views updated


ZADOKITES (Heb. benei Zadok; "sons of Zadok"), the *Qumran community's description of its members, especially its priestly members. The community conceived part of its duty to be the continuation of the functions assigned in the Torah to the Zadokite priesthood. The passage in Ezekiel 44:15ff., where the privilege of approaching God is reserved for "the priests, the levites, the sons of Zadok" because they remained faithful when the other priests went astray, is interpreted in the Zadokite Admonition as a reference not to one class but to three, indicated by the repetition of the conjunction "and"; "the priests and the levites and the sons of Zadok" (cd 3:21ff.). "The priests are those who turned from impiety in Israel and went out of the land of Judah; the [levites are those who] joined (nilvim) with them; the sons of Zadok are the elect of Israel, called by name, who arise in the latter days" (cd 4:2–4). Within the community the framework of priests and levites was maintained, (a) to teach Torah (Mal. 2:7); (b) to undertake what service was possible while the pollution of the Temple by the illegitimate, non-Zadokite, high-priesthood (from 171 b.c.e. onward) prevented them from ministering in it; (c) to make preparation for the day when they would resume the full service of God in a purified temple. In the *Manual of Discipline initiates into the community place themselves "under the authority of the sons of Zadok, the priests, who keep the covenant" and follow the interpretation of the law of Moses revealed to "the sons of Zadok, the priests" (1qs 5:2, 9); here the designation is more expressly confined to the priesthood within the community. "The sons of Zadok, the priests" have a similar authoritative role in the Rule of the Congregation (1qs a 1: 2, 24; 2: 3). The idea that the *Teacher of Righteousness himself was called Zadok (so H.J. Schoeps) is speculative, as is a suggested connection with *Zadok the Pharisee who was Judah the Galilean's comrade-in-arms in 6 c.e. (Jos., Ant., 18:4,9–10).


S. Schechter, Documents of Jewish Sectaries (1970), introd. by J.A. Fitzmyer; A.R.C. Leaney, Rule of Qumran andIts Meaning (1966), 91ff., 165ff.; H.J. Schoeps, Urgemeinde, Judenchristentum, Gnosis (1956), 71ff.; G.R. Driver, Judaean Scrolls (1965), 226ff.; North, in: Catholic Biblical Quarterly (1955), 164ff. (in spite of the similarity of name, to call these Zadokites "Sadducees" is misleading).

[Frederick Fyvie Bruce]