A basic set of instructions for a computer that is used to communicate between the operating system and the physical hardware like processor or memory. It’s the crucial bridge between software and hardware. In a way, the kernel is a tiny program that is loaded first before anything else by the operating system and it must be first because it’s job is to allocate resources for other programs to use.
A high ranking army general could also be called a colonel, which is pronounced the same but obviously spelt differently, but this is another good example of how a computer kernel delegates and manages. All the physical components of a computer like processor, hard drives, graphics card, memory are enlisted soldiers whose only duty is to take orders first from the kernel and operating system.