What is the significance of Numbers 16:41–48?

The day following the Korah incident (see vs. 20–35), the Israelites rebelled against Moses again, this time because they blamed him for the death of those who were judged the day before (vs. 41). The Lord was very angry because of this and said to Moses and Aaron, “Get away from this congregation, so that I may consume them in a moment” (vs. 45). People immediately began to die from a plague (vs. 46). Moses prayed while Aaron quickly “made atonement” for their sins (vs. 47) “and the plagued was stopped” (vs. 48).

The view that the future is eternally settled in God’s mind has the effect of undermining the honesty of God’s expressed intention to judge Israel and the power of prayer to change God’s mind as it is depicted in this passage.

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