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Charles Foster Kent
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 390 pages of information about The Makers and Teachers of Judaism.
temple and its services and by a profound respect for the authority of their scriptures.  The voice