1 Chronicles 23:18

After separating into divisions the sons of Levi—namely Gershon, Kohath, and Merari—King David appoints them different duties.

Of all the three sons of Levi, their direct descendants are mentioned in the genealogy.

But, in Izhar son of Kohath's genealogy, Korah is conspicuous by his absence from the list.

18 Of the sons of Izhar, Shelomith was the first. 19 Of the sons of Hebron, Jeriah was the first, Amariah the second, Jahaziel the third, and Jekameam the fourth.

Could Korah's rebellion have necessitated his removal from the list?


Because it's not entirely a genealogy

Korah also appears in 1 Chron 6:38, so it is unlikely this his rebellion in Numbers 16 was the cause of him being omitted from a later chapter in 1 Chron.

The one "son of Izhar" mentioned in your verse, 23:18, is Shelomith, who is not among Izhar's sons listed in Exodus 6:21, Korah, Nepheg, and Zichri. It's not only Korah missing, but all three. The same happens with the sons of Hebron (1 Chron 2:43 cf 23:19). So, something more must be going on.

Using Bible to interpret Bible, consider the same chapter...

  • 23:6 the opening states that David organized them by sons of Levi, not that this is explicitly a genealogy.

  • 23:24 the closing states that the previous lists were heads of houses and twenty years older who did the "work service of the house of the Lord". Again, not that it was a genealogy. More importantly, they were alive at the time; Korah was long dead because he lived in the time of Moses, not David. (It is likely that Shelomith was David's contemporary, based on the opening and closing verses listing adult contemporary workers organized under David.)

Also, the wording of 23:18 uses the plural "sons", but only one son who is "chief", again bolstering the vv6, 24 interpretation (above).

So, his name was probably not omitted because of his rebellion because it wasn't omitted at all. The text is simply listing who was in charge of that part of Levi's family.

Note: Genealogies were "allowed" to omit generations because they were often given to make a point. They also had understandable discrepancies. A classic example is the Gospels. Luke 3:33 records two generations between Amminadab and Hezron (Admin & Arni), but Matthew 1:3-4 only records one between them (Ram AKA Aram). Two things: 1. Arni or Admin could have been Aram with all the language confusion of names, just as Paul went by different names—Hebrew and Greek—, and these are Hebrew namess recorded by Luke—a Gentile writing in Greek. 2. Matthew was a Jew had a Jewish focus, making it all the more likely he would omit a name in a genealogy. Again, in those ancient times, "ancient" was "contemporary" to them, and they didn't find the same value we do in being exhaustive.

  • I fail to see how providing a circumstantial argument answers the question, if it is indeed a legitimate question. In fact there is some evidence that Shelomith was a descendant of Korah. – user21676 Dec 27 '18 at 21:48
  • Shelomith being a descendant of Korah isn't the question, being a descendant of Izhar is related and he almost certainly is, just not an immediate descendant and I addressed that as much as needed without wandering off topic; the question is about why Korah isn't listed. I don't present any circumstantial argument, only precedent of the different related passages' genres when dealing with generations and for what purpose. I can't address your comment any more directly because you didn't state which argument you believe to be circumstantial. – Jesse Steele Dec 27 '18 at 22:14
  • What I mean to say is I think your statement 'Korah was long dead because he lived in the time of Moses, not David' probably quells your other attempts to bring in other passages to explain it. The Hebron for example in 1 Chron 2:43 is not the same Hebron as you posted in 23:19, one is seemingly of Judah(1Ch 2:3), the other seemingly a priest. – user21676 Dec 27 '18 at 22:53
  • He was asking about the Korah in the time of Moses because he was asking about Korah's rebellion (Num 16). Please provide a commentator's source for claiming that the Hebron of ch 23 is not the aforementioned, demonstrating consistency and not mere assertion. If the Hebron of ch 23 is not the son of Mareshah (2:43), then Izhar of 23:18 might just as well not be the son of Kohath, unless you can provide a good reason to supply the consistency any accurate hermeneutics must be based on. – Jesse Steele Dec 28 '18 at 1:04

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