Icon of Yahshua (Jesus) breaking bread with Cleopas in Emmaus by the hand of Nicholas Papas. Artwork at “Come and See”
The Family Nazarene Dynasty of the House of Joseph and the Genealogies to the Royal House of David and the
Priestly House of Zadok
Study into the Kahal (Hebrew) Nazarene Ecclesia (Congregation) of Yisra’el (Israel)
Called by Christians ‘The Jerusalem Church’
Commentary by Robert D. Mock M.D.
February 6, 1999
Rewritten June 2005
James the Just (Yacov ben Yosef) and Simeon ben Cleopus
As exceptional an idea as this may be, the Hebrew Nazarene Ecclesia, (“Jerusalem Church”) early became associated with the family and the House of Joseph and Mary. It was the son of Joseph and Mary, Yahshua ben Yosef (Jesus son of Joseph), who as a rabbi of Israel through the most extra-ordinary events of history was thrust into the role of a Davidian aspirant of the throne of Judah. He found His life in violent confrontation with the most powerful Sadducean high priestly family of the House of Ananus. He was captured by the temple security guards under the order of Ananus and Caiphas the high priest and father high priest emeritus and was taken through a “mock” trial by the Jewish Great Sanhedrin. Three he was found innocent of sedition charges by the Roman governor Pontius Pilate and was given to the mob of the high priest for hanging during a time of a great earthquake. He laid in the family tomb of Joseph of Arimathea his maternal uncle for three days during the high days of Passover. Then he arose from the grave in a most profound cataclysmic event when numerous other resurrected “saints” of Israel arose and walked the streets of Jerusalem to testify of this “first fruits” resurrection. Yahshua arose by the power of the God of Israel, whom Yahshua claimed was His real Father. This was the testimony of the Brit Hadassah (New Testament).
After the death, resurrection and ascension of Yahshua, the followers of this Jewish Messiah formed the Hebrew Nazarene Ecclesia. Under the reluctant leadership of James the Just, known as Yacov ben Yosef, the ecclesia flourished for their leader was a Tzaddik of Israel, known for his great piety. For thirty two years after the death of Yahshua in 30 CE, James the Just led the Hebrew Nazarenes to become the leading sect of Judea and served as the high priest of the Nazarenes in the temple of Herod. He was the authentic heir to the Davidian-Zadokian Melchezadik (Righteous King) lineage of priest-kings.
Eusebius - “Now Jacob the brother of the Lord, who, as there were many of this name, was termed the Just by all, from the days of our Lord until now, received the government of the Community with the apostles. This apostle was consecrated from his mother’s womb. He drank neither wine nor fermented liquors, and abstained from animal food. A razor never came upon his head; he never anointed himself with oil or used a public bath. He alone was allowed to enter the Holy place. He never wore woolen, only linen garments. He was in the habit of entering the Temple alone, and was often to be found upon his knees and interceding for the forgiveness of the people; so that his knees became as hard as a camel’s …And indeed, on account of his exceeding great piety, he was called the Just (i.e. Tzaddik) and Oblias (i.e. Ophla-am), which signifies Justice and the People’s Bulwark; as the Prophets declare concerning Him.” (Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, II.1)
As a Nazarite, James the Just’s life was dedicated to the God of Israel from birth. The testimony is still stark and clear, James the Just was a priest who wore only linen and entered the Holy Place alone once a year at the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur. From every bit of testimony, James the Just served as the nasi or high priest of the Nazarenes and the president of the Hebrew Nazarene Sanhedrin in Jerusalem. The fame and honor of James the Just rivaled the power and authority of the high priests of the Jews, the most powerful and famed being the family of the House of Ananus. The House of Ananus was the most powerful of the Sadducean families that bought the office of the high priest from the Romans for it was the most powerful and lucrative financial empire in the western provinces of Rome.
Here we find the great reverence given to a righteous man who was called “the Oblias” by the populous of Judea. His esteem and respect cannot be overestimated for over time he became larger than life in the economy of the Jewish people. This was a time of national turmoil that was escalating over the Judean province. This legendary brother of Yahshua was recorded in history by the Clements of Rome, the third president or patriarch (later called by the Christians as bishops) of the Church of Rome, who made these remarks.
Clements of Rome - Jacob (James) was called “the supreme Supervisor, who rules Jerusalem, the holy Community of the Hebrews, and the communities everywhere excellently founded by the providence of God” and was called or addressed as “Lord Jacob”. (Epistle of Clement to Jacob, preceding the Clementine Homilies., quoted in Schonfield 148)
Jerome later in his “Commentary on Galatians”, commented on the reverence and piety the people of Jerusalem respected of him as he spent most of his time on his knees interceding for his people. As a true high priest, he was a ‘pathway’ to the divine and as such was respected and revered as a true Tzaddik or Righteous One of Israel. When he would leave the temple, the populous of the city, the people;
Jerome - “would crowd around him and strive to touch the hem of his garment.” (Jerome, Commentary on Galatians. I.19.quoted by Schonfield 148)
Here was the same reverence and respect of the tzaddik that his brother Jesus also earned. As the tzitzits or fringes on his garment were touched in true Jewish custom, the holiness of a righteous man would be transferred to the one touching the hem. We see the same imagery with the mantle of Elijah and the miracles the mantle wrought when it was given to Elisha. Here was the legendary power and miraculous works that the mantle or prayer shawl of the Tzaddik wore as he walked and taught.
