High-priest (הִכֹּהֵן, hak-kohen', the ordinary word for "priest," with the article, i.e. "the priest;" and in the books subsequent to the Pentateuch with the frequent addition הִגָּדֹל, the great, and הָרֹאשׁ, "the head? Le 21:10 seems to exhibit the epithet גָּדֹל [as ἐπίσκοπος and διάκονος in the N.T.] in a transition state, not yet wholly technical; and the same may be said of Nu 35:25, where the explanation at the end of the verse, "which was anointed with the holy oil," seems to show that the epithet כֹּהֵן was not yet quite established as distinctive of the chief priest [comp. ver. 28]. In all other passages of the Pentateuch it is simply "the priest," Ex 29:30,44; Le 16:32; or yet more frequently "Aaron," or "Aaron the priest," as Nu 3:6; Nu 4:33; Le 1:7, etc. So, too, "Eleazar the priest," Nu 27:22; Nu 31:26,29,31, etc. In fact- there could be no such distinction in the time of Moses, since the priesthood was limited to Aaron and his sons. In the Sept. ὁ ἀρχιερεύς, or ἱερεύς, where the Heb. has only ,;.3. So likewise in the N.T. ἀρχιερεύς, often merely a "chief priest." Vulgate, Sacerdos magnus, or primus pontifex, princeps sacerdotum), the head of the Jewish hierarchy, and a lineal descendant of Aaron.
I. The legal view of the high-priest's office comprises all that the law of Moses ordained respecting it. The first distinct separation of Aaron to the office of the priesthood, which previously belonged to the firstborn, was that recorded in Exodus 28. A partial anticipation of this call occurred at the gathering of the manna (Exodus 16), when Moses bade Aaron take a pot of manna, and lay it up before the Lord: which implied that the ark of the Testimony would thereafter be under Aaron's charge, though it was not at that time in existence. The taking up of Nadab and Abihu with their father Aaron to the Mount, where they beheld the glory of the God of Israel, seems also to have been intended as a preparatory intimation of Aaron's hereditary priesthood. See also Ex 27:21. But it was not till the completion of the directions for making the tabernacle and its furniture that the distinct order was given to Moses, "Take thou unto thee Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him. from among the children of Israel, that he may minister unto me in the priest's office, even Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron's sons" (Ex 28:1). So after the order for the priestly garments to be made "for Aaron and his sons," it is added, "and the priest's office shall be theirs for a perpetual statute; and thou shalt consecrate Aaron and his soils,' and "I will sanctify both Aaron and his sons to minister to me in the priest's office," Ex 29:9,44.
We find from the very first the following characteristic attributes of Aaron and the high-priests his successors, as distinguished from the other priests.
1. Aaron alone was anointed. "He poured of the anointing oil upon Aaron's head, and anointed him to sanctify him" (Le 8:12) 'whence one of the distinctive epithets of the high-priest was הִכֹּהֵן הִמָּשַׁיח, "the anointed priest" (Le 4:3,5,16; Le 21:10; see Nu 35:25). This appears also from Ex 29:29-30, where it is ordered that the one of the sons of Aaron who succeeds him in the priest's office shall wear the holy garments that were Aaron's for seven days, to he anointed therein, and to be consecrated in them. Hence Eusebius (Hist. Eccles. 1, 6; Dem. Evang. 8) understands the Anointed (A.V. "Messiah," or, as the Sept. reads, χρίσμα) in Da 9:26, the anointing of the Jewish high-priests: "It means nothing else than the succession of high-priests, whom the Scripture commonly calls χρισταύς, anointed" and so, too, Tertullian and Theodoret (Rosenm. ad loc;) The anointing of the sons of Aaron, i.e. the common priests, seems to have been confined to sprinkling their garments with the anointing oil (Ex 29:21; Ex 28:41, etc.), though, according to Kalisch on Ex 29:8, and Lightfoot, following the Rabbinical interpretation, the difference consists in the abundant pouring of oil (יָצִק) on the head of the high-priest. from whence it was drawn with the finger into two streams, in the shape of a Greek X, while the priests were merely marked with the finger dipped in ail on the forehead (מָשִׁח), But this is probably a late invention of the Rabbins. The anointing of the highpriest is alluded to in Ps 133:2, "It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard, that went down to the skirts of his garments." The composition of this anointing oil, consisting of myrrh, cinnamon, calamus, cassia, and olive oil, is prescribed Ex 30:22-25; and its use for any other purpose but that of anointing the priests, the tabernacle, and the vessels, was strictly prohibited, on pain of being "cut off from his people." The manufacture of it was entrusted to certain priests, called apothecaries (Ne 3:8). But this oil is said to have been wanting under the second Temple (Prideaux, 1, 151; Selden, cap. 9). SEE ANOINTING OIL.
2. The high priest had a peculiar dress, which, as we have seen, passed to his successor at his death. This dress consisted of eight parts,. as the Rabbins constantly note, the breastplate, the ephod with its curious girdle, the robe of the ephod, the miter, the broidered coat or diaper tunic, and the girdle, the materials being gold, blue, red, crimson, and fine (white) linen (Exodus 28). To the above are added, in ver. 42, the breeches or drawers (Le 16:4) of linen; and to make up the number eight, some reckon the high-priest's miter, or the plate (צַיוֹ) separately from the bonnet; while others reckon the curious girdle of the ephod separately from the ephod. In Le 8:7-12, there is a complete account of the putting on of these garments by Aaron, and the whole ceremony of his consecration and that of his sons. It there appears distinctly that, besides the girdle common to all the priests, the high-priest also wore the curious girdle of the ephod. Of these eight articles of attire, four, viz. the coat or tunic, the girdle, the breeches, and the bonnet or turban, מַגבָּעָה, instead of the miter, מַצנֶפֶת (Josephus, however, whom Bahr follows, calls the bonnets of the priests by the name of מַצנֶפֶת. See below), belonged to the common priests. It is well known how, in the Assyrian sculptures, the king is in like manner distinguished by the shape of his headdress; and how in Persia none but the king wore the cidaris, or erect tiara. Bahr compares also the apices of the flamen Dialis. Josephus speaks of the robes (ἐνδύματα) of the chief priests, and the tunics and girdles of the priests, as forming part of the spoil of the Temple ( War, 6:8,3). Aaron, and at his death Eleazar (Nu 20:26,28), and their successors in the high- priesthood, were solemnly inaugurated into their office by being clad in these eight articles of dress on seven successive days. From the time of the second Temple, when the sacred oil (said to have been hid by Josiah, and lost) was wanting, this putting on of the garments was deemed the official investiture of the office. Hence the robes, which had used to be kept in one of the chambers of the Temple, and were by Hyrcanus deposited in the Baris, which he built on purpose, were kept by Herod in the same tower, which he called Antonia, so that they might be at his absolute disposal. The Romans did the same till the government of Vitellius, in the reign of Tiberius, when the custody of the robes was restored to the Jews (Ant. 15:11, 4; 18:4,3). Taking the articles of the high-priest's dress in the order in which they would naturally be put on, we have
(1.) The "breeches" or drawers, מַכנסַים, miknesim', of linen, covering the loins and thighs, for purposes of modesty, as all the upper garments were loose and flowing. Their probable form is illustrated by the subjoined cut, from Braun (De Vestitu Sacerdotum Hebrceorum, p. 364), who calls attention to the bands (Talmud, שנצים) for drawing the top together, and the absence of any opening either before (בית העריה, apertura ad pudenda) or behind (בית הנקב, apertura ad anum).
