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V. Jonathan and the High Priestly Office: 159–152 b.c.e.

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Chapter Summary

During the high priesthood of Alcimus there was an increase of Seleucid military/colonist presence in Judea. Attention was paid to the development of the high priesthood of Alcimus, especially his militarized representation. Judas, the leader of the Hasmonean revolt, died in 160. After his death, the Hasmonean led forces under the command of Jonathan were reduced to a minor threat beyond the Jordan valley. According to the royal letter alluded to in 1 Macc 10:3, 6-7, King Demetrius I Soter permitted Jonathan to recruit troops, manufacture arms, and settle in Jerusalem. This chapter focuses on three important aspects: 1) The policy and role of Jonathan as warrior priests after the death of Alcimus; 2) The history of the high priestly office between 159 and 152; 3) The circumstances surrounding Jonathan's military appointment in 152 and its significance for the institution of the Hasmonean high priesthood.

Keywords: Hasmonean revolt; high priest Jonathan; high priesthood of Alcimus; high priestly office; Judea; Seleucid military; warrior priest



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