The fifth Torah Portion of the book of Bamidbar/Numbers is Korach, which means “Bald” but is actually the name of Moshe, Aharon and Miriam’s cousin. This is the 38th Torah Portion.
Torah Portion: Numbers 16:1 – 18:32
Haftorah Portions: 1 Samuel 11:14 – 12:22
Apostolic Writings: Acts 5:1-11, Jude 1-25
You can read or listen to the Haftarah and Apostolic portions below:
Y’hoshua the son of Nun secretly sent two spies from Sheetim with these instructions: “Go, inspect the land and Yericho.” They left and came to the house of a prostitute named Rachav, where they spent the night. The king of Yericho was told about it — “Tonight some men from Isra’el came here to reconnoiter the land.”
The king of Yericho sent a message to Rachav, “Bring out the men who came to you and are staying in your house, because they have come to reconnoiter all the land.” However, the woman, after taking the two men and hiding them, replied, “Yes, the men did come to me; but I didn’t know where they had come from. The men left around the time when they shut the gate, when it was dark. Where they went I don’t know; but if you chase after them quickly, you will overtake them.” Actually she had brought them up to the roof and hidden them under some stalks of flax she had spread out there. The men pursued them all the way to the fords at the Yarden; as soon as the pursuit party had left, the gate was shut.
The two men had not yet lain down when she returned to the roof and said to them, “I know that HaShem has given you the land. Fear of you has fallen on us; everyone in the land is terrified at the thought of you. We’ve heard how HaShem dried up the water in the Sea of Suf ahead of you, when you left Egypt; and what you did to the two kings of the Emori on the other side of the Yarden, Sichon and ‘Og, that you completely destroyed them. As soon as we heard it, our hearts failed us. Because of you, everyone is in a state of depression. For HaShem your G-d — he is G-d in heaven above and on the earth below. So, please, swear to me by HaShem that, since I have been kind to you, you will also be kind to my father’s family. Give me some evidence of your good faith, that you will spare the lives of my father, mother, brothers and sisters and all who are theirs, so that we won’t be killed.” The men replied to her, “Our lives are certainly worth yours, provided you don’t betray our mission. So when HaShem gives us the land, we will treat you kindly and in good faith.”
Then she lowered them by a rope through the window; since her house abutted the city wall, indeed was actually built into it. She told them, “Head for the hills, so that the pursuit party won’t get their hands on you; and hide yourselves there for three days, until the pursuers have returned. After that, you can go on your way.” The men said to her, “We will not be guilty of violating the oath you made us swear, provided that when we enter the land, you tie this piece of scarlet cord in the window you let us down from; and you gather together in your house your father, mother, brothers, and your father’s entire household. If anyone goes out the doors of your house into the street, he will be responsible for his own blood, and we will be guiltless. But everyone who stays with you in the house — we will be responsible for his blood if anyone lays a hand on him. However, if you say a word about this business of ours, then we will be free of your oath that you made us swear.” “According to your words, so be it,” she said, and sent them away. As they departed, she tied the scarlet cord in the window.
They left, arrived in the hills, and stayed there three days, until the pursuers had returned. The pursuers had searched for them all the way but hadn’t found them. Then the two men returned. Descending from the hills they crossed over and came to Y’hoshua the son of Nun, and reported everything that had happened to them. “Truly HaShem has handed over all the land to us,” they told Y’hoshua. “Everyone in the land is terrified that we’re coming.”
But there was a man named Hananyah who, with his wife Shappirah, sold some property and, with his wife’s knowledge, withheld some of the proceeds for himself; although he did bring the rest to the emissaries. Then Kefa said, “Why has the Adversary so filled your heart that you lie to the Ruach HaKodesh and keep back some of the money you received for the land? Before you sold it, the property was yours; and after you sold it, the money was yours to use as you pleased. So what made you decide to do such a thing? You have lied not to human beings but to G-d!”
On hearing these words, Hananyah fell down dead; and everyone who heard about it was terrified. The young men got up, wrapped his body in a shroud, carried him out and buried him.
Some three hours later, his wife came in, unaware of what had happened. Kefa challenged her: “Tell me, is it true that you sold the land for such-and-such a price?” “Yes,” she answered, “that is what we were paid for it.” But Kefa came back at her, “Then why did you people plot to test the Spirit of the Lord? Listen! The men who buried your husband are at the door. They will carry you out too!” Instantly she collapsed at his feet and died. The young men entered, found her there dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband. As a result of this, great fear came over the whole Messianic community, and indeed over everyone who heard about it.
From: Y’hudah, a slave of Yeshua the Messiah and a brother of Ya‘akovTo: Those who have been called, who are loved by G-d the Father and kept for Yeshua the Messiah: May mercy, love and shalom be yours in full measure. Dear friends, I was busily at work writing to you about the salvation we share, when I found it necessary to write, urging you to keep contending earnestly for the faith which was once and for all passed on to G-d’s people. For certain individuals, the ones written about long ago as being meant for this condemnation, have wormed their way in — ungodly people who pervert G-d’s grace into a license for debauchery and disown our only Master and Lord, Yeshua the Messiah. Since you already know all this, my purpose is only to remind you that HaShem, who once delivered the people from Egypt, later destroyed those who did not trust. And the angels that did not keep within their original authority, but abandoned their proper sphere, he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for the Judgment of the Great Day. And S’dom, ‘Amora and the surrounding cities, following a pattern like theirs, committing sexual sins and perversions, lie exposed as a warning of the everlasting fire awaiting those who must undergo punishment. Likewise, these people, with their visions, defile their own flesh, despise godly authority and insult angelic beings. When Mikha’el, one of the ruling angels, took issue with the Adversary, arguing over the body of Moshe, he did not dare bring against him an insulting charge, but said, “May HaShem rebuke you.” However, these people insult anything they don’t understand; and what they do understand naturally, without thinking, like animals — by these things they are destroyed! Woe to them, in that they have walked the road of Kayin, they have given themselves over for money to the error of Bil‘am, they have been destroyed in the rebellion of Korach. These men are filthy spots at your festive gatherings meant to foster love; they share your meals without a qualm, while caring only for themselves. They are waterless clouds carried along by the winds; trees without fruit even in autumn, and doubly dead because they have been uprooted; savage sea-waves heaving forth their shameful deeds like foam; wandering stars for whom the blackest darkness has been reserved forever. Moreover, Hanokh, in the seventh generation starting with Adam, also prophesied about these men, saying, “Look! HaShem came with his myriads of holy ones to execute judgment against everyone, that is, to convict all the godless for their godless deeds which they have done in such a godless way, and for all the harsh words these godless sinners have spoken against him.” These people are grumblers and complainers, they follow their evil passions, their mouths speak grandiosities, and they flatter others to gain advantage. But you, dear friends, keep in mind the words spoken in advance by the emissaries of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah. They told you, “During the acharit-hayamim there will be scoffers following their own godless passions.” These are the people who cause divisions. They are controlled by their impulses, because they don’t have the Spirit. But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith, and pray in union with the Ruach HaKodesh. Thus keep yourselves in God’s love, as you wait for our Lord Yeshua the Messiah to give you the mercy that leads to eternal life. Rebuke some who are disputing; save others, snatching them out of the fire; and to yet others, show mercy, but with fear, hating even the clothes stained by their vices. Now, to the one who can keep you from falling and set you without defect and full of joy in the presence of his Sh’khinah — to G-d alone, our Deliverer, through Yeshua the Messiah, our Lord —be glory, majesty, power and authority before all time, now and forever. Amen.