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Sunday, January 28 2018
The Rebels Of Levi And Reuben
"I pray you, from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of theirs, lest ye be consumed in all their sins"
Moses encountered numerous rebellions from among the Israelites after the Exodus (see also Why 40 Years In The Sinai?). One of the most serious was started and led by "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."
"16:1 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: 16:2 And they rose up before Moses, with certain of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation, men of renown: 16:3 And they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said unto them, Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the LORD is among them: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the LORD?" (Numbers 16:1-3 KJV)
Were the "leaders" of the insurrection really "heroes" of the people? Or were they merely vain men who sought to satisfy their selfish lust to "lead"? Moreover, what personal reasons did they have for starting a coup against Moses?
The answer is found in the tribal ancestry of the rebel instigators. They happened to be of Levi and Reuben. The people of Levi and Reuben were no better or worse than anyone of any of the other tribes, but these rebels made themselves so.
Moses happened to be of the tribe of Levi. He did not however make himself the leader of Israel. He in fact pleaded with the LORD to choose someone else (see The Sign Of The Flaming Bush).
But some of the other Levites, among them the rebel leaders, declared that they were, in effect, "just as good as Moses." They were driven by petty jealousy and ambition that blinded them to the greater purpose that included them as much as everyone else.
What about the rebel leaders from the tribe of Reuben? What was their real problem?
Reuben was the firstborn of Jacob / Israel. As such, he and his descendants would have been given the responsibility of serving the people at a higher level. But Reuben was disqualified as the firstborn son because of his sexual behavior. Reuben's descendants couldn't inherit something from their patriarch that their patriarch no longer had because he squandered it with immorality. The rebels chose to make themselves ignorant ("ignorant" simply means to ignore something that has been made known to them) of that reality.
"49:3 Reuben, thou art my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power: 49:4 Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel; because thou wentest up to thy father's bed; then defiledst thou it: he went up to my couch." (Genesis 49:3-4 KJV)
Moses' response was that of a humble man who knew what the LORD does to those who rebel against Him.
"16:4 And when Moses heard it, he fell upon his face: 16:5 And he spake unto Korah and unto all his company, saying, Even to morrow the LORD will shew who are his, and who is holy; and will cause him to come near unto him: even him whom he hath chosen will he cause to come near unto him. 16:6 This do; Take you censers, Korah, and all his company; 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 doth choose, he shall be holy: ye take too much upon you, ye sons of Levi.
The LORD responded with a "stand clear of the rebels" command, which wasn't merely to keep innocent bystanders safe, but also to have the rebels clearly identify themselves as targets.
"16:23 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 16:24 Speak unto the congregation, saying, Get you up from about the tabernacle of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.
The rebellion ended very quickly and very precisely.
"16:28 And Moses said, Hereby ye shall know that the LORD hath sent me to do all these works; for I have not done them of mine own mind. 16:29 If these men die the common death of all men, or if they be visited after the visitation of all men; then the LORD hath not sent me. 16:30 But if the LORD make a new thing, and the earth open her mouth, and swallow them up, with all that appertain unto them, and they go down quick into the pit; then ye shall understand that these men have provoked the LORD.
Fact Finder: When did the LORD set the tribe of Levi apart from the other tribes? Why?
This Day In History, January 28
814: Charlemagne ("Charles the Great"), German king and Holy Roman emperor (the Holy Roman Empire was officially known as The Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation; see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation), died at age 71 (see also Emperors and Popes and Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy).
1547: King Henry VIII of England died at age 55. England broke away from the Church of Rome during Henry's reign. His nine-year-old son, Edward VI became King, and the first "Protestant" ruler of England.
1561: In France, the Edict of Orleans outlawed the persecution of Huguenots (French Protestants) by Catholics.
1581: In Scotland, King James VI signed the Second Confession of Faith.
1596: British explorer and naval officer Sir Francis Drake died at age 50. Drake and his crew were the first Englishmen to sail around the world (1577-1580). Later, in 1588, Drake was one of the commanders of the British fleet that defended Britain from the Spanish Armada (sent by the Pope to invade and subjugate Britain).
1724: The Russian Academy of Sciences was founded in St. Petersburg by Peter the Great, Czar of Russia.
1725: Peter the Great, Czar of Russia (czar is the Russian form of Caesar, as is the German Kaiser), died at age 52 after reigning from 1682 (see also Russia Or Europe - Who Has Been The Invader?).
1788: The first British penal colony was established at Botany Bay in New South Wales, Australia.
1807: Pall Mall ("parallel to the mall") in London became the first street to be illuminated by gaslight.
1871: During the Franco-Prussian War (France and Germany), Prussian forces captured Paris.
1918: Dr. John McCrae, the Canadian military doctor who wrote In Flanders Fields during the First World War (1914-1918), died (see also The Assassination That Triggered Two World Wars).
1921: German-born theoretical physicist Albert Einstein (as a Jew, Einstein fled his native Germany when the Nazis began their rise to power; see also Is Iniquity Liberal Or Conservative? and Jews - Three Tribes and Three Meanings) proposed the possibility that the size of the universe could be calculated (see also Einstein's Holy Spirit Formula and Parabolic Prophecies).
1932: In the lead-up to the Pacific theater of the Second World War (1939-1945), the Japanese army occupied Shanghai to force an end to a Chinese boycott of Japanese goods (see also Why Was Korea Divided Into North And South?).
1935: Iceland became the first country to "legalize" (in man's eyes, not God's) abortion on medical or "social" (i.e. commit fornication or adultery, then commit murder to get rid of the "problem") excuses.
1943: During the Second World War (1939-1945), Adolf Hitler (see Why Does Satan Love Liars? and Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion) mobilized the entire German adult population for the war effort (see also The Terrorist Attack That Enabled Hitler To Become A Dictator).
1950: The French Assembly ratified their proclamation under which Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos became "independent" colonies within the French union. After France retreated from the region due to the civil wars that their imperialism created, the U.S. became involved in the Vietnam War (which was actually a civil war between the Vietnamese people whose single country had been partitioned in 1954, by the French at the end of the First Indochina War, into North and South Vietnam; see also Why Was Korea Divided Into North And South?).
1973: The Vietnam War (see the entry for 1950, above) cease-fire was signed by the U.S. and North Vietnam in Paris.
1980: During the Iranian hostage crisis, 6 U.S. "diplomats" (most of whom were later admitted to be CIA agents), who missed being taken captive when the U.S. Embassy was invaded by Iranian militants, escaped out of Tehran in what became known as "The Canadian Caper." The U.S. spies were secretly given refuge by Canadian diplomats (genuine diplomats) in the Canadian Embassy for over 2 months before leaving Iran by using Canadian identities and passports provided by the Canadian government.
1986: Seven astronauts died after the Challenger space shuttle exploded 72 seconds after launch - Francis "Dick" Scobee, 46; Michael Smith, 40; Judith Resnik, 36; Ellison Onizuka, 39; Ronald McNair, 35; Gregory Jarvis, 41; Christa McAuliffe, 37. A total of 14 U.S. astronauts died in two separate space shuttle launch (Challenger) or re-entry (Columbia) failures.