NOTE: THE RECORDING DOES NOT CONFORM COMPLETELY TO THE TRANSCRIPT.
Num 16:1 Now Korah, the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, with Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On, the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took some men.
Korah is a type, the prototype (the first example), of anti-messiah. Moses was a type, the prototype (the first example), of Messiah and Korah opposed him. Dathan and Abiram from the tribe of Reuben represent companions that are with the anti-messiah but the anti-Messiah comes from the tribe of Levi. In the end of days, many will agree with the anti-Messiah and will oppose our Messiah and savior, Yeshua.
Korah’s rebellion came after YHVH’s final test, the 10th test which we read about in Numbers 14:20-22. YHVH said they had “tempted me these ten times, and have not listened to my voice” in verse 22. Yet, here comes another test of YHVH by the people. YHVH tests His people and they test him. Let’s see how it works out, once again, when one of YHVH’s people decides to test Him.
Egyptians shaved themselves, especially priests and government officials. This is a clue as to Korah’s activities in the Egyptian government. The Egyptians, it is believed, shaved their heads and bodies to prevent lice and other diseases associated with Egyptian life. But why did YHVH want Israelite men to have hair on their faces and bodies? It goes to YHVH’s promises about Him not putting the diseases of the Egyptians on the Israelites. Egyptians were a diseased people which caused them to go to extreme measures trying to cure themselves. Our healer is YHVH and we do not need to take extreme measures to heal ourselves.
By the way, there is a natural baldness of the head which YHVH speaks about in Lev 13:40-41. He explains that the natural baldness of a man’s forehead does not constitute leprosy. Leprosy can appear in a naturally bald spot, though, and YHVH explains this. Natural baldness of the forehead or a bald spot on the head is not what YHVH is talking about regarding Korah.
To be clear on this, there is a disease, alopecia, which causes hair loss all over the head. Chemotherapy also causes total hair loss. I bring this up because it is not normal for any man or woman to lose all of their hair everywhere on the head. Egyptian baldness is deliberately done. It was not caused by disease. This is why YHVH makes a point of telling us Korah’s character through his name. Whether he was named this from birth or whether he became known by this name because of this anti-Israelite behavior (even when the Israelites were in Egypt) is not known.
Korah’s baldness, though, is shaved, depilated, made bald by Korah himself in the Egyptian style. It will be after this conflict that YHVH will give rulings against making baldness on oneself.
Korah, though a physical Israelite from the tribe of Levi, was an Egyptian through and through. The root word for Korah’s name, Strong’s H7142, is Strong’s H7139, ‘qarach’. His name means to “make bald” by depilatories and shaving, to remove one’s head and body hair oneself.
Korah’s deliberate baldness is a clue to his spirit, his personality, that claims HE is the “head”, the shining one, over everyone else including YHVH! This is because Strong’s H7140, qerach, also means “ice”, “smooth” and “frosty”. Korah’s icy, shiny head that beamed and sparkled in the sunlight shows Korah’s icy character.
Israel has rules for what to do with hair and beard.
Lev 19:27 You shall not round the side of your head, nor mar the edge of your beard.
Lev 21:5 They shall not make baldness on their head, nor shall they shave the corner of their beard, nor make any cutting in their flesh.
Our people are not to look or act like Egyptians. Korah shaved his head like the Egyptian priests and government officials. He probably did this because Jewish history says Korah was an accountant to Pharaoh but he may have practiced one of the Egyptian religions as a priest, as well.
However, Korah, like Nadav and Abihu (Aaron’s sons), were trying to keep Egypt’s culture and religions alive within YHVH’s congregation. One way Korah showed his rebellion openly toward YHVH was by continuing to shave his head and body hair. Shaving in Israel was a sign of something, a sign of a Nazarite vow or of having been cleansed from leprosy. By constantly shaving, the Egyptians and Korah declared themselves clean and righteous. Korah was this kind of man – self-cleansed and self-righteous.
Korah fit the bill when the people called for a leader to take them back to Egypt because they could no longer see a reason to continue in this desert.
Num 14:4 And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt.
They would rather die in Egypt having what they thought would be a better life than to rough it in this awful wilderness. Their life had been hard in Egypt, but it was the familiarity that drew them back. Humans have a penchant for seeking the familiar even if it is a terrible familiarity and one of abuse and hardship.
Num 16:2 And they rose up before Moses, with certain of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation, men of renown:
Korah rallied the men of renown, men that people would follow in their return to Egypt. What Satan’s people don’t count on is that YHVH will kill the rebels from within His congregation rather than let them cause His people to turn back. If the first generation won’t go, He will bring the second.
