Fausset's Bible Dictionary 
3. A son of Hebron, descended from Judah ( 1 Chronicles 2:43).
4. Son (or, descendant) of Izhar, son of Kohath, son of Levi. Ringleader of the rebellion against Moses and Aaron (Numbers 16; Numbers 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 ( 1 Chronicles 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 ( Deuteronomy 33:6).
Elizaphan of the youngest branch, descended from Uzziel ( Numbers 3:27; Numbers 3:30), 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: Numbers 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 Exodus 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: Matthew 8:4; Acts 14:13; Hebrews 5:6; Revelation 1:6; Revelation 5:10; Revelation 20:6; 1 Peter 2:5; 1 Peter 2:9), 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 ( Acts 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 ( Numbers 16:9; Numbers 16:13) 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, Numbers 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, Leviticus 10:1-7) consumed Korah and the 250 incense offerers who were apart "at the door of the tabernacle" ( Numbers 16:18-19; Numbers 16:33-35). 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 Numbers 26:10-11. Similarly Psalms 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 ( 1 Chronicles 6:22-28).
Korhites under David had the chief place in keeping the tabernacle doors ( 1 Chronicles 6:32-37), and in the psalmody ( 1 Chronicles 9:19; 1 Chronicles 9:33). 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 2 Chronicles 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 ( Exodus 6:24, compare 1 Chronicles 6:22-23-37).
Holman Bible Dictionary 
Genesis 36:5 36:14 1 Chronicles 1:35 Genesis 36:18
2. A grandson of Esau, son of Eliphaz, and chief of a clan of Edom ( Genesis 36:16; 1 Chronicles 1:36 ).
3. A leader of rebellion against Moses and Aaron while Israel was camped in the wilderness of Paran ( Numbers 16:1 ). Korah, Dathan, and Abiram led a confederacy of 250 princes of the people against Aaron's claim to the priesthood and Moses' claim to authority in general. The rebels contended that the entire congregation was sanctified and therefore qualified to perform priestly functions. As punishment for their insubordination, God caused the earth to open and swallow the leaders and their property. A fire from the Lord consumed the 250 followers.
4. A Levite descended from Izhar, of the family of Kohath ( Exodus 6:21; 1Chronicles 6:22, 1 Chronicles 6:37 ), probably to be identified with 3. above. The sons of Korah and Asaph were the two most prominent groups of Temple singers (compare 2 Chronicles 20:19 ). Many of the Psalms with the heading “A Psalm of the Sons of Korah” may have been taken from their hymnbook ( Psalm 42:1; Psalm 44-49; Psalm 84-85; Psalm 87-88 ). In a later list of Temple singers the group of Heman replaced Korah and was joined by Asaph and Ethan as the three groups of Temple singers ( 1 Chronicles 6:33-48 ). The members of the group of Korah were also gatekeepers ( 1 Chronicles 9:19; 1Chronicles 26:1, 1 Chronicles 26:19 ) and bakers of sacrificial cakes ( 1 Chronicles 9:31 ).
5. A son of Hebron in the lineage of Caleb ( 1 Chronicles 2:43 ). 6 . Possibly a town in Judah near Hebron. The five Korahites who joined David at Ziklag may have been persons from this town ( 1 Chronicles 12:6 ). However, since these five men are also identified as Benjamites ( 1 Chronicles 12:2 ), they may have been from a town of this same name whose location has yet to be determined.
Mike Mitchell and Phil Logan
Morrish Bible Dictionary 
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. Exodus 6:21,24; Numbers 16:1-49; Numbers 26:9-11; Numbers 27:3; 1 Chronicles 6:22,37; 1 Chronicles 9:19 .
Numbers 26:10 seems to say that Korah was swallowed up by the earth; but Numbers 16:32 speaks only of the "men that appertained unto Korah;" and in Deuteronomy 11:6 and Psalm 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. Numbers 26:11 . In Jude 11 he is called CORE. To his sons or descendants, who took part in 'the service of song,' the following Psalms are inscribed: Psalm 42 , Psalm 44 Psalm 49 , Psalm 84 , Psalm 85 , Psalm 87 , Psalm 88 .
2. Son of Esau and Aholibamah. Genesis 36:5,14,18; 1 Chronicles 1:35 .
3. Son of Eliphaz, a son of Esau. Genesis 36:16 .
4. Son of Hebron. 1 Chronicles 2:13 .
Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary 
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, Numbers 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.
