Zadok's Heirs

Deborah W. Rooke

Published in print March 2000 | ISBN: 9780198269984
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600722 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Theological Monographs

Zadok's Heirs

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  • Judaism and Jewish Studies


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Traces the development of the Jewish high priesthood, from the earliest local chief priests in the pre‐monarchic period down to the Hasmonean priest‐kings of the first century B.C.E. Using evidence from both biblical and extra‐canonical sources, this book challenges the idea that during the post‐exilic period the high priesthood replaced the monarchy as the focus of civil authority in the community. There is no clear evidence of a high priest with civil as well as cultic power until the second century B.C.E., when the Maccabean leaders Jonathan and Simon took on the high priesthood. However, they attained the high priesthood in addition to their pre‐existing civil and military leadership role, and both they and their successors, the Hasmoneans, were viewed as kings rather than as high priests. Hence, even though the high priesthood ultimately came to be held by those who also had a position of civil authority, it was never an office that in and of itself bestowed upon its holder the right to rule in the civil sphere.

Keywords: Hasmoneans; high priesthood; Maccabeans; post‐exilic period

Book.  400 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies

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