Jonathan ben Anan

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JONATHAN BEN ANAN , high priest in 36–37 c.e. Jonathan was appointed high priest by Vitellius, governor of *Syria, succeeding Joseph *Caiaphas (Jos., Ant., 18:95). After a year he vacated the office in favor of his brother, Theophilus (ibid., 123). When Agrippa i wished to reappoint him, he declined, and another brother, Matthias, was appointed (ibid., 19:313–6). Jonathan was apparently greatly respected and occupied an important place in the community even after his removal from the high priesthood, as is evidenced by the events during the final days of the governorship of Cumanus (52 c.e.). When disturbances broke out following the murder of a Galilean pilgrim by the Samaritans, Jonathan b. Anan complained to Quadratus, governor of Syria, pointing to Cumanus as the chief culprit. Quadratus, after severely punishing those responsible for the disturbance, sent the former high priests, Jonathan and Hananiah, as well as the latter's son, Anan, and a number of Jerusalem notables to Rome for trial before the emperor Claudius. The decision was in favor of the Jews, and at the request of Jonathan, Cumanus was dismissed and exiled (Jos., Wars, 2:232–47; Ant., 20:162). Felix, appointed to succeed Cumanus, hated the former high priest, who rebuked him for the cruelty of his rule. Felix suborned a certain Doras, a native of Jerusalem, to hire assassins who mingled with the crowd ascending to the Temple and murdered Jonathan. This, according to Josephus, was the precedent for many other murders by *Sicarii (Jos., Ant., 20:162–6; Wars, 2:256).

[Abraham Schalit]