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Zadok I

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This article is about the first high priest of this name. For the father-in-law of King Uzziah, see Zadok II. For other uses, see Zadok (disambiguation)

Zadok I (Hebrew: צדוק, Ẓāḏōq; "Name means::just") (ca. Born::2924 AM–fl. Flourit::Ethanim 2989 AMDied::3004 AM) was the twelfth high priest of Israel. He was the first high priest to receive his appointment from a political leader.


Zadok I
father of::Ahimaaz
grandfather of::Azariah I
ancestor of::Amariah
ancestor of::Jehoiada

Zadok I was a descendant of Eleazar (1_Chronicles 6:4-8 ). The previous five high priests (the House of Eli) had been Ithamarites. With Zadok, according to Scripture and to Flavius Josephus, the hereditary office of high priest returned to the line of Eleazar, where it would remain until the Babylonian captivity and beyond[1] (1_Kings 2:35 ).

His date of birth is an estimate based on the lives and careers of his descendants and successors, especially Jehoiada, who lived 130 years and served during the reigns of three kings and a usurping queen.


Zadok began serving as an assistant to high priest Abiathar during the reign of King David (2_Samuel 8:17 ). Some commentators insist that he and Abiathar served jointly in that capacity, but the Bible gives no definite warrant for this.[2] One theory states that Zadok and Abiathar officiated at two separate sites in Israel, in that Zadok served at Gibeon while Abiathar, like all the members of the House of Eli, served at Shiloh. But Gottheil discounts this theory and suggests that Zadok gained favor through his association with David,[2] this although Abiathar had been with David since Saul had his predecessor executed.

Zadok served faithfully and loyally during the rebellions of Absalom and Sheba, and never once attempted to curry favor with David at the expense of Abiathar. Then, as David lay dying and suffering from hypothermia, Zadok and Abiathar made two fatefully different political choices. Abiathar followed Adonijah in his attempt to seize the throne, while Zadok adhered to Solomon, apparently because Solomon was David's choice and Zadok was loyal to David more than to any other leader[3][4] (1_Kings 1:8,31-40 ). So when David ordered Zadok to officiate at the anointing of Solomon, Zadok obeyed without question. For this act, David confirmed Zadok as high priest and removed Abiathar from that office (1_Kings 2:35 ).

The Bible does not say when Zadok's career ended. He did have a son and a grandson, and both men definitely served as priests. The grandson, Azariah I, definitely served as high priest during part of the reign of Solomon (1_Kings 4:2 ). This passage says that Azariah was the son of Zadok, but the Chronicler identifies him as his grandson (1_Chronicles 6:8-9 ).

Preceded by
Successor of::Abiathar
Member of::High priest
Flourit::Ethanim 2989 AMDied::3004 AM
Succeeded by
Succeeded by::Ahimaaz

See Also

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  1. Flavius Josephus, Antiquities,
  2. 2.0 2.1 Gottheil R, Krauss S, Jacobs J, and Ochser S, "Zadok," The Jewish Encyclopedia, 1906. Accessed February 16, 2009.
  3. Blank W, "Zadok," Daily Bible Study, February 25, 2007. Accessed February 16, 2009.
  4. Konig G and Konig R, "Zadok," About Bible Prophecy, n.d. Accessed February 16, 2009.