Korah–“God is my Portion”

And the LORD said to Aaron, “You shall have no territorial share among them, or own any portion in their midst; I am your portion and your inheritance among the people of Israel.”    (Numbers 18:20)

Because the priests and Levites receive divine gifts (enumerated in this chapter beginning with v. 8), God is considered their portion (heleq) and they are not allotted any land within Israel.   This situation is reflected in the name Hilkiah (meaning “Yah is my portion”), which was the name of several priests mentioned in the Bible (2 Kings 22:10, etc.) and was found on the personal seal of a priest in Jerusalem, dated around 600 BC.

This motif is adopted in the piety of the Psalms for the faithful in general: “Whom else do I have in the heavens, and beside You whom would I want on earth?  Though my body and mind waste away, God is the rock of my life and my portion forever.”  (Ps. 73: 27-28)  And the author of Ecclesiastes counsels that one should enjoy one’s portion, even as he observes that one can find no profit in life.

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