"A threefold cord is not quickly broken," and these three independent witnesses agree in describing a significant innovation which ends with the supremacy of the Zadokites of Jerusalem over their brethren.
When two-thirds of the priestly families are said to be Zadokites and one-third are of the families of Abiathar, some reconciliation, some adjustment of rivalries, is to be recognized (1 Chron.
But the different steps can hardly be recovered clearly, although the fact that the priesthood was extended beyond the Zadokites to families of the dispossessed priests points to some compromise (1 Chron.
5 Moreover, the real Judaean tendency which associates the fall of Eli's priesthood at Shiloh with the rise of the Zadokites involves the literary problems of Deuteronomy, a composite work whose age is not certainly known, and of the twofold Deuteronomic redaction elsewhere, one phase of which is more distinctly Judaean and anti-Samaritan.
The Judaean view pervades the present sources, and whilst its David and Solomon ruled over a united land, the separation under Jeroboam is viewed as one of calf-worshipping northern tribes from Jerusalem with its one central temple and the legitimate priesthood of the Zadokites.
Moreover, with the emphasis which is laid upon the Jerusalem Temple is to be associated the new superiority of Zadok, the traditional ancestor of the Zadokites, the Jerusalem priests, whose supremacy over the other Levitical families only enters into the history of a much later age (see Levites).
Not only are the standpoints of local interest (Samaria, Benjamin, Judah and the half-Edomite Judah being involved), but there are remarkable developments in the ecclesiastical bodies (Zadokites of Jerusalem, country and half-Edomite priests, Aaronites) which have influenced both the writing and the revision of the sources (see Levites).
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