« PreviousContinue »
2 Sam. is mention’d, as attending the Ark, and
exercising an equal Share of Power with Abiathar, under King David, in the Time of Absalom's Rebellion : But, whether one was more than a Chief of the second Order, or at best a Coadjutor to the other, as Phinebas was to Eleazar, may be a Question. Zadok, we find, was moreover a Seer, or Prophet; and might, upon that Account, be honour'd equally with Abiathar; and in some Respects, upon Occafion, act jointly with him.
They are again mention'd together, afterward, when a short Lift is given us of King David's principal Servants, or his
Ministry, as we now call it: Among ib. xix. which, it is said, Zadok and Abiathar were
the Priests. For tho' Abiathar alone might be the High-Priest, Zadok, who was a Seer, may be easily conceiv'd to have had a greater Share of Court Favour; and therefore, upon all Occasions, to be nam'd before Abiatbar.
But that Abiathar's was in Reality the higher Station, appears pretty plainly from this; That, when he was remov'd from the High-Priesthood, Zadak, (tho' he had
fuck fast by the King's Party, and help'd to set the Crown upon his Head) could yet attain no higher Advancement, than to be put in his Room. Add to this, 1 Kings that it is not probable that David, who ii. 35. had so great a Regard for the Law, would have infring’d it in so notorious a Man- ner, as to set up two High-Priests at the fame Time.
But, if it were really so, that the Office of High-Priest was equally divided between them; we may account for Zadok's being nam'd before Abiathar, from his being of the elder House; in that he was defcended from Eleazar; the other from Ithamar: as is recorded in the Chro- , Chron. nicles; where we find Abiatbar is called xxiv, 1, Abimelech; as Abimelech is, in the Gospel Mark':.
called Abiathar; whence we may conclude 26. i both these Names were common to both these High-Priests, Father and Son.
Thre is another Instance of this, in the Gospel; where John the Baptist is said to Luke iii. have enter'd upon his Ministry, the Year 2. that Annas and Caiaphas were High-Priests. But, as before, it was not likely that David, who was so well acquainted with,
and had such a Veneration for the Law, would have attempted to make such an Innovation in it; in this case, it is as improbable, that the Roman Governours, who had, long since, taken the Liberty to create a new High-Priest, as often as they pleas'd, sometimes every Year, would suffer
two to be in that Poft, at once. Besides, Mat others of the Evangelists mention Caiaphas xxvi. 3, only as High-Prieft; and for that Year Joh. xi. only: alluding to the annual Change of
Confirmation. For this Caiapbas as we 13, 14, find, was continu'd several Years: even to
the * Time of Vitellius.
Upon the whole, therefore, it seems probable that Annas was one who had formerly been High-Priest, and therefore might still be favour'd with the Title. He might, at the same Time, be in so high Efteem for his great Abilities, as to be authorized by the Great Council, to examine into and take Cognizance of any special Affair, jointly with the High-Priest for the
Time being. Or, elfe, that being FatherJoh.
in-Law to Caiaphas, he might at his Re
Josephus Antiq. Lib. 18. fol.
quest, concern himself in the Transaction referr'd to. At least, one Circumstance will help to corroborate the other. And possibly it was, upon both these Accounts, that our LORD was had first before An- Joh.
xviij. 13 z nas, an experienc'd Judge, and Father-inLaw of the High-Priest; and afterwards i led to Caiaphas himself, the High-Priest for the Time being: who having, before, given his Opinion, and, at the same Time prophesied, (but in another Sense than he intended) that it was expedient that Joh. xi. one man should die for the people, foon 5o. sent him away, to the Judgment-Hall to Pilate, the Roman Governor; they not having the Power of Life and Death. · And therefore these two High-Priests, the late and present, being the only two of that Rank, who acted jointly as it were, like the two Confuls of Rome, in civil Affairs, are mention'd together by St. Luke, among other Circumstances, to denote the Year in which the Baptift first began his ministerial Office. It is, I conceive, upon the same Foundation that this Annas is again stild the High-Priest by St. Luke, Ads iv.6. in the Acts; where he is mention'd toge
ther with Caiaphas : and is without Doubt Acts the same with him, whom he aftewards xxiii. 2.
speaks of under the Name of Ananias; as a very great * Critic informs us.
Two | Historians, of good Credit, have given us the several Names of all the High-Priests, from the first Institution, to the Destruction of the Temple and City by Titus; making in all, Eighty Four. What Authorities they took their Accounts from, I know not; but not above one Fourth of the Number, are mention'd in Scripture; and, I at least another, did not succeed according to the legal Establishment, in the Line of Aaron; but wero put in for a Time, by the Roman Procurators. We
We'may therefore be the more readily excus’d, if we do not think it worth while to give any List of them here. We come, in the next Place, to speak of the Priests.
* Hammond upon Luke iii. 2.