The History of the Resettlement of Two High Priestly Families in the Second Temple Period

Ben-Zion Rosenfeld[*]

The history of the resettlement of the priests and the identity of the returnees to the region of Judah in the Second Temple period is an important subject in its own right, inasmuch as it is well known that the priests occupied a pivotal position in Jewish leadership in Jerusalem and in the Temple.[1] In this article we shall attempt to reconstruct the history of the resettlement of two prominent and ancient high priestly families of the Second Temple period: the house of Alubai (עלובאי) and the house of Qayapha (קיפא).
The source that discusses these two families is the Tosefta’s tractate Yevamot:

שאלו את ר′ יהושע בני צרות מהן אמר להם למה אתם מכניסין ראשי בין שני הרים גדולים לבין בית שמיי ובין בית הלל שירוצו את ראשי אלא מעיד אני על משפחת בית עלובאי מבית צבאים ועל משפחת בית קיפאי מבית מקושש שהן בני צרות ומהם כהנים גדולים והיו מקריבין לגבי מזבח

They asked Rabbi Yehoshua, “What of the sons of co-wives?” He said to them, “Why do you force my head between two huge mountains—between the house of Shammai and the house of Hillel—so that they might crush my head? Rather I testify concerning the family of the house of Alubai from Bet Tzevaim and concerning the family of the house of Qayaphai from Bet Meqoshesh, that they are the sons of co-wives, yet among them were high priests who used to present offerings on the altar.” (t. Yev. 1:10)

Rabbi Yehoshua ben Hananyah, of the generation of the destruction, testified in the quotation above that two important high priestly families were the offspring of marriages to a woman whose co-wife was a relative of the husband who had been her brother-in-law. An example of such a scenario would be a case in which a man took two wives, one of whom was related to his own brother (e.g., if a man married his niece), and he (the husband) died without children. In such a case, the biblical halakhah requires the dead man’s brother to perform levirate marriage (that is, to marry one of the widows), but since one of the widows is his relative (in our example, his own daughter), whom he cannot marry according to the Torah’s degrees of forbidden unions, the question arose whether the dead man’s other widow acquired the same family status as her co-wife when she married the deceased brother.

Print VersionWhether or not the co-wife was marriageable to the surviving brother was a point of contention between the houses of Shammai and Hillel. The former permitted the surviving brother to marry her, the latter ruled that such a marriage was forbidden. The priests [who did not necessarily pay attention to Pharisaic halakhah—JNT] used to perform levirate marriage in these cases, in agreement with Bet Shammai, and the children who were born from these levirite marriages were called בני צרות (“children of co-wives”). Rabbi Yehoshua testified that these marriages did not impair the status of the priestly families to whom he referred, since they served as high priests and presented offerings at the altar.[2]

The House of Anuvai

One of the families called “children of co-wives” was the house of Aluvai from Bet Tzevaim, or, according to the parallel in the Yerushalmi, משפחת בית ענובאי מבית צבועים (“the family of the house of Anuvai from Bet Tzevuim”).[3] If we adopt the Yerushalmi’s version, it appears that the origin of this family is from the biblical ענב (“Anav”), one of the towns of the fifth district of the tribe of Judah in the south-west of mount Hevron (Josh. 15:50), which is identified to day as ענב־א־צעיר (“Anav-a-Tzair”), about a kilometer west of Dhahiriya.[4]

Among its neighbors in the same district were a number of priestly towns that were given to the tribe of Levi with in the territory allotted to the tribe of Judah; and the distinctiveness of this district was in its especially high concentration of priestly towns. From the total of nine towns given to the Levites in Judah, four were in this district: Eshtemoa (Samoa), Devir, Yatir, and Holon (Josh. 21:14-15).[5] It is reasonable to conjecture that such high concentration of priests in the territory allotted to Judah was likely to encourage intermarriage between these two tribes. A hint that this did, indeed, occur can be found in the Bible. The book of Chronicles mentions that in one of the branches of the house of Perez of the tribe of Judah there was a “Qotz the father of Anuv” (1 Chr. 4:8). This is the only time Scripture mentions these two names—Qotz and Anuv—in the days of the First Temple, whereas in the days of the Second Temple these two names are mentioned among the families of priests. It appears that the names Qotz and Anuv were transferred from the tribe of Judah to a family of priests that lived in Judah and took root there by means of marital ties that were forged over time in the First Temple period.

So it is, that an important family of priests by the name HaQotz is mentioned at the beginning of the return to Zion in the biblical books from that period.[6] What is more, Scripture particularly emphasizes that the family of HaQotz was related by marriage to the descendants of Barzillai the Glileadite who lived across the Jordan (Ezra 2:61-62; Neh. 7:63-64).[7] Therefore, the priestly family of HaQotz originated from intermarriage between a branch of the tribe of Judah and the priests who lived among them.[8] And just as intermarriage with the descendants of Barzillai occurred (apparently in the First Temple period), so also intermarriage with members of the tribe of Judah took place (evidently in the First Temple period when the priests were living among them), such that by the time of the return to Zion began the family of HaQotz was already known as a family of priests and no longer as part of the tribe of Judah. In other words, the name “HaQotz” had fully taken root by that time among the priests.

Indeed, in 1 Chr. 24:10 “HaQotz” appears as the name of the seventh of the twenty four courses of priests who were organized in the days of Nehemiah (or in the time shortly thereafter) for rotating service in the Temple. Likewise, at the beginning of the Hasmonean period a man from the family of HaQotz is mentioned as one of the two ambassadors Judah the Maccabee sent to Rome to ratify a treaty with the Romans in the year 161 B.C.E.[9] In the following period there is no information pertaining to the activities of this priestly division; the next mention of the family of HaQotz comes after the destruction of the Temple in a list of the priestly courses who lived in the Galilee.[10]

We suggest that the Anuv, the son of Qotz, who is mentioned in Chronicles (1 Chr. 4:8), ought to be identified as the source of the name “house of Anuvai” that belonged to the family of priests that is mentioned in the Yerushalmi,[11] whose place of origin, as we have said, is from the town of Anav in the tribal allotment of Judah. There appears to be room to conjecture that after “HaQotz,” who was from Judah, had become fully rooted in a family of priests, his son followed in his footsteps and, over the course of many years, the family developed into its own independent branch: the family of priests called the house of Anuvai. This family was related to the high priesthood during the Second Temple period, parallel to the family of HaQotz, which filled an important role in the life of the administration of Judah, both in the Temple (according to Scripture) and also in political affairs of the province (according to epigraphic finds),[11*] already by the the time of Nehemiah (during the fifth century B.C.E.), or perhaps even a little earlier. It is therefore warranted to regard the house of Anuvai as a branch of the HaQotz family. We have thereby supplemented our information about the priestly course of HaQotz—which, I might add, first became active in the Hasmonean period—and  established that this active branch also occupied an important status in the Second Temple Period, for, according to the Yerushalmi, members of this family even served as high priests. While it is true that it is now difficult to identify a high priest from the family of Anuvai in the Second Temple period, it is possible that the Yerushalmi does not allude to an actual high priest, but to family ties with chief priests in the Temple, for this is how the high priestly aristocracy was referred to in the Second Temple Period.[12]

The Yerushalmi also reports that the family of the the house of Anuvai lived in Bet Tzevuim. As we have noted, in the book of Joshua Anav is mentioned as located south of mount Hevron, and it is reasonable to hypothesize that this was the family’s place of origin. With the destruction of the First Temple the family of HaQotz was exiled from its place, but it returned with the early resettlers of Zion in the last third of the sixth century B.C.E. The family was not able to return to its original location, as the majority of the returnees had done, because the Edomites had occupied the southern district west of mount Hevron, having been edged out of their land, Edom, by the Nabateans. These Edomite occupiers settled the regions south of mount Judah as far north as Hevron, and therefore the former Jewish inhabitants of that district were compelled to join the majority of the returnees to Zion who resettled in the area at the center of mount Judah, or the areas to its west. Hence in the biblical books from the period of the return to Zion there is almost no mention of Jewish resettlement south of mount Hevron, and until the Hasmonean revolt broke out the boundary of Jewish resettlement was north of Hevron in Bet Zur.[13]

