Geoff wrote;
"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?"

The answer to the first question seems to me to be the existence at that
of a widely respected custom - calling for Cohanim, especially High priests
- to marry daughters of the Cohanim, and not simply Jewish or Levite women.
The very fact of a marriage to a bride of highpriestly descent
became thus a proof of the priestly purity of the ancestors of the groom

Undoubtedly Josephus had to fight numbers of critics after his treason.
The fact that at least some of these critics doubted his claims is no proof
whatsoever for him not being a priest, but a strong indication of the
paramount importance of lineage at the time, shedding light on the
similar obsession in Qumran.

I have found absolutely no trace anywhere of lineages
derived from the mother´s side, which only establishes the Jewishness of
but never his levitical or priestly statute.
There is no reason however to doubt the connection
between Priests and the daughters of Rechabim, or viceversa.
Interestingly there is a priestly tradition requiring the Cohanim to avoid
drinking alcohol. This tradition preserved long after the distruction of the
may have been founded not only on the clear Halachic prohibition regarding
the service in the Temple, but also on the  rechabitic customs recorded by

Best regards, Peter Janku

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