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Jewish Texts

The Chumash (Five Books of Moses)

“The Sons of Korach Did Not Die”

Question: I have read that Samuel was a descendant of Korach. If Korach and his entire family fell into the earth (Numbers 16:31-33), how could Shmuel have been his descendant?

Answer: In Numbers 26:11 it states, “The sons of Korach did not die.” Therefore, when the verse (ibid 16:32) says that “all the men who were with Korach” were swallowed in the ground, it did not include Korach’s children.

There is even a very fascinating Medrash, brought by the medieval commentator, Rashi, that says as follows: The children were indeed swallowed, but repented on the way down. Therefore, they did not die!

The nature of the way the Torah is written is that it is “skimpy in one place and rich in another”, and often the information from different places has to be worked out together.

Best wishes,
Michoel Reach

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