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The priesthood as you did not know it - chapter XNUMX - the great rebellion and the priesthood

In any case, it is appropriate to emphasize the relationship between the priesthood and prophecy, the wisdom of the hidden and the deciphering of any signs, which placed the priesthood in a lofty position above the rest of the public throughout the ancient period and was tragically expressed in the Great Revolt

The objects of the temple in Jerusalem are taken to Rome. From the Titus Gate
The objects of the temple in Jerusalem are taken to Rome. From the Titus Gate

The previous list It ended with the outbreak of the great rebellion, which was led, at least ideologically-zealously, by the school of Beit Shammai, headed by Eleazar ben Hananiah, the deputy of the priests, who raised the miracle of the rebellion against the Romans.

In response, the leaders of the people and the high priests were gathered together with the heads of the Pharisees to discuss what to do when the rebellion was about to break out at any moment. They decided to try and win the opinion of the angry public and summoned them in front of the copper gate facing the temple courtyard. First, they criticized the idea of ​​rebellion harshly and harshly. The criticism slipped into sharp lines, especially in light of the danger that the temple might be damaged if and when an uprising broke out against the Romans. In this context, Yosef ben Matthew said the following: "And after that they (the priests and the leaders of the people) rebuked them with words about their (the public's) ignorant claims and said: 'They were our ancestors who multiplied to adorn the temple with the gifts of foreigners and all the time they willingly accepted alms from foreign peoples (hint to the bill of rights of Antiochus III in 198 BC) and it did not occur to them to kick the sacrifices of each other, because this is a great sin, and they further honored the strangers by placing their gifts, which they had dedicated to God, in the temple around, and there they remained in the eyes of all witnesses This day. And you want to unsheathe the sword of the Romans and ask for an excuse to provoke them to war and make new laws regarding the sacrifices of foreigners, and together with the danger of war, you bring a sin upon the city, because it will be heard, which is only among the Jews that the foreigner is forbidden to sacrifice to God and pray to him. Whereas one of you decreed such a law on one of the people (the layman) that you whipped cream on him, saying that this is hatred of humanity, and now you are protesting, when the covenant between the Romans and the emperor was broken. However, we fear lest the people who canceled the sacrifices for the peace of the Romans and the emperor prevent them from offering their own sacrifices as well, and lest the government also violate the covenant of our city, if it is not wise to take morals and sacrifice the sacrifices again and remove the disgrace from the heads of the Romans before the offended know it (Wars The Jews XNUMX:XNUMX XNUMX).

The claims were harsh, but based on a solid historical truth, in fact from the beginning of the Second Temple during the Persian rule: absent from the public were those priests who supported the rebellion and were among the perpetrators of its initial outbreak. These feared that the high priesthood and the leadership of the people would influence the public and they themselves might be harmed, but this did not happen and the angry public was not convinced. And then the organizers of the convention took a drastic step - they organized a delegation to come to Agrippa and Floros and ask them to intervene in the matter and subdue the rebels.

This dramatic move is not dark enough, since Florus would have intervened in the matter anyway as a powerful Roman commissioner. The latest move can be explained as arising from the following reasons: First - there was a fear that the rebellion would intensify and therefore it is better to suppress it at the beginning and save unnecessary victims and damage to property. Secondly - the increase of the rebellion could put the temple in danger. Thirdly - Florus the Commissioner may, like his predecessors, delay and suspend his response so that the uprising will intensify and then his military response will be justified and severe, and this is certainly not what the leaders aspired to do.

Agrippa hurries to send military units to Jerusalem so that they will forestall any Roman reaction, and he is joined by the good of the city, the high priests "and all lovers of peace" (as Joseph ben Matthew said), and together the upper city is captured, with the rebels holding the lower city and an "exchange of fire" develops between the two sides.

The zealous rebels went to the house of the high priest Hananiah and set it on fire, and together with him they also set fire to the convents of Agrippa and Bernice. The rebellion began to have a socio-economic character also with a tendency to add to the core of the rebels people in need and "just" desperate. Many of the good people and the high priests fled to hiding places, tunnels and every hiding place from the terror of the rebels and during the search for the fugitives, the high priest Hananiah was caught who found a hiding place in a water pipe near the king's court, he and his brother Hezekiah with him. The fanatical rebels do not spare their lives and are immediately killed.

One of the leaders of the fanatics, Menachem, was murdered in the Temple by members of an opposing group, led by Eleazar. Menachem was murdered while wearing royal robes and praying to God. This phenomenon of the kingship of the leaders of the rebellion was common and it symbolized a revolutionary principle of a sort of return to the days of the First Temple, when the kings were the rulers of the people and the priests were merely technical officials. Castius Gloss, commander of the twelfth Roman legion, was sent to Galilee, and he made his way to Jerusalem after Galilee showed no resistance. Hanan ben Yonatan, the high priest, influenced the good people to open the city gates before the Romans in order to prevent the fall of the city and the destruction of the temple. Hearing this, the jealous rebels pushed Hanan and his group into their homes and stoned them.

In Jerusalem, the leadership is organizing to lead the rebellion and establish what is called a "government of rebellion". This move seems puzzling since the city's leadership was opposed to the rebellion, but realized that it would not succeed by opposing the rebellion and the rebels, and therefore it is better for it to lead the rebellion in a moderate way and even be able to reach a negotiated settlement with the Romans down the road. Yosef Ben-Gurion from the nobles of Jerusalem and the high priest Hanan were chosen to lead the rebellion, and above all they began to work on fortifying the walls of Jerusalem. These, it should be noted, were defined by Josephus as those who were not considered lovers of the Romans, meaning they could serve as a bridge between the zealots and the moderates.