As Jesus was condemned, tried and hanged in the form of a crucifixion by Caiphas the high priest and his father in law, Ananus the Elder, so also in 62 CE, James the Just the son of Joseph and the brother of Jesus was tried for blasphemy. There on the parapet of the temple of Herod, he was murdered by clubbing to death by the priests under Ananus the Younger the son of Ananus the Elder. His body was thrown over the parapet of the temple to the Kidron Valley below and was entombed in what was later renamed the Tomb of Absalom.
Upon the death of James the Just, the Hebrew Nazarene leadership met to decide the leadership vacuum in the Nazarene sect. All the known emissaries (apostles) and disciples of Yahshua (Jesus) met during that Sabbatical year convocation at Pentecost. Out of the democratic voting they nominated the cousin and possibly half-brother of Jesus and James the Just who was called, Simeon ben Cleopas. This family dynasty had already produced great leaders and Simeon was also to be exceptional.
It was Eusebius, the early church historian in the 4th century quoting Hegesippus in the mid 2nd century who wrote of this august meeting:
Eusebius - "After the martyrdom of James and the capture of Jerusalem which instantly followed, there is a firm tradition that those of the apostles and disciples of the Lord who were still alive assembled from all parts together with those who, humanly speaking, were kinsmen of the Lord--for most of them were still living and they all took counsel together concerning whom they should judge worthy to succeed James and to the unanimous tested approval it was decided that Symeon son of the Clopas, mentioned in the gospel narrative, was worthy to occupy the throne (i.e., the position of Bishop) of the Jerusalem See. He was, so it is said, a cousin of the savior, for Hegesippus relates that Clopas was the brother of Joseph" (Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History. 3.11.1)
Here we see several elements in the text of Eusebius. Simeon was voted upon and unanimously was affirmed by all the living apostles and disciples. He was known in history and according to Eusebius was “named” in the “gospel narrative.” The position that he assumed was called the “throne” not the bishopric but as the high priest or the nasi of the Nazarene Ecclesia.
The ministry of James the Just brother of Jesus is known in scripture and James’ tensions and life threatening struggles with the House of Ananus are now documented. Simeon early made his mark in the Nazarene society. Like his two brothers Simeon was also known for his piety, his leadership ability in times of crisis. He has also come down in history as a teacher and a scholar. Later Jewish sources attribute the books, the Gospel of the Hebrews, the Ascents of Jacob, and the Book of John as coming from the pen of Simeon ben Calpus (Cleopas). Though lost in the misty fog of ancient history, glimpses of their existence can be seen today.
According to Jewish historian Hugh Joseph Schonfield, Simeon be Cleopas was known as:
Hugh Schonfield - “a certain aged man from among the Elders… who frequented the Holy of Holies.” (Schonfield, Hugh Joseph, The Pentecost Revolution, The Story of the Jesus Party in Israel, AD 36-66, Macdonald and Janes’s, St. Giles, 49/50 Poland Street, London, W.I., 1974, p234 ).
Like his older half cousin, Jacob the Just, Simeon evidently came from recognized priestly lineage and served as the High Priest or Nasi who entered the Holy of Holiest in the years of 63, 64 and 65 CE.
Here then were two men, one a brother of Jesus by his father Yosef ben Yacov (Joseph son of Jacob) and the other a cousin of Yahshua, Simeon whose father Cleopas was the brother to Jesus’ father, Joseph. Since both James the Just and Simeon were recognized of the authorized lineages of Zadokian priests, was Yahshua also of priestly descent?
Nicholas of Damascus (Nicolaus Damascenus) was a Greek historian and philosopher whose histories of the world were famed in antiquity but lost to our age. Born in Damascus and died in Rome, he was a friend of Herod the Great while he lived in Jerusalem for over twenty years. Though he never was converted to Judaism and remained an Aristotelian philosopher the rest of his life, some scholars have suggested that he could have been a “proselyte of the gate”. Nicholas of Damascus was called Suidas by Will Whiston, the translator of “The Complete Works of Josephus”, in this “Dissertations I” he wrote on April 28, 1737. In here he made extensive comments on Jesus and James the Just in the works of Josephus and other ancient authors. As stated in his comments:
Will Whiston (translator of “The Complete Works of Josephus”) - “Thus, lastly when Josephus is cited in Suidas, as affirming that Jesus officiated with the priests in the temple, this account is by no means disagreeable to the pretensions of the Ebionites. Hegesippus affirms the very same of James the Just. (Whiston, Will, translator of ‘The Complete Works of Josephus’, Dissertation I in the Appendix of “The Complete Works of Josephus”, Section V, page 645)
Though the testimony is circumstantial, Whiston quoting Suidas’ quotation of Josephus in textual documents not found today, the testimony is still profound. Here Suidas leaves the trace and documentation that Jesus was of the priestly lineage and He did officially serve in the temple of the Lord as any Levitical priest would serve. Yet was Jesus of the lineage of Zadok, the official lineage of the high priest.
