6 occurrences in 6 dictionaries

Reference: Korah


A Levite, who rebelled against Moses and Aaron, and so against Jehovah. He was a cousin of Moses; for their fathers Izhar and Amram were brothers,

Ex 6:16-21. He was jealous of the civil authority and priestly dignity conferred by God upon Moses and Aaron, his own cousins, while he was simply a Levite; and to obtain a part at least of their power for himself, he stirred up a factious spirit in the people. Too much, alas, of what may seem to be zeal for the honor of God, has its true character displayed in the pride and ambition of this rebellious Levite. The two hundred and fifty Levites whom he had enticed to join him were destroyed by fire from the Lord; while Korah, Dathan, and Abiram were swallowed up by the miraculous opening of the earth, Nu 26:11; and the Korahites or "sons of Korah," were a celebrated family of singers and poets in the time of David, 1Ch 9:19; 26:1. To them are inscribed several Psalms, Ps 42; 44; 49; 84-85; 87-88.

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ice, hail. (1.) The third son of Esau, by Aholibamah (Ge 36:14; 1Ch 1:35).

(2.) A Levite, the son of Izhar, the brother of Amram, the father of Moses and Aaron (Ex 6:21). The institution of the Aaronic priesthood and the Levitical service at Sinai was a great religious revolution. The old priesthood of the heads of families passed away. This gave rise to murmurings and discontent, while the Israelites were encamped at Kadesh for the first time, which came to a head in a rebellion against Moses and Aaron, headed by Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. Two hundred and fifty princes, "men of renown" i.e., well-known men from among the other tribes, joined this conspiracy. The whole company demanded of Moses and Aaron that the old state of things should be restored, alleging that "they took too much upon them" (Nu 16:1-3). On the morning after the outbreak, Korah and his associates presented themselves at the door of the tabernacle, and "took every man his censer, and put fire in them, and laid incense thereon." But immediately "fire from the Lord" burst forth and destroyed them all (Nu 16:35). Dathan and Abiram "came out and stood in the door of their tents, and their wives, and their sons, and their little children," and it came to pass "that the ground clave asunder that was under them; and the earth opened her mouth and swallowed them up." A plague thereafter began among the people who sympathized in the rebellion, and was only stayed by Aaron's appearing between the living and the dead, and making "an atonement for the people" (Nu 16:47).

The descendants of the sons of Korah who did not participate in the rebellion afterwards rose to eminence in the Levitical service.

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1. Esau's son, by Aholibamah (Ge 36:5,14,18). A duke of Edom, born in Canaan before Esau migrated to Mount Seir.

2. Sprung from Eliphaz (Ge 36:16), but probably it is a copyist's error from Ge 36:18. One manuscript of the Samaritan Pentateuch omits it.

3. A son of Hebron, descended from Judah (1Ch 2:43).

4. Son (or, descendant) of Izhar, son of Kohath, son of Levi. Ringleader of the rebellion against Moses and Aaron (Numbers 16; Nu 26:9-11); the one solitary anecdote recorded of the 38 years' wandering, uncircumcision, and shame, Not content with his honourable post as a Levite "minister" to the sanctuary, Korah "sought the priesthood also." Associated with him in the rebellion Dathan, Abiram, and On (the last is not mentioned subsequently), sprung from Reuben, who sought to regain the forfeited primogeniture and the primacy of their own tribe among Israel's tribes (1Ch 5:1). The punishment answered to the Reubenites' sin, their pride was punished by "Reuben's men being made few," so that Moses prayed "let Reuben live and not die," i.e. be saved from extinction (De 33:6).

Elizaphan of the youngest branch, descended from Uzziel (Nu 3:27,30), was preferred before Korah of the elder Izharite branch and made "chief of the house of the father of the families of the Kohathites"; hence probably arose his pique against Moses. With the undesigned coincidence which characterizes truth we find the Reubenites encamped next the Kohathites, so the two were conveniently situated for plotting together (Numbers 2). Korah with "250 princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation, men of renown" (not restricted to the tribe of Reuben: Nu 27:3), said to Moses and Aaron, "ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them" (compare Ex 19:6). The Reubenites' sin was in desiring to set aside all special ministries, in which Korah to gain their support joined them ostensibly; he did not really wish to raise the people to a level with the Levites, but the Levites alone to the level of the priests.