The priestly families and the families of the tribe of Judah who, prior to the Babylonian exile, lived south of Hevron were compelled, therefore, to wander in search of a new place to settle. Jerusalem remained forsaken and broken without a wall until the days of Nehemiah,[14] and in order to reinforce the small number of those who had settled in Jerusalem, the Bible states that Nehemiah decreed that the returnees were required to send a “tithe of men” from the priests and from the rest of the returnees of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin to Jerusalem (Neh. 11:10-13; 1 Chr. 9:10-13).[15] Perhaps there is support for this claim in the writings of Josephus (Ant. 11:181). At the end of his short description of the days of Nehemiah, Josephus mentions Nehemiah’s decree, but with some variations. According to Josephus, Nehemiah required the priests and the Levites—and not all the people as it is reported in Scripture—to forsake the rural villages in order to take up residence in Jerusalem because the city was under populated. In other words, Josephus’ source, or his understanding of the Bible, reflects the conditions of the period when the majority of the priests were living in the rural villages of Judah and not in Jerusalem. For that reason, Nehemiah turned in particular to the officers of the Temple to repopulate Jerusalem.

The pattern of dispersal of the priestly settlers at the beginning of the return to Zion was the result of two main factors: On the one hand, the Temple service was not able to supply all the needs of the priests, since their numbers were large in proportion to the total number of returnees. As a consequence, the priests were forced to seek an alternative source of income, which they found in agriculture, the main economic engine in the land of Israel throughout the Second Temple period. On the other hand, the desire to remain within easy access of the Temple prevented the priests from locating far from the city, so they settled in the surrounding areas. We may suppose that most of the priestly families remained in their places throughout the Second Temple period, except that in the Hasmonean period, with the expansion of the Jewish state, there were some priests who settled in new districts, such as the Galilee.[17] Only after the destruction of the Second Temple did the settlement patterns change completely in most of the land of Judah.

Bet Tzevuim

Evidently, these were the motivations that caused the house of Anuvai, the descendants of the HaQotz family, to settle in Bet Tzevuim, which was close to Jerusalem. It has been accepted that Bet Tzevuim should be identified with the Arab village of Tzova, which is about ten kilometers west of Jerusalem south of Castel, near the kibbutz which bears this name (i.e., Tzova).[18] Researchers were assisted in making this identification by the book of Chronicles, which mentions that the original Qotz from Judah had an additional son, besides Anuv, who was called HaTzovevah (1 Chr. 4:8). The similarity of the names Tzovevah and Bet Tzevuim has caused them to consider whether this individual too founded a brach of the priestly house of HaQotz that settled in Bet Tzevuim and the place was named after him, and only at a much later stage did their relatives of the house of Anuvai also settle there among them.[19]

We ought to note that Klein first suggested that the name “house of Anuvai” points to the family’s place of origin, and Klein subsequently returned to this subject.[20] He believed that this place of origin should be identified as Βητοάνναβα (bētoannaba, “Bet Anavah”) mentioned in the Onomasticon of Eusebius as a village that lay four miles south of Lod (Lydda).[21] Following Eusebius, Bet Anavah is drawn on the Medaba Map south of Lod, and today Bet Anavah is identified as Horbat Anavah about eight kilometers south of Lod.[22] Nevertheless, it is difficult to accept Klein’s suggestion that the house of Anuvai lived in Bet Anavah, not only because according to the Yerushalmi they lived in Bet Tzevuim during the Second Temple period, but also because Bet Anavah is too distant from Jerusalem.

It is possible, however, that the toponym Bet Anavah reflects the later wanderings of the house of Anuvai following the destruction of the Second Temple, since we know that after the destruction the Jewish inhabitants of Jerusalem and its surroundings were displaced and they relocated to Lod, for the Romans expelled them from the area of Jerusalem. So perhaps the family of the house of Anuvai—who had settled in Tzova near Jerusalem close to where the colony of Roman soldiers came to be established in Motzah—migrated in the direction of the Shephelah, as did many other Jewish refugees, especially toward the district of Lod-Emmaus-Yavneh, which became the main population centers in Judea.[23] It could be that the house of Anuvai also settled in the district of Lod and that its name is reflected in the place called Bet Anavah, which Eusebius mentioned at the beginning of the fourth century. If so, this would be the earliest testimony of a Jewish settlement in this place.

The proposed reconstruction of the history of the house of Anuvai and the stages of their settlement during the Second Temple period may shed light on the overall pattern of resettlement in the land of Judah in the days of the Second Temple. The phenomenon of priests relocating from the place where—perhaps as early as the First Temple period—they had originated to an area nearer Jerusalem was probably not peculiar to the house of Anuvai. Rather, they should be regarded as a paradigmatic example of the relocation of priestly families who were not able to return to their places of origin when they returned from the Babylonian exile, or of families who sought sources of income in the rural villages outside Jerusalem. Benjamin Mazar detected a similar processes in the relocation of the Hasmonean family. In his opinion, the Hasmoneans first settled in the territory of Benjamin near Gibea in the town of Hashum, which was named after the first member of the tribe of Benjamin who bore that name. In the days of Josiah the descendants of Benjamin relocated to the district of Lod-Ono and the priests who lived among them relocated along with them. But the priests preferred to resettle in Modiin, which was one of the satellites of Lod, but everyone still called the priests “Hasmoneans” after the name of the town they had abandoned. The Hasmoneans were exiled from their land with the destruction of the First Temple, but when they returned at the beginning of the Second Temple period they resumed their residence in Modiin once again.[24]

Another conclusion that becomes clear is that the priestly family of the house of Anuvai preserved their name and their ancient place of origin, and from the return to Zion and on through the entire Second Temple period they lived in a single location: in Bet Zevuim. This conclusion leads us into the discussion of the history of the house of Qayapha, the second family mentioned in the Tosefta.

Perhaps, however, it is first necessary to highlight how the realistic background of the Tosefta’s testimony helps us understand the phenomenon of a family’s preserving its name and location. For from the Tosefta, we hear that marriage to relatives was customary among priestly families. This was done in order to preserve the purity of the priestly lineage. We have already pointed out above that this phenomenon was common among priestly circles in the Second Temple period. We must also add that marriages to relatives usually occurred between families that were most closely related, or at least between families living in the same town; factors that were conducive to remaining in one place and preserving one’s name over a long period. The practice of levirate marriage in the house of Anuvai is a good example of this custom. And, indeed, marriage to relatives in priestly families (albeit in a different form) is mentioned in rabbinic sources in connection with the city of Gophna (today Jifna, which is north of Ramallah). Rabbi Yohanan relates that in Gophnah eighty sisters married eighty brothers from priestly families on a single night (b. Ber. 44a).[25] Even if the number is exaggerated, and despite this tradition being Amoraic, it is reasonable to suppose that the historical kernel is reliable, which testifies that marriages between priestly families was an accepted norm during the Second Temple period for the same reasons that have been shown in the case of the house of Anuvai.

It appears that marriage to relatives in priestly families was part of a wider practice that was common in the Second Temple period. It is accepted that rural families—and the vast majority of families in Judah were rural at that time—were essentially patriarchal, and the extended family encompassed a number of generations of their offspring from their shared family connection.[26] In rural families marriage to relatives was a natural occurrence, and among the priests such marriages occurred to an even greater extent because of their desire to safeguard the purity of the family line. These socio-religious factors support our overall theory that the house of Anuvai maintained its residence in Bet Zevuim throughout the Second Temple period. For this family displayed the main characteristics of a patriarchal family; its multi-generational structure likely testifies to its living in a prominent location for generations, and as a family of priests it is reasonable to suppose that it preserved its location in order to protect the purity of its line. Thus it seems that we have here in the family of the house of Anuvai one of the models of rural settlement in the Second Temple period.

