What is the Real Story of Hanukkah?

Part 8 of the historically accurate 8 Part Series

Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post

To read the Introduction to this 8 Part series please click below…

https://lewiscoaches.medium.com/what-is-the-real-story-of-hanukkah-c288e61a17b4

Q. What was life like for the Jews living in Rome and under Roman rule?

A. In Rome, Jewish communities enjoyed privileges and thrived economically, becoming a significant part of the Empire’s population (perhaps as much as ten percent).

Q. Who was the King in Judea at that time?

During this period Hyrcanus II (Hebrew: יוחנן (הורקנוס)), a member of the Hasmonean dynasty, and for a long time the Jewish High Priest in the 1st century BCE. was briefly King of Judea 67–66 BCE and then the ethnarch (ruler) of Judea probably 47–40 BCE.

Q. Who was Hyrcanus. He was the eldest son of Alexander Jannaeus, King and High Priest, and Alexandra Salome. After the death of Alexander in 76 BC, his widow succeeded to the rule of Judea and installed her elder son Hyrcanus as High Priest. Alexander had numerous conflicts with the Pharisees. It is believed that Hyrcanus was believed to be supported by the Sadducees, especially later in his tenure.

When Salome died in 67 BC, she named Hyrcanus II as the successor to the Kingship as well.

Q. Was Hyrcanus II a successful ruler?

A. Hyrcanus II had scarcely reigned three months when his younger brother Aristobulus II rose in rebellion. Hyrcanus advanced against him at the head of his mercenaries and his followers. The brothers met in battle near Jericho and many of Hyrcanus’ soldiers went over to Aristobulus II, and thereby gave the latter the victory.

HyrcanusII took refuge in the citadel of Jerusalem; but the capture of the Temple by Aristobulus II compelled HyrcanusII to surrender. A peace was then concluded, according to the terms of which Hyrcanus was to renounce the throne and the office of the high priest, but was to enjoy the revenues of the latter office.

Hyrcanus II had been held by the Parthians who were at war with Rome since 40 BCE. For four years, until 36 BCE, he lived amid the Babylonian Jews, who paid him every mark of respect. In that year Herod, who feared that Hyrcanus might induce the Parthians to help him regain the throne, invited him to return to Jerusalem. The Babylonian Jews warned him in vain. Herod received him with every mark of respect, assigning him the first place at his table and the presidency of the state council while awaiting an opportunity to get rid of him. As the last remaining Hasmonean, Hyrcanus was too dangerous a rival for Herod. In the year 30 BCE, charged with plotting with the King of Arabia, Hyrcanus was condemned and executed.

The later Herodian rulers Agrippa I and Agrippa II both had Hasmonean blood, as Agrippa I’s father was Aristobulus IV, son of Herod by Mariamne I, but they were not direct male descendants unless Herod was understood as a Hasmonean as per the following synthesis:

According to Josephus, Herod was also of Maccabean descent:

· Eleazar Maccabeus called Auran brother of Judas Maccabeus {Josephus Antiquity of the Jews Book XII/Chapter 9/Section 4}

· Jason son of Eleazar {Ditto: Book XII/Chapter 10/Section 6}

· Antipater I son of Jason {Ditto: Book XIII/Chapter 5/Section 8}

· Antipater II Antipas son of Antipater I {Ditto: Book XIV/Chapter 1/Section 3}

· Herod

Q. It seems the Hasmonean dynasty was one of the few to create an independent Jewish kingdom?

A. That is correct however its successes were rather short-lived, and the dynasty, by and large, failed to live up to the nationalistic momentum the Maccabee brothers had gained in the earlier revolts..

A. The last King in the Masmonean Dynasty made up of descendants of the Maccabees was Antigonus 40–37 BC. After much political intrigue, murders, and a Roman civil war

Antipater the Idumaean 47–44 BC became King by the appointment of Julius Caeser. He is considered the first King in the Herodian Dynasty (47 BC–AD 100) and was named by Caeser the procurator of Judea, Samaria, and Galilee.

Q. It seems theat the the Hasmonean dynasty was one of the few to create an independent Jewish kingdom?

A. That is correct however its successes were rather short-lived, and the dynasty by and large failed to live up to the nationalistic momentum the Maccabee brothers had gained in the earlier revolts..