(2.) The inner "coat," כֻּתּנֶת. kutto'neth, was a tunic or long shirt of linen, with a tesselated or diaper pattern, like the setting of a stone (תִּשׁבֵּוֹ,tashbets', "broidered"). The subjoined cut (also from Braun, p. 378) will illustrate its probable form (not different from that of the ordinary Oriental under-garment), with its sleeves and mode of fastening around the neck. SEE COAT.
(3.) The girdle, אִבנֵט, abnet', also of linen, was wound round the body several times from the breast downwards, and the ends hung down to the ankles. Its form and mode of wearing may be illustrated by the subjoined cuts (from Braun, p. 404). SEE GIRDLE.
(4.) The "robe," מעיל, m'eil', of the ephod. This was of inferior material to the ephod itself, being all of blue (ver. 31), which implied its being only of "woven work" (מִעֲשֵׂה אֹרֵה, 39:22). It was worn immediately under the ephod, and was longer than it. though not so long as the broidered coat or tunic. (כּתֹנֶת תִּשׁבֵּוֹ), according to most statements (Bahr, Winer, Kalisch, etc.).
Nor do the Sept. explanation of מעיל, ποδήρης, and Josephus's description of it (War, 5, 5, 7), seem to outweigh the reasons given by Bahr for thinking that the robe only came down to the knees, for it is highly improbable that the robe should thus have swept the ground.. Neither does it seem likely that the sleeves of the tunic, of white diaper linen, were the only parts of it which were visible, in the case of the high- priest, when he wore the blue robe over it; for the blue robe had no sleeves, but only slits in the sides for the arms to come through. It had- a hole for the head to pass through, with a border round it of woven work, to prevent its being rent. The skirt of this robe had a remarkable trimming of pomegranates in blue, red, and crimson, with a bell of gold between each pomegranate alternately. The bells were to give a sound when the high priest went in and came out of the Holy Place. Josephus, in the Antiquities, gives no explanation of the use of the bells, but merely speaks of the studied beauty of their appearance. In his Jewish War, however, he tells us that the bells signified thunder, and the pomegranates lightning. For Philo's very curious observations, see Lightfoot's Works, 9, 25. Neither does the son of Sirach very distinctly explain it (Ecclus. 45), who, in his description of the high-priest's attire, seems chiefly impressed with its beauty and magnificence, and says of this trimming, "He compassed him with pomegranates and with many golden bells round about, that as he went there might be a sound, and a noise made that might be heard in the Temple, for a memorial to the children of his people." Perhaps, however, he means to intimate that the use of the bells was to give notice to the people outside when the high-priest went in and came out of the sanctuary, as Whiston, Vatablus, and many others have supposed. SEE ROBE.
(5.) The ephod, אֵפוֹן, consisted of two parts, of which one covered the back, and the other the front, i.e. the breast and upper part of the body, like the ἐπωμίς of the Greeks (see Smith, Dict. of Antiquities, s.v. Tunica). These were clasped together on the shoulder with two large onyx stones, each having engraved on it six of the names of the tribes of Israel. It was further united by a "curious girdle" of gold, blue, purple, scarlet, and fine twined linen round the waist. Upon it was placed the breastplate of judgment, which in fact was a part of the ephod, being included in the term in such passages as 1Sa 2:28; 1Sa 14:3; 1Sa 23:9, and was fastened to it just above the curious girdle of the ephod. Linen ephods were also worn by other priests (1Sa 22:18), by Samuel, who was only a Levite (1Sa 2:18), and by David when bringing up the ark (2Sa 6:14), The expression for wearing an ephod is "girded with a linen ephod." The ephod was also frequently used in the idolatrous worship of the Israelites (see Jg 8:27; Jg 17:5, etc.). SEE EPHOD.
