In the perennial search to understand why sons of Zadok are
mentioned in the scrolls at all, I was reading Jeremias,
"Jerusalem in the Time of Jesus", when I came across his
reading of the Zadokite return to Jerusalem at the time of
Menelaus. Jeremias is insistent that it was not Jason who
recaptured Jerusalem but Onias son of the high priest Onias
III, despite AJ 12,5,1 and 2 Macc 5. He argues, amongst
other things, that the life of the temple at Leontopolis
given by Josephus as 343 years at its destruction in 73 CE
-- which is obviously wrong -- should read 243 years,
putting its foundation by Onias at 170/169 BCE. He also
cites BJ 1,1 (1.31) in which "Onias, one of the high
priests got the better and cast the sons of Tobias out of
the city" as evidence that it was Onias (for me, Onias IV
-- Jeremias uses different numbering, Onias III), and not
Jason, who took the city from Menelaus. (Jeremias accuses
Josephus of having muddied the waters to preserve the high
priestly line from any "irregularity" -- though he is
silent over 2 Macc 5.) If he is right, this puts the
departure of the Onias and his family in 169 BCE, ie before
the persecution of Antiochus IV.
The importance of all this is that I take the high priestly
family of Onias to have been the sons of Zadok. (There is
some conflict over the status of Alcimus, who 2 Macc 14:3
says was "a former high priest" and AJ 12,9,7 says was "not
of the high priest stock".) While the sons of Zadok were
theoretically sons of Aaron -- just as the sons of Aaron
were theoretically sons of Levi -- 1QSa seems to make a
sufficient distinction between the sons of Zadok, who were
at the head of the community council of Israel, while the
sons of Aaron had authority over the sons of Levi, the sons
of Zadok apparently had authority over all Israel.
The mention of the sons of Zadok in 1QS, 1QSa and 1QSb
would seem to date those texts very early. It would
therefore not be strange to see neither 1QSa nor 1QSb
represented in cave 4, and the fragments of 1QS have the
references to the sons of Zadok removed.
1. If anyone has any light to shed on the Onias/Jason
problem I would be happy to read it.
2. The distinction between the sons of Zadok and the sons
of Aaron doesn't seem to have been debated, but I would
like to hear if there are any bibliographical indications.
Any comments would be welcome.
3. Does it seem reasonable to list members to use the
mention of the sons of Zadok for dating purposes?
(Note, that I make a distinction between sons of Zadok
and Sadducees, the rump of the priesthood which followed
older religious traditions and did not adhere to the
"innovations" of the Pharisees.)
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