Easton's Bible Dictionary 
The descendants of the sons of Korah who did not participate in the rebellion afterwards rose to eminence in the Levitical service.
Bibliography Information Easton, Matthew George. Entry for 'Korah'. Easton's Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/ebd/k/korah.html. 1897.
People's Dictionary of the Bible 
Korah ( Kô'Rah ), Ice or Baldness. 1. Second son of Esau and Aholibamah, a prince of Edom. Genesis 36:5; Genesis 36:14; Genesis 18:2. A son of Hebron, tribe of Judah. 1 Chronicles 2:43. 3. A Levite who rebelled against Moses and Aaron. He was a cousin of Moses, for their fathers Izhar and Amram were brothers. Exodus 6:16-21. Korah and the 250 Levites whom he had enticed to join him were destroyed by fire from the Lord; while Dathan and Abiram were swallowed by the miraculous opening of the earth. Numbers 16:1-50; Psalms 106:17-18; Judges 1:11. But Korah's children escaped, Numbers 26:11; and the Korahites, or "sons of Korah," were a celebrated family of doorkeepers, singers, and poets in the time of David. 1 Chronicles 9:17-19; 1 Chronicles 26:1; 2 Chronicles 20:19. To them are inscribed several psalms. Psalms 42:1-11; Psalms 44:1-26; Psalms 45:1-17; Psalms 46:1-11; Psalms 47:1-9; Psalms 48:1-14; Psalms 49:1-20; Psalms 84:1-12; Psalms 85:1-13; Psalms 87:1-7; Psalms 88:1-18.
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary 
During Israel’s journey through the wilderness, two groups combined to rebel against the leadership of Moses and Aaron. One was a group of 250 prominent Levites under the leadership of Korah who were envious that only Aaron and his family were allowed to be priests. The other group was headed by two from the tribe of Reuben who were envious of Moses’ position as national leader ( Numbers 16:1-3).
In a public demonstration of whom he had chosen to be his priests, God put Korah to the test. He challenged Korah and his fellow Levite rebels to burn incense, something that normally only Aaron and his sons were allowed to do ( Numbers 16:5-19). Korah and the two Reubenites were separated from the 250 Levites for the test. The outcome was that the three leaders were swallowed up by the earth, and the 250 Levites were burnt to death by fire from God ( Numbers 16:32; Numbers 16:35; Judges 1:11).
Centuries later, descendants of Korah restored some respectability to the family name when they became gatekeepers, singers and musicians in the temple ( 1 Chronicles 6:31-38; 1 Chronicles 15:17; 1 Chronicles 15:19; 1 Chronicles 16:41-42; 1 Chronicles 26:19). They collected or wrote a number of psalms that have been preserved in the Bible (Psalms 42; Psalms 44; Psalms 45; Psalms 46; Psalms 47; Psalms 48; Psalms 49; Psalms 84; Psalms 85; Psalms 87; Psalms 88).
Smith's Bible Dictionary 
1. Third son of Esau by Aholibamah. Genesis 36:5; Genesis 36:14; Genesis 36:18; 1 Chronicles 1:35. He was born in Canaan before Esau migrated to Mount Seir, Genesis 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. Genesis 36:16.
3. One of the "sons of Hebron," in 1 Chronicles 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. Numbers 16; Numbers 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, Judges 1:11, Korah is coupled with Cain and Balaam.
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary 
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, Exodus 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, Numbers 26:11; and the Korahites or "sons of Korah," were a celebrated family of singers and poets in the time of David, 1 Chronicles 9:19 26:1 . To them are inscribed several Psalms, Psalm 42:1-11 44:1-26 49:1-20 84:1-85:13 87:1-88:18 .
Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary 
Son of Izhar, ( Exodus 6:21) meaning cold, from Karak. There were two others of this name in Scripture, ( Genesis 36:14) and the famous, or rather infamous Korah, son of Izhar. ( Numbers 16:1)
Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament 
(Κορέ, hence called Core in the Authorized Version)
His rebellion and punishment (Numbers 16) are alluded to by Jude (v. 11).
Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature 
(Heb. Ko'rach, קֹרִח , Ice, as in Psalms 147:17; Sept. Κορέ , also N.T. in Judges 1:11; Josephus Κορῆς , Ant. 4: 2; Vulg. Core; Auth. Vers. " Kore" in the patronyrmic, 2 Chronicles 26:19, and " Core" in Judges 1:11), the name of several men.
