Dedicated to the writings of Saint Luke.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Prayers against the Rebellions

In this account, Korah and the multitude rebelled against Moses and his brother concerning the priesthood.

The first difference one notices in comparing the lengthy prayer account in Josephus with the account in Numbers 16 is that Josephus begins by having Moses stand and lift up his arms in prayer. However, in Numbers 16:4, Moses fell on his face.

In his prayer, Moses recites the experience of divine rescue at the sea and in the wilderness. Moses prays for another act of divine mercy in the present emergency as a demonstration of the power of God. Moses indicates his faithful service and asks God to inflict his wrath on him if he be more deserving of divine punishment than Korah and the multitude.

Although Numbers 16:15 tells us of the anger of Moses on this occasion, Josephus also rewrites this part of the biblical account to present Moses as a statesman. Since Josephus presents Korah and the multitude as rebels against “the ordered beauty of their constitution,” one wonders if Josephus has suggested that those who participated in the revolt against Rome were also guilty of sedition against Moses and the Law.

copyrighted 2005


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