Wednesday, August 16, 2006

High Priests of Israel

The breastplate of the High Priest.This page gives one list (partly traditional) of the High Priests of Israel up to the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 AD. Because of gaps in the historical record, this list is naturally incomplete and there may be gaps.

The Kohen Gadol or Kohen ha-Gadol (Heb. כהן גדול "Great Priest") was the High Priest of early Israelite religion and of classical Judaism from the rise of the Israelite nation until the destruction of the Second Temple of Jerusalem.

Biblical data
Aaron, though he is but rarely called "the great priest," being generally simply designated "as ha-kohen" (the priest), was the first incumbent of the office, to which he was appointed by God (Ex. xxviii. 1, 2; xxix. 4, 5). The succession was to be through one of his sons, and was to remain in his own family (Lev. vi. 15; comp. Josephus, "Ant." xx. 10, § 1).


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