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The Rebellion Stories of Numbers 16-18

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Chapter Summary

This chapter deals with the series of traditions found in Num. 16-18. The narratives in Num. 16-17, together with the law unit in chapter 18, are all united by the common theme of priestly authority and prerogatives. The rebellion of Korah is continuously referred back, and serves as the point of reference. The original form of the comment in Num. 26 shows awareness of the combination of the Dathan and Abiram story with the chieftain rebellion but does not show awareness of the Korah incident. It was only at a later stage, that the need was felt to supplement the Num. 26 text with references to Korah. The most significant argument in favor of our reconstruction is the fact that the removal of the Korah rebellion makes for a smooth combination of priestly and non-priestly material.

Keywords: Abiram story; Korah rebellion; priestly authority



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