Korah's sin answers to that of sacerdotalist ministers who, not content with the honour of the ministry (nowhere in the New Testament are Christian ministers called "sacrificing" or "sacerdotal priests," hiereis, a term belonging in the strict and highest sense to Jesus alone; restricted to Him and the Aaronic and pagan priests, and spiritually applied to all Christians: Mt 8:4; Ac 14:13; Heb 5:6; Re 1:6; 5:10; 20:6; 1Pe 2:5,9), usurp Christ's sacrificing and mediatorial priesthood; also to that of all men who think to be saved by their own doings instead of by His mediatorial work for us (Ac 4:12). The Reubenites' sin answers to that of those who would set aside all ministers on the ground that all Christians are priests unto God. The fact that all Christians are "kings unto God" does not supersede the present need of kings and rulers, to whom the people delegate some of their rights and liberties.

Moses gave them a respite for repentance until the morrow: "take you censers, fire, and incense before the Lord tomorrow ... the man whom the Lord doth choose ... shall be holy; ye take too much upon you, ye sons of Levi," retorting their own words. People often charge others with the very sin which they themselves are committing. Upon Moses' sending for Dathan and Abiram they would not come, they retorted his own words: "is it a small thing (Nu 16:9,13) that thou hast brought us up out of a land that floweth with milk and honey ... then hast not brought us into a land that floweth with milk and honey," etc. With studied profanity they describe Egypt as that which God had described Canaan to be. "Wilt thou put out the eyes of these men?" i.e. throw dust in their eyes, blind them to your non-fulfillment of your fine promises.

Dathan and Abiram, their wives and children, stood at the door of their tents as though defying Moses to do his worst, when Moses by Jehovah's command told the people to get up from about the tabernacle of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, i.e. from the tabernacle which these had set up in common opposition to the great tabernacle of the congregation. The three are mentioned here together as joined in a common cause though not now together locally. So the earth "clave asunder and swallowed up their houses and all the men (but not the sons, who probably shrank from their father's sin and escaped, Nu 26:11) belonging unto Korah," namely, all who joined him in rebellion, namely, Durban, Abiram, and their children. Korah's tent stood with the Kohathites forming part of the inner line immediately S. of the tabernacle.

Dathan's and Abiram's, as in the outer line on the same side, were contiguous to Korah's tent, yet sufficiently separate to admit of his tent not being swallowed up as was theirs. Fire from Jehovah (probably from the altar, Le 10:1-7) consumed Korah and the 250 incense offerers who were apart "at the door of the tabernacle" (Nu 16:18-19,33-35). In verse 27 Korah is not mentioned with Dathan and Abiram, which shows that Korah himself was elsewhere, namely, at the tabernacle door, when they were swallowed up. Thus, the impression on a superficial reading of Numbers 16, that Korah, Dathan and Abiram, and the men and goods of all three alike, were swallowed up, on a closer inspection is done away, and Numbers 16 appears in minute and undesigned harmony with Nu 26:10-11. Similarly Ps 106:17-18, distinguishes the end of Dathan and Abiram from Korah: "the earth ... swallowed up Dathan and ... the company of Abiram.

And a fire was kindled in their company," namely, Korah and the 250; these, having sinned by fire in offering incense, were retributively punished by fire. Korah had no opportunity of collecting his children about him, being away from his tent; he only had all the men of his family who abetted his rebellion along with him at the door of the tabernacle. "Despising dominion and speaking evil of dignities" is the sin of Korah and he "perished by gainsaying," i.e. speaking against Moses, a warning to all self sufficient despisers of authority. The effect of this terrible warning on the survivors of Korah was that the family attained high distinction subsequently. Samuel was a Korhite (1Ch 6:22-28).

Korhites under David had the chief place in keeping the tabernacle doors (1Ch 6:32-37), and in the psalmody (1Ch 9:19,33). Eleven psalms are inscribed with their name as the authors (Psalm 42; Psalm 44; Psalm 45; Psalm 46; Psalm 47; Psalm 48; Psalm 49; Psalm 84; Psalm 85; Psalm 87; Psalm 88; compare 2Ch 20:19). (See JEHOSHAPHAT.) Their subject and tone are pleasant and cheerful, free from anything sad or harsh (Origen, Homily on 1 Sam.), more sublime and vehement than David's psalms, and glowing with spirituality and unction. Assir, Elkanah, and Abiasaph were respectively the son, grandson, and great grandson of Korah (Ex 6:24, compare 1Ch 6:22-37).

