The High Priest in Chronicles:
An Anomaly in a Detailed Description of the Temple Cult

Steven James Schweitzer

Who is the high priest and what does he do in the Book of Chronicles? This question has received little scholarly attention1. Indeed, the little information given regarding the figure of the high priest by the Chronicler appears as an anomaly within a historiographic work concerned with the detailed description of cultic practice2.

Before turning to the data in the Book of Chronicles, the following chart briefly displays the occurrences of the two terms used to describe the leading priest throughout the Hebrew Bible, high priest (lwdgh Nhkh) and chief priest (#)rh Nhk), to provide a comparative context for their particular appearances in Chronicles.

Occurences of "High Priest" in the Hebrew Bible

Reference:     Priest to whom term refers:     Civic leader mentioned
Lev 21,10-15     "the priest exalted above his brothers"     None mentioned
2 Kgs 12,10 // 2 Chr 24,11[Kgs: high priest; 
Chr: chief priest]
    Jehoiada     King Jehoash
2 Kgs 22,4.8; 23,4 // 2 Chr 34,9 [Kgs: 3 times; 
Chr: only once]  
    Hilkiah     King Josiah
Neh 3,1.20.28     Eliashib     Governor Nehemiah
Hag 1,1.12.14; 2,2.4; Zech 3,1.8; 6,11     Joshua     Governor Zerubbabel

Occurences of "High Priest" in the Hebrew Bible

Reference:     Priest to whom term refers:     Civic leader mentioned
2 Kgs 25,18 // Jer 52,24     Seraiah     King Zedekiah
2 Chr 19,11     Amariah     King Jehoshaphat
2 Chr 24,11 // 2 Kgs 12,10[Chr: chief priest; 
Kgs: high priest]  
    Jehoiada     King Joash
2 Chr 26,20     Azariah     King Uzziah
2 Chr 31,10     Azariah     King Hezekiah
Ezra 7,5 3     Aaron     Moses

  Several things are clear from this chart. First, "high priest" is used only once in Chronicles, and it occurs in a synoptic text that has been rewritten. The other two times Hilkiah is referenced in this way in 2 Kings 2223, the title has been deleted in Chronicles. Second, the Chronicler replaces "high priest" with "chief priest" in reference to Jehoiada. Third, the title "chief priest" appears four times in Chronicles, but only three times in the rest of the Hebrew Bible. The Chronicler thus acknowledges the existence of the office of "high priest", but diminishes and does not enhance the title of the most significant cultic official in the Second Temple period.

1. The High-Priestly Genealogies

a) Comparison Chart of the Genealogical Lists of "High Priests"

The table below, similar to those used by previous scholars addressing this genealogical material4, summarizes the genealogical material from the Hebrew Bible and Josephus that contains information regarding the office of the high priest. A few observations should be noted. First, none of the "high-priestly lists" in the Hebrew Bible are so designated. The high-priestly lists are always part of other larger complexes: genealogies or settlement lists. Thus, these lists are not explicitly about the high priests. If anything, the lists are about the tribe of Levi and its importance in Israel"s history. This includes the list of high priests in Neh 12,8-11.22, which explicitly calls these individuals "Levites" and locates them in the Levitical line without declaring their priestly status. Second, the evidence from Antiquities strongly suggests that portions of the high-priestly list (the beginning and end) had attained a relative degree of stability in transmission.


Sources for
1 Chr 6,1-15
  1 Chr 
  1 Chr
  Josephus, Antiquities

Exod 6,16-25//
Num 26,57-62






































Ezra 7,1-5;
(Aaron, Eleazar, 
also mentioned 
numerous times
in Torah; others
only in Ezra


  Aaron       Aaron  

Aaron (5.361; 20.224-229)

  Eleazar       Eleazar   Eleazar (5.361-362)
  Phineas       Phineas   Phineas (5.361; 7.110; 8.11-12)
  Abishua       Abishua   Abiezer (5.362) / Jesus (8.12)
  Bukki       Bukki   Bokki (5.362; 8.12)
  Uzzi       Uzzi   Ozis (5.362)
  Zerahiah       Zerahiah  

Joatham, son of Bokki (8.12)
[Eli (not of Eleazar"s line in 
5.361-362; 6.107; 8.11-12)]

  Meraioth       Meraioth   Meraioth (8.12)
Unknown / Dupli-
cation from 6,11
  Amariah I        

Arophaios (8.12)


2 Sam 8,17
(Ahitub, Zadok);
2 Sam 15, 17, 18
1 Kgs 4,2

  Ahitub I        

Achitob (6.122; 8.12)
[Achias his son (6.107)]

