Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 4.djvu/417

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CORE


361


COREA


Core, Dathan, and Abiron (mp, |m, DIUN), leaders of a rcvcilt against Moses and Aaron (Num., xvi). Core was the son of Isaar, of the Caathite family of Levites; Dathan and Abiron were the sons of Eliab, the son of Phallu, of the tribe of Rnben. A fourth leader is mentioned, Hon, the son of Pheleth, likewise a Rubenite; but as the name does not again apjiear, a corruption of the text is rightly suspected. Core was the head of the re- bellion, whence it is called the sedition of Core (Num., xvi, 49; x.xvi, 9; xxvii, 3; Jude, 11), and the rebels are styled the congregation of Core (Num., xvi, 40; Ecclus., xlv, 22). The rebel faction con- sisted of three parties with different motives and dif- ferent aims. Many of the people w-ere not yet recon- ciled to the exclusive priesthood instituted at Sinai, and desired the restoration of the old order, in which the priestly functions were exercised by the oldest member of each family. The non-.\aronic Levites bore it ill that the prerogatives of the priesthood should be confined to the family of Aaron, while they occupied the position of mere servants, and they demanded that they also be admitted to exer- cise priestly functions. Lastlj' the Rubenites were aggrieved because their tribe was deprived of the leadership, which naturally should belong to it as being descended from the oldest son of Jacob. But all were animated by jealousy of the power of the house of Amram, in which the civil and religious au- thority was concentrated, and all aimed at its over- throw. The two first parties, however, desired the removal of Moses from power, only in so far as he was an obstacle to the realization of their claims, whereas with the Rubenites this removal was the main object. In the account of the revolt neither time nor place is mentioned. But it must have oc- curred .shortly after leaving Sinai, when the Aaronic priesthood was still a recent institution. It prob- ably took place at Cades, after the attempt to pene- trate into the Promised Land had ended disastrously near Horma (Num., xiv, 40 sqq.), and the people had begun to realize that there was no escape from the sentence cpndemning them to wander forty years in the desert. The taunting words of Dathan and Abiron (Num., xvi, 13, 14) point to such a situation. Core and two hundred and fifty leading men of dif- ferent tribes i cf. Num., x.xvii, 3) — Dathan and Abiron for some unknown reason were not with them — went to .Moses and demanded the abolition of the exclu- sive priesthood. "Enough for you", they said; "all the congregation consisteth of holy ones, and the Lord is with them : why lift you up yourselves above the j>eople of the Lord?" Moses directed them to bring their censers (fire-pans) on the morrow to offer inccn.se with Aaron before the Lord; the Lord would choose between them. When the next day Core and his two hundred and fifty companions offered in- cen.se before the door of the tabernacle, they were destroyed by fire from the Lord. In the meanw-hile Moses went to the dwellings of Dathan and Abiron, who had refu.sed to obey his stmimons to appear be- fore him, and warned the people to depart from the tents of Core, Dathan, and Abiron, lest they should share the dreadful punishment about to be inflicted on the two last. Hardly had he done speaking when the earth broke asunder and swallowed up Dathan and .Vbiron and their households and all the men [that appertained to Core. The sons of Core did not I perish, however (Num., xxvi, 10, 11), and later we jfind their descendants among the singers (I Par., vi, ,37; n Par., xx, 19; P.ss. xli, xliii, xlviii, Ixxxiii, Ixxxiv, Ixxxvi, Ixxxvii), or among the door-keepers of the temple (I Par., ix, 19; xxvi, 1, 19). Moses ordered the censers of Core and his companions to be beaten into plates and fa.stened to the altar as a warning to those who would usurp the priesthood.

The critical school sees in the story of this rebellion


a clumsy combination of three distinct narratives; one relating a revolt under Dathan and Abiron against the civil authority of Moses; another con- taining an account of a rising of representatives of the people under Core, who is not a Levite, against the ecclesiastical authority of the tribe of Levi; and a third, w-hich is merely a retouched version of t\u: second, telling of the struggle of the non-Aaronic Levites under Core, who is now a Levite, against the exclusive priesthood vested in the family of Aaron. But it may be asked what possible object a redactor could have had in combining the narrative of a re- bellion against civil authority with another having for its moral to warn against usurpation of the priest- hood. The story presents nothing improbable. We need not search deeply into history to find similar examples of parties with different, or even conflict- ing interests, uniting for a common end. It may, it is true, be resolved into two fairly complete narra- tives. But many an historical account can thus be divided by using the arbitrary methods here applied, picking out sentences or parts of sentences here and there and rejecting as later additions whatever mili- tates against division. The literary argument is too weak and too imcertain to base a theory upon it.

HcMMELAUER, Comm. in Num. (Paris, 1899). 129 sq.; PALlsinflicf.de/aBift.. II, 969. For the critical view: Selbie, in Hastings, Diet, of the Bib., III. 11 sq.; Gkay, Comm. Num. (New York, 1903), 186 sq.; Driver, LU. Old Test. (6th ed., New York, 1897), 63 sq.

F. Bechtel.

Corea, Vicariate Apostolic of, coextensive with the Empire of Corea; it was created a distinct vicariate Apostolic, 9 September, 1831. But for nearly half a century before that time Corea had manj- fervent Catholics. In a manner perhaps unique in the annals of the Church, the Faith was introduced there without preaching and before any missionaries had penetrated the country. The educated people, more eager for new knowledge the more their country was jealously clo.sed, procured through the annual embassy to Peking all the books possible upon science, literature, etc. Some Christian books fell into their hands, and, the grace of God aiding, they recognized the truth. One of them, Ni-seung-houn, undertook in 1784 the journey to Peking and was baptized there, under the name of Peter. ITpon his return he bap- tized his companions, who, like himself, were men of learning and high position. That their faith was firm, events proved. In 1791 Paid Youn and Jac- qvies Kouen sealed their belief with their blood for having refused to offer sacrifice ujMn the occasion of the death of their relati\es. Connected by reason of its origin with the Church of Peking, Corea was de- pendent upon that vicariate until 1831. About the year 1794, a Chinese priest. Father Jacques Tjyou, was sent to Corea. Upon his arrival he fovmd about 4000 faithful. After seven years of a heroic and fruitful ministry he was arrested and put to death, 31 May, 1801. Before and after him numerous Chris- tians suffered martyrdom with admirable fortitude. Among them particular mention is due to the married couple, Jean Ryou and Liithganle Ni. Shaken and tleeimatcd by the tempest, ami dr]irived of its priests, the Cliristian religion was preserved by the zeal of the fervent jieople, voluntary eateehists, who rallied the dispersed, and made unlieard-of efforts to obtain p;i.stors from the Bishop of Peking or the sovereign pontiff. It w.as at this time that the vicariate Apos- tolic was established, and confided to the Society of Foreign Missions of Paris. The first vicar Apostolic named, Mgr. Bruguiere, came from the mi-ssion of Siam. He started upon his journey in 1832, suffered incredible hardships in pa.ssing through China and Mongolia, and died in Talary, just as he was com- pleting arrangements to enter the country of his mission. His companion, Father Maubant, succeeded