🔼The name Korah: Summary
- Baldness, Frost
- From the verb קרח (qarah), to be bald or frozen over.
🔼The name Korah in the Bible
There are four men named Korah in the Bible, but most famous is Korah, son of Izhar, and the cousin of Moses and Aaron, who claimed that since he too was a great-grandson of Levi he too should be allowed to draft Law, and got himself descended live into Sheol (Numbers 16:1).
In the Greek New Testament the name Korah appears only in the letter of Jude, who declares men who revile things they do not understand to persist in the rebellion of Korah (Jude 1:11). Whether deliberate or not, this Greek version of our name, namely Κορε (Kore), rather resembles the noun κορη (kore), meaning girl.
The Levitical sub-class "sons of Korah" or "Korahites" (קרחי) are descendants of the famous cousin (Exodus 6:24). They were not executed along with their father (Numbers 26:11) and became gatekeepers (1 Chronicles 26:19), soldiers (1 Chronicles 12:6), and musicians (having written an untold number of Psalms, eleven of which are extant and Canonized — see Psalm 42 to Psalm 88).
Besides the famous Korah, there are three more Korahs mentioned in the Bible:
🔼Etymology and meaning of the name Korah
The name Korah comes from the root group קרח (qarah):
The verb קרח (qarah) means to be, become or make bald. Adjective קרח (qereah) means bald. Nouns קרחה (qorha) and קרחת (qarahat) mean baldness.
Noun קרח (qerah) means frost or ice. This noun either stems from a whole other verb, or being bald and being frozen over were considered comparable situations. Since hair related to intense experience and the memory thereof, and thus to knowledge and thus to light and thus to heat, the absence of all these were considered related as well.
The name Korah is identical to the word קרח (qerah), meaning frost. Hence Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names translates this name with Ice or Hail.
NOBSE Study Bible Name List and BDB Theological Dictionary, however, derive Korah from the identical root קרח (qarah), to be bald. Hence NOBSE and BDB both read Baldness, although BDB adds a question mark.