  Zadok I        

Sadok (7.110; 8.12,16; 10.152)
[Abiathar (7.110; 8.11-12,16)]

  Ahimaaz         Achimas (10.152)
  Azariah I         Azarias (10.152)
Unknown   Johanan         Joramos (10.152)
Ezra 7,1-5   Azariah II       Azariah   Ios (10.152)
  Amariah II       Amariah  

Axoramos (10.152-153)

  Ahitub II   Ahitub   Ahitub   Ahitub  
    Meraioth   Meraioth     Phideas (10.153)
  Zadok II   Zadok   Zadok   Zadok  

Sudaios (10.153)
Juelos (10.153)
Jothamos (10.153)
Urias (10.153)
Nerias (10.153)
Odaias (10.153)

  Shallum   Meshallum   Meshallum   Shallum  

Sallumos (10.153)

  Hilkiah   Hilkiah   Hilkiah   Hilkiah   Elkias (10.153)
  Azariah III   Azariah      Azariah   Azaros (10.153)
  Seraiah   Seraiah   Seraiah     Seraiah (10.149-150)

Hag 1,1.12.14;
2,2.4; Zech 6,11
(but without a


Josadak (10.150,153; 20.231)


Hen 12,8-11.22: And the Levites ... Joshua, Joiakim, Eliashib, Joiada, Jonathan/Johanan, Jaddua

However, the middle of the list was more fluid and provided the opportunity for expansion, both by Josephus and the Chronicler5. Third, the distinction between "high" and "chief" priest in the Hebrew Bible is blurred by Josephus who uses the same term, o( a)rxiereu/j, for both titles.

b) The Genealogy of 1 Chr 6,1-15

The genealogy in 1 Chr 6,1-15, is a composite text constructed from a variety of sources. The sequence "Levi, Kohath, Amram" is taken from the Priestly source6. This beginning supports the claim that "all priests are Levites, but all Levites are not priests"7.

The sequence "Ahitub, Zadok, Ahimaaz, Azariah" is gleaned from the narrative in DtrH; this then presents Zadok I as David"s Zadok, which is a temporal problem for Azariah II being the priest in the new temple under Solomon (1 Chr 6,10; cf. 1 Kgs 4,1-4). A common resolution is to emend this temple claim and to apply it to Azariah I, which although lacking textual evidence, makes sense on chronological grounds if the genealogical material is to be read in conversation with the narratives that follow8. The selection of Amariah as the name for this additional necessary individual has apparently been taken from the duplicate sequence in the following list of "Amariah, Ahitub, Zadok". The sequences of Aaron through Meraioth and Azariah II through Seraiah apparently have been reproduced from Ezra 7,1-5.

The sequence "Azariah, Johanan, Azariah" is difficult to assess. Why Azariah I (from 1 Kings) and Azariah II (from Ezra 7) were not considered the same individual by the Chronicler has no easy answer. It may reflect the tendency towards expansion of lists rather than contraction or assimilation in the ancient world9. However, the fact that they were not assimilated caused a noticeable difficulty: father and son would have the same name, without the insertion of Johanan.

Only the names of Amariah I and Johanan do not appear in the source material used by the Chronicler to construct this genealogy10. I have already suggested why Amariah was used, and the insertion of Johanan may have been simply to add a generation between the two Azariah"s. However, why select the name "Johanan" in particular?

While this question cannot be answered with certainty, I suggest the following explanation. Perhaps the choice of the name Johanan was taken from the current high priest at the time when the Chronicler was writing his history. Following VanderKam"s reconstruction of the high priesthood during the Persian period, Johanan would have attained the office sometime prior to 408 BCE (as can determined from TAD A4.7) and continued to hold it "until c. 370, or perhaps even beyond"11. This explanation would also be consistent with Cross" more complex reconstruction that places Johanan III in office at this time until his son, Jaddua (III), would have become high priest12.

The final observation about the genealogical list of high priests in 1 Chr 6,1-15 is that while there are some priests named in both the genealogical list and the narrative, there are others who are only mentioned in the narrative or who cannot be equated with individuals in the list because of chronological difficulties. Zadok and Hilkiah are the only leading priests named in both the genealogy and the narrative. There are four priests and also the only ones termed "chief priest" in Chronicles that appear only in the narrative. They are: Jehoiada (2 Chr 2224), the Azariah under Uzziah (2 Chr 26,16-21), the Azariah of the house of Zadok under Hezekiah (2 Chr 31,9-19), and the Amariah under Jehoshaphat although it is chronologically possible that he is Amariah II from the genealogy (2 Chr 19,5-11)13. While the identity of Amariah is uncertain, it is clear that the first three chief priests have been excluded from the Zadokite lineage presented in the genealogy. Jehoiada has no ancestry14, Uzziah"s Azariah (who is unique to Chronicles) is also without an ancestry; and Hezekiah"s Azariah is strangely "of the house of Zadok" but not to be found among his descendants in 1 Chr 6,1-1515. The Chronicler creates two priests (the two Azariah"s) and has another in his source specifically called a "high priest" who has now become "chief priest" (namely, Jehoiada).

