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The History of the Hellenized Jew - Part Three

(160 - 67 BC) Jonathan - Death of Salome Alexandra

A Yoke Within

The Jews free themselves from a foreign yoke only to discover that a native yoke can be just as heavy

  1. The Victory that Failed

- The heroic struggle of the Maccabees ultimately ended in defeat because the later Hasmoneans, thirsting for power and glory, lost touch with Jewishness, so that their actions cast dark shadows upon the memory of their ancestors.

Jonathan and Hasmonean Ambitions

  1. The Most Popular Man in Judea

- Jonathan led a small army in the Eastern Jordan wilderness and was a constant threat to the Hellenizing Jews and the Syrian forces.

- The Syrians failed to stop him time and again

- All the Jewish population exalted Jonathan as their hero and they were ready to follow him

  1. The Great Diplomat

- Though Jonathan did not possess the military genius of his brother Judah he did possess a more valuable quality judging by the times (150-140 BC). He was a remarkable diplomat (peaceful negotiations).

- A civil war broke out in Syria and Jonathan came back into Judea

  1. Judea and Rome

- Something interesting is that Jonathan and the Hasmoneans entered into an alliance with Rome (since they were both hostile to Syria). Jonathan knew better than to become "Rome's friends" but this would make the Syrians think twice about attacking them.

- But little did they know that later on they would have much more to fear from Rome than Syria.

  1. Jonathan's Policy (Good and Bad)

- Jonathan's goals were for self government (more than the Hassidim had ever thought possible) where Judah's were for religious freedom. Jonathan improved the economic position of the Jews. He became high priest and ruler of the people and his family became the most powerful among the Jews.

Simon's Rule

  1. The Great Assembly

- When Jonathan died (killed by a Syrian general) the Jews turned to (Hasmonean Family) the only son of Mattathias still alive, Simon. He was known for his calm wisdom though he was very old.

- Simon called together an extraordinary assembly of all leading Jews (important priests, prominent family members, known leaders, etc.) and this was the beginning stages of the great Sanhedrin.

  1. The Election of Simon

- Simon was unanimously the favored choice for high priest and ruler.

- But the Hassidim wanted a priest from the family of Onias and a ruler from the line of David

- The son of Onias had fled to Egypt during the Maccabean struggle

- Simon was elected because they saw Gods hand in the Maccabees and they came up with the saying, "Ruler and high priest until a true prophet should arise."

  1. Simon's Policy

- Simon was an old man so he couldn't lead the army in battle but he faithfully attended to priestly and civil duties.

- He left the fighting to his sons (one of them was John Hyrcan)

- Simon maintained the policy of his brother Jonathan

Policy and Politics

  1. The New Generation

- Simon's death (135 BC) marked the end of the heroic age of the Hasmonean struggle.

- John Hyrcan became the next ruler and the Syrians agreed with him rather than the Hellenizing Jews

- Hyrcan promised to be an ally to Syria and to give up the pagan cities except Jaffa (the famous port city). The Hellenizing party now disappeared from the Jewish scene.

  1. The Policy of Expansion

- Judah won religious freedom, Jonathan gained power for the Hasmonean family, and Hyrcan's reign began the policy of territorial expansion. The goal was greater national prosperity.

- The pagan cities that surround Jerusalem had controlled the commerce previously and hated the Jews.

- When Syria ran into problems again Hyrcan recaptured the cities and developed Jewish commerce.

- He soon conquered Edom where one of the great trade routes between Egypt and Asia was.

- To assure their loyalty Hyrcan compelled the Idumeans to adopt Judaism.

- But God's religion can never be forced on people.

New Political Parties

  1. Those in Favor of Conquering

- Men of wealth wanted to expand their horizons (more money)

- Government officials who had intermarried with the wealthy (power and prestige)

- People who were seeking to become wealthy

- Patriots who wanted to conquer

  1. Those Against Conquering

- The poor (shopkeeper, artisan, farmer) did not see any benefit for them in the conquests. They were reminded of the scribes' teaching that they should not seek war and wealth. All they ever saw from this was more wealth among the aristocrats and less devotion to God among the priests.

