Sons of Korah
December 12, 2011
The band “Sons of Korah” have released their new album, Wait. I’m not generally a massive Christian music fan, my favourite bands are REM and Coldplay. In comparison some explicitly Christian music can seem like a cheap imitation. But this is a band who aren’t imitating the secular world. They don’t sing “Jesus is my boyfriend” songs – they sing the Psalms.
Sons of Korah are a band from the industrial town of Gelong, near Melbourne, Australia. They specialize in singing the Psalms, with lyrics almost exactly what you read in your Bible. The new album includes Psalms 19, 96, 77, 27, and Psalm 91. For me listening to the Psalms, I feel like these guys actually worship the same God that I do, not some media hyped invention.
So who were the Sons of Korah in the Bible? Korah and his sons were originally gatekeepers of the LORD’s tent,
Shallum son of Kore, the son of Ebiasaph, the son of Korah, and his fellow gatekeepers from his family (the Korahites) were responsible for guarding the thresholds of the tent just as their ancestors had been responsible for guarding the entrance to the dwelling of the LORD.
However, Korah himself went bad. Numbers 16 records that Korah and a group of 250 men rebelled against Moses,
Korah son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, and certain Reubenites—Dathan and Abiram, sons of Eliab, and On son of Peleth—became insolent and rose up against Moses. With them were 250 Israelite men, well-known community leaders who had been appointed members of the council. They came as a group to oppose Moses and Aaron and said to them, “You have gone too far! The whole community is holy, every one of them, and the LORD is with them. Why then do you set yourselves above the LORD’s assembly?”
Korah commits treason against Moses, God’s appointed leader of the Israelites.
When Korah had gathered all his followers in opposition to them at the entrance to the tent of meeting, the glory of the LORD appeared to the entire assembly.
The judgement is harsh for those who rebelled.
The ground under them split apart and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them and their households, and all those associated with Korah, together with their possessions…At their cries, all the Israelites around them fled, shouting, “The earth is going to swallow us too!” And fire came out from the LORD and consumed the 250 men who were offering the incense.
But as Numbers 26:10-11 records, although Korah and his supporters died, his sons did not,
The earth opened its mouth and swallowed them along with Korah, whose followers died when the fire devoured the 250 men. And they served as a warning sign. The line of Korah, however, did not die out.
By David’s time Korah’s line have become the musicians. The whole ancestry is traced in 1 Chronicles 6:31-39
These are the men David put in charge of the music in the house of the LORD after the ark came to rest there. They ministered with music before the tabernacle, the tent of meeting, until Solomon built the temple of the LORD in Jerusalem. They performed their duties according to the regulations laid down for them.
Here are the men who served, together with their sons:
From the Kohathites:
Heman, the musician,
the son of Joel, the son of Samuel,
the son of Tahath, the son of Assir,
the son of Ebiasaph, the son of Korah,
the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath,
the son of Levi, the son of Israel;
Amazingly it seems, even Samuel was descended from Korah. But more important, the people in this line were the musicians. Heman wrote Psalm 88. Psalms 42, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 84, 85, 87 and 88 are all said to be composed by the sons of Korah.
Don’t take my word for it, have a listen.