“Now Korach the son of Yitz’har, the son of K’hat, the son of Levi, along with Datan and Aviram, the sons of Eli’av, and On, the son of Pelet, descendants of Re’uven, took men and rebelled against Moshe. Siding with them were 250 men of Isra’el, leaders of the community, key members of the council, men of reputation.”-Numbers 16: 1-3
Let’s get a good grasp of the situation where we’re currently at in Torah.
At this point in time, remember we are dealing with a group of people who had been demoralized by the reports of the 10 scouts and as a result HASHEM had turned them all back into the Wilderness.
In addition, when the people tried to do an about face and fight a battle with the Amalekites and the Canaanites thinking the Lord was with them, they were soundly trounced.
The emotional state and whole atmosphere of Israel was now one of disillusionment and unhappiness.
What made matters worse was that God had ordered a division of duties and shuffled up the present rank and order that promoted some folks and demoted others.
This was the current tense situation we’re dealing with here in Numbers 16.
You could say the fruit of the current state of affairs were super ripe for rebellion.
This was exactly the state of Germany before the Nazi regime arose.
The people were on the edge of panic and despair and thus were easily susceptible to influence by men with self-serving ulterior motives and a jealous desire for power.
Out of these circumstances arose a group of men who were supposed to support Moses but instead decided to rebel.
Enter Korah, Datan, and Aviram.
Now if you think about it, this is kind of an interesting mixture of evil allies.
KORAH was a Levite from the line of KOHATH.
And Datan and Aviram were from the tribe of Reuben.
What in the world brought these cronies together?
Well, the answer is just as simple as it is obvious and can be summed up in the following two words:
Both of these groups were camped together on the south side of the Wilderness Tabernacle.
They lived right next to each other.
Sure the Levites were camped one inner ring closer to the Holy of Holies since they were the clan assigned to be a physical shield with the purpose of surrounding and protecting the Tabernacle.
Nevertheless, due to their close proximity, the lives of the Tribe of Reuben and Levi were quite intermingled.
They ate together and I’m sure had many of those long night discussions about what was going on in their lives.
Heck, what else are you gonna do in the desert?
It wasn’t like they had Netflix for entertainment.
Amidst all their current frustration, I can imagine all of the negativity that began pouring out of their mouths about how the two brothers Moses and Aaron had taken too much power for themselves and were now lording it over everybody else.
Unfortunately, Korah, Datan, and Aviram were not the only ones who decided to rebel.
Verse 2 told us that 250 other leaders from the various other clans decided to join them.
However, this account makes it crystal clear that it was KORAH from the Tribe of Levi who was the chief ringleader of this doomed circus.
Today’s takeaway is this.
Be careful who you keep company with!
As we’re going to see moving forward, the group you decide to keep company with could literally be the difference between life and death.