Korah and his men of renown had a problem. There were these two pesky, geeky guys in the way. Moses and Aaron. But Korah knew how to fix that problem! He would remove them from office!
The evil report of the spies was a turning back from the battle and Korah’s idea was that the WHOLE nation needed to turn back from the battle. Turning back from Israel’s battles, whether corporate or personal, makes the person a coward, and in YHVH’s war with Satan, cowards are not welcome. Satan started this war but YHVH will finish it! Satan uses people to destroy YHVH’s Kingdom and YHVH fights back with His people, but He needs people who can stand in the battle.
Luk 9:62 But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for God’s Kingdom.”
Num 16:3 They assembled themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said to them, “You take too much on yourself, since all the congregation are holy, everyone of them, and Yahweh is among them! Why do you lift yourselves up above Yahweh’s assembly?”
Korah’s snide attitude with Moses – “Moses, Moses, you take too much on yourself (you fool). I’m the one who should be running this show!”
The plain understanding is that Korah and his princes were telling Moses and Aaron that they were incompetent, but even worse, that YHVH Himself does not have the power and authority to enforce His Law on them!
The accusation to Moses and Aaron is that “YOU anointed you”. YHVH did not anoint you! You are not called! We are all called! We are all holy, each one of us!
No. Not every ONE is holy. This right here is the same false doctrine that Christians and Jews teach today. The congregation is holy as a people, not as individuals. This is a subtle but very important distinction made clear by Paul in his teaching that it is the BODY, the congregation, the assembly, of Messiah that is the Temple, the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. The congregation is holy, not individuals.
As a Levite, Korah was part of a set apart, or holy, group with higher level of kedushah, set-apartness, or holiness, than the rest of the congregation. It wasn’t set-apartness that Korah wanted. He wanted rank, position and status. And not only higher rank, position and status. He wanted Moses’s place. What Korah saw in Moses was not Moses’s relationship with YHVH, but a man who really knew how to do magic and manipulate the gods! Korah, who I pointed out earlier may have been not only an accountant to Pharoah but also a priest in one of the Egyptian religions, may have thought YHVH was an easier God to manipulate than even the Egyptians gods. Otherwise, how was this insignificant fellow, Moses, able to manipulate YHVH so easily? Moses had not been a priest in an Egyptian Temple. What did he know about god manipulation? Someone with more personal charisma could do that manipulation even better than Moses! And charisma, force of personality, is what Korah had!
Korah was from the family of Kohath, a great grandson of Levi. But there were other members of the Levite Kohath family besides Korah, one of which had been chosen above him.
Num_3:30 The prince of the fathers’ house of the families of the Kohathites shall be Elzaphan the son of Uzziel.
Who was Uzziel? He wasn’t listed in Numbers 16:1 with the rebels. Uzziel was a son of Kohath and uncle to Korah.
Exo_6:18 The sons of Kohath: Amram, and Izhar, and Hebron, and Uzziel; and the years of the life of Kohath were one hundred thirty-three years.
Exo_6:22 The sons of Uzziel: Mishael, and Elzaphan, and Sithri.
Uzziel and his son Elzaphan, Korah’s cousin, are guys we don’t read anything about except in Leviticus 10:4.
Lev_10:4 Moses called Mishael and Elzaphan, the sons of Uzziel the uncle of Aaron, and said to them, “Draw near, carry your brothers from before the sanctuary out of the camp.”
The men they carried out of the sanctuary were none other than Nadav and Abihu. Uzziel’s son, Elziphan, was probably like his dad – humble, which is why we don’t read much about him. YHVH chooses the least among us for His work. There was a reason Uzziel’s sons were selected to remove the ash remains of Aaron’s wicked sons. They were humble enough to be trusted during that moment.
Yep. YHVH had made the mistake of choosing someone other than Korah from the Kohathites and Korah was insanely jealous that Elzaphan, his cousin, to head the Kohahties in Numbers 3:30 and now he planned to take over and show everyone how it’s done!
Korah, on the other hand, was not so humble. He promoted himself as the guy that needed to lead the people back to Egypt and to prove his leadership prowess that could go up against this YHVH God, he formed a coalition of 250 men against two men – against Moses and Aaron! This rebellious spirit of Korah was known to YHVH who sees and knows the hearts of men, unlike the gods of stone and wood preferred by Korah.
