Kohath; Kohathites

ko'-hath, ko'-hath-its (qehath, qohathi; Kaath): Second son of Levi, and ancestor of Moses and Aaron (Ge 46:11; Ex 6:16-20; Nu 3:17; 1Ch 6:1, etc.). The Kohathites formed one of the three divisions of the tribe of Levi; the other two being the Gershonites and the Merarites (Nu 3:17 ff). The Kohathites consisted of four families, the Amramites, the Izharites, the Hebronites, and the Uzzielites (Nu 3:19,27, etc.). Their place in the wilderness was on the southern side of the tabernacle (Nu 3:29), and their number is given (from a month old) as 8,600 (Nu 3:28). Their special charge was "the ark, and the table, and the candlestick, and the altars, and the vessels of the sanctuary wherewith they minister, and the screen, and all the service thereof" (Nu 3:31; compare Nu 7:9). After the conquest 23 cities were assigned them by lot (Jos 21:4-5 ff). In David's time and after, Heman, a Kohathite, and his family had a prominent place in the service of the music of the sanctuary (1Ch 6:33 ff; 1Ch 16:41 ff; 1Ch 25:1 ff); David likewise divided the Levites into courses (the Kohathites, 1Ch 23:12-20; 24:20-25). We read of the Kohathites in the reign of Jehoshaphat at Engedi (2Ch 20:19), and in connection with the cleansing of the temple under Hezekiah (2Ch 29:12,14).

James Orr

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