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31 And it came to pass, as he made an end of speaking all

these words, that the ground clave asunder that 32 (E) was under them : and the searth opened her mouth,

(Rp) and swallowed them up, and their households, and all the 33 (J) men that appertained unto Korah, and all their goods.* So they,

and all that appertained to them, went down alive

(E) into the pit: and the earth closed upon them, and they 34 perished from among *s the assembly. And all Israel that

were round about them fled at the cry of them : for they 35 (P) said,39 Lest the earth swallow us up. And fire came

forth from Yahweh, and devoured the treo hundred and fifty men

that offered the incense. 37 (Rp) 41 And Yahweh spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto Eleazar the

son of Aaron the priest, that he take up the censers out of the burning, 38 and scatter thou the fire yonder ; for they are holy; even the censers of these

sinners against their own lives, and let them be made beaten plates for a cover

ing of the altar : for they offered them before Yahweh, therefore they are holy: 39 and they shall be a sign unto the children of Israel. And Eleazar the priest

took the brasen censers, which they that were burnt had offered ; and they beat 40 them out for a covering of, the altar : to be a memorial unto the children of

Israel, to the end that no 4-stranger, which is not of the seed of Aaron, come near to burn incense before Yahweh ; that he be not as Korah, and as his

company: as Yahweh spake unto him by the hand of Moses. 41 (P) But on the morrow all the congregation of the children of

Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron, saving, 48 Ye 42 have killed the people of Yahweh. And it came to pass, when the

44 congregation was assembled against Moses and against Aaron,

that they 45looked toward the tent of meeting : and, behold, the 43 cloud covered it, and the glory of Yahweh appeared. And Moses 44 and Aaron came to the front of the tent of meeting. 46 And Yah45 weh spake unto Moses, saying, Get you up from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment. And they fell upon their faces. And Moses said unto Aaron, Take thy censer, 46 and put fire therein from off the altar, and lay incense thereon, and carry it quickly unto the congregation, and make atonement for them : : for there is wrath gone out from Yahweh ; the 4 plague is begun. And Aaron took as Moses spake, and ran into the midst 47 of the assembly; and, behold, the plague was begun among the people: and he put on the incense, and made atonement for the people. And he stood between the dead and the living; and the 48 plague was stayed. Now they that died by the plague were four- 49 teen thousand and seven hundred, besides them that died about the matter of Korah. And Aaron returned unto Moses unto the door 50 of the tent of meeting : and the plague was stayed.

39V s. 32.

37 Vs. 33f ; ct. 30f. 3822: 4. 38 :-8b. 42Vv. 8-11.

49 17: 13 ; 20 : 3. 41Ct. Ex. 27 : 2 ; 38 : 2 ; cf. Ex. 44Vy. 3, 19.

45Ex. 16: 10 and ref. 46Vv. 20–24.

43V S. 4.

* Harmonistic redaction ; see Analysis. The idea of Rp seems to be that Korah is involved in the fate of Dathan and Abiram while engaged in assembling the congregation to the door of the Tent of Meeting (vs. 19), the 250 men remaining there.

And Yahweh spake unto Moses, saying, 'Speak unto the chil- 17 dren of Israel, and take of them rods, one for each father's house, 2 of all their princes according to their fathers' houses, twelve rods: write thou every man's name upon his rod. And thou shalt 3 write Aaron's name upon the rod of Levi : for there shall be one rod for each head of their fathers' houses. And thou shalt lay 4 them up in the tent of meeting 2before the testimony, where I meet with you. And it shall come to pass, that the man whom I shall 5 choose, his rod shall bud : and I will make to cease from me the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they murmur against you. And Moses spake unto the children of Israel, and all their 6 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. And Moses laid up the rods before Yahweh in 7 the tent of the testimony. And it came to pass on the morrow, that 8 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 bloomed blossoms, and bare ripe almonds. And Moses brought 9 out all the rods from before Yahweh unto all the children of Israel : and they looked, and took every man his rod. And Yah- 10 weh said unto Moses, 'Put back the rod of Aaron before the testimony, to be kept for a token against the children of rebellion ; that thou mayest make an end of their murmurings against me, that

478 ; 19.

45Cf. Ex. 32 : : 30.

1Cf. 21:8.

?V's. 7 ; Ex. 16: 33f. 320 : 9; cf. vs. 9.

I 2

11 they die not. Thus did Moses : as Yahweh commanded him, so did he.

And the children of Israel spake unto Moses, saying, Behold, 13 we perish, we are undone, we are all undone. Every one that

cometh near, that cometh near unto the tabernacle of Yahweh,

dieth : shall we perish all of us ? 18 And Yahweh said unto Aaron, Thou and thy sons and thy father's house with thee shall 'bear the iniquity of the sanctuary :

and thou and thy sons with thee shall bear the iniquity of your 2 priesthood. And thy brethren also, the tribe of Levi, the tribe of

thy father, bring thou near with thee, that they may be joined

unto thee, and minister unto thee : but thou and thy sons with thee 3 shall be before the tent of the testimony. And they shall keep thy

charge, and the charge of all the Tent : only they shall not come nigh unto the vessels of the sanctuary and unto the altar, that they 4 die not, neither they, nor ye. And they shall be joined unto thee,

and keep the charge of the tent of meeting, for all the service of the 5 Tent : and a stranger shall not come nigh unto you.

shall keep the charge of the sanctuary, and the charge of the altar : 6 4that there be wrath no more upon the children of Israel.

behold, I have taken your brethren the Levites from among the

children of Israel: to you they are a gift, ogiven unto Yahweh, 7 to do the service of the tent of meeting. And thou and thy sons

with thee shall keep your priesthood for every thing of the altar, and for that within the veil ; and ye shall serve : I give you the priesthood as a service of gift: and the stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death.