The leadership of the rebellion mapped the land into districts and Galilees, and in each region worthy representatives were placed on its behalf. ') And the Galilee as an area of ​​first importance was entrusted to Joseph ben Matthieu who was from a well-known priestly family.

Well, what about priests and military command? It was therefore a state-public, political role, with army commanders with some knowledge in the military field serving under the scepter of the priests. Moreover, the district commanders were not elected extremists and brawlers, and we will discuss this immediately below.

Yosef ben Matatihu of the high priesthood was appointed as the commander of the rebellion in the Galilee. This task was perhaps the most difficult of all the goals of the preparation for the rebellion, because it was clear that "evil will arise from the north", that the Romans would direct the main force of their breakthrough through the Galilee towards Jerusalem, and if the government of the rebellion had not trusted Joseph ben Matthiyehu with regard to his reliability and skill as well as his moderation and his ability to reach some sort of Communication with the Romans, it is doubtful if he was entrusted with such an important task as protecting the central gate to the heart of Judah.

However, serious differences of opinion emerged between Joseph ben Mattheya and the Jerusalem leadership as well as between local leaders in the Galilee such as the leadership of the city of Tiberias, and finally Joseph ben Mattheya crossed the lines when he surrendered to the Romans under very mysterious circumstances in the fortress of Yodfat and Meni was then a sort of Roman historian describing the stages of the suppression of the rebellion . In this context, he testifies to himself, a few moments before the act of collective suicide is carried out among the Yodafat fighters, saying this: "... and in his (Yosef's) heart came the memory of the dreams of the night, in which God revealed to him the coming troubles for the Jews and the future of the rulers of the Romans. Because Joseph understood how to solve dreams (the context to the biblical Joseph is quite interesting) and also to explain the riddles of God's words (which are heard in two ways) (here, too, the context to the Greek oracle myth is interesting), by studying the prophecies in the holy books, because he was a priest and came from the seed of the priesthood. And at that moment a spirit from on high rested upon him, and he put before his eyes the terrible visions that he had seen in his dream up close, and he prayed to God, saying: 'Creator of Israel, behold, it is good in your eyes to break the horn of your people and to succeed in all the deeds of the Romans, and in me you have chosen to reveal the future, on Yes, I willingly stick my hand to the Romans for the sake of my brothers, and you are my witness, because I did not betray in going to them, only your servant, doing your will" (Jewish Wars, XNUMX).

I do not intend to delve into the topic of surrender or betrayal, since that is not the concern of this list, and a list of many pages can be developed on that, but I say that before us is an unsolved and unsolved mystery, because on the one hand, if he cheated, why would he declare it openly, and he is in possession of a single source on the matter, And on the other hand, if he did not betray, why is he looking for a logical and eschatological foundation for this process.

In any case, it is appropriate to emphasize the relationship between the priesthood and prophecy, the wisdom of the hidden and the deciphering of any signs, which placed the priesthood in a lofty rank above the rest of the public throughout the ancient period. This connection is used by Yosef ben Matthiyehu as a kind of initial kosher to clarify the revolutionary step he took against the Jews and against the Romans.

Moreover, the prophetic quality, reserved for the priesthood, stands to Joseph ben Mattathias when he prophesies to the Roman Vespasian that he will be excommunicated soon, and therefore he won a significant upgrade of his status. This episode is remarkably similar to what will happen three years later, on the eve of the fall of Jerusalem, when Rabbi Yohanan ben Zakkai emerges from it posing as dead and prophesies to Vespasian that he will be Caesar, and thanks to this Ribaz is awarded the leadership of the Jewish community in Yavneh, regarding the inheritance of Jerusalem and the temple. Both here (the Yodafat case) and there (the Jerusalem case) the two leaders - Yosef Meza and Ribaz Meza - are defined as lovers of Vespasian, and as those who acted in the name of God. However, the myth evoked for Joseph the image of a traitor and the Rabbis an image of a redeemer and savior.

Go argue with myths!

The series of articles "The Priesthood You Didn't Know" by Dr. Yehiam Sorek

10 תגובות

  1. Cohen residence:
    There is no blocked response of yours in the system.
    There may have been a technical fault.
    You are welcome to re-enter the missing comments.

  2. You deleted my questions! , you are doing exactly what you claim the priests did, and they did not!

  3. In general: throughout human history, humans have strived to survive, while dealing with many difficulties, starting with the forces of nature, dealing with rival communities (starting with the levels of the family and tribal structure), while developing in various fields, which enabled a solution and even an advantage.

    One of the great achievements of the people of Israel: the conversion of beliefs from many types of idols to a single God, continuation of the Ten Commandments, and many values ​​from the books of the prophets.

    One of the collapses of the people of Israel from the First and Second Temple periods; Contentment with the values ​​mentioned above, to the point of ignoring the important need to upgrade the state regime's guests and practices - values ​​that were developed in particular starting with Meglath the Third (Assyrian Kingdom), continuing with Cyrus the First (Persia), the Athenian democracy, the Roman Republic (the St.

    The aforementioned legality, which marks a basic condition for the strength of a state, was later expressed in England (John Locke - Parliament), continued in the Napoleonic Code.

  4. Peace to my people

    Whether he was there or not, I allow myself, in light of the current historical circumstances, such as the expected riots in Jerusalem due to the provocation of the Elad group, to claim that extremist groups that take advantage of various situations, and especially on a militant and obsessive ideological background, will degenerate an entire society towards Depreciated, if not higher than that.

  5. How strange it is to read the description of the events and feel as if I am reading what is about to unfold...

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