|Korach, Dasan and Aviram, and 250 of the leaders of Israel rebel against the authority of Moshe and Aharon. The rebellion results in their being swallowed up by the earth. Many people of the nation resent the death of Korach and his followers, holding Moshe responsible. HaShem`s `anger` is manifested by a plague which besets the nation, and many thousands perish.
Moshe intercedes once again for the people, instructs Aharon to make atonement for them, and the plague is halted. HaShem then commands that a staff inscribed with the name of each Tribe be placed in the Mishkan, the Tabernacle. In the morning, the staff of Levi, bearing Aharon`s name, sprouts, buds, blossoms and yields ripe almonds. This provides Divine confirmation that the Tribe of Levi is selected for the Priesthood, and also verifies Aharon`s position as the Kohen Gadol, the High Priest.
The specific duties of the Levi`im and Kohanim are stated. The Kohanim were not to be landowners, but were to receive their sustenance from the tithes and other mandated gifts brought by the people. Also taught in this week`s Parashah are laws concerning the first fruits, the redemption of the firstborn and other offerings.