Bible Dictionaries

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible

Korah, Dathan, Abiram

KORAH, DATHAN, ABIRAM . The story of the rebellion of Korah, as contained in Numbers 16:17 , is now combined with what was originally an entirely different narrative that of the resistance of Dathan and Abiram , who were laymen , to the civil authority of Moses. Refusing to obey Moses’ summons to appear before him, Dathan and Abiram, along with their households, were swallowed up by the earth ( Numbers 16:1 b, Numbers 16:2-7 a, Numbers 16:25 Numbers 16:25 f., Numbers 16:27-34 [JE [Note: Jewish Encyclopedia.] ]). The story of Korah proper contains two strata, the work of Priestly writers of different ages. The first of these ( Numbers 16:1 a, Numbers 16:2-7 a, Numbers 16:27 Numbers 16:27 a, Numbers 16:32 b, Numbers 16:35; Numbers 16:41-50 ch. 17) describes a revolt of Korah, at the head of 250 princes of the congregation, against Moses and Aaron , in the interests of the people al large as against the tribe of Levi . The matter is decided by the test of the censers, the rebels being consumed by fire from the Lord. The sequel is found in ch. 17 the blossoming of Aaron’s rod. The latest narrative ( Numbers 16:16 Numbers 16:16 f., Numbers 16:36-40 ) represents Korah at the head of 250 Levites , opposing, in the interests of the tribe of Levi, the monopoly of the priesthood claimed by Aaron. These last two narratives are memorials of the struggles that took place, and the various stages that were passed through, before the prerogatives of Levi were admitted by the other tribes, and those of the house of Aaron by the other Levitical families. [In Sir 45:18 and Judges 1:11 AV [Note: Authorized Version.] has Core for Korah ].

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Korah, Dathan, Abiram'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. 1909.

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