They came as a group to oppose Moses and Aaron1 and said to them, "You have gone too far! The whole community is holy,2 every one of them, and the LORD is with them.3 Why then do you set yourselves above the LORD's assembly?"44
When Moses heard this, he fell facedown.55
Then he said to Korah and all his followers: "In the morning the LORD will show who belongs to him and who is holy,6 and he will have that person come near him.7 The man he chooses8 he will cause to come near him.
You, Korah, and all your followers9 are to do this: Take censers107
and tomorrow put fire11 and incense12 in them before the LORD. The man the LORD chooses13 will be the one who is holy.14 You Levites have gone too far!"
Moses also said to Korah, "Now listen, you Levites!
Isn't it enough15 for you that the God of Israel has separated you from the rest of the Israelite community and brought you near himself to do the work at the LORD's tabernacle and to stand before the community and minister to them?1610
He has brought you and all your fellow Levites near himself, but now you are trying to get the priesthood too.1711
It is against the LORD that you and all your followers have banded together. Who is Aaron that you should grumble18 against him?19"
Then Moses summoned Dathan and Abiram,20 the sons of Eliab. But they said, "We will not come!2113
Isn't it enough that you have brought us up out of a land flowing with milk and honey22 to kill us in the desert?23 And now you also want to lord it over us?2414
Moreover, you haven't brought us into a land flowing with milk and honey25 or given us an inheritance of fields and vineyards.26 Will you gouge out the eyes ofa these men?27 No, we will not come!28"
Then Moses became very angry29 and said to the LORD, "Do not accept their offering. I have not taken so much as a donkey30 from them, nor have I wronged any of them."
Moses said to Korah, "You and all your followers are to appear before the LORD tomorrow--you and they and Aaron.3117
Each man is to take his censer and put incense in it--250 censers in all--and present it before the LORD. You and Aaron are to present your censers also.32"
So each man took his censer,33 put fire and incense in it, and stood with Moses and Aaron at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting.
When Korah had gathered all his followers in opposition to them34 at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting, the glory of the LORD35 appeared to the entire assembly.
The LORD said to Moses and Aaron,
"Separate yourselves36 from this assembly so I can put an end to them at once."3722
But Moses and Aaron fell facedown38 and cried out, "O God, God of the spirits of all mankind,39 will you be angry with the entire assembly40 when only one man sins?"4123
Then the LORD said to Moses,
"Say to the assembly, 'Move away from the tents of Korah, Dathan and Abiram.' "
Moses got up and went to Dathan and Abiram, and the elders of Israel42 followed him.
He warned the assembly, "Move back from the tents of these wicked men!43 Do not touch anything belonging to them, or you will be swept away44 because of all their sins.45"
So they moved away from the tents of Korah, Dathan and Abiram.46 Dathan and Abiram had come out and were standing with their wives, children47 and little ones at the entrances to their tents.4828
Then Moses said, "This is how you will know49 that the LORD has sent me50 to do all these things and that it was not my idea:
If these men die a natural death and experience only what usually happens to men, then the LORD has not sent me.5130
But if the LORD brings about something totally new, and the earth opens its mouth52 and swallows them, with everything that belongs to them, and they go down alive into the grave,b53 then you will know that these men have treated the LORD with contempt.54"
As soon as he finished saying all this, the ground under them split apart5532
and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them,56 with their households and all Korah's men and all their possessions.
They went down alive into the grave,57 with everything they owned; the earth closed over them, and they perished and were gone from the community.
At their cries, all the Israelites around them fled, shouting, "The earth is going to swallow us too!"
And fire came out from the LORD58 and consumed59 the 250 men who were offering the incense.