Deuteronomy 11:6
And what he did to Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, the son of Reuben: how the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their households, and their tents, and all the substance that was in their possession, in the middle of all Israel:
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(6) What he did unto Dathan and Abiram. . . .—See Numbers 16. It is impossible to separate the rebellion of Korah from that of Dathan and Abiram, and seeing that the whole point of Korah’s rebellion was the priesthood, it is difficult to see how the writer of Deuteronomy could be ignorant of any priesthood save that of the whole tribe of Levi. The object of Koran’s rebellion was to abolish the distinction between a Kohathite and a priest,

11:1-7 Observe the connexion of these two; Thou shalt love the Lord, and keep his charge. Love will work in obedience, and that only is acceptable obedience which flows from a principle of love, 1Jo 5:3. Moses recounts some of the great and terrible works of God which their eyes had seen. What our eyes have seen, especially in our early days, should affect us, and make us better long afterwards.See the margin. literally, "every living thing at their feet." The expression does not mean their goods, which would be included in their "households and tents," but their followers Numbers 16:32. 2-9. I speak not with your children which have not known … But your eyes have seen all the great acts of the Lord which he did—Moses is here giving a brief summary of the marvels and miracles of awful judgment which God had wrought in effecting their release from the tyranny of Pharaoh, as well as those which had taken place in the wilderness. He knew that he might dwell upon these, for he was addressing many who had been witnesses of those appalling incidents. For it will be remembered that the divine threatening that they should die in the wilderness, and its execution, extended only to males from twenty years and upward, who were able to go forth to war. No males under twenty years of age, no females, and none of the tribe of Levi, were objects of the denunciation (see Nu 14:28-30; 16:49). There might, therefore, have been many thousands of the Israelites at that time of whom Moses could say, "Your eyes have seen all the great acts which He did"; and with regard to those the historic review of Moses was well calculated to stir up their minds to the duty and advantages of obedience. In their possession, Heb. at their feet, i.e. under their power, Psalm 8:6, which followed them, or belonged to them. And what he did unto Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, the son of Reuben,.... When they with Korah and his company quarrelled with Moses and Aaron about the priesthood, Numbers 16:1, how the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up; the history of which see in Numbers 16:30.

and their households and their tents; not their houses and their tents, as the Septuagint and some other versions; for though the word signifies houses, and is often used for them, yet here it must signify families, their wives, and children; since they had no houses, but dwelt in tents, all which were swallowed up with them:

and all the substance that was in their possession; gold, silver, cattle, household goods, and whatever they were possessed of:

or was at their feet (c); or which followed them, their living creatures; or was for them, as Aben Ezra interprets it; for, their use, service, and necessity: and this was done

in the midst of all Israel; openly and publicly, they beholding it, as follows; and therefore should be rendered, "before all Israel" (d); and, besides, the tents of Dathan and Abiram, Reubenites, were not in the midst of Israel.

(c) "quae erat in pedibus eorum", Pagninus, Montanus, Vatablus. (d) "coram omni Israele", Noldius, p. 212. No. 975.

And what he did unto Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, the son of Reuben: how the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their households, and their tents, and all the substance that was in their possession, in the midst of all Israel:
6. what he did unto Dathan and Abiram] The severity of God’s discipline was not only shown to Israel’s enemies, but in the midst of all Israel to rebellious Israelites. Without such a recollection, the description of that discipline, especially in view of the alarm it was fitted to inspire, would not be complete. This answers Steuern.’s argument that the verse is secondary, on the grounds that there was no reason to mention specially this one out of all the divine punishments inflicted on Israel, and that with the phrase in the midst of all Israel the people are not directly addressed, and that the form of the discourse is thus broken. On the contrary, as shown above, the phrase suits the speaker’s purpose, cp. Deuteronomy 17:4; Deuteronomy 17:7, Deuteronomy 23:16 (17). The event is described in Numbers 16, a passage compounded of JE and P (see Numbers in this series). This verse partly repeats the phraseology of JE, with some variations (e.g. a different verb for opened), cp. Numbers 16:1 b, Numbers 16:26-27 b (tents), Numbers 16:30 (all that appertained unto them), Numbers 16:32 a. And, like JE, D mentions Dathan and Abiram alone as the victims of the judgement. Instead of them P mentions Korah. This is another illustration of the consistency with which D follows JE, and was either ignorant of, or deliberately ignored P. It is interesting that Sam. adds to D’s statement ‘and all the men belonging to Korah.’Verse 6. - All the substance that was in their possession; literally, every living thing (Genesis 7:4, 23) that was at their feet, i.e. all their followers (cf. "all the people that follow, thee," Exodus 11:8; "all the men that appertained unto Korah," Numbers 16:32). One marvel among these great and terrible acts of the Lord as to be seen in Israel itself, which had gone down to Egypt in the persons of its fathers as a family consisting of seventy souls, and now, notwithstanding the oppression it suffered there, had grown into an innumerable nation. So marvellously had the Lord fulfilled His promise in Genesis 15:5. By referring to this promise, Moses intended no doubt to recall to the recollection of the people the fact that the bondage of Israel in a foreign land for 400 years had also been foretold (Genesis 15:13.). On the seventy souls, see at Genesis 46:26-27.
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