List of Jewish leaders in the Land of Israel

The following is a list of Jewish heads of state and/or government in the Land of Israel.

House of Saul

House of David

After Rehoboam

After Rehoboam reigned three years (1 Chronicles 11:17), the kingdom was divided in two – the northern kingdom of Israel under Jeroboam, with its capital, first in Shechem (Nablus), then Tirzah, and finally Samaria, and ruled by a series of dynasties beginning with Jeroboam; and the southern kingdom of Judah with its capital still at Jerusalem and still ruled by the House of David. The following list contains the kings of Judah with the kings of Israel in the summaries:

Governors of the Persian Province of Judea

Hasmonean dynasty 168–37 BCE

Queen Salome Alexandra from "Promptuarii Iconum Insigniorum " 1553
Main article: Hasmonean dynasty

The Maccabees founded the Hasmonean dynasty, which ruled from 168 BCE – 37 BCE, reasserting the Jewish religion and expanding the boundaries of the Land of Israel by conquest.[3] In the post-Maccabean period the high priest was looked upon as exercising in all things, political, legal, and sacerdotal, the supreme authority.[4]

Herodian dynasty (37 BCE – 70 CE)

King Herod Archelaus I, ethnarch of Samaria, Judea, and Edom from 4 BC to 6 AD
Main article: Herodian dynasty

After Archelaus and during the intervening period, the Sanhedrin, founded by Ezra, became the sole rulers of the Jewish people in Judea in conjunction with the High Priest. The heads, or nesiim, of the Sanhedrin beginning in 20 BCE, was Hillel the Elder, his son Shimon, and his son Gamaliel I whose rule extended into the reign of:[5]

Coin minted by king Herod Agrippa I.

Palestinian Patriarchate 80–429 CE

The Palestinian Patriarchate was the governing legalistic body of Palestinian Jewry after the destruction of the Second Temple until about 429[6] CE. Being a member of the house of Hillel and thus a descendant of King David, the Patriarch, known in Hebrew as the Nasi (prince), enjoyed almost royal authority.[7]

Interregnum (Bar Kokhba revolt) (132–135)

Hacham Bashi (1842–1918)

Hakham Bashi is the Ottoman Turkish name for the Chief Rabbi of the nation's Jewish community.[8]

The Jewish National Council (1917–1948)

Yitzhak Ben Zvi, chairman of the Jewish National Council, 1931–1948

The Jewish National Council (Vaad Leumi) controlled civil affairs, as defined by a British Mandatory Ordinance. The following list contains the elected chairmen of the Jewish National Council.[9]

The Prime Minister 1948–

David Ben-Gurion

See also


  1. Janet E. Tollington, "Tradition and Innovation in Haggai and Zechariah 1-8" (Sheffield, England: Sheffield Academic Press, 1993), 132.
  2. F. Charles Fensham. The Books of Ezra and Nehemiah. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1983. Historical Background chapter. p.7
  3. The Oxford History Of The Biblical World. Oxford University Press. 2001. Chapter 9
  4. Hirsch, Emil G. (1901–1906). "High Priest". Jewish Encyclopedia.
  5. Encyclopedia Judaica (ed. Cecil Roth, 1971), "Sanhedrin", "Hillel", "Gamaliel I"
  6. 1 2 Pharr, Clyde (1952). The Theodosian Code and Novels and the Sirmondian Constitutions. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
  7. Hugh Chisholm (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica: a dictionary of arts, sciences, literature and general information. The Encyclopædia Britannica company. p. 403. Retrieved 18 July 2011.
  8. Jewish Encyclopedia, "Jews of Jerusalem" "Institutions"; Encyclopedia Judaica – "Israel, State of" – Religious Life and Communities – vol. 9 cols. 889–90
  9. Encyclopedia Judaica – "Israel, State of" – Governance – Jewish Communal Organization – The Asefat ha-Nivharim and the Va'ad Le'ummi – vol. 9 cols. 608–9
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