(6.) The breastplate, חשֶׁן, cho'shen, or, as it is further named, verses 15, 29, 30, the breastplate of judgment, הִחשֶׁן מַשׁכָּט, λογεῖον τῶν κρίσεων (or τῆς κρίσεως) in the Sept., only in ver. 4 περιστήθιον. It was, like the inner curtains of the tabernacle, the veil, and the ephod, of "cunning work," מִעֲשֵׂה חשֵׁב (Vulg. opus plumariunn and arte plumaria). SEE EMBROIDER. The breastplate was originally two spans long and one span broad, but when doubled it was square, the shape in which it attached to the lower corners of the plate for passing through the other two rings of the linen, and then tying to the hip-rings of the ephod, as at g, tig 3. 3. The EPHOD SEE EPHOD (q.v.); with the breastplate inserted, and the two straps, constituting the girdle, חֵשֶׁב, che'sheb (belt), of the ephod. was worn. It was fastened at the top rings and by chains of wreathen gold to the two onyx stones on the shoulders, and beneath with two other rings and a lace of blue to two corresponding rings in the ephod, to keep it fixed in its place, above the curious girdle. But the most remarkable and most important part of this breastplate were the twelve precious stones, set in four rows, three in a row, thus corresponding to the twelve tribes, and divided in the same manner as their camps were, each stone having the name of one of the children of Israel engraved upon it. Whether the order followed the ages of the sons of Israel, or, as seems most probable, the order of the encampment, may be doubted; but, unless some appropriate distinct symbolism' of the different tribes be found in the names of the precious stones, the question can scarcely be decided. According to the Sept. and Josephus, and in accordance with the language of Scripture, it was these stones which constituted the Urim and Thummim, nor does the notion advocated by Gesenius after Spencer and others, that these names designated two little images placed between the folds of the breastplate, seem to rest on any sufficient ground, in spite of the Egyptian analogy brought to bear upon it. (For an account of the image of Thmei worn by the Egyptian judge and priest, see Kalisch's note on Exodus 28; Hengstenberg's Egypt and the Books of Moses; Wilkinson's Egyptians, 2, 27, etc.) Josephus's opinion, on the other hand, improved upon by the rabbins, as to the manner in which the stones gave out the oracular answer, by preternatural illumination appears equally destitute of probability. It seems to be far simplest, and most in agreement with the different accounts of inquiries made by Urim and Thummim (1Sa 14:3,18-19; 1Sa 23:2,4,9,11-12; 1Sa 28:6; Jg 20:28; 2Sa 5:23, etc.), to suppose that the answer was given simply by the Word of the Lord to the highpriest (comp. Joh 11:51), when he had inquired of the Lord, clothed with the ephod and breastplate. Such a view agrees with the true notion of the breastplate, of which it was not the leading characteristic to be oracular (as the term λογεῖον supposes, and as is by many thought to be intimated by the descriptive addition "of judgment," i.e. as they understand it,; decision"), but. only an incidental privilege connected with its fundamental meaning. What that meaning was we learn from Ex 28:30, where we read, "Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart before the Lord continually." Now מַשׁפָּט is the judicial sentence by which any one is either justified or condemned. In prophetic vision, as in actual Oriental life, the sentence of justification was often expressed by the nature of the robe worn. "He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels" (Isa 61:10), is a good illustration of this; comp. Isa 62:3. In like manner, in Re 3:5; Re 7:9; Re 19:14, etc., the white linen robe expresses the righteousness or justification of saints. Something of the same notion may be seen in Es 6:8-9, and on the contrary ver. 12. The addition of precious stones and costly ornaments expresses glory beyond simple justification. So, in Isa 62:3, "Thou shalt be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God." Exactly the same symbolism of glory is assigned to the precious stones in the description of the New Jerusalem (Re 21:11-21), a passage which ties together with singular force the arrangement of the tribes in their camps and that of the precious stones in the breastplate. But, moreover, the high priest being a representative personage, the fortunes of the whole people would most properly be indicated in his person. A striking instance of this, in connection, too, with symbolical dress, is to be found in Zechariah 3: "Now Joshua (the high-priest, ver. 1) was clothed with filthy garments and stood before the angel. And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment. And I said, Let them set a fair miter (צָנַיŠ) upon his head. So they set a fair miter upon his head, and clothed him with garments." Here the priest's garments, בּגָדַיַם, and the miter, expressly typify the restored righteousness of the nation. Hence it seems to be sufficiently obvious that the breastplate of righteousness or judgment, resplendent with the same precious stones which symbolize the glory of the New Jerusalem, and on which were engraved the names of the twelve tribes, worn by the high-priest, who was then said to bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart, was intended to express by symbols the acceptance of Israel grounded upon the sacrificial functions of the high- priest. The sense of the symbol is thus nearly identical with such passages as Nu 23:21, and the meaning of the Urim and Thummim is explained by such expressions as קוּמַי אוֹרַי כַּיאּבָא אוֹרֵך, "Arise, shine; for thy light is come" (Isa 60:1). Thummim expresses alike complete prosperity and complete innocence, and so falls in exactly with the double notion of light (Isa 60:1; Isa 62:1-2). The privilege of receiving an answer from God bears the same relation to the general state of Israel symbolized by the priest's dress that the promise in Isa 54:13, "All thy children shall be taught of the Lord," does to the preceding description, "I will lay thy stones with fair colors, and lay thy foundations with sapphires, and I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones," ver. 11, 12; comp. also ver. 14 and 17 (Heb.). It is obvious to add how entirely this view accords with the blessing of Levi in De 33:8, where Levi is called God's holy one, and God's Thummim and Urim are said to be given to him, because he came out of the trial so clear in his integrity. (See also Bar. 5, 2.) SEE BREASTPLATE.
(7.) The "bonnet," מַגבָּעָה, migbaah', was a turban of linen covering the head, but not in the particular form which that of the high-priest assumed when the mitre was added to it. SEE BONNET.
(8.) The last article peculiar to the high priest is the miter, מַצנֶפֶת, mitsne'pheth, or upper turban, with its gold plate, engraved with "Holiness to the Lord," fastened to it by a ribbon of blue. Josephus applies the same Heb. term (μασναεμφθής) to the turbans of the common priests as well, but says that in addition to this, and sewn upon the top of it, the high-priest had another turban of blue; that besides this he had outside the turban a triple crown of gold, consisting, that is, of three rims one above the other, and terminating at the top in a kind of conical cup, like the inverted calyx of the herb hyoscyamus. Josephus doubtless gives a true account of the high-priest's turban as worn in his day. It may fairly be conjectured that the crown was appended when the Asmoneans united the temporal monarchy with the priesthood, and that this was continued, though in a modified shape, after the sovereignty was taken from them. Josephus also describes the πεταλον, the lamina or gold plate, which he says covered the forehead of the high priest. In Ant. 7, 3, 8, he says that the identical gold plate made in the days of Moses existed in his time; and Whiston adds in a note that it was still preserved in the time of Origen, and that the inscription on it was engraved in Samaritan characters (Ant. 3, 3, 6). It is certain that R. Eliezer, who flourished in Hadrian's reign, saw it at Rome. It was doubtless placed, with other spoils of the Temple, in the Temple of Peace, which was burnt down in the reign of Commodus. These spoils, however, are especially mentioned as part of Alaric's plunder when he took Rome. They were carried by Genseric into Africa, and brought by Belisarius to Byzantium, where they adorned his triumph. On the warning of a Jew the emperor ordered them back to Jerusalem, but what became of them is not known (Reland, de Spoliis Templi). SEE MITRE.