- Those who did not want to send their sons into war and pay more taxes to support it.

Which was more important, religious welfare or national strength?

  1. The Pharisees

- Two political parties emerged

- The Scribes who were opposed to expansion was the Pharisees (probably from parosh "to separate."

- Separated from the pagans or separated from those that favored expansion.

- The Pharisees (spiritual descendants of the Hasidim) argued that their religion saved the Jewish people. Therefore everything must be subordinate to religion.

- They wanted not to force but to persuade by example.

  1. The Sadducees

- Those who remained in complete charge of the government were the sadducees

- It is difficult to know where the name came from. They claimed to be descendants of Solomon's high priest Zadok. Zadok also means "righteous" so it may but doubtfully mean "righteous ones," there is another possibility is that it came from the Greek word meaning judges or controllers.

- The Sadducees argued that national power had saved the people and their religion. They were not opposed to Judaism and were for the forcing of Judaism on the pagans.

  1. How Did They Differ in Religious Views?

- The Sadducees were in favor of a strict interpretation of the Torah (willing to obey all of It)

- The Pharisees were for a liberal interpretation (general truths and principles). They wanted to extend these principles to every phase of life. They argued that there was also an oral Torah (to support their views) a set of traditions that had been handed down to them by the former scribes (who received from their predecessors all the way back to Moses).

- Pharasaic Judaism was difficult to live by because it insisted on piety in every conceivable action

- The Jewish people became divided on national, economic, and religious policy.

The Civil War

  1. The Hated Hasmoneans

- As long as John Hyrcan lived there were not serious divisions. He remembered poverty.

- His sons were different being raised in a palace with much Greek education.

- They wanted to eliminate the Pharisaic party and their was mutual dislike.

- The life and actions of the later Hasmoneans caused the deeds of the earlier ones to be almost completely forgotten.

  1. Aristobulus, Lover of the Greeks

- The one-year reign (104 BC) of Hyrcan's oldest son Judah showed the Pharisees what they were to expect.

- He preferred the Greek name Aristobulus

- He immediately threw three of his brothers into prison because of jealousy and two of them supposedly starved to death. A few months later another brother was brutally murdered in the palace. This kind of thing happened regularly among the pagan nations but it shocked and disgusted the Jews.

- In national policy Aristobulus continued to conquer more territory.

- He boldly assumed the title of king (though he didn't use the Hebrew Title "melech")

- The Jews sighed with relief when he died. But this left many problems on the horizon.

  1. The Approaching Storm

- His successor was no better, Alexander Jannai (Jonathan was his Hebrew name changed to Jannai) was the only brother of Judah Aristobulus still alive in prison at his death.

- For 15 years Alexander Jannai extended his territory. All of Israel's pagan city boundaries and trade centers were under Jewish rule.

- In 89 BC. he campaigned against the Arabs to the south. He was ambushed and lost his entire army.

- The Pharisees seized upon this opportunity. On the following Succoth, while Alexander was officiating as high priest in the Temple, the people who were watching, struck him with the "etrogin" (citrons, fruit). He ordered the slaughter of hundreds of defenseless people.

  1. Halfhearted Rebels

- The people rebelled and along with the help of Syria defeated Alexander and he fled to the hills.

- The Syrians (giving themselves credit for the victory) wanting to put the Sadducees into power caused thousands of the Pharisees to flee to Alexander. With their help Alexander came back defeating the Syrians and the others.

- He instituted an inquisition (hunt) against those who had rebelled earlier and many fled the country.

- Alexander made a horrible example of those he caught. At one party he crucified 800 Pharisees. This marked him as one of the cruelest tyrants in Jewish history because he used a pagan method of execution.

- The Jews were again moving toward losing their independence.

