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Kohath; Kohathites


ko'-hath, ko'-hath-its (qehath, qohathi; Kaath):

Second son of Levi, and ancestor of Moses and Aaron (Genesis 46:11; Exodus 6:16-20; Numbers 3:17; 1 Chronicles 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 (Numbers 3:17). The Kohathites consisted of four families, the Amramites, the Izharites, the Hebronites, and the Uzzielites (Numbers 3:19,27, etc.). Their place in the wilderness was on the southern side of the tabernacle (Numbers 3:29), and their number is given (from a month old) as 8,600 (Numbers 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" (Numbers 3:31; compare Numbers 7:9). After the conquest 23 cities were assigned them by lot (Joshua 21:4,5). 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 (1 Chronicles 6:33; 16:41; 25:1); David likewise divided the Levites into courses (the Kohathites, 1 Chronicles 23:12-20; 24:20-25). We read of the Kohathites in the reign of Jehoshaphat at Engedi (2 Chronicles 20:19), and in connection with the cleansing of the temple under Hezekiah (2 Chronicles 29:12,14).

James Orr

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Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. "Entry for 'KOHATH; KOHATHITES'". "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia". 1915.