The House of Qayapha

The second family mentioned in the Tosefta is called “the house of Qayaphai” or “the house of Qayapha.” In geniza fragments and in the Erfurt manuscript of the Tosefta and also in manuscripts of the Bavli the version is the house of “Qephai,” and only in the Yerushalmi do we read “Neqiphi.” It appears that this latter version is erroneous.[27] This priestly family lived in Bet Meqoshesh (or Qoshesh according to the Yerushalmi’s version). The house of Qayapha is known as a high priestly family of the Second Temple period from the first century C.E. The Roman governor of Judea, Valerius Gratus, appointed Joseph Caiaphas (Ἰώσηπος Καϊάφας [Iōsēpos Kaiafas] = יהוסף בר קיפא [yehōsēf bar qayafa’]) to the high priesthood in the year 18 C.E. and he served in this capacity until Pontius Pilate removed him in 36 C.E.[28] This high priest is mentioned a number of times in the New Testament, exclusively by the name Caiaphas, as the high priest who contrived to have Jesus executed. It was to the house of Caiaphas that Jesus was brought when he was arrested, and it was there that Jesus was condemned by members of the Sanhedrin and the elders.[29]

Caiaphas Ossuary
Ossuary of the high priest Joseph Caiaphas at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.

Joseph Caiaphas was the son-in-law of Hanan (Annanus or Annas), the first high priest of the family known as the house of Hanan.[30] This family was one of the most important of the priestly houses, and many of its members served as high priest during the Second Temple period. Hannan’s place of origin was Egypt. It is possible that his immigration to Israel was related to Herod’s policy of bolstering his support among important leaders of the population. Accordingly, Herod brought in priestly families from the diaspora, especially from Babylon and Egypt, appointing them as high priests in order to edge out the former (Hasmonean) high priestly oligarchy from this important post.[31] And, indeed, the majority of the high priests who served in the last century of the Temple’s existence, from the days of Herod until its destruction, were members of these families.

Joseph Caiaphas’ place of origin is not clear, but we may infer that since he served as a high priest and since he married into a prestigious family, he too belonged to the priestly aristocracy, the member of a family that preferred to associate itself with others of the same social class through the bonds of marriage. We do know, however, that Joseph Caiaphas’ place of residence was Jerusalem, for of course his responsibilities in the Temple required that he live in the holy city, and, as we have already noted, the Sanhedrin assembled in his house in order to try Jesus.[32]

An additional high priest who may have belonged to this family is Elyoenai ven HaQayyaph (אֶלְיוֹעֵינַיִי בֶן הַקָּיָיף [’elyō‘ënai ven haqāyāf]) (Qayyaph = Qayapha). This priest is mentioned in the Mishnah (m. Par. 3:5). Josephus also mentions a priest with a similar name as the last high priest to be appointed by Agrippa I in the year 44 C.E., Elioneus son of Qitros (Ἐλιωναῖος τοῦ Κιταίρου [Eliōnaiow tou Kitairou]; Ant. 19:342), who was none other than the Elyoenai ven HaQayyaph mentioned in rabbinic sources.[33] It is possible that Joseph Caiaphas himself bore the nickname Qitros.[34] The family of Qayapha was the house of Qitros, or, as it is called in a well known baraita, the house of Qatros, which was counted among four disreputable families of high priests in the Second Temple period.[35] It appears that the name “Qatros” was adopted by the family as its Greek name as an outward indication of Hellenistic acculturation, just as other aristocratic families used to do in that period.

Qatros weight
Stone weight found in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem bearing the inscription ד]בר קתרוס] (“belonging to bar Qatros”).

A unique find that was discovered in the excavation of the Jewish quarter of the old city of Jerusalem has broadened our evidence concerning the Qayapha-Qatros family in Jerusalem. Among the remains of a large and spacious building referred to as the “Burnt House” because it shows signs of having endured a conflagration, a stone weight was found upon which were inscribed the words ד]בר קתרוס] (“belonging to bar Qatros”). The remains have been identified as the basement walls of the house of a wealthy family whose influence was extensive in that quarter of the city. According to the inscription the house belonged to a family of high priests, the family of Qatros, which lived in this place until the destruction of the upper city of Jerusalem on the eighth of Elul in the year 70 C.E. Additional finds that were discovered in the house of Qatros indicate that it also served as a workshop. It is possible that they made aromatic products such as perfume and incense for the Temple and that this trade afforded the family an additional source of income beyond that provided by their service in the Temple.[36] Perhaps the “Burnt House” beloned to Elyoenai, whom Josephus referred to as Qitros, or perhaps it belonged to one of his sons, or it is possible that one whole branch of the family, which lived close to the Temple and belonged to its elite society, resided there. If so, we now have many more details about the Qayapha-Qatros family in Jerusalem.

Parallel to the Jerusalemite branch of the family, which resided in the holy city during the Second Temple period, another branch of the house of Qayapha—the one mentioned in the Tosefta—lived in Bet Meqoshesh. Apparently Rabbi Yehoshua, who handed down the tradition and who lived in the generation of the Temple’s destruction, emphasized the name Bet Meqoshesh as the residence of the house of Qayapha in order to make it clear that the ones he spoke of were not of the Jerusalemite branch, but that they too, the branch from Bet Meqoshesh, were high priests. However it is also possible that Joseph Caiaphas originally came from Bet Meqoshesh, or that there were marital ties between the branch from Bet Meqoshesh and the branch from Jerusalem or one of the other high priestly families. In the latter case, their designation as “high priests” must be understood in a broader sense to refer to those who had family ties to the high priests in Jerusalem [i.e., “upper priests” or “chief priests”—JNT], as we mentioned may have been the case with the house of Anuvai from Bet Tzevuim.

This explanation has support from the baraita mentioned earlier that denounces the house of Qatros along with three other high priestly families. Abba Shaul and Abba Yose ben Hanan, two Tannaim from the generation of the destruction, sharply criticize the priests’ religious behavior:

אוי לי מבית בייתוס אוי לי מאלתן אוי לי מבית חנין אוי לי מלחישתן אוי לי מבית קתרוס אוי לי מקולמוסן אוי לי מבית ישמעאל בן פיאכי אוי לי מאגרופן שהם כהנים גדולים ובניהן גיזברין וחתניהם אמרכלין ועבדיהן חובטין אם העם במקלות

Woe to me because of the house of Boethus! Woe to me because of their staves! Woe to me because of the house of Hanin [i.e., Hanan]! Woe to me because of their whispering! Woe is me because of the house of Qatros! Woe to me because of their pens! Woe to me because of the house of Ishmael ben Phiabi! Woe to me because of their fists! For they are high priests and their sons are treasurers and their sons-in-law are trustees and their slaves beat the people with staves. (b. Pes. 57a)[37]

The sharp criticism concerns, among other things, the distribution of positions and honors to the branches of the high priestly houses, indicating that these too benefitted from their control of the Temple and were included in the designation “high priests.” Therefore it is likely that the house of Qayapha from Bet Meqoshesh enjoyed the same level of prominence as the Jerusalemite Qayapha-Qatros branch.

