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Zadok's HeirsThe Role and Development of the High Priesthood in Ancient Israel$
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Deborah W. Rooke

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198269984

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198269986.001.0001

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High Priesthood in the Deuteronomistic History

High Priesthood in the Deuteronomistic History

(p.43) 2 High Priesthood in the Deuteronomistic History
Zadok's Heirs

Deborah W. Rooke (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Explores the evidence of the Deuteronomistic History for high priests in Israel between the periods of settlement and exile. After a brief discussion of the references to Eleazar and Phinehas in Joshua and Judges, the material in Samuel‐Kings is treated in four phases: pre‐monarchic priests (Eli, Ahijah, Ahimelech), priests serving during the emergence of the united monarchy (Abiathar, Zadok, Azariah), chief priests during the divided monarchy (Jehoiada, Uriah), and chief priests after the fall of Samaria (Hilkiah, Seraiah). The sources indicate that, even allowing for the greater‐than‐average prestige of the chief priest at the Jerusalem Temple, none of the priests was anything more than a locally based cultic functionary. This scenario is compatible with the absence of any meaningful centralization of worship during the pre‐exilic period, and with the later position of the monarch as religious and political head of the nation.

Keywords:   chief priests during the monarchy, Deuteronomistic History, pre‐monarchic chief priests, Zadok

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