Not surprising, following the former chapters, even the biblical characters question Moses. Korah, Abiram and Dathan went to Moses and said: You have gone too far! We are all holy, why do you raise yourself above anyone else?
“We will not come! Is it not enough flowing of milk and honey to have us die in the wilderness, that you would also lord it over us? Even if you would have brought us to a land flowing with milk and honey, and given us possessions of fields and vineyards, should you gauge out those subordinate eyes? We will not come!” 16:12-14
Moses orders the community congregate for the next day. There he holds a speech how wicked the three are and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up with their households, all of Korah’s people and all their possessions. They went down alive into Sheol…
There are a few things here, Significantly Moses has one night to prepare perhaps a covered ditch of some sort, or to set up a camp in a place of quick sand where the accused are asked to stand. Another problem here is the word Sheol. It means underworld. It stems from a time when people believed in a heaven above and hell below.
The story continues with the killing of another 250 people through the incense fire, and then a plague comes over the people killing 14700 people.
The passage ends with specialness relating to first born male children. This can not be deemed appropriate given the achievements of equality in modern times.
Haftarah is Samuel I 11:14-12:22
In this reading Samuel prays to God for rain, to proof God exists, and “the eternal sent thunder and rain that day!” You better believe it!