In the Tosefta Rabbi Yehoshua calls the family from Bet Meqoshesh by the name “house of Qayapha,” and not by the name “house of Qatros,” and his intention was not merely to underscore that he was referring to the branch of the family that lived outside Jerusalem, but also to underscore that branch from Bet Meqoshesh preserved their ancient name which they used in Jewish society and that they did not change it to a Greek name as their relatives in Jerusalem had done. It is clear that the name Qayapha is older than the name Qatros, since Josephus referred to Joseph Caiaphas exclusively by the former (Qayapha), and only with reference to Elyoenai, who is thought to have been Joseph Caiaphas’ son, did Josephus use the name Qatros. Likewise, in the New Testament only the name Caiaphas is mentioned. The preservation of their earlier name, Qayapha, and the concentration of the family in a rural settlement (which by its very nature is more stable and therefore more likely to encourage the setting down of deep roots in one place) raises the possibility that this family settled in Bet Meqoshesh a long time before the destruction of the Temple, perhaps even as early as the beginning of the Second Temple period, due to the same socio-religious factors that we described above with respect the house of Anuvai from Bet Tzevuim.

This possibility may help explain Joseph Caiaphas’ appointment to the high priesthood. According to Satran, Caiaphas’ appointment corresponds to the Romans’ conciliatory policy, which they adopted at the beginning of the Judean provincial period. First Herod’s son Archelaus was deposed from his rule of Judea in the year 6 C.E., and the Roman governor Gratus removed the house of Boethus—which Herod had brought in from the diaspora in order to depose the ancient [Hasmonean and Zadokite—JNT] priestly families—from the important office of high priest, replacing the Boethusians with a native priestly family. The sons of Boethus had served as high priests for many years during the reign of Herod and thereafter, but they were hated by the Judeans becasue of their cooperation with the Herodian family. It is therefore reasonable to expect that the Romans would appointed a priest to the high priestly office who was not linked to Herod and who would be acceptable to the Judeans.[38] The appointment of Joseph Caiaphas, whom we may suppose was from an aristocratic and ancient family of native priests that had gained prominence even before the Herodian period, was therefore intended to pacify the Judeans after the death of Herod.

At this point I will attempt to reconstruct the original roots of the Qayapha-Qatros family and to connect them to the early days of the Second Temple period. The name Elyoenai was widespread during the Second Temple period both among priests and Israelites, and it is even found on a seal from the first century C.E.[39] But among the priests from the time of the return to Zion the name Elyoenai is found in the Bible only in the family of Pashhur (Ezra 10:22), and this Elyoenai was numbered among the priests who blew the trumpets and who sang with the psalmists among the Levites at the dedication of the wall in the days of Nehemiah (Neh. 12:41). Due to the well known phenomenon in the Second Temple period of recurring names within specific families, it seems probable that the name Elyoenai was repeated from generation to generation in one of the clans of the family of Pashhur.[40] It is possible, therefore, that the high priest Elyoenai ben HaQayyaph was a descendant of the original Elyoenai from the time of the return to Zion, which provides grounds for supposing that the house of Qayapha was a branch of the family of Pashhur that was active at the time of the return to Zion. Although we have pointed out individuals in the book of Nehemiah descended from Pashhur who settled in Jerusalem, it is likely that the majority of his descendants settled in rural villages outside Jersualem, as did the majority of returnees from exile, and the house of Qayapha, which settled in Bet Meqoshesh, may have been among the latter.

It seems that evidence corroborating a linkage between the original Elyoenai to the high priest of that name may be found in the role these two played as musicians in the Temple. [As we have noted, Neh. 12:41 states that the original Elyoenai was a trumpeter. With regard to Elyoenai the high priest’s musical connection, it must first be explained that] in the third chapter of Daniel a musical instrument called קִיתָרֹס (qitāros) or קַתְרוֹס (qatrōs), which is mainly known from the Hellenistic period, is mentioned five times. Because this name is identical with the name Qatros, which is the name of the priestly family mentioned in the tradition of the sages and in the inscription from the Jewish Quarter of the old city, it is tempting to say that the name stuck to the house of Qatros because their occupation was related to music. In addition, the Septuagint’s translation of קַתְרוֹס (qatrōs), κιθάρα (kithara), is quite similar in form to the Greek name of Elyoenai the high priest’s name, Ἐλιωναῖος τοῦ Κιταίρου (Eliōnaios tou Kitairou), as it is given by Josephus. [Thus, the high priest Elyoenai’s surname Qatros, suggests that he, too, was a musician in the Temple, just like his namesake from the period of the return to Zion.]

In most cases in the Septuagint κιθάρα renders a term for a musical instrument,[41] but in rare instances the κιθαρ- word group can refer to playing on a musical instrument or to a musician. Josephus used the κιθαρ- root with three meanings: a musical instrument, music, and musicians.[42] Josephus used the κιθαρ- root in the last of these three senses when he described the Temple dignitaries, among whom were κιθαρισταί τε καὶ ὑμνῳδοὶ (kitharistai te kai hūmnōdoi, “musicians and hymn-singers”; Bel. 2:321). By κιθαριστής (kitharistēs, “musician”) Josephus apparently intended to refer to the priests who played wind instruments, and by ὑμνωδός (hūmnōdos, “hymn-singer”) he referred to the Levites who sang holy psalms (or in Josephus’ terminology, “hymns”) according to the familiar order of the divine service in the Temple.[43] From this we learn that the name Qatros is related to the word for “musician,” and also that during the Second Period “qatros” denoted the priests who were occupied in playing in the Temple.

Although the responsibility and leadership of the Temple singers belonged to the Levites, there is considerable doubt whether the Levites had autonomous control over the singing in the Temple at the end of the Second Temple period. There is reason to suppose that a priest was given charge over the singers, as was the case with the other important posts in the Temple. At the very least, the head of the players of musical instruments was probably a priest.[44] It may be that the Qayapha family served in this post during the final years of the Second Temple period, if not before, and therefore it acquired the nickname Qatros after the name of their position, which is why Josephus referred to Elyoenai by this name. But even if the Qatros family was not the head of the players, they undoubtedly were musicians, and the origin of their post is to be traced back to the return to Zion and Elyoenai the trumpeter. Thus it is possible to trace a connection between these two individuals who bore the name Elyoenai and to bridge the gap in our information about the family of Pashhur, which was occupied in a musical profession in the Temple from the early days of the Second Temple period until its end. This family earned the nickname Qatros from the title of their important post, and in their later generations there were high priests among the members of this family. Because the house of Qayapha from Bet Meqoshesh was a branch of the house of Qayapha-Qatros, we have evidence that supports our hypothesis that the early roots of this branch were in the house of Phashhur, and perhaps he too had been responsible for music in the Temple.

It is necessary to underscore that among the twenty-four priestly courses in the time of David a course by the name of Pashhur does not occur. And indeed, the course of Phashhur is an offshoot of the course of Yakqim, the twelfth course, which preserved the name Pashhur even after the destruction of the First Temple, and is included by this name in the list of of priestly courses form the beginning of the Second Temple period.[45] We must suppose that the house of Qayapha belonged to the course that grew out of the family of Pashhur.

Bet Meqoshesh

Bet Meqoshesh, the home of the Qayapha family, has been identified by Klein as Kfar Lakitia (כפר לקיטיא).‎[46] He suggested that this family, like the house of Anuvai, lived not far from Jerusalem and to its west. In his opinion the name Meqoshesh comes from the meaning “harvest” which in Aramaic is לקיטיא (lakitia). Kfar Lakitia is mentioned in the midrash in connection with the Bar Kokhva revolt, and according to this source it was situated on a mountain, and therefore Klein identified it with the Arab village Beit Liqya of our days, which lies to the east of Modiin at the crossroads of upper Bet Horon. This identification is difficult to accept, however, since Meqoshesh is singular and in the language of the sages the root ק-ש-ש mainly occurs with reference to the collection of wood or straw or weeding in the field (cf. Num. 15:32; 1 Kgs. 17:10), which is to say, as a verb. The Aramaic word, לקיטיא, on the other hand, is plural and for the most part describes people who harvest fruits.[47] So it is hard to believe that the Hebrew name Bet Meqoshesh changed into an Aramaic name and that its earlier name was forgotten contrary to the phenomenon of not forgetting names in the land in ancient times. And what is more, in the midrash Kfar Lakitia is connected with the Bar Kokhva revolt, but Rabbi Yehoshua, who was active near the time of the revolt mentions a different name, Bet Meqoshesh, not Kfar Lakitia.

