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May 7th, 2012 01:30 AM #26
I have been wondering why I have never heard of the word kohanim or cohen in the Bible, and I have just discovered that the word does not exist in the Christian Bible because it is translated as 'priest'.
So to be fair to the non Jewish population (at least here in Australia), we have never heard of the word cohen (let alone kohanim) used in a religious sense, so that explains why non Jews would not understand the connection with the name Cohen.
I hope that puts some clarity into the discussion and end to the discussion too, because I know I was quite baffled until I realised that the word had been translated as priest not cohen/kohanim.
May 15th, 2012 11:07 AM #28Junior Member
- Join Date
- May 2012
"This name has two distinct possible origins, the first being a Jewish name from the Hewbrew "Kohen", a priest. However not all Jews bearing this name belong to the priestly caste, descended from Aaron, the brother of Moses, as several members of the faith changed their name to Cohen to avoid forced military service in the Russian army, priests being the only males exempt from service.
The second possibility is that Cohen is an Anglicized form of two Gaelic Irish surnames - O Cadhain of Connacht, and O Comhdhain of Ulster. The Gaelic prefix "O" indicates "male descendant of", plus the personal bynames "Cadhan" meaning "wild goose" and "Comhdan", a shared gift. Further Anglicezed forms of these names include Cowen, Coen, Coyne, Cohan, Cohn, Cohani, Cahani etc.."
From The Book of Irish Families, Great & Small
"Families of the names of Cohen and Coen, are traditionally given to be of Irish extracting when found in Ireland, despite the similarity of the Jewish name of Cohen."