World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


Article Id: WHEBN0002538863
Reproduction Date:

Title: Kohath  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Amram, Jochebed, Moses, Ark of the Covenant, Va'eira
Collection: Levites, Torah People
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


According to the Torah, Kohath was one of the sons of Levi[1] and the patriarchal founder of the Kohathites, one of the four main divisions of the Levites in biblical times. In some apocryphal texts, such as the Testament of Levi and the Book of Jubilees, Levi's wife, Kohath's mother, is Milkah, a daughter of Aram.[2][3]


  • Onomastics 1
  • Genealogy 2
  • Theories 3
  • Family tree 4
  • See also 5
  • Notes and citations 6


In the Testament of Levi, Kohath's birth when his father Levi was 35 years old was accompanied by a vision of Kohath on high in the midst of all the congregation; in the vision, Kohath's name is given as meaning the beginning of majesty and instruction and prophesies his being raised above his siblings,[4] but according to biblical scholars, the meaning of Kohath's name is unknown, though it may derive from an Aramaic word meaning obey.[5]


In the Book of Exodus, Kohath has four sons, Amram, Izhar, Hebron and Uzziel. Amram marries Jochebed and sires Moses, Aaron, and Miriam.[6] Although some Greek and Latin manuscripts of the Septuagint version of the Torah state that Jochebed was Kohath's cousin,[7] the Hebrew Masoretic Text states that she was his sister[8] ---that is, Amram's aunt---and Jochebed's relationship to Levi is otherwise described unambiguously as his daughter in the Book of Numbers 26:59. According to Numbers, Kohath gained 8,600 descendants during the lifetime of his grandson.


Julius Wellhausen's documentary hypothesis asserts that the Torah was compiled in the fifth century BC from several independent, contradictory, hypothetical (nonextant) documents, including the Jahwist, Elohist, Deuteronomic, and priestly sources and the Book of Generations. Advocates of this hypothesis, such as Richard Elliott Friedman, attribute Levi's biblical genealogy to the "Book of Generations".[9] Others attribute Moses's birth narrative, which also mentions Amram and Jochebed, to the earlier "Elohist source". According to this theory, the Levite genealogy is a myth to explain away the fact that four different groups claimed descent from Levi---the Gershonites, Kohathites, Merarites, and Aaronids. Since Aaron could not have been a brother to Gershon, Kohath, and Merari, he had to belong to the following generation. The hypothetical reconstruction of the "Elohist source" mentions only that both parents were Levites without identifying their names ( Exodus 2:1-2). Some scholars suspect that the "Elohist source" attributes to Moses both matrilineal and patrilineal descent from Levites in order to enhance his religious credentials.

Family tree

According to the masoretic text, Kohath's family tree would be as follows:


See also

Notes and citations

  1. ^ Numbers 3:17
  2. ^ Jubilees 34:20
  3. ^ Testament of Levi 11
  4. ^ Testament of Levi 3
  5. ^ Cheyne and Black, Encyclopedia Biblica
  6. ^ Exodus 6:16-20
  7. ^ Exodus 6:16-20, LXX
  8. ^ New American Bible, footnote to Exodus 6:20
  9. ^ Richard Elliott Friedman, Who Wrote The Bible?.
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.