(Ithʹa·mar) [possibly, Father (or, Brother) of the Palm Tree].
The fourth listed of Aaron’s sons. (Ex 6:23; Nu 26:60; 1Ch 6:3) After having supervised the inventory of tabernacle materials, Ithamar, with his father and brothers, was installed as a priest in the ceremony detailed at Exodus 29. (Ex 28:1; 38:21; 40:12-15) When his two older brothers, Nadab and Abihu, were later executed for offering “illegitimate fire,” Ithamar and his third brother Eleazar were told not to mourn for them. Later, Ithamar and Eleazar received a greater portion of priestly duties as Jehovah progressively outlined these. (Le 10:1-20) Ithamar was made overseer of the various tabernacle services performed by the Gershonites and Merarites.—Nu 3:2-4; 4:28, 33; 7:8.
Ithamar’s descendants continued as priests, and during the reigns of Saul, David, and Solomon, members of the house of Ithamar’s descendant Eli temporarily officiated as high priest. When David organized the temple service, 8 of the 24 priestly divisions were of the house of Ithamar. (1Ch 24:1-6; 1Sa 14:3; 22:9; see HIGH PRIEST.) Sons of Ithamar were also enrolled among the paternal houses of Israel after the Babylonian exile.—Ezr 8:2.