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ter Herod had married; and if that was the case, he must have been the same with that Simon who was mentioned as the thirtieth high priest : but it is probable he was his son ; for Josephus says, that both his father and brethren had the high priesthood. The forty-fourth high priest was Jonathan: he is the same whom we mentioned as the forty-first high priest, and obtained his restoration from Herod Agrippa : but he appears to have been sensible of the instability of human greatness, and wished to avoid becoming the tool of the civil power; for he abdicated his office, and recommended his brother as a fitter person. Accordingly, Jonathan's brother , Matthias, was the forty-fifth high priest: but Alioneus, the forty-sixth high priest, son of Kantheras, was soon substituted in his place by the politic and jealous Agrippa, as being, perhaps, more complying and unassuming.
The forty-seventh was Josephus, the son of Camus, or Camydus : he was promoted by Herod, king of Chalcis. The forty-eighth was Ananias, the son of Nebedeus. The forty-ninth was Jonathan, but not the Jonathan who abdicated in favour of his brother. In his time the troubles among the Jews were evidently increasing; for he was assassinated by one of the Sicarii, in the days of Felix, the Roman governor. Ishmael, the son of Fabi,s was the fiftieth; and Joseph, the son of Simon, was the fifty-first, who held the pontifical dignity. The fifty-second was Ananus, the son of the Annas, or Ananus, formerly mentioned.
As the struggle for the mitre was then merely political, it is not to be wondered at, if those who wore it were regardless of religion : nor shall we be much sur
• Antiq. xix. 6. • Ib. XX. 5.
6 Ibid. f Ib. XI. 8.
& lb. xx. 11
Ib. 3, 9.
prised to hear that he was a Sadducee. It may, however, be interesting to know, that he was the person who caused James, the brother of our Lord, to be put to death; and is, on that account, reproved as a whited wall by the apostle—or one who was unworthy of the sacred office." The fifty-third high priest was Jesus, the son of Damneus; he was raised to that office by Agrippa king of Chalcis, in the room of Ananus. The fiftyfourth was Jesus, the son of Gamaliel. The fifty-fifth was Matthias, the son of Theophilus, the forty-second high priest, under whose pontificate Josephus remarks, that the war between the Jews and Romans began.« And the fifty-sixth was Phannias, the son of Samuel, the last and most worthless of the priesthood, chosen by the zealots in Jerusalem. who were the real cause of the destruction of that city.e
Thus have we finished the history of the chief priesthood, from the return from the Captivity, till the beginning of the convulsions which overwhelmed the state : and, in such a long and confused time, it is not to be expected that we should state the precise periods during which each individual held his office. Their average duration, however, may be ascertained in the following manner :--The year of return was A.M. 3471, and the
, beginning of the Jewish war, A.M. 4071; making an interval of six hundred years. Now this, if divided by fifty-six, or the number of high priests, makes ten years and three-quarters as the average of each. Thus were the averages always less according to the progress of religious indifference, and political ambition: for the average under the Tabernacle was forty years ; under the first Temple, thirty-one and a half; and under the second, only ten years and three-quarters.
* Acts xxiij. 2.5. b Antiq. xx. 9. Ibid,
Wars of the Jews, ix. 3.
The superior Officers of the Temple.
The sagan : kethulikin, or overseers of the treasuries : amercelin, or overseers
of the gates: the gezberin, or deputy collectors : the chief priests of every course: the heads of the houses of their fathers : overseers of the times, doors, guards, singers, cymbal music, lots, birds, tickets, drink-offerings, sick, waters, shew bread, incense, veils, and priests' garments. Particular account of the duties of each of these.
It was formerly said, that there were several orders of officers in the Temple, of whom the high priest was the most eminent; we must now, therefore, prosecute the subject in all its ramifications, beginning with the sagan, or 10 segen. This is a word not mentioned in
a Scripture, but often used in the Jewish writings. The only hint that appears of it in the sacred volume is in 2 Kings xxv. 18, and Jer. lii. 24, where Zephaniah is called the second priest, a phrase which is interpreted by the Chaldee paraphrast to mean the sagan; but the difficulty lies, not so much in the name or degree of dignity (for all allow that he was next to the high priest,) as in the precise duties attached to his office. Some make him the substitute of that exalted person on the day of expiation, when ceremonial defilement, or bodily indisposition, prevented him from engaging in that important work; of which Josephus gives one instance in the case of Matthias ; who, having dreamt that he had conversation with his wife, Joseph, the son of Ellemus, his kinsman, assisted him in that sacred office. But this was confining the whole of his office to a single day, whereas the Jews, in their writings, give him always a permanent employ. Others, therefore, have conjectured, that he was the high priest elect, or the person who was to suc
Antiq. xyii. 6.
ceed on the first vacancy: but this likewise is untenable, for the following reasons :- In the first place, it is somewhat singular, that the word sagan is never used during the continuance of the Tabernacle and first Temple, although the high priests elect were constantly the first born; and, secondly, during the second Temple, when the word sagan was in general use : such was the uncertainty of Jewish affairs, and so frequently did the office change its possessors, that persons unexpected, and till the time unheard of, were sometimes raised to the pontifical dignity. The most probable opinion therefore is, that the sagan was the assistant of the high priest while present, and his substitute when absent: for, as all the affairs of the Temple were officially under the care of that principal functionary, and no individual could attend to them all, so it was judged requisite to give him an assistant, to remove from his shoulders a part of the weight. Hence he acted as high priest in all the business of the Temple, which was not peculiar to that sacred character, when the high priest himself was either absent or indisposed: but his ordinary and specific business seems to have been, the oversight of the priests; for Maimonides says, that all the priests were under the disposal of the sagan. It is probable, then, that the daily reports were brought to him, and that they resorted to him in cases of difficulty.
The third office in point of dignity was that of the kethủlikin, (ppobinp) or the overseers of the treasuries. They were two in number, and their office was to take care that all the inferior treasurers did their duty. In short, they appear to have been over the property of the Temple what the sagan was over the service; but as the service was more important than the property, so the sagan was accounted more honourable than the kethulikin.
The fourth office in the Temple, in point of dignity, was that of the amercelin, pobogus, or overseers of the gates. They were seven in number, answerable to the seven gates that were round the courts of Israel and of the Priests; and had the keys of these gates at their disposal, but committed the opening and shutting of the doors to some of the heads of the courses as they came in. They appear also to have had the keys of the wardrobes, and of the rooms of the vessels, to see that proper care was taken of every thing.
The fifth office in point of dignity was that of the gezberin, (799372) or deputy collectors, under the kethûlikin and amercelin. Their number, according to their traditions, could not be less than three, but they might be augmented above that, to answer the different branches of collection. It was their office to be the first receivers of all that was due by statute, or offered voluntarily to the Temple treasury: as the half shekel from every Israelite, vessels that were dedicated to the public service, other articles vowed or devoted, the price of any thing that might be redeemed, &c. : all these came under their department, and for them they were accountable to their several superiors. Thus the vessels devoted by pious individuals would be delivered to the amercelin; and the sums of money to the kethulikin, who, in their turns, were accountable to the sagan and high priest. These five ranks of priests were probably " the priests of the second order," mentioned in 2 Kings xxiii. 4, and were the consistory for transacting the spiritual business of the Temple ; that is to say, they neither inflicted fines nor personal punishments, but overlooked the service and devoted things. Their common place of sitting was in the chamber called Peredrin, on the south side of the Court of Israel, a place which we have already examined; and, in the Jewish history, they are commonly de