The ascendance of the high priests (1 Chr 6:4-6:15)

“Eleazar became the father of Phinehas. Phinehas became the father of Abishua. Abishua became the father of Bukki. Bukki became the father of Uzzi. Uzzi became the father of Zerahiah. Zerahiah became the father of Meraioth. Meraioth became the father of Amariah. Amariah became the father of Ahitub. Ahitub became the father of Zadok. Zadok became the father of Ahimaaz. Ahimaaz became the father of Azariah. Azariah became the father of Johanan. Johanan became the father of Azariah, who served as priest in the house that Solomon built in Jerusalem. Azariah was the father of Amariah. Amariah became the father of Ahitub. Ahitub became the father of Zadok. Zadok became the father of Shallum. Shallum became the father of Hilkiah. Hilkiah became the father of Azariah. Azariah became the father of Seraiah. Seraiah became the father of Jehozadak. Jehozadak went into exile when Yahweh sent Judah and Jerusalem into exile by the hand of Nebuchadnezzar.”

This is a list of the high priests prior to the Exile, a parallel to the descendents of David in chapter 3 of this book, as they were both hereditary. The king and the priests were the important people. Eleazar was the son of Aaron who had a son named Phinehas. Phinehas, the grandson of Aaron was promised the hereditary high priesthood in Numbers, chapter 25. There is not much information about Abishua, Bukki, or Zerahiah other than their listings in the genealogies. Uzzi is a name shared with 6 other biblical people. There are a couple of Levite priests with the name of Meraioth. There were 8 different priests named Amariah. This genealogy gets tricky with Ahitub. There were 2 priests with this name. 1 was the son of Phinehas, so that when his grandfather Eli died, he succeeded to the office of high priest, and was himself succeeded by his son Ahijah as in 1 Samuel, chapter 4, who is not mentioned here. The other was the father of Zadok, who was made high priest by Saul after the extermination of the family of Ahimelech in 2 Samuel, chapter 8, who is the one mentioned here. This Zadok was the trusted priest friend of David, who helped to put Solomon on the throne. His son Ahimaaz remained loyal to David in the rebellions both of Absalom and of Adonijah. However, Ahimaaz’ son became the high priest since he died before this father died. Thus, technically the first high priest of Jerusalem was Azariah, because he lived at the time that the Temple was built by Solomon. However, there are 27 biblical people who have the same name as this Azariah. In this list Azariah is both the father and son of Johanan. This list gets goofy because it relists Amariah, Ahitub, and Zadok as sons again. Either people had the same names or this is filler to get down to Hilkiah. In the relisting, Zadok became the father of Shallum, but there are 15 different biblical people with that name. However, he was the father of Hilkiah the high priest at the time of Josiah in the 7th century. Hilkiah became the father of another Azariah, who became the father of Seraiah, but there are 11 people with this name. Finally we get to his son Jehozadak, who got carried away in the Babylonian Captivity, after Seraiah was killed by King Nebuchadnezzar.

36 thoughts on “The ascendance of the high priests (1 Chr 6:4-6:15)

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