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Korah, Korahites, Korhites

2. The son of Eliphaz, the son of Esau by Adah, the daughter of Elon the Hittite (Gen 36:16). This is thought to be a gloss by some scholars, since it does not occur either in Genesis 36:11 or 1 Chronicles 1:35.

J. Liver argues that Deuteronomy 11:6 and Psalm 106:16-18 mention only the revolt of Dathan and Abiram, indicative of its earlier existence. During the time of Solomon when the priestly service was organized and consolidated for the large Temple, tensions arose over positions in the service. The Korahite Levites, one of the leading families, opposed the Jerusalem priesthood. To establish their position by tradition, this story was produced for authoritative support. It could not, however, achieve independent status and was thus appended to the tradition of the revolt of Dathan and Abiram against the authority and leadership of Moses.

There is no insuperable difficulty in viewing the passage as a harmonious unit. The proposed solutions to the various inferred problems are not only hypothetical, but often are equally problematic.

With regard to the miraculous judgments against Korah, Dathan, Abiram and the 250 leaders, some have pointed to flash floods in the desert area accompanied by lightning, or to the mudflats in the region of the Arabah, which under certain circumstances could well have swallowed up whatever was upon them (cf. G. Hort). While it may not be necessary to demonstrate natural phenomena which appear to corroborate the miracles in the Bible, it is always possible that God used such phenomena for His purposes.

4. The son of Hebron, son of Mareshah, son of Caleb, son of Hezron, the son of Perez whom Tamar, the daughter-in-law, bore to Judah (1 Chron 2:43).

5. The grandson of Kohath, son of Levi (1 Chron 6:37). Psalms 42-49, 84, 85, 87, 88 are given the superscription as “belonging to the Sons of Korah.” It is probable that they originated among this guild of singers and were perhaps sung by them in the worship of the Temple. In 2 Chronicles 20:19 when Jehoshaphat came before God, “the Levites, the Kohathites and the Korahites, stood up to praise the Lord.”

Shallum, one of the gatekeepers appointed by David, was also a descendant of Korah. Together with his kinsmen, “the Korahites were in charge of the work of the service, keepers of the thresholds of the tent, as their fathers had been in charge of the camp of the Lord, keepers of the entrance” (1 Chron 9:19). Shallum’s son, Mattithiah, was in charge of baking the sacrificial cakes (1 Chron 9:31).

6. Five of the men from the tribe of Benjamin who joined David at Ziglag were called Korahites (1 Chron 12:6), which suggests the possibility of Korah also being a geographical name.

Bibliography G. Hort, “The Death of Qorah,” ABR, 7 (1959), 2-26; J. Liver, “Korah, Dathan and Abiram,” Scripta Hierosolymitana, VIII (1961), 189-217; R. K. Harrison, Introduction to the Old Testament (1969), 628-630.