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

By Deborah W. Rooke | Go to book overview

2 High Priesthood in the Deuteronomistic History

The history books Joshua to 2 Kings are the main biblical source for the history of Israel from the possession and settlement of the land to the end of the monarchy under Babylonian conquest in 587 bce. The books are usually referred to collectively as the Deuteronomistic History (hereafter DH) because their general outlook accords with the theology of the book of Deuteronomy, most characteristically in their support of the demand for centralized worship as expressed in Deut. 12: 2-14. Since an organized, centralized system of worship is the context in which high priesthood would most naturally appear, and given the close connection already noted in the Priestly writings between the high priest and the Tabernacle which for P is Israel's sole legitimate place of worship, 1 the Deuteronomist's concern for the Temple as the nation's sole valid place of worship makes DH seem a natural source to explore for information or at least hints about the high priesthood.

Although in the wake of the Pentateuchal Documentary Hypothesis early analyses sought to treat Joshua-2 Kings as a continuation of the Pentateuchal sources, 2 it was Noth who first claimed that they formed a unified work, put together quite purposefully by a single author using very varied source materials but with the overriding aim of interpreting the history of Israel from settlement to the Babylonian exile in the light of the principles enumerated in the book of Deuteronomy. 3 However, others considered that certain passages in the work were inconsistent with the idea of a single author or redaction, and so the 'double redaction' theory grew out of suggestions made by nineteenth-century scholarship. According to the theory, DH was originally a piece of

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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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