I will assess the data concerning the high priest in Chronicles according to the inclusion and exclusion of names in this genealogical list of high priests. First, I will address the priests that are included in both the list and the narrative. Next, I will discuss the priests mentioned only in the narrative. Following this, I will deal with the ambiguous case of Amariah II separately. Finally, I will compare and contrast the presentation of these groups of leading priests in Chronicles.

2. High Priests mentioned in both the Genealogical Material and the Narrative

a) Zadok

Zadok, who is never termed "high priest" or "chief priest" in the entire Hebrew Bible, is mentioned several times during the reign of David. Zadok is possibly first mentioned as joining David at Hebron, although this association is not clear (1 Chr 12,28). He is next singled out in David"s command to bring up the ark to Jerusalem from the house of Obed-Edom (1 Chr 15,11-15). In this passage he is mentioned first along with Abiathar and several Levites. He is addressed by David as one of the "heads of the families of the Levites". This is most likely an intentional move by the Chronicler to provide Zadok with a Levitical heritage, as well as Abiathar. When the ark is finally brought to Jerusalem, Levites under Asaph are assigned to attend it while the rest of the tabernacle apparatus with its functioning sacrificial cult is left at Gibeon under the direction of Zadok (1 Chr 16,37-42).

Zadok is also explicitly mentioned in 1 Chr 24,3-4 (cf. 2 Sam 8,17) in tandem with Ahimelech when the priestly divisions are organized by the two of them and David. This method of organizing the priestly divisions is different from the organization of the Levitical divisions mentioned in 1 Chr 23, which David does alone. Leading priests have input in the matters of the priestly structure while they do not have authority over the Levites. The Levites are responsible to other Levites who are in turn responsible to the king rather than to any priest16.

At the transition from David"s reign to Solomon"s in 1 Chr 29,22b-25, Zadok appears again. Zadok is anointed as priest just as Solomon is anointed as prince (dygn). This is the only passage in the Hebrew Bible outside the Torah which refers to a priest being anointed for service17. This elevated status of Zadok seems at odds with the fact that he fails to appear during the entire reign of Solomon (2 Chr 19), even in the building of the temple and the formal institution of its cult. Zadok may be anointed as priest, but he is never shown to function as one in the temple18.

b) Hilkiah

The only priest explicitly called "high priest" in Chronicles is Hilkiah, who is also a Zadokite (1 Chr 6,13; 2 Chr 34,9). The term "high priest" is retained from 2 Kgs 22,4, while its occurrences in 2 Kgs 22,8 and 23,4 have been deleted by the Chronicler19.

The Chronicler tends to follow his source, which limits Hilkiah"s role in the account of Josiah"s reforms20. In the lengthy addition to the Pesach narrative, Hilkiah"s role and duties are not described while the duties and actions of the priests and Levites are given in detail (2 Chr 35,1-19)21. Two activities not mentioned in his source are added by the Chronicler: Hilkiah is singled out among the group sent by Josiah to the prophetess Huldah, and Hilkiah along with two other priests all three being termed Myhl)h tyb ydygn "chief officers of the house of God" provide for the priestly portions at Pesach (2 Chr 34,22; 35,8). Thus, Hilkiah is under the authority of the king and has a place of prominence and responsibility distinct from ordinary priests. However, it is not explicitly stated that this prestige is specifically a result of his position as "high priest"; it could be a result of his position as "chief officer of the house of God", which was apparently held by more than one individual at the same time according to Chronicles.

