Geoff Hudson wrote:

> So how does one explain the almost incidental remark about priestly
> Rechabites in Eusebius' history (2.23) and said to have been written by
> Hegesippus?:
> 'While they pelted him (James) with stones, one of the descendants of Rechab
> the son of the Rechabim -- the PRIESTLY family to which Jeremiah the Prophet
> bore witness, called out: Stop! what are you doing? the Righteous One is
> praying for you.'

One explains it first by noting that you rely too heavily not on the actual text
of Eusebius, but on a particular English translation of it (that of G.A.
Williamson) that is contains a bias toward seeing the Rechabites as priests.

More accurate, I think, is the translation of  which renders the passage:

Thus they were stoning him, when one of the priests of the sons of Rechab, a son
of the Rechabites, spoken of by Jeremiah the prophet, cried out saying,'Cease,
what are you doing?

In other words, the text you refer to seems to say that while there were priests
who were Rechabites, not all Recabites were -- or were even thought to be --

Secondly, by noting that even IF the Rechabites were a priestly family in NT
times, it does not mean they always were. The evidence for the idea of any
Rechabite as priestly  is late, as is the testimony that they were Levite
singers, and in any case testifies to knowledge that they were NOT priestly from
early on, but only came to assume this role after Rechabites who were not
priests began to marry their daughters to priests.

Third, by noting that Hegesippus' statement is itself suspect since Epiphanius
(Heresy LXXVIII. 14) substitutes "Symeon the brother of James" for "the


Jeffrey Gibson
Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon.)
1500 W. Pratt Blvd.
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Chicago, Illinois 60626

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