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William Shepard


When John died, his son Jaddua succeeded to the high-priesthood. He had a brother whose name was Manasseh. Now there was one Sanballat, whom Darius, the last king of Persia, had sent into Samaria. He was a Cuthean by birth, and the Samaritans also came from the same stock. This man was anxious to live on friendly terms with the Jews, so he gladly gave his daughter in marriage to Manasseh.

But when Jaddua became high-priest the elders among the Jews became very uneasy that Manasseh, who was married to a foreigner, should be associated with him in any priestly duties. For they feared that this man's marriage would encourage others to transgress the law against taking strange wives. So they commanded Manasseh either to put away his wife or not to approach the altar. The high-priest himself joined with the people in their anger against his brother, and drove him away from the altar. Manasseh went to his father-in-law and told him that though he loved his wife he would be forced to give her up. But Sanballat told him that he might keep his wife, and be not only a priest but a high-priest, for that he would write to Darius and obtain from him permission to build another temple on Mount Gerizim, in Samaria, of which Manasseh should be high-priest.

Then Manasseh took up his abode with his father-in-law, and many other priests and Levites who had also offended against the law and married strange wives came and lived with him.