3. Chief Priests mentioned only in the Narrative

a) The Azariah under Uzziah

At least three chief priests are mentioned in the narrative but not in the genealogical list. The Azariah under Uzziah is presented in a brief explanatory narrative, unique to Chronicles, as a defender of the priestly, but not explicitly high-priestly, privilege of offering incense in 2 Chr 26,16-2122. The chief priest Azariah seems to be in charge of these priests, at least as their spokesman, and to exercise authority over issues of cultic purity and privilege.

b) The Azariah under Hezekiah23

While completely absent from the detailed description of Hezekiah"s reforms24, the chief priest Azariah seems responsible for the priests and the Levites in other contexts. First, Azariah responds to Hezekiah"s question addressed to the priests and Levites. This may suggest that he speaks on behalf of both groups who are responsible to him. Second, the appointments of Levites over the newly built store-chambers are made by "King Hezekiah and Azariah the chief officer of the house of God" (2 Chr 31,13). Azariah has administrative responsibilities in the cult. However, he has no authority beyond this role and is responsible to the Davidic king.

c) Jehoiada

The depiction of Jehoiada, apparently a non-Zadokite, presents the largest amount of data concerning the office of leading priest (2 Chr 2224). His portrayal in Chronicles is consistent in many ways with that in 2 Kgs 111225. There are, however, several instances of an increased role and power being attributed to Jehoiada by the Chronicler which are not stated explicitly or clearly in his source26. Jehoiada has married into the Davidic line as his wife is the daughter of King Jehoram. This additional information has been seen by scholars as an attempt by the Chronicler to protect the purity of the temple since this female Davidide lives in the house of God for six years. However, this explanation does not account for Joash"s presence, which would also be a problem and which Chronicles does not address. In addition, such a marriage would seem to violate the purity regulations for the "priest exalted above his brothers" in Lev 21,10-15 which command this priest to marry only a virgin of his own kin. Jehoiada is obviously in violation of this command (if it even applies to him)27.

As in 2 Kings, not only does Jehoiada save the Davidic line from destruction, but also his actions place him in a position temporarily superior to it28. Joash is only seven years old when these events occur, so Jehoiada takes these actions as an exceptional case. However, the exception proves the rule. When Joash is old enough, Jehoiada is depicted as under the king"s authority and answerable to him (2 Chr 24,4-14). Jehoiada is not presented as an equal to the king or as having political power29.

He also is apparently in charge of cultic matters and in charge of both the Levites and the priests (2 Chr 31,9-10). Joash summons Jehoiada and seems to assume in his comments that Jehoiada is responsible for the actions, or rather inactions, of the Levites (2 Chr 24,4-6)30.

Jehoiada is buried in the royal tombs while Joash is not (2 Chr 24,15-16.25-27). The fact that Chronicles allows, or even creates the idea, that a "worthy" leading priest can have a royal burial may be significant. However, this is clearly an exception, which once again proves the rule. Leading priests are not typically given royal burials, but the possibility is at least held out as an option. Could this be a retrojection of Second Temple practice by the Chronicler? Possibly, but no conclusion on this point can be definitive.

Finally, the most explicit statement made regarding Jehoiada which may reflect an actual Second Temple practice concerns the dismissal of the gatekeepers on the Sabbath (2 Chr 23,4.8). The explanatory statement that "the priest Jehoiada did not dismiss the divisions" is apparently added in Chronicles to account for how the large number of priests and Levites in the temple all at once was possible. This statement may indicate that the leading priest was responsible to oversee the changing of "duty shifts". Again, a note of exceptional action (this time one not taken) provides evidence of the rule. The leading priest of the Second Temple period may have been normally responsible for this daily activity. If so, this also indicates that the leading priest exercised authority over the Levitical divisions.

That Jehoiada appears to be the leading priest who reflects most what one would expect if the Chronicler was indeed retrojecting Second Temple practice into his narrative may not be accidental. A bit of speculation: if, as suggested above, the Chronicler inserted Johanan into the genealogical list to honor the current high priest of his day, then it is possible that he takes advantage of the similarity of names between Jehoiada ((dywhy) and Joiada ((dywy), the father of the current high priest. His sources, as in the case of the genealogy, provide an opportunity to make a connection to his present situation. Virtually nothing whatsoever is known about Joiada outside of his placement in the high-priestly list in Neh 12,8-11.22. It seems likely that he is the Jehoiada, son of the high priest Eliashib, whose son marries into the Sanballat family (Neh 13,28)31. If so, then the presentation of Jehoiada marrying into the Davidic family may bear some relationship to the text from Nehemiah concerned with improper high-priestly marriage practices.

4. The Ambiguous Case of the Amariah under Jehoshaphat, possibly Amariah II (1 Chr 6,11)

The final priest to be discussed is the ambiguous Amariah at the time of Jehoshaphat who may be Amariah II in 1 Chr 6,11. The narrative from 2 Kings has been significantly augmented by the Chronicler, but the chief priest Amariah is far less important than Jehoshaphat and his reforms32. Jehoshaphat institutes cultic reforms and initiates a program of teaching officials, two priests, and several Levites, but no leading priest, who travel throughout the cities of Judah with the Torah (2 Chr 17,1-9). Continuing his reforms, Jehoshaphat appoints judges in the cities of Judah (2 Chr 19,5-7)33 stating that "Amariah the chief priest is over you in all matters of YHWH; and Zebediah son of Ishmael, the governor (dygn) of the house of Judah, in all the king"s matters; and the Levites will serve you as officers" (2 Chr 19,11)34. The Levites are assistants in legal matters to judges who are accountable to a chief priest over cultic issues and to a governor (who is not explicitly a Davidide) over civic matters. Both of these individuals are in turn ultimately responsible to the king. This chief priest is the highest cultic authority; it is also clear that he is not involved in civic matters and that he is not independent of the Davidic king.

