Sacerdos nascitur, non fit,--a priest is born, not made, we may
truly say, just altering one word of a well-known proverb. His
father was a priest, and so were his forefathers as far back as
the time of Aaron; his sons and his sons' sons after him will
belong to the priestly order, and so the name was far too often
only the badge for exclusive and hereditary privilege. This
rule, that applies to the priests, holds good also with regard
to the Levites. (_Berachoth_, fol. 29, col. 1.)
There was a town in the land of Israel called Gophnith, where there were
eighty couples of brother priests who married eighty couples of sister
priestesses in one night.
THE TALMUD, _Berachoth_ fol. 44, col. 1.