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1. Son of Izhar, a son of Kohath. He with Dathan and Abiram headed the rebellion against Moses and Aaron, saying that they took too much upon themselves, whereas all the people were holy. There were gathered to them two hundred and fifty princes of the congregation who were Levites. Dathan and Abiram were of the tribe of Reuben, Jacob's firstborn, and were perhaps jealous of the ascendancy of the sons of Levi. Their complaint against Moses is different from that of the Levites, and insinuated that Moses aimed at being a prince over them. They were swallowed up with their families by an opening of the earth; whereas Korah and his company were devoured by the fire of the Lord. With these it was an ecclesiastical rebellion: "they strove against Jehovah" in His appointed priesthood. The whole rebellion was a type of opposition against the royalty and priesthood of Christ. Ex 6:21,24; Nu 16:1-49; 26:9-11; 27:3; 1Ch 6:22,37; 9:19.

Nu 26:10 seems to say that Korah was swallowed up by the earth; but Nu 16:32 speaks only of the "men that appertained unto Korah;" and in De 11:6 and Ps 106:17-18 only Dathan and Abiram are named as being swallowed up. There was an exception in the case of Korah, in that his children were not included in the punishment. Nu 26:11. In Jude 1:11 he is called CORE. To his sons or descendants, who took part in 'the service of song,' the following Psalms are inscribed: Ps. 42, Ps. 44

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1. Third son of Esau by Aholibamah.

Ge 36:5,14,18; 1Ch 1:35

He was born in Canaan before Esau migrated to Mount Seir,

Ge 36:5-9

and was one of the "dukes" of Edom. (B.C. 1790.)

2. Another Edomitish "duke" of this name, sprung from Eliphaz, Esau's son of Adah.

Ge 36:16

3. One of the "sons of Hebron," in

1Ch 2:43

4. Son of Izhar the son of Kohath the son of Levi. He was leader of the famous rebellion against his cousins Moses and Aaron in the wilderness, for which he paid the penalty of perishing with his followers by an earthquake and flames of fire.

Nu 16; 26:9-11

The particular grievance which rankled in the mind of Korah and his company was their exclusion from the office of the priesthood, and their being confined --those among them who were Levites-- to the inferior service of the tabernacle. Korah's position as leader in this rebellion was evidently the result of his personal character, which was that of a bold, haughty and ambitious man. (B.C. 1490.) In the New Testament

Jude 1:11

Korah is coupled with Cain and Balaam.

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KORAH was the son of Izhar, of the race of Levi, and father of Asher, Elkanah, and Aliasaph, and head of the Korites, a celebrated family among the Levites. Korah, being dissatisfied with the rank he held among the sons of Levi, and envying the authority of Moses and Aaron, formed a party against them, in which he engaged Dathan, Abiram, and On, with two hundred and fifty of the principal Levites, Nu 16:1-3, &c. Korah, at the head of the rebels, went to Moses and Aaron, and complained that they alone arrogated to themselves all the authority over the people of the Lord. Moses falling with his face on the earth, answered them as follows: "Tomorrow, in the morning, the Lord will discover who are his. Let every one of you take, therefore, his censer, and tomorrow he shall put incense into it, and offer it before the Lord; and he shall be acknowledged priest whom the Lord shall choose and approve." The next day, Korah, with two hundred and fifty of his faction, presenting themselves with their censers before the Lord, the glory of the Lord appeared visibly over the tabernacle, and a voice was heard to say, "Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment." Upon this, Moses and Aaron, falling with their faces to the ground, said, "O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, shall one man sin, and wilt thou be wroth with all the congregation?" And the Lord said unto Moses, "Command all the people to depart from about the tents of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram." When, therefore, the people were retired, Moses said, "If these men die the common death of all men, then the Lord hath not sent me; but if the earth open and swallow them up quick, ye shall know that they have blasphemed the Lord." As soon as he had spoken, the earth opened from under their feet, and swallowed them up with what belonged to them. There was one thing which added to this surprising wonder, and which was, that when Korah was thus swallowed up in the earth, his sons were preserved from his misfortunes. We know not the exact year in which the death of Korah and his companions happened. The sons of Korah continued as before to serve in the tabernacle of the Lord. David appointed them their office in the temple, to guard the doors, and sing the praises of God. To them are ascribed several psalms, which are designated by the name of Korah; as the forty-second, forty-fourth to the forty-ninth, eighty-fourth to the eighty- seventh; in all, eleven psalms.

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