[Heb., hak-ko·henʹ, hag-ga·dhohlʹ, “the great priest”; Gr., ar·khi·e·reusʹ, “a chief priest, the high priest”].
The Bible also uses various terms to designate the high priest, namely, “the priest, the anointed one” (Lev. 4:3; “the head” (2 Chron. 24:6), or, simply, “the priest.” (2 Chron. 26:17) In the latter case the context often makes clear that the high priest is meant. In the Christian Greek Scriptures, “chief priests” is evidently used to denote the principal men of the priesthood, which might include any ex-high priests who had been deposed and possibly, in addition, the heads of the twenty-four priestly divisions.—Matt. 2:4; Mark 8:31.
In harmony with the rule, “A man takes this honor, not of his own accord, but only when he is called by God,” the appointment of Aaron, Israel’s first high priest, was from God. (Heb. 5:4) The high priesthood of Israel was inaugurated in Aaron and passed down from father to oldest son, unless that son died or was disqualified, as in the case of Aaron’s two oldest sons, who sinned against Jehovah and died. (Lev. 10:1, 2) King Solomon deposed a high priest in fulfillment of divine prophecy and put another qualified man of the line of Aaron in his place. (1 Ki. 2:26, 27, 35) Later on, when the nation was under Gentile rule, those Gentile rulers removed and appointed high priests according to their will. It seems, nonetheless, that the line of Aaron was quite well adhered to throughout the entire history of the nation down till Jerusalem’s destruction in 70 C.E., although there may have been exceptions, such as Menelaus, also called Onias (see Antiquities of the Jews, Book XII, chap. V, par. 1), whom 2 Maccabees 3:4, 5 and 4:23 calls a Benjamite.
QUALIFICATIONS AND REQUIREMENTS FOR OFFICE
In harmony with the dignity of the office, the high priest’s closeness to Jehovah in representing the nation before Him, and also because of the typical significance of the office, the requirements were rigid.
A list of disqualifying physical blemishes for all priests is set forth at Leviticus 21:16-23. Additional restrictions were placed on the high priest: He was to marry none other than a virgin of Israel; he was not to marry a widow. (Lev. 21:13-15) Furthermore, he was not allowed to defile himself for the dead, that is, to touch any human corpse, even that of his father or his mother, thereby becoming unclean. Neither was he to let his hair go ungroomed or tear his garments for the dead.—Lev. 21:10-12.
The Bible does not specifically state the age of eligibility for high priest. While it gives a retirement age of fifty years for Levites, it does not mention any retirement for priests, and its record indicates that the high priest’s was a lifetime appointment. (Num. 8:24, 25) Aaron was eighty-three years old when he went with Moses before Pharaoh. His anointing as high priest apparently took place in the following year. (Ex. 7:7) He was around 120 years of age at the time of his death. During all this time he served, with no retirement. (Num. 20:28; 33:39) The provision of the cities of refuge takes note of the lifetime tenure of the high priest, in requiring that the unintentional manslayer remain in the city until the death of the high priest.—Num. 35:25.
Some indication of the office Jehovah had in mind for Aaron is seen in privileges given him soon after the exodus from Egypt. In the wilderness on the way to Sinai, Aaron was the one commanded to take a jar of manna and to deposit it before the Testimony as something to be kept. This was before the tent of meeting or the ark of the covenant was yet in existence. (Ex. 16:33, 34) Later, Aaron came to be the one in full charge of the sacred tent and its Ark. Aaron and two of his sons, with seventy of the older men of Israel, were specifically named as privileged to approach Mount Horeb, where they saw a vision of God.—Ex. 24:1-11.
But Jehovah made his first actual statement of his purpose to separate Aaron and his sons for the priesthood when giving Moses instructions for making the priestly garments. (Ex. chap. 28) After these instructions were given, God outlined to Moses the procedure for installing the priesthood and then definitely made it known: “The priesthood must become theirs as a statute to time indefinite.”—Ex. 29:9.