Good Queen Salome

  1. Did Alexander Repent?

- Supposedly on his deathbed (76 BC.) Alexander advised his wife Salome Alexandra, whom he had appointed as successor, to dismiss the Sadducean advisors and to govern with the aid of the Pharisees.

- Whether it is true or not she did it and appointed Pharisees to the Sanhedrin (at that time it was legislature and supreme court combined).

  1. The School Law

- The Pharisees immediately went to work on the Jewish government.

- They ended the policy of conquest

- They reformed the judicial system and any contamination's on Jewish life.

- They established the school law. Every young man was in duty bound to seek an education

  1. Sadducean Resentment

- The Sadducees could not agree with any arrangement that left them out of control of the government.

- They believed that they were the only ones fit to rule. They also knew that the Pharisees would not forgive the murderous crucifixion of the other Pharisees.

- While the Pharisees were sure of the populations support, the army, the military leadership, and the wealthy in the land were all on the Sadducean side.

  1. Hyrcan and Aristobulus

- Alexander had little faith in his oldest son Hyrcan or his youngest son Aristobulus. While Salome was alive Hyrcan was high priest and was favored by the Pharisees. Aristobulus possessed the military qualities and with the peaceful Pharisees in power he was quite restrained. The Sadducees all favored him.

  1. The Calm Before the Storm

- For the 9 years of her rule (76-67BC) Salome was somehow able to maintain peace the two parties.

- When she died another civil war broke out.

An Outline of The Life of Jesus in Harmony


"I marvel that whereas the ambitious dreams of myself, Caesar, and Alexander should have vanished into thin air, a Judean peasant - Jesus should be able to stretch his hands across the centuries and control the destinies of men and nations."  - Napoleon I Bonaparte (1809)

The Life of Jesus Map

The Birth of John the Baptist


Gabriel Announces John's Birth (Lk 1:5-25)

The History of the Birth of Jesus

The Genealogy of Jesus (Mat 1:1-17; Lk 3:23-38).


Gabriel Announces to Mary (Lk 1:26-38).

Mary Visits Elizabeth (Lk 1:39-56).

An Angel Comes to Joseph (Mat 1:18-25)


The Decree of Augustus Caesar and the Birth of Christ (Lk 2:1-7). jesus00000019.gif

The First Visitors - Shepherds (Lk 2:8-20).

The Second Visitors - Magi (Mat 2:1-12).


Jesus is Circumcised and Presented in the Temple (Lk 2:21-38). jesus00000019.gif


Out of Egypt (Mat 2:13-23).



Jesus' Early Years


The Boy Jesus at the Temple (Lk 2:41-52). jesus00000019.gif

The Beginning of His Ministry

The Jordan

Jesus is Baptized in the Jordan (Mat 3:13-17; Mk 1:9-11; Lk 3:21-23).

The Wilderness

The Temptation in the Wilderness (Mat 4:1-11; Mk 1:12, 13; Lk 4:1-13).

The Eternal Word (Jn 1:1-18).

The Testimony of John (Jn 1:19-34). jesus00000019.gif

The First Disciples (Jn 1:35-51).


Turning Water to Wine (Jn 2:1-12).

Jesus Visits Jerusalem jesus00000019.gif

The First Passover



A House of Merchandise (Jn 2:13-25).

Unless One is Born Again (Jn 3:1-21).

Jesus Baptizes (Jn 3:22, with 4:2).


He Departed Again to Galilee  (Mat 4:12; Mk 1:14; Lk 4:14; Jn 4:1-3).


The Woman at the Well (Jn 4:4-42).

Jesus' Ministry in Galilee jesus00000019.gif


He Taught in Their Synagogues (Mt 4:17; Mk 1:14,15; Lk 4:14,15; Jn 4:43-45).


A Certain Nobleman (Jn 4:46-54)

Physician, Heal Yourself! (Mat 4:13-16; Lk 4:16-31).