Will Whiston continues with his summarization in Dissertation I:
Will Whiston (translator of “The Complete Works of Josephus) – “There are two remarkable passages in Suidas and Theophylact, already set down as citing Josephus; the former, that Jesus officiated with the priests in the temple; and the latter, that the destruction of Jerusalem, and miseries of the Jews, were owing to the putting Jesus to death which are in none of our present copies, nor cited thence by any ancienter authors, nor indeed to they seem altogether consistent with the other most authentic testimonies. However, since Suidas cites his passage from a treatise of Josephus called, “Memoirs of the Jews’ Captivity”, a book never heard of elsewhere, and since both citations are not at all disagreeable to Josephus’s character as a Nazarene or Ebionite, I dare not positively conclude they are spurious, but must leave them in suspense , for the further consideration of the learned.”
So the great translator of Josephus makes one affirmation, in his opinion, Josephus, the Jewish priest, commander of the Jewish battalions in Galilee was also an Ebionite-Nazarene and as such a secret follower of Yahshua haMaschiach (Jesus the Messiah).
With the two recorded lineages of Jesus in the synoptic gospels of Matthew and Luke, we can now appeal to two quite variant lines, both of which cannot be strict male or patrilineal genetic lines. This is obvious, since even the lineage of David comes from Adam to David through both female ancestress Rehab and Ruth.
The Lucian lineage and descent comes from the lineage of Nathan, (Luke 3:23-38) son of King David and the Matthew lineage and descent comes from Solomon. (Matthew 1:1-16) Does the virgin birth actually mean that Joseph’s genealogy was not of a historical or genetic lineage? Did Jesus’ lineage to the House of David actually come through Mary’s lineage instead? Even we note that the Emissary (Apostle) Peter claimed that Yahshua’s lineage came from the lineage of David (Acts 2:30). It was the Pharisee trained by Gamaliel called Paul who also claimed that Jesus was of the House of David (Acts 13:23, Romans 1:3).
What then do we know of Joseph’s lineage from King David in the Gospel of Matthew?
The Matthew lineage of Jesus goes thru the historical kings of Judah as descendants from Solomon to Jeconiah as the last king of the Nation of Judah.
David, King of Israel34 à Solomon ben David35 à Rehoboam ben Solomon36 à Abijah ben Rehoboam37 à Asa ben Abijah38 à Jehoshaphat ben Asa39 à Joram ben Jehoshaphat40 à Uzziah ben Joram41 à Jotham ben Uzziah42 à Ahaz ben Jotham43 à Hezekiah ben Ahaz44 à Manasseh ben Hezekiah45à Amon ben Hezekiah46 à Josiah ben Amon47 à Jeconiah ben Amon48 à
The second part of the Matthew lineage continues from King Jeconiah to his grandson, Zerubabbel, the prince of Israel in Persia who took the Jews back to the land of Judah from their land of captivity in Babylon-Persia to Joseph and Cleopas, sons of Jacob ben Matthan.
Shealtiel ben Jeconiah49 à Zerubbabel (prince of Israel and grandson of the king of Israel, Jeconiah) ben Shelatiel50 à Abiud ben Zerubbabel51 à Eliakim ben Abiud52 à Azor ben Eliakim53 à Zadok ben Azor54 à Achim ben Zadok55 à Eliud ben Achim56 à Eleazar ben Eliud57 à Matthan ben Eliezar58 à Jacob ben Matthan59 à Joseph ben Jacob60 à Yahshua ben Joseph61
à Cleopas ben Jacob60 à Simeon ben Cleopas61
Who then was this Cleophas as testified in the Gospel of Luke? Was he not the same Cleopas who Hegesippus states was the father of Simeon the second high priest of the Nazarenes?
Luke 24:13-18 – “Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was seven miles from Jerusalem. And they talked together of all these things which had happened. So it is while they conversed and reasoned that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him.
And He said to them, “What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?”
Then the one whose name was Cleopas answered and said to Him, “Are You the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have You not known the things which happened there in these days?”
And He (Jesus) said to them, “What things?”
Here we have the only Biblical documentation of the man called Cleopas, who went apparently to his home, which was in Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem. There to the west of Jerusalem, about 60 stadias (round trip) is the site of former Arab village called Imwas in the Valley of Aijalon, a land of prickly pear cactus which lined as hedges to farm huts and scrub brush. This area was destroyed and bulldozed in 1967 when Israel came in possession and control of this region.
Today the ancient site of Emmaus, the former site of the Arab village called Imwas is now a development of 1,000 acres, Canada Park, that was financed by Jewish people in Canada and dedicated one fourth of the land is agrarian orchard land.
Emmaus was first mentioned as the Syrian camp that was captured by Judas Maccabaeus in 161 BCE. When the Jewish people first rebelled against the occupation by Antiochus Epiphanes IV, one of the most heroic battles was as “Imwas”. Its inhabitants were sold into captivity by the Roman Cassius when they failed to pay their taxes and later the Roman Fifth Legion camped at this town for two years before making their final assault on Jerusalem in 70 CE.
