High priest list in 1Chr 9 & Neh 11

Ian Hutchesson mc2499 at mclink.it
Wed Feb 28 14:55:09 EST 2001

>Ian, you wrote: "I'd be interested in any *non-apologetic* thoughts on the
>subject." So I quite deliberately avoided anything like of this nature. I
>accept that one or two assumptions may have crept in, but I know you will
>careful to eradicate these from your work.

And thanks, Peter.

>I trust you will also eradicate
>such presuppositions as that 1 Esdras has priority over Ezra (I would
>suggest that the shortened list in 1 Esdras 8:1-2 is a result of bad
>translation of the original in Ezra, and that in general shorter lists are
>secondary to longer ones, but I can't prove it).

I would suggest you are simply wrong for a number of reasons:

1) they obviously didn't have 1 Chr 6 to compare with (otherwise
   they wouldn't have made the mistakes you think they have);

2) Josephus testifies for 1 Esdras against both Ezra and Nehemiah;

3) The form of the Persian letters are more primative in 1 Esdras,
   using the tetragrammaton which has been eradicated in Ezra;

4) 2 Esdras 1 has used the list found in Ezra 7 and lengthened it
   a unique way (hence the shorter list can be preferable);

I've got a number of other reasons floating around somewhere in the back of
my head, but these here are mine (ie new work) and the ones I remember. You
might read Garbini's article on Ezra in "History and Ideology of Ancient
Israel" for more. (I should probably drag it out now as well. If I remember
correctly he says that C.C: Torrey was the first to propose the priority of
1 Esdras at the beginning of the 20th century.)

I think it's plain when one doesn't start off with the assumption that Ezra
has priority that the Vorlage indicated by 1 Esdras is preferable to Ezra.
The problem is that the people who have written the commentaries on 1 Esdras
don't even give the book the time of day. They simply trivialise it.

It is with the Ezra tradition genealogies that I can reconstruct the
evolution of the high priestly lineage down to the final flower in 1 Chr 6.
The list in 1 Chr 6 is not sufficient even given the fact that it's the
longest version, when compared with the kingly list. (Note that in the two
hundred years between the reign of Jehoshaphat and Josiah there are only
three high priests. That's seventy years of adulthood each!)

Amariah   |  Jehoshaphat  (2Chr19:11)  868-847
Ahitub    |
Zadok     |
Shallum   |
Hilkiah   |  Josiah       (2Kgs22:4)   639-609

>Also I see no evidence for
>taking Nehemiah 11:11 as in any sense a "high-priestly" genealogy,
>especially when 12:10-11 and 12:26 seem to give the genealogy of the family
>line elsewhere called high priests.

But not called so in Nehemiah.

>But I don't want to descend into
>apologetics. So I will leave this one with you.

Again thanks.

>If, despite what you wrote,
>you are not interested in my thoughts (is it because of my other views
>rather than because of their contents?), then you are welcome to ignore

Sorry, Peter. We both probably have certain things a little too well

>I would at least expect your thanks for pointing out an error, which I
>never claimed was more than a copying error.

The impact of finding it in neon lights at the start of your post didn't set
the tone well.

But thanks for the post. Lengthy responses mean that I'm working harder!


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