N U M B E R S
The date of the history contained in this chapter
is altogether uncertain. Probably these mutinies happened after
their removal back again from Kadesh-barnea, when they were fixed
(if I may so speak) for their wandering in the wilderness, and
began to look upon that as their settlement. Presently after new
laws given follows the story of a new rebellion, as if sin took
occasion from the commandment to become more exceedingly sinful.
Here is, I. A daring and dangerous rebellion raised against Moses
and Aaron, by Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, ver. 1-15. 1. Korah and his accomplices
contend for the priesthood against Aaron, ver. 3. Moses reasons with them, and appeals
to God for a decision of the controversy, ver. 4-11. 2. Dathan and Abiram quarrel
with Moses, and refuse to obey his summons, which greatly grieves
him, ver. 12-15. II. A
solemn appearance of the pretenders to the priesthood before God,
according to order, and a public appearance of the glory of the
Lord, which would have consumed the whole congregation if Moses and
Aaron had not interceded, ver.
16-22. III. The deciding of the controversy, and the
crushing of the rebellion, by the cutting off of the rebels. 1.
Those in their tents were buried alive, ver. 23-34. 2. Those at the door of the
tabernacle were consumed by fire (ver.
35), and their censers preserved for a memorial,
ver. 37-40. IV. A new
insurrection of the people, ver.
41-43. 1. God stayed in the insurrection by a plague,
ver. 45. 2. Aaron stayed
the plague by offering incense, ver. 46-50. The manner and method of
recording this story plainly show the ferment to have been very