It was obvious to him that Moses and Aaron were fools, not leaders, and on top of that, they had usurped the proper order, the proper Egyptian order of those who climb the ladder of success to the top. Korah should be in charge and Korah knew it! And he also knew the only way to save Israel now was to subject the newly formed nation under the same regime that YHVH had just destroyed. After all, who was YHVH? Just another manipulated deity was all. And there were other more powerful deities in Egypt, according to Korah.
Bullies need a bunch of other guys to help them do the bullying. But YHVH knows how to handle bullies. One righteous person will put a thousand to flight (Deuteronomy 32:30). Therefore, Korah didn’t have enough men. In fact, if Korah had put together 10,000 princes from the congregation it would not have been enough since 2 righteous men can put 10,000 to flight. Korah underestimated his enemy, YHVH, just like Pharaoh whose army drowned in the Red Sea not so long before.
We come to the firepan test of these 251 men – Korah plus 250 cronies. Two of the cowards refused to come forward with their firepans – Dathan and Abiram.
Num 16:12 And Moses sent to call Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab. And they said, We will not come up.
Num 16:13 Is it a small thing that you have brought us up out of a land that flows with milk and honey, to kill us in the wilderness, but must you also seize dominion over us?
Num 16:14 Besides, you have not brought us into a land that flows with milk and honey, nor given us inheritance in fields and vineyards. Will you put out the eyes of these men? We will not come up.
You see? They attributed their deliverance from Egypt to Moses, not YHVH, and their own failures in all the tests, including the wicked report about the land, to Moses, too! And now they claim that it is Moses who wants to rule over them. They even know that YHVH is their King. Moses is not.
Moses told the men to bring their firepans and put incense in the firepans and come to the Tabernacle in the morning (Numbers 16:7).
Let me ask you where these men would have gotten their incense? If it was Levite incense, they have to die for using it.
Exo 30:38 Whoever shall make any like that, to smell of it, shall even be cut off from his people.
And if they used Egyptian incense, they have to die.
Lev 10:1 And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it, and put incense on it, and offered strange fire before Jehovah, which He had not commanded them.
Lev 10:2 And there went out fire from Jehovah and devoured them, and they died before Jehovah.
Do you see how stupid these men are and how ridiculous this situation is which they have made? They signed their own death warrants bringing incense before YHVH when they already knew what had happened to Nadav and Abihu and what the law was regarding the Levitical incense. The rebellious are blinded by their rebellion!
YHVH, for the third time (Numbers 16:21), now tells Moses He wants to kill the entire congregation but Moses and Aaron fall on their faces asking for forgiveness of the congregation over the sin of one man, Korah.
Moses gets up and goes to the tents of Dathan and Abiram where Moses speaks a death curse on them and tells everyone to get away lest they also die. Korah, Dathan and Abiram were swallowed up by the earth and back at the Tabernacle the same fire that killed Nadav and Abihu came forth and destroyed Korah’s 250 men.
Psa 1:1 Blessed is the man who has not walked in the counsel of the ungodly, and has not stood in the way of sinners, and has not sat in the seat of the scornful.
Psa 1:2 But his delight is only in the Law of Jehovah; and in His Law he meditates day and night.
Psa 1:3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivulets of water that brings forth its fruit in its seasons, and its leaf shall not wither, and all which he does shall be blessed.
Psa 1:4 The wicked are not so, but are like chaff which the wind drives away.
Psa 1:5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
Psa 1:6 For Jehovah knows the way of the righteous; but the way of the ungodly shall perish.
Unlike Korah’s declaration that every individual Israelite was holy, set apart, in his own right, it turns out that only their firepans were holy.
Num 16:37 Speak to Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest, that he take up the fire-pans out of the burning, and scatter the fire yonder. For they are holy.
Num 16:38 The firepans of these sinners against their own souls, let them make them into broad plates, a covering for the altar; for they offered them before Jehovah, therefore they are made holy. And they shall be a sign to the sons of Israel.
This was an object lesson for all Israel to understand that who YHVH chooses, He chooses who serves Him.
Num 16:39 And Eleazar the priest took the bronze firepans, the ones with which those who had been burned up had offered, and they were made into broad plates, a covering of the altar,
Num 16:40 a memorial to the sons of Israel, that no stranger not of the seed of Aaron may come near to offer incense before Jehovah, so that he may not be as Korah and as his company, as Jehovah said to him by the hand of Moses.
This lesson became a principle of YHVH’s Kingdom in that when YHVh chooses someone for an office, no one is to encroach on that office. We will find that out again with the upcoming episode of Miriam and how she spoke against Moses.