* *

The two leading priests mentioned in both the genealogy and the narrative do not do very much and have a rather limited role in civic and cultic administration35. They act either within their roles as presented by the Chronicler"s source or within the cultic sphere as a supervisor of priests36. The Chronicler has not overtly enhanced the presentation of the Zadokite high priests in the narrative.

The three chief priests who are not mentioned in the Zadokite genealogy of 1 Chr 6,1-15 are presented with more authority and an increased role in cultic matters. Several details from these narratives could possibly be retrojections of high-priestly responsibilities from the Second Temple period: 1) acting as spokesperson to the civic official on behalf of the cult; 2) being responsible for the actions of all the temple functionaries including the Levites; 3) serving as the leading cultic official who may at times appear to have royal prestige; and 4) overseeing the dismissal of the Levitical gatekeepers on the Sabbath. Even if these items are accepted as retrojections of Second Temple practice, they do not overtly enhance the power and authority of the leading priest into civic matters.

One priest who looks more like the expected presentation of a high priest during the Persian period, Jehoiada, is presented as an exception under extreme circumstances. Perhaps the depiction of this chief priest served as a model of how the government and the cult should function when Davidic kingship was not a viable option. Here the title "chief priest" comes into focus. In Chronicles, the office of "high priest" in the Second Temple period is a continuation of a pre-exilic position termed "chief priest" which was not held continually by Zadokites. It seems that if the Chronicler"s audience wished to see a Second Temple high priest, they were directed to this non-Zadokite chief priest as the closest model.

It has been suggested that the Chronicler did not hope for a restoration of the Davidic dynasty37. Rather, the Persian kings have taken over this role38. If this is correct, the judicial structure represented by the Davidic king Jehoshaphat with a chief priest over cultic matters and a non-Davidide governor over civic matters may be a parallel to the Chronicler"s actual historical situation: a Persian king with a high priest over the cult and an appointed governor over civic affairs39. In addition to the non-Zadokite Jehoiada, this Amariah of ambiguous lineage, serves as a model for the role of Second Temple high priests by delineating the scope of their duties, but without a clear presentation of their ceremonial role in the operation of the cult. In Chronicles, the high (and chief) priest is the chief cultic official, the final authority in cultic matters, but only in cultic matters; thus, Chronicles does not provide evidence for an independent high priest or even of one involved in the administration of civic affairs. 


The high and chief priests mentioned in both the genealogy of 1Chr 6,1-15 and the narrative of Chronicles (Zadok and Hilkiah) are compared with priests mentioned only in the narrative (the Azariah under Uzziah, the Azariah under Hezekiah, and Jehoiada); the Amariah under Jehoshaphat, possibly Amariah II in 1 Chr 6,11, is treated separately. This article concludes: Chronicles has not enhanced the Zadokite high priests; the three priests not mentioned in the genealogy are presented with increased cultic roles which delineate some of their duties; leading priests in Chronicles operate within the cultic sphere while their precise ceremonial role is unclear.