There on the “Road to Emmaus” we are introduced to Chalphai, as he is called in Aramaic. In Greek, Cleopas was called Clopas or Halphaios. In Latin, Cleopas is called Alphaeus. With the identity of Cleopas and Alphaeus being the same, we stood find two other New Testament followers of Jesus: Mary Cleopas and James the Less/Younger or the son of Alphaeus.
When we look at the structure of the name, we find that Cleopas (Kleopas, kleh-op-as in Strong’s 2810) is a compound name from Kleos (kleh-os in Strong’s 2811) which means ‘renown’ or ‘glory’ and pater (pat-ayr in Strong’s 3962) which means ‘father’ or ‘parent’. Here we now know his name or title, “Renown Father”.
Luke 24:13 – “Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was seven miles from Jerusalem. And they talked together of all these things which had happened. So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him.
And He said to them, “What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?” Then the one whose name was Cleopas answered and said to Him, “Are You the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have You not known the things which happened there in these days?”
So on the road to Emmaus, Jesus is walking and talking with his uncle within three days after his crucifixion. Jesus’ father’s brother, Cleopas does not recognize Him because “their eyes were restrained.” Yahshua He calls Cleopas by his name, Renown Father” (Cleo-pater). That this language derivation is correct, we find in the Mishnah, the Hebrew name Cleopatra is rendered Clopatra in Greek. So also, Cleopas in Hebrew would be translated Clopas in Greek.
We now find two other New Testament figures that are associated with this Cleopas or Alphaeus. In the Gospel of John, we find Mary Cleophas, called Mary the wife of Cleopas and Mary the mother of James the Less and Joses, who is also called the sister of Mary the mother of Jesus.
John 19:25 – “Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas (Maria he tou Klopa), and Mary Magdalene.”
The Apostle Matthew has a slightly different version:
Matthew 27:55 – “And many women who followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to Him were there looking on from afar, among whom were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.
The Gospel according to Johannes Marcus (John Mark) states:
Mark 15:40 – “There were also women looking on from afar, among whom were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the Less and Joses, and Salome, who also followed Him and ministered to Him when He was in Galilee and many other women who came up with Him to Jerusalem.”
Returning from the Tomb of Joseph of Arimathea where the body of Yahshua was laying in state, we find the visit of three other women:
Luke 24:9 – “And they remembered His words. Then they returned from the tomb and told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them, who told these things to the apostles. And their words seemed to them like idle tales, and they did not believe them.”
Then also we have the identity of Alphaeus with Cleophas and a son, who was a disciples of Jesus, James the Lesser, son of Cleopas.
Mark 3:18 – ”James the son of Alphaeus”
All Biblical scholars have a difficult time trying to literally differentiate the grouping of women that are at the cross and later the tomb. Even though each gospel author gives a grouping of three women, it does not mean that the same three woman were named by each of the authors. Matthew states that at the cross were “many woman who followed Jesus from Galilee” and Mark refers to “many other women who came up with Him to Jerusalem”. Even at the tomb, according to Luke, we have a grouping of three women which included also “other women with them”.
So we have to ask, as early Christian traditions have alluded, Joseph the father of Jesus was married prior and did according to tradition have one or more sons. Must we consider that Cleopas the brother of Joseph also was married and had a son by the name of Symeon ben Clopas (Cleopas)?
Such historical information gives a different picture of a more dynamic family of Jesus than the traditional Roman Christian image of Jesus’ family who was an isolated poor peasant family who lived in Nazareth. Let us again take a look at the list of the siblings of Jesus as recorded in scripture.
Matthew 13:55 – “ Is this not the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers, James, Joses, Simon, and Judas? And His sisters, are they not all with us?
Mark 6:3 – “Is not this the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us?
Even the order of the names is not the same. Whereas there are strong traditions that Joseph was an older man and had at least one son by a prior marriage, this son is suggested to be the James the Just, a half-brother of Jesus and not a child of Mary. Yet the Biblical record suggests that James the Less, whom we also identify as James the Just the first high priest and nasi of the Hebrew Nazarene Ecclesia, was also the son of Alphaeus or Cleopas. Though quite controversial, the ossuary or bone box of James the Just son of Joseph was found in a tomb on the side of the Mount of Olives. On the outside is inscribed, “James the son of Joseph brother of Jesus.” The last phrase “brother of Jesus” appears to be added later but Christian scholarship accepts James the Just as the brother of Jesus.
Yet during the life and ministry of Jesus, James was identified with Mary and accepted as a brother of Jesus. We also see on this same lists, a Simon, which could be also Simeon or Symeon ben Clopas who was nominated to be the second nasi or president of the Hebrew Nazarene Ecclesia. In the book of Hegesippus he is referred to as the cousin of Jesus. Here we see one possible solution. Jesus was the son of Joseph and Mary. When Joseph dies, the younger son of Joseph, Cleopas, married his brother’s wife, Mary, and subsequently had several other children, which included James the Just and Simeon.
Is there a possibility that Simeon ben Cleopas was an older son of Cleopas before he married his deceased brother’s wife and had other children by them? If so, tradition and ancient texts do suggest that Mary did at least become the foster mother of several other children who may or may not have been her own. The dynamics of this family become even more interesting.
