Incense burner

Course of priests according to Israel tradition

According to Jerusalem Talmud Taanith Tract about fast and fast day, Rabbi Jose ben Halafta c. 150 AD (80 years after destruction of Jerusalem temple) said that course of Jehoiarib was in charge when destruction of the temple happened.

Whence do we know that the second Temple was also destroyed on the 9th of Abh? We have learned in a Boraitha: “A happy event is credited to the day on which another happy event happened, while a calamity is ascribed to the day when another calamity occurred; and it was said that when the first Temple was destroyed it was on the eve preceding the 9th of Abh, which was also the night at the close of the Sabbath and also the close of the Sabbatical year. The watch at the time was that of Jehoyoreb, and the Levites were chanting in their proper places, at that moment reciting the passage [Psalms, xciv. 23]: “And he will bring back upon them their own injustice, and in their own wickedness will he destroy them”; and they did not have time to end the passage, which concludes, “yea, he will destroy them–the Lord our God,” before the enemy entered and took possession of the Temple. This happened also at the destruction of the second Temple. (

First course of priests was Jehoiarib  (1 Chronicles 24:7).

Division Name Scriptural Reference
First Jehoiarib 1 Chronicles 24:7
Second Jedaiah 1 Chronicles 24:7
Third Harim 1 Chronicles 24:8
Fourth Seorim 1 Chronicles 24:8
Fifth Malchijah 1 Chronicles 24:9
Sixth Mijamin 1 Chronicles 24:9
Seventh Hakkoz 1 Chronicles 24:10
Eighth Abia 1 Chronicles 24:10
Ninth Jeshua 1 Chronicles 24:11
Tenth Shecaniah 1 Chronicles 24:11
Eleventh Eliashib 1 Chronicles 24:12
Twelfth Jakim 1 Chronicles 24:12
Thirteenth Huppah 1 Chronicles 24:13
Fourteenth Jeshebeab 1 Chronicles 24:13
Fifteenth Bilgah 1 Chronicles 24:14
Sixteenth Immer 1 Chronicles 24:14
Seventeenth Hezir 1 Chronicles 24:15
Eighteenth Happizzez 1 Chronicles 24:15
Nineteenth Pethahiah 1 Chronicles 24:16
Twentieth Jehezkel 1 Chronicles 24:16
Twenty-first Jachin 1 Chronicles 24:17
Twenty-second Gamul 1 Chronicles 24:17
Twenty-third Delaiah 1 Chronicles 24:18
Twenty-fourth Maaziah 1 Chronicles 24:18
Incense burner
Incense burner in beth ha-miqdash

Temple destruction happened in Sabbath, Ab 9, 3830 Hebrew Calendar, then course of Jehoiarib serve in a week of 9th-16th day of Ab.

Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur exists between first and eight courses of priests. In these fests, courses of priests served together. Hence, Abia was  8th course of priests which served on Tishri 15-21, 3831 by calculation:

8th week + 1 week = 9th week

9th week from Av 9-16  is Tishri 15-21, 3831.

This calculation is in line with Luke story of Gabriel visiting Zachariah.

Witness from Rabbi Jose ben Halafta (±150 AD) that course of priests started at Ab is in line with indication from Ezra 7:8-10.


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