Chapter

The Hidden Years: High Priesthood Under the Ptolemies

Deborah W. Rooke

in Zadok's Heirs

Published in print March 2000 | ISBN: 9780198269984
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600722 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198269986.003.0011

Series: Oxford Theological Monographs

The Hidden Years: High Priesthood Under the Ptolemies

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Surveys the limited evidence that is available for the political situation in Judah during the Ptolemaic period. The sources examined are the Yehud coins, an excerpt from Hecataeus of Abdera that is preserved in Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca Historica, 40. 3. 1–8, Rainer papyrus 24552, Josephus, Antiquities xii, the Letter of Aristeas, and the Wisdom of Ben Sira 50. Although the evidence is only indirect, it suggests that the power of the high priesthood would have been limited by the Ptolemaic administrative structures and by the emergence of a powerful, unofficial lay group of aristocracy.

Keywords: Hecataeus of Abdera; Josephus, Antiquities xii; Letter of Aristeas; Ptolemaic‐period Judah; Rainer papyrus 24552; Wisdom of Ben Sira 50; Yehud coins

Chapter.  10442 words. 

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies

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