In keeping with Jehovah’s majesty and cleanness, Aaron and his sons could not perform priestly duties until they were sanctified and empowered by the installation service. (Ex. chap. 29) Moses, as mediator of the Law covenant, performed the installation. A sanctification ceremony, occupying the seven days of Nisan 1 to 7, 1512 B.C.E., saw the priesthood fully installed, their hands filled with power to act as priests. (Lev. chap. 8) The next day, Nisan 8, an initial atonement service was performed for the nation (very much like the regular Day of Atonement services that were decreed to be celebrated annually on Tishri 10; this first performance of the priesthood is described in Leviticus chapter 9). It was appropriate and necessary, for Israel was in need of cleansing from their sins, including their recent transgression in connection with the golden calf.—Ex. chap. 32.
In installing the high priest, one of the significant acts Moses had to perform was the anointing of Aaron by pouring upon Aaron’s head the sacred anointing oil specially compounded according to God’s directions. (Lev. 8:1, 2, 12; Ex. 30:22-25, 30-33; Ps. 133:2) The later high priests, successors of Aaron, are spoken of as “anointed.” While the Bible does not record an instance of their actual anointing with literal oil, it does set forth this law: “And the holy garments that are Aaron’s will serve for his sons after him to anoint them in them and to fill their hand with power in them. Seven days the priest who succeeds him from among his sons and who comes into the tent of meeting to minister in the holy place will wear them.”—Ex. 29:29, 30.
GARMENTS OF OFFICE
Besides wearing linen garments similar to those of the underpriests in his usual activities (Lev. 16:4), special garments of glory and beauty were worn by the high priest on certain occasions. Exodus chapters 28 and 39 describe both the design and the making of these under the direction of Moses as commanded by God. The innermost garment (except for the linen drawers reaching “from the hips and to the thighs,” worn by all the priests “to cover the naked flesh”; Ex. 28:42) was the robe (Heb., kut·to’neth), made of fine (probably white) linen of checker work weave. This robe apparently had long sleeves and reached down to the ankles. It was likely woven in one piece. A sash of fine twisted linen woven with blue, reddish purple and coccus scarlet thread went around the body, probably above the waist.—Ex. 28:39; 39:29.
The turban, evidently different from the headdress of the underpriests, was also of fine linen. (Ex. 28:39) Fastened to the forefront of the turban was a shining plate of pure gold with the words “Holiness belongs to Jehovah” engraved on it. (Ex. 28:36) This plate was called “the holy sign of dedication.”—Ex. 29:6; 39:30.
Over the linen robe was the blue sleeveless coat (Heb. , meʽilʹ). It was also probably woven in one piece, with a strong border around the opening at the top to prevent tearing; it was put on by slipping the robe over the head. This garment was shorter than the linen robe, and around its bottom hem were alternate golden bells and pomegranates made of blue, reddish purple and scarlet thread. The bells would be heard as the high priest went about his work in the sanctuary.—Ex. 28:31-35.
The ephod, an apronlike garment made with front and back parts and reaching a short distance below the waist, was worn by all the priests and sometimes by persons not in the priesthood. (1 Sam. 2:18; 2 Sam. 6:14) But the ephod of the high priests’ apparel of beauty was of special, expensive embroidered work. It was of fine twisted linen with wool dyed reddish purple, coccus scarlet material and gold thread made from gold beaten into thin plates, then cut into threads. (Ex. 39:2, 3) Shoulder pieces were made on the ephod, possibly woven along with the front piece of the ephod and extending down on each side from the shoulders to the girdle. The two parts of the ephod were held together at the shoulders by gold fasteners set with two onyx stones, each stone having engraved on it six of the names of the sons of Israel (Jacob) in order of their births. A girdle of the same material bound the ephod around the waist, the girdle being “upon” the ephod, possibly being fastened to the ephod as a part of it.—Ex. 28:6-14.
