Zadok's Heirs: The Role and Development of the High Priesthood in Ancient Israel

By Deborah W. Rooke | Go to book overview

10 The Hidden Years: High Priesthood Under the Ptolemies

This fourth and final stage of the investigation of high priesthood consists of an examination of the sources for the Hellenistic period from Alexander to Pompey. In terms of events in Judah, the Hellenistic period falls into three main divisions: from the Macedonian conquest to the end of Ptolemaic rule (332-200 bce); from the Seleucid conquest of Judah to the end of the Maccabean rebellion as described in 1 Maccabees (198-134 bce); and from the establishment of the Hasmonean dynasty to the Roman conquest of Judah (134-63 bce). This chapter will begin the examination of the Hellenistic period with a discussion of what is one of the most poorly documented segments in Judaean history, namely the Macedonian and Ptolemaic periods, which together run from Alexander's conquest to the end of Ptolemaic rule in Palestine. The period as a whole falls into two sections. The first section, from 332 to 301 bce, was effectively a time of transition from Persian to Greek rule, and for these years the sources consist of some of the later Yehud coins and an account of the Jewish constitution which was written by the Greek historian Hecataeus of Abdera, quoted by Diodorus Siculus (first century bce), and has been preserved via the preservation of Diodorus' quotation in the Bibliotheca of Photius (ninth century ce). No contemporary Jewish literary evidence is extant. The second section consists of the time from the establishment of Ptolemaic rule in 301 bce to Seleucid conquest in 200 bce, and here again the source material is meagre. Josephus' coverage of the period is uneven, and the sources which supplement his account in any relevant fashion for present purposes are scanty. For the time of Ptolemy II Philadelphus (283-246 bce) there are a number of Egyptian papyri including those known as the Zeno papyri, which provide information on the general administrative machinery of the Ptolemaic empire with one or two

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Zadok's Heirs: The Role and Development of the High Priesthood in Ancient Israel
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Oxford Theological Monographs ii
  • Zadok's Heirs iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents ix
  • Abbreviations xi
  • Introduction 1
  • Part I Towards an Understanding of High Priesthood 9
  • 1: High Priesthood According to the Priestly Writer 11
  • Part II High Priesthood to the End of the Exile 41
  • 2: High Priesthood in the Deuteronomistic History 43
  • 3: Mysterious Melchizedek 80
  • 4: Ezekiel: A Vision of Hierocracy? 104
  • Part III High Priesthood in the Persian Period 123
  • 5: High-Priestly Power in Haggai and Zechariah 1-8 125
  • 6: Ezra and Nehemiah 152
  • 7: The Elephantine Papyri 175
  • 8: High Priesthood in the Books of Chronicles 184
  • 9: After the Canon 219
  • Part IV High Priesthood from Alexander to Pompey 241
  • 10: The Hidden Years 243
  • 11: The Maccabean Conquest 266
  • 12: The Hasmonean Dynasty 303
  • Conclusion 328
  • Bibliography 331
  • Index of Textual References 354
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