From Eternity Past


Chapter 35—Korah Leads a Rebellion

This chapter is based on Numbers 16 and 17.

The judgments visited upon the Israelites served for a time to restrain their murmuring and insubordination, but the spirit of rebellion was still in the heart. Now a deep-laid conspiracy was formed to overthrow the authority of the leaders appointed by God Himself. EP 277.1

Korah, the leading spirit in this movement, a cousin of Moses, was a man of ability and influence. He had become dissatisfied with his position and aspired to the dignity of the priesthood. For some time Korah had been secretly opposing the authority of Moses and Aaron, though He had not ventured upon open rebellion. He finally conceived the bold design of overthrowing both the civil and the religious authority. Dathan and Abiram, two princes, readily joined in his ambitious schemes and determined to divide with Korah the honors of the priesthood. EP 277.2

The feeling among the people favored Korah. In the bitterness of their disappointment, their former doubts, jealousy, and hatred returned, and again their complaints were directed against their patient leader. They forgot that they were under divine guidance, that the presence of Christ went before them, and that from Him Moses received directions. EP 277.3

Unwilling to die in the wilderness, they were ready to believe that it was not God but Moses who had pronounced their doom. Although the marks of God's displeasure at their perverseness were still before them, they did not take the lesson to heart. EP 277.4

He who reads the secrets of all hearts had given His people warning and instruction as might have enabled them to escape the deception of these designing men. They had seen the judgment of God on Miriam because of her jealousy and complaints against Moses. The Lord had declared: “With him will I speak mouth to mouth.” “Wherefore, then,” He added, “were ye not afraid to speak against My servant Moses?” Numbers 12:8. These instructions were not intended for Aaron and Miriam alone, but for all Israel. EP 277.5

Korah and his fellow conspirators were of the number who went up with Moses into the mount and beheld the divine glory. But a temptation, slight at first, had been harbored until their minds were controlled by Satan. They first whispered their discontent to one another and then to leading men of Israel. At last they really believed themselves actuated by zeal for God. EP 278.1

They were successful in alienating two hundred and fifty princes. With these influential supporters they felt confident of greatly improving upon the administration of Moses and Aaron. EP 278.2

Jealousy had given rise to envy, and envy to rebellion. And they deceived themselves and one another into thinking that Moses and Aaron had themselves assumed the positions they held, that these leaders had exalted themselves in taking the priesthood and government. They were no more holy than the people, and it should be enough for them to be on a level with their brethren, who were equally favored with God's presence and protection. EP 278.3