3. Aaron had peculiar functions. To him alone it appertained, and he alone was permitted, to enter the Holy of Holies, which he did once a year, on the great day of atonement, when he sprinkled the blood of the sin-offering on the mercy-seat, and burnt incense within the veil (Leviticus 16). He is said by the Talmudists, with whom agree Lightfoot, Selden, Grotius, Winer, Bahr, and many others, not to have worn his full pontifical robes on the occasion, but to have been clad entirely in white linen (Le 16:4,32). It is singular however, that, on the other hand, Josephus says that the great fast-day was the chief, if not the only day in the year when the high-priest wore all his robes (War, 5, 5, 7), and, in spite of the alleged impropriety of his wearing his splendid apparel on a day of humiliation, it seems far more probable that on the one occasion when he performed functions peculiar to the high-priest he should have worn his full dress. Josephus, too, could not have been mistaken as to the fact, which he repeats (cont. Ap. 2, 7), where he says the high priests alone might enter into the Holy of Holies, "propria stola circumamicti." For although Selden, who strenuously supports the Rabbinical statement that the high-priest only wore the four linen garments when he entered the Holy of Holies, endeavors to make Josephus say the same thing, it is impossible to twist his words into this meaning. It is true, on the other hand, that Leviticus 16 distinctly prescribes that Aaron should wear the four priestly garments of linen when he entered into the Holy of Holies, and put them off immediately he came out, and leave them in the Temple; no one being present in the Temple while Aaron made the atonement (verse 17). Either, therefore, in the time of Josephus this law was not kept in practice, or else we must reconcile the apparent contradiction by supposing that in consequence of the great jealousy with which the high-priest's robes were kept by the civil power at this time, the custom had arisen for him to wear them, not even always on the three great festivals (Ant. 18, 4, 3), but only On the great day of expiation. Clad in this gorgeous attire, he would enter the Temple in presence of all the people, and, after having performed in secret, as the law requires, the rites of expiation in the linen dress, he would resume his pontifical robes, and so appear again in public. Thus his wearing the robes would easily come to be identified chiefly with the day of atonement; and this is, perhaps, the most probable explanation. In other respects, the high priest performed the functions of a priest, but only on new moons and other great feasts, and on such solemn occasions as the dedication of the Temple under Solomon, under Zerubbabel, etc. SEE ATONEMENT, DAY OF.
4. The high priest had a peculiar place in the law of the manslayer, and his taking sanctuary in the cities of refuge. The manslayer might not leave the city of refuge during the lifetime of the existing high-priest who was anointed with the holy oil (Nu 35:25,28). It was also forbidden to the high priest to follow a funeral, or rend his clothes for the dead, according to the precedent in Le 10:6. SEE MANSLAYER.
5. The other respects in which the high-priest exercised superior functions to the other priests arose rather from his position and opportunities than were distinctly attached to his office, and they consequently varied with the personal character and abilities of the high priest. Such were reforms in religion, restorations of the Temple and its service, the preservation of the Temple from intrusion or profanation, taking the lead in ecclesiastical or civil affairs, judging the people, presiding in the Sanhedrim (which, however, he is said by Lightfoot rarely to have done), and other similar transactions, in which we find the high-priest sometimes prominent, sometimes not even mentioned. (See the historical part of this article.) Even that portion of power which most naturally and usually fell to his share, the rule of the Temple; and the government of the priests and Levites who ministered there, did not invariably fall to the share of the high-priest. For the title "Ruler of the House of God," נגַיד בֵּיתאּהָאֵֹלהַים, which usually denotes the high-priest, is sometimes given to those who were not high-priests, as to Pashur, the son of Immer, in Jer 20:1; compare 1Ch 12:27. The Rabbins speak very frequently of one second in dignity to the high priest, whom they call the Sagan, and who often acted in the high-priest's room. He is the same who in the O.T. is called "the second priest" (2Ki 23:4; 2Ki 25:18). They say that Moses was sagan to Aaron. Thus, too, it is explained of Annas and Caiaphas (Lu 3:2) that Annas was sagan. Ananias is also thought by some to have been sagan, acting for the high-priest (Ac 23:2). In like manner they say Zadok and Abiathar were high priest and sagan in the time of David. The sagan is also very frequently called Menmunneh, or prefect of the Temple, and upon him chiefly lay the care and charge of the Temple services (Lightfoot, passin). If the high priest was incapacitated from officiating by any accidental uncleanness, the sagan or vice-high priest took his place. Thus the Jerusalem Talmud tells a story of Simon, son of Kamith, that "on the eve of the day of expiation he went out to speak with the king, and some spittle fell upon his garments and defiled him: therefore Judah his brother went in on the day of expiation, and sent in his stead; and so their mother Kamith saw two of her sons high-priests in one day. She had seven sons, and they all served in the high-priesthood" (Lightfoot, 9:35). It does not appear by whose authority the high-priests were appointed to their office before there were kings of Israel; but, as we find it invariably done by the civil power in later times, it is probable that, in the times preceding the monarchy, it was by the elders, or Sanhedrim. The installation and anointing of the high-priest, or clothing him with the eight garments, which was the formal investiture, is ascribed by Maimonides to the Sanhedrim at all times (Lightfoot, 9:22).
It should be added that the usual age for entering upon the functions of the priesthood, according to 2Ch 31:17, is considered to have been twenty years (by the later Jews thirty, Nu 4:3; 1Ch 23:2), though a priest or high-priest was not actually incapacitated if he had attained to puberty, as appears by the example of Aristobulus, who was high-priest at the age of seventeen. Onias, the son of Simon the Just, could not be high priest, because he was but a child at his father's death. Again, according to Leviticus 21 no one that had a blemish could officiate at the altar. Moses enumerates eleven blemishes, which the Talmud expands into 142. Josephus relates that Antigonus mutilated Hyrcanus's ears, to incapacitate him for being restored to the high priesthood. Illegitimate birth was also a bar to the high priesthood, and the subtlety of Jewish distinctions extended this illegitimacy to being born of a mother who had been taken captive by heathen conquerors (Josephus, c. Apion, 1, 7). Thus Eleazar said to John Hyrcanus (though, Josephus says, falsely) that if he was a just man, he ought to resign the pontificate, because his mother had been a captive, and he was therefore incapacitated. Le 21:13-14, was taken as the ground of this and similar disqualifications. For a full account of this branch of the subject the reader is referred to Selden's learned treatises De Successionibus, etc., and De Success. in Pontif. Ebraeor.; and to Prideaux, 2, 306. It was the universal opinion of the Jews that the deposition of a high priest, which became so common, was unlawful. Joseph. (Ant. 15, 3) says that Antiochus Epiphanes was the first who did this, when he deposed Jesus or Jason; Aristobulus, who deposed his brother Hyrcanus the Second; and Herod, who took away the high-priesthood from Ananelus to give it to Aristobulus the Third. See the story of Jonathan, son of Ananus, Ant. 19, 6, 4.