And ye

And I,

20 And the children of Israel, even the whole congregation, came

(E) into the wilderness of ?Zin in the first month : [...]* and

2Cf. chh. 3f. 3Gen. 29 : 34.

416: 35.

5Cf. 3:41.

1 Ex. 16: 1 and refs.

iCf. Ez. 44 : 10. 213 : 21.

* The year is omitted for harmonistic reasons. In vv. 22ff., however, co!pared with xxxiii. 38f., it is apparent that this was the last year of the desert wandering, i. e. the 40th. But according to JE (xiii. 26) they come to Kadesh before the beginning of the 38 years' wandering (cf. Dt. if.); hence the omission. From the play in vs. 12 upon the name Kadesh (* sanctified”) and from


with 3

8 And 5

the people abode in Kadesh; }and Miriam died there, and (P) was buried there. And there was no water for the congregation : 4and they assembled themselves together against Moses and (J) against Aaron.

And the people strove (P) Moses, [.. ] and spake, saying, "Would God that we had died when our brethren died before Yahweh! And why 4 have ye brought the assembly of Yahweh into this wilderness, (Rp) (J) that we should die there, we and our cattle.* wherefore have ye made us to come up out of Egypt, to bring us in unto this evil place ? it is no place of seed, or of figs, or of vines, or of pomegranates; (P) neither is there any water to drink. [...]And 6 Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly unto the door of the tent of meeting, and fell upon their faces : and the glory of Yahweh appeared unto them. And Yahweh spake unto 7 Moses, saying, Take the 19rod, and assemble the congregation, 8. (J) thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes, that it give forth its water ; and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the (P) rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their cattle drink. [...] ? And Moses took the rod from before Yahweh, as he 9 commanded him. And Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly 10 together before the rock-and he said unto them, Hear now, ye

716: 35.

3Dt. 10 :6. 416 : 3 and refs. 6Cf. Ex. 17 : 2. 614 : 2.

8Ex. 14: 1; 17: 3, etc. 917:42f. and refs. 1017: 10; Ex. 7:9 etc. 11Cf. 21 : 16ff. ; Ex. 17:2-7.

12Cf. Ex. 17:2-7. 13Vs. 24 ; 27 : 14.

vv. 22 and 24 it is clear that the scene in P was Meribah Kadesh as in J. The latter element is displaced; see Analysis.

* The introduction of the “cattle” in vv. 4, 8, u has been shown by Cornill (Z. A. W. xi. 1) to be the work of Rp. The same writer confirms the conjecture of Nöldeke and Kayser that vs. rob was originally addressed by Yahweh to Moses and Aaron, “ Hear now ye rebels (in P2 Moses and Aaron are the “rebels ”; cf. vs. 24 and xxvii. 14), [sc. who say] shall we bring forth water out of this rock ?” and formed part of the material eliminated after vs. 8, which related the obnoxious story of Moses' sin. This view is supported by the LXX., which has “ Hear me” in vs. 10. In Cornill's more radical conclusions as to the original form of P2 and J we are not prepared wholly to concur, regarding the analysis above given as a simpler explanation.

pi rebels ; shall we bring you forth water out of this rock ?* And

Moses lifted up his hand, and smote the rock with his rod twice :

and water came forth abundantly, and the congregation drank, and 12 their cattle. And Yahweh said unto Moses and Aaron, Because

ve believed not in me, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of

Israel, 14therefore ye shall not bring this assembly into the land 13 which I have given them. These are the 15waters of Meribah ;

[. . . ] because the children of Israel 16strove with Yahweh, and he was sanctified in them.

E VI. Nu. xx. 14—XXV. ; XXVII. 12–23 ; XXXII. I—XXXIII. 49.



All the sources pass over in silence the 39 years of wandering ; so much so that it is not at first apparent where these years are supposed to come in. The difficulty comes from the fact that in J and E, Kadesh is reached before the episode of the spies, from which depends the sentence of wandering, and is, in fact, their point of departure ; whereas according to P Kadesh is not reached until the 40th year (see note on xx. i.). Num. xx. 14-220 ; xxi. 4ab-9 (E) takes up the story after xiv.

14 Ct. Dt. 1: 37.

15Vs. 24 ; 27: 14.

16 Ct. vs. 3 ;Ex. 17 : 2-7,


* For the displacement of vs. 10b see note preceding. In vv. 8b and u the hand of Rp is demonstrably present, and it may fairly be presumed that he altered the verbs of vv. 5 and 8 from the singular addressed to Moses alone to the plural. For “the rod ” in place of “his rod ” we have the authority of LXX. and of vv. 8f. Twice,” is.

II may be genuine, but looks like an attempt to explain the sin of Moses, as an exceeding of his commission.

Ť Insert “ of Kadesh as in xxvii. 14, The etymology “strove," "was sanctified," demands both elements of the name. J also employs the term “the waters of Meribah,” Dt, xxxiii. 8, :und Meribath-Kadesh, Dt. xxxiii. 2, but the verse cannot be assigned to JE (Kautzsch notwithstanding), partly because in both J and E the name Meribah is connected with a strife of the people against Moses, not Yahweh; partly because it is only in P that the name Kadesh is played upon.

(Cf. vs. 12 and 24, and xxvii. 14). Plays upon words are comparatively rare in P2, but not unknown ; cf. Gen. xvii. 5, 17; Num. xviii. 2.

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