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IV. Judas Maccabeus and the High Priesthood of Alcimus

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Chapter Summary

This chapter is concerned with the policy of the Hasmoneans in relation to the next high priest, Alcimus. The period under study is between early 162 and 159, when Alcimus died. When Alcimus came to power part of the allies of Hasmoneans accepted his high priesthood. Judas himself died in the year 160 and Jonathan succeeded him. Three questions will guide this analysis: First, why did the Hasmoneans reject the high priesthood of Alcimus? Second, was Judas a high priest as stated by Josephus in Ant. 12.414, 419, 434, and as assumed by several modern scholars? Third, what was the nature of the leadership that Jonathan inherited from his brother, Judas? This treatise is important for two reasons. First, it addresses the important question of the alleged high priesthood of Judas. Second, it shows how the circumstances and events under discussion contributed to the institution of the Hasmonean high priesthood.

Keywords: Hasmoneans; high priest Alcimus; high priest Jonathan; Josephus; Judas Maccabeus



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