Bemidbar 26:11 says, "Korach's children didn't die".

I understand that in the previous verses, the Torah was discussing the families of Re'uven. When discussing the descendants, the Torah mentions that Datan and Aviram died when they were involved with Korach's group. That seems fine. But, including a verse about what happened to Korach's children seems more appropriate to be placed with the discussion of the children of Levi rather than Re'uven.

Why was this verse included here?


The Ohr Hachaim asks your question (amongst others) and answers

ובני קרח לא מתו. הודיע הכתוב ענין זה כאן ולא במקום עיקר המעשה, גם לא כתבו במקום מספר הלוים כי שם מקום הודעת המתים מהם, לפי מה שכתבנו כי כאן בא אלהים לקבוע העון בדתן ואבירם ולהקל מעל קרח, לזה גמר אומר ובני קרח לא מתו, הכוונה שזה יגיד זכות אביהם שלא שטפם חובו כדרך ששטף חובם של דתן ואבירם כל בתיהם להיותם עיקר המחלוקת:

And the children of Korach did not die: Scripture tells this here and neither at the place of the actual story nor where the Levi'im are numbered because there is the place where we are told who died and according to what we have written (see note below), here Hashem wants to fix the sin on Doson and Avirom and to be more lenient with Korach. That's why it finishes “And the children of Korach did not die.” The intention is to tell the merit of their father that his sin (literally, debt) did not encompass them as the sin of Doson and Avirom encompassed all their families (literally, houses) since they were the main protagonists in the quarrel.

Note: On possuk 9, the Ohr Hachaim says

כי לא בא הכתוב כאן אלא לומר שהן הנה היו סיבה לכל מעשה קרח, כי יחפוץ ה' לפרסם הרשעים שהם סיבה לרשע הנעשה, והוא אומרו הוא דתן וגו' אשר הצו וגו'

Because here Scripture comes to tell us that Doson and Avirom were the cause of the business of Korach, because Hashem wants to publicise who were the cause of the evil and that's what it says “These are the same Dathan and Abiram, chosen in the assembly, who agitated against Moses and Aaron as part of Korah’s band when they agitated against the LORD.”

  • I'm confused with the 2nd citation. The beginning says that they were the cause. But the end says "as part of Korach's band." I'm inferring the opposite, namely that Korach started and they joined in. Even the beginning of the parsha begins that Korach took the men. Additionally, at the beginning, Moshe challenges Korach and his group. H eonly goes to Datan and Aviram later. – DanF Jul 13 '17 at 19:04
  • @DanF Yes. I do not know the answer. I had this thought: Korach was put out by the fact that he was not selected for high office and started to draw people together to air his complaint. Datan and Aviram saw the opportunity to develop this and agitate against Moses and Aaron and against Hashem. – Avrohom Yitzchok Jul 14 '17 at 8:08

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