A. The last King in the Masmonean Dynasty made up of descendants of the Maccabees was Antigonus 40–37 BC. After much political intrigue, murders, and a Roman civil war

Antipater the Idumaean 47–44 BC became King by appointment of Julius Caeser. He is considered the first King in the Herodian Dynasty (47 BC–AD 100) and was named by Caeser the procurator of Judea, Samaria, and Galilee.

Q. Was Antigonus the last in the Hasmonean Royal Dynasty?

A. No. However the fate of the remaining male members of the family under Herod was not a happy one. Aristobulus III, grandson of Aristobulus II through his elder son Alexander, was briefly made high priest, but was soon executed (36 BCE) due to Herod’s jealousy. His sister Mariamne was married to Herod, but fell victim to his notorious jealousy. Her sons by Herod, Aristobulus IV, and Alexander, were in their adulthood also executed by their father.

Q. I have heard the name Herod applied to different Jewish Kings under the Romans. Can you explain this?

A. All the kings in the Herodic dynasty were named Herod. Herod the Great, the son of Antipater, was crowned king of the Jews in 37 BC.

Q. Did the borders of Judea remain the same under the various Herod’s?

A. No. The Roman province of Egypt was established in 30 BC, and Judea proper, Samaria and Idumea (biblical Edom) were converted to the Roman province of Iudaea in 6 AD.

The borders of Judea changed a number of times. In the beginning, the Roman general Pompey in his eastern campaign established the Roman province of Syria in 64 BC and conquered Jerusalem in 63 BC. Julius Caesar conquered Alexandria c. 47 BC and defeated Pompey in 45 BC. Under Julius Caesar, Judaism was officially recognized as a legal religion allowing Jews to follow their traditional religious practices, a policy followed by the first Roman emperor, Augustus who reigned 27 BC — 14 AD. This gave Judaism the status of a religio licita(permitted religion) throughout the Empire.

Still, there were often clashes between Rome and the Jews over religion. In Ancient Rome, religion was an integral part of the civil government Some Emperors were proclaimed gods on Earth, and demanded to be worshiped accordingly throughout the Roman Empire. This created religious difficulties for monotheistic Jews and other groups since Jews were prohibited by their biblical commandments from worshiping any other god than that of the Torah.

Q. What is the connection between Herod the Great and Jesus?

A. Jesus was born during his reign?

Q. Was Herod an observant Jew?

A. He was Jewish in that he was descended from a tribe conquered by Israel who became Jews.

Q. Was Herod popular among Jews?

A. Although he made many attempts at conforming to traditional Jewish laws, there were more instances where Herod was insensitive, which constitutes one of the major Jewish complaints towards Herod as highlighted in Jewish Antiquities. In Jerusalem, Herod introduced foreign forms of entertainment and erected a golden eagle at the entrance of the Temple, which suggested a greater interest in the welfare of Rome than of Jews. Herod’s taxes garnered a bad reputation — his constant concern for his reputation led him to make frequent, expensive gifts, increasingly emptying the kingdom’s coffers, and such lavish spending upset his Jewish subjects.

The two major Jewish sects during his reign, the Pharisees and the Sadducees, both showed opposition to Herod. The Pharisees were angry because Herod disregarded many of their demands for the Temple’s construction. At the same time the Sadducees, who were known for their priestly responsibilities in the Temple, opposed Herod because he replaced their high priests with outsiders from Babylonia and Alexandria, in an effort to gain support from the Jewish Diaspora. These efforts proved ineffective, and at the end of Herod’s reign, anger and dissatisfaction were common amongst Jews. Heavy outbreaks of violence and riots followed Herod’s death in many cities, including Jerusalem, as all the built-up grievances against him were unleashed. The momentum from these revolts led to an increased demand for Jewish freedom from Roman rule. Herod’s leadership caused enough anger for it to become a prime cause of the Great Revolt of 70 C.E.

Q. When was the first formal break between the Jews and Rome?

A. Problems were already evident during the Census of Quirinius in 6 and under Sejanus (before 31) but the first formal break came under Caligula (37–41).

Q. This is right after the crucifixion of Jesus?

A. Yes.

Q. Tell me more about the Maccabee family.

A. The fate of the remaining male members of the Maccabee family under Herod was not a happy one. Aristobulus III, grandson of Aristobulus II through his elder son Alexander, was briefly made high priest, but was soon executed (36 BCE) due to Herod’s jealousy. His sister Mariamne was married to Herod, but fell victim to his notorious jealousy. Her sons by Herod, Aristobulus IV and Alexander, were in their adulthood also executed by their father.

