A male Jew belonging to a patrilineal line claiming descent from Aaron. Kohanim served as priests in ancient Judaism, and present-day Kohanim are accorded special status in Orthodox Judaism.
Other Word Forms
Origin of kohen
Hebrew kōhēnpriest Aramaic kāhnā Ugaritic khn
American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
Kohen Sentence Examples
The theologians of the Greek and Latin churches expressly found the conception of a Christian priesthood on the hierarchy of the Jewish temple, while the names by which the sacerdotal character is expressed - iEpEbs, sacerdos - originally designated the ministers of sacred things in Greek and Roman heathenism, and then came to be used as translations into Greek and Latin of the Hebrew kohen.
Kohen, iEpEbs, sacerdos, are, in fact, fair translations of one another; they all denote a minister whose stated business was to perform, on behalf of the community, certain public ritual acts, particularly sacrifices, directed godwards.
Here we find magic and soothsaying closely intertwined with priestly functions as, we shall see, was the case in early Hebrew pre-exilian days with the Kohen.
That this was what actually happened may be inferred from the fact that the Canaanite and Phoenician name for a priest (kohen) is identical with the Arabic kahin, a " soothsayer."