And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up
Not only Dathan and Abiram, but their wives and children, their houses and tents, and all their goods, see ( Numbers 16:32 Numbers 16:33 ) together with Korah; the words being thus rendered, and standing in such close connection with the preceding, some have concluded from hence that Korah was swallowed up with them in the earth; whereas he seems rather to have been at that time with the two hundred and fifty men that had censers at the door of the tabernacle, and was consumed by fire with them, see ( Numbers 16:16-19 Numbers 16:40 ) and, indeed, it is suggested here, for the phrase may be rendered, "and the things of Korah" F13; what appertained unto him, his men, tents, goods, and substance, which agrees with ( Numbers 16:32 ) or, "and as for Korah" F14; with respect to him: "when that company died": he was at the head of, he died also, the same death they died, by fire, as follows:
what time the fire devoured two hundred and fifty men;
which was the number his company consisted of, who took censers, and offered incense, and were consumed by fire, ( Numbers 16:2 Numbers 16:17 Numbers 16:35 ) , and with whom, in all probability, he perished:
and they became a sign,
were made an example of, to deter others from the like practices, and particularly usurping any part of the priest's office: some connect the words with the following, and take the sense to be, that this was the sign or miracle, that when they perished, Korah's sons died not, but were preserved; which sense is countenanced by the Vulgate Latin, but the other sense is best.
F13 (xrq taw) "et quae erant, Korachi", Junius & Tremellius.
F14 So Pool, Patrick; "deinde et Corah (qui periit) in morte congregationis", Tigurine version.