Prof. Gibson provides some ideas regarding the interpretation of
the Eusebius reference to the Rechabim.
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
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
> 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 -- priests.
RESPONSE: Well, this hardly changes anything. The fact there
are ANY Priests that belong to the same lineage as that "spoken
of by Jeremiah" is quite an admission of any kind. And, in fact,
it consolidates the meaning and value of Jeremiah's own advocacy
of the Rechabites as eternally having someone "stand" before
Yahweh. Again, Jeremiah doesn't say that ALL Rechabites are
priests... but he does say that there will always be Rechabite
There is also the explicit references in Talmud (the exact references
are in Eisenman's JAMES THE BROTHER OF JESUS) which
ALSO say that the Rechabite sons and daughters married the
daughters and sons of the High Priest.
There doesn't seem much doubt that Jewish tradition (both in
Talmud and in the Bible) spells out the existence of a Rechabite
priesthood. And Ezekiel's references in opposition to a certain
faction of the Jerusalem priesthood would also seem to support
the same conclusion.
Prof. Gibson writes:
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.
REPLY: This fits fine with the scenario. The question, of course,
is when these "marriages" occured. Since Jeremiah is very much a
champion of Rechabite spirituality, it suggests that marriages with
Priestly lines in Jerusalem were likely during the life span of Jeremiah,
or just before.
To reject the idea that Rechabites did not have some priestly
members at the time of Jeremiah is to turn Ezekiel's opposition to
a Jerusalem faction of priests into unexplainable gibberish. Who
else is the most likely candidate?
For private reply, e-mail to George Brooks <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
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