1. The third son of Esau by his second Canaanitish wife Aholibamah ( Genesis 36:14; 1 Chronicles i, 35). B.C. post 1964. He became the head of a petty Edomitish tribe ( Genesis 36:18). In Genesis 36:16 his name appears as a son of Eliphaz, Esau's son; but probably by a confusion of the parentage, for in the parallel passage (1 Chronicles i, 36) this name is omitted, and " Timna" inserted after the next name-probably another interpolation for Timnah. (See Esau).
2. A Levite, son of Izhar, the brother of Amram, the father of Moses and Aaron, who were therefore cousins to Korah ( Exodus 6:21). B.C. probably not much ante 1619. From this near relationship we may, with tolerable certainty, conjecture that the source of the discontent which led to the steps afterwards taken by this unhappy man, lay in his jealousy that the high honors and privileges of the priesthood, to which he, who remained a simple Levite, might, apart from the divine appointment, seem to have had as good a claim, should have been exclusively appropriated to the family of Aaron. When to this was added the civil authority of Moses, the whole power over the nation would seem to him to have been engrossed by his cousins, the sons of Amram. Under the influence of these feelings he organized in conspiracy, for the purpose of redressing what appeared to him the evil and injustice of this arrangement. Dathan, Abiram, and On, the chief persons who joined him, were of the tribe of Reuben; but he was also supported by many more from other tribes, making up the number of 250, men of name, rank, and influence, all who may be regarded as representing the families of which they were the heads.
The appointment of Elizaphan to be chief of the Kohathites ( Numbers 3:30) may have further inflamed his jealousy. 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. This appears from his address to Moses in Numbers 3:3, and especially from his conduct in Numbers 3:19, where both his daring and his influence over the congregation are very apparent. Were it not for this, one would have expected the Gershonites -as the elder branch of the Levites-to have supplied a leader in conjunction with the sons of Reuben, rather than the family of Izhar, who was Amram's younger brother. The private object of Korah was apparently his own aggrandizement, but his ostensible object was the general good of the people: and it is perhaps from want of attention to this distinction that the transaction has not been well understood. The design seems to have been made acceptable to a large body of the nation, on the ground that the first-born of Israel had been deprived of their sacerdotal birthright in favor of the Levites, while the Levites themselves announced that the priesthood had been conferred by Moses (as they considered) on his own brother's family, in preference to those who had equal claims; and it is easy to conceive that the Reubenites may have considered the opportunity a favorable one for the recovery of their birthright-the double portion and civil pre-eminence-which had been forfeited by them and given to Joseph. (See Kitto's Daily Bible Illustrat. ad loc.) These are the explanations of Aben-Ezra, and seem as reasonable as any which have been offered. (See below.)
The leading conspirators, having organized their plans, repaired in a body to Moses and Aaron, boldly charged them with public usurpation, and required them to lay down their arrogated power. Moses no sooner heard this than he fell on his face, confounded at the enormity of so outrageous a revolt against a system framed so carefully for the benefit of the nation. He left the matter in the Lord's hands, and desired them to come on the morrow, provided with. censers for incense, that the Lord himself, by some manifest token, might make known his will in this great matter. As this order was particularly addressed to the rebellious Levites, the Reubenites left the place, and when afterwards called back by Moses, returned a very insolent refusal, charging him with having brought them out of the land of Egypt under false pretences, "to kill them in the wilderness' ( Numbers 16:1-17).
The next day Korah and his company appeared before the tabernacle, attended by a multitude of people out of the general body of the tribes. Then the Shekinah, or symbol of the divine presence, which abode between the cherubim, advanced to the entrance of the sacred fabric, and a voice therefrom commanded Moses and Aaron to stand apart, lest they should share in the destruction which awaited the whole congregation. On hearing these awful words the brothers fell on their faces, and, by strong intercession, moved the Lord to confine his wrath to the leaders in the rebellion, and spare their unhappy dupes. The latter were then ordered to separate themselves from their leaders and from the tents in which they dwelt. The terrible menace involved in this direction had its weight, and the command was obeyed; and after Moses had appealed to what was to happen as a proof of the authority by which he acted, the earth opened, and received and closed over the tents of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.