We propose that Bet Meqoshesh (or Qoshesh according to the Yerushalmi’s version) should be identified with Khŭrbet el Kusis, as even the similarity of the Arabic and Hebrew names suggests. The site, which was cataloged by a British team of the Palestine Exploration Fund in the year 1881, is located about a kilometer west of Solomon’s Pools on the mountain ridge on the road from Jerusalem to Hevron.[48] The ruin itself is not marked on newer maps, but only the nearby spring called Ayn al Qissis. An archaeological survey that was later conducted in the area uncovered two sites near Ayn al Qissis that had similar ceramics. One site lies to the south of the spring at a distance of about two hundred fifty meters and it is indicated on maps as Khurbet Meraḥ al Jumaah; its size is about twenty dunams. Of the ceramic finds, a minority are from the Hellenistic period, while the majority are from the Roman-Byzantine period. The second site is about twenty to thirty dunams in size and is located to the south of the other site by about two hundred meters. It is still not indicated on maps. The ceramic finds are from the Iron Age II period, the Persian period, and a little from the Hellenistic period. At the site there are burial caves, and this site best matches the Palestine Exploration Fund’s description of Khŭrbet el Kŭssis, which spoke of burial caves in its vicinity.[49] From the archaeological data it appears that we have a match between the two surveys. And if, indeed, the unmarked site is Khŭrbet el Kŭssis-Qoshesh, then settlement in this place began as early as the Iron Age II, that is, during the period of the Israelite monarchy, and resumed in the Persian period and continued into the beginning of the Hellenistic period. It is possible that the settlement subsequently moved to the site near Meraḥ al Jumaah during the Hellenistic period, since from the the time of its founding it was a relatively large settlement for the mountainous region, and continued into the Roman and Byzantine periods.

In other words, if Khŭrbet el Kusis is Bet Meqoshesh, then it is possible that the house of Qayapha returned at the beginning of the Persian period to a site they had formerly occupied in the period of the Israelite monarchy. For reasons that are unclear the settlement eventually moved to the nearby site of Meraḥ al Jumaah, and the house of Qayapha lived there during the Second Temple period, concerning which time Rabbi Yehoshua’s testimony in the Tosefta is concerned. The settlement in that place was the size of a large village or small town, since according to the survey a settlement the size of twenty dunams was considered to be relatively large. The settlement lay at a distance of about ten kilometers southwest of Jerusalem on one of the high ridges of the Judean hills, above Solomon’s Pools, at an elevation of 900 meters. Thus, it was located at an important crossroads. A few hundred meters to its west passed the road that was used as the Roman highway on the ridge from Jerusalem to Hevron, and close at hand was the east-west road that led in the direction of Betar and the Shephelah.[50] This town was part of the pattern of settlement in the region that lies between Bethlehem in the north and Bet Zur,[51] the southern boundary of Judah since the time of the return to Zion, which saw increasing population density during the Second Temple Period. The survey also documented other sites from the Second Temple period in the region.

It is reasonable to suppose that the source of the name “Meqoshesh” (or “Qoshesh”) is related to the way of life in the area where it was located. The area was forested in that period, and it is possible that the inhabitants of Bet Meqoshesh were occupied in the harvesting of wood and selling it for the needs of its residents, or, perhaps, for the needs of the Temple, for, after all, the inhabitants of the town were priests and, therefore, enjoyed a close relationship with the Temple. Due to its wood industry, therefore, the town was called Meqoshesh (or Qoshesh) from the root ק-ש-ש, which referred to the collection of wood, straw, etc. It is even possible that the name Qayapha is derived from this industry, since it has been suggested that this name is derived from קוּפָה (qūpāh, “basket”) and refers to someone who worked as a carrier or porter.[52] If this suggestion is correct, then the Qayapha family may also have taken its name from the local industry, being employed in the transport of wood from their hometown to commercial centers. The name Qayapha continued to be borne by members of the Jerusalemite branch of this family—Joseph Caiaphas (Yehoseph Qayapha) and Elyoenai ben haQayyaph.

We must suppose that the members of the Qayapha family were exiled from Bet Meqoshesh after the destruction of the Temple or after the Bar Kokhva revolt, since the settlements in the region of Betar survived only until the revolt. It is possible that part of the Qayapha family settled in Khŭrbet Kîâfa, which is found six kilometers northeast of Lod (Lydda) between Khŭrbet Ḥadid Laneblet (= Bet Nebala). In the past it has been suggested that this site ought to be identified as the dwelling place of the Qayapha family during the Second Temple period, but this suggestion is untenable, given the Tosefta’s testimony that the house of Qayapha lived in Bet Meqoshesh during the Second Temple period; and in any case, Khŭrbet Kîâfa is too far away from Jerusalem.[53] After the destruction and the Bar Kokhva revolt, however, many Jews were exiled to the region of Lod, and, as we discussed above, the house of Anuvai settled in the region of Lod in a town that came to bear their name, so it is possible that the Qayapha family relocated to Khŭrbet Kîâfa in a similar fashion.


In this essay we have made an attempt to uncover the historical, geographical, and sociological background of the history of the settlement of two priestly families in the Second Temple period, the house of Anuvai and the house of Qayapha. In as much as is possible from the scant data at our command we have traced the history of these families from their return to Zion (and with respect to the second family, from even earlier than that) and continuing down to their migrations in the wake of the destruction of the Second Temple.

The histories of these two families are similar because of their common socio-religious background. It became clear that these two important priestly families returned to the land at the time of the return to Zion and they settled in rural villages outside Jerusalem due to balance they had to maintain between their need to sustain themselves through agriculture and their need to be close to the Temple. The family of the house of Anuvai, which originated south of Mount Hevron, was not able to return to its place of origin, and therefore it settled in Bet Tzevuim west of Jerusalem. The family of the house of Qayapha resettled in Bet Meqoshesh, their original home, south of Jerusalem. These two families were branches of important priestly houses from the time of the return to Zion, the family of HaQotz and the family of Pashhur, and throughout the Second Temple period they belonged to the same priestly course, or to a course that branched off from the original. During the Second Temple period these families allied themselves through marital ties to the high priestly aristocracy in Jerusalem.

It appears that the house of Anuvai and the house of Qayapha lived in their respective villages of Bet Zevuim and Bet Meqoshesh throughout the entire Second Temple period until the destruction of the Temple. This investigation has been conducted from a variety of angles. It has also raised the possibility that after the Temple’s destruction these families relocated, like so many exiles, to the shephelah and settled in the area of Lod in places which came to bear their names: Bet Anavah and Bet Qiyapha. Our discussion has raised several key issues that are essential for understanding the manner of settlement in the land of Judah and its causes, and the greater understanding of these issues that we have gained by studying these two high priestly families may help to illuminate the history of other priestly families as well with respect to the way they chose to settle and how they maintained their ties to the Temple.

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[*] This article originally appeared as:

בן-ציון רוזנפלד, ”תולדות התיישבותן של שתי משפחות מהכהונה גדולה בימי הבית השני,“ מחקרים בגיאורגרפיה ההיסטורית יישובית של ארץ ישראל

(2 vols.; ed. Yose Katz, Yehoshua Ben-Arieh and Y. Kaniel; Jerusalem: Yad Yitzhaq ben Zvi, 1991), 2:206-218.

