In this portion we find a major challenge to the leadership of Moses and Aaron. The reading details the rebellion led by Korah, a Levite, and two members of the tribe of Reuben, Dathan and Abiram. They accuse Moses and Aaron of unduly raising themselves above the community of Israelites, all of whom are holy. Moses tells the people that God will resolve the issue by accepting or rejecting an incense offering. He further declares that if the rebels die an unnatural death it will be a sign of vindication for him and Aaron. Following the test, Korah and his associates are swallowed up by the earth and fire destroys 250 of the rebels. Aaron is further vindicated in a test involving his staff which sprouts almond blossoms overnight. With the roles of Aaron, his sons and the Levites in connection with the Mishkan firmly established, a list of emoluments is granted to them in return for their work. Thus, the leadership of the Israelites is made secure at a time when the people are still struggling to define and determine its destiny.