Christian Churches of God

No. CB47_2




Korah’s Rebellion


(Edition 1.0 20060825-20060825)

In this Lesson we will review the study paper Korah’s Rebellion (No. CB47) and consider the basic concepts related to this incident in the Bible. The aim is to help children understand the consequences of rebellion against God and those leaders appointed by God.



Christian Churches of God





(Copyright ã 2006 Diane Flanagan, ed. Wade Cox)


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Korah’s Rebellion



To review the basic concepts related to Korah and his rebellion.


Children will be able to understand the importance of always obeying God.

Children will understand why being part of a rebellion against God is so dangerous.

Children will identify at least two rebellions from the Bible.

Children will understand that some of Korah’s sons or descendants survived, and actually were involved in Temple worship and also wrote nine Psalms.


Korah’s Rebellion (No. CB47)

The Tabernacle in the Wilderness (No. CB42)

What Happens When We Die? (No. CB29)

Relevant Scriptures:

Numbers 16:20-21


Open with Prayer.

Ask the children why they think that a rebellion is so dangerous.

Lesson on Korah’s rebellion.

Activity associated with Korah’s rebellion.

Close with prayer.


Read through Korah’s Rebellion (No. CB47) unless the lesson is read as a sermonette.

Children’s questions are in bold.

Q1. Whom did God say were to be His Priests?

A. The sons of Aaron, who were of the tribe of Levi.

Q2. Who was Korah?

A. One of Levi’s great grandsons and a first cousin to Moses and Aaron.

Q3. Did Korah have a lot of responsibility in Israel?

A. Yes, he already had a high office in the service of the Lord in the Tabernacle (see Num. 4:1-20), but he wanted an even higher office - the priesthood that was given to Aaron (vv. 8-11). He was not satisfied with the job he was given by God.

Q4. Do you know anyone else who was not satisfied with job they were given?

A. Yes, Satan (Ezek. 28:15-16).

Q5. Did Korah go to Moses alone?

A. No, he took three Reubenites – Dathan, Abiram and On – and about 250 other leaders of Israel who had their own complaints. They came as a group to oppose and challenge Moses and Aaron (Num. 16:1-3).

Q6. What did Korah want to do?

A. Korah challenged Moses, actually God (Num. 26:9), because Korah and the others did not respect the leader God had put in charge. "We are here because we believe you are taking on too much power. You and your priests act as though you are holier than any of the rest of us. If we are God’s chosen people, then all of us are holy and the Lord is with us. Why do you set yourselves above the Lord’s assembly?" (Num. 16:1-3).

Q7. Do you think Korah and the others demonstrated a Godly attitude?

A. No, it was a satanic rebellious attitude. We previously saw Satan attempt to take over the council of God. At that point Satan was filled with iniquity and the wrong attitude. Satan lost his position as Covering Cherub due to his rebellion. God cannot keep any rebellious person or spiritual being in a position of authority if they are not trustworthy.

Q8. Did Satan attempt to overthrow God alone?

A. No, he took one third of the other spirit beings with him (Ezek. 28:16; Rev. 12:4). Here too we see Korah being the leader of a rebellion and others following his wrong attitude.

Q9. Should we follow people that are doing something wrong?

A. No, do not follow a multitude to do evil (Ex. 23:2: Thou shalt not follow a multitude to [do] evil; neither shalt thou speak in a cause to decline after many to wrest [judgment] (KJV)).

Q10. If someone is doing something wrong what should you do?

A. Children can volunteer some answers here.

Q11. What did Moses do?

A. He fell down face forward to the ground because it was such a great sin the men were committing (Num. 16:4).

Q12. What did Moses say to Korah and the other rebels?

A. "In the morning the Lord will show who belongs to him and who is holy. The man he chooses he will cause to come near him and he will be the one who is holy. You Levites have gone too far." Moses also said to Korah, "Now listen, you Levites. Isn’t it enough for you that God has separated you from the rest of the Israelite community and brought you near to Himself to do the work at the Lord’s Tabernacle and to stand before the community and minister to them? Now you are trying to get the priesthood too. It is against the Lord that you and your followers have banded together. Who is Aaron that you should grumble against him?" (Num. 16:5-11).

Q13. Did Moses only speak to Korah?

A. No, he also called Dathan and Abiram (v. 12).

Q14. Why do you think Moses called Dathan and Abiram?

A. Moses tried to call them away so they would not be part of the rebellion. God makes people aware of their problems and gives people a chance to repent, but once they fail to listen consequences happen at some point.

Q15. What did Dathan and Abiram say?

A. "We will not come. We refuse to listen to your excuses for leading us from the good land of Egypt and into a desert where we are to die. Your only aim has plainly been to control the people, no matter what becomes of them" (vv. 12-14).

Q16. Did they have a repentant attitude and did they change?

A. No.

Q17. How did Moses respond to the accusations or charges of the rebels?

A. Moses became angry at the untruthful charges and said: "Do not accept their offering. I have not taken so much as a donkey from them, nor have I wronged any of them" (v. 15).

Q18. What did Moses say to Korah?

A. "You have started something you will have trouble finishing. Your belief that just anyone can be in the priesthood without being ordained by God is false. However, if all of you insist on trying to force your way into such offices, every one of you should be here tomorrow morning with incense and a censer filled with fire. Aaron and his sons will also be here with their censers. God will make it known which ones He will choose as priests and their helpers" (vv. 16-17).

Q19. What happened the next morning?

