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

By Deborah W. Rooke | Go to book overview

11 The Maccabean Conquest: Jonathan and Simon the Maccabees

After the obscurity of the Ptolemaic period it is something of a relief to move on to the Seleucid period for which there is a good deal more documentation and where the high priesthood occurs quite frequently. In fact, two of the main sources for the period document the end of the Zadokite high priesthood and the rise of a new family of high priests into the chaos left by the Jews' encounter with Antiochus IV Epiphanes. These sources are, of course, the first and second books of the Maccabees, which together with Josephus provide quite a detailed account of the Hasmonean dynasty of priestly warrior kings 1 —although naturally the detail does not preclude the need for interpretation, and there are questions which remain difficult to answer satisfactorily. The historicity of 1 Maccabees is generally highly regarded, 2 although its detailed narrative is limited, beginning in chapter 2 with Mattathias' resistance to Antiochus' anti-Jewish decrees and concentrating on Judas, Jonathan, and Simon. It contains nothing about the later Hasmoneans, for which it is necessary to look to Josephus, nor is there any detail about the intrigues involving the high priesthood which took place before the beginning of the resistance movement, for which 2 Maccabees is the most important source. 1 Maccabees is effectively a piece of apologetic

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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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