To see the context for the Book of Revelation we need to understand what was going on in the Priesthood. This lesson will show how the High Priesthood had been corrupted and had become the pawn of the overruling powers that had conquered Judea before Christ.
Ten High Priests Unlawfully Appointed From The Time of Antiochus Eupator to Herod The Great in Whose Reign Christ Was Born. (Josephus’ Antiquities Books xiv-xx. These were of the priestly families but not in the line of succession from Aaron.)
1. Jacimus, appointed by Antiochus Eupator, Priest, reigned 3 years, died.
(No High Pries for 7 years)
BEGINNING OF HASMONEAN PRIESTHOOD:
2. Jonathan, appointed by Maccabees, Priest 7 years, slain.
3. Simon, his brother, Maccabees, Priest 8 years, slain.
4. Hyrcanus, Maccabees, Priest 30 years, died.
5. Judas (Aristobulus), Maccabees, King and Priest 1 year, died.
6. Alexander, his brother, Maccabees, King and Priest 27 years, died.
7. Hyrcanus, son of Alexander & Alexandra, Maccabees, Priest 9 years, defeated by Aristobulus.
Alexandra reigned as Queen, appointed by the Pharisees, 9 years, died, Ant.13.16.1-6.
8. Aristobulus, brother of Hyrcanus, fought Hyrcanus for Priesthood, King and Priest 3 years and 3 months, captured by Pompey.
9. Hyrcanus, (again), appointed by Pompey, King and Priest 24 years, captured by Parthians.
10. Antigonus, son of Aristobulus, perhaps King only, not High Priest? He was appointed by the Parthians, reigned 3 years and 3 months, captured by Herod, taken to Antony and slain, (Ant.14.16.1-4).
11. Herod, King only, not High Priest, appointed by the Romans, reigned 37 years from his appointment by the Romans, 34 from the death of Antigonus. By pretense made Hyrcanus co-regent with himself in order to kill him.
BIRTH OF CHRIST: Catalog of High Priests from Herod’s time to the end, (Ant.20.8.5. p. 422, footnote).
1. Ananelus of Babylon, appointed by Herod, Ant.15.2.4. High Priest only, not King, replaced by Aristobulus.
2. Aristobulus, grandson of Hyrcanus, Priest only. Slain by Herod about AD 6.
END OF HASMONEAN LINE.
3. Ananelus, (restored), appointed by Herod, Priest only, deposed by Herod, Ant.15.3.1.
4. Jesus, son of Phabet (or Fabus), appointed by Herod, Priest only, deposed by Herod, Ant.15.9.3.
5. Simon, of Jerusalem, son of Boethus, citizen of Alexandria, Herod marries his daughter, Ant.17.4.2, Priest only, deposed by Herod.
6. Matthias, son of Theophilus, appointed by Herod, Priest only, deposed by Herod, Ant.17.6.4.
7. Joseph, son of Ellemus, appointed by Matthias (?), Priest only one day, Ant.17.6.4.
8. Joazar, son of Boethus, appointed by Herod or Archelaus, Priest only, deposed by Cyrenius, Ant.18.2.1.
HIGH PRIESTS APPOINTED BY ROME AFTER AD 6.
(Ant.18.20. After the death or deposing of Archelaus, AD 6, “The High Priests were entrusted with a dominion over the nation”, but were not necessarily considered kings by Rome, Ant.18.1.1. (See also my commentary at Revelation 17:11-12.)
9. (Anas) or Ananus, appointed by Cyrenius, deposed.
10. Ismael, son of Phabi, appointed by Gratus, procurator, deposed.
11. Eleazar, son of Ananus, (had been High Priest before), appointed by Gratus, reigned 1 year, deposed.
12. Simon, son of Camithus, appointed by Gratus, reigned 1 year, deposed.
13. Joseph Caiaphas, appointed by Gratus, reigned 11 years, deposed.
14. Jonathan, son of Ananus, appointed by Vitellius, procurator, deposed.
15. Theophilus, son of Ananus, appointed by Vitellius, deposed
16. Simon, son of Boethus, appointed by Agrippa, deposed.
17. (Agrippa offers High Priesthood to Jonathan again, he refuses so he gives it to (Matthias ?), deposed.
18. Matthias, son of Ananus, appointed by Agrippa, deposed.
19. Elioneus, son of Catheras, appointed by Agrippa, deposed.
20. Joseph, son of Camus, Agrippa, slain by Robbers, Wars2.7.9.
21. Ananias, son of Nebedius Jonathan, appointed by Agrippa, Felix instigates his murder, Ant.20.8.5.
22. Ismael, son of Fabi, Agrippa, deposed.
23. Joseph Cabi, son of Simon former High Priest, Agrippa, deposed.
24. Ananus, fifth son of Ananus, Agrippa, reigned 3 months, deposed.
25. Jesus, of Damascus, appointed by the Robbers, Wars4.3.6, note p. 527, deposed.
26. Jesus, son of Gamaliel, appointed by the Robbers, deposed.
27. Matthias, son of Theophilus, appointed by the Robbers, deposed.
28. Phanias, son of Samuel, appointed by the Robbers, War, end of line, Wars 4.3.8.
This lesson is edited from my book, Revelation In Context, pages 127-132.