The Berean Expositor
Volume 23 - Page 39 of 207
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"Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them,
and the Lord is among them:  wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the
congregation of the Lord?" (Numb. 16: 3).
At the close of chapter 15: is the command of the Lord that all the children of Israel
should wear a fringe and a riband of blue, a remainder to them to keep all the
commandments of the Lord, to seek not the desires of their own hearts, and to be holy
unto the Lord.
Korah's argument was that, seeing that all the congregation was holy, there should be
no such distinctions among them as was evident in the high positions held by Moses and
Aaron; that Moses and Aaron had lifted themselves up above their fellows--all of whom
were part of the same congregation of the Lord.
Moses' first response is to prostrate himself before the Lord. He saw the seriousness
of this rebellion, and wisely sought the face of God before attempting to justify himself
before man. His opening words dispose of the insinuation of Korah, that Moses and
Aaron had lifted themselves up above the congregation. If there had been any "lifting up"
it was by the sovereign disposal of the Lord Himself:--
"Even to-morrow the Lord will shew who are His, and who is holy (set apart): and
will cause him to come near unto Him: even him whom He hath chosen will he cause to
come near unto Him. This do: Take your censers, Korah, and all his company; 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; ye take too much upon you, ye sons
of Levi" (Numb. 16: 5-7).
Moses now draws the attention of Korah to the illogical nature of his objection.
Korah himself was a Levite, and God had separated the Levites from the congregation of
Israel. They had been brought near to do the service of the tabernacle of the Lord:--
"He hath brought thee (Korah) near to Him; and all thy brethren, the sons of Levi,
with thee: and seek ye the priesthood also?" (Numb. 16: 10).
All Israel might have justly murmured against Korah, as Korah murmured against
Moses sought to remonstrate with the sons of Reuben, but they would not hear, but
cast the aspersion upon Moses, that he wished to make himself altogether a prince over
them. Then comes the dreadful ordeal. "Depart, I pray you, from the tents of these
wicked men" (Numb. 16: 26). We know the tragic end. Korah and his men went down
alive into the opened earth and were swallowed up, and the 250 men who had offered
incense were consumed with fire.
Here is a "new thing" or as the Hebrew reads: "but if the Lord create a creation." The
first earthquake is associated with usurpation of the priest's office.  Uzziah also is
connected both with an earthquake and with usurpation of the priest's office, and
Antichrist will be likewise associated with both.