The Book of Numbers 0003 - Lesson 5

Scripture Passage: 
Numbers 16:1-40

Chapter 16

Mutiny in the Ranks

  1. INTRODUCTION OF THE CHAPTER
    1. Division of the Chapter
      1. The challenge of the rebels (Numbers 16:1-3)
      2. The response of the man of God (Numbers 16:4-11)
      3. The battle with the rebels (Numbers 16:12-22)
      4. Separate from the rebels (Numbers 16:23-27).
      5. The judgment of the Lord upon the rebels (Numbers 16:28-40)
      6. The congregation follows the rebels (Numbers 16:41-50).
    2. Other Accounts of Numbers 16
      1. Psalm 106:16-17
      2. Numbers 26:9-11
      3. Deuteronomy 11:1-7
  2. THE CHALLENGE OF THE REBELS (Numbers 16:1-3)
    1. The Identity of the Rebels (Numbers 16:1)
      1. Korah
        1. Of the tribe of Levi
        2. A Kohathite
        3. As a Kohathite he had great privileges.
          1. He camped on the south side of the tabernacle (Numbers 3:29).
          2. He got to bear the most holy things as the Kohathites carried the instruments that reconciled the people with God (Numbers 4:15).
            1. The ark of the testimony
            2. The table of shewbread
            3. The candlestick of the light
            4. The golden altar
          3. Later in the Book of Joshua, it was the Kohathites who stepped into the Jordan River and saw the water part so that the Israelites could pass over on dry ground (Joshua 3:8-17), and whose feet left the Jordan and saw it return again to its overflow state (Joshua 4:18).
        4. Listed as one of the three men who portray a trait of false teachers (Jude 1:11)
          1. The way of Cain
          2. The error of Balaam
          3. The gainsaying of Core (Korah)
      2. Dathan and Abiram
        1. Of the tribe of Reuben
        2. The tribe of the firstborn who lost his birthright because of sin (1 Chronicles 5:1-2)
        3. Brothers
      3. On
        1. Of the tribe of Reuben
        2. Son of Peleth
        3. Seems to have backed out of the rebellion (Numbers 16:24-25)
      4. Other Men
        1. Notice the phrase “took men.”
        2. It is almost as though these men were taken captive.
    2. The Followers of the Rebels (Numbers 16:2)
      1. 250 princes of the assembly
      2. Famous in the congregation
      3. Men of renown (Genesis 6:4)
    3. The Complaint of the Rebels (Numbers 16:3)
      1. Ye take too much upon you.
        1. This was similar to the complaint of Miriam and Aaron (Numbers 12:2).
        2. This was the choice of the Israelites (Exodus 20:18-21).
        3. “In point of fact, the matter is as simple as possible.  Has God given a man his place to fill – his work to do?  Who will question this?  Well, then, let each know his place and fill it – know his work and do it…Korah had his work; Moses had his.  Why should one envy another?  It would be quite as reasonable to charge the sun, moon, and stars with taking too much upon them when they shine in their appointed spheres, as to charge any gifted servant of Christ therewith when he seeks to discharge the responsibility which his gift most surely imposes upon him.”  From Notes on Numbers by C.H. Mackintosh (page 297)
      2. All the congregation is holy (Exodus 19:3-6).
      3. The Lord is among every one of them.
      4. Why do ye lift yourselves up above them?
  3. THE RESPONSE OF THE MAN OF GOD (Numbers 16:4-11)
    1. Moses’ Humility (Numbers 16:4)
    2. Moses’ Confidence (Numbers 16:5)
      1. Tomorrow the Lord will show who are His.
      2. The Lord will cause him to come near.
      3. Even him whom He hath chosen (2 Timothy 2:19)
    3. Moses’ Challenge (Numbers 16:6-7)
      1. Take censers.
        1. Put fire therein.
        2. Put incense in them.
      2. The man that the Lord chooses shall be holy.
      3. Ye take too much upon you (compare with Numbers 16:3).