1 In previous scholarship, virtually no attempt has been made to describe the high priesthood as it is presented in Chronicles. One important exception is the recent work of D.W. ROOKE, Zadok"s Heirs. The Role and Development of the High Priesthood in Ancient Israel (Oxford 2000), who devotes one chapter to the High Priesthood in Chronicles, p. 184-218. My structure for this analysis is different than hers and provides another means of interpreting these data.
2 Most scholars assume that the presentation of the cult in Chronicles reflects actual temple practice, particularly as it was performed during the Second Temple period. This is best exemplified by the 24 priestly courses and the 24 divisions of the Levites (1 Chr 24,7-19; 25,9-31). For example, see H.G.M. WILLIAMSON, "The Origins of the Twenty-four Priestly Courses: A Study of 1 Chronicles xxiii-xxvii", Studies in the Historical Books of the Old Testament (ed. J.A. EMERTON) (VTS 30; Leiden 1979) 251-268.
3 This could also refer to Ezra himself (with the governor Nehemiah as the civic authority) as it is unclear grammatically to whom the term refers; the parallel text of 1 Esdras 8,1-2 does not clarify the referent, while the term "high (or chief) priest" (o( a)rxiereu/j) is applied to Ezra in 1 Esdras 9,39.40.49. In the Hebrew Bible, Ezra is called "priest" and "scribe", but never referred to as the high or chief priest in Ezra-Nehemiah or elsewhere.
4 See, e.g., B.E. SCOLNIC, Chronology and Papponymy. A List of the Judean High Priests of the Persian Period (SFSHJ 206; Atlanta 1999); W.B. BARRICK, "Genealogical Notes on the "House of David" and the "House of Zadok"", JSOT 96 (2001) 29-58; and their bibliographies for previous treatment of this material.
5 Without recourse to this passage, R.R. WILSON, Genealogy and History in the Biblical World (New Haven 1977) esp. 27-36, 162, has noted this same general tendency in both oral and written genealogies.
6 Exod 6,16-25 // Num 26,57-62 (both certainly P).
7 This is a paraphrase of the arguments made by A. CODY, A History of Old Testament Priesthood (AnBib 35; Rome 1969) 167.
8 If this emendation is accepted, then this may explain the insertion of Amariah I, since Azariah I would then be the 13th generation from the exodus to the construction of the temple. Thus, 12 generations before the temple at the stereotypical 40 years per generation results in 480 years, which matches the number of years claimed in 1 Kgs 6,1. See S. JAPHET, I & II Chronicles. A Commentary (OTL; Louisville 1993) 150-151. However, the usefulness of this emendation has been recently questioned by BARRICK, "Genealogical Notes," 45.
9 The tendency towards expansion rather than contraction or assimilation can be observed in the following examples from the ancient world: the Sumerian King List, the Ugaritic King List, the Assyrian King List, the Babylonian King Lists, the Hesiodic Catalogue of Women, and the Genealogies of Hecataeus of Miletus. The Synchronistic Chronicle obviously engages in assimilation (as its name indicates), but also exhibits the same tendency toward expansion.
10 I have not accepted the suggestion by BARRICK, "Genealogical Notes", 46, that Johanan in 1 Chr 6,9-10 is Jonathan ben Abiathar from DtrH (citing 2 Sam 15,27.36; 17,17-22; 1 Kgs 1,42-43). Accepting the identification of this non-Zadokite priest with Johanan would remove Jonathan three generations from his appropriate temporal location in the list, based on the chronology of Samuel-Kings.
11 J.C. VANDERKAM, "Jewish High Priests of the Persian Period: Is the List Complete?", Priesthood and Cult in Ancient Israel (ed. G.A. ANDERSON S.M. OLYAN) (JSOTSS 125; Sheffield 1991) 67-91, here 90; on the content of TAD A4.7 see B. PORTEN, The Elephantine Papyri in English (Leiden 1996); this text was previously identified as AP 30 in A.E. COWLEY, Aramaic Papyri of the Fifth Century B.C. (Oxford 1923).
12 F.M. CROSS, "A Reconstruction of the Judean Restoration", JBL 94 (1975) 4-18; repr., Int 29 (1975) 187-203. Cross, of course, believes that this Jaddua (III) is the Jaddua associated with Alexander the Great (see Josephus, Ant. 11.302-347).
13 Such an association is typical in scholarship. However, JAPHET, I & II Chronicles, 150-151, stresses that this association is "only possible."
14 His ancestry is lacking in both 2 Kgs 11 and in 2 Chr 2224.
15 Throughout the narrative in Chronicles any notion of high-priestly succession is only vaguely implied once by the term "the house of Zadok" (2 Chr 31,10) which is applied to this Azariah under Hezekiah. It is not clear that the leading priests were all of the "house of Zadok" or if this is noted in the narrative because it is exceptional. The phrase "house of" does not automatically imply hereditary succession (in this case referring to the high-priestly office) as demonstrated by a certain Jehoiada that joins David, for whom it is chronologically impossible to be the one associated with Joash, who is of "the house of Aaron" (1 Chr 12,27). Also, a certain Zadok, "a young warrior ... from his own ancestral house", joins David at the same time (1 Chr 12,28); this could be the Zadok, but there is no conclusive evidence. In Chronicles, this lack of explicit succession language is accompanied by neither the description of a father passing it to his son nor of a high priest being called "son of" anyone.
