Okay. Korach, a Levite, along with his accomplices, Datan and Aviram, and a bunch of Levite followers, rises up against Moses and Aaron. “Too much is yours!” they said. “The whole [Levite] community is holy. All of them! Why do you raise yourselves over God’s congregation?”
Well, long story short, God gets hopping mad, and threatens to squash every Levite but Moses and Aaron. “Separate yourselves from the midst of this community” God tells Moses, “so that I can finish them off in an instant!”
All of Korach’s followers throw themselves on the ground. “O God, when one man sins, will you be mad at the entire community?”
So God tells Moses to have Korach, Datan and Aviram gather together outside their tents with their wives and all their children. Everyone else gives them plenty of space. And then, guess what! The earth opens up and swallows them all!
You would think this would have impressed the Children of Israel, but the next day they all start grumbling, saying it was Moses and Aaron who had caused the deaths of Korach, Datan and Aviram, not God.
God blows God’s top again and sends down a plague. In perhaps a very early example of quarantine, Moses stands between the sick and the healthy and the plague is stopped after the loss of fourteen thousand people.
Finally, God holds an election, with God’s self as the only voter. The leader of each tribe is to bring his staff (men only of course) and plant it in the ground. The next morning, the other men’s staffs are just staffs. Moses’ staff has blossomed; it’s bearing leaves and blossoms and almonds. So that’s how they settle the question of who was to be the top leader.
Food for Thought
Was Korach rebelling against Moses or against God? Were there any grounds at all for his rebellion?