KORAH’s Rebellion

KORAH’S Rebellion

By Christine Egbert

 We must never forget that God raises up leaders!

Numbers 27:16-17 Let YHVH, the God of the spirits of all flesh, appoint a man over the congregation who will go out before them and who will go in before them, who will lead them out and bring them in, so that the congregation of YHVH will not be as sheep to whom there is no shepherd. 

 Jeremiah 23:3-4  “I will gather the remnant of My flock out of all the countries where I have driven them, and will bring them back to their folds, and they will be fruitful and multiply. I will raise up shepherds over them who will feed them.

 1 Corinthians 12:28  God has put into His community: emissaries, prophets, teachers, miracles, healing, helps, LEADERSHIP, and various kinds of tongues.

1 Thessalonians 5:12 “We request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction, and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work.”

1 Timothy 5:17-19  The elders who lead well are worthy of honor and honorarium—especially those who work hard in the word and teaching. For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing,” and, “The worker is worthy of his wage.” Do not accept an accusation against an elder except on the evidence of two or three witnesses.

Today, even in the Hebrew Roots move of God, many foolishly see themselves as Lone Rangers. They don’t need spiritual shepherds. They accuse teachers and congregational leaders of “lording it over them.” Sadly, most of these Lone Rangers don’t realize exactly where in Scripture the “FIRST MENTION” of this phrase appeared. It was first used by Korah’s rebellious followers.

Korah’s Rebellion!

Numbers 16:1-3 Now Korah, son of Izhar son of Kohath son of Levi, and sons of Reuben—Dathan and Abiram, sons of Eliab, and the son of Peleth—rose up against Moses and took 250 men from Bnei-Yisrael, men of renown who had been appointed to the council. They assembled against Moses and Aaron and said to them, “You’ve gone too far! All the community is holy—all of them—and Adonai is with them! Then why do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of Adonai?”

Num 16:4-6-13 When Moses heard this, he fell on his face. Then he said to Korah and all his following, “In the morning Adonai will reveal who is His and who is holy. The one whom He will let come near to Him will be the one He chooses to come near to Him. Do this, Korah, and your whole following! Take for yourselves censers.  Put fire and incense into them in the presence of Adonai. Tomorrow, the man whom Adonai chooses will be the holy one! You sons of Levi are the ones who have gone too far!” Moses also said to Korah, “Listen now, sons of Levi! Isn’t it enough that the God of Israel has set you apart from the community of Israel to bring you near to Him to do the work of the Tabernacle of Adonai and to stand before the community to minister to them? He brought you close, along with all your fellow sons of Levi, but you are seeking the priesthood, too! Therefore, you and all of your following have banded together against Adonai! Who then is Aaron that you are grumbling against him?” Then, Moses sent word to call Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, but they said, “We will not come! Isn’t it enough that you brought us from a land flowing with milk and honey, only to kill us in the wilderness? And now you would LORD IT OVER US?

In the very next verse the rebellious continue to COMPLAIN and ACCUSE Moses, who appeals to God. And in verse 16, Moses says, “You and your whole following are to appear before Adonai—you, they and Aaron—tomorrow! Each man will take his censer and put incense into it—250 censers total. You are to present yourself before Adonai, you and Aaron, each presenting his censer. So, each man took his censer, put fire and incense into it, and stood with Moses and Aaron at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting. When Korah and all his followers had assembled in opposition to them at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting, the glory of Adonai appeared to the entire assembly.And they fell on their faces, and said, O God, God of the spirits of all flesh, shall one man sin, and will You be angry with all the congregation?
And YHVH spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the congregation, saying, You get away from around the tent of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.” And Moses rose up and went to Dathan and Abiram, warning the assembly to move away from the tents of these wicked men and not to touch anything that was theirs, or they too would get swept away. Then Korah, Dathan and Abiram came outside and stood at the entrance of their tents with their wives, their children, and their little ones. Then Moses said, “By this you will know that Adonai has sent me to do all these works, that they are not from my own heart. If every one of these men die a common death and experience what happens to all people, then Adonai has not sent me, but if Adonai brings about a new thing, and the earth opens her mouth and swallows them and everything that is theirs, and they go down alive into Sheol, then you will know that these men have DESPISED ADONAI.” As soon as he finished saying these things, the ground split under them. The earth opened its mouth and swallowed them, along with all their households, all of Korah’s people, and all their possessions.


In spite of this, the children of Israel did not learn their lesson. For according to Numbers 16:41, “The next day, the entire community of Bnei-Yisrael grumbled against Moses and Aaron, saying, “You killed Adonai’s people!” According to Scripture 14,700 more people died from a plague this foolish outburst brought on them.

Let me close with two admonitions:

Hebrews 13:17  “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.”

Rom 13:1 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established… 2Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves...For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good.