Entire families buried alive togetherÖ thatís about as happy an ending you can get from the bible. And letís not forget about the other 250 men who were burned alive by God for the horrible crime of making icky-smelling incense! Thatís how you know this is a childrenís story.
Recently, Christian personality Pat Robertson explained why wiping out entire families is acceptable for the crimes of an individual. According to him, evil parents have evil children, and the problem just keeps getting worse, so itís actually merciful to murder the children when theyíre still babies rather than let them grow into an evil adulthood. Keep in mind, this is the guy who said that, in his debate with Bill Nye, Ken Ham made Christians look stupid.
The Ten Commandments movie totally alters this story arc. In the movie Dathan leads the naysayers and Korah isnít even a character. Also, in the movie, there is no mention of a contest of incense or a desire for the other holy Levites to become priests, God causes the earth to swallow up hundreds of his chosen race rather than just three families, and the punishment isnít because of the incense debacle, but because of the golden calf fiasco.
Finally, when you read the Biblical Hebrew, the leaders arenít merely covered with mundane dirt, but rather brought down into Sheol. Itís hard to say for sure what this means because, like all aspects of mythology, the idea of Sheol has evolved over time. In more recent Hebrew writings, Sheol is a supernatural realm where the shades roam around underground and can communicate with the living, but in its earliest usage, Sheol was probably just a generic term for ďgrave.Ē It is not known which version of the word is meant by in passage.