Joshua as imagined by Guillaume Rouille, from his 1553 work containing woodcut portraits in medallion form, Promptuarii Iconum Insigniorum.

Joshua (Hebrew: יְהוֹשֻׁוּעַ Yəhōšūaʿ) or Yeshua (Hebrew: יֵשׁוּעַ Yēšūaʿ) the High Priest was, according to the Bible, the first person chosen to be the High Priest for the reconstruction of the Jewish Temple after the return of the Jews from the Babylonian Captivity (Zechariah 6:9–14 and Ezra 3 in the Bible). The name Joshua is of the same origin as the name Jesus, and Joshua the High Priest is interpreted by Christians to be a foreshadowing of Jesus, who rebuilt the Temple a final time.


Joshua son of Jozadak served as High Priest ca. 515–490 BCE in the common List of High Priests of Israel. This dating is based on the period of service at age 25–50 (per Numbers 8) rather than age 30–50 (per Numbers 4).

The biblical text credits Joshua among the leaders that inspired a momentum towards the reconstruction of the temple, in Ezra 5:2. Later 10:18 some of his sons and nephews are found guilty of intermarriage.

Facts concerning the later part of Joshua's life are in part dependent upon whether Joshua was still alive at the time of his appearance in a vision seen by Zechariah. If the vision relates to Nehemiah's cleansing of the temple in 13:28 then the engagement of Joshua's great-great-grandson to the daughter of Sanballat the Horonite would place Joshua in his late 90s if he were still alive.[1]

Appearance in vision

In the Book of Zechariah 3:6–10, Zechariah the prophet experiences a vision given to him by an angel of the Lord in which the restoration and cleansing of Joshua's priestly duties are affirmed. Included in the visions were requirements in which Joshua was expected to uphold. These included: (1) walk in the ways of God, (2) keeping the requirements (the law), (3) ruling God's house, (4) take charge of my courts; by fulfilling these duties, the angel granted access to the inner temple to Joshua and his fellow priest. The vision also functioned to purify Joshua and to sanctify him for the preparations of his priestly duties.

Alternatively, if Joshua had in fact died before the events of Nehemiah 13, then it is possible that the vision intended to depict a heavenly throneroom scene of Satan and the angel disputing over the soul of Joshua, and the intended target of the allegory is the then serving high priest, his grandson, Eliashib.[2]


In 1825, the traditional tomb of Joshua was reported to have been found at "one hour's distance from Baghdad."[3]

Patrilineal ancestry

As per 1 Chronicles chapter 5

Patrilineal descent
  1. Abraham
  2. Isaac
  3. Jacob
  4. Levi
  5. Kehath
  6. Amram
  7. Aaron
  8. Eleazar
  9. Phinehas
  10. Abishua
  11. Bukki
  12. Uzzi
  13. Zerahiah
  14. Meraioth
  15. Azariah
  16. Amariah
  17. Ahitub
  18. Zadok
  19. Ahimaaz
  20. Azariah
  21. Yohanan
  22. Azariah II
  23. Amariah
  24. Ahitub
  25. Zadok II
  26. Shallum
  27. Hilkiah
  28. Azariah IV
  29. Seraiah
  30. Jehozadak

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ Carol L. Meyers Haggai, Zechariah 1–8 Vol. 25B The Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries 1987
  2. ^ Meyers, op.cit.
  3. ^ United Foreign Missionary Society (1825). American missionary register. J. & J. Harper. p. 280. Retrieved 4 October 2010.