The Reubenite conspirators were in their tents, and perished in them; and at the same instant Korah and his 250, who were offering incense at the door of the tabernacle, were destroyed by a fire which "came out from the Lord;" that is, most probably, in this case, from out of the cloud in which his presence dwelt ( Numbers 16:18-35). The censers which they had used were afterwards made into plates, to form an outer covering to the altar, and thus became a standing monument of this awful transaction ( Numbers 16:36-40). The rebellious spirit excited by these ambitious men vented itself afresh on the next day in complaints against Moses as having been the I cause of death to these popular leaders a degree of obduracy and presumption that called forth the divine indignation so severely as not to be allayed till a sudden plague had cut off thousands of the factious multitude and threatened still further ravages had it not been appeased by Aaron's offering of incense at the instance of Moses ( Numbers 16:41-50). The recurrence of a similar jealousy was prevented by the divine choice of the family of Aaron, attested by the miraculous vegetation of his rod alone out of all the tribes (Numbers 17). On, although named in the first instance along with Dathan and Abiram ( Numbers 17:1), does not further appear either in the rebellion or its punishment. It is hence supposed that he repented in time; and Abendana and other Rabbinical writers allege that his wife prevailed upon him to abandon the cause.
It might be supposed from the Scripture narrative that the entire families of the conspirators perished in the destruction of their tents. Doubtless all who were in the tents perished; but, as the descendants of Korah afterwards became eminent in the Levitical service, (See Korahite), it is clear that his sons were spared ( Exodus 6:24). They were probably living in separate tents, or were among those who sundered themselves from the conspirators at the command of Moses. There is no reason to suppose that the sons of Korah were children when their father perished. Perhaps the fissure of the ground which swallowed up the tents of Dathan and Abiram did not extend beyond those of the Reubenites. From Numbers 16:27 it seems clear that Korah himself was not with Dathan and Abiram at the moment. His tent may have been one pitched for himself, in contempt of the orders of Moses, by the side of his fellow rebels, while his family continued to reside in their proper camp nearer the tabernacle; but it must have been separated by a considerable space from those of Dathan and Abiram. Or, even if Korah's family resided among the Reubenites, they may have fled, at Moses's, warning, to take refuge in the Kohathite camp, instead of remaining, as the wives and children of Dathan and Abiram did ( Numbers 16:27). Korah himself was doubtless with the 250 men who bare censers nearer the tabernacle ( Numbers 16:19), and perished with them by the " fire from Jehovah" which accompanied the earthquake. It is nowhere said that he was one of those who " went down quick into the pit" (compare Psalm cvi, 17, 18), and it is natural that he should have been with the censer-bearers. That he was so is indeed clearly implied by Numbers 16:16-19; Numbers 16:35; Numbers 16:40, compared with 26:9, 10.
The apostle holds up Korah as a warning to presumptuous and self-seeking teachers, and couples his crime with those of Cain and Balaam, as being of similar enormity ( Judges 1:11). The expression there used, "gainsaying" ( Ἀντιλογία , c Ontradiction), alludes to his speech in Numbers 16:3, and accompanying rebellion. Compare the use of the same word in Hebrews 12:3; Psalms 106:32, and of the verb, John 19:12, and Isaiah 22:22; Isaiah 65:2 (Sept.), in which latter passage, as quoted Romans 10:21, the A. V. has the same expression of " gainsaying" as in Jude. The Son of Sirach, following Psalms 106:16, לְמשֶׁה יְקִנְּאוּ , etc. (otherwise rendered, however, by the Sept., Παρώργισαν ), describes Korah and his companions as envious or jealous of Moses, where the English "maligned" is hardly an equivalent for Ἐξήλωσαν (Ecclus. xlv, 18). A late ingenuous writer (Prof. Reichel, of Dublii, Sermons, Cambr. 1855) distinguishes the crime of Korah from that of Dathan and Abiram (q.v.) as being an Ecclesiastical insubordination, whereas the latter was a Political rebellion; he also draws a parallel between the position of Aaron as representing the highpriesthood of Christ-the one undlerived, perpetual, and untransferable pontificate "after the order of Melchizedek," and the Levitical order represented by Korah corresponding to the Christian ministry; and he arrives at the following conclusion: "The crime in the Christian Church corresponding to that which Korah and his followers committed ins the Jewish Church consists, not, as is often stated, in the people taking to themselves the functions of the ministry. but in the Christian ministry, impiously usurping the functions of Christ himself; and, not contented with their Master's having separated them from the congregation of his people to bring them near unto himself, to do the service of his house, and to stand before the congregation to minister to them, in their'seeking the priesthood also.' This is the gainsaying of Korah, which the authority of inspiration declares should be repeated even in the earliest ages of the Christian Church, and which is significantly coupled by the apostle Jude with the way of Cain, and with the running greedily after the error of Balaam for reward." In short, it was an attempt on the part of such as were already invested with an official rank in the Levitical cultus to supplant those occupying the higher offices in I the same economy, and even to derogate the supreme and exclusive control of its dispensation; and all this for the sake merely of the honors and emoluments of the promotion. It is therefore at once apparent how little this narrative supports the arrogant claims of any class of so-called priests in the modern Church, and that it altogether fails to warrant their exclusion and condemnation of others who have as clear a divine call as themselves to the same order of functions, especially when the latter move in a different community, are actuated by the most unselfish motives, and proceed in accordance with the most imperative demands of circumstances.
