked men, and don't touch anything that belongs to them. If you do, you will be destroyed for their sins."
27 So all the people stood back from the tents of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. Then Dathan and Abiram came out and stood at the entrances of their tents with their wives and children and little ones.
28 And Moses said, "By this you will know that the LORD has sent me to do all these things that I have done--for I have not done them on my own.