We now also understand an expanded definition of the word “stranger”. “Stranger” in this case is “zur”, Strong’s H2114. It is usually translated as foreigner. YHVH’s expanded definition of a foreigner includes Israelites who encroach on the office of Levi through Aaron. This is why I have strongly spoken against those who create their own Feast calendars or advocate any calendar other than the one given to Aaron. Calendars, Tabernacle and Temple rituals, sacrifices and care and maintenance of the Tabernacle and Temple are administered by the line of Aaron only.
BUT, on the very next day, the people blamed Moses and Aaron for the deaths of Korah and the 250 princes.
Num 16:41 But on the next day all the congregation of the sons of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron saying, You have killed the people of Jehovah.
Now, for the fourth time, YHVH wants to kill the entire congregation in Numbers 16:45. But again, Moses and Aaron fell on their faces. Moses knew what was coming and told Aaron to get his holy set-apart, firepan and put the correct incense in it, not the profane incense of Nadav and Abihu or the 250 princes, and run to stand in front of the plague that YHVH sent.
Rev 8:1 And when He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in Heaven for about half an hour.
Rev 8:2 And I saw the seven angels who stood before God, and seven trumpets were given to them.
Rev 8:3 And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer. And many incenses were given to him, so that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints on the golden altar before the throne.
Rev 8:4 And the smoke of the incense which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God from the angel’s hand.
Rev 8:5 And the angel took the censer and filled it with fire from the altar, and cast it into the earth. And voices and thunderings and lightnings and an earthquake occurred.
The coming Tribulation is first and foremost YHVH’s punishment on His House, His people. This angel must throw his firepan to the earth to stop the final destruction of all of YHVH’s people. Unlike Aaron, this angel cannot stand between the punishments and the people. There will be no discernible line of punishment in the Tribulation. YHVH’s punishments will be global, wherever His people are.
Notice that when Aaron returns to his station, the plagues will pass for the people:
Num 16:50 And Aaron returned to Moses to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and the plague was stayed.
The punishment of YHVH’s people will be over halfway through the Tribulation when YHVH pours His Spirit out on the WHOLE House of Israel, all 12 tribes, and Levi takes His office again. This will happen after the final battle of Israel’s 2900 year old civil war between the two Houses of Judah and Israel with the Gog-Magog battle and the Houses of David, Nathan, Levi and Shimei and the other families who will be in Jerusalem at that time will separate themselves from everyone to look upon Him whom they pierced 2,000 years ago (Zechariah 12:10).
In this Torah Portion, the entire congregation was already sick from its head to feet as Isaiah would later prophesy in Isaiah 1. YHVH would suffer with this condition of His people from this time for another 1500 years until Yeshua came to heal this sick body of YHVH to make the “new man” which Paul talked about.
The congregation was so ingrained with the Egyptian magicians’ sorceries, their fake illusions, that they could not see the real deal when it appeared. They could not recognize YHVH, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who was now quite literally their King. So, it wasn’t just Korah who was a true Egyptian. The entire congregation were Egyptian. Their bodies were Israelites but their hearts were Egyptian. And this is why the physical bodies of us cannot inherit the Kingdom. We are always too much part and parcel of our worldly cultures. Only our hearts, circumcised and made of flesh instead of stone, and then put into an immortal body with none of the physical body’s dross, left can inherit the Kingdom.
Chapter 17 is about YHVH showing, once again, to Israel who He has chosen to lead and be the Kingdom’s administrators, the overseers, supervisors, teachers of the Law, civil servants and such. The entire purpose of Aaron’s budding rod is proof that Aaron’s line leads Israel. Period. That has never changed, and they will still serve in the eternal Kingdom starting in the Millennium.
The chosen Aaronite who will lead the other Aaronites in the work of the Millennial Temple will be Zadok. Obviously Zadok will have been resurrected along with other Aaronites who will serve and some Aaronites who will be alive when Yeshua comes. These will have come to their senses about the One whom they pierced after the Gog-Magog war as Zechariah 12:10-14 says.
Chapter 18 now gives further understanding of responsibility to the line of Aaron for everything that happens at the Tabernacle.
The Levites had the responsibility of preventing the tribes from encroaching on the Tabernacle but do you do when it is the guards, themselves, the Levites, who encroach on the Tabernacle? Where is the final frontline? It is with the line of Aaron. Even if they have to battle the other Levites to protect YHVH’s sacred space, that is what they must do. In the roughly 400 years between the return of the Jews and the coming of Yeshua, the line of Aaron failed to step up to their duty. This is why the Priesthood was corrupt when Yeshua came.
