Standing Between the Living and the Dead

Numbers 17:6-15 (English Numbers 16:41-50)

The following day the whole community of Israel accused Moses and Aaron, “YOU have caused the people of Yahweh to die!” And just as the community had assembled against Moses and Aaron, they turned toward the tent of meeting, for suddenly, the cloud covered it, and the glory of Yahweh appeared. Then Moses and Aaron went to the front of the tent of meeting and Yahweh said to Moses, “Get away from this community so that I may annihilate them immediately!” But they threw themselves down on their faces, and Moses said to Aaron, “Get the censer and put burning coals from the alter in it, place incense on it, and quickly take it to the community and make atonement for them.  Because the wrath from the presence of Yahweh has gone out—the plague has begun!” Aaron did as Moses commanded, and ran to the middle of the assembly where the plague was just beginning and he offered the incense and made atonement for the people, standing between the living and the dead, and the plague was stopped. But 14,700 people died in the plague in addition to those who died because of Korah.  Then Aaron returned to Moses at the entrance of the tent of meeting because the plague was stopped.


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