The Antiquities of the Jews

The Antiquities of the Jews


nor would God have overlooked this matter, and seen himself thus despised; nor would he have suffered you to be ignorant of what you were to do, in order to please him; but he hath himself chosen one that is to perform that sacred office to him, and thereby freed us from that care.So that it was not a thing that I pretend to give, but only according to the determination of God; I therefore propose it still to be contended for by such as please to put in for it, only desiring that he who has been already preferred, and has already obtained it, may be allowed now also to offer himself for a candidate.He prefers your peace, and your living without sedition, to this honorable employment, although in truth it was with your approbation that he obtained it; for though God were the donor, yet do we not offend when we think fit to accept it with your good-will; yet would it have been an instance of impiety not to have taken that honorable employment when he offered it; nay, it had been exceedingly unreasonable, when God had thought fit any one should have it for all time to come, and had made it secure and firm to him, to have refused it.However, he himself will judge again who it shall be whom he would have to offer sacrifices to him, and to have the direction of matters of religion; for it is absurd that Corah, who is ambitious of this honor, should deprive God of the power of giving it to whom he pleases.Put an end, therefore, to your sedition and disturbance on this account; and tomorrow morning do every one of you that desire the priesthood bring a censer from home, and come hither with incense and fire: and do thou, OCorah, leave the judgment to God, and await to see on which side he will give his determination upon this occasion, but do not thou make thyself greater than God.Do thou also come, that this contest about this honorable employment may receive determination.And I suppose we may admit Aaron without offense, to offer himself to this scrutiny, since he is of the same lineage with thyself, and has done nothing in his priesthood that can be liable to exception.Come ye therefore together, and offer your incense in public before all the people; and when you offer it, he whose sacrifice God shall accept shall be ordained to the priesthood, and shall be clear of the present calumny on Aaron, as if I had granted him that favor because he was my brother."CHAPTER 3.

How Those That Stirred Up This Sedition Were Destroyed, According To The Will Of God; And How Aaron, Moses's Brother Both He And His Posterity, Retained The Priesthood.

1.When Moses had said this, the multitude left off the turbulent behavior they had indulged, and the suspicion they had of Moses, and commended what he had said; for those proposals were good, and were so esteemed of the people.At that time therefore they dissolved the assembly.But on the next day they came to the congregation, in order to be present at the sacrifice, and at the determination that was to be made between the candidates for the priesthood.Now this congregation proved a turbulent one, and the multitude were in great suspense in expectation of what was to be done; for some of them would have been pleased if Moses had been convicted of evil practices, but the wiser sort desired that they might be delivered from the present disorder and disturbance; for they were afraid, that if this sedition went on, the good order of their settlement would rather be destroyed; but the whole body of the people do naturally delight in clamors against their governors, and, by changing their opinions upon the harangues of every speaker, disturb the public tranquillity.And now Moses sent messengers for Abiram and Dathan, and ordered them to come to the assembly, and wait there for the holy offices that were to be performed.But they answered the messenger, that they would not obey his summons; nay, would not overlook Moses's behavior, who was growing too great for them by evil practices.Now when Moses heard of this their answer, he desired the heads of the people to follow him, and he went to the faction of Dathan, not thinking it any frightful thing at all to go to these insolent people; so they made no opposition, but went along with him.But Dathan, and his associates, when they understood that Moses and the principal of the people were coming to them, came out, with their wives and children, and stood before their tents, and looked to see what Moses would do.They had also their servants about them to defend themselves, in case Moses should use force against them.

Flavius Josephus