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    Korach’s wealth – Korach

    The death of Korach & his followers, from the 1890 Holman Bible

    The death of Korah, from the 1890 Holman Bible

    After the mutiny, the earth opened and swallowed up Korach. Why did it also swallow up his possessions (Num. 16:32)? After all, when other Biblical figures suffer punishment, who cares whether they had any possessions?

    Maybe Korach was the sort of fellow who tried to make money out of his supposedly public-spirited activities. There is always a danger that a person who lives in the public eye will seek not only power and glory but also affluence – affluence, not merely influence. To achieve the affluence he might get up to mischief including corruption.

    The result? He becomes so tarnished that even the good he does disappears in the financial mess he causes.

    Someone wrote an article in the “Jerusalem Post” recently, describing the life-style of the early prime ministers of Israel, none of whom had or cared about any level of wealth. David Ben Gurion, Golda Meir and others of that generation worked indefatigably for the cause, lived a modest life and left little or no inheritance to their family.

    There will always be serious debates amongst the historians as to these leaders’ policies and politics, but no-one will ever say that they were money-grabbers who besmirched their record.

    Korach may well be the unpleasant model of those who thought and did differently. Is that why the sidra begins Vayikkach Korach, “And Korach took”?

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