Table of Contents
  • 1. A priest, perhaps the high priest during the reign of David. He was the son of Ahitub (II Sam. viii. 17), but the attempt to trace his genealogy back to Eleazar, the third son of Aaron, as opposed to Abiathar, his contemporary and colleague, who was regarded as a descendant of Eli and considered a member of the house of Ithamar, was first made by the Chronicler (I Chron. v. 30-34 [A. V. vi. 4-8]; comp. vi. 35-38 [A. V. vi. 50-53]), thus assuring the preeminence of the Zadokites over the descendants of Eli. In the beginning of his career he was associated with Abiathar (II Sam. xx. 25) and with his son (ib. viii. 17; I Chron. xxiv. 3, 6, 31). The hypothesis has accordingly been advanced that Zadok officiated in the Tabernacle at Gibeon (I Chron. xvi. 39; comp. I Kings iii. 4), while the sons of Eli were stationed as high priests at Jerusalem or, more probably, at Shiloh (comp. Keil on I Kings i. 8). Such a division of functions is very doubtful, however; and it is more plausible to suppose that Zadok gradually won equality of rank with the sons of Eli by his good fortune in gaining the favor of David.According to the somewhat improbable statement of the Chronicler, a certain Zadok, as a young man, had been one of those who joined David at Hebron and helped him win the crown of all Israel, his house then including twenty-two captains (I Chron. xii. 29); and Josephus expressly identifies this Zadok with the high priest of the same name ("Ant." vii. 2, § 2).During the rebellion of Absalom, Zadok gained still greater prominence. He and the Levites wished to accompany the fleeing David with the Ark of the Covenant, but the king begged them to remain at Jerusalem, where they could do him better service (II Sam. xv. 24-29; comp. 35), so that it actually happened that Ahimaaz, the son of Zadok, and Jonathan, the son of Abiathar, brought the king an important message (ib. xvii. 21). In all these passages Zadok is mentioned before Abiathar. According to the Hebrew text of II Sam. xv. 27, David addressed the priest with the words "ha-ro'eh attah," and the Vulgate consequently regards Zadok as a seer, although this interpretation is incorrect. These two difficult words are emended by Wellhausen to , thus implying the promise of the high-priesthood to him. On the suppression of the rebellion, the king sent Zadok and Abiathar to the elders of Judah, urging them to hasten to bring the monarch back (ib. xix. 12). Zadok again manifested his loyalty to the king when he espoused the cause of Solomon against Adonijah (I Kings i. 8 et seq.), and in his gratitude the new king appointed him sole high priest (ib. ii. 35). In his account of this event Josephus states ("Ant." viii. 1, § 3) that Zadok was a scion of the house of Phinehas, and consequently a descendant of Eleazar.Reliable historical data show that the high-priesthood remained in the hands of the Zadokites from this time until the rise of the Maccabees. The descendants of Zadok increased in rank and influence, so that his son Azariah was one of the princes of Solomon (I Kings iv. 2), and the Ahimaaz who marrieda daughter of Solomon was probably another of Zadok's children (ib. iv. 15). Either Zadok himself or his grandson was the ruler of the Aaronites (I Chron. xxvii. 17), and Jerusha, the mother of Jotham, is apparently termed the daughter of Zadok to emphasize her noble lineage, since her father may have been a descendant of the first Zadok (II Kings xv. 33; II Chron. xxvii. 1). A Zadok is also mentioned in the genealogy of Joseph, the father of Jesus (Matt. i. 14).G. S. Kr.
  • 2. Sadducean leader. The only data concerning the origin of the Sadducees are based on certain deductions drawn from their name, for a late rabbinical source alone appears to be founded on actual knowledge. Two pupils of Antigonus of Soko are said to have misinterpreted their teacher's statement that God should be worshiped without hope of reward as meaning that there is no recompense, either for good or for evil, in the world to come. These two scholars, Zadok and Boethus, are accordingly regarded as the founders of the heresies of the Sadducees and the Boethusians (Ab. R. N. recension A, 5; recension B, 10). This statement is devoid of historicity, however, since it incorrectly postulates denial of the future life as the cardinal doctrine of the Sadducees, while it betrays also its lack of authenticity by making the origin of the Boethusians synchronous with the rise of Sadduceeism, although the former sect derived its name from the high priest Boethus, who flourished during the reign of Herod.The only historical portion of this legend is the part which connects the origin of each of these heresies with a personal name, for the Hebrew is derived from just as are from and from , while Herod was the eponym of the party of the Herodians.Geiger's theory of the derivation of the name of the Sadducean party from the Biblical appellative "Zadok" is, therefore, the most probable one. This name , which occurs ten times in Ezekiel, Ezra, and Nehemiah, is transliterated Σαδδούκ throughout by the Septuagint in these books, as well as in other passages in Lucian's version of the Septuagint. The same form appears in Josephus; and even a manuscript of the Mishnah (Codex De Rossi No. 138) vocalizes the name of the rabbi Zadok (= "Ẓadduḳ"). The only moot point is the problem whether the appellation of the sect is to be derived from a Zadok who is no longer known or from the priestly family of the Zadokites. An unknown Zadok was assumed to be the founder of the Sadducees by Kuenen (though he later adopted the opposing theory), Graetz, Montet, and Lagarde, while the second hypothesis, which is the more probable, was maintained by Geiger and Schürer, and is now confirmed by the Hebrew Ben Sira (see Schechter's note in "The Wisdom of Ben Sira," 1899, p. 35). A third conjecture, deriving the word from the adjective , which was advocated in ancient times by Jerome and Epiphanius, and was defended more recently by Joseph Derenbourg and Hamburger, is untenable both on linguistic and on historical grounds.From the days of Solomon the descendants of the priest Zadok were regarded with great reverence, which must have been much increased by the Deuteronomic legislation concentrating all cults at Jerusalem. In Ezekiel's prophetic vision the "sons of Zadok" are described as the only priests worthy to discharge their holy office (Ezek. xl. 46, xliii. 19, xliv. 15, xlviii. 11); and although in the Second Temple certain prerogatives were allowed the sons of Ithamar, the Zadokites alone formed the priestly aristocracy, so that the Chronicler assigns twice as many priestly divisions to the Zadokite descendants of Eleazar as to the Ithamarites (I Chron. xxiv.). In Ecclesiasticus (Sirach), in like manner, the Zadokites alone receive praise (li. 12 [9], Hebr.). Despite the fact that those members of this powerful family who adopted the Sadducean doctrines were but few, they gave the teachings such support that the entire sect bore their name, and Josephus expressly states that scions of the priestly aristocracy, i.e., the Zadokites, were preeminently adherents of Sadduceeism. See Sadducees.Bibliography: Geiger, Urschrift, pp. 20, 102; Wellhausen, I. J. G. 4th ed., p. 294; idem, Pharisäer und Sadducäer, Göttingen, 1874; Schürer, Gesch. 3d ed., ii. 408-411.J. S. Kr.
  • 3. Tanna of priestly descent; father of Eleazar. He flourished in the years preceding and following the beginning of the common era. According to an account which must refer to him in the prime of life, he was taken as a captive to Rome, where he was sold to an aristocratic house. Its mistress attempted to force him to marry one of her beautiful slaves, but Zadok refused, claiming that not only did he belong to one of the most influential families of Jerusalem, but that he was of priestly lineage, whereupon his mistress gave him his freedom (Ab. R. N., ed. Schechter, p. 32a and note 11; Ḳid. 40a). A historical account dating from the time of the Temple vouches for the fact that he was a priest. During a sacrifice a strife broke out between two priests, perhaps brothers, because one had taken precedence of the other at the altar, and one of them was stabbed. There was great excitement among the congregation, whereupon Zadok ascended the steps of the "ulam," from which the priests were accustomed to give the benediction, and there calmed the people by an address based on Deut. xxi. 1 et seq. Since, however, it has been proved that only priests were allowed to mount the ulam, Zadok must have been a priest (Yoma 23a; Tosef., Yoma, i. 12; Yer. Yoma ii. 39d).
Zadok and Gamaliel.

