-----Original Message-----
Behalf Of Herb Basser
Sent: 30 May 2002 00:56
Subject: Re: orion-list Jeremiah's Eternal Priesthood, the Rechabim

thanks for the citation-- i now recall george had written me about this
months ago and i saw the passage but forgot about it until geoff brought it
tou our attention again. I'm not sure of all the Yalkut's sources here but
here is what we find:yalkut Jeremiah preserves:  some say their daughters
married priests and
their grandchildren offered sacrifices--

this doesnt make rechabites priests at all--  lineage follows males.
I would like to consider Josephus' claims to priesthood and royal descent.
Have you noticed Josephus' tetchy protestations in regard to his ancestry
(somewhat like Paul in the NT)?  He is aware of those who would imply that
he was of inferior descent when he retorts 'so bid adieu to those who
calumniate me,(as of a lower original).'(Life 1).  Here was someone who at
least THOUGHT he was a kosher priest, even if others had doubts.  So what
evidence does Josephus give us in support of his claims? He does say that he
found his genealogy in the public records.  Perhaps that was more than what
many priests of his day could claim. He also says that he is descended all
along from the priests.  One must then ask through which family line does he
make this claim?

According to Life 1, Josephus' grandfather's father had a grandfather
(Josephus omits two generations) who was one Simon Psellus for whom Josephus
makes no claim to fame but only that he lived at the same time (say about
120 BCE) as the high priest and king Hyrcanus I (the son of the high priest
Simon who was the son of Asmoneus).  If Simon Psellus was a priest, then
surely Josephus would at least have said so.

Simon Psellus had nine sons, one of whom was Matthias Ephlias, born say
about 90 BCE.  He married the daughter of the high priest Johnathan the
eldest son of Asmoneus.  Why does Josephus need to tell us who Matthias
married?  The reason could have been to show how important this ancester
Matthias was?  But was this marriage to a high priest's daughter recognised
by Josephus' ancestors as the route to priesthood?  Earlier Josephus says
'for the children of Asmonius FROM whom THAT FAMILY(the priestly family in
which Josephus found himself) WAS DERIVED, had both the office of the high
priesthood and the dignity of a king.' Josephus appears to be pinning his
claim to priesthood to this connection with the line of Asmonius. His claim
to royal descent is not from the line of Asmonius but through his mother who
he says was of 'royal blood' (presumably Herodian, and also possibly

To complete the genealogy, in 63 BCE (the first year of the government of
the high priest and ethnarch Hyrcanus II), Matthias Curtus was born to
Matthias Ephlias.  In 28 BCE (the ninth year of the reign of Herod -- the
text has Alexandra), Joseph (Josephus' grandfather) was born to Matthias
Curtus.  In 6 CE (the 10th year of the reign of Archelaus), Matthias
(Josephus' father) was born to Joseph.  In 37 CE, Josephus was born to

So who were Josephus' ancestors back along the male line from Simon Psellus?
I think I can understand now why Paul said (Rom.11.1 ,Phil.3.5) that he was
of the tribe of Benjamin.  The Rechabites came from that tribe which had a
tradition of stealing daughters to take as wives.  Presumably, high priest's
daughter's were fair game and the most prized.  Paul was of Rechabite
origin, as was Josephus.  Both went into the desert for a time to practise
the life -- Josephus with another Rechabite called Banus (or was it
Barnabus, or James as Eisenman suggests?).  Strangely, the NT is silent
about naming Paul's relatives, but he did have Herodian kin living in a
mansion in Rome (Rom.16.10,11), and there are plenty of Rechabite allusions
in his theology.


For private reply, e-mail to "Geoff Hudson" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To unsubscribe from Orion, e-mail to [EMAIL PROTECTED] with the
message: "unsubscribe Orion." Archives are on the Orion Web
site, http://orion.mscc.huji.ac.il.

Reply via email to