Bamidbar (Numbers): Korach > Ch 17

G-d tells Eleazar, the son of Aaron to make a reminder that only kohanim may burn incense before the Lord

  • The Lord spoke to Moses saying: Say to Eleazar the son of Aaron the kohen that he should pick up the censers from the burned area (but throw the fire away), because they have become sanctified, the censers of these who sinned at the cost of their lives, and they shall make them into flattened out plates as an overlay for the altar, for they brought them before the Lord, and have [therefore] become sanctified, and they shall be as a reminder for the children of Israel.
  • So Eleazar the kohen took the copper censers which the fire victims had brought, and they hammered them out as an overlay for the altar, as a reminder for the children of Israel, so that no outsider, who is not of the seed of Aaron, shall approach to burn incense before the Lord, so as not to be like Korah and his company, as the Lord spoke regarding him through the hand of Moses.

The entire congregation complains against Moses and Aaron, blaming them for the deaths of 250 men. G-d starts a plague in the congregation. Moses & Aaron burn incense in the midst of the congregation to atone for them. G-d stops the plague. 14700 people die.

  • The following day, the entire congregation of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron saying, "You have killed the people of the Lord." It came to pass while the congregation were assembled against Moses and Aaron, that they turned to the Tent of Meeting, and behold, the cloud had covered it, and the glory of the Lord appeared.Moses and Aaron came to the front of the Tent of Meeting. The Lord spoke to Moses saying: ‚ÄúStand aside from this congregation, and I shall consume them in an instant." They fell on their faces. Moses said to Aaron, "Take the censer and put fire from the altar top into it. Then take it quickly to the congregation and atone for them, for wrath has gone forth from the Lord, and the plague has begun." Aaron took [it], just as Moses had said, and he ran into the midst of the assembly, and behold, the plague had begun among the people. He placed the incense on it and atoned for the people. He stood between the dead and the living, and the plague ceased. The number of dead in the plague was 14700, besides those who died because of the matter of Korah. Aaron returned to Moses at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting, and the plague was checked.

G-d tells Moses to bring 12 staffs, 1 staff for each tribe. The staff of Aaron blossoms. This sign helps the children of Israel to end their complains and be forgiven by G-d

  • The Lord said to Moses saying: Speak to the children and take from them a staff for each father's house from all the chieftains according to their fathers' houses; [a total of] 12 staffs, and inscribe each man's name on his staff. Inscribe Aaron's name on the staff of Levi, for there is [only] one staff for the head of their fathers' house. You shall place the staffs in the Tent of Meeting before [the [Ark of] the Testimony where I commune with you. The staff of the man whom I will choose will blossom, and I will calm down [turning away] from Myself the complaints of the children of Israel which they are complaining against you.
  • Moses spoke to the children of Israel, and all their chieftains gave him a staff for each chieftain according to their fathers' houses, [a total of] twelve staffs, and Aaron's staff was amidst their staffs. Moses placed the staffs before the Lord in the Tent of the Testimony. And on the following day Moses came to the Tent of Testimony, and behold, Aaron's staff for the house of Levi had blossomed! It gave forth blossoms, sprouted buds, and produced ripe almonds.
  • Moses took out all the staffs from before the Lord, to the children of Israel; they saw and they took, each man his staff. The Lord said to Moses: Put Aaron's staff back in front of the Testimony as a keepsake [and] a sign for rebellious ones. Then their complaints against Me will end and they will not die. Moses did so. He did just as the Lord had commanded him.
  • The children of Israel spoke to Moses saying, "Behold, we are dying, we will perish, we are all lost! Whoever comes the closest to the Mishkan of the Lord dies! Have we been consigned to die?