II. The theological view of the high priesthood will be treated under the head of PRIEST. It must suffice here to indicate the consideration of the office, dress, functions, and ministrations of the high priest, as typical of the priesthood of our Lord Jesus Christ, and as setting forth under shadows the truths which are openly taught under the Gospel. This has been done to a great extent in the Epistle to the Hebrews, and is occasionally done in other parts of Scripture, as Re 1:13, where the ποδήρης, and the girdle about the paps, are distinctly the robe, and the curious girdle of the ephod, characteristic of the high-priest. It also embraces all the moral and spiritual teaching supposed to be intended by such symbols. Philo (De vita Mosis), Origen (Homnil. in Levit.), Eusebius (Denzonst. Evang. lib. 3), Epiphanius (cont. Melchized. 4, etc.), Gregory Nazianzen (Orat. 1, Eliae Cretens. and Comment. p. 195), Augustine (Quaest. in Exodus), may be cited among many others of the ancients who have more or less thus treated the subject. Of moderns, Bahr (Symbolik des Mosaischen Cultus), Fairbairn (Typology of Script.), Kalisch (Comment. on Exodus), have
III. The history of the high-priests embraces a period of about 1727 years, according to the opinion of the best chronologers, and a succession of about 83 high-priests, beginning with Aaron, and ending with Phannias. "The number of all the high-priests (says Josephus, Ant. 20,: 10) from Aaron… until Phanas… was 83," where he gives a comprehensive account of them. They naturally arrange themselves into three groups —
(a.) those before David;
(b.) those from David to the Captivity;
(c.) those from the return from the Babylonian captivity till the cessation of the office at the destruction of Jerusalem.
The two former have come down to us in the canonical books of Scripture, and so have a few of the earliest and the latest of the latter; but for by far the larger portion of the latter group we have only the authority of Josephus, the Talmud, and occasioned notices in profane writers.
(a.) The high priests of the first group who are distinctly made known to us as such are,
1. Aaron; 2. Eleazar; 3. Phinehas; 4. Eli; 5. Ahitub (1Ch 9:11; Ne 11:11; 1Sa 14:3); 6. Ahiah; 7. Ahimelech. Phinehas, the son of Eli, and father of Ahitub, died before his father, and so was not high-priest.
Of the above the first three. succeeded in regular order, Nadab and Abihu, Aaron's eldest sons, having died in the wilderness (Leviticus 10). But Eli, the 4th, was of the line of Ithamar. What was the exact interval between the death of Phinehas and the accession of Eli, what led to the transference of the chief priesthood from the line of Eleazar to that of Ithamar, and whether any or which of the descendants of Eleazar between Phinehas and Zadok (seven in number, viz. Abishua, Bukki, Uzzi, Zerahiah, Meraioth, Amariah, Ahitub), were high-priests, we have no positive means of determining from Scripture. Jg 20:28 leaves Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, priest at Shiloh, and 1Sa 1:3,9 finds Eli high priest there, with two grown-up sons priests under him. The only clew is to be found in the genealogies, by which it appears that Phinehas was 6th in succession from Levi, while Eli, supposing him to be the same generation as Samuel's grandfather, would be 10th. Josephus asserts (Ant. 8, 1, 3) that the father of Bukki-whom he calls Joseph, and (Ant. 5, 11, 5) Abiezer, i.e. Abishua- was the last high priest of Phinehas's line before Zadok. This is a doubtful tradition, since Josephus does not adhere to it in the above passage of his 5th book, where he makes Bukki and Uzzi to have been both high priests, and Eli to have succeeded Uzzi; or in book 20:10, where he reckons the high-priests before Zadok and Solomon to have been thirteen (a reckoning which includes apparently all Eleazar's descendants down to Ahitub), and adds Eli and his son Phinehas, and Abiathar, whom he calls Eli's grandson. If the last of Abishua's line died leaving a son or grandson under age, Eli, as the head of the line of Ithamar, might have become high priest as a matter of course, or he might have been appointed by the elders. His having judged Israel 40 years (1Sa 4:18) marks him as a man of ability. If Ahiah and Ahimelech are not variations of the name of the same person, they must have been brothers, since both were sons of Ahitub. Of the high priests, then, before David's reign, seven are said in Scripture to have been high priests, and one by Josephus alone. The bearing of this on the chronology of the times from the Exodus to David is too important to be passed over in silence. As in the parallel list of the ancestors of David (q.v.), we are compelled by the chronology to count as incumbents of the office in regular order the four others who are only named in Scripture as lineal descendants of the pontifical family. The comparative oversight of these incumbents receives an explanation from the nature of the times. It must also be noted that the tabernacle of God, during the high-priesthood of Aaron's successors of this first group, was pitched at Shiloh in the tribe of Ephraim, a fact that marks the strong influence which the temporal power already had in ecclesiastical affairs, since Ephraim was Joshua's tribe, as Judah was David's (Jos 24:30,33; Jg 20:27-28; Jg 21:21; 1Sa 1:3,9,24; 1Sa 4:3-4; 1Sa 14:3, etc.; Ps 78:60). This strong influence and interference of the secular power is manifest throughout the subsequent history. This first period was also marked by the calamity which befell the high-priests as the guardians of the ark, in its capture by the Philistines. This probably suspended all inquiries by Urim and Thummim, which were made before the ark (1Ch 13:3; comp. Jg 20:27; 1Sa 7:2; 1Sa 14:18), and must have greatly diminished the influence of the high-priests, on whom the largest share of the humiliation expressed in the name Ichabod would naturally fall. The rise of Samuel as a prophet at this very time, and his paramount influence and importance in the state, to the entire eclipsing of Ahiah the priest, coincides remarkably with the absence of the ark, and the means of inquiring by Urim and Thummim.