Korah is elsewhere referred to in Numbers 26:9-11; Numbers 27:3; 1 Chronicles 6:22; 1 Chronicles 6:37; 1 Chronicles 9:19. See Journ. Sac. Lit. App. 1852, p. 195; Forster, Israel in the Wilderness (Lond. 1865). On the Korachide, see Carpzov. Introduct. ii, 105; Van Iperen, De oiliis Korachi psalmor. quorund. auctorib., in the Bibl. Hagan. II,i, 99 sq.; comp. Eichhorn, Bibl. d. bibl. Lit. i, 911 sq.; Bauer. Hebr. Mytholoq. i, 302; Erlidar. d. Maund. d. A. Test. i, 219 sq. On I the Arabic legends, see Fleischer, Hist. acmteislam. p. 321.
3. The first named of the four sons of Hebron, of the family of Caleb, of the tribe of Judah ( 1 Chronicles 2:43). B.C. considerably post 1612.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia 
kō´ra , ( קרח , ḳōraḥ , "baldness," possibly; Κόρε , Kóre ):
(1) One of the 3 sons of Oholibamah, Esau's Hivite wife. The account says that the 3 were born in Canaan before Esau withdrew to the Seir mountain country. They are mentioned 3 times in the brief account from 3 points of view ( Genesis 36:5 , Genesis 36:14 , Genesis 36:18; 1 Chronicles 1:35 ), the 3rd mention being in the list of "chiefs."
(2) One of the sons of Eliphaz, the son of Adah, Esau's Hittite wife ( Genesis 36:16 ). He is mentioned as one of the Edomite "chiefs."
If one has the habit, finding a statement anywhere, of thinking that the statement ought to be changed into something else, he will be interested in the attempts to identify these Edomite Korahs with Korah (3).
(3) A son of Hebron ( 1 Chronicles 2:43 ), the son of Mareshah, mentioned in the Caleb group of families in Judah.
(4) The son of Izhar the son of Kohath the son of Levi ( Exodus 6:16 ff; Numbers 16:1; 1 Chronicles 6:18 , 1 Chronicles 6:31-38 ), a younger contemporary of Moses. There may have been generations, omitted in the record, between Izhar and Korah; that is a natural way of accounting for Amminadab ( 1 Chronicles 6:22-30 ).
1. The Catastrophe in the Wilderness:
This Korah is best known as the man whom the opening earth is said to have swallowed up along with his associates when they were challenging the authority of Moses and Aaron in the wilderness ( Numbers 16; Numbers 17:1-13 ). Korah is presented as the principal in the affair. The company is spoken of as his company, and those who were swallowed up as being "all the men that appertained unto Korah." ( Numbers 16:11 , Numbers 16:32 ). It is under his name that the affair is referred to ( Numbers 26:9; Numbers 27:3 ). But Dathan and Abiram of the tribe of Reuben are not much less prominent than Korah. In Nu 16 and 26 they are mentioned with Korah, and are mentioned without him in Deuteronomy 11:6 and Psalm 106:17 . Another Reubenite, On, the son of Peleth, was in the conspiracy. It has been inferred that he withdrew, but there is no reason either for or against the inference. Equally baseless is the inference that Zelophehad of Manassel joined it, but withdrew ( Numbers 27:3 ). The account implies that there were other Levites in it besides Korah ( Numbers 16:7-10 ), and it particularly mentions 250 "men of renown," princes, such men as would be summoned if there were a public assembly ( Numbers 16:2 , Numbers 16:17 , Numbers 16:35 ). These men, apparently, were of different tribes.
