Page:A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi and Jonah.djvu/58

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distinct tradition to the effect that Haggai was of priestly lineage. It appears in a statement of a certain Dorotheus, whom Delitzsch[1] identifies with a bishop of Tyre of the same name, that, when Haggai died, "he was buried with honour near the sepulchre of the priests, where the priests were customarily buried;"[2] but it is given in a more complete form by Hesychius, who says that the prophet "was buried near the sepulchre of the priests with honour, like them, because he was of priestly stock."[3] It should also be noted as in harmony with this tradition that, in the versions, the name of Haggai appears in the titles of some of the Psalms.[4] This external testimony is not in itself of so much value, but it would deserve more serious consideration if there were internal evidence to support it. There are those who claim that there is such evidence. They find it, first, in the tone and purpose of the book, which seems to them to betray the personal interest of a priest in the restoration of the worship by which his order had subsisted before the Exile;[5] and, second, in the prophet's familiarity, as displayed in 211 ff., with matters on which he himself represents the priests as the recognised authorities. These reasons, however, are not convincing, especially in view of the fact that Jewish tradition, although it highly honours Haggai, attributing to him and Zechariah and Malachi, with whom he is almost always associated, various important services,[6] does not reckon him a member of the sacerdotal order. On the whole, therefore, it seems safest to ignore the Christian tradition and regard the prophet as a patriotic Jewish layman of unusual zeal for, and therefore, perhaps, unusual acquaintance with, the religion in which he had been born and reared.[7]

  1. De Habacuci Prophetæ Vila alque Ætate, 54 ff.
  2. Maxima Bibliotheca Veterum Patrum, iii, 422 ff. Cf. also Epiphanius, De Vilis Prophetarum, ed. Petavius, ii, 235 ff.
  3. Critica Sacra, viii, Pars, ii, col. 33.
  4. In G, 137 (138) and 145–149 (146–149); in S, 125 f. (126 f.) 145–148 (146–148); in L, 64 (65); in V, 111 (112) 145 f. (146 f.).
  5. André, 98 ff.
  6. They are said to have transmitted the Law to the men of the Great Synagogue, assisted Jonathan ben Uziel in the composition of his Targum on the prophets, introduced the final letters into the Hebrew alphabet, rendered various sage decisions, etc. For numerous citations, cf. André, 13 ff.
  7. Marti claims that 211 ff., so far from indicating that Haggai was a priest, favours the contrary opinion.