Torah Portions

Torah Portions

Parashat Korach -

Numbers 16:1 - 18:32



1. Now Korah, the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, with Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On, the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men:

2. And they rose up before Moses, with certain of the children of Israel, two hundred fifty princes of the congregation, called to the assembly, men of renown;

3. And they assembled themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said to them, You take too much on you, seeing all the congregation are holy, everyone of them, and יהוה is among them: why then lift yourselves up above the assembly of יהוה?

4. When Moses heard it, he fell on his face:

5. And he spoke to Korah and to all his company, saying, In the morning יהוה will show who are his, and who is holy, and will cause him to come near to him: even him whom he shall choose he will cause to come near to him.

6. This do: take  censers, Korah, and all his company;

7. And put fire in them, and put incense on them before יהוה tomorrow: and it shall be that the man whom יהוה does choose, he shall be holy: you take too much on you, you sons of Levi.

8. Moses said to Korah, Hear now, you sons of Levi:

9. It seems but a small thing to you, that the God of Israel has separated you from the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to himself, to do the service of the tent of יהוה, and to stand before the congregation to minister to them;

10. And that he has brought you near, and all your brothers, the sons of Levi with you? and you seek the priesthood also?

11. Therefore you and all your company are gathered together against יהוה: and Aaron, what is he that you should murmur against him?

12. Moses sent to call Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab; and they said, We won’t come up:

13. Is it a small thing that you have brought us up out of a land flowing with milk and honey, to kill us in the wilderness, and that you must also make yourself a prince over us?

14. Moreover you haven’t brought us into a land flowing with milk and honey, nor given us inheritance of fields and vineyards: will you put out the eyes of these men? we won’t come up.

15. Moses was very angry, and said to יהוה, “Don’t respect their offering: I have not taken one donkey from them, neither have I hurt one of them.”

16. Moses said to Korah, You and all your company go before יהוה, you, and they, and Aaron, tomorrow:

17. And take every man his censer, and put incense on them, and bring them before יהוה every man his censer, two hundred fifty censers; you also, and Aaron, each his censer.

18. They took every man his censer, and put fire in them, and laid incense on them, and stood at the door of the tent of meeting with Moses and Aaron.

19. Korah assembled all the congregation against them to the door of the tent of meeting: and the glory of יהוה appeared to all the congregation.

20. יהוה spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying,

21. Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment.

22. They fell on their faces, and said, O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, shall one man sin, and will you be angry with all the congregation?

23. יהוה spoke to Moses, saying,

24. Speak to the congregation, and say, Get away from around the tent of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.

25. Moses rose up and went to Dathan and Abiram; and the elders of Israel followed him.

26. He spoke to the congregation, saying, Depart, I pray you, from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of theirs, lest you be consumed in all their sins.

27. So they got them up from the tent of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, on every side: and Dathan and Abiram came out, and stood at the door of their tents, and their wives, and their sons, and their little ones.

28. Moses said, Hereby you shall know that יהוה has sent me to do all these works; for I have not done them of my own mind.

29. If these men die the common death of all men, or if they be visited after the visitation of all men; then יהוה hasn’t sent me.

30. But if יהוה make a new thing, and the ground opens its mouth, and swallows them up, with all that pertains to them, and they go down alive into Sheol; then you shall understand that these men have despised יהוה.

31. It happened, as he made an end of speaking all these words, that the ground split apart that was under them;

32. And that the earth opened its mouth, and swallowed them up, and their households, and all the men who pertained to Korah, and all their goods.

33. So they, and all that belonged to them, went down alive into Sheol: and the earth closed on them, and they perished from among the assembly.

34. All Israel that were round about them fled at the cry of them; for they said, Lest the earth swallow us up.

35. Fire came forth from יהוה, and devoured the two hundred fifty men who offered the incense.

36. יהוה spoke to Moses, saying,

37. Speak to Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, that he take up the censers out of the burning, and scatter the fire yonder; for they are holy,

38. Even the censers of these sinners against their own lives; and let them be made beaten plates for a covering of the altar: for they offered them before יהוה; therefore they are holy; and they shall be a sign to the children of Israel.

39. Eleazar, the priest took the brazen censers, which those who were burnt had offered; and they beat them out for a covering of the altar,

40. To be a memorial to the children of Israel, to the end that no stranger, who isn’t of the seed of Aaron, comes near to burn incense before יהוה; that he not be as Korah, and as his company: as יהוה spoke to him by Moses.

41. But on the next day all the congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron, saying, You have killed the people of יהוה.

42. It happened, when the congregation was assembled against Moses and against Aaron, that they looked toward the tent of meeting: and behold, the cloud covered it, and the glory of יהוה appeared.

43. Moses and Aaron came to the front of the tent of meeting.

44. יהוה spoke to Moses, saying,

45. Get away from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment. They fell on their faces.

46. Moses said to Aaron, Take your censer, and put fire on it  from off the altar, and lay incense on it, and carry it quickly to the congregation, and make atonement for them: for there is wrath gone out from יהוה; the plague is begun.