The breastpiece of judgment was undoubtedly the most expensive and glorious part of the high priest’s dress. It was made of the same material as the ephod, was rectangular in shape, the length being twice the width, but was doubled so that it formed a square nearly nine inches (over 22 centimeters) on a side. The folding up of the back portion in doubling made a sort of pocket or pouch. The breastpiece was adorned with twelve precious stones set in gold, each engraved with the name of one of the sons of Israel. These stones, of ruby, topaz, emerald and other gems, were arranged in four rows. Two chains of gold, wreathed in a rope-work pattern, were made on the breastpiece and rings of gold were set in the corners, the top rings being fastened to the ephod’s shoulder pieces by the gold chains. The two bottom rings were attached with blue strings to the shoulder pieces of the ephod, just above the girdle.—Ex. 28:15-28.
The Urim and the Thummim (thought to mean “lights and perfections,” plural in the sense of excellence) were put by Moses “in the breastpiece.” (Lev. 8:8) It is not known just what the Urim and the Thummim were. Some scholars consider them to have been lots that were cast or drawn from the breastpiece, by Jehovah’s direction, giving, basically, a “yes” or “no” answer to a question. If so, they may have been placed in the “pouch” of the breastpiece. (Ex. 28:30, AT; Mo) This is perhaps indicated in the text at 1 Samuel 14:41, 42. Yet others hold that the Urim and Thummim had to do with the stones in the breastpiece in some way, but this view seems less likely. Other references to the Urim and the Thummim are found at Numbers 27:21; Deuteronomy 33:8; 1 Samuel 28:6; Ezra 2:63 and Nehemiah 7:65; see URIM AND THUMMIM.
These beautiful garments were worn by the high priest when he approached Jehovah with an inquiry on an important matter. (Num. 27:21; Judg. 1:1; 20:18, 27, 28) Also, on the Day of Atonement, after the sin offerings were completed, he changed from his white linen garments to his garments of glory and beauty. (Lev. 16:23, 24) He apparently wore the latter on other occasions as well.
The instructions regarding Atonement Day, at Leviticus chapter 16, do not state specifically that the high priest, after putting on his glorious apparel, was to lift his hands and bless the people. However, in the record of the atonement service held on the day after the priesthood’s installation, which follows closely the Atonement Day procedure, we read: “Then Aaron raised his hands toward the people and blessed them.” (Lev. 9:22) Jehovah had shown what the blessing should ask for when he commanded Moses: “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, ‘This is the way you should bless the sons of Israel, saying to them: “May Jehovah bless you and keep you. May Jehovah make his face shine toward you, and may he favor you. May Jehovah lift up his face toward you and assign peace to you.”’”—Num. 6:23-27.
RESPONSIBILITY AND DUTIES
The dignity, seriousness and responsibility of the high priest’s office is emphasized by the fact that sins on his part could bring guiltiness upon the people. (Lev. 4:3) The high priest alone was to go into the Most Holy compartment of the sanctuary, and that only on one day of the year, the Day of Atonement. (Lev. 16:2) When he went into the tent of meeting on that day, no other priest was allowed in the tent. (Lev. 16:17) He officiated over all the Atonement Day services. He made atonement for his house and for the people on special occasions (Lev. 9:7) and intervened before Jehovah in behalf of the people when Jehovah’s anger blazed against them. (Num. 15:25, 26; 16:43-50) When questions of national importance arose, he was the one to approach Jehovah with Urim and Thummim. (Num. 27:21) He officiated at the slaughter and burning of the red cow, the ashes of which were used in the water for cleansing.—Num. 19:1-5, 9.
Evidently the high priest was able, as he desired, to take part in any priestly duty or ceremony. By King David’s time the priesthood had grown large in number. So that all could serve, David arranged the priests in twelve divisions. (1 Chron. 24:1-18) This system continued for the duration of the priesthood’s existence. However, the high priest was not restricted to certain times for service at the sanctuary, as were the underpriests, but could take part at any time. (The underpriests could assist at any time, but certain duties were reserved as the privilege of the priests of the particular division then on duty.) As was true with the underpriests, the festival seasons were the high priest’s busiest periods.
