Bookstore Glossary Library Links News Publications Timeline Virtual Israel Experience
Anti-Semitism Biography History Holocaust Israel Israel Education Myths & Facts Politics Religion Travel US & Israel Vital Stats Women
donate subscribe Contact About Home

Johanan ben Jehoiada

JOHANAN BEN JEHOIADA, (fifth century B.C.E.), high priest. Opinions differ as to the name of Johanan's father. In a number of places he is called Eliashib (Ezra 10:6; Neh. 12:23), whereas Josephus refers to him as "the son of Joiada and grandson of Eliashib" (cf. also Neh. 12:22 and 5:11; reading Johanan instead of Jonathan). In the opinion of A. Schalit Johanan was a nephew of *Manasseh. Johanan served as high priest after the reforms of Ezra and Nehemiah and is mentioned in one of the *Elephantine papyri of 408 B.C.E. According to this papyrus (Cowley, Aramaic 108–19, no. 30), he opposed the construction by the Jews of the Elephantine Temple and did not reply to a letter which they addressed to him on the subject. Johanan murdered his brother Jeshua in the course of a dispute with him in the Temple area. In consequence of this crime, the Jews were punished by Bagoas (*Bagohi), the Persian governor. These events are better understood in light of the fact that Johanan was a supporter of Ezra and Nehemiah (Jos., Ant. 11:297–301), whereas the connections between Jeshua and Bagoas, and between the latter and the Samaritans, suggest that Jeshua favored closer relations with the Samaritans.


Schalit, in: Sefer Yoḥanan Levi (1949), 252–72; Klausner, Bayit Sheni, 1 (19512), 226–303; 2 (19512), 11–12, 19–20; E. Meyer, Der Papyrusfund von Elephantine (1912), 70ff; Schuerer, Gesch, 3 (19094), 7, 26–27.

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.