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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


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(Heb. Ithamar', אַיתָמָר, palm-isle; but according to Furst, not high, i.e. little; Sept. Ι᾿θάμαρ ; Josephus Ι᾿θάμαρος, Ant. 8, 1, 3), the fourth and youngest son of Aaron (1 Chronicles 6:3). B.C. 1658. He was consecrated to the priesthood along with his brothers (Exodus 6:23; Numbers 3:2-3); and after the death of Nadab and Abihu (Leviticus 10:1 sq.), as they left no children, he and Eleazar alone remained to discharge the priestly functions (Leviticus 10:6; Leviticus 10:12; Numbers 3:4; Numbers 26:60 sq.; 1 Chronicles 24:2). Nothing is individually recorded of him, except that the property of the tabernacle was placed under his charge (Exodus 38:21), and that he superintended all matters connected with its removal by the Levitical sections of Gershon and Merari (Numbers 4:28). The sacred utensils and their removal were entrusted to his elder brother Eleazar, whose family was larger than that of Ithamar (1 Chronicles 24:4). Ithamar, with his descendants, occupied the position of common priests till the high-priesthood passed into his family in the person of Eli, under circumstances of which we are ignorant. (See ELI).

Abiathar, whom Solomon deposed, was the last high-priest of that line, and the pontificate then reverted to the elder line of Eleazar in the person of Zadok (1 Kings 2:27). (See HIGH-PRIEST).

The traditionary tomb of Ithamar is still shown near that of his brother Eleazar in the hill of Phinehas (Schwarz, Palest. p. 151). A priest by the name of Daniel, of his posterity, returned from Babylon. (Ezra 8:2; 1 Esdras 8:29).

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Ithamar'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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