Together with Eliezer b. Hyrcanus and Joshua b. Hananiah, Zadok was present at the marriage of the son of Gamaliel II. in Jabneh. On that occasion Gamaliel II. himself poured out the wine and handed it round. Joshua and Eliezer began to praise Gamaliel, whereupon Zadok became angry, declaring that they should not turn away from the worship of God, who had created everything for man, and worship a mortal (Ḳid. 32a). According to Bacher, however, this incident occurred not at a wedding, but at another feast, which Gamaliel gave to the scholars of Jabneh.

The whole life of this tanna fell within the period of the dissolution of the Jewish state, and he declaredthat he had fasted forty years in his endeavor to prevent the destruction of the Temple. When this took place, however, Zadok had become so weak that Johanan b. Zakkai was obliged to appeal for him to Titus, who had him treated by a physician (Giṭ. 56b; Lam. R. i. 5). Zadok moved to Jabneh together with Johanan b. Zakkai and other scholars, and his few halakot, found in 'Eduy. vii. 1-5, date from this period. He was the most influential personality in Gamaliel's tribunal, and always sat at the right of the latter (Yer. Sanh. 19c), while on one occasion he was present at the eating of the sacrificial lamb in Gamaliel's house (Pes. 74a). Together with Johanan b. Zakkai and Gamaliel, he rendered a decision on the conditions under which food might be eaten outside the Tabernacle during the Feast of Weeks (Suk. 26b). Although he was theoretically an adherent of the principles of the Bet Shammai, in practise he always made his rulings in accordance with the Bet Hillel (Yeb. 15b). His motto in ethical matters was, "Do not make learning a crown to make thyself great thereby, nor a spade to dig with it" (Ab. iv. 5). The thirtieth chapter of the Tanna debe Eliyahu Rabbah relates that Zadok once came to the place where the Temple had formerly stood. In his grief at the desolation he reproached God Himself, whereupon he fell into a sleep in which he saw God and the angels mourning over the destruction of Zion. The Pirḳe de-Rabbi Eli'ezer ascribes to Zadok haggadic sayings concerning the descendants of the giants (ch. xxii.), the sacrifices of Cain and Abel (ch. xxi.), the Flood (ch. xxiii.), and Noah's prayer in the ark (ib.).

  • Bacher, Ag. Tan. i. 43-46;
  • Derenbourg, Hist. pp. 342-344;
  • Zacuto, Sefer Yuḥasin ha-Shalom, ed. Filipowski, pp. 32a, 76a, b;
  • Frankel, Darke ha-Mishnah, pp. 70-71;
  • Heilprin, Seder ha-Dorot, ii. 319-320;
  • Büchler, Die Priester und der Cultus, p. 126, note 1, Vienna, 1895;
  • Neubauer, G. T. p. 375.
J. S. O.
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