The Meaning of the Word “Priest” in Hebrew

The term priest can have various meanings. The word “priest” is also used to describe the High priest or the Kohen ha-rosh. Besides the High priest, other types of priests include Moses and Melchizedek. Let’s look at each of these to better understand the purpose and function of the priest. In this article, you’ll learn the meaning of the word “priest” in Hebrew.

kohen ha-rosh

The kohen ha-rosh, pronounced koh-nee-sh, is an alternative name for the high priest in the Hebrew Bible. The name appears in II Kings 25:18, Jer. 52:24, and II Chron. 19:11, and may have co-existed with the high priest (ha-kohen ha-gadol).

The name Kohen comes from the Hebrew word for ‘high priest’. The Hebrew word ‘kohen’ means high priest, and refers to a person who is qualified to presiding over a Jewish congregation. The title was first given to King David in the Old Testament, and he appoints a high priest in Jerusalem. In the later periods of the Bible, there have been several kohens.

In the early days of the Jewish people, the kohanim were called ‘priests’. During this time, kohanim performed many duties. They offered daily and festival sacrifices. They also blessed people during the ‘nesiat kapayim’ ceremony. In the modern Jewish world, the role of a kohen is no longer limited to the ancient world.

The role of a kohen was very important in the Jewish faith. It was considered a sacred post. Its duties included performing the rites of mourning and blessings, and observing the Sabbath. However, there are some restrictions that apply to all Kohanim. For example, they are forbidden from touching the dead, including those of their parents. The only exceptions to this rule are the close relatives of a kohen.


The name Melchizedek is derived from two words in Hebrew. “My king is righteous” is a possible translation. The name likely referred to the man’s position as a priest to God. The priestly role of Melchizedek is mentioned in three places in the Bible. The priesthood of Melchizedek is limited to Christ. Nevertheless, the name has many interesting meanings in the Christian tradition.

Melchizedek is the foreshadowing of Christ in the Bible. Melchizedek was born without ancestry, father or beginning of days. He was not born of a human mother and had no earthly parents. The priesthood of Melchizedek was not a genealogical function. In addition, there is no evidence to suggest that he created a priestly lineage.

The priesthood of Melchizedek is unique in that it is the only eternal high priest, and he has no earthly genealogy. The Melchizedek priesthood is also a model for Christ’s priestly ministry. His priesthood exemplifies Christ as God’s representative on earth and draws people close to Him. This distinction is significant, because it shows that Christ is the only One who has eternal priesthood.

The Bible mentions Melchizedek only once. He is invoked in two other places, including the book of Psalms, a psalm that is traditionally attributed to King David. In the psalm, God promises to “my lord” (which is interpreted as Jesus Christ). The use of Melchizedek in Psalm 110 provides a theological framework for early Christian apologists. Paul was tasked with defending Jesus, so this reference to Melchizedek in Psalm 110 is important to his apologetic work.

High priest

There was a time when only a descendant of Aaron was allowed to become the High Priest of Jerusalem. This was due to the fact that Jonathans father, Mattathias, was a lowly rural priest from the village of Modiin. It is thought that his act of usurpation was motivated by the fact that he was not the son of Aaron. He was also the first Jew to wear a diadem.

In the second century BCE, the Hasmonean dynasty came to an end. Its high priest, John Hyrcanus, was described in Josephus as a “happy man”. In addition to the government of his nation, he had a gift for prophecy. One of his prophecies was that he would die without his two eldest sons continuing to rule as masters of the government. This prophecy was fulfilled after Hyrcanus’ death.

The High Priest’s garments and priestly functions were described in the Torah. Aaron’s priestly attire must match that of the High Priest. This outfit distinguishes him from other priests and his priesthood will remain for ever. However, the High Priest’s clothing outlasted the High Priest’s office. When the second Temple was destroyed in 70 CE, the Temple service was stopped and Aaronide descendants had no legitimate way to dress.


The term priest in Hebrew means “priest” and “priestly office”. It is used to refer to those who have the role of ministering to God. A priest in Israel was not to shave his head, nor should he act in an orgiastic manner. In contrast, priests of the pagan god Baal would cut flesh in despair and perform horrific mutilations. It is important to note that this idea of a perfect body was common in heathen religions.

The masculine noun for priest is kohen (H3548), which occurs 747 times in the Bible. This term means officiating a religious ceremony. It was first used to describe the priest Melchizedek in Gen 14:18. It was later used to describe pagan priests. In the Hebrew Bible, the word “kohen” occurs eight times in Ezr 6:9-7:7, with its use being interspersed with the word kahan.

The etymology of the Hebrew word “kohen” is uncertain. The Geseniuls, for instance, refers to the kohen as a prophet, who conveys divine messages. The kohen thus stands as a mediator between God and man. He represents God to the people. Ewald, however, connects this word with the Arabic verb heKHIyn, which means to arrange a sacrifice.

Other priests

In the Hebrew Bible, the term priest means “priest of God”. Other names for priests include apator, ametor, and agenealogetos. In this article, I will explain the origin of the title “priest” and briefly discuss some other names for priests. Although this article focuses on the priests of the Aaronic line, it does include important additions from more modern sources.

There were many other priests in Hebrew, including a heathen version of Joshua and a schismatic form of the god Onias. Moreover, the priests of Israel had been regarded as highly pious and highly revered, and God promised them a kingdom of priests. Other priesthoods were also very influential in Jewish history. However, their worship of the priests was not always exemplary.

The other priests in Hebrew had a number of common duties with the high-priest. For instance, they were responsible for the maintenance of the incapacitated priests. They also had responsibilities in common with their inferior priests, such as cleaning the sanctuary, covering it with cloths, and blessing people in prescribed forms. As a rule, they were responsible for any official errors and held general charge of the sanctuary.

The priestly robe was made from linen and white. However, priests didn’t wear this clothing except when they were officiating. In Ex 28:42, Paul was not in Jerusalem at the time, so the priests were not wearing the proper clothing. Josephus, a Christian historian, suggests that this mystic dress had a mystic meaning. He also describes the differences between the Hebrew priesthood and the Egyptian priesthood, discussing the vestments in detail.

Melchizedek’s descendants

The Book of Mormon, the scripture of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, describes the works of Melchizedek. According to the Book of Mormon, Melchizedek was king over the wicked people of Salem. Melchizedek’s people repented and became a peaceful city. The descendants of Melchizedek were subsequently kings and priests of their own respective nations.

The biblical account of Melchizedek’s descendants is largely ambiguous. The Bible gives no details about Melchizedek’s father and genealogy. In addition, no one knows if he was the father of Abraham or a son of Noah. Because of this, many scholars have interpreted the story of Melchizedek’s descendants as referring to Jesus Christ.

Psalm 110 is the first mention of Melchizedek in the Bible, and its name is also referenced in Hebrews 1:13 and 5:6. Psalm 110 mentions the Messiah as a Great High Priest and King of Israel. The first four lines of Psalm 110 are a divine oracle, delivered to the Son by the Father. Hence, this name is also a reference to Melchizedek.

Jewish rabbis who opposed Christianity also gave a genealogy of Melchizedek. They claimed that the Jewish priesthood passed down through Shem to Aaron. This would contradict Hebrews 7:3, which states that Melchizedek’s priesthood was inherited from Noah. The Jewish rabbis argued that Melchizedek was a descendant of Shem, and thus Melchizedek was a descendent of Shem.


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