Numbers 16:47

47 So Aaron did as Moses said, and ran into the midst of the assembly. The plague had already started among the people, but Aaron offered the incense and made atonement for them.

Read Numbers 16:47 Using Other Translations

And Aaron took as Moses commanded, and ran into the midst of the congregation; and, behold, the plague was begun among the people: and he put on incense, and made an atonement for the people.
So Aaron took it as Moses said and ran into the midst of the assembly. And behold, the plague had already begun among the people. And he put on the incense and made atonement for the people.
Aaron did as Moses told him and ran out among the people. The plague had already begun to strike down the people, but Aaron burned the incense and purified the people.

What does Numbers 16:47 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Numbers 16:47

And Aaron took as Moses commanded
A censer with fire in it from the altar, and also incense:

and ran into the midst of the congregation:
though a man in years and in so high an office, and had been so ill used by the people; yet was not only so ready to obey the divine command, but so eager to serve this ungrateful people, and save them from utter destruction, that he ran from the tabernacle into the midst of them:

and, behold, the plague was begun among the people;
he saw them fall down dead instantly in great numbers:

and he put on incense;
upon the fire in the censer, which though it was not in common lawful to burn but in the holy place on the altar of incense, yet, upon this extraordinary occasion, it was dispensed with by the Lord, as it had been the day before when he offered it at the door of the tabernacle with the two hundred fifty men of Korah's company; and perhaps the reason of it now was, that the people might see Aaron perform this kind office for them, and give them a fresh convincing proof of his being invested with the office of priesthood from the Lord, or otherwise he could have done this in its proper place, the sanctuary:

and made an atonement for the people;
by offering incense, which God smelt a sweet savour in, and accepted of, and his wrath was appeased and the plague stayed: in this Aaron was a type of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of his mediation, atonement, and intercession; wrath is gone forth from God for the sins of men, which is revealed in the law; and death, the effect of it, has taken place on many in every sense of it, corporeal, spiritual, and eternal: Christ, as Mediator, in pursuance of his suretyship engagements, has made atonement for the sins of his people by the sacrifice of himself; and now ever lives to make intercession for them, which is founded upon his sacrifice and satisfaction, his sufferings and death, signified by the fire in which the incense was put.

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