Life Skills from the Word of YHWH

 Korach (Baldness)
(Sefer Bamidbar) Numbers 16:1 – 18:32

16:3- “And they gathered themselves together against Moshe and against Aharon, and said unto them, Ye
take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and YHVH is among them: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of YHVH?
5- And he spoke unto Korach and unto all his company, saying, Even tomorrow YHVH will show who are His, and who is holy; and will cause him to come near unto Him: even him whom He has chosen will He cause to come near unto Him.
6- This do; Take you censers, Korach, and all his company;
7- And put fire therein, and put incense in them before YHVH tomorrow: and it shall be that the man whom YHVH does choose, he shall be holy: ye take too much upon you, ye sons of Levi.
9- Seems it but a small thing unto you, that the Elohim of Yisrael has separated you from the congregation of Yisrael, to bring you near to Himself to do the service of the tabernacle of YHVH, and to stand before the congregation to minister unto them?
19- And Korach gathered all the congregation against them unto the door of the tent of meeting: and the glory of YHVH appeared unto all the congregation.
20- And YHVH spoke unto Moshe and unto Aharon, saying,
21- Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment.
24- Speak to the congregation, saying, Get up from about the tabernacle of Korach, Datan, and Aviram.
26- And he spoke unto the congregation, saying, Depart, I pray you, from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of theirs, lest ye be consumed in all their sins.
28- And Moshe said, Hereby ye shall know that YHVH has sent me to do all these works; for I have not done them of mine own mind.
29- If these men die the common death of all men, or if they be visited after the visitation of all men; then YHVH has not sent me.
30- But if YHVH make a new thing, and the earth open her mouth, and swallow them up, with all that appertain unto them, and they go down quick into the pit; then ye shall understand that these men have provoked YHVH.
32- And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that appertained unto Korach, and all their goods.
33- They, and all that appertained to them, went down alive into the pit, and the earth closed upon them: and they perished from among the congregation.
34- And all Israel that were round about them fled at the cry of them: for they said, Lest the earth swallow us up also.
35- And a fire came out from YHVH, and consumed the two hundred and fifty men that offered incense.
38- The censers of these sinners against their own souls, let them make them broad plates for a covering of the altar: for they offered them before YHVH, therefore they are hallowed: and they shall be a sign unto the children of Yisrael.”

“Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of YHVH.”
(Psalms 34:11)

“Because my people has forgotten me, they have burned incense to vanity, and they have caused
them to stumble in their ways from the ancient paths, to walk in paths, in a way not cast up.”
(Jeremiah 18:15)

“And the Levites that are gone away far from me, when Yisrael went astray, which went astray
away from me after their idols; they shall even bear their iniquity.”
(Ezekiel 44:10)

“Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they hear the Torah and The words which
YHVH Tzivaot sent in his spirit by the former prophets: So great wrath came from YHVH Tzivaot.”
(Zechariah 7:12)

“And all the people shall hear, and fear, and do no more presumptuously.”
(Deuteronomy 17:13)


“My voice shall thou hear in the morning, O YHVH;

in the morning will I direct my prayer, unto thee, and will look up.”

(Psalms 5:3)

Korach Summary:
1. Incensed over Incense - Opening Separate Ground Rules:

As meticulously as HaShem explained all the procedures of worship to Moshe upon the Mount, so perfectly is the enforcement of ensuing non-compliance. Reminiscent of the swift reprisal from foreign fire introduced by Aharon’s deceased sons, recorded in Leviticus 10:1-2, as it is written:
“And Nadav and Avihu, the sons of Aharon, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein,
and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before YHVH, which He commanded them
not. And there went out fire from YHVH, and devoured them, and they died before YHVH,”
the incendiary “incident” involving Korach’s rebellion reinforces this earlier principle which followed the firing of them who likewise had offered the incense improperly. Leviticus 10:3 clarifies the matter:
“ Then Moshe said unto Aharon, This is it that YHVH spoke, saying, I will be sanctified in them
that come near Me, and before all the people I will be glorified. And Aharon held his peace.”
In generations to come, ire over the issue of improper incense would arise again, inflaming Elohim and His kohanim as 2 Chronicles 26:18 previews the punishment of leprosy for presumption in this area:
“And they withstood Uzziah the king, and said to him, It pertains not to thee, Uzziah, to burn incense
unto YHVH, but to the Kohanim the sons of Aharon, that are consecrated to burn incense: go out
of the sanctuary; for thou has trespassed; neither shall it be for thine honor from YHVH Elohim.”
Of a certainty, HaShem had invited the illegitimate Levites to ignite His wrath. Inciting them into unwelcome territory, the Holy One of Yisrael was not about to surrender to the will of man. On the contrary, the miracle-working Master of the Universe would allow another in a series of insurrection to illustrate that He will vomit the revolting element out of His midst, in this case by swallowing them up into the earthly abyss. Even as there were those who contested the Word of Elohim in the wilderness, still others continue to contest the Authority of Moshe and the prophets as Jeremiah 23:16-17 relates:
“They say still unto them that despise Me, YHVH has said, Ye shall have peace; and they say
unto every one that walk after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you.
For who has stood in the counsel of YHVH, and has perceived and heard His word? Who has
marked His word, and heard it?”
With this blatant disregard for what HaShem has spoken, Jeremiah 23:22 warns of a day yet to come:
“The anger of YHVH shall not return, until He has executed, and till He has performed the
thoughts of His heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly.”

2. Prayerfully Weighing the Glory of our Callings:
Although the absence of the Temple and the controversy creating the high drama seems to be a thing of the past, the priesthood continues and its Glory must be revered. Parallel to the attitude of Korach and a propensity to minimize one’s Heavenly calling, the possibility for dissatisfaction to exist. In Zechariah 4:10, the prophet speaks in hope of a greater glory not yet seen as he declares:
“For who has despised the day of small things? For they shall rejoice…”
That we not underestimate the splendor of our callings and instead, respond faithfully with blessed hearts, Psalms 141:2 equates our prayers to the privilege, reserved for the sons of Aharon, as is written:
“Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening
As offering incense was alone limited to those chosen, Proverbs 28:9 tells of prayer’s weighty reality:
“He that turns away his ear from hearing the Torah, even his prayer shall be abomination.”


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