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

New Defender's Study Bible Notes

16:1 son of Kohath. Korah wanted to be a priest, like Aaron and his sons, not appreciating the fact that the Kohathites had been given the high privilege of serving in God’s tabernacle (see Numbers 4:4-15). Dathan, Abiram and On were not Levites, but descendants of Reuben (note Numbers 26:5-9). Possibly they thought they should be leaders instead of Moses, since Reuben had been Israel’s first son. Korah was the ringleader of this rebellion, assisted by Dathan and Abiram. Both the Kohathites and Reubenites were encamped close together on the south side of the tabernacle (Numbers 2:10; 3:29), providing easy opportunity for them to discuss grievances and foment rebellion together. Somehow they also persuaded 250 others, all prominent in the assembly and possibly at least some from the other tribes (though most were probably Levites and Reubenites) to go along with them. But all these rebels soon “perished in the gainsaying of Core” (Jude 11).

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