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

By Deborah W. Rooke | Go to book overview

9 After the Canon: The Later Persian Period

So far, this study of the high priesthood has been based almost exclusively upon biblical material, since the periods in question are reasonably well documented in the canon and the high priest appears in the material relatively frequently, although by no means as frequently as might have been expected. However, when it comes to the later Persian period, and subsequently to the Greek period, there is a difficulty. Even assuming that the books of Chronicles date from some time in the fourth century bce, there is a large gap in the canonical sources between the later Persian period and the Maccabean period, 1 and although it is highly likely that some of the non-historical material such as Ecclesiastes dates from these years, there is nothing in the way of historical narrative for the period. It is true that the list of high priests in Neh. 12: 10-11 is presumably supposed to reach down to the end of the Persian period; 2 but apart from Chr.'s suggestively anachronistic portrayal of the pre-exilic period there is no material in narrative form for the period between the mid-Persian and the Seleucid eras. The narrative part of the book of Nehemiah ends with Nehemiah's second term of office in Judah, so that the events which it describes would be no later than the end of the fifth century bce, whilst at the other end of the chronological divide 1 and 2 Maccabees do not begin their accounts until early in the second century bce. I Maccabees gives a cursory description of the rise and death 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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