16 Zadok"s role as "leading priest" is certainly not stressed in the organization of the temple cult nor is he the one to whom the functionaries of the temple cult are responsible; he does possess some authority in the operation of priestly duties. See especially 1 Chr 9,28-32; 15,16-24; 23,12-14.25-32; 25,1-8; 26,22-28. Priestly duties and Levitical duties are clearly distinguished throughout the larger complex of 1 Chr 2327 in terms consistent with the first occurrence of this language in 1 Chr 6,48-53, and subsequent details given in 1 Chr 9,17-34.
17 While "the anointed priest" is mentioned several times in Leviticus (4,3.5.16; 6,22; 16,32; 21,10), the only other references to the actual anointing of priests occur in reference to Aaron and his sons at the inception of the priesthood (Exod 28,41; 29,7.21.29-30; 30,22-33; Lev 6,19-23; 8,19,24). This anointing of Zadok should be seen as an authorizing move by Chronicles to connect Zadok with the Aaronide line in the same way that the genealogy provides his Aaronide (and Levitical) pedigree. For a text outside the Hebrew Bible, see Sir 45,15; cf. 2 Macc 1,10; 4Q375; 4Q376 which also mention the "anointed priest".
18 This does not include 1 Chr 16,37-42 where he is explicitly in charge of the priestly cult at Gibeon, but his duties are not described.
19 The text of 2 Chr 34,9 is a rewriting of the Kings passage in that commands of Josiah are now narrative descriptions of actions taken. Therefore, it is significant that in this overt rewriting Chronicles retains the title here while apparently eliminating it elsewhere from its source.
20 In 2 Kings, Hilkiah finds the book of the Torah in the temple, gives it to Shaphan, and is placed in charge of the money collected for the temple repairs. Chronicles maintains this portrayal and agrees with its source in not giving Hilkiah any role in the Passover celebration or in the covenant renewal and reading of the Torah done by Josiah.
21 This is one of the few passages in which the distinction between priests and Levites is blurred. In this case, Levites assume priestly duties; priests never assume Levitical duties. There is a consistent distinction between priests and Levites in Chronicles; see G.N. KNOPPERS, "Hierodules, Priests, or Janitors?: The Levites in Chronicles and the History of the Israelite Priesthood", JBL 118 (1999) 49-72.
22 However, there may be a suggestion by the Chronicler of an infraction of high-priestly duty by supplying the cause and location of Uzziah"s leprosy, which are both missing from 2 Kgs 15,1-7. His attempt to offer incense results in leprosy on his forehead (xcm), the same word used in connection with the high priest"s engraved golden plate listed among his unique apparel in Exod 28,36-38. However, this connection to the high-priestly garments is not certain as the same word for "forehead" is used to refer to Goliath"s in 1 Sam 17,49.
23 While it is possible that the Azariah under Hezekiah could be the same individual as the Azariah under Uzziah, the reigns of Jotham and Ahaz would require a minimum of 32 years before Hezekiah would come to the throne (2 Chr 27,1; 28,1). If Azariah was a young man under Uzziah, then it is possible for him to still be in office at least 32 years later. However, the text provides no evidence to determine whether this individual is the same in both cases. If anything, the added clarification of his being of the house of Zadok (2 Chr 31,10), which is not mentioned with the earlier Azariah, may point to two different people.
24 As has been recognized, Hezekiah is portrayed as a new David-Solomon; see M.A. THRONTVEIT, "Hezekiah in the Books of Chronicles", SBL Seminar Papers, 1988 (SBLSP 27; Atlanta 1988) 302-311. The failure to mention Azariah may be explained as a parallel to Zadok"s ceremonial absence during the reigns of David and Solomon.
25 Jehoiada protects the hidden Joash in the temple, leads the military coup against Athaliah, assists the king in temple repair, and provides positive moral influence on the king.
26 In 2 Kgs 12,9-10 Jehoiada himself makes the money chest and is called "high priest". In the parallel of 2 Chr 23,8-11, the maker of the chest is not specified and Jehoiada is termed "chief priest". Both of these changes seem to diminish the role of Jehoiada.
