High priest under Agrippa II.; not to be identified (as by Grätz and Schürer) with the high priest of the same name who was appointed by Valerius Gratus and who officiated during 15-16 of the common era. Ishmael was a worthy successor of the high priest Phinehas. He was appointed to the office by Agrippa in the year 59, and enjoyed the sympathy of the people. He was very rich; his mother made him, for the Day of Atonement, a priestly robe which cost 100 minæ. Ishmael at first followed the Sadducean method of burning the sacrificial red heifer, but finally authorized the procedure according to the Pharisaic teaching. Being one of the foremost ten citizens of Jerusalem sent on an embassy to Emperor Nero, he was detained by the empress at Rome as a hostage. He was beheaded in Cyreneafter the destruction of Jerusalem, and is glorified by the Mishnah teachers (Parah iii. 5; Soṭah ix. 15; Pes. 57a; Yoma 35b).

  • Josephus, Ant. xx. 8. §§ 8, 11;
  • idem, B. J. vi. 2; § 2;
  • Schürer, Gesch. ii. 219;
  • Ad. Büchler, Das Synedrion in Jerusalem, pp. 67, 96, Vienna, 1902.
G. M. K.
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