High priest

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The term “high priest” usually refers either to an individual who holds the office of ruler-priest, or to one who is the head of a religious caste.


Ancient Egypt

Pinedjem II as High Priest of Amun in Thebes. From his Book of the Dead. Pinudjem-II.jpg
Pinedjem II as High Priest of Amun in Thebes. From his Book of the Dead .

In ancient Egypt, a high priest was the chief priest of any of the many gods revered by the Egyptians.

Ancient Israel

The High Priest of Israel served in the Tabernacle, then in the Solomon's Temple and the Second Temple in Jerusalem. The Samaritan High Priest is the high priest of the Samaritans.

Ancient world




The Epistle to the Hebrews refers to Jesus as high priest. [1]

High priest is an office of the priesthood within the Melchizedek priesthood in most denominations of the Latter Day Saint movement.

Other religions

Non-religious usages

The phrase is also often used to describe someone who is deemed to be an innovator or leader in a field of achievement. For example, an 1893 publication describes ancient Greek playwright Aristophanes as having been "the high-priest of comedy". [2]

See also

Related Research Articles

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Hornedjitef was an ancient Egyptian priest in the Temple of Amun at Karnak during the reign of Ptolemy III. He is known from his elaborate coffins, mummy mask and mummy, dating from the Early Ptolemaic Period and excavated from Asasif, Thebes, Egypt, which are all held in the British Museum. These related objects were chosen as the first of the hundred objects selected by British Museum Director Neil MacGregor in the 2010 BBC Radio 4 series A History of the World in 100 Objects.

Gautseshen was an ancient Egyptian priestess, the singer of Montu. She lived during the Twenty-first Dynasty of Egypt.

This page list topics related to ancient Egypt.


  1. see Hebrews 2:17 , Hebrews 3:1 , Hebrews 4:14-15 , Hebrews 5:1 ; Hebrews 6:20 , Hebrews 9:11-10:39
  2. Maurice Maeterlinck, Charlotte Endymion Porter, Poet Lore: Volume 5 (1893), p. 246.
  3. Eagleton, John. "Neil Boortz's Commencement Speech". Archived from the original on 1 January 2013. Retrieved 8 October 2012.