(b.) Passing to the second group, we begin with the unexplained circumstance of there being two priests in the reign of David, apparently of nearly equal authority, viz. Zadok and Abiathar (1Ch 15:11; 2Sa 8:17). Indeed it is only from the deposition of Abiathar, and the placing of Zadok in his room by Solomon (1Ki 2:35), that we learn certainly that Abiathar was the high-priest, and Zadok the second. Zadok was son of Ahitub, of the line of Eleazar (1Ch 6:8), and the first mention of him is in 1Ch 12:28, as "a young man, mighty in valor," who joined David in Hebron after Saul's death, with 22 captains of his father's house. It is therefore not unlikely that after the death of Ahimelech. and the secession of Abiathar to David, Saul may have made Zadok priest, as far as it was possible for him to do so in the absence of the ark and the high-priest's robes, and that David may have avoided the difficult of deciding between the claims of his faithful friend Abiathar and his new and important ally Zadok (who, perhaps, was the means of attaching to David's cause the 4600 Levites and the 3700 priests that came under Jehoiada their captain, ver. 26,27). by appointing them to a joint priesthood: the first place, with the ephod, and Urim and Thummim, remaining with Abiathar, who was in actual possession of them. Certain it is that from this time Zadok and Abiathar are constantly named together, and, singularly, Zadok always first, both in the book of Samuel and that of Kings. We can, however, trace very clearly up to a certain point the division of the priestly offices and dignities between them, coinciding as it did with the divided state of the Levitical worship in David's time. For we learn from 1Ch 16:1-7,37, compared with 39, 40, and yet more distinctly from 2Ch 1:3-5, that the tabernacle and the brazen altar made by Moses and Bezaleel in the wilderness were at this time at Gibeon, while the ark was at Jerusalem, in the separate tent made for it by David. SEE GIBEON. Now Zadok the priest and his brethren the priests were left "before the tabernacle at Gibeoin" to offer burnt offerings unto the Lord morning and evening, and to do according to all that is written in the law of the Lord (1Ch 16:39-40). It is therefore obvious to conclude that Abiathar had special charge of the ark and the services connected with it, which agrees exactly with the possession of the ephod by Abiathar, and his previous position with David before he became king of Israel, as well as with what we are told 1Ch 27:34, that Jehoiada and Abiathar were the king's counselors next to Ahithophel. Residence at Jerusalem with the ark, and the privilege of inquiring of the Lord before the ark, both well suit his office of counselor. Abiathar, however, forfeited his place by taking part with Adonijah against Solomon, and Zadok was made high priest in his place. The pontificate was thus again consolidated and transferred permanently from the line of Ithamar to that of Eleazar. This is the only instance recorded of the deposition of a high-priest (which became common in later times, especially under Herod and the Romans) during this second period. It was the fulfillment of the prophetic denunciations of the sin of Eli's sons (1Sa 2; 1Sa 3).
Another considerable difficulty that meets us in the historical survey of the high-priests of the second group is to ascertain who was high-priest at the dedication of Solomon's Temple: Josephus (Ant. 10, 8, 6) asserts that Zadok was, and the Seder Olam makes him the high priest in the reign of Solomon. Otherwise we might deem it very improbable that Zadok, who must have been very old at Solomon's accession (being David's contemporary), should have lived to the 11th year of his reign; and, moreover, 1Ki 4:2 distinctly asserts that Azariah, the son of Zadok, was priest under Solomon; and 1Ch 6:10 tells us of an Azariah, grandson of the former, "he it is that executed the priest's office in the Temple that Solomon built in Jerusalem," as if meaning at its first completion. If, however, either of these Azariahs (if two) was the first high-priest of Solomon's Temple, the non-mention of him in the account of the dedication of the Temple, where one would most have expected it (as 1Ki 8:3,6,10-11,62; 2Ch 5; 2Ch 7; 2Ch 11, etc.), and the prominence given to Solomon-the civil power-would be certainly remarkable. Compare also 2Ch 8:14-15.
In constructing the list of the succession of priests of this group, our method must be to compare the genealogical list in 1Ch 6:8-15 (A.V.) with the notices of high-priests in the sacred history, and with the list given by Josephus, who, it must be remembered, had access to the lists preserved in the archives at Jerusalem, testing the whole by the application of the ordinary rules of genealogical succession. Now, as regards the genealogy, it is seen at once that there is something defective; for whereas from David to Jechoniah there are 20 kings, froth Zadok to Jehozadak there are but 13 priests. Moreover, the passage in question is not a list of high priests, but the pedigree of Jehozadak. Then, again, while the pedigree in its first six generations from Zadok inclusive seems at first sight exactly to suit the history-for it makes Amariah the sixth priest, while the history (2Ch 19:11) tells us he lived in Jehoshaphat's reign, who was the sixth king from David, inclusive; and while the same pedigree in its last five generations also seems to suit the history-inasmuch as it places Hilkiah, the son of Shallum, fourth from the end, and the history tells us he lived in the reign of Josiah, the fourth king from the end-yet is there certainly at least one great gap in the middle. For between Amariah, the high priest in Jehoshaphat's reign, and Shallum, the father of Hilkiah, the high-priest in Josiah's reign-an interval of about 240 years-there are but two names. Ahitub and Zadok, and these liable to suspicion from their reproducing the same sequence which occurs in the earlier part of the same genealogy-Amariah, Ahitub, Zadok. Besides, they are not mentioned by Josephus, at least not under the same names. This part, therefore, of the pedigree is useless for our purpose. But the historical books supply us with four or five names for this interval, viz. Jehoiada, in the reigns of Athaliah and Joash, and probably still earlier; Zechariah, his son; Azariah, in the reign of Uzziah; Urijah, in the reign of Ahaz; and Azariah, in the reign of Hezekiah. If, in the genealogy-of 1 Chronicles 6, Azariah and Hilkiah have been accidental transposed, as is not impossible, then the Azariah who was high-priest if Hezekiah's reign would be the Azariah of 1Ch 6:13-14. Putting the additional historical names at four, and deducting the two suspicious names from the genealogy, we have 15 high-priests indicated in Scripture as contemporary with the 20 kings, with room, however, for one or two more in the history. Turning to Josephus, we find his list of 17 high-priests (whom he reckons as 18 [Ant. 20, 10], as do also the Rabbins) in places exceedingly corrupt, a corruption sometimes caused by the end of one name adhering to the beginning of the following (as in Axioramus), sometimes apparently by substituting the name of the contemporary king or prophet for that of the high-priest, as Joel and Jotham (both these, however, confirmed by the Rabbinical list). Perhaps, however, Sudeas, who corresponds to Zedekiah, in the reign of Amaziah, in the Seder Olam, and Odeas, who corresponds to Hoshaiah, in the reign of Manasseh, according to the same Jewish chronicle, may really represent high priests whose names have not been preserved in Scripture. This would bring up the number to 17, or, if we retain Azariah as the father of Seraiah, to 18, which, with the addition of Joel and Jotham, finally agrees with the 20 kings.
Reviewing the high priests of this second group, the following are some of the most remarkable incidents:
(1.) The transfer of the seat of worship from Shiloh, in the tribe of Ephraim, to Jerusalem, in the tribe of Judah, effected by David, and consolidated by the building of the magnificent Temple of Solomon.
(2.) The organization of the Temple service under the high-priests, and the division of the priests and Levites into courses, who resided at the Temple during their term of service all which necessarily put great power into the hands of an able high-priest.
(3.) The revolt of the ten tribes from the dynasty of David, and from the worship at Jerusalem, and the setting up of a schismatical priesthood at Dan and Beersheba (1Ki 12:31; 2Ch 13:9, etc.).
(4.) The overthrow of the usurpation of Athaliah, the daughter of Ahab, by Jehoiada the high-priest, 'whose near relationship to king Joash, added to his zeal against the idolatries of the house of Ahab, stimulated him to head the revolution with the force of priests and Levites at his command.
