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HANAMEEL THE EGYPTIAN:

High priest; flourished in the first century B.C. After assuming the government of Palestine, Herod surrounded himself with creatures of his own; from among these he chose one Hanameel to fill the office of high priest made vacant by the ignominious death of Antigonus (37 B.C.). Hanameel (Ananelus) was an Egyptian according to the Mishnah (Parah iii. 5), a Babylonian according to Josephus ("Ant." xv. 2, § 4); though of priestly descent, he was not of the family of the high priests. But Hanameel's incumbency was of short duration. Prudence compelled Herod to remove him, and to fill his place with the Hasmonean Aristobulus (35 B.C.). The youthful Hasmonean, however, was too popular with the patriotic party; though he was a brother of Mariamne, Herod's beloved wife, he was treacherously drowned at Herod's instigation (35 B.C.), and Hanameel was restored to the high position. How long he continued in office historians do not state; but it could not have been for many years, since after the execution of Mariamne (29 B.C.) Herod remarried, and appointed his second father-in-law, Simon b. Boethus, to the high-priesthood, removing Joshua b. Fabi. Hanameel is credited with having prepared one of the total of seven "red heifers" (see Num. xix.) which were provided in all the centuries from Ezra's restoration to the final dispersion of the Jews (Parah l.c.).

Bibliography:
  • Grätz. Gesch. iii. 213 et seq.;
  • Josephus, Ant. xv. 2, § 4; 3, §§ 1, 3;
  • Jost, Gesch. des Judenthums und Seiner Sekten, i. 320;
  • see also Brüll, Mebo ha-Mishnah, i. 55.
E. C. S. M.
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