When you read the Book of Psalms you will see the “sons of Korah” in the titles of psalms in the 40s and the 80s. Yes, these are the heirs of the Korah who rebelled against Moses (Numbers 16). Numbers 26:11 states that they did not die out during the rebellion. My guess on that is some of them were doing their appointed task of being gatekeepers for the Tabernacle; so they were not swallowed up. (Please note that Korah rebelled but the Reubenites—Dathan and Abiram, and On son of Peleth would not even talk to Moses and made some very wild claims about him.) If you look at the camp arrangement around the Tabernacle you will see that the Kohathites (Korah was of this group) were camped next to the Reubenites. So, the earth opening up may have been in a small area on the south side of the camp.
In Numbers 27:3 the daughters of Zelophehad made a point to mention that their father had not died in the rebellion. It makes it sound like the whole affair had become a curse around the camp.
Kohathites are members of the Tribe of Levi, he was one of the three sons; Gershon and Merari were the other two. Kohath had four sons, but the most important are Amram and Izhar. Moses and Aaron are children of Amram. Izhar fathered Korah, Nepheg, and Zikri (Exodus 6:21-24). Korah had three sons.
The Kohathites were responsible for the Ark and the tent that covered it. Okay, Aaron and his sons took care of the sacrifices and the Ark, and the rest of the family was responsible for moving everything in the Tent of Meeting on their shoulders. This included the Ark, all tables, the lampstand, the altar, and all of the utensils (Numbers 4).
From Moses to Jeremiah the family of Korah and all of the other Kohathites served God by doing many tasks and helping in times of need. God did not hold the children responsible for the sins of their father Korah. These are some of the things the sons of Korah did during the centuries.
- 1 Chronicles 6:31 to 37-David singled them out as musicians.
- 1 Chronicles 9:19-They guarded the entrance to the dwelling of God.
- 1 Chronicles 9:31,32-Mattithiah baked the bread for the offering in the Tent.
- 1 Chronicles 26:19-gatekeepers
- 2 Chronicles 20:19-they stood and praised the Lord.
- 2 Chronicles 29-Hezekiah and cleaning the Temple.
- 2Chronicles 34-Josiah cleaning the Temple.
Out on a Limb
David picked the sons of Korah and other Kohathites to be his musicians for a reason, I think he was a practical man. My thought is that they were already in the position of praising God. It is clear that Moses and Miriam praised God, and there were mandates to do so. The only/first time I found someone to be put into a position to do it was with David and Solomon. They ordered the family of gatekeepers to be in charge of praise. What if that started back with Moses and just continued through the years to David.
1 Samuel 2:22 is another verse/idea that may back my thought up. What were the women doing at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting, and how were they serving? Could they have been singers, serving with the gatekeepers who were praising? Maybe they were Korahite women.
I have felt that Moses wrote Psalms 90 (attributed to Moses in the title) to 100, this is due to the material that is covered in them and Psalm 101 is “Of David”. Apparently, Jewish custom agrees. It was a note that cited Rashi when I looked up who wrote Psalm 100. Psalm 100:4 has that we should “enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise”. That fits very well with the gatekeepers (the sons of Korah) playing music and singing as they watched the gate to the Tent of Meeting.
Jude 1:11 is the only mention of Korah in the New Testament. It is a “curse” that connects to the rebellion. He is matched with Cain and Balaam. Not the best way to be remembered. However, the sons of Korah that survived went on to bless the Lord and be blessed by Him.
Your Chance to Study
What were the duties of the sons of Gershon and Merari for the Tabernacle? Why did these families get carts?