(5.) The boldness and success with which the high-priest Azariah withstood the encroachments of the king Uzziah upon the office and functions of the priesthood.
(6.) The repair of the Temple by Jehoiada, in the reign of Joash; the restoration of the Temple services by Azariah in the reign of Hezekiah; and the discovery of the book of the law, and the religious reformation by Hilkiah in the reign of Josiah. SEE HILKIAH.
(7.) In all these great religious movements, however, excepting the one headed by Jehoiada, it is remarkable how the civil power took the lead. It was David who arranged all the Temple service, Solomon who directed the building and dedication of the Temple, the high-priest being not so much as named; Jehoshaphat who sent the priests about to teach the people, and assigned to the high-priest Amariah his share in the work; Hezekiah who headed the reformation, and urged on Azariah and the priests and Levites;
Josiah who encouraged the priests in the service of the house of the Lord. On the other hand, we read of no opposition to the idolatries of Manasseh by the high priest, and we know how shamefully subservient Urijak the high-priest was to king Ahaz, actually building an altar according to the pattern of one at Damascus, to displace the brazen altar, and joining the king in his profane worship before it (2 Kings- 16:10-16). The preponderance of the civil over the ecclesiastical power, as a historical fact, in the kingdom of Judah, although kept within bounds by the hereditary succession of the high-priests, seems to be proved from these circumstances.
The high-priests of this series ended with Seraiah, who was taken prisoner by Nebuzar-adan, and slain at Riblah by Nebuchadnezzar, together with Zephaniah, the second priest or sagan, after the burning of the Temple and the plunder of all the sacred vessels (2Ki 25:18). His son Jehozadak or Josedech was at the same time carried away captive (1Ch 6:15).
The time occupied by these (say) eighteen high priests who ministered at Jerusalem between the times of David and the exile was about 424 years, which gives an average of something more than twenty-three years to each high-priest. It is remarkable that not a single instance is recorded after the time of David of an inquiry by Urim and Thummim as a means of ascertaining the Lord's will. The ministry of the prophets seems to have. superseded that of the high-priests (see e.g. 2Ch 15; 2Ch 18; 2Ch 20:14-15; 2Ki 19:1-2; 2Ki 22:12-14; Jer 21:1-2). Some think that Urim and Thummim ceased with the theocracy; others with the division of Israel into two kingdoms. Nehemiah seems to have expected the restoration of it (Ne 7:65), and so perhaps did Judas Maccabaeus (1 Macc. 4:46; comp. 14:41), while Josephus affirms that it had been exercised for the last time 200 years before he wrote, viz. by John Hyrcanus (Whiston, note on Ant. 3:8; Prideaux, Connect. 1, 150,151). It seems, therefore, scarcely true to reckon Urim and Thummim as one of the marks of God's presence with Solomon's Temple which was wanting to the second Temple (Prid. 1, 138,144, sq.). This early cessation of answers by Urim and Thummim, though the high-priest's office and the wearing of the breastplate continued in force during so many centuries, seems to confirm the notion that such answers were not the fundamental, but only the accessory uses of the breastplate of judgment.
(c.) An interval of about fifty-three years elapsed between the high-priests of the second and third group, during which there was neither temple, nor altar, nor ark, nor priest. Jehozadak, or Josedech, as it is written in Haggai (Hag 1:1,14, etc.), who should have succeeded Seraiah, lived and died a captive at Babylon. The pontifical office revived in his son Jeshua, of whom such frequent mention is made in Ezra and Nehemiah, Haggai and Zechariah, 1 Esdr. and Ecclus.; and he therefore stands at the head of this third and last series, honorably distinguished for his zealous co-operation with Zerubbabel in rebuilding the Temple and restoring the dilapidated commonwealth of Israel His successors, as far as the O.T. guides us, were Joiakim, Eliashib, Joiada, Johanan (or Jonathan), and Jaddua. Of these we find Eliashib hindering rather than seconding the zeal of the devout Tirshatha Nehemiah for the observance of God's law in Israel (Ne 13:4,7); and Johanan, Josephus tells us, murdered his own brother Jesus or Joshua in the Temple, which led to its further profanation by Bagoses, the general of Artaxerxes Mnemon's army (Ant. 11:7). Jaddua was high-priest in the time of Alexander the Great. Concerning him, Josephus relates the story that he went out to meet Alexander at Sapha (probably the ancient Mizpeh) at the head of a procession of priests; and that when Alexander saw the multitude clothed in white, and the priests in their linen garments, and the high-priest in blue and gold, with the miter on his head, and the gold plate, on which was the name of God, he stepped forward alone and adored the Name, and hastened to embrace the high- priest (Ant. 11, 8, 5). Josephus adds many other particulars in the same connection; and the narrative, though sometimes disputed as savoring of the apocryphal, derives support from the circumstances of the times, especially the leniency of Alexander toward the Jews. SEE ALEXANDER THE GREAT. It was the brother of this Jaddua. Manasseh, who, according to the same authority, was, at the request of Sanballat, made the first high priest of the Samaritan temple by Alexander the Great. (See on this whole period, Herzfeld, Gesch. d. Volkes Israel, 1865, 1, 368 sq.)
Jaddua was succeeded by Onias I, his son, and he again by Simon the Just, the last of the men of the great synagogue, as the Jews speak, and to whom is usually ascribed the completion of the Canon of the O.T. (Prid. Connect. 1, 545). Of him Jesus, the son of Sirach, speaks in terms of most glowing eulogy in Ecclus. 1, ascribing to him the repair and fortification of the Temple, with other works. The passage (1-21) contains an interesting account of the ministrations of the high priest. Upon Simon's death, his son Onias being under age, Eleazar, Simon's brother, succeeded him. The high priesthood of Eleazar is memorable as being that under which the Sept. version of the Scriptures is said to have been made at Alexandria for Ptolemy Philadelphus, according to the account of Josephus taken from Aristeas (Ant. 12, 2). This translation of the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek, valuable as it was with reference to the wider interests of religion, and marked as was the providence which gave it to the world at this time as a preparation for the approaching advent of Christ, yet, viewed in its relation to Judaism and the high-priesthood, was a sign, and perhaps a helping cause of their decay. It marked a growing tendency to Hellenism utterly inconsistent with the spirit of the Mosaic economy. Accordingly, in the high-priesthood of Eleazar's rival nephews, Jesus and Onias, we find their very names changed into the Greek ones of Jason and Meenelaus, and with the introduction of this new feature of rival high-priests we find one of them, Menelaus, strengthening himself and seeking support from the Syro- Greek kings against the Jewish party by offering to forsake their national laws and customs, and to adopt those of the Greeks. The building of a gymnasium at-Jerusalem for the use of these apostate Jews, and their endeavor to conceal their circumcision when stripped for the games (1 Macc. 1, 14,15; 2 Macc. 4, 12-15; Joseph. Ant. 12, 5, 1), show the length to which this spirit was carried. The acceptance of the spurious priesthood of the temple of Onion from Ptolemy Philometor by Onias (the son of Onias the high priest), who would have been the legitimate high priest on the death of Menelaus, his uncle, is another striking indication of the same degeneracy. By this flight of Onias into Egypt the succession of high- priests in the family of Jozadak ceased; for although the Syro-Greek kings had introduced much uncertainty into the succession, by deposing at their will obnoxious persons, and appointing whom they pleased, yet the dignity had never gone out of the one family. Alcimus, whose Hebrew name was Jakim (1Ch 24:12), or perhaps Jachin (1Ch 9:10; 1Ch 24:17), or, according to Ruffinus (ap. Selden), Joachim, and who was made high-priest by Antiochus Eupator on Menelaus being put to death by him, was the first who was of a different family. One, says Josephus, that "was indeed of the stock of Aaron, but not of this family" of Jozadak.