[1] The foundational research on this topic remains that of Adolf Büchler, Die Priester und der Kultus im Letzen Jahrzehnt des Jerusalemischen Tempels, (Wien, 1895), 159-207, and in Hebrew translation:

א′ ביכלר, הכהנים ועבודתם: במקדש ירושלים בעשור השנים האהרונים שלפני חורבן בית שני (ירושלים, תשכ″ו),  154-119.‏

See also, Ben-Tsiyon Lurya, “ʻAre ha-kohanim bi-yeme Bet Sheni [Cities of the Priests in the Second Temple Period],” Hebrew Union College Annual 44 (1973): 1-18 [in Hebrew];

שמואל שפראי, עליה לרגל בימי בית שני (ירושלים, תשמ″ה2), 47 ובהערות.‏

[2] For particulars of the subject, see: m. Yev. 1:1-4 and chapters 2 and 3. Marriage to relatives among the priests was common in the Second Temple period because of the desire to preserve the purity of the family lineage. On the general background, see:

ביכלר, הכהנים ועבודתם, 68-67 ובהערות; שמואל ספראי, בשלהי הבית השני והתקופת המשנה (ירושלים, תש″ם),  72 ובהערות;‏

Joachim Jeremias, Jerusalem in the Time of Jesus (Philadelphia, 1969), 218-221; Emil Schürer, The History of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus Christ (175 B.C.-A.D. 135) 2, (Edinburgh, 1979), 240-242.

[3] See y. Yev. 1:6 (3a); b. Yev. 15b in the Munich MS. On this matter, see Saul Liberman, ed., Tosefta ki-Fshuṭah (12 vols; New York, 1967), 6:6 to line 29 and note 17.

[4] Anav is mentioned in Josh. 15:3. Regarding the identification, see M. Kochavi, “Kirbet Rabûd-Debir,” Tel Aviv 1 (1974): 28 n. 12; J. A. Soggin, Joshua (London, 1972), 176-180, esp. 178; R. G. Boling and G. E. Wright, Joshua: The Anchor Bible (New York, 1982), 378, 388;

י′ אהרוני, ארץ ישראל בתקופת המקרא (ירושלים, תשמ″ז), 275 ובהערה 92.‏

Mr. Avi Ophir, who surveyed the area for his doctoral work at Tel Aviv University, communicated to me privately that there is reason to believe that Anav is Khirbet Anav a-Kavir, which is located about two kilometers south west of Anav a-Tzair. In the past it was commonly assumed that the latter was the biblical Anav, but this determination is ruled out because no Bronze Age pottery has been discovered there. Recently finds in the former location that fit the biblical data have been found, making it possible to identify biblical Anav with Khirbet Anav a-Kavir. My thanks to Mr. Ophir for sharing this information with me, and his permission to publish it here.

[5] The lists of priestly and levitical cities appear in Joshua 21. Here we are discussing verses 14-15 (= 1 Chr. 6:42-43). For a detailed discussion, see

אהרוני, ארץ ישראל, 237-232, 275.‏

[6] For an overview of its history, see

אנציקלופדיה מקראית ז, טור 107.‏

On its important place in the Temple in the time of Nehemiah and in the preceding generation, see

נחמן אביגד, סוג חדש של חותמות יהוד, ידיעות-החברה לחקירת ארץ ישראל ועתיקותיה, כב (תשי″ח), 10-1.‏

[7] Ezra 2:61-62 (= Neh. 7:63-64). On the difficulty of these verses, see

י′ ליוור, פרקים בתולדות הכהונה והלוייה (ירושלים, תשכ″ת), 43, 47, ובהערה 31.‏

Marital ties with a family from Gilead appears more probable when one notices that Hetzron, the grandfather of the original HaQotz of the tribe of Judah, was married to a woman from the family of Makir the father of Gilead (1 Chr. 2:21, 24; 4:5-8). See also

ש′ קליין, מחקרים בפרקי היחס שבספר דברי הימים, ציון (מאסף) ג (תרפ″ט): 7-5.‏

To all appearances, the infiltration of this priestly family into this Judahite branch encouraged marital ties with a central branch of the families of Gilead, and it is possible that it also gave rise to additional marital unions with other families from Gilead.

[8] It has been possible to describe the process of assimilation of the name “HaQotz” among the priests in a slightly different way. The proximity of the priestly towns the towns of Judah contributed to the priests’ movement to Anav, and in that way they absorbed the names HaQotz and Anav. But it seems that marital ties were more important to the assimilation and appropriation of a person’s name from one family to another. And what is more, marriages between the sons of HaQotz and the sons of Barzillai make this hypothesis the more preferable.


מ′ שטרן, התעודות למרד החשמונים (ירושלים, תשכ″ה), 79-74, ובהערה 8.‏

[10] See Liver (above, n. 7), 34-35 and the literature cited in the notes; Schürer, (above n. 2) 247-248. Regarding the settlement of priests in the Galilee after the destruction, see

ט′ כהנא, הכוהנים למשמרותיהם ולמקומות התישבותם, תרביץ 48 (תשל″ת): 29-9, ובהערות.‏

[11] Liberman (above, n. 3).

[11*] Avigad (above, n. 6).

[12] Jeremias, 175-181; Schürer (above, n. 2), 233-235; Safrai (above, n. 2), 15-16;

מ′ שטרן, מדיניות של הורדוס והחברה היהודית בסוף ימי בית שני, תרביץ 35 (תשכ″ו): 249 ובהערה 92 (נדפס עתה בתוך: א′ כשר [עורך], המרד הגדול, הסיבות והנסיבות לפריצתו [ירושלים, תשמ″ג], 269.‏

This is also implied in t. Men. 13:21.


ש′ קליין, ארץ יהודה (ירושלים, תרצ″ט), 3, 15, 24-22; אהרוני, ארץ ישראל, 315-312, 322-319.‏

On the Edomite (Idumean) occupation of Judah, see

א′ כשר, אדום ערב וישראל (ירושלים, תשמ″ח), 13-9.‏

[14] Neh.1:3; 2:13; 7:4-5.

[15] The priests who resided in Jerusalem were about a quarter of all the priests in the land at that time. There are some who reduce their total to only a fifth of all the priests. This view pertains to the entire Second Temple period. See Jeremias, 200-205; Liver (above, n. 7), 45; Schürer (above, n. 2), 256 and notes.

ביכלר, הכהנים ועבודתם, 40-38; קליין, ארץ יהודה, 3-1 (לעומת עמ′ 13), 11-9; ש′ ספראי, עבודת האלהים בבית המקדש השני, ספר ירושלים, א (ירושלים-תל אביב, תשט″ז), 370; ש′ בארון, היסטוריה חבורתית ודתית של עם ישראל, ב (גבעתיים-רמת גן, תשכ″ז [תרגום עברי]), 153 ובהערה 30.‏

[16] For this reason the priests were forced to split into twenty four courses in the days of Nehemiah or shortly thereafter. Each course served in rotation in the Temple for only a short time. See also Liver’s discussion (above, n. 7), 43-45.

[17] See Safrai (above n, 1), 51; Lurya (above, n. 1), 8-19;

ביכלר, הכהנים ועבודתם, 150-146; ש′ קליין, מאמרים שונים בחקירת ארץ ישראל (וינה, תרפ″ד), 6 ובהערה 11, 25 ובהערות 4-3.‏

[18] S. Klein, “Zur Geographie Palästinas in der Zeit der Mischnah,” MGWJ 61 (1917): 136 n. 5; idem (above, n. 17), 6, and following him, G. Dalman, Orte und Wege Jesu (Darmstadt, 1924; repr. 1967), 59 n. 6.

מ′ אבי יונה, גיאוגרפיה היסטורית של ארץ ישראל (ירושלים, תש″ל4), 102.‏

It is also possible that the name “house of Anuvai” is preserved in the surroundings in the old Arabic name of Abu Ghosh, which was called Qaryat al-‘Inab, which is a close neighbor to the west of Tzova. Perhaps the name drifted because people from Bet Anuvai spread out to this place, or that part of the family moved there.

