Insulting God’s High Priest

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This perfectly preserved copy of the pitcher in the previous photo, thought to have been found in Jerusalem and smuggled out of Israel, turned up on the antiquities market in New York and was purchased by a private collector. The height of the pitcher, including its handle, is 22 cm. (Glass Pavilion, Eretz Israel Museum, Tel-Aviv)The Sadducean high priestly families' wealth was legendary. A glass pitcher (above), damaged in the Roman army's torching of Jerusalem in 70 C.E., testifies to the opulence in which the high priests lived. This rare vessel (only three others of this type have been found elsewhere) was made by Ennion of Sidon, the most famous glassmaker in antiquity. Archaeologists discovered this pitcher among the ruins of a first-cent. house located in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem's Old City. Prof. Nahman Avigad, who directed the excavations, named the house the "Palatial Mansion," and conjectured that it may have belonged to the high priest Ananias, whose home in Jerusalem's Upper City Josephus mentioned.

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