We do have one late date textual testimony of the family of Jesus in the fourth century “Liturgy of St. James” called James “the brother of God.” (“adelfoqeoV adelphtheos”, according to Philip Schaff, “History of the Christian Church” (New York: 1910; Reprinted, Grand Rapid; Eerdmans, 1973) 1,155) James the Just is also mentioned in a fragment ascribed to Papias as one of the children of “Mary, the wife of Cleophas or Alphaeus…an aunt of the Lord.” (Fragments fo Papias, X, The Ante-Nicean Fathers (=ANF) ed by Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson (American reprint; Grand Rapids; Eerdmans, 1973) 1, 155) This Papias is thought by some to also be of a late date for the editor makes a note that the fragment is contained in a manuscript in the Bodleian Library with the inscription, “Papia” in the margin. Some scholars believed this to be a “Papias” in the medieval era. (ANF 1, 155,n.6)
We have already discussed the possibility that Simeon ben Cleopas was a son of Mary, but if the date of his death and his age at that time is true according to the testimony of Hegesippus, Simeon could not be the son of Cleopas and Mary the mother of Jesus.
Hegesippus in Eusebius – “Some of these heretics accused Symeon, the son of Clopus, of being descended from David and a Christian, and so he suffered martyrdom at age 120, when Trajan was emperor and Atticus was consular governor.” (Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, 3:31)
Three brothers, all three of them were of royal Davidian bloodlines on their paternal lineages. We do know that Mary the mother of Jesus was of the tribe of Levi and now we know that James the Just and Symeon be Clopas were accepted as high priests or nasis of the Hebrew Nazarene Ecclesia and the Nazarene Sanhedrin. This latter suggests that they were also accepted as being born of Levitical bloodlines or Cohenins of the House of Israel.
Yet was there a genealogical linkage of Joseph and Cleopas’ bloodlines to the House of Levi? Yes there was! When we study the genealogies of Joseph and Cleopas, whom we have now determined to be brothers according to the testimony of Hegesippus, we find this linkage with the most noble and famous of the inter-testament high priests, Simon the Just.
Paternal or the Maternal Lineages
The problem of a legal heir from a family that had only daughters was addresses in the Torah. The daughters of Zelophehad, who had no brothers, had petitioned to Moses for a rare and special exception to obtain the rights of inheritance. As such, they were granted for rights to ownership of land under the leadership of Joshua when they entered into the Land of Canaan. Under these provisions granted to the family of Zelophedad, Heli, the father of Mary, who also had no sons, could transfer legal right to a grandson, through his daughter, of his Davidian lineage. That she married into the Tribe of Judah only insured this legal transfer of inheritance. With the death of Joseph prematurely in the life of Yahshua, the brother of Joseph, Cleopas would be the rightful heir to assume the widowed wife of his brother to be his own wife. Yet even if the birth of Yahshua to a “virgin” with no prior sexual experience is to be assumed then the legal inheritance of Yahshua (Jesus) in obtaining his royal Davidian blood from Joseph is open to suspect.
The genealogical lineage of any royal aspirant to the throne of David would assume to come through the side of his father. Yet the lineage of Jesus had one problem; there was a blood curse upon this lineage. The blood curse was by the God of Israel upon all the descendants of Jeconiah (Jehoiachin) in the lineage of Solomon.
Jeremiah 22:30 - "Thus saith the Lord, Write ye this man childless, a man that shall not prosper in his days: for no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah.”
Study the Matthew lineage of Jesus in Matthew 1:11. Joseph was a direct descendant from Jeconiah through Zerubbabel (a type of a Messiah) to Joseph, the father of Jesus. The paradox is stark and the conclusion is ominous for one in that lineage. There was a ‘blood curse’ that stated, ‘no man’ of Zeconiah’s ‘seed shall prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah.” Like in the days of Noah when the seed of Adam had been so corrupted that only Noah was worthy to be a descendant of the father of all mankind, Adam. Satan had sabotaged the lineage of Jesus, through the lineage of Solomon, yet once again the Lord of hosts circumvented the problem.
Mary was of the tribe of Levi because we know that Elizabeth her cousin was of the House of Levi. We feel that Jesus did trace his priestly lineage through the genealogy of Mary. This genealogy may have been only through the maternal lineages, ie Mary's and Elizabeths's mothers. If so Mary would have had to marry outside of their tribe, such as Levitical daughters marrying into the Tribe of Judah. This is of interest, since in the Beduoin culture of Arabia, the genealogical lineages preserved of their Arabian horses, the most prize lineages are through the maternal or mare lineages. Whether this is reflected in the Arabic, Middle Eastern treatment of human lineages, of which Israel is a part, is not fully known. What we do know is that the standard legal lineage of inheritance is through the paternal lines.
A study of ancient Hebrew lineages, does depict the concept of nobles uterine or the matrilineal inheritance of nobility. It is this concept that we must consider in our appeal to the lineages of Jesus as we look for His royal lineage of the House of David and his priestly lineage to the House of Levi.
