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orion Fwd: Perushim
Date: 97-07-27 22:15:35 EDT
I wanted to pick up on my last post. If Perushim = Pharisees, then by the
time Judas, the son of Saripheus, and Mathias, the son of Margalothus, were
leaders of a group of young men who tore down the gol dern eagle, the
Pharisees were already acting in opposition to Herod. Whatever benefits that
the Pharisees had gained by supporting Pompey in 64 B.C.E. seem to have run
out. Only a few chapters earlier, Josephus describes them as "a sect of
men that were Jews, . . who valued themselves highly upon the exact skill
they had in the law . . . " At this point, they had already refused to give
assurances of good will to Ceasar and predicted Herod's government would
cease. I would say that this predicition is a fairly good indicator that
they no longer enjoyed a good relationship with Herod.
When I said that I thought this Judas and Matthias were also Pharisees, I
said this because Josephus described them in the same terms that he had
earlier described the Pharisees and because they were again rejecting Herod's
symbolic attempt to show good will to Rome.
Josephus seems to describe two persons named Matthias at this point. One was
High Priest or Kohen Gadol. The other Matthias (son of Margalothus) and
Judas were the two ring leaders of the incident. They were caught and they
were burned alive. If I understand this correctly, the Matthias who was
caught would not be both kohen and Perushim (i.e. Pharisee). The other
Matthias (the Kohen Gadol) was deprived of the high priesthood and Joazar son
of Boethus was made high priest later to be replaced by his brother Eleazar.
[ I wonder what happened to this Matthias and whether he might have been the
Matthias elected to replace Judas Iscariot - but that is another matter.]
I did not take Judas and Matthias (the co-conspirators) to be Qumran Tzedoqim
because I assume QT = Essenes. It seems to me that the implication about the
role Essenes played in treating Herod as doctors during his final illness is
that, unlike the Pharisees, the Essenes had not lost Herod's favor.
Moreover, they were not making any predictions about the end of his kingdom
and they remained confidants (perhaps too strong a term) of Archelaus -
perhaps even influencing his selection by Herod.
I did not take these two ring leaders, Judas and Matthias, to be Zealots
because it seems to me that Judas (the son of the arch robber Hezekias) who
broke into the armory at Sepphoris is probably the same Judas that founded
what is the fourth philosophy, which I have understood to = the Zealots.
They are also the ones that burned down Jericho, which would be inconsistent
with the role I thought the Essenes would be playing about that time.
I hope this explaination makes some sense.