Q. I have heard the Herod applied to different Jewish Kings under the Romans. Can you explain this?

A. All the kings in the Herodic dynasty were named Herod.

Herod the Great, the son of Antipater, was crowned king of the Jews in 37 BC.

Q. Did the borders of Judea remain the same under the various Herods?

A. No. The Roman province of Egypt was established in 30 BC, and Judea proper, Samaria and Idumea (biblical Edom) were converted to the Roman province of Iudaea in 6 AD.

· Is there a list of all of Antipater’s descendants?

· A. Yes. Better to wiki this.

Q. What was the political status of the Jews in Rome?

A. It changed a number of times. In the beginning, the Roman general Pompey in his eastern campaign established the Roman province of Syria in 64 BC and conquered Jerusalem in 63 BC. Julius Caesar conquered Alexandria c. 47 BC and defeated Pompey in 45 BC. Under Julius Caesar, Judaism was officially recognized as a legal religion allowing Jews to follow their traditional religious practices, a policy followed by the first Roman emperor, Augustus who reigned 27 BC — 14 AD. This gave Judaism the status of a religio licita(permitted religion) throughout the Empire.

Still, there were often clashes between Rome and the Jews over religion. In Ancient Rome, religion was an integral part of the civil government Some Emperors were proclaimed gods on Earth, and demanded to be worshiped accordingly throughout the Roman Empire. This created religious difficulties for monotheistic Jews and other groups. Jews were prohibited by their biblical commandments from worshiping any other god than that of the Torah.

Q. What is the connection between Herod the Great and Jesus?

A. Jesus was born during his reign?

Q. Was Herod an observant Jew?

A. He was Jewish in that he was descended from a tribe conquered by Israel who became Jews.

Q. Was he popular among Jews?

A. Although he made many attempts at conforming to traditional Jewish laws, there were more instances where Herod was insensitive, which constitutes one of the major Jewish complaints towards Herod as highlighted in Jewish Antiquities. In Jerusalem, Herod introduced foreign forms of entertainment and erected a golden eagle at the entrance of the Temple, which suggested a greater interest in the welfare of Rome than of Jews.Herod’s taxes garnered a bad reputation — his constant concern for his reputation led him to make frequent, expensive gifts, increasingly emptying the kingdom’s coffers, and such lavish spending upset his Jewish subjects.] The two major Jewish sects during his reign, the Pharisees and theSadducees, both showed opposition to Herod. The Pharisees were angry because Herod disregarded many of their demands for the Temple’s construction. At the same time the Sadducees, who were known for their priestly responsibilities in the Temple, opposed Herod because he replaced their high priests with outsiders from Babylonia and Alexandria, in an effort to gain support from the Jewish Diaspora.[34] These efforts proved ineffective, and at the end of Herod’s reign, anger and dissatisfaction were common amongst Jews. Heavy outbreaks of violence and riots followed Herod’s death in many cities, including Jerusalem, as all the built-up grievances against him were unleashed. The momentum from these revolts led to an increased demand for Jewish freedom from Roman rule. Herod’s leadership caused enough anger for it to become a prime cause of the Great Revolt of 70 C.E.[

Q. When was the first formal break between the Jews and Rome?

A. Problems were already evident during the Census of Quirinius in 6 and under Sejanus (before 31) but the first formal break came under Caligula (37–41).

Q. This is right after the crucifixation of Jesus?

A. Yes.

Q. If Jesus was a Jew and a Rabbi why was he turned by the Sanhedrin?

A. This a complex story and is misunderstood by many unknowing or lzay thinkers who confuse a few religio-political leaders in Judea with the Jewis people. . Please ead this answer carefully.

THE END

Author: Lewis Harrison is an Independent Scholar with a passion for history, personal development, self-improvement, and problem-solving. He is the creator of Harrison’s Applied Game Theory.

Get his free newsletter. Sign up at his website

You can read all of his Medium stories at Lewis.coaches@medium.com.

I am always exploring trends, areas of interest and solutions to build new stories upon. Again, if you have any ideas you would like me to write about just email me at LewisCoaches@gmail.com

Image for post
Image for post

“Lewis is amazing. I recommend him to anyone who wants less stress and more energy.” — Jack Canfield, Co-author, The Chicken Soup for the Soul books and films.

Written by

I offer advice on the arts, innovation, self-improvement, life lessons, mental health, game theory strategies, and love. LewisCoaches.Medium.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store