High priest list in 1Chr 9 & Neh 11

Ian Hutchesson mc2499 at mclink.it
Mon Feb 26 19:32:30 EST 2001

One of the things I'm battling with is the evolution of the high priestly
lineage (and hence the request about the Seder Olam). Now I came across
these two snippets both dealing with the situation in Jerusalem after the
return from exile. These are representations of a part of the high priestly
lineage. There are three things to note: 1) the intrusion of the name
Meraioth between Ahitub and Zadok (it isn't in the other lists); 2)
Meshullam in both (whereas others have Shallum); and 3) the difference
between Azariah and Seraiah as the current referent of the two lists --
Azariah is the son of Hilkiah according to other lists.

1Chr 9:11    Neh 11:11

Azariah      Seraiah      (ben)
Hilkiah      Hilkiah        "
Meshullam    Meshullam      "
Zadok        Zadok          "
Meraioth     Meraioth       "
Ahitub       Ahitub

As I said, we are apparently at the beginning of the return period in both
passages, so it is strange to find either Azariah or Seraiah described as
the officer of the house of the Lord in that period. After all it was
Seraiah who was the high priest who went into the exile. It would appear to
me that Seraiah was original to the list and that the editor in this section
of 1Chr has corrected Seraiah to Azariah, thus heightening the chronological
problem for us (though he could have been working under different
presuppositions at the time). There is a high priestly list in Josephus's AJ
10,8,6 which differs greatly from the others with the exception of the
sequence Sallumus (Shallum and here Meshullam), Elcias (Hilkiah), and Sareas
(Seraiah), so there is support here for the Nehemiah tradition of Seraiah
being the son of Hilkiah.

It would appear to me that 1 Chr 9 and Neh 11 are two closely related forms
of an earlier high priestly lineage from that found in 1 Chr 6, though
perhaps the editor of 1 Chr 9 already had 1 Chr 6 when he reworked this

1Chr 6:12f   1Chr 9:11    Neh 11:11   AJ 10,8,6

Seraiah                   Seraiah     Sareas
Azariah      Azariah        -             -
Hilkiah      Hilkiah      Hilkiah     Elcias
Meshullam    Meshullam    Shallum     Sallumus
Zadok        Zadok        Zadok         <.>
   -         Meraioth     Meraioth      <.>
Ahitub       Ahitub       Ahitub        <.>

I'd be interested in any *non-apologetic* thoughts on the subject.


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