Page images

XV, 35.

2 Sam. is mention'd, as attending the Ark, and exercifing an equal Share of Power with Abiathar, under King David, in the Time of Abfalom's Rebellion: But, whether one was more than a Chief of the fecond Order, or at best a Coadjutor to the other, as Phinebas was to Eleazar, may be a Question. Zadok, we find, was moreover a Seer, or Prophet; and might, upon that Account, be honour'd equally with Abiathar; and in some Respects, upon Occafion, act jointly with him.

--- 27.


They are again mention'd together, afterward, when a fhort Lift is given us of King David's principal Servants, or his Ministry, as we now call it: Among ib. xix. which, it is faid, Zadok and Abiathar were the Priests. For tho' Abiathar alone might be the High-Priest, Zadok, who was a Seer, may be easily conceiv'd to have had a greater Share of Court Favour; and therefore, upon all Occafions, to be nam'd before Abiathar.

But that Abiathar's was in Reality the higher Station, appears pretty plainly from this; That, when he was remov'd from the High-Priesthood, Zadok, (tho' he had



ii. 35.

ftuck faft by the King's Party, and help'd to set the Crown upon his Head) could yet attain no higher Advancement, than to be put in his Room. Add to this, Kings that it is not probable that David, who had fo great a Regard for the Law, would have infring'd it in fo notorious a Manner, as to set up two High-Priests at the fame Time.

[ocr errors]

But, if it were really fo, that the Of fice of High-Priest was equally divided between them; we may account for Zadok's being nam'd before Abiathar, from his being of the elder House; in that he was defcended from Eleazar; the other from Ithamar: as is recorded in the ChroI Chron. nicles; where we find Abiathar is called xxiv. 1, &c. 31. Abimelech; as Abimelech is, in the Gospel Markii. called Abiathar; whence we may conclude 26. both these Names were common to both thefe High-Priests, Father and Son.

Thre is another Instance of this, in the Gofpel; where John the Baptift is said to Luke iii. have enter'd upon his Miniftry, the Year 2 that Annas and Caiaphas were High-Priefts. But, as before, it was not likely that David, who was fo well acquainted with,

[ocr errors]


and had fuch a Veneration for the Law, would have attempted to make such an Innovation in it; in this Cafe, it is as improbable, that the Roman Governours, who had, long fince, taken the Liberty to create a new High-Prieft, as often as they pleas'd, fometimes every Year, would fuffer two to be in that Poft, at once. Befides, others of the Evangelists mention Caiaphas only as High-Prieft; and for that Year only: alluding to the annual Change or Confirmation. For this Caiaphas as we 13, 14, find, was continu'd feveral Years: even to the Time of Vitellius.


xxvi. 3,


Joh. xi.


ib. xviii.


[blocks in formation]

Upon the whole, therefore, it seems probable that Annas was one who had formerly been High-Prieft, and therefore might ftill be favour'd with the Title. He might, at the fame Time, be in so high Efteem for his great Abilities, as to be authorized by the Great Council, to examine into and take Cognizance of any fpecial Affair, jointly with the High-Prieft for the Time being. Or, elfe, that being Fatherin-Law to Caiaphas, he might at his Re

* Jofephus Antiq. Lib. 18. c. 1.


xviii. 13.

quest, concern himself in the Transaction referr❜d to. At least, one Circumstance will help to corroborate the other. And poffibly it was, upon both thefe Accounts, that our LORD was had first before An- Joh. nas, an experienc'd Judge, and Father-inLaw of the High-Prieft; and afterwards led to Caiaphas himself, the High-Prieft for the Time being: who having, before, given his Opinion, and, at the fame Time prophefied, (but in another Sense than he intended) that it was expedient that Joh. xi. one man should die for the people, foon sent him away, to the Judgment-Hall to Pilate, the Roman Governor; they not having the Power of Life and Death.


And therefore thefe two High-Priefts, the late and present, being the only two of that Rank, who acted jointly as it were, like the two Confuls of Rome, in civil Affairs, are mention'd together by St. Luke, among other Circumftances, to denote the Year in which the Baptift first began his minifterial Office. It is, I conceive, upon the fame Foundation that this Annas is again ftil'd the High-Prieft by St. Luke, Acts iv.6, in the Acts; where he is mention'd toge



xxiii. 2.

ther with Caiaphas: and is without Doubt the fame with him, whom he aftewards fpeaks of under the Name of Ananias; as a very great *Critic informs us.

Two + Hiftorians, of good Credit, have given us the feveral Names of all the High-Priefts, from the first Institution, to the Destruction of the Temple and City by Titus; making in all, Eighty Four. What Authorities they took their Accounts from, I know not; but not above one Fourth of the Number, are mention'd in Scripture; and, ‡ at least another, did not fucceed according to the legal Establishment, in the Line of Aaron; but were put in for a Time, by the Roman Procurators. We therefore be the more readily excus'd, if we do not think it worth while to give any Lift of them here. We come, in the next Place, to fpeak of the Priests.


*Hammond upon Luke iii. 2.
+ Jofephus and Eufebius,

Hammond, as above.


« PreviousContinue »