    4. Moses’ Questions (Numbers 16:8-11)
      1. Seemeth it small to you (Numbers 16:9)?
        1. The God of Israel separated you from the congregation.
        2. To bring you near to Himself
        3. To do the service of the tabernacle of the Lord
        4. To stand before the congregation to minister unto them
      2. Seek ye the priesthood also (Numbers 16:10)?
      3. What is Aaron that ye murmur against him (Numbers 16:11)?
  4. THE BATTLE WITH THE REBELS (Numbers 16:12-22)
    1. The Calling of Dathan and Abiram (Numbers 16:12-14)
      1. Moses calls For Dathan and Abiram to come (Numbers 16:12).
      2. The response of Dathan and Abiram (Numbers 16:13-14)
        1. We will not come up.
        2. You brought us out here to kill us.
        3. You said you were bringing us to a land that flows with milk and honey, but you haven’t done that.
        4. You have made yourself a prince over us.
    2. Moses’ Petition to the Lord (Numbers 16:15)
      1. Moses was wroth.
      2. Moses requests a rejection of their sacrifices.
        1. I have not taken one ass from them.
        2. I have not hurt one of them.
    3. The Presentation before the Lord (Numbers 16:16-19)
      1. Korah and his company and Aaron to appear before the Lord (Numbers 16:16)
      2. Every man to bring his censer (Numbers 16:17-18)
        1. With incense
        2. With fire
      3. The glory of the Lord appeared (Numbers 16:19).
    4. Danger for the Congregation (Numbers 16:20-22)
      1. The judgment of God (Numbers 16:20-21)
        1. Separate from the congregation.
        2. That I may consume them in a moment
      2. The pleading of Moses and Aaron  (Numbers 16:22)
        1. Their praise of God – the God of the spirits of all flesh
        2. Their case – shall one man sin and You be angry with the whole congregation?
  5. SEPARATE FROM THE REBELS (Numbers 16:23-27)
    1. An Escape for the Congregation (Numbers 16:24, 26)
      1. Depart from the tents of these wicked men.
      2. Touch nothing of theirs.
      3. Lest ye be consumed in their sins
    2. The Obedience of the Congregation (Numbers 16:27)
      1. The people got up from the tents of Korah, Dathan and Abiram.
      2. Dathan and Abiram come out with their families.
  6. THE JUDGMENT OF THE LORD UPON THE REBELS (Numbers 16:28-40)
    1. Moses Declares a Coming Judgment (Numbers 16:28-30).
      1. Moses testifies of God’s calling (Numbers 16:28).
        1. The Lord sent me to do these works.
        2. I have not done them of “mine own mind.”
      2. Moses prophesies a unique death for the rebels (Numbers 16:29-30).
        1. If they die as men normally die, Moses is not sent by God.
        2. If God makes a new thing happen, then Moses is sent.
    2. God Judges the Rebels (Numbers 16:31-35).
      1. The leaders swallowed by the earth (Numbers 16:31-33)
        1. The ground clave asunder.
        2. The earth opened her mouth and swallowed them up.
          1. Their houses
          2. Their men
          3. Their goods
        3. They went down alive into the pit.
        4. The earth closed upon them.
        5. Korah’s children were apparently not in this number (Numbers 26:9-11; Psalm 88).
      2. The fear of the Israelites (Numbers 16:34)
        1. They fled because of the cry of those who went into the pit.
        2. Lest they also be swallowed up
      3. The 250 consumed by fire (Numbers 16:35)
        1. A fire came out from the Lord.
        2. Consuming the 250 who offered incense
    3. The Censers Are Preserved (Numbers 16:36-40).
      1. Eleazar is commanded to gather the censers (Numbers 16:36-38).
      2. They are to make a plate to cover the altar (Numbers 16:39-40).
Andrew Ray

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 5:21

For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings.