Numbers 16 begins:

Now Korah, the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, with Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On, the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men;

They rebelled and lost. The Lord punished them (16:23-25):

And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 'Speak unto the congregation, saying: Get you up from about the dwelling of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.' And Moses rose up and went unto Dathan and Abiram; and the elders of Israel followed him. [...]

Korach, Dathan, Abiram, their families, and 250 people total died. On the son of Peleth isn't mentioned by name after the first verse. What happened to him? Was he one of the 250 (but not named, unlike other two) or did he stop being part of the rebellion or something else?

(I am asking this question on behalf of someone who wishes to remain anonymous. Instead of just answering his email I chose to post it here in case it benefits others in the future.)

  • Some background on why I posted this: chat.stackexchange.com/transcript/message/19163693#19163693 . Definitely interested in further answers! Dec 20, 2014 at 23:15
  • I just want to know if I should ask the following in a separate question, or if it has been answered already. Korach had "250" on his side. How many did Moshe/Aharon have on their side?
    – ninamag
    Jun 28, 2019 at 8:49
  • @ninamag that sounds like a different question. I'm asking specifically about the third named co-conspirator. Jun 28, 2019 at 17:37

1 Answer 1


His wife saved him. From Sanhedrin 109b (Soncino translation):

Rab said: On, the son of Peleth, was saved by his wife. Said she to him, ‘What matters it to thee? Whether the one [Moses] remains master or the other [Korah] becomes master, thou art but a disciple.’ He replied, ‘But what can I do? I have taken part in their counsel, and they have sworn me [to be] with them.’ She said, ‘I know that they are all a holy community, as it is written, seeing all the congregation are holy, everyone of them. [So,]’ she proceeded, ‘Sit here, and I will save thee.’ She gave him wine to drink, intoxicated him and laid him down within [the tent]. Then she sat down at the entrance thereto and loosened her hair. Whoever came [to summon him] saw her and retreated.

It's not clear from this, and the g'mara here does not elaborate, whether she's just trying to protect him from danger or she also thinks he's making a mistake. That is, whether she disagrees on principle, or just with his tactics (you'll be a disciple either way), isn't clear to me.

(I found this by way of Sefer Ha-Aggadah.)

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