Sea of Galilee

Peter, Andrew, James, and John (Mat 4:18-22; Mk 1:16-20; Lk 5:1-11).


And Jesus Went About All Galilee . . Teaching (Mat 4:23-25; Mk 1:35-39, Lk 4:42-44).

A Man With an Unclean Spirit (Mk 1:21-28; Lk 4:31-37).


Simon's Wife's Mother Lay Sick (Mat 8:14-17; Mk 1:29-34; Lk 4:38-41).

Then a Leper Came to Him (Mat 8:2-4; Mk 1:40-45; Lk 5:12- 16).

They Brought to Him a Paralytic (Mat 9:2-8; Mk 2:1-12; Lk 5:17-26).


Matthew the Tax Collector (Mat 9:9; Mk 2:13, 14; Lk 5:27, 28).

The Second Passover


Healing at the Pool of Bethesda on the Sabbath Day (Jn 5:1-47). jesus00000019.gif

Healing in the Synagogue on the Sabbath Day (Mat 12:9-14; Mk 3:1-6, Lk 6:6-11).

And in His Name Gentiles Will Trust (Mat 12:15-21; Mk 3:7-12)

Then He Appointed Twelve (Mat 10:2-4; Mk 3:13-19; Lk 6: 12-19).

The Sermon on the Mount (Mat 5-7; Lk 6:20-49).

A Certain Centurion's Servant (Mat 8:5-13; Lk 7:1-10).


Jesus Raises the Dead Son at Nain (Lk 7:11-17).


Are You the Coming One? (Mat 11:2-19; Lk 7:18-35).

My Yoke is Easy and My Burden is Light (Mat 11:20-30).


The Woman With the Alabaster Flask (Lk 7:36-50).

Mary Called Magdalene (Lk 8:1-3).

The Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit (Mat 12:22-37; Mk 3: 19-30; Lk 11:14-20).

Teacher, We Want to See a Sign From You (Mat 12:38-45; Lk 11:16-36).

Woe to You, Scribes and Pharisees, Hypocrites (Lk 11:37-54).

He Began to Say to His Disciples (Lk 12:1-59).

Parable of the Fig Tree (Lk 13:6-9).

Parable of the Sower (Mat 13:1-23; Mk 4:1-25; Lk 8:4-18).

Many Such Parables (Mat 13:24-53; Mk 4:26-34).

Sea of Galilee

Jesus Rebukes the Storm (Mat 8:18-27; Mk 4:35-41; Lk 8:22-25).


The Herd of Many Swine (Mat 8:28-33; Mk 5:1-21; Lk 8:26-40).


He Came Again to His Own City (Mat 9:1; Mk 5:21 Lk 8:40).

The Parable of the Wineskins (Mat 9:10-17; Mk 2:15-22; Lk 5:29-39).

Jairus' Daughter and the Woman With the Flow of Blood (Mat 9:18-26; Mk 5:22-43; Lk 8:41-56).

The Blind and the Mute (Mat 9:27-34).

A Prophet is Not Without Honor Except in His Own Country (Mat 13:53-58; Mk 6:1-6).

He Was Moved With Compassion For Them (Mat 9:35-38)

Sent His Disciples Out With Power and Authority (Mat 10; Mk 6:6-13, Lk 9:1-6).


John the Baptist is Beheaded (Mat 14:1, 2, 6-12, Mk 6:14-16, 21-29; Lk 9:7-9).

Near Bethsaida

The Disciples Return, Feeding Five Thousand (Mat 14:13-21; Mk 6:30-44; Lk 9:10-17, Jn 6:1-14).

Sea of Galilee

They Saw Him Walking on the Sea (Mat 14:22-36; Mk 6:45-56; Jn 6:15-21).



I Am the Bread of Life (Jn 6:22-65).

Do you also want to go away? (Jn 6:66-71).

Unwashed Hands (Mat 15:1-20; Mk 7:1-23).