[19] 1 Chr. 4:8. And see,

ש′ קליין, הגבורים אשר לדור, ידיעות-החברה לחקירת ארץ ישראל ועתיקותיה ז (ת″ש): 102-101 ובהערות 18, 21.‏

[20] His first proposal was published in the articles mentioned above in n. 18. In a later article, however, Klein changed his opinion. See

ש′ קליין, לחקר השמות והכינויים, לשוננו א (תרפ″ט): 348.‏

Nevertheless, in his book he wavers in his opinion. See קליין, ארץ יהודה, 96.

[21] E. Klostermann, Onomastikon der Biblischen Ortsnamen (Leipzig, 1904; repr. Hildesheim, 1996), 15-17, 20.


מ′ אבי יונה, מפת מידבא-תרגום ופירוש, ארץ ישראל ב (תשי″ג): 150 מספר 73 וד, ז;‏

M. Avi Yonah, Gazateer of Roman Palestine (Qedem, 5) (Jerusalem, 1976), 42.


ג′ אלון, תולדות היהודים בארץ ישראל בתקופת המשנה והתלמוד א (תל אביב: מהדורת צילום, תשל″ז), 38-35.‏

On the Roman policy excluding Jews from Jerusalem and its environs after the destruction, see

מ′ פישר וצ′ צוק, הכביש הרומי אמאוס-ירושלים (תל אביב, תשמ″ה), 24-1; מ′ פישר, הדרך ירושלים-אמאוס לאור החפירות החורבת מצד, יוון ורומא בארץ ישראל (א′ כשר ואחרים [עורכים]; ירושלים, תשמ″ח), 202; מ′ שטרן, המשטר הרומי בפרובימציה ’יודאה‘ מן החורבן ועד למרד בר כוכבא, ארץ ישראל מחורבן בית שני ועד הכיבוש המוסלמי (צ′ ברס ואחרים [עורכים]; ירושלים, תשמ″ב), 14-12; ב′ איזק, אדמת יהודה בפרובינקיה יודיאה לאחר שנת 70 לספירה, אדם ואדמה בארץ ישראל הקדומה (א′ אופנהיימר ואחרים [עורכים]; ירושלים, תשמ″ו), 94-87, ובהערות 1, 14, 19.‏


ב′ מזר, מקום מוצאם של בחשמונאים, עירם וגלילות בארץ ישראל ב (ירושלים, תשל″ו), 92-88, ובהערה 1.‏

Klein suggested that the town of חֶשְׁמוֹן (ḥeshmōn) in the Negev of Judah (Josh. 15:27) was the Hasmoneans’ place of origin. Upon the return to Zion priests from the course of Yehoyariv settled there and over the course of time they relocated to Jerusalem, but one branch of the family of Mattatyahu settled in Modiin and they continued to bear the name of their ancient place of origin (see קליין, ארץ יהודה, 248-247, ובהערה 6). Mazar rejected this suggestion, but it is possible to correct it by proposing a process of development similar to that of the house of Anuvai. Klein demonstrated in his book that in rabbinic sources the family is called בית חשמונאי (“house of Hashmonai”); we would expect this designation to have developed from the toponym Heshmon, just as the designation “house of Anuvai” developed from the name “Anuv” and the town of Anav. Therefore, it is possible that from the same priestly towns that have been mentioned in the south of mount Hevron one family developed marital ties with the inhabitants of Heshmon, a town that neighbored the priestly towns at no great distance, and thereby the name of the town became attached to the family of priests. A second possibility is that the priests migrated to Heshmon and settled there, and after the exile when they returned with other returnees to Zion they were not able to return to their city of origin and had to seek an alternative location in Mount Yehudah, as was also the case with the House of Anuvai, and at least a portion of them settled in Modiin since they bore the name of the town of Heshmon.

[25] See b. Ber. 44a and its parallel in y. Taan. 4 [69a]. For a discussion about this, see

ביכלר, הכהנים ועבודתם, 120, 144-141;קליין, ארץ יהודה, 259 ובהערה 2.‏

[26] For different perspectives on this topic, see:

נ′ רובין, מתאבל עליו מתאבל עמו, שנתן 10 (שתל″ב): 122-111; הנ″ל, דפוסי האבל היהודיים בארץ ישראל בתקופת המשנה והתלמוד: ניתוח סוציולוגי, עבודה לשם קבלת התואר דוקטור לפילוסופיה של אוניברסיטה בר אילן (רמת גן, תשל″ז), 164-138; ש′ דר, התפרוסת היישוהית של מערב השומרון בימי הבית השני, המשנה והתלמוד, והתקופה הביזנטית א (תל אביב, תשמ″ב), 145-144, ובהערה 20.‏

On the rural structure of the Jewish resettlement of the land, see:

י′ קלוזנר, הכלכלה ביהודה בימי בית שני, ההסטוריה של עם ישראל: תקופת בית הורדוס (מ′ אבי יונה, עורך; ירושלים, תשמ″ג), 139, 144.‏

[English translation: J. Klausner, “The Economy of Judea in the Period of the Second Temple,” in The World History of the Jewish People: The Herodian Period (ed. Michael Avi Yonah and Zvi Baras; New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1975),180-205, 361-365.] And likewise, S. Appelbaum, “Economic Life in Palestine,” in The Jewish People in the First Century (2 vols.; ed. S. Safra and M. Stern; Assen, 1976), 2:641-646.

[27] For differences in the parallel version, see the Tosefta (above, n. 2). For a detailed discussion, see Lieberman (above, n. 3), to lines 29-30.

[28] See Ant. 18:35, 95.

[29] Matthew 26:3, 57; Luke 3:2; John 11:49; 18:13-14, 24, 28; Acts 4:6.

[30] John 18:13.

[31] Satran (above, n. 12), 236-237, 245-251 (256-257, 265-271). For the list of high priests who served from the Herodian period onward, see Schürer, 229-232; notes 12-14 concern the family of Caiaphas.

[32] In Broshi’s opinion it is possible that there is an historical basis to the well known Christian tradition from the first third of the fourth century, which identified the house of Caiaphas the high priest, where Jesus was brought for his trial, as near the Zion Gate, being surrounded by the courtyard of the Armenian monastery of the Holy Saviour. See

מ′ ברושי, החפירות בבית כייפא בהר ציון, קדמוניות 5 (תשל″ג): 107 בהערה.‏

The first to mention of this tradition is the Bordeaux Pilgrim in his travel log. See

.על ארץ ישראל, ציון 6 (תרצ″ד): 33 Itinerarium Burdigalense :ש′ קליין, ספר המסע‏

[For an English translation of the Bordeaux Pilgrim’s itinerary, see Aubrey Stewart, trans., Itinerary from Bordeaux to Jerusalem (Palestine Pilgrims’ Text Society: London, 1887), esp. 23.]

[33] See m. Par. 3:5. The quotation from Josephus is a kind of improved version of the large critical edition. See B. Niese, Flavii Josephii Opera Omina (Berlin, 1887), 4:269. On the differences of the excellent version in line 1, which is the reading of MS A, whereas two MSS M and W read Κιθαίου, and the Latin MS reads cantherae. The majority of scholars prefer the reading “Cantheras,” which is in the Latin MS, because the name Cantheras (Κανθηρᾶς) appears in additional places. In Ant. 19:313 the name appears without the “n,” Catheras (Καθηρα) in MSS M and W. See Niese, 4:263. On differences in line 15, see the discussion in L. H. Feldman, Josephus, IX, Loeb Classical Library (London, 1965), 376 n. a and n. 1. Feldman discussed the textual problems and opted for Cantheras. On the other hand, Satran (above, n. 31), 251 (= 271), and n. 101 follows Niese. Schwartz considers Catheras and Cantheras to be different forms of the same name, the dropping of the “n” being common. See Daniel R. Schwartz, Agrippa I Last King of Judaea (Tübingen: Mohr [Siebeck], 1990), 187-188 and n. 10-11. It seems that we must accept Satran’s opinion, which relies not only on the preferred Greek readings, but also on the form that agrees with the name that occurs in rabbinic sources, viz., Qatros, and it must be agreed that the sages and Josephus referred to the same family. And now the reading Qatros is supported by the finds from the Burnt House—דבר קתרוס (see below, n. 36)—evidence that was not taken into account by the debaters. And since the Hebrew testimony comes from the Second Temple period, while the Greek testimony is in doubt, we cannot ignore Niese’s reading, which ought to be preferred.

