Kimḥit

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article Share Article
views updated

KIMḤIT

KIMḤIT , high priestly family in the last years of the Second Temple. Although the Talmud states: "Kimḥit had seven sons, each of whom served as high priest" (tj, Meg. 1:12, 72a; Yoma 47a), the only members of the family known as such were: simeon son of Kimḥit, high priest in 17–18 c.e., also known as Ishmael. He was appointed by the procurator Valerius Gratus and deposed after a year when the high priesthood was given to Joseph *Caiaphas (Jos., Ant., 18:34). The Talmud relates that on the Day of Atonement he fell into conversation with an Arab ruler and inadvertently became unclean. His brother Yeshovav was substituted for him so that their mother saw both her sons high priests on the same day. joseph son of Kimḥit, high priest 44–47 c.e., probably brother of the above. After the emperor Claudius granted *Herod, king of Chalcis, the right to appoint high priests the latter removed Elionaeus (or Cantheras; see Jos., Ant., 20:16n.) and appointed Joseph to the post. joseph son of Simeon, high priest 61–62 c.e., appointed by Agrippa ii in succession to *Ishmael b. Phiabi. He was among the group of priests who escaped to the Roman camp in 70 c.e., after the fall of the fortress *Antonia. Josephus refers to him as "Joseph, son of the high priest Simeon, called Kabi" (Ant., 20:196). This has led some scholars to believe that he was a member of the Boethus family, but it is more probable that he was a member of the Kimḥit family (see Schuerer, Gesch, 2:275). The Talmud praises the members of this family: "all flour [kemaḥim] is good but the flour of Kimḥit is of the best [solet]" (tj, Meg. 1:12, 72a).

bibliography:

Klausner, Bayit Sheni, 4 (19502), 304; 5 (19512), 22, 26.

[Edna Elazary]