The sanctuary, its service and treasury were under the high priest’s supervision. (2 Ki. 12:7-16; 22:4) In this responsibility, it appears that there was a secondary priest who was his chief assistant. (2 Ki. 25:18) In later times, this assistant, called the “Sagan,” would officiate for the high priest when for some reason the high priest was incapacitated. Eleazar, Aaron’s son, had a special oversight assigned to him.—Num. 4:16.
The high priest was the leader in the religious instruction of the nation. (Lev. 10:8-11; Deut. 17:9-11) He and the secular rulers (Joshua, the judges and, under the monarchy, the king) were the high courts of the nation. (Deut. 17:9, 12; 2 Chron. 19:10, 11) After the Sanhedrin was formed (in later times) the high priest presided over that body. (Some traditions say that he did not preside in every case—only as he willed.) (Matt. 26:57; Acts 5:21) High Priest Eleazar participated with Joshua in dividing the land among the twelve tribes. (Josh. 14:1; 21:1-3) The high priest’s death had to be announced to the cities of refuge throughout the land; it meant the release of all persons who were confined to the boundaries of the cities of refuge for the guilt of accidental manslaughter.—Num. 35:25-29.
THE HIGH-PRIESTLY LINE
For the line of descent of the high priest, and the names of those who actually served in this office, please see the accompanying chart. The Bible specifically names only a few as serving in that capacity, but it gives us genealogical records of Aaron’s line. No doubt a good number of those listed in the genealogical tables served as high priests, even though the Bible does not have occasion to relate an account of their acts nor name them definitely as holding the office. The few it actually names as such are hardly enough to fill in the lapse of time, particularly between the priesthood’s beginning in 1512 B.C.E. and Jerusalem’s destruction in 607 B.C.E. Also, often there are names passed over in the genealogical tables, so that unnamed ones may also have served in the office. The chart, therefore, is not intended to give a wholly complete and accurate list, but may help the reader to obtain a better picture of the high-priestly line.
The first priest mentioned in the Bible is Melchizedek, who was “priest of the Most High God” as well as king of Salem (Jerusalem). Abraham met this priest-king when he returned from defeating the Mesopotamian kings in league with Chedorlaomer. Abraham recognized the divine source of Melchizedek’s authority by giving him a tenth of the fruits of his victory and receiving Melchizedek’s blessing. The Bible does not give the record of Melchizedek’s ancestry or his birth or death. He had no predecessors or successors.—Gen. 14:17-24; see MELCHIZEDEK.
THE HIGH PRIESTHOOD OF JESUS CHRIST
The Bible book of Hebrews, the writership of which is generally ascribed to the apostle Paul, points out that Jesus Christ, since his resurrection and entry into heaven, is a “high priest according to the manner of Melchizedek forever.” (Heb. 6:20; 7:17, 21) To describe the greatness of Christ’s priesthood and its superiority over the Aaronic priesthood, the writer shows that Melchizedek was both a king and a priest by designation of the Most High God, and not by inheritance. Christ Jesus, not of the tribe of Levi but of Judah, and of the line of David, does not inherit his office by descent from Aaron, but by direct appointment of God, as with Melchizedek. (Heb. 5:10) In addition to the promise recorded at Psalm 110:4: “Jehovah has sworn (and he will feel no regret): ‘You are a priest to time indefinite according to the manner of Melchizedek!”’ which appointment makes him a heavenly King-Priest, Christ also possesses kingdom authority by reason of his descent from David. In the latter case, he becomes the heir of the kingship promised in the Davidic covenant. (2 Sam. 7:11-16) He therefore holds in combination the offices of kingship and priesthood, as did Melchizedek.
In another way the surpassing excellence of Christ’s high priesthood is shown, namely, in that Levi, the progenitor of the Jewish priesthood, in effect, tithed to Melchizedek, for Levi was still in the loins of Abraham when the patriarch gave a tenth to Salem’s priest-king. Moreover, in that sense Levi was also blessed by Melchizedek, and the rule is that the lesser is blessed by the greater. (Heb. 7:4-10) The apostle also calls attention to Melchizedek’s being “fatherless, motherless, without genealogy, having neither a beginning of days nor an end of life” as being representative of the everlasting priesthood of Jesus Christ, who has been resurrected to “an indestructible life.”—Heb. 7:3, 15-17.
