Thursday, January 29, 2015

When Did The Priests Separate From the Temple And Thus Stop Sacrificing Animals?

My last post  (The Misplaced Text of War Chapters 4 and 5) has made me think that there could be other areas of the writings attributed to Josephus where the Flavian historians did the same; i.e. they took text from one area and used it in another say for propaganda.  And, conveniently, the removal of text from an area could be to hide the original purpose of the text. 

The area I have in mind is Ant.17.6.2. (17.149).  It starts: There was one Judas, the son of Saripheus, and Matthias, the son of Margalothus.  This text is related to the time of Herod. Judas and Matthias are common names, but to have these two names together is a bit of a coincidence as leaders of a plot to tear down an eagle that Herod is supposed to have erected over a gate of the temple.  I say coincidence because Judas has the same name as Judas Maccabeus and a Mattathias Maccabeus was his father.  These were the leaders of the Maccabean revolt.    In Antiquities 17.6, nothing is said of what happened to Judas.  My thoughts are that the text of Antiquites 17.6 could be garbled to blacken the character of Herod. Further it could have its origin in Antiquities 12.7.6 (12.318) where Judas purges or purifies the Temple.

So Judas's ' purging' of the temple would have been the abolition of animal sacrifice. This would also have been the time that the priests 'separated' themselves from the temple.  This was a 'separation' that was forced upon them.  They were kicked out.

NOTE  If the above is correct, then some of my previous posts about a high priest Matthias at the time of Herod were fabricated by the priestly editors of the original Antiquities.   The Flavian editors would have been casting Herod in a bad light.  That Herod was hated by the priests (who were later given licence by Vespasian to re-write much of Antiquities) is self evident.  He was a convert to Judaism and an ardent supporter of Hasmoneans and the prophets, in other words a Hasmonean by nature.