47. Aaron took as Moses spoke, and ran into the midst of the assembly; and behold, the plague had  begun among the people: and he put on the incense, and made atonement for the people.

48. He stood between the dead and the living; and the plague was stopped.

49. Now those who died by the plague were fourteen thousand and seven hundred, besides those who died about the matter of Korah.

50. Aaron returned to Moses to the door of the tent of meeting: and the plague was stopped.

Chapter 17

1. יהוה spoke to Moses, saying,

2. Speak to the children of Israel, and take of them rods, one for each fathers’ house, of all their princes according to their fathers’ houses, twelve rods: write every man’s name on his rod.

3. You shall write Aaron’s name on the rod of Levi; for there shall be one rod for each head of their fathers’ houses.

4. You shall lay them up in the tent of meeting before the testimony, where I meet with you.

5. It shall happen, that the rod of the man whom I shall choose shall bud: and I will make to cease from me the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they murmur against you.

6. Moses spoke to the children of Israel; and all their princes gave him rods, for each prince one, according to their fathers’ houses, even twelve rods: and the rod of Aaron was among their rods.

7. Moses laid up the rods before יהוה in the tent of the testimony.

8. It happened on the next day, that Moses went into the tent of the testimony; and behold, the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi was budded, and put forth buds, and produced blossoms, and bore ripe almonds.

9. Moses brought out all the rods from before יהוה to all the children of Israel: and they looked, and took every man his rod.

10. יהוה said to Moses, Put back the rod of Aaron before the testimony, to be kept for a token against the children of rebellion; that you may make an end of their murmurings against me, that they not die.

11. Thus Moses did as יהוה commanded him.

12. The children of Israel spoke to Moses, saying, Behold, we perish, we are undone, we are all undone.

13. Everyone who comes near, who comes near to the tent of יהוה, dies: shall we perish all of us?

Chapter 18

1. יהוה said to Aaron, You and your sons and your fathers’ house with you shall bear the iniquity of the sanctuary; and you and your sons with you shall bear the iniquity of your priesthood.

2. Your brothers also, the tribe of Levi, the tribe of your father, bring you near with you, that they may be joined to you, and minister to you: but you and your sons shall be before the tent of the testimony.

3. They shall keep your charge, and the charge of all the Tent: only they shall not come near to the vessels of the sanctuary and to the altar, that they not die, neither they, nor you.

4. They shall be joined to you, and keep the charge of the tent of meeting, for all the service of the Tent: and a stranger shall not come near to you.

5. You shall keep the charge of the sanctuary, and the charge of the altar; that there be wrath no more on the children of Israel.

6. I, behold, I have taken your brothers the Levites from among the children of Israel: to you they are a gift, given to יהוה, to do the service of the tent of meeting.

7. You and your sons with you shall keep your priesthood for everything of the altar, and for that within the veil; and you shall serve: I give you the priesthood as a service of gift: and the stranger who comes near shall be put to death.

8. יהוה spoke to Aaron, I, behold, I have given you the charge of my heave offerings, even all the holy things of the children of Israel; to you have I given them by reason of the anointing, and to your sons, as a portion forever.

9. This shall be your of the most holy things, reserved from the fire: every offering of theirs, even every meal offering of theirs, and every sin offering of theirs, and every trespass offering of theirs, which they shall render to me, shall be most holy for you and for your sons.

10. As the most holy things shall you eat of it; every male shall eat of it: it shall be holy to you.

11. This is yours: the heave offering of their gift, even all the wave offerings of the children of Israel; I have given them to you, and to your sons and to your daughters with you, as a portion forever; everyone who is clean in your house shall eat of it.

12. All the best of the oil, and all the best of the vintage, and of the grain, the first fruits of them which they give to יהוה, to you have I given them.

13. The first-ripe fruits of all that is in their land, which they bring to יהוה, shall be yours; everyone who is clean in your house shall eat of it.

14. Everything devoted in Israel shall be yours.

15. Everything that opens the womb, of all flesh which they offer to יהוה, both of man and animal shall be yours: nevertheless the firstborn of man shall you surely redeem, and the firstborn of unclean animals shall you redeem.

16. Those who are to be redeemed of them from a month old shall you redeem, according to your estimation, for the money of five shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary (the same is twenty gerahs).

17. But the firstborn of a cow, or the firstborn of a sheep, or the firstborn of a goat, you shall not redeem; they are holy: you shall sprinkle their blood on the altar, and shall burn their fat for an offering made by fire, for a sweet savor to יהוה.

18. The flesh of them shall be yours, as the wave breast and as the right thigh, it shall be yours.

19. All the heave offerings of the holy things, which the children of Israel offer to יהוה, have I given you, and your sons and your daughters with you, as a portion forever: it is a covenant of salt forever before יהוה to you and to your seed with you.

20. יהוה said to Aaron, You shall have no inheritance in their land, neither shall you have any portion among them: I am your portion and your inheritance among the children of Israel.

