Definitions

Korah

Korah

[kawr-uh, kohr-uh]
Korah, in the Bible. 1 Levite leader, with Dathan and Abiram, of the unsuccessful revolt in the desert against the exclusive priesthood of the Aaronic family and against the leadership of Moses; the rebels were consumed by fire and earthquake. 2 Levitical family, perhaps descended from 1, that had duties as doorkeepers and singers in the Temple.
Korah or Kórach (Hebrew: קֹרַח, Standard Qóraḥ Tiberian Qōraḥ; "Baldness; ice; hail; frost") Some older English translations spell the name Core, and many Eastern European translations have Korak. The name is associated with at least two Biblical villains:

Esau's Son who fought against Israel

According to Genesis , Korah was the son of Esau and Aholibamah, and had two brothers, "Jeush, and Jaalam". has Korah's mother, Aholibamah being descended from Anah, the daughter of Zibeon, making Zibeon, Korah's maternal grandfather. The same verses, repeats Genesis 36:5 and names his two brothers again.

Esau had multiple wives, and Korah is also listed as a grandson of Esau through Eliphaz, causing some confusion. Esau and his wife Adah, bore Eliphaz. states that Eliphaz bore a number of sons (called here, dukes) that came from his son Eliphaz, and one of them is Duke Korah. It is not unreasonable that Esau had a son and a grandson named Korah.

Korah fought against Israel.

Izhar's Son (the Levite) who rebelled against Moses

Exodus cites another Korah as being descended from Izhar son of Kohath. Korah's brothers through Izhar were Nepheg and Zichri. connects this Korah with Hebron, Uzziel and Amram who where his father's brothers (Izhar son of Kohath). 1 Chronicles , and , repeat this genealogy; however, this reference could have been inspired by the Exodus genealogies. Hebron is the patriarch from whom the region is named.

Numbers traces this lineage back further to Levi, son of the patriarch Israel. According to , his lineage goes: "Korah, the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi", making him the great-grandson of the patriarch Levi and the cousin of Moses and Aaron. indicates that Korah rebelled against Moses, and was punished for his rebellion when the earth opened and swallowed up all those who had rebelled. Notwithstanding the children of Korah died not.

Significance

The Biblical name Korah is important because it became associated with Biblical villains and traitors for two reasons:

  1. In the case of Korah son of Esau, both Esau and Korah waged war against Israel, and Esau was hated by God because of it according to Malachi . In these struggles Korah became renowned as a warrior and a fighter, and was legendary in Canaan because of abilities.
  2. In the case of Korah son of Izhar, he is remembered for the rebellious action together with Dathan and Abiram against Moses according to . This story also appears in the Qur'an, where Korah is named Qarun (see Biblical narratives and the Qur'an).

Other references

Korah is referenced in the New Testament in : "Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam's error; they have been destroyed in Korah's rebellion." (NIV)

Korah is mentioned in the 1768 edition of the New England Primer. Here, as part of an alphabet, we read that "Proud Korah's troop was swallowed up" which is a paraphrasing of Numbers 16:32.

Korah is also mentioned by Irenaeus in his anti-Gnostic work Adversus Haereses (Against Heresies), written in about 180. He criticized the notion that some Biblical villains were credited with obtaining their power from God. Specifically he wrote there are some who:

''declare that Cain derived his being from the Power above, and acknowledge that Esau, Korah, the Sodomites, and all such persons, are related to themselves.

Korah is mentioned briefly in the Qur'an sections [28:76] to [28:82]. Also see Biblical narratives and the Qur'an.

The Dead Sea Scrolls also provide addition details about Korah, though which of the two is not certain.

See also

References

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