The position taken by the malcontents was that "all the congregation are holy, every one of them," and that it was therefore a usurpation for Moses and Aaron to confine the functions of an incense-burning priest to Aaron alone. Logically, their objection lay equally against the separation of Aaron and his sons from the rest of the Levites, and against the separation of the Levites from the rest of the people. On the basis of this, Moses made expostulation with the Levites. He arranged that Korah and the 250, along with Aaron, should take their places at the doorway of the tent of meeting, with their censers and fire and incense, so that Yahweh might indicate His will in the matter. Dathan and Abiram insolently refused his proposals.
The record says that Korah's "whole congregation," including himself and the 250 with their censers, met Moses and Aaron and "all the congregation" of Israel at the doorway of the tent of meeting. For the purposes of the transaction in hand the tent was now "the mishkān of Korah, Dathan and Abiram," and their followers. Yahweh directed Moses to warn all other persons to leave the vicinity. Dathan and Abiram, however, were not at the mishkān . The account says that Moses, followed by the eiders of Israel, went to them to their tents; that he warned all persons to leave that vicinity also; that Dathan and Abiram and the households stood near the tents; that the earth opened and swallowed them and their property and all the adherents of Korah who were on the spot; that fire from Yahweh devoured the 250 who offered incense. The narrative does not say whether the deaths by fire and by the opening of the earth were simultaneous. It does not say whether Korah's sons participated in the rebellion, or what became of Korah himself. In the allusion in Numbers 26 we are told, apparently, that Korah was swallowed up, and that "the sons of Korah died not." The deaths of the principal offenders, by fire and by being swallowed up, were followed by plague in which 14,700 perished ( Numbers 16:49 (Hebrew 17:14)).
2. Critical Treatments of This Story:
Any appreciative reader sees at once that we have here either a history of certain miraculous facts, or a wonder-story devised for teaching religious lessons. As a story it is artistically admirable - sufficiently complicated to be interesting, but clear and graphic and to the point. In the Hebrew there are 2 or 3 instances of incomplete grammatical construction, such as abound in the early literary products of any language, when these have been fortunate enough to escape editorial polishing. In such a case it is possibly not unwise just to take a story as it stands. Nothing will be added to either its religious or its literary value by subjecting it to doubtful alleged critical processes.
If, however, one has committed himself to certain critical traditions concerning the Hexateuch, that brings him under obligation to lead this story into conformity with the rest of his theory. Attempts of this kind have been numerous. Some hold that the Korah of this narrative is the Edomite Korah, and that Peleth means Philistine, and that our story originally grew out of some claim made by Edomites and Philistines. It is held that the story of Korah was originally one story, and that of Dathan and Abiram another, and that someone manipulated the two and put them together. See the treatments of the Book of Numbers in Driver, Introduction ; Addis, Documents of the Hexateuch ; Carpenter and Battersby, Hexateuch ; Bacon, Exodus ; Paterson on Numbers, in the Polychrome Bible . These and other like works give source-analyses of our story. Some of the points they make are plausible. In such a case no one claims any adequate basis of fact for his work; each theory is simply a congeries of ingenious guesses, and no two of the guessers guess alike.
As in many other Biblical instances, one of the results of the alleged critical study is the resolving of a particularly fine story into two or more supposed earlier stories each of which is absolutely bald and crude and uninteresting, the earlier stories and the combining of these into their present form being alike regarded as processes of legendary accretion. The necessary inference is that the fine story we now have was not the product of some gifted mind, guided by facts and by literary and religious inspiration, but is an accidental result of mere patchwork. Such a theory does not commend itself to persons of literary appreciation.
Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature 
Ko´rah (ice), a Levite, son of Izhar, the brother of Amram, the father of Moses and Aaron, who were therefore cousins to Korah . From this near relationship we may, with tolerable certainty, conjecture, that the source of the discontent which led to the steps afterwards taken by this unhappy man, lay in his jealousy that the high honors and privileges of the priesthood, to which he, who remained a simple Levite, might, apart from the divine appointment, seem to have had as good a claim, should have been exclusively appropriated to the family of Aaron. When to this was added the civil authority of Moses, the whole power over the nation would seem to him to have been engrossed by his cousins, the sons of Amram. Under the influence of these feelings he organized a conspiracy, for the purpose of redressing what appeared to him the evil and injustice of this arrangement. Dathan, Abiram, and On, the chief persons who joined him, were of the tribe of Reuben; but he was also supported by many more from other tribes, making up the number of 250, men of name, rank, and influence, all who may be regarded as representing the families of which they were the heads. The private object of Korah was apparently his own aggrandizement, but his ostensible object was the general good of the people; and it is perhaps from want of attention to this distinction that the transaction has not been well understood. The design seems to have been made acceptable to a large body of the nation, on the ground that the first-born of Israel had been deprived of their sacerdotal birthright in favor of the Levites, while the Levites themselves announced that the priesthood had been conferred by Moses (as they considered) on his own brother's family, in preference to those who had equal claims; and it is easy to conceive that the Reubenites may have considered the opportunity a favorable one for the recovery of their birthright—the double portion and civil pre-eminence—which had been forfeited by them and given to Joseph.
The leading conspirators having organized their plans, repaired in a body to Moses and Aaron, boldly charged them with their usurpations, and required them to lay down their ill-gotten power. Moses no sooner heard this than he fell on his face, confounded at the enormity of so outrageous a revolt against a system framed so carefully for the benefit of the nation. He left the matter in the Lord's hands, and desired them to come on the morrow, provided with censers for incense, that the Lord himself, by some manifest token, might make known his will in this great matter. As this order was particularly addressed to the rebellious Levites, the Reubenites left the place, and when afterwards called back by Moses, returned a very insolent refusal, charging him with having brought them out of the land of Egypt under false pretences, 'to kill them in the wilderness.'
The next day Korah and his company appeared before the tabernacle, attended by a multitude of people out of the general body of the tribes. Then the Shekinah, or symbol of the Divine presence, which abode between the cherubim, advanced to the entrance of the sacred fabric, and a voice therefrom commanded Moses and Aaron to stand apart, lest they should share in the destruction which awaited the whole congregation. On hearing these awful words the brothers fell on their faces, and, by strong intercession, moved the Lord to confine his wrath to the leaders in the rebellion, and spare their unhappy dupes. The latter were then ordered to separate themselves from their leaders and from the tents in which they dwelt. The terrible menace involved in this direction had its weight, and the command was obeyed; and after Moses had appealed to what was to happen as a proof of the authority by which he acted, the earth opened, and received and closed over the tents of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. The Reubenite conspirators were in their tents, and perished in them; and at the same instant Korah and his 250, who were offering incense at the door of the tabernacle, were destroyed by a fire which 'came out from the Lord;' that is, most probably, in this case, from out of the cloud in which his presence dwelt. The censers which they had used were afterwards made into plates, to form an outer covering to the altar, and thus became a standing monument of this awful transaction (Numbers 16). On, although named in the first instance along with Dathan and Abiram, does not further appear either in the rebellion or its punishment. It is hence supposed that he repented in time: and Abendana and other Rabbinical writers allege that his wife prevailed upon him to abandon the cause.
It might be supposed from the Scripture narrative that the entire families of the conspirators perished in the destruction of their tents. Doubtless all who were in the tents perished: but as the descendants of Korah afterwards became eminent in the Levitical service, it is clear that his sons were spared. They were probably living in separate tents, or were among those who sundered themselves from the conspirators at the command of Moses. There is no reason to suppose that the sons of Korah were children when their father perished. The Korahites were appointed by David to the office of guarding the doors of the temple, and of singing praises. They, in fact, occupied a distinguished place in the choral service of the temple, and several of the Psalms (Psalms 42, 44-49, 84-85, 87-88) are inscribed to them. Heman, the master of song under David, was of this family, and his genealogy is traced through Korah up to Levi .
- Korah from Fausset's Bible Dictionary
- Korah from Holman Bible Dictionary
- Korah from Morrish Bible Dictionary
- Korah from Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary
- Korah from Easton's Bible Dictionary
- Korah from People's Dictionary of the Bible
- Korah from Bridgeway Bible Dictionary
- Korah from Smith's Bible Dictionary
- Korah from American Tract Society Bible Dictionary
- Korah from Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary
- Korah from Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament
- Korah from Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature
- Korah from International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
- Korah from Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature