Mon, 7 December 2009
Out of the Maccabean revolt, three rulers rise successively, Judah Maccabee, Jonathan, and then Simon. Simon and two of his his sons were murdered, and only John Hyrcanus was left to rule. Various other rulers rise and fall, but Salome Alexandra is the only woman in antiquity to rule Judea and be praised for it.
During this time, Israel was consolidating power and various cities were breaking from Seleucid empire. John Hyrcanus rules as high priest and ethnarch, annexing Samaria and the remnants of Edom (now the Idumeans), forcing the people to become Jewish and be circumcised. The leading families of the Idumeans would become important, including the family of Herod.
During the later times leading up to Roman rule, the Jewish rulers start calling themselves kings, and their courts populated by Hellenized Jews. Several factions emerge, including the Pharisees and Essenes who react against these rulers. The Pharisees have a number of beliefs, such as belief in the resurrection and in oral tradition, that mark them as very different from the beliefs of the ruling class, which would include the Sadducees.
The Pharisees also had leaders who were not priests, but rather what would become the modern-day rabbi. The tension between the Pharisees and the Sadducees reached a head when the Pharisees demanded that the king choose between being a king or being high priest. The king sided with the Sadducees, which led to a civil war and suppression of the Pharisees.
Be sure to look at the image embedded in the MP3, which will make it much easier to follow.
The closing theme is Gerard Satamian's Chansons Sans Paroles Op. 2 Pastorale, from the album Dry Fig Trees. www.magnatune.com