A warning sign 

Old Testament: Num 26.5–11

To read the Bible in a year, read Numbers 24–27 on March 1, In the year of our Lord Christ 2022

By Don Ruhl 

Almost forty years had been completed and the Lord wanted a new census of the children of Israel while they were still in the wilderness. The numbering began with the tribe of Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn son: 

Reuben was the firstborn of Israel. The children of Reuben were: of Hanoch, the family of the Hanochites; of Pallu, the family of the Palluites; of Hezron, the family of the Hezronites; of Carmi, the family of the Carmites…The sons of Eliab were Nemuel, Dathan, and Abiram. These are the Dathan and Abiram, representatives of the congregation, who contended against Moses and Aaron in the company of Korah, when they contended against the LORD; and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up together with Korah when that company died, when the fire devoured two hundred and fifty men; and they became a sign. Nevertheless the children of Korah did not die.

– Numbers 26.5–11 

The English Standard Version says that Dathan and Abiram “became a warning.” Truly, we should all tremble to challenge those whom God has chosen. These men did not realize what they were doing, although they should have known. 

The Lord God knew what he was doing in choosing Moses and Aaron, but these men from the tribe of Reuben challenged that choice, and they paid dearly for it. 


  • Who was the father of Dathan and Abiram? 
  • Do you accept and honor everything that God says and does? 

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