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Num. 16
XVI.  1 At that time did he give him commandment concerning the fringes: and then did Choreb rebel and 200 men with him and spake saying: What if a law which we cannot bear is ordained for us? 2. And God was wroth and said: I commanded the earth and it gave me man, and unto him were born at the first two sons. And the elder arose and slew the younger, and the earth hasted and swallowed his blood. But I drove forth Cain, and cursed the earth and spake unto Sion saying: Thou shalt not any more swallow up blood. And

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now are the thoughts of men greatly polluted. 3. Lo, I will command the earth, and it shall swallow up body and soul together, and their dwelling shall be in darkness and in destruction, and they shall not die but shall pine away until I remember the world and renew the earth. And then shall they die and not live, and their life shall be taken away out of the number of all men: neither shall Hell vomit them forth again, and destruction shall not remember them, and their departure shall be as that of the tribe of the nations of whom I said, "I will not remember them," that is, the camp of the Egyptians, and the people whom I destroyed with the water of the flood. And the earth shall swallow them, and I will not do any more unto them1

4. And when Moses spake all these words unto the people, Choreb, and his men were yet unbelieving. And Choreb sent to call his seven sons which were not of counsel with him. 5. But they sent to him in answer saying: As the painter showeth not forth an image made by his art unless he be first instructed, so we also when we received the law of the Most Mighty which teacheth us his ways, did not enter . therein save that we might walk therein. Our father begat us [not], but the Most Mighty formed us, and now if we walk in his ways we shall be his children. But if thou believe not, go thine own way. And they came not up unto him.

6. And it came to pass after this that the earth

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opened before them, and his sons sent unto him saying: If thy madness be still upon thee, who shall help thee in the day of thy destruction? and he hearkened not unto them. And the earth opened her mouth and swallowed them up, and their houses, and four times was the foundation of the earth moved to swallow up the men, as it was commanded her. And thereafter Choreb and his company groaned, until the firmament of the earth should be delivered back. 1 7. But the assemblies of the people said unto Moses: We cannot abide round about 2 this place where Choreb and his men have been swallowed up. And he said to them. Take up your tents from round about them, neither be ye joined to their sins. And they did so.


120:1 XVI. 1. In Num. 15:37 the ordinance of fringes immediately precedes the story of Korah; and the two are brought into connexion by the Targum on, Numbers and by others: Jerahmeel 55 connects them in this fashion: "and when God commanded Moses to tell the children of Israel to make themselves fringes, Korah arose in the night, and, weaving 400 garments of blue, put them on 400 men. Then, standing before Moses, he said to him: "Do these garments require fringes, as they are now made wholly of this blue?" Moses replied: "Korah, does a house full of holy books require a Mezuzah?" "Yes," said Korah. "So also do these garments require fringes." This encounter of Korah with Moses is the last of several which are told at some length in Jerahmeel.

121:1 3. it appears that Korah and his company are to be annihilated at the final judgement. The people of whom I said: I will not remember them. Compare Pirke R. Eliezer 33. "All the dead will rise at the resurrection of the dead, except the generation of the Flood." Christianity (1 Peter 3) did not recognize this exception.

122:1 6. until the firmament (AP) or foundation (VR) of the earth should be restored: quousque redderetur firmamentum terrae. Probably to be understood in the same sense as the words of 3: ero innouans terram.

122:2 The MSS. have: in Sina of this place.

Next: Chapter XVII