21. To the children of Levi, behold, I have given all the tithe in Israel for an inheritance, in return for their service which they serve, even the service of the tent of meeting.

22. Henceforth the children of Israel shall not come near the tent of meeting, lest they bear sin, and die.

23. But the Levites shall do the service of the tent of meeting, and they shall bear their iniquity: it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations; and among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance.

24. For the tithe of the children of Israel, which they offer as a heave offering to  יהוה, I have given to the Levites for an inheritance: therefore I have said to them, Among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance.

25. יהוה spoke to Moses, saying,

26. Moreover you shall speak to the Levites, and tell them, When you take of the children of Israel the tithe which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then you shall offer up a heave offering of it for יהוה, a tithe of the tithe.

27. Your heave offering shall be reckoned to you, as though it were the grain of the threshing floor, and as the fullness of the winepress.

28. Thus you also shall offer a heave offering to יהוה of all your tithes, which you receive of the children of Israel; and of it you shall give יהוה’s heave offering to Aaron, the priest.

29. Out of all your gifts you shall offer every heave offering of יהוה, of all the best of it, even the holy part of it out of it.

30. Therefore you shall tell them, When you heave the best of it from it, then it shall be reckoned to the Levites as the increase of the threshing floor, and as the increase of the winepress.

31. You shall eat it in every place, you and your households: for it is your reward in return for your service in the tent of meeting.

32. You shall bear no sin by reason of it, when you have heaved from it the best of it: and you shall not profane the holy things of the children of Israel, that you not die.


1 Samuel 11:14-12:22

Chapter 11

14. Then Samuel said to the people, “Come, and let us go to Gilgal, and renew the kingdom there.”

15. All the people went to Gilgal; and there they made Saul king before יהוה in Gilgal. There they offered sacrifices of peace offerings before יהוה; and there Saul and all the men of Israel rejoiced greatly.

Chapter 12 

1. Samuel said to all Israel, “Behold, I have listened to your voice in all that you said to me, and have made a king over you.

2. Now, behold, the king walks before you. I am old and gray-headed. Behold, my sons are with you. And I have walked before you from my youth to this day.

3. Here I am. Witness against me before יהוה, and before his anointed. Whose ox have I taken? Whose donkey have I taken? Whom have I defrauded? Whom have I oppressed? Of whose hand have I taken a ransom to make me blind my eyes? And I will restore it to you.”

4. They said, “You have not defrauded us, nor oppressed us, neither have you taken anything of any man’s hand.”

5. He said to them, “ יהוה is witness against you, and his anointed is witness today, that you have not found anything in my hand.”

They said, “He is witness.”

6. Samuel said to the people, “It is יהוה who appointed Moses and Aaron, and that brought your fathers up out of the land of Egypt.

7. Now therefore stand still, that I may plead with you before יהוה concerning all the righteous acts of יהוה, which he did to you and to your fathers.

8. “When Jacob was come into Egypt, and your fathers cried to יהוה, then יהוה sent Moses and Aaron, who brought forth your fathers out of Egypt, and made them to dwell in this place.

9. “But they forgot יהוה their God; and he sold them into the hand of Sisera, captain of the host of Hazor, and into the hand of the Philistines, and into the hand of the king of Moab; and they fought against them.

10. They cried to יהוה, and said, ‘We have sinned, because we have forsaken יהוה, and have served the Baals and the Ashtaroth: but now deliver us out of the hand of our enemies, and we will serve you.’

11. יהוה sent Jerubbaal, Bedan, Jephthah, and Samuel, and delivered you out of the hand of your enemies on every side; and you lived in safety.

12. “When you saw that Nahash, the king of the children of Ammon came against you, you said to me, ‘No, but a king shall reign over us;’ when יהוה your God was your king.

13. Now therefore see the king whom you have chosen, and whom you have asked for. Behold, יהוה has set a king over you.

14. If you will fear יהוה, and serve him, and listen to his voice, and not rebel against the commandment of יהוה,  both you and also the king who reigns over you are followers of יהוה your God.

15. But if you will not listen to יהוה’s voice, but rebel against the commandment of יהוה, then יהוה’s hand will be against you, as it was against your fathers.

16 “Now therefore stand still and see this great thing, which יהוה will do before your eyes.

17 Isn’t it wheat harvest today? I will call to יהוה, that he may send thunder and rain; and you will know and see that your wickedness is great, which you have done in יהוה’s sight, in asking for a king.”

18 So Samuel called to יהוה; and יהוה sent thunder and rain that day. Then all the people greatly feared יהוה and Samuel.

19 All the people said to Samuel, “Pray for your servants to יהוה your God, that we not die; for we have added to all our sins this evil, to ask for a king.”

20 Samuel said to the people, “Don’t be afraid. You have indeed done all this evil; yet don’t turn aside from following יהוה, but serve יהוה with all your heart.

21 Don’t turn aside to go after vain things which can’t profit or deliver, for they are vain.

22 For יהוה will not forsake his people for his great name’s sake, because it has pleased יהוה to make you a people for himself.