The Zealots—Firebrands of Revolution
- 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 Galilees 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.