Who knows two hundred seventy-nine?

?תשעה ושבעים ומאתים - מי יודע

In the spirit of the song "Echad - mi yodeya", please post interesting and significant Jewish facts about the number 279.

The prime factorization, if you're interested, is 3^2 * 31.

Check out for the previous two hundred seventy-eightentries in this ongoing series.

3 Answers 3


Over 279 years when the Second Temple stood, some 300 High Priests served in that position. None of them lived past a year in office. Not a great 279 years for the Jews!

  • 3
    +1. But it was actually 279 years spread out over the entire period of the Second Beis Hamikdash, not the last 279 years. (The righteous kohanim gedolim mentioned in the Gemara, Yoma 9a, are: Shimon Hatzaddik (near the beginning), Yochanan Kohen Gadol (in the middle), Yishmael ben Piabi (close to the end), and R. Elazar ben Charsom (also in the middle, between Shimon and Yochanan).
    – Alex
    Nov 30, 2011 at 23:33
  • According to the Gemara, four of the Kohanim Gedolim together served for 141 years; leaving 279 years for the rest.So, the vast majority of the 300 Kohanim Gedolim served, on average, less than a year each. Dec 1, 2011 at 2:16

In the spirit of Thanksgiving: התרנגול minus תודה in Gamatria is 694-415 which equals 279


Rabbi Yochanan bar Nappacha was an Amora who hailed from Eretz Yisrael. He was a student of Rabbi Yehudah HaNasi. He died in the year 279 CE.

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