A. Two hundred and fifty leaders, plus Korah, Dathan and Abiram appeared before the Tabernacle. Every man carried a censer filled with fire to show his readiness to go at once into priestly service. Yet most of these men were not Levites and those who were Levites were rebelling against Moses, Aaron and most importantly, God (vv. 18-19).

Q20. What did God tell Moses to do?

A. "Separate yourselves from this assembly so I can put an end to them at once" (vv. 20-21). We should always separate ourselves from those who are in rebellion to God’s Law.

Q21. What was God going to do?

A. All those people there were going to be killed. But Moses asked God to spare the people as he had done in before (see Ex. 32:9-11). Moses and Aaron fell face down and cried out, "O God, God of the spirits of all mankind, will you be angry with the entire assembly when only one man sins?"(v. 22).

Q22. What did Moses do next?

A. He instructed the people to move away from the tents of Korah, Dathan and Abiram and stated: "This is how you will know that the Lord has sent me to do all these things and that it was not my idea: If these men die a natural death and experience only what usually happens to men, then the Lord has not sent me. But if the Lord brings about something totally new, and the earth opens and swallows them, and they go down alive into the grave, then you will know that these men have treated the Lord with contempt" (vv. 25-30).

Q23. What follows quickly?

A. The earth opened up and swallowed all of the households and possessions of Korah and all the men in the rebellion (vv. 31-34).

Q24. Were others killed?

A. Yes, the two hundred and fifty men who had followed Korah and who had brought their censers ran away from where the earth opened up. Even though they were soon scattered among thousands of others, all two hundred and fifty men suddenly met death by bolts of fire, shooting down from the Lord (v. 35).

Q25. Why did so many people have to die?

A. God cut off the rebellious in this way as an example to others who blaspheme Him. These people were wicked and rebellious and their actions and speech were directed against God and His system and those who act in His name, and it brought swift punishment.

God does punish the wicked for their disobedience. However, we know that all who have ever lived will be resurrected from the dead and have their chance to be part of God’s family. For more information see What Happens When We Die (No. CB27).

Q26. Were the men’s censers used later?

A. Yes, Eleasar was told to gather the censers scattered among the burning coals. The censers were beaten into sheets: "The metals in those censers have been presented before the Lord and have become holy", the Lord explained. "Save them so that they will be used in forming special plates to cover the altar of burnt offerings. Then let those plates be a reminder to the people that no one except the descendents of Aaron is to offer incense before the Lord. Anyone who does otherwise will be subject to the fate of Korah and those who followed him with their foolish ambitions" (vv. 36-40; 2Chro. 26:14-21; and Heb. 5:4).

Q27. Was anyone spared?

A. Yes, the children (Num. 26:11).

Q28. Do we have a record of Korah’s sons anywhere else in the Bible? If so what did they do?

A. Yes, 1Chronicles 9:19 also talks of the sons of Korah serving God (see also Psalms 84, 85, 88).

Q29. After the rebellion had been put down were the people content to carry on with Moses and Aaron as their leaders?

A. No. They continued to grumble and complain and blamed Moses and Aaron for the deaths of their fellow Israelites. They did not believe that the destruction the previous day had come from God (Num. 16:41).

Q30. Then what happened?

A. God was angry and wanted to destroy the people and Moses and Aaron were afraid for the people. God sent a plague and people were dying all over the place.

Q31. What did Moses and Aaron do next?

A. Moses told Aaron to take his censer and incense and make atonement for the sins of the people (vv. 46-48).

Q32. Did God stop the plague?

A. Yes. Because of the faith of Moses and Aaron, God answered their prayers and spared the people (v. 50). But many thousands did lose their lives that day (v. 49). They were a rebellious and unbelieving people who had to learn their lessons the hard way, just like some of us today.

Scriptures are taken from the paper Korah’s Rebellion (No. CB47).


Activity: Run from the Rebellion or Life’s Maze

Run from the Rebellion is a running game and children label the action obedient or rebellious.

Supplies: space to run, list of questions divided into 2 lots.

Setup: place the 2 lots of questions opposite the area where the 2 teams are sitting.

Rules: divide the children into 2 teams. Have a team member from each group race to get a question and return to the team with the question. The child reads the question to his/her team and the team decides on the correct answer and shares their answer with the group when called upon.

Life’s Maze involves memory, concentration, and cognition of labelling the action obedient or rebellious.

Supplies: 26 sheets of multicoloured construction paper, a grid to match the placement of the construction paper sheets 4 squares by 6 squares totalling 24 squares and a list of questions.

Setup: Set up a grid with the paper 4 to a row and 6 sheets in each column; one paper in front for start and one paper on the end for stop. On the grid place "land mines" at least up to 3 mines in each row, mark them with an X on the grid and do not allow the children to see the grid. The "land mines" remain consistent throughout the game.

Rules: Children take turns going through the maze. They can ask for help but help cannot be offered unless they ask. Just like we cannot give the Holy Spirit to someone else, we are each responsible for ourselves, though we can always ask for help and prayers from others. Children must step on at least one square in each row; they may step on more than one square in each row. At times you need to ask the children to take one step at a time so you can check the grid to see if they stepped on a mine. If they land on a mine they must draw a question and answer it and then sit down until it is their turn. One can also discuss if children never ask for help or always ask for help. Once a person successfully gets through the game they state what they have learned and enjoyed most about the Feast. The following person must change at least one thing in their path to success. Though we can learn from others’ mistakes each one of us has unique experiences on our way to the Kingdom.

Close with a prayer.