And they took every man his censer, and put fire in them, and laid incense thereon, and stood in the door of the tabernacle of the congregation with Moses and Aaron.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Numbers 16:18. They put fire in them — Taken from the altar which stood in that place, for Aaron might not use other fire. And it is likely the remembrance of the death of Nadab and Abihu deterred them from offering any strange fire.
fire was taken from the altar which stood in that place, Leviticus 1:3,5, for Aaron might not use other fire, Leviticus 10:1. And it is likely the remembrance of the death of Nadab and Abihu deterred them from offering any strange fire.
and laid incense thereon: upon the fire in their censers, and so burned it:
and stood in the door of the tabernacle of the congregation; not in the holy place, where the altar of incense was, for that would not hold them; nor indeed in the court of the tabernacle, but at the door of it, or the outside of it, that so they might be seen by all the people who came to be spectators and witnesses of this affair: and they stood
with Moses and Aaron; in a bold and presumptuous manner, as if they were their equals, disputing their authority, and putting themselves upon their trial before the Lord about it: the Targum of Jonathan says, these men stood on one side (of the door of the tabernacle), and Moses and Aaron stood on the other side of it.And they took every man his censer, and put fire in them, and laid incense thereon, and stood in the door of the tabernacle of the congregation with Moses and Aaron.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Verse 18. - Stood in the door of the tabernacle, i.e., at the door of the court, so that they were visible from the space outside. Numbers 16:7, Moses gives the rebels back their own words in Numbers 16:3. The divine decision was connected with the offering of incense, because this was the holiest function of the priestly service, which brought the priest into the immediate presence of God, and in connection with which Jehovah had already shown to the whole congregation how He sanctified Himself, by a penal judgment on those who took this office upon themselves without a divine call (Leviticus 10:1-3). Numbers 16:8. He then set before them the wickedness of their enterprise, to lead them to search themselves, and avert the judgment which threatened them. In doing this, he made a distinction between Korah the Levite, and Dathan and Abiram the Reubenites, according to the difference in the motives which prompted their rebellion, and the claims which they asserted. He first of all (Numbers 16:8-11) reminded Korah the Levite of the way in which God had distinguished his tribe, by separating the Levites from the rest of the congregation, to attend to the service of the sanctuary (Numbers 3:5., Numbers 8:6.), and asked him, "Is this too little for you? The God of Israel (this epithet is used emphatically for Jehovah) has brought thee near to Himself, and all thy brethren the sons of Levi with thee, and ye strive after the priesthood also. Therefore...thou and thy company, who have leagued themselves against Jehovah:...and Aaron, what is he, that he murmur against him?" These last words, as an expression of wrath, are elliptical, or rather an aposiopesis, and are to be filled up in the following manner: "Therefore,...as Jehovah has distinguished you in this manner,...what do ye want? Ye rebel against Jehovah! why do ye murmur against Aaron? He has not seized upon the priesthood of his own accord, but Jehovah has called him to it, and he is only a feeble servant of God" (cf. Exodus 16:7). Moses then (Numbers 16:12-14) sent for Dathan and Abiram, who, as is tacitly assumed, had gone back to their tents during the warning given to Korah. But they replied, "We shall not come up." עלה, to go up, is used either with reference to the tabernacle, as being in a spiritual sense the culminating point of the entire camp, or with reference to appearance before Moses, the head and ruler of the nation. "Is it too little that thou hast brought us out of a land flowing with milk and honey (they apply this expression in bitter irony to Egypt), to kill us in the wilderness (deliver us up to death), that thou wilt be always playing the lord over us?" The idea of continuance, which is implied in the inf. abs., השׂתּרר, from שׂרר, to exalt one's self as ruler (Ges. 131, 36), is here still further intensified by גּם. "Moreover, thou hast not brought us into a land flowing with milk and honey, or given us fields and vineyards for an inheritance (i.e., thou hast not kept thy promise, Exodus 4:30 compared with Numbers 3:7.). Wilt thou put out the eyes of these people?" i.e., wilt thou blind them as to thy doings and designs?
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