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Numbers Korach
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16:1 First Reading
Korach son of Yitz'har (a grandson of Kehoth and great-grandson of Levi) began a rebellion along with Dathan and Aviram (sons of Eliav) and On son of Peleth, descendants of Reuben.
Vayikach Korach ben-Yitshar ben-Kehat ben-Levi veDatan va'Aviram beney Eli'av ve'On ben-Pelet beney Re'uven.
16:2 They had a confrontation with Moses along with 250 Israelites who were men of rank in the community, representatives at the assembly, and famous.
Vayakumu lifney Moshe va'anashim mibeney-Yisra'el chamishim umatayim nesi'ey edah kri'ey mo'ed anshey-shem.


  See Exodus 6:18,21. According to tradition, he was one of Pharaoh's officials (BeMidbar Rabbah 18:1). He was extremely wealthy (Pesachim 119a; Sanhedrin 110a; Targum Yonathan on Numbers 16:19; Josephus, Antiquities 4:2:2).

began a rebellioin
  (Targum; Rashi). Literally, 'took.' According to some, he 'took' Dathan, etc, (Chizzkuni), the 250 men (Ramban; Sforno), or a mob (Rashbam). Others translate it as, 'took the initiative' (Ramban); 'committed himself' (Ibn Janach); 'plotted' (Radak, Sherashim), 'came forward' (Saadia, see Numbers 8:6), or 'spoke up' (Septuagint).

Many authorities state that the Torah is in chronological order here, and that the rebellion took place after the episode of the spies (Ramban; Sefer HaYashar; Josephus, Antiquities 4:2:2). The motivation for the rebellion may have been the decree that they would die in the desert (Abarbanel; see Numbers 16:14).

Others, however, maintain that the rebellion occurred before the episode of the spies. Some say that it took place when the Levites were substituted for the first-born (Ibn Ezra). The Midrash states that the motivation was the appointment of Eltzaphan son of Uzziel over the Kehothites (Numbers 3:30; BeMidbar Rabbah 18:1; Bachya). Others say that it took place in Chatzeroth (Numbers, 11:35, 12:16; Rashi on Deuteronomy 1:1). According to these opinions, nothing is recorded in the Torah of what happened between the episode of the spies and Miriam's death (Numbers 20:1).

Dathan and Aviram...
  See Numbers 26:9. See notes on Numbers 2:13. Aviram was a son of Palu and a grandson of Reuben (Numbers 26:5,8).

On son of Peleth
  He did not stay with Korach and was therefore not killed (Sanhedrin 109b; Abarbanel; Midrash HaGadol on Numbers 16:32; Lekach Tov on Numbers 16:12).

  See Numbers 1:16 (Tanchuma; Bachya).

  (Targum). Or, 'Communion [Tent]' (Ibn Ezra); or, 'chosen counselors' (Septuagint).

  Literally, 'men of name.' See Genesis 6:4.

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