See Exodus 6:18,21. According to tradition, he was one of Pharaoh's officials (BeMidbar Rabbah 18:1). He was extremely wealthy (Pesachim 119a; Sanhedrin 110a; Targum Yonathan on Numbers 16:19; Josephus, Antiquities 4:2:2).
|began a rebellioin|
(Targum; Rashi). Literally, 'took.' According to some, he 'took' Dathan, etc, (Chizzkuni), the 250 men (Ramban; Sforno), or a mob (Rashbam). Others translate it as, 'took the initiative' (Ramban); 'committed himself' (Ibn Janach); 'plotted' (Radak, Sherashim), 'came forward' (Saadia, see Numbers 8:6), or 'spoke up' (Septuagint).
Many authorities state that the Torah is in chronological order here, and that the rebellion took place after the episode of the spies (Ramban; Sefer HaYashar; Josephus, Antiquities 4:2:2). The motivation for the rebellion may have been the decree that they would die in the desert (Abarbanel; see Numbers 16:14).
Others, however, maintain that the rebellion occurred before the episode of the spies. Some say that it took place when the Levites were substituted for the first-born (Ibn Ezra). The Midrash states that the motivation was the appointment of Eltzaphan son of Uzziel over the Kehothites (Numbers 3:30; BeMidbar Rabbah 18:1; Bachya). Others say that it took place in Chatzeroth (Numbers, 11:35, 12:16; Rashi on Deuteronomy 1:1). According to these opinions, nothing is recorded in the Torah of what happened between the episode of the spies and Miriam's death (Numbers 20:1).
|Dathan and Aviram...|
See Numbers 26:9. See notes on Numbers 2:13. Aviram was a son of Palu and a grandson of Reuben (Numbers 26:5,8).
|On son of Peleth|
He did not stay with Korach and was therefore not killed (Sanhedrin 109b; Abarbanel; Midrash HaGadol on Numbers 16:32; Lekach Tov on Numbers 16:12).
See Numbers 1:16 (Tanchuma; Bachya).
(Targum). Or, 'Communion [Tent]' (Ibn Ezra); or, 'chosen counselors' (Septuagint).
Literally, 'men of name.' See Genesis 6:4.