Numbers 16:31-32

31 As soon as he finished saying all this, the ground under them split apart
32 and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them and their households, and all those associated with Korah, together with their possessions.

Numbers 16:31-32 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO NUMBERS 16

This chapter gives an account of a sedition of Korah and others against Moses and Aaron, Nu 16:1-4, with whom Moses expostulates, and shows the unreasonableness of their clamour against Aaron, Nu 16:5-11; sends for Dathan and Abiram, who were in the confederacy, but refused to come, which greatly angered Moses, Nu 16:12-15; orders Korah and his company to appear before the Lord the next day, with Aaron, to have the controversy decided, Nu 16:16-18; when all the congregation gathered together would have been, consumed had it not been for the intercession of Moses and Aaron, Nu 16:19-22; and who, being separated from the rebels by the command of the Lord, some of the rebels were swallowed up in the earth, and others destroyed by fire from heaven, Nu 16:23-35; and their censers were made a covering for the altar, as a memorial of their sin, Nu 16:36-40; on which there was a new insurrection of the people, which brought a plague upon them, and destroyed 14,700 persons, and which was stopped at the intercession of Aaron, Nu 16:41-50.

Numbers 16:31-32 In-Context

29 If these men die a natural death and suffer the fate of all mankind, then the LORD has not sent me.
30 But if the LORD brings about something totally new, and the earth opens its mouth and swallows them, with everything that belongs to them, and they go down alive into the realm of the dead, then you will know that these men have treated the LORD with contempt.”
31 As soon as he finished saying all this, the ground under them split apart
32 and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them and their households, and all those associated with Korah, together with their possessions.
33 They went down alive into the realm of the dead, with everything they owned; the earth closed over them, and they perished and were gone from the community.
34 At their cries, all the Israelites around them fled, shouting, “The earth is going to swallow us too!”

Cross References 2

  • 1. Isaiah 64:1-2; Ezekiel 47:1-12; Micah 1:3-4; Zechariah 14:4
  • 2. S Exodus 15:12; Numbers 26:11; Deuteronomy 11:6; Psalms 106:17