With Jesus recognized as being born to a “virgin’, we are asked to accept the Latin translation, of ‘virgo intacto’, translated as a woman without any prior sexual acts, instead of the actual translation in the Latin text as ‘virgo’ which is more closely replicated from the Aramaic-Hebrew ‘bethua’ which actually means a ‘young maiden’ and does not imply or deny any prior sexual activity.
Today almost all of Christendom accepts the fact that Joseph was Jesus’ legal father but not his genetic father. Then we must ask, does God carry and transmit genes? Ron Wyatt, a Seventh-day Adventist respiratory therapist, was famed for his claims of finding many archeological mysteries of the Bible: the Ark of the Covenant, the wheels of Pharaoh’s chariot in the Reed (Arabian) Sea, Sinai at Mount Horeb in Arabia, and Sodom and Gomorrah along the Dead Sea. One of the most controversial is the site of Jesus’ crucifixion and the claim that the “blood” of Yahshua was discovered along with the chromosomal analysis: an XY with only 24 instead of 48 chromosomes. Diagnostic lab results have never been revealed so this fact has never been verified since his death. If this genetic blood is authenticated, then the genetic type of Mary could be ascertained and the genetic type of the Davidian royal bloodline could be verified by DNA testing.
What do we know about Mary, the mother of Jesus? Very little! She is represented as the daughter of Joachim and Anna (Hannah) in traditional Christian history. She was by tradition dedicated to the Lord and early placed in the temple under the guardianship of the priests. Was this the temple Sadducean priests or the true lineage of Zadokian priests who separated from the ‘corrupted’ priests and preserved by the little known and mysterious order of the Essenes.
The official Jerusalem temple priests were recognized in 1st century Judean society as being corrupted by the Herodians. The office of the high priest was put up for sale to the highest bidder by the Herodians who ruled over Judea. Instead of the house of David, the Hasmoneans or the descendants of the Maccabean family that drove out the Syrian forces of Antiochus Epiphanes IV who desecrated the Temple of Zerubbabel, were now the prime aspirants to the throne of Judea. The Sadduceans were the prime bidders to hold the office of the high priest. They may have been priests and Levites, but were not of the Family of Zadok that King David had put in as the High Priest in the Temple of the Lord. The whole first century religious life of the Jews in the first century was very corrupt.
About the year of 12 to 14 years of age, Mary is informed by a white cloaked messenger whom she calls ‘Gabriel’ and the rest becomes a part of the Biblical story. We find Mary going with Joseph to Bethlehem, then fleeing to Egypt, and later returning back to Judea. They end up living in a place called Nazareth or the Village of the Nazarenes which once again appeals to the Essene literature of the Nazoreans and the Nozoreans whose traces are still found in the tribes in the Arabian controlled regions of the Fertile Crescent.
What is of interest is that in the present city of Nazareth today, there are no archeological remains prior to the 3rd or 4th century, the town name does not exist on any Roman maps of Roman Judea. Also noted by good historians and geologists, the present city of Nazareth neither has a cliff that the populous could have thrown Jesus over when he went ‘back home’ to teach in their synagogue.
Mary is next seen at Cana at a wedding feast, with her son, Jesus having a honored role in the wedding, and she having the appearance of the honored mother. Celebacy was not an honored tradition in the culture of the Hebrew life and the Mishnah and other rabbinic writings were strong in their assent that all rabbis should be married. That the life and ministry of Jesus was conducted as an honored Rabbi is well documented historically.
For the sake of completeness, we must account for the rest of the Biblical recorded history of Mary. Here we have Jesus born of a maiden, Mary, whose father, Heli/Joachim was of the House of David from his son Nathan. Mary’s mother, Hannah (Anna) was of the Tribe of Levi. How do we know this? Well, after becoming pregnant, Mary went to live with her cousin or kinswoman, Elizabeth (Luke 1:36) who was of the priestly descent for in Luke it says;
Luke 1:5 – “There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah. His wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth.”
There in the temple of the Lord at Pentecost, the husband of Elizabeth, Zecharias, a Levite priest, was ministering at the altar of incense, when Gabriel announced the conception of John the Baptist.
The question that alludes us is, was Jesus on his maternal lineage of the House of Levi? The father of Mary in the Gospel of Luke is named Heli, who was of the House of David through his son Nathan. Yet ancient antiquarian genealogists have now uncovered the genealogy of Joseph of Arimathea. He was of the house of David as recorded in the Gospel of Luke on his paternal lineage. Was Joseph of Arimathea also of the house of Aaron and Levi.
The genealogy of Joseph of Arimathea has also now been documented through the ancient genealogies of Charles the Great of the Holy Roman Empire, called Charlemagne. This genealogy came through the same genealogy as documented in the Gospel of Luke except shortened by ten generations.