[34] See Satran, above. In Schwartz’s opinion (above, n. 33), Elyoenai was the brother of Joseph Caiaphas, and they had yet another brother, Simon Cantheras, who also served as high priest, and it is mentioned that he was a member of the important Boethus family, many members of which served as high priests. The three brothers were the offspring of two high priestly families, the family of Boethus on their mother’s side and the family of Cantheras on their father’s side. Thus the House of Qayapha was related to the two main high priestly families, the house of Hanan and the house of Boethus, and this in turn is testimony of the nobility of the family in its own right. But in Satran’s opinion Simon Cantheras, or in any case the family of Boethus, had no family relations with Elyoenai or the house of Qayapha. See Satran, 249 (= 269), and n. 88.

[35] See the discussion below.


נ′ אביגד, העיר העליונה של ירושלים (ירושלים, תש″ם), 131-129.‏

On p. 130 Avigad makes the equation between the Qatros in the inscription and the qatros in the book of Daniel. For further details, see below.

[37] See the parallel with minor differences in t. Men. 13:21 (ed. Zuckermandel, 533), and see above n. 12.

[38] Satran (above, n. 12), 248 (= 268);

א″מ סמולווד, כוהנים גדולים ומדימיות בארץ ישראל הרומית, א′ כשר (לעיל, הערה 12), 240-239.‏


נ′ אביגד, חותמו של אליעני, ארץ ישראל 16 (תשמ″ב): 2-1, ובהערות.‏

[40] On the continuity of names within a family, see Liver (above, n. 7) 46 and n. 42. Liver points out the recurring name מַלְכִּיָּה (malkiyāh, “Malchiah”) in the family of Pashhur, which we have discussed here. The descendants of Pashhur are mentioned in Neh. 11:12, 13.

[41] See E. Hatch and H. A. Redpath, A Concordance to the Septuagint (repr. Oxford, 1954), 2:765. As a term for a musician is occurs rarely. On the musical instrument and its role in the music of the Second Temple period, see:

נגינה וזמרה, אנציקלופדיה מקראית 5 טורים 766-759, 776.‏

[42] K. H. Rengstorf, A Complete Concordance to Flavius Josephus (Leiden, 1975), 2:498. These meanings were also current outside the land of Israel. See H. G. Liddell and R. Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon (Oxford, 19662) 950, s.v. Κιθάρα. On its use with reference to musicians, cf. Jos. Bel. 2:321.

[43] In the majority of instances Josephus used this as a term for a hymn. See Rengstorf, 4:233-234, and ὑμνῳδος especially occurs in connection with the Temple singers. On the inferior status of the Levites and of the cantors vis-à-vis the priests, see

ביכלר, הכוהנים ועבודתם ,99-89.‏

[44] Büchler grapples with this in

ביכלר, הכוהנים ועבודתם, 105-113.‏

See also Safrai (above n. 15) 369-371, 378, 386-387; Liver (above, n. 7), 65-72.

[45] 1 Chr. 24; Liver (above, n. 7), 46.

[46] Kfar Lakitia is mentioned in Midrash Echah Rabbah 1:16 (ed. Buber, 82). On its identification, see S. Klein, “Bemerkungen zur Geographie des alen Palästina,” MGWJ 54 (1910): 25-27. This identification was made prior to Klein, but Horovitz rejected it out of hand without explanation. He proposed identifying Bet Meqoshesh with the Arab village of Beit Ichsa, 6 km. northwest of Jerusalem. See

י″צ הורביץ, ארץ ישראל ושכנותיה (וינה, תרפ″ג), 106 ובהערה 4.‏

Nevertheless, there is no obvious similarity between the names. He determined with regard to its identification with the village of Abu Qash, 5 km. north of Ramallah. While there is a slight similarity in the names, but it is not certain. Moreover, it is not supported by the ceramic finds, which are only from the Arab period. See

מ′ כוכבי, יהודה, שומרון וגולן, סקר ארכיאולוגיה בשנת תשכ″ח (ירושלים, תשל″ב), 176 מספר 31.‏

[47] This is how Klein explained himself in one place. See

ש′ קליין, לטופוגרפיא, תרביץ 2-1 (תר″ץ): 128 ובהערה 2.‏

Nevertheless, the examples Klein brought from Levi’s dictionary do not support his interpretation. See J. Levi, Wörterbuch über die Talmudim und Midraschim (Berlin-Vienna, 1924), 2:523 (לקיט); ibid., 4:400 (מקושש). And see

ח″י קוהוט, ערוך השלם (ניו יורק, תשט″ו), 5:57 (לקט), 7:222 (קש), 227 (מקושש).‏

[48] C. R. Conder and H. H. Kitchener, Survey of Western Palestine: Judaea (London, 1883), 118, and cf. 86 (El-Bakush). El Bakush is the name of the ridge that lies to the east above Kusis. The name of the ridge also preserves the memory of the original name, since Bakush means the same as Meqoshesh. It must be pointed out that the name Kusis also occurs in Shick’s map and description of the region, but he only mentions it as the name of a spring, Ain-el-Kusis, and not the name of a ruin. See C. Schick, “Ramathaim-Zofim: The Home of Samuel the Prophet,” PEFQst (1898): 7; cf., ibid., 1879, 130 (Ain Kasees), 10 (map), 15-16. I would like to thank David Amit, who paid attention to Shick and who helped me gather information on the area.

[49] I would like to thank Avi Ophir once again, who surveyed the area (see above, n. 4), and who informed me by private communication of the results of his research in these areas and allowed me to publish them.

[50] See Avi Yonah (above, n. 18), 89, 103;

י′ רול, מערך הדרכים הרומיות בארץ ישראל, קדמניות 9 (תשל″ו): 39 (מפה), 41, 44-43; וראה עד: י′ רול, וי′ דגן, מערך הכבישים הרומיים סביב בית גוברין, אדם וסביבה בדרום השפלה (ד′ אורמן וא′ שטרן, עורכים; גבעתיים, 1988), 176-175, ובהערות.‏

[51] See the list of the builders of the wall in Neh. 3:14, 16, except that the name is mentioned in the district of Bet haKerem, and it is included in the region of Bethlehem. See אהרוני, ארץ ישראל, 322-320 ומפה. Klein (41, קליין, ארץ ישראל) wanted to identify Khirbet Arav (about 300 meters east of Kusis) with Berat Arava, a fortress from the Ptolemaic era that guarded the road near Solomon’s Pools and the Ptolemaic estates that were in the area. See Kochavi (above, n. 46), 32-24, 26-27, and the road from Bethlehem to Bet Zur in the map of the sites.

[52] See Robert Brody, “Caiaphas and Cantheras,” in Schwartz (above, n. 33), 190-195. But it is difficult to accept his conclusion, since in the wake of the discovery in the upper city of Jerusalem, which Brody does not discuss, we must equate Qayapha with the Hebrew Qatros and not the Greek Cantheras.

י′ פרס, אנצקלופדיא ארץ ישראל (ירושלים, תשי″א), 91:1.‏

See also the British Survey (above, n. 48), 118 (Khŭrbet Kiafa).

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