Why did the earth swallow Korah alive? Weekly we pray for the government, for as the Mishna says: Pray for the government, for without its power, people would swallow each other alive. Korach challenged Moshe's leadership – government – of the people, telling him: everyone in the nation is holy, and why do you raise yourself above God's people. What he was arguing for, explains the Kli Yakar, was getting rid of the government. And therefore what happened to him was the natural outcome of his plan – he was swallowed alive.