A Woman of Canaan (Mat 15:21-28; Mk 7:24-30). jesus00000019.gif

Then Great Multitudes Came to Him (Mat 15:29-31, Mk 7:31-37).

Feeding Four Thousand (Mat 15:32-39; Mk 8:1-9).

Seeking From Him a Sign From Heaven (Mat 16:1-4; Mk 8:10-12).


The Leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees (Mat 16:4-12; Mk 8:13-21).


Heals a Blind Man at Bethsaida (Mk 8:22-26).

Caesarea Philippi

Jesus Reveals Who He is at Caesarea Philippi (Mat 16:13-20; Mk 8:27-30; Lk 9:18-21).

He Must Go to Jerusalem and Be Killed (Mat 16:21-28; Mk 8:31-38; 9:1; Lk 9:21-27).

And He Was Transfigured (Mat 17:1-13; Mk 9:2-13; Lk 9:28-36).

And Jesus Rebuked the Demon (Mat 17:14-21; Mk 9:14-29; Lk 9:37-43).

Speaks Again of His Death (Mat 17:22, 23; Mk 9:30-32; Lk 9:43-45).


Miracle of the Coin in the Fish's Mouth (Mat 17:24-27).

Which One is the Greatest? (Mat 18:1-35; Mk 9:33-50; Lk 9:46-50).

He Who is Not Against Us is On Our Side (Mk 9:38, 39; Lk 9:49, 50).

The Feast of Tabernacles


Set His Face to Go to Jerusalem (Lk 9:51-62; Jn 7:2-11).

The Lord Appointed Seventy Others (Lk 10:1-16).

The Ten Lepers (Lk 17:11-19).

Teaches in the Temple at the Feast of Tabernacles (Jn 7:14-53; 8:1-59).

The Parable of the Good Samaritan (Lk 10:25-37). jesus00000019.gif

The Report of the Seventy (Lk 10:17-24).


The House of Mary and Martha (Lk 10:38-42).

Jesus Teaches His Disciples to Pray (Lk 11:1-13).

The Feast of Dedication


I Was Blind, Now I See (Jn 9:1-41).

My Sheep Hear My Voice (Jn 9:39-41; 10:1-21).

They Picked Up Stones To Stone Him (Jn 10:22-39).


Beyond the Jordan (Jn 10:40-42; 11:3-16).


Jesus Raises Lazarus from the Dead (Jn 11:1-46).


The Declaration of Caiaphas (Jn 11:47-54). jesus00000019.gif


The Woman Who Was Bent Over (Mat 19:1, 2; Mk 10:1; Lk 13:10-35).

Take the Lowest Seat (Lk 14:1-24).

Count the Cost (Lk 14:25-35).

More Parables, Prodigal Son (Lk 15:1-32; 16:1-13).

Exposes the Hypocrisy of the Pharisees (Lk 16:14-18).

The Rich Man and Lazarus (Lk 16:19-31).

Increase Our Faith (Lk 17:1-10).

Teaches the Pharisees About the Coming of the Kingdom (Lk 17:20-37).


The Pharisee and the Tax Collector (Lk 18:1-14).

Marriage and Divorce (Mat 19:3-12; Mk 10:2-12).

Let the Little Children Come to Me (Mat 19:13-15; Mk 10:13-16; Lk 18:15-17).

Rich Young Ruler (Mat 19:16-22; Mk 10:17-22; Lk 18:18-24).

The Parable of the Vineyard (Mat 20:1-16).

Again Foretelling His Death (Mat 20:17-19; Mk 10:32-34; Lk 18:31-34).

Can I Sit at Your Right Hand? (Mat 20:20-28; Mk 10:35-45).


Blind Bartimaeus (Mat 20:29-34; Mk 10:46-50; Lk 18:35-43).

Zacchaeus who was a Chief Tax Collector (Lk 19:1-10).

The Parable of the Minas (Lk 19:11-28).


Mary Anoints the Feet of Jesus (Jn 12:1-9).


Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem (Mat 21:1-11; Mk 11:1-11; Lk 19:29-44; Jn 12:12-19).

Jesus Enters the Temple (Mat 21:12, Mk 11:11; Lk 19:45).

Drives the Vendors Out of the Temple (Mat 21:12, 13; Lk 19:45, 46).

The Blind and Lame Came to Him (Mat 21:14).

He Was Teaching Daily in the Temple (Lk 19:47, 48).

The Withered Fig Tree (Mat 21:17-22; Mk 11:12-14, 20-22).

The Parable of the Two Sons (Mat 21:28-31);

The Parable of the Vinedressers (Mat 21:33-46; Mk 12:1-12; Lk 20:9-19);


The Parable of the Great Supper (Mat 22:1-14; Lk 14:16-24).

Tested By the Pharisees (Mat 22:15-22; Mk 12:13-17; Lk 20:20-26). jesus00000019.gif

Tested By the Sadducees (Mat 22:23-33; Mk 12:18-27; Lk 20:27-40);

Tested By a Lawyer (Mat 22:34-40; Mk 12:28-34).

Beware of the Scribes and the Pharisees (Mat 23; Mk 12:38-40; Lk 20:45-47).

A Certain Poor Widow (Mk 12:41-44; Lk 21:1-4).

The Prophecy of Isaiah About their Blindness (Jn 12:37-50).

Foretells the Destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem (Mat 24; Mk 13; Lk 21:5-36).

He Saw the City and Wept Over It (Mat 23:37; Lk 19:41-44).

The Parables of the Ten Virgins and The Talents (Mat 25:1-30).

The Sheep and the Goats (Mat 25:31-46).

Anointed with the Flask of Spikenard (Mat 26:6-13; Mk 14:3-9; Jn 12:1-8).

The Last Passover


The Last Passover (Mat 26:17-30; Mk 14:12-25; Lk 22:7-20).

Began to Wash the Disciples' Feet (Jn 13:1-17).

The Hand of My Betrayer is With Me (Mat 26:23; Mk 14:18-21; Lk 22:21; Jn 13:18).


What You Do . . Do Quickly (Mat 26:21-25; Mk 14:18-21; Lk 22:21-23; Jn 13:21-30).

Teaches About the Holy Spirit (Jn 14; 15; 16).

Jesus' Intercession (Jn 17).

The Prayer in Gethsemane (Mat 26:30, 36-46; Mk 14:26, 32-42; Lk 22:39-46; Jn 18:1).

Betrayed and Taken (Mat 26:47-56; Mk 14:43-54, 66-72; Lk 22:47-53; Jn 18:2-12).

The Trial (Mat 26:57, 58, 69-75; Mk 14:53, 54, 66-72; Lk 22:54-62; Jn 18:13-18, 25-27).


Delivered to Pilate (Mat 27:1, 2, 11-14; Mk 15:1-5; Lk 23:1-5; Jn 18:28-38).

He Sent Him to Herod (Lk 23:6-12).

Tried Before Pilate (Mat 27:15-26; Mk 15:6-15; Lk 23:13-25; Jn 18:39, 40; 19:1-16).


Mocked by the Soldiers (Mat 27:27-31; Mk 15:16-20).


Led Him Away to be Crucified (Mat 27:31-34; Mk 15:20-23; Lk 23:26-32; Jn 19:16, 17).


Crucified (Mat 27:35-56; Mk 15:24-41; Lk 23:33-49; Jn 19:18-30). jesus00000019.gif

Joseph of Arimathea (Mat 27:57-66; Mk 15:42-47; Lk 23:50-56; Jn 19:31-42).

The Resurrection

He is Risen (Mat 28:2-15, Mk 16:1-11 Lk 24:1-12; Jn 20:1-18).

Has Appeared to Simon (Lk 24:34; 1Cor 15:5).

Road to Emmaus

Appears to Two Disciples on the Road to Emmaus (Mk 16:12, 13: Lk 24:13-35).




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