Numbers 16:26
And he spake unto the congregation, saying, Depart, I pray you, from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of theirs, lest ye be consumed in all their sins.
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16:23-34 The seventy elders of Israel attend Moses. It is our duty to do what we can to countenance and support lawful authority when it is opposed. And those who would not perish with sinners, must come out from among them, and be separate. It was in answer to the prayer of Moses, that God stirred up the hearts of the congregation to remove for their own safety. Grace to separate from evil-doers is one of the things that accompany salvation. God, in justice, left the rebels to the obstinacy and hardness of their own hearts. Moses, by Divine direction, when all Israel were waiting the event, declares that if the rebels die a common death, he will be content to be called and counted an imposter. As soon as Moses had spoken the word, God caused the earth to open and swallow them all up. The children perished with their parents; in which, though we cannot tell how bad they might be to deserve it, or how good God might be otherwise to them; yet of this we are sure, that Infinite Justice did them no wrong. It was altogether miraculous. God has, when he pleases, strange punishments for the workers of iniquity. It was very significant. Considering how the earth is still in like manner loaded with the weight of man's sins, we have reason to wonder that it does not now sink under its load. The ruin of others should be our warning. Could we, by faith, hear the outcries of those that are gone down to the bottomless pit, we should give more diligence than we do to escape for our lives, lest we also come into their condemnation.The tent, "the tabernacle" of Korah, as a Kohathite, stood on the south side of the tabernacle of the Lord; and those of Dathan and Abiram, as Reubenites, in the outer line of encampment on the same side. Yet though the tents of these three were thus contiguous, they did not share the same fate. Korah and his company who dared to intrude themselves on the priestly office were destroyed by fire from the Lord at the door of the tabernacle of the Lord Numbers 16:35; the Reubenites, who had reviled Moses for the failure of the promises about the pleasant land, were suddenly engulfed while standing at their own tent-doors in the barren wilderness Numbers 16:31-33. 24-26. Speak unto the congregation, … Get you up from about the tabernacle—Moses was attended in the execution of this mission by the elders. The united and urgent entreaties of so many dignified personages produced the desired effect of convincing the people of their crime, and of withdrawing them from the company of men who were doomed to destruction, lest, being partakers of their sins, they should perish along with them. Show your dislike of them and their wicked ways by a speedy removal of your persons and tents from about them.

Touch nothing of theirs; because they and all that was theirs was under a curse, and therefore not to be touched. See Deu 13:16,17.

In all their sins; lest, being guilty of their sins, you perish together with them.

And he spake unto the congregation,.... To the people of Israel assembled together on this occasion: some, out of ill will to Moses and Aaron, inclining to the side of Korah and his accomplices, and some out of curiosity to see the issue of this affair

saying, depart, I pray you, from the tents of these wicked men; these turbulent, seditious, and ill-designing men, disturbers of the commonwealth and church of Israel, enemies to the peace of its civil and ecclesiastic state: and when Moses desires the people to depart from their tents, he means not only that they would remove in person, and stand at a distance, but such who had their tents, and families, and substance near them, would take care to remove, lest they should be destroyed with them:

and touch nothing of theirs; not carry off anything belonging to them along with their own, being all devoted to destruction:

lest ye be consumed in all their sins; lest partaking of their sins they should of their plagues, and die in their sins, as they would, or for them.

And he spake unto the congregation, saying, Depart, I pray you, from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of theirs, lest ye be consumed {k} in all their sins.

(k) With them that have committed so many sins.

26. lest ye be swept away in all their sins] Perhaps an allusion to the form of death which awaited them. In Numbers 16:21 ‘consume’ represents a different Heb. word.

Verse 26. - Touch nothing of theirs. Because they, and all that belonged to them, were anathema, devoted to destruction. Compare the case of Achan (Joshua 7:1). Numbers 16:26Jehovah then instructed Moses, that the congregation was to remove away (עלה, to get up and away) from about the dwelling-place of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram; and, as we may supply from the context, the congregation fell back from Korah's tent, whilst Dathan and Abiram, possibly at the very first appearance of the divine glory, drew back into their tents. Moses therefore betook himself to the tents of Dathan and Abiram, with the elders following him, and there also commanded the congregation to depart from the tents of these wicked men, and not touch anything they possessed, that they might not be swept away in all their sins.
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