Steven James Schweitzer, «The High Priest in Chronicles: An Anomaly in a Detailed Description of the Temple Cult», Vol. 84 (2003) 388-402
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.
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]
|2 Kgs 22,4.8; 23,4 // 2 Chr 34,9 [Kgs: 3 times;
Chr: only once]
|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|