Today’s reading is: Num. 16-18
Numbers Chapter Sixteen
- Chapter 16 deals with a Levitical and Reubenical rebellion against the authority of Moses & Aaron.
- The conspirators:
- Korah, a Levite in the division of Kohath. The ringleader of the entire rebellion (Jude 11).
- Dathan & Abiram, sons of Eliab, son of Reuben. The ringleaders of Reubenical cooperation with Korah’s Rebellion (Num. 26:9).
- On, son of Peleth, son of Reuben. Not mentioned in subsequent references to this event.
- An additional congress of 250 princes of Israel (Num. 16:2).
- The rebellion is a rebellion against the Lord’s delegated authority (Num. 16:3).
- Korah’s argument was that all of Levi should have spiritual authority, not just the house of Aaron.
- Reuben’s argument was that Reuben should have temporal authority.
- The supporting congress was in favor of Korah’s party platform, as it was much more appealing than dying in the wilderness under Divine discipline.
- Moses establishes a test to demonstrate the Lord’s Sovereign choice between Korah & Aaron (Num. 16:4-7,16-19).
- Moses rebukes Korah for his attempt to usurp the Aaronic priesthood (Num. 16:8-11).
- Dathan and Abiram defied their summons, and asserted independence from Moses’ authority (Num. 16:12-15).
- The Lord tells Moses and Aaron to stand back, but they intercede for the nation of Israel (Num. 16:20-22).
- The Lord then warns Israel to get away from the dwellings of Korah, Dathan, & Abiram (Num. 16:23-34).
- Warning was issued so that those who feared God could choose to break their association with evil.
- Divine judgment came upon all who volitionally chose to identify with evil.
- Interestingly, the sons of Korah chose to forsake their carnal father, and humble themselves before their Heavenly Father (Num. 26:11).
- The Sons of Korah will become a great body with tremendous fruit (Psa. 42,44-49,84,85,87,88).
- The prophet Samuel was of this Levitical division (1st Chr. 6:33).
- Heman the singer (Samuel’s grandson) was in this Levitical division (1st Chr. 6:33-38; Psa. 88).
- Israel responded with fear to the expression of Divine wrath (Num. 16:34).
- The Lord also destroyed with fire the 250 princes who were bearing the incense (Num. 16:35).
- Eleazar was instructed to manufacture plating for the altar, in full view of all Israel as a warning (Num. 16:36-40).
- A follow up rebellion of grumbling occurred in protest of God’s judgment for Korah’s rebellion (Num. 16:41-50).
Numbers Chapter Seventeen
- Following the back-to-back rebellions and judgments, the Lord performed a miracle to assert Aaron’s preeminence as the Lord’s High Priest.
- Twelve rods were produced, each one labeled with the name of the leader for each tribe (Num. 17:2).
- Aaron’s name was inscribed upon the Levitical rod, as Aaron is given rulership over the entire tribe of Levi (Num. 17:3).
- The Lord demonstrated His Sovereign, gracious choice of Aaron with the visible sprouting, budding, blossoming, and ripe almond bearing of Aaron’s rod (Num. 17:4-11).
- The people responded with tremendous fear, that the Lord’s executioner was about to come upon them (Num. 17:12,13).
Numbers Chapter Eighteen
- After the rebellions of chapters 16&17, the Lord admonishes Aaron to his responsibility for the priests and Levites under his charge (Num. 18:1-7).
- The provisions and privileges of the Aaronic priesthood are reviewed (Num. 18:8-20).
- The provisions and privileges of the Levites are reviewed (Num. 18:21-24).
- Levi is admonished to tithe their tithe (Num. 18:25-32).