Dr. Alice C. Linsley
The term korah refers to a shaved priest (Biblical Archaeology Review, July/August 2007, p.37.) Moses had a half-brother named Korah. Both Aaron and Korah were priests. The korahs shaved their bodies before their time of service at the temple or shrine. This was part of their ritual purification.
Herodotus observed that ritual purity was a prominent feature of the Nilotic priest's life (II:37):
"They are religious excessively beyond all other men, and with regard to this they have customs as follows: they drink from cups of bronze and rinse them out every day, and not some only do this but all: they wear garments of linen always newly washed, and this they make a special point of practice: they circumcise themselves for the sake of cleanliness, preferring to be clean rather than comely. The priests shave themselves all over their body every other day, so that no lice or any other foul thing may come to be upon them when they minister to the gods; and the priests wear garments of linen only and sandals of papyrus, and any other garment they may not take nor other sandals; these wash themselves in cold water twice in the day and twice again in the night; and other religious services they perform (one may almost say) of infinite number."
The term korah is likely related to the language of the Nilotic Luo, for whom Ja'Kor refers a priest-seer who offers incantations and prayers concerning the future. According to rabbinic sources, Korah possessed the power to foresee the future. These priests were in the service of rulers and high kings. Joseph may have been regarded as a korah when he foretold the future calamity that was coming upon Egypt.
Another term for priest is harwa. Sudra priests traveled as far as Nepal where they are called "harwa." A famous Nilotic priest called Harwa served as the high steward of God's wife early in the seventh century BC. The so-called "God's wife" was a princess who was to oversee affairs of the temple. Royal daughters were dedicated to the temple when they were denied marriage, or they refused to marry. The two highest ranks a woman could hold in ancient Egypt were the positions of the God’s Wife (Hemet Netjer) and the Divine Adoratrice (Duat Netjer). These women are sometimes referred to as "priestesses" though they served no priestly functions.
Sargon (reigned c. 2334–2284 BC) appointed his daughter En-Heduanna as the royal official in charge of the shrine at Ur. The Akkadian term En means lord, master, or royal official. The Creator’s son was called En-ki, meaning “Lord of the Earth.” En-Heduanna served the Creator God An, at the House (pr) of Anu (Iannu). As with Roman Catholic nuns, she would have been considered “married” to the deity she served. En-Heduanna is credited with a large body of cuneiform poetry.
Other significant (Messianic) utterances include:
"Horus has shattered (tbb, crushed) the mouth of the serpent with the sole of his foot (tbw)." Pyramid Texts, Utterance 388
"I am Horus, the great Falcon upon the ramparts of the house of him of the hidden name. My flight has reached the horizon. I have passed by the gods of Nut. I have gone further than the gods of old. Even the most ancient bird could not equal my very first flight. I have removed my place beyond the powers of Set, the foe of my father Osiris. No other god could do what I have done. I have brought the ways of eternity to the twilight of the morning. I am unique in my flight. My wrath will be turned against the enemy of my father Osiris and I will put him beneath my feet in my name of 'Red Cloak'." Coffin Texts, Utterance 148
In ancient Egypt, the ka priests were paid by a family to perform the daily offerings at the tomb of their deceased loved ones.
Some priests served as royal lectors. The lector-priest was called hekau. These priests read ancient texts and were known as the keepers of the received tradition (hakem).
Related reading: Moses and the Kushite Bride; Hebrew Names and Titles; The Afro-Asiatic Conception of Purity; Moses' Horite Hebrew Family; Denying Marriage: A Cunning Royal Strategy; Righteous Rulers and the Resurrection; 2400 BC Tomb of a Purification Priest; Physician Priests in Antiquity; Tomb of the Priest Shepseskaf-ankh