What, however, for a time saved the Jewish institutions, infused a new life and consistency into the priesthood and the national religion, and enabled them to fulfill their destined course till the advent of Christ, was the cruel and impolitic persecution of Antiochus Epiphanes. This thoroughly aroused the piety and national spirit of the Jews, and drew together in defense of their Temple and country all who feared God and were attached to their national institutions. The result was that after the high priesthood had been brought to the lowest degradation by the apostasy and crimes of the last Onias or Menelaus, and after a vacancy of seven years had followed the brief pontificate of Alcimus, his no less infamous successor. a new and glorious succession of high-priests arose in the Asmonsean family, who united the dignity of civil rulers, and for a time of independent sovereigns, to that of the high-priesthood. Josephus, who is followed by Lightfoot, Selden, and others, calls Judas Maccabneus "high-priest of the nation of Judah" (Ant. 12, 10, 6), but, according to the far better authority of 1 Macc. 10:20, it was not till after the death of Judas Maccabmeus that Alcimus himself died, and that Alexander, king of Syria, made Jonathan, the brother of Judas, high-priest. Josephus himself, too, calls Jonathan the "first of the sons of Asmonaeus, who was high-priest" (Life, 1). It is possible, however, that Judas may have been-elected by the people to the office of high-priest, though never confirmed in it by the Syrian kings. The Asmonoean family were priests of the course of Joiarib, the first of the twenty-four courses (1Ch 24:7), whose return from captivity is recorded 1Ch 9:10; Ne 11:10. They were probably of the house of Eleazar, though this cannot be affirmed with certainty; and Josephus tells us that he himself was related to them, one of his ancestors having married a daughter of Jonathan, the first high priest of the house. The Asmonaean dynasty lasted from B.C. 153 till the family was damaged by intestine divisions, and then destroyed by Herod the Great. Aristobulus, the last high priest of his line, brother of Mariamne, was murdered by order of Herod, his brother-in-law, B.C. 35. The independence of Judaea, under the priest-kings of this race, had lasted till Pompey took Jerusalem, and sent king Aristobulus II (who had also taken the high-priesthood from his brother Hyrcanus) a prisoner to Rome. Pompey restored Hyrcanus to the high-priesthood, but forbad him to wear the diadem. Everything Jewish was now, however, hastening to decay. Herod made men of low birth high priests, deposed them at his will, and named others in their room. In this he was followed by Archelaus, and by the Romans when they took the government of Judaea into their own hands; so that there were no fewer than twenty-eight high-priests from the reign of Herod to the destruction of the Temple by Titus, a period of 107 years. (Josephus tells us of one Ananus and his five sons who all filled the office of high-priest in turn. One of these, Ananus the younger, was deposed by king Agrippa for the part he took in causing "James, the brother of Jesus who was called Christ," to be stoned [Ant. 20, 9,.1].) The N.T. introduces us to some of these later and oft-changing high-priests, viz. Annas and Caiaphas the former high-priest at the commencement of John Baptist's ministry, with Caiaphas as second priest; and the latter high-priest himself at our Lord's crucifixion (see Sommel, De Anna et Caiapha, Lund. 1772) — and Ananias (erroneously thought to be the Ananus who was murdered by the Zealots just before the siege of Jerusalem), before whom Paul was tried, as we read Acts 23, and of whom he said, "God shall smite thee, thou whited wall." The same Caiaphas was the high-priest from whom Saul received letters to the synagogue at Damascus (Ac 9:1,14). Both he and Ananias seem certainly to have presided in the Sanhedrim, and that officially; nor is Lightfoot's explanation (8, 450 and 484) of the mention of the high-priest, though Gamaliel and his son Simeon were respectively presidents of the Sanhedrim, at all probable or satisfactory (see Ac 5:17,.etc.). The last high-priest was appointed by lot by the Zealots from the course of priests called by Josephus Eniachim (probably a corrupt reading for Jachim). He is thus described, by the Jewish historian. "His name was Phannias: he was the son of Samuel, of the village of Aphtha, a man not only not of the number of the chief priests, but who, such a mere rustic was he, scarcely knew what the high-priesthood meant. Yet did they drag him reluctant from the country, and, setting him forth in a borrowed character as on the stage, they put the sacred vestments on him, and instructed him how to act on the occasion. This shocking impiety, which to them was a subject of merriment and sport, drew tears from the other priests, who beheld from a distance their law turned into ridicule, and groaned over the subversion of the sacred honors" (War, 4, 3, 8). Thus ignominiously ended the series of high-priests which had stretched in a scarcely broken line through more than seventeen, or, according to the common chronology, sixteen centuries. The Egyptian, Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian, Grecian, and Roman empires, which the Jewish high-priests had seen in turn overshadowing the world, had each, except the last, one by one withered away and died-and now the last successor of Aaron was stripped of his sacerdotal robes, and the temple which he served laid level with the ground, to rise no more. But this did not happen till the true High-priest and King of Israel, the Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord pitched, and not man, had offered his one sacrifice, once for all, and had taken his place at the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens, bearing on his breast the judgment of his redeemed people, and continuing a Priest forever, in the sanctuary which shall never be taken down!
Annexed is a list of the high priests from Aaron to the final overthrow of Jerusalem, derived from the Scriptures, Josephus, and an old Jewish chronicle, the Seder Olam. Details may be found under their respective names. Picture for High Priest 9 Picture for High Priest 10