The fifth‐century Elephantine papyri document the existence of a Jewish community, with its own temple, on the island of Elephantine in the Nile. This chapter examines the papyri in order to ascertain whether or not this community was a hierocracy, and whether references to the Jerusalem high priest in some of the papyri can elucidate his status. Concludes that Elephantine was not a hierocracy, and that the references to the Jerusalem high priest indicate that he was involved only in matters concerning the Temple rather than with provincial government in general. This is consistent with the picture of the Jerusalem high priesthood at this period that is given by the books of Ezra and Nehemiah.
Keywords: Elephantine Jewish community; Elephantine papyri
Chapter. 3973 words.
Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies
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