David, King of Israel34 à Nathan ben (son of) David35 à Mattatha ben Nathan36 à Menan ben Mattatha37 à Melea ben Menan38 à Eliakim ben Melea39 à Jonan ben Eliakim40 à Joseph ben Jonan41 à Jude ben Joseph42 à Simeon ben Jude43 à Levi ben Simeon44 à Mattat ben Levi45à Jorim ben Mattat46 à Eliezer ben Jorim47 à Jose ben Eliezer48 à Er ben Jose49 à Elmodam ben Er50 à Cossum ben Elmodem51 à Addi ben Cossum52 à Melchi ben Addi53 à Neri ben Melchi54 à Salathail ben Neri55 à Zorababel ben Salathail56 à Rhesa ben Zorababel57 à Joanna ben Rhesa58 à Jude ben Joanna59 à Joseph ben Jude60 à Semel ben Joseph61 à Mattathiah ben Semei62 à Joseph ben Mattathias63 à Johanna ben Joseph64 à Melchi ben Johanna65 à Levi ben Melchi66 à Matthan ben Levi 67 à Joseph ben Matthan of Arimathea and Heli (Joachim) ben Mattan68 à Anna bat (daughter of) Joseph of Arimathea and Miriam bat (daughter of) Heli68 à Jesus son of Joseph and Mary.
When we look at the genealogy in Luke 3:23-38, we notice that it comes through the House of David through his son Nathan. In the Christian traditions, the father of Mary was called Joachim. When we look at the grandfather of Jesus, who in Luke is called Heli or Eli is now known to be the same name as Eliakim which is the same name as Jehoiakim or Joachim. When compare the genealogy of Mary’s father, Heli and the genealogy of Joseph of Arimathea back to King David, they are the same, minus six generations which is highlighted below in blue.
David, King of Israel34 à Nathan ben David35 à Mattatha ben Nathan36 à Menan ben Mattatha37 à Melea ben Menan38 à Eliakim ben Melea39 à Jonan ben Eliakim40 à Joseph ben Jonan41 à Jude ben Joseph42 à Simeon ben Jude43 à Levi ben Simeon44 à Mattat ben Levi45à Jorim ben Mattat46 à Eliezer ben Jorim47 à Jose ben Eliezer48 à Er ben Jose49 à Elmodam ben Er50 à Cossum ben Elmodem51 à Addi ben Cossum52 à Melchi ben Addi53 à Neri ben Melchi54 à Salathail ben Neri55 à Zorababel ben Salathail56 à Rhesa ben Zorababel57 à Joanna ben Rhesa58 à Jude ben Joanna59 à Joseph ben Jude60 à Semel ben Joseph61 à Mattathiah ben Semei62à Maath ben Mattathiah63à Naggai ben Maath64 à Esli ben Naggai65 à Nahum ben Esli66 à Amos ben Nahum67 à Mattathiah ben Amos (or Semel)68 à Joseph ben Mattathias69 à Johanna ben Joseph70 à Melchi ben Johanna71 à Levi ben Melchi72 à Matthan ben Levi 73 à brothers Joseph of Arimathea and Heli. 74
Joseph ben Matthan of Arimathea 74 à Anna bat Joseph of Arimathea75
Heli (Joachim) ben Mattan74 à Mariam bat Heli75 à Yahshua ben Yosef 76 (Jesus son of Joseph) 78
The rich man, Joseph of Arimathea, who gave his tomb cut out of stone to bury Jesus when He was taken down from the cross has now been documented to be the great uncle of Jesus through His grandfather, Heli, the father of Mary his mother. Yet the mystery has even more surprises.
We now know that Jesus was of the House of Levi through His maternal lineage, Mary, for she was a cousin to Elizabeth who was of the House of Aaron. We must now ask, was Jesus also of the House of Levi through His maternal grandfather, Heli? One genealogical documentation states yes that Jesus was of the House of Levi through his ancestor the famous Simon ‘the Just’ in the inter-testament period of Judea.
Jesus was also eligible to be the High Priest of Israel for not only was He of the House of Levi, but was specifically of the House of Aaron through his descendant Zadok who was the high priest anointed by King David for the temple of the Lord. The descendants of Zadok were the recognized approved lineage by God and recognized as the only authentic lineage by the Essenes. Let us look at this lineage.
