A Brief Study of the Tabernacle

By Ellsworth A. Archer

Chapter 13


Num. 16, 17

     Although God had so marvelously delivered the Israelites from Egyptian bondage; had supplied their needs on the journey and had manifested His love and care for them in so many ways and at so many different times, still they continued to complain and find fault with his dealings with them and His plans for them. At one time this complaining and dissatisfaction developed especially among the Levites and was directed against Moses and Aaron, of whose power they were jealous and envious. Korah, Dathan and Abiram, who were the instigators of the complaint, said that they had as much right to be priests and offer sacrifices as had Aaron. They influenced 250 men "famous in the congregation" to join with them in their rebellion. Jehovah sent a most severe punishment for this wrong doing (Num. 16:23-35), and then in order to prove conclusively who God had chosen to the office of priest, He commanded Moses to have each tribe of the children of Israel bring a rod, and on each rod was written the name of the tribe to which it belonged. These were placed in the "tabernacle of the congregation before the testimony" (Nu. 17:4) with the instruction that the rod which had blossoms on it in the morning belonged to the one whom Jehovah had chosen as His high priest. In the morning Aaron's rod had budded and blossomed and yielded almonds (Nu.17:8); and then it was commanded that this rod be kept in the testimony as a token against the rebels. (Nu. 17:10; Heb. 9:4)

     Observe to-what length the envy and jealousy of these men led them. In Solomon's Song it says that "Jealousy is cruel as the grave." Envy has been defined as "displeasure at the prosperity of another with the wish it was not theirs but ours." How many there are today who cannot bear to see another exalted above themselves, but are willing to go to almost any length that they might be robbed of their honor and position. Remember the fate of those who desired the position of Aaron. Instead of being jealous or envious of another's prosperity and success is it not better to rejoice with them? One cannot do otherwise if he would keep the favor of God.