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The Zealots:Firebrands of Revolution

The Word in Life Study Bible, New Testament Edition, (Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville; 1993), p. 71

Ardent nationalists who awaited an opportunity to revolt against Rome. Resisted paying taxes to Rome or to the temple. One particular tax revolt against Rome, led by Judas the Galilean (6 B.C.), secured Galilee's reputation as a seedbed of revolutionaries. Blamed by some for the collapse of Judea to Rome in the war of A.D. 66-70. Josephus, a Jewish historian, claimed that they degenerated into mere assassins or sicarii ("dagger-men"). Sided with the Pharisees in supporting Jewish Law. Opposed the Herodians and Sadducees, who tried to maintain the political status quo. Intolerant of the Essenes and later the Christians for their tendencies toward nonviolence. Two recruited by Jesus were Judas Iscariot and Simon the Cananite.