Numbers 16:7
And put fire therein, and put incense in them before the LORD to morrow: and it shall be that the man whom the LORD does choose, he shall be holy: you take too much on you, you sons of Levi.
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(7) Ye take too much upon you . . . —Moses here adopts the language of Korah in Numbers 16:3. The meaning appears to be, as more fully explained in Numbers 16:9-10, that it ought to have sufficed Korah and the other Levites that they had been chosen from amongst their brethren to discharge the inferior offices of the sanctuary.

16:1-11 Pride and ambition occasion a great deal of mischief both in churches and states. The rebels quarrel with the settlement of the priesthood upon Aaron and his family. Small reason they had to boast of the people's purity, or of God's favour, as the people had been so often and so lately polluted with sin, and were now under the marks of God's displeasure. They unjustly charge Moses and Aaron with taking honour to themselves; whereas they were called of God to it. See here, 1. What spirit levellers are of; those who resist the powers God has set over them. 2. What usage they have been serviceable. Moses sought instruction from God. The heart of the wise studies to answer, and asks counsel of God. Moses shows their privileges as Levites, and convicts them of the sin of undervaluing these privileges. It will help to keep us from envying those above us, duly to consider how many there are below us.All the congregation are holy - Compare the marginal reference. Korah's object was not to abolish the distinction between the Levites and the people, but to win priestly dignity for himself and his kinsmen Numbers 16:10. This ultimate design is masked for the present in order to win support from the Reubenites by putting forward claims to spiritual equality on behalf of every Israelite. 6, 7. Take your censers, Korah, and all his company, &c.—that is, since you aspire to the priesthood, then go, perform the highest function of the office—that of offering incense; and if you are accepted well. How magnanimous the conduct of Moses, who was now as willing that God's people should be priests, as formerly that they should be prophets (Nu 11:29). But he warned them that they were making a perilous experiment. Doth choose, i.e. declare his choice and appointment of them for that work. And put fire therein,.... Into the censers:

and put incense in them; on the coals of fire in the censers:

before the Lord; not at the altar of incense in the holy place, into which none but Aaron and his sons might come, but at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, where the glory of the Lord appeared, Numbers 16:18; and this they were to do

tomorrow; the day following that on which the insurrection was made, and in the morning of that day, which was the usual time of judgment; this was delayed until the morrow, that they might have opportunity to reflect upon what they had done, and repent of their sin, and consider what they were to do, and the danger which might attend it; as in the case of Nadab and Abihu, who, though sons of the high priest, yet offering strange fire, were consumed by fire, Numbers 10:1; and so might they for assuming the priesthood, and officiating in any part of it, which did not belong to them:

and it shall be, that the man whom the Lord doth choose, he shall be holy: meaning Aaron, with his sons; for though the Lord had already chosen him, and ordered him and his family to be separated from the rest of the Israelites, to exercise the priestly office, and he was actually invested with it, and had entered upon it; yet he would at this time, in a visible way and manner, make it manifest that he had done it, and therefore should be as it were afresh set apart for holy service, and be continued in it:

ye take too much upon you, ye sons of Levi: of which tribe Korah was; and it looks as if those with him were chiefly of that tribe; however, these here addressed certainly were, and Moses retorts their own language upon them; they had said, that he and Aaron had taken too much upon them, though no more than what God had called them to; and now he says that they had taken too much upon them, to resist the ordinance of God, and to endeavour to remove from their office whom God had put into it, in order to substitute themselves: or "it is enough for you", or "let it suffice you"; be content with the honour put upon you, the dignity you are raised to, to be next to the priests, and assistants to them; be not ambitious of more; let what you have satisfy you.

And put fire therein, and put incense in them before the LORD to morrow: and it shall be that the man whom the LORD doth choose, he shall be holy: {d} ye take too much upon you, ye sons of Levi.

(d) He lays the same to their charge justly, with which they wrongfully charged him.

7. Enough! ye sons of Levi] These words cannot be addressed to Korah’s company, since they are laymen who are objecting to the claims of the Levites. They must be addressed by Korah’s company to Moses and Aaron, and have fallen out of their right place, which was probably at the end of Numbers 16:3. Their defiance thus begins and ends with the same words, as in the case of Dathan and Abiram (Numbers 16:12; Numbers 16:14).Verse 7. - Ye take too much upon you, ye sons of Levi. רַב־לָכֶם, as in verse 3. The exact meaning of this tu quoque is not apparent. Perhaps he would say that if he and Aaron were usurpers, the whole tribe of Levi were usurpers too. The authors of the rebellion were Korah the Levite, a descendant of the Kohathite Izhar, who was a brother of Amram, an ancestor (not the father) of Aaron and Moses (see at Exodus 6:18), and three Reubenites, viz., Dathan and Abiram, sons of Eliab, of the Reubenitish family of Pallu (Numbers 26:8-9), and On, the son of Peleth, a Reubenite, not mentioned again. The last of these (On) is not referred to again in the further course of this event, either because he played altogether a subordinate part in the affair, or because he had drawn back before the conspiracy came to a head. The persons named took (יקּח), i.e., gained over to their plan, or persuaded to join them, 250 distinguished men of the other tribes, and rose up with them against Moses and Aaron. On the construction ויּקוּמוּ...ויּקּה (Numbers 16:1 and Numbers 16:2), Gesenius correctly observes in his Thesaurus (p. 760), "There is an anakolouthon rather than an ellipsis, and not merely a copyist's error, in these words, 'and Korah,...and Dathan and Abiram, took and rose up against Moses with 250 men,' for they took 250 men, and rose up with them against Moses," etc. He also points to the analogous construction in 2 Samuel 18:18. Consequently there is no necessity either to force a meaning upon לקח, which is altogether foreign to it, or to attempt an emendation of the text. "They rose up before Moses:" this does not mean, "they stood up in front of his tent," as Knobel explains it, for the purpose of bringing Numbers 16:2 into contradiction with Numbers 16:3, but they created an uproar before his eyes; and with this the expression in Numbers 16:3, "and they gathered themselves together against Moses and Aaron," may be very simply and easily combined. The 250 men of the children of Israel who joined the rebels no doubt belonged to the other tribes, as is indirectly implied in the statement in Numbers 27:3, that Zelophehad the Manassite was not in the company of Korah. These men were "princes of the congregation," i.e., heads of the tribes, or of large divisions of the tribes, "called men of the congregation," i.e., members of the council of the nation which administered the affairs of the congregation (cf. Numbers 1:16), "men of name" (שׁם אנשׁי, see Genesis 6:4). The leader was Korah; and the rebels are called in consequence "Korah's company" (Numbers 16:5, Numbers 16:6; Numbers 26:9; Numbers 27:3). He laid claim to the high-priesthood, or at least to an equality with Aaron (Numbers 16:17). Among his associates were the Reubenites, Dathan and Abiram, who, no doubt, were unable to get over the fact that the birthright had been taken away from their ancestor, and with it the headship of the house of Israel (i.e., of the whole nation). Apparently their present intention was to seize upon the government of the nation under a self-elected high priest, and to force Moses and Aaron out of the post assigned to them by God, - that is to say, to overthrow the constitution which God had given to His people.
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