Korah was a Levite who was supposed to protect the Tabernacle, not encroach on it, not usurp its authority or the authority of those who YHVH put in charge. It was Korah that brought the “zur”, the 250 Israelite princes, who in this instance became foreigners.
Whose job was it to stop this encroachment? It is Aaron’s! The Levites were a red line but the final responsibility for the safety of YHVH’s dwelling place rested on the line of Aaron, and Aaron had failed to protect YHVH’s realm. Again, 2 righteous men can put 10,000 to flight. So, it was Aaron’s responsibility to fight like Phineas would in chapter 25. It was Moses’s job to fall on his face. It was Aaron’s job to call his 2 sons that were left and take up arms to defend his office and YHVH’s Kingdom. In chapter 18, YHVH alludes to this and tells Aaron that the Levites are there to do Aaron’s charge Numbers 18:2-3.
Num 18:4 And they shall be joined to you, and keep the charge of the tabernacle of the congregation, for all the service of the tabernacle. And a stranger shall not come near you.
It is the job of the Aaronites, as the final red line, to keep the “zur”, the strangers (which should be translated as foreigners here because that is how YHVh views them) out of the Tabernacle. “Zur” have no business meddling with the affairs of YHVH’s government. That is for Aaron alone. People do not know what a serious crime it is to encroach on Aaron’s duties!
All of what Aaron is responsible for is so there will not be “wrath any more upon the sons of Israel” (Numbers 18:5).
The Levites are a gift from YHVH to the line of Aaron for the doing the work of the Tabernacle (Numbers 18:6). Aaron’s line will do the duties of the office of priest and encroachers will be put to death (Numbers 18:7). Phineas will do just this in Numbers 25.
For having this honor and duty given to them, the line of Aaron has charge of YHVH’s heave offerings which He gave them because they are anointed, and this is theirs “by an ordinance forever”. They receive everything that comes from the fire – the meat from all of the sacrifices, sin and trespass offerings, heave and wave offering, and the food offerings. They also receive all of the best olive oil, wine, wheat, the firstfruits and “everything devoted” in Israel along with everything that opens the womb whether men or animals.
This is why the firstborn human males have to be redeemed. Unless they are redeemed, they remain in YHVH’s service and firstborn Israelite males cannot serve in the Tabernacle or they will be killed. The firstborn become ‘zur’, foreigners if they are not redeemed. But the firstborn of the animals – cows, sheep and goats – are not to be redeemed. Their meat and the wave breast and right shoulder belongs to Aaron and his line for their service (Num 18:8-18).
Num 18:19 says it “is a covenant of salt forever before YHVH to you and to your seed with you”.
Num 18: 20 explains that the line of Aaron “shall have no inheritance in their land, neither shall you have any part among them. I am your part and your inheritance among the sons of Israel”.
The world has always been more full of rebels than loyalists, people who obey YHVH. The mess we are in began with one rebellious human – Adam. Korah is simply continuing the tradition but there is much to learn about what happens to those who rebel. The Bible ends the story of Israel in the Book of Revelation.
Rev 22:11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is set apart (kadosh), let him be set apart still.
At a certain point in a person’s life and with the human race in the history of the earth, a time will come when turning back to God will no longer be possible. Stay away from the world. Cling to Yeshua YHVH. Repent for your sins from HIS list which is given in the Law of Moses and not from some church doctrine or synagogue’s Rabbi’s opinion of what sin is. Go to YHVH’s list and repent from that, and then begin to obey. Anything less is rebellion.
YHVH’s people tend to look at Korah’s story as something they would never do. They don’t understand that rebellion is a matter of degrees. Obedience is not. Obedience is either-or, black or white, break one commandment, break them all. But rebellion does come in degrees.
Korah’s rebellion was of the highest degree. Nadav and Abihu’s rebellion is of the highest degree. The ten men who spied the land and then brought back an evil report about the land is of the highest degree. Still, these are degrees of rebellion. We must examine our lives to uncover where the degrees of lesser rebellion lie. And always we will find some part of Egypt still in us.
Repent! Stop rebelling even in small ways. Don’t look like an Egyptian or walk (act) like an Egyptian. Walk in YHVH’s ancient righteous path, in His Kingdom with its righteous Law, which exists before the foundation of this earth on which we live. Egypt will soon disappear from the earth altogether and forever but YHVH’s Kingdom will remain and will rule and reign on this earth from Jerusalem.
And all the people said Amen!
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