Who was Abiram in the Bible?

Author: BibleAsk Team


Abiram is a figure mentioned in the Old Testament, particularly in the books of Numbers and Psalms. Though his appearances are brief, they shed light on his character, actions, and significance within the biblical narrative.

Abiram is introduced as one of the sons of Eliab, a Reubenite, during the time of Moses and the Exodus from Egypt (Numbers 16:1). Eliab, was a leader among the rebellious Israelites in the wilderness. Along with his brother Dathan, Abiram played a significant role in challenging the leadership of Moses and Aaron, leading to a confrontation with divine consequences.

Rebellion Against Moses

Abiram’s most notable appearance in the biblical narrative occurs in Numbers 16, where he and his brother Dathan, along with Korah, lead a rebellion against the authority of Moses and Aaron. The rebellion is prompted by a desire for greater status and leadership roles among the Israelites, as well as dissatisfaction with the leadership of Moses and Aaron.

In Numbers 16:1-3 (NKJV), we read: “Now Korah the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, with Dathan and Abiram the sons of Eliab, and On the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men; and they rose up before Moses with some of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty leaders of the congregation, representatives of the congregation, men of renown. They gathered together against Moses and Aaron, and said to them, ‘You take too much upon yourselves, for all the congregation is holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the Lord?'”

Divine Judgment

In response to the rebellion of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, God orchestrates a demonstration of His divine authority and judgment. He commands Moses and Aaron to separate themselves from the assembly, and then the earth opens up and swallows Korah, Dathan, Abiram, and their families, along with their possessions, as a sign of divine disapproval (Numbers 16:28-35). This dramatic manifestation of divine judgment serves as a warning to the Israelites about the consequences of rebellion and disobedience.

Spiritual Lessons

The story of Abiram carries several important spiritual lessons for readers. Firstly, it serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers of pride, envy, and rebellion. Abiram’s desire for power and status led to his downfall, as he defied the established leadership and authority appointed by God.

Secondly, it highlights the importance of humility and submission to God-appointed leaders and authorities. Moses and Aaron were chosen by God to lead the Israelites, and their authority was to be respected and honored. Finally, it underscores the reality of divine judgment for those who persist in rebellion and disobedience. Abiram and his companions faced the consequences of their actions, as they were swallowed up by the earth in a demonstration of God’s righteous judgment.


Despite his brief appearance in the biblical narrative, Abiram’s name is remembered throughout Scripture as a symbol of rebellion and disobedience. In Psalm 106:16-18 (NKJV), the psalmist reflects on the rebellion of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, saying: “When they envied Moses in the camp, and Aaron the saint of the Lord, the earth opened up and swallowed Dathan, and covered the faction of Abiram.” This passage serves as a reminder of the consequences of rebellion and the importance of remaining faithful to God and His appointed leaders.


Abiram’s story in the Bible serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers of rebellion, pride, and disobedience. His actions, along with those of his companions Korah and Dathan, led to divine judgment and serve as a warning to all who would challenge God’s appointed authorities. As readers reflect on this story, they are reminded of the importance of humility, submission, and obedience in their relationship with God and His appointed leaders.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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