Q. I really enjoy your site and the daily Q&A’s that I receive. Thank you for doing this. In one of your recent answers to a question about the Ark of the Covenant, you mentioned the Temple Institute and how they were preparing priests to be ready to serve in the Temple when it is finally rebuilt. Please tell me how the Temple Institute determines, after two thousand years, who is from the tribe of Levi? And more importantly, who is from the line of Aaron?
Do they use DNA testing for this or do they rely solely on family records? I know when Herod’s temple was destroyed in 70 AD all the genealogy records that were kept there were destroyed with it.
A. Certain names can be good indicators of tribal heritage, but the DNA of the priests carries a genetic marker called the Cohen Modal Haplotype identifying them as direct descendants of Aaron. With their legendary attention to detail, and the Lord’s very specific requirements, you can sure they go to great lengths to choose only qualified candidates.