Numbers 16

“Well…I’ll be darned, little bro. I gotta hand it to you. Baldy ain’t gonna be buggin’ us no more or beatin’ at our door trying to attain to the priesthood.”

“Pretty dramatic, eh? But…I tell ya…I had to do it. After just finding out that we would be spending the next 38 years in the wilderness, I knew that the one thing that we can’t have is a total breakdown in social order. If Korah’s contention is correct, that there isn’t any difference between people, then everything will be up for grabs. And with sinful human beings that means…a free-for-all that will turn into social suicide. That’s why I told God, ‘This time it’s gotta be something special…something that nobody could mistake for a natural disaster.’ So…he dug this one out of the playbook. Swallowed ‘em whole.”

The device desired by Moses and demanded of God proved effective. For the next 38 years, as Israel meanders around in the wilderness, there are no reported episodes of mutiny or rebellion after Korah (Korah means ‘bald’ in Hebrew) goes down to Sheol. The danger that this episode contained, at the time when it did, can hardly be under-estimated.

©2020 Joel Picard

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