27 The focus of scholarship has been on the issue of temple purity without reference to the legislation of Lev 21,10-15. Making Jehoshabeath into the wife of Jehoiada for issues of temple purity has been seen in connection with the substitution of "Levites" for "guards" by the Chronicler in order to have only Levites and priests in the inner parts of the temple. While this concern for purity may be behind the replacement, the clarification of Levites for guards may also simply reflect the Chronicler"s understanding that the guards of the first temple were Levites, just as they were in his own time. This would be consistent with the replacement of "Levites" for "prophets" in 2 Chr 34,30; the general function of prophets seems to be associated with the Levites by the Chronicler, although this is often taken as a retrojection of his present situation into the First Temple period. See W.M. SCHNIEDEWIND, The Word of God in Transition. From Prophet to Exegete in the Second Temple Period (JSOTSS 197; Sheffield 1995) 186, 249; and S.J. DE VRIES, 1 and 2 Chronicles (FOTL 11; Grand Rapids 1989) 408.
28 Jehoiada restores the Davidic line by ceremonially crowning, anointing and giving the king the "covenant" (2 Chr 23,11); he also allows the line to flourish by acquiring two wives (and thus many children) for Joash (2 Chr 24,3); he is the one who renews the covenant, appoints the levitical priests, and stations the gatekeepers (2 Chr 23,16-21).
29 See, however, the role of Jehoiada in distributing the money collected to pay the temple workers and using it to refurbish the temple in Chronicles. The text of 2 Kgs 12,9-16 is vague about who does what. Chronicles clarifies this by explicitly depicting Jehoiada and the king twice side-by-side in performing these duties (2 Chr 24,12.14). It is unclear whether this is the leading priest operating in royal matters or the king operating in cultic matters.
30 This is another interesting substitution of "Levites" by the Chronicler. His source (2 Kgs 23,2) has "priests." Clearly the Chronicler has a very specific notion of what Levitical duties should entail and takes opportunity to express it.
31 Following the arguments for such an identification by VANDERKAM, "Jewish High Priests of the Persian Period", 70, 82-83, 90-91.
32 This is consistent with Jehoshaphat"s portrayal in the spirit of David-Solomon; see G.N. KNOPPERS, "Reform and Regression: The Chronicler"s Treatment of Jehoshaphat", Bib 72 (1991) 500-524. This is also consistent with the failure to mention leading priests in any of the reforms by righteous kings except for Josiah (which is consistent with 2 Kgs 2223).
33 The Chronicler does not specify who these judges were. However, Jehoshaphat continues to appoint judges in Jerusalem who will decide disputed cases. These higher judges are appointed from the Levites, priests, and heads of the families of Israel (2 Chr 19,8). Here Moses" function as highest judge over disputed cases (as related in Exod 18,13-27) is allocated to multiple leaders from different social locations among the community.
That duties assigned to Moses, and only to Moses, in the Torah should be assigned to a variety of individuals is important in larger discussions of Mosaic authority in the Second Temple period and on its own terms in this passage. On the issue of Mosaic authority in the Hebrew Bible and the Second Temple period, see H. NAJMAN, Seconding Sinai. The Development of Mosaic Discourse in Second Temple Judaism (JSJS 77; Leiden 2003). In this particular passage, the Chronicler has an excellent opportunity to assign an explicitly Mosaic duty to the leading priest, but instead it has been "democratized" to a large extent.
34 This judicial structure is unique in Chronicles, and in the Hebrew Bible as a whole.
35 Zadok is anointed, but acts as the supervisor of only priestly, and not Levitical, duties. Hilkiah has more responsibility: charge of the funds for temple repair, provision of sacrificial portions for the priests under him (though not alone), and some sort of unspecified leadership role in the delegation sent by the king.
36 Zadok and Hilkiah are not responsible for the Levites in addition to the priests. The non-Zadokite chief priests, however, are responsible for the Levites as well as the priests.
37 See K.E. POMYKALA, "12 Chronicles", The Davidic Dynasty Tradition in Early Judaism. Its History and Significance for Messianism (SBL. Early Judaism and Its Literature 7; Atlanta 1995) 69-111. That the Davidic king has a cultic significance in Chronicles is exceedingly clear; see A.G. AULD, Kings Without Privilege. David and Moses in the Story of the Bible"s Kings (Edinburgh 1994); S.J. DE VRIES, "Moses and David as Cult Founders in Chronicles", JBL 107 (1988) 619-639; and W. RILEY, King and Cultus in Chronicles. Worship and the Reinterpretation of History (JSOTSS 160; Sheffield 1993).
38 See RILEY, King and Cultus in Chronicles, 139-149, and especially 203; E. BEN ZVI, "When the Foreign Monarch Speaks", The Chronicler as Author. Studies in Text and Texture (ed. M.P. GRAHAM S.L. MCKENZIE) (JSOTSS 263; Sheffield 1999) 209-228. For the Chronicler, the promises to David apply to the people of Israel and God has appointed Persia as his instrument just as the prophet Isaiah regarded the actions of Assyria as occurring as a result of God"s control over history (Isa 10,5) and as Second Isaiah claimed concerning God"s election of Cyrus for the divine purpose (Isa 44,2445,13) and applied the "everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David" to the people of Israel (Isa 55,3).
39 A similar suggestion is made by ROOKE, Zadok"s Heirs, 208.