Numbers 16:18
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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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.16:16-22 The same glory of the Lord that appeared to place Aaron in his office at first, Le 9:23, now appeared to confirm him in it; and to confound those who set up against him. Nothing is more terrible to those who are conscious of guilt, than the appearance of the Divine glory. See how dangerous it is to have fellowship with sinners, and to partake with them. Though the people had treacherously deserted them, yet Moses and Aaron approved themselves faithful shepherds of Israel. If others fail in their duty to us, that does not take away the obligations we are under to seek their welfare. Their prayer was a pleading prayer, and it proved a prevailing one.Wilt thou put out the eyes of these men? - i. e. "blind them to the fact that you keep none of your promises;" "throw dust in their eyes." 17. two hundred fifty censers—probably the small platters, common in Egyptian families, where incense was offered to household deities and which had been among the precious things borrowed at their departure [Ex 12:35, 36]. They could easily make censers in a slight manner, which would suffice for the present purpose. The

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 they took every man his censer, and that fire in them,.... That is, they came the next morning, according to order, prepared with their censers and incense; and they took fire from off the altar of burnt offering, which stood in the court of the tabernacle:

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.
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. To leave the decision of this to the Lord, Korah and his company, who laid claim to this prerogative, were to take censers, and bring lighted incense before Jehovah. He whom the Lord should choose was to be the sanctified one. This was to satisfy them. With the expression רב־לכם in 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, 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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