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Numbers 16 begins (ESV):

Now Korah the son of Izhar, son of Kohath, son of Levi, and Dathan and Abiram the sons of Eliab, and On the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men

They rebelled and lost. The Lord punished them:

23 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 24 “Say to the congregation, Get away from the dwelling of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.” 25 Then Moses rose and went to Dathan and Abiram, and the elders of Israel followed him. 26 And he spoke to the congregation, saying, “Depart, please, from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of theirs, lest you be swept away with all their sins.”

Korah, Dathan, Abiram, their families, and 250 people total died.

On the son of Peleth isn't mentioned by name after the first verse. What happened to him? Was he one of the 250 (but not named, unlike other two) or did he stop being part of the rebellion or something else?

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2 Answers 2

There is no Scriptural reference for Peleth, other than 1 Chron, 2:33,

And the sons of Jonathan; Peleth, and Zaza. These were the sons of Jerahmeel.

In researching this question, I found a midrash(rabbinic explanation) that describes how the wife of On son of Peleth saved her husband from the rebellion of Korah; contrarily, the wife of Korah was destroyed with her husband.

You can find the midrash here.

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Given that the guys surname means swift I would assume according to verse 27 he heeded the warning and fled from the tents of Koran and friends.

Numbers 16:27

So they moved away from the tents of Korah, Dathan and Abiram. Dathan and Abiram had come out and were standing with their wives, children and little ones at the entrances to their tents.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia


pe'-leth (peleth, "swiftness"):

(1) Father of On, one of the rebels against Moses and Aaron (Numbers 16:1); probably same as PALLU (which see).

(2) A descendant of Jerahmeel (1 Chronicles 2:33).

As best I can tell On the son of Pallu is the same person as Eliab the father of Korah and friends.

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