Zadok the high priest during the reign of King David
Levi27 ben Yacob (children: Jocheved, Kohath) à Kohath28 ben Levi à Amram29 ben Kohath (married his aunt Jocheved and had three children; Moses, Miriam and Aaron) à Aaron30 ha-Levi à Eleazar31 ben Aaron à Phineas32 ben Eleazar à Abishuah (Abishua) 33 ben Phinehas à Bukki34 ben Abishua à Uzzi35 ben Bukki à Zerahiah36 ben Uzzi à Meraioth37 ben Aerahiah à Amariah38 ben Meraioth à Ahitub39 ben Amariah à Zadok40 ben Ahitub (high priest of King David à Ahamaaz41 ben Zadok à Azariah42 ben Ahimaaz àJohanon43 ben Azariah à Azariah44 ben Johanon à Ahitub45 ben Amariah à Meraioth46 ha-Hohen à ? skip generation47 à Zadok48 he-Kohen à Azariah49 (Shallum) ben Zadok à Hilkial50 be Shallum à Azariah51 ben Hilkiah à Seriah52 ben Azariah à Josedech53 ben Seraiah à Joshuah54 ben Jehozadak à Joachim55 (Joiakim) ben Jeshua à Eliashib (Eolinshib) 56 ben Joiakim à Joiadah (Joiada) 57 ben Eliashib à Johanan (Johanna) 58 ben Joiada à Juddual (Jaddua) 59 ben Johanan à Onias I60 ben Jaddua à Simon ‘the Just’61 ben Onias à daughter62 of Simon ‘the Just’ ben Onias married Joseph ben Mattathias (house of David) à Janna (Janne Jannai)63ben Joseph à Melchi (Melki) 64 ben Janna à Levi65 ben Melchi (Panther) à Matthat (Mathat) 66 (also Barpanther) ben Levi of Arimathea à
Heli67 ben Matthat à Miriam bat Heli68 à Yahshua ben Yosef 69 (Jesus son of Joseph of the Houses of David and Zadok)
Joseph of Arimathea67 à Anna (Hanna) 68 bat Joseph of Arimathea
Simon the Just was known as the high priest Simon I the son of Onias I whom he succeeded about 300 BCE. He presided over the last of the Great Synagogue. To him was attributed the saying, "On three things the world depends--the Law, Worship and the showing of kindness." According to Josephus, Simon was called “the Just” (ho dikaios);
Josephus - "on account of his piety and his benevolent
disposition toward his countrymen." (Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, XII, ii, 5)
Of the three, Jesus, James the Just and Simeon, one was recognized as the Moschiach (Messiah) of Israel and two were high priests of the Nazarenes who presided in the temple of Herod before it was finally destroyed. It can now be affirmed that Yahshua ben Yosef (Jesus son of Joseph) had documented lineage of the House of Aaron through Zadok his descendant and was qualified to be the legitimate high priest of the temple of Herod between 26 CE till his death in either 30 or 33 CE. There is strong possibility that all three were possibly were half brothers. The documentation is still unclear if James the Just was the son of Joseph before he married Mary or whether James the Just was the son of Cleopas and Mary the mother of Jesus, later known as Mary Cleopas.
One sibling was the anointed as the Moschiach of the Jews, who presented Himself as sent from His Father in heaven and as the only Begotten of the Father. The other two became leaders of what would eventually become the largest sect in the land of Judea, the Nazarenes. According to the written history, they both became the oppositional high priests of the Nazarene Ecclesia and officiated in the temple of Herod on the most sacred of Jewish ceremonies, when the high priest entered alone on Yom Kippur into the Holy of Holiest.
What is now known is that all three, if they were sons of Mary, were descendants of the House of Aaron through the legitimate lineage of the high priest, the House of Zadok anointed during the reign of King David. If James the Just was not the son of Mary, but by a prior marriage of Joseph then James priestly ancestry is still not known. If James the Just and Symeon were both sons of Mary through their fathers Joseph and Cleopas, they would legitimately have authentic Zadokian high priestly genetic lineage and would have been accepted by the Essenes and the Nazarenes to be the authentic high priests of the House of Israel. Yahshua (Jesus) was the legal son of Joseph and through his bloodline would have been of the house of David except this bloodline had been cursed by the Lord of hosts. Yahshua was the natural son of Mary and through her lineage he was of the royal and high priestly lineage through Nathan the son of David and Simon the Just a descendant of the house of Zadok.
The Nomination of the Cousin of Yahshua (Jesus), Simeon ben Clopus,
As the High Priest or Nasi of the Hebrew Nazarene Ecclesia
The Deaths of the Apostle Paul and James the Just
The Nomination of Symeon ben Clopus as the Nasi or High Priest of the Nazarenes
The Contested Candidacy of the Position of President or Nasi of the Hebrew Nazarene Sanhedrin
King Agrippa and the House of Ananus
Was Theophilus the high priest a friend of the Apostle Paul and the Luke the physician?
King Agrippa I and the Hebrew Nazarenes
The Primitive “Apostolic” Nazarene Ecclesia
Jesus (Yahshua) and Joseph of Arimathea
The Birth of the Hebrew Nazarene Ecclesia in Jerusalem
Crisis in the Hebrew Nazarene Ecclesia –
The Sanhedrin and Rabbi Shaul are Coming
Joseph of Arimathea and the Friends of Jesus Flee to Caesarea
Final Exile of Joseph of Arimathea from Judea to the Isles of Avalon
The Hebrew Nazarene Ecclesia after the Stoning of Stephen
Antioch and Agrippa – The Nazarenes evangelize the world
The Royal Family of Caradactus and the Roman Christian Church
The Invasion of Rome to Britain and the Exile of the Royal Silurian Family to Rome
Roman Senator Rufus Puden, the Palladium Britannica and the First Bishop of Rome
Nero’s Persecution of the Jews and the Deaths of Paul and Peter
The Death, Tomb and Ossuary of James the Just brother of Jesus, the high priest of the Nazarenes
Murder of James the Just and the Blood Libel of “The Jews”, the House of Ananus
Symeon ben Clopus, high priest of the Nazarenes, the cousin of Jesus
The Royal Davidian and Priestly Zadokian lineage of Jesus, James the Just and Simeon ben Cleopas
The Flight of the Hebrew Nazarene to the Wilderness of Perea
The Pharisee and Scribes of the Jews
The Excommunication of the Nazarenes by the Sanhedrin of Yavneh
The Last of the Nazarenes
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