whom he consecrated - i. e. whom Moses consecrated, or literally as in the margin, whose “hand he filled,” by conferring their office upon them (Leviticus 8:1 ff).
They reasoned that, being descendants from the eldest sons of Jacob, the chief authority which Moses usurped belonged to them, and, with Korah, they were resolved to obtain the office of the priesthood. These three became very zealous in an evil work. They influenced two hundred and fifty men of renown to join them, who were also determined to have a share in the priesthood and government. God had honored the Levites to do service in the tabernacle, because they took no part in making and worshiping the golden calf, and because of their faithfulness in executing the order of God upon the idolaters. 4aSG 28.1
To the Levites was assigned the office of erecting the tabernacle, and encamping around about it, while the hosts of Israel pitched their tents at a distance from the tabernacle. And when they journeyed the Levites took down the tabernacle, and bore it, and the ark, and the candlestick, and the other sacred articles of furniture. Because God thus honored the Levites, they became ambitious for still higher office, that they might obtain greater influence with the congregation. “And they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said unto them, Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them; wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the Lord?” 4aSG 28.2
Korah, Dathan and Abiram, and two hundred and fifty princes who had joined them, first became jealous, then envious, and next rebellious. They had talked in regard to Moses’ position as ruler of the people, until they imagined that it was a very enviable position, which any of them could fill as well as Moses. And they gave themselves up to discontent, until they really deceived themselves, and one another, in thinking that Moses and Aaron had placed themselves in the position which they occupied to Israel. They said that Moses and Aaron exalted themselves above the congregation of the Lord, in taking upon them the priesthood and government, and that this office should not be conferred on their house alone. They said that it was sufficient for them if they were on a level with their brethren; for they were no more holy than the people, who were equally favored with God's peculiar presence and protection. 4aSG 28.3Read in context »
Exalted and Solemn Character of God's Work—Many have failed to realize the sacredness of the work in which they are engaged. Its exalted character should be kept before the workers, both by precept and example. Let all read the directions given by Christ to Moses, requiring every man to be in his place and to do the part of the work to which he was appointed and set apart. If in putting up or taking down the tabernacle any man was found out of his place, or ventured upon any officious action, in handling the sacred ark or bearing it, that man was put to death.—Manuscript 29, 1895. PM 59.2Read in context »