Nevertheless, although Christ does not get his priesthood from fleshly descent through Aaron, nor does he have a predecessor or successor in his office, he fulfills the things typified by the Aaronic high priest. The apostle makes this perfectly clear when he shows that the tentlike tabernacle constructed in the wilderness was a pattern of “the true tent, which Jehovah put up, and not man,” and that the Levitical priests rendered “sacred service in a typical representation and a shadow of the heavenly things.” (Heb. 8:1-6; 9:11) He relates that Jesus Christ, who had, not animal sacrifices, but his own perfect body to offer, did away with the validity or need of animal sacrifices; Jesus then “passed through the heavens,” “not with the blood of goats and of young bulls, but with his own blood, once for all time into the holy place and obtained an everlasting deliverance for us.” (Heb. 4:14; 9:12; 10:5, 6, 9) He went into the holy place typified by the Most Holy into which Aaron entered, namely, “into heaven itself, now to appear before the person of God for us.”—Heb. 9:24.
The sacrifice of Jesus as the antitypical high priest did not need to be repeated as did those of the Aaronic priests, because his sacrifice actually removed sin. (Heb. 9:13, 14, 25, 26) Moreover, in the type or shadow, no priest of the Aaronic priesthood could live long enough to save completely or bring to complete salvation and perfection all those to whom he ministered, but Christ “is able also to save completely those who are approaching God through him, because he is always alive to plead for them.”—Heb. 7:23-25.
As the high priest in Israel was not always occupied in making sacrifices, but also blessed the people and was the chief instructor of the people in God’s righteous laws, so, too, with Jesus Christ. On appearing before his Father in the heavens he “offered one sacrifice for sins perpetually and sat down at the right hand of God, from then on awaiting until his enemies should be placed as a stool for his feet.” (Heb. 10:12, 13; 8:1) Therefore, “the second time that he appears it will be apart from sin and to those earnestly looking for him for their salvation.”—Heb. 9:28.
Jesus Christ’s superiority as High Priest is seen in another sense also. Becoming a man of blood and flesh like his “brothers” (Heb. 2:14-17), he was thoroughly tested; he suffered all manner of opposition, persecution and finally an ignominious death. As it is stated: “Although he was a Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered; and after he had been made perfect he became responsible for everlasting salvation to all those obeying him.” (Heb. 5:8, 9) Paul explains benefits we can receive from his being thus tested: “For in that he himself has suffered when being put to the test, he is able to come to the aid of those who are being put to the test.” (Heb. 2:18) Those who call on him for help are assured of merciful and sympathetic consideration. “For,” says Paul, “we have as high priest, not one who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tested in all respects like ourselves, but without sin.”—Heb. 4:15, 16.
Jesus Christ is the only priest “according to the manner of Melchizedek” (Heb. 7:17), but, like Aaron the high priest of Israel, Jesus Christ has a body of underpriests provided for him by his Father Jehovah. These are promised joint heirship with him in the heavens, where they will also share as associate kings in his kingdom. (Rom. 8:17) They are known as “a royal priesthood.” (1 Pet. 2:9) They are shown in the vision of the Bible book of Revelation singing a new song, which speaks of Christ’s having bought them with his blood and making them “a kingdom and priests to our God, and they will rule as kings over the earth.” (Rev. 5:9, 10) Later in the vision 144,000 persons are seen alongside the Lamb singing a new song. They also are described as having “been bought from the earth,” as followers of the Lamb, “bought from among mankind as a first fruits to God and to the Lamb.” (Rev. 14:1-4; compare James 1:18.) In this chapter of Revelation (14) the warning is given with regard to the mark of the beast, showing that avoidance of this mark “means endurance for the holy ones.” (Vss. 9-12) These 144,000 bought ones are the ones enduring faithfully and who come to life and rule as kings with Christ and who “will be priests of God and of the Christ, and will rule as kings with him for the thousand years.” (Rev. 20:4, 6) Jesus’ high-priestly services bring them into this glorious position.
BENEFICIARIES OF THE HEAVENLY PRIESTHOOD
While the ancient city Jerusalem had a temple built in it, the New Jerusalem is described as a temple-city itself, a sanctuary and habitation of the Most High God. Thus, the apostle John, beholding it in vision, reported, “I did not see a temple in it, for Jehovah God the Almighty is its temple, also the Lamb is.” The vision of the New Jerusalem gives an indication of who will receive the ministrations of the great High Priest and those associated with him as heavenly underpriests. Aaron and his family, together with the priestly tribe of Levi, ministered to the people of the twelve tribes in the land of Palestine. So with the New Jerusalem: “The nations will walk by means of its light.”—Rev. 21:2, 22-24; see PRIEST.
[Chart on pages 770-772]
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ISRAEL’S HIGH-PRIESTLY LINE
Genealogies of the high priests are found at 1 Chronicles 6:1-15, 50-53 and Ezra 7:1-5. These do not contain all the names; some links are omitted, as is common in Hebrew genealogical tables. Josephus and the Jewish rabbis insert additional names, but their accuracy is open to question. Question marks after names in bold-faced type indicate those who may have served in the office of high priest (several very likely so) but who are listed only in the high-priestly line of descent in the Bible, and not specifically stated to have served as high priests.
PRIOR TO THE EXILE
Levi (Son of Jacob.—Gen. 29:34)
1512 B.C.E.—PRIESTHOOD OF ISRAEL BEGINS
PHINEHAS (Jehovah gives covenant
for priesthood in his line.
(Line of Ithamar apparently
officiated during this period)
Amariah (1 Chron. 6:7)
ELI (First high priest of line of Ithamar; succeeded either Abishua or Uzzi, according to Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Book V, chap. XI, par. 5; Book XI, chap. I, par. 3; compare 1 Chronicles 24:3)
(Ark captured by Philistines. Eli and sons died. Ark remained 7 months in Philistine territory. [1 Sam. 4:17, 18; 6:1] Ark recovered, temporarily at Beth-shemesh, then located at Kiriath-jearim [Baale-judah] at the house of Abinadab for many years, until David captured Jerusalem.—1 Sam. 6:14, 15; 7:2; 2 Sam. 6:2, 3)
Ichabod (1 Sam. 4:19-22)
AHIJAH (Probably the brother of Ahimelech. Served at tabernacle in Shiloh.—1 Sam. 14:3)
(David attempted to bring Ark to Jerusalem; Uzzah smitten. David took Ark to house of Obed-edom the Gittite; Ark there three months; then moved by David to Jerusalem.—2 Sam. 6:1-11)
ABIATHAR (Escaped and joined David. [1 Sam. 22:20-23; 23:6, 9; 30:7] But later supported Adonijah and was deposed by Solomon. House of Eli fell from high priesthood, fulfilling Jehovah’s words at 1 Samuel 2:30-36.—1 Kings 2:27, 35)
Office returns to line of Eleazar
ZADOK (May have been “second” priest during David’s reign. [See 2 Kings 25:18; Jeremiah 52:24.] Loyal to David when Adonijah tried to take throne. Made high priest by Solomon in place of Abiathar.—2 Sam. 8:17; 15:24-29; 19:11; 1 Ki. 1:7, 8, 32-45; 2:27, 35; 1 Chron. 24:3) (Ark placed in newly built temple by Solomon.—1 Ki. 8:1-6)
(The next three names, Amariah, Jehoiada, and Zechariah, are evidently links that were passed over at 1 Chron. 6:1-15)
AMARIAH (In King Jehoshaphat’s time.—2 Chron. 19:11)
ZECHARIAH? (Stoned to death, with King Jehoash’s approval.—2 Chron. 24:20-22)
JOHANAN? (1 Chron. 6:10)
(The next two names, Urijah and Azariah, may be links that are omitted at 1 Chron. 6:1-15)
URIJAH? (The priest who built an altar like the pagan altar at Damascus, at King Ahaz’ order.—2 Ki. 16:10-16)
AZARIAH (II or III) (Of the line of Zadok; served in King Hezekiah’s time. He may be the same person as Azariah II listed earlier, or another with the same name.—2 Chron. 31:10-13)
AZARIAH (III or IV)? (1 Chron. 6:13, 14)
JEHOZADAK? (Carried captive to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar in 607 B.C.E. His son Jeshua [Joshua] and possibly other sons were born during the Exile. He was, of course, unable to perform duties at the temple.—1 Chron. 6:14, 15; Ezra 3:2)
(Ark of the covenant disappears; not in later temples built in Jerusalem)
(From Abiathar to Jehozadak Josephus lists 17 high priests, while the Jewish historical work Seder ʽOlam Zuta lists 19.)
AFTER THE RETURN FROM EXILE
FROM THE TIME OF DARIUS THE PERSIAN
(From this point the apocryphal book of First Maccabees and Josephus’ Antiquities of the Jews, Books XI-XX, are the sources for the list of high priests down to the time of the Maccabees. Josephus names more as high priests than does First Maccabees. From the Maccabees to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 C.E., the chief source is Josephus. The Bible names only three [Annas, Joseph Caiaphas, and Ananias]. The high-priestly line seems to have been adhered to, at least in the majority of cases, although pagan rulers deposed and appointed the high priests at will.)
SIMON THE JUST
JOSHUA (Gr., Jesus); also Jason
ONIAS (Called also Menelaus)
JAKIM (Called in Greek, Alcimus); also Jacimus
THE MACCABEAN PRIEST-KINGS
SIMON (the Prince)
HYRCANUS II (Aristobulus II seized temporary rule)
AFTER HEROD THE GREAT BECAME KING (Matt. 2:1)
(Appointed by Herod)
HANANEL (Gr., Ananelus)
HANANEL (a second time)
JESUS (son of Phabet)
(Appointed by Archelaus, King of Judea—Matt. 2:22)
ELEAZAR (son of Boethus)
JESUS (son of Sie) (Joazar reappointed)
(Appointed by Quirinius, Governor of Syria—Luke 2:2)
ANNAS (Ananus) (Appointed by Quirinius about 6 or 7 C.E.; deposed by Valerius Gratus, governor of Judea, about 15 C.E. He was the father-in-law of Caiaphas. After being deposed he continued to exercise great influence, was called in the Bible, not ”high priest” [for Caiaphas then held that office], but “chief priest.”—Luke 3:2; John 18:13, 24; Acts 4:6)
(Appointed by Valerius Gratus, Governor of Judea)
ISMAEL (son of Phabi)
ELEAZAR (son of Annas)
JOSEPH CAIAPHAS (Officiated during Jesus’ earthly ministry and the early part of the apostles’ ministry. He presided as high priest over Jesus’ trial before the Sanhedrin, in company with his father-in-law Annas. [Matt. 26:3, 57; Luke 3:2; John 11:49, 51; 18:13, 14, 24, 28] He and Annas called Peter and John before them and commanded them to stop preaching. [Acts 4:6, 18] Caiaphas was the high priest who authorized Saul to receive letters to the synagogue at Damascus for the arrest of Christians.—Acts 9:1, 2, 14)
(Appointed by Vittelius, Governor of Syria)
JONATHAN (son of Annas)
THEOPHILUS (son of Annas)
(Appointed by Herod Agrippa I)
MATTHIAS (Mattathias) (son of Annas)
(Appointed by Herod, King of Chalcis)
(Appointed by Herod Agrippa II)
ANNAS (Ananus, son of Annas)
JESUS (son of Damnaeus)
JESUS (son of Gamaliel)
MATTHIAS (Mattathias, son of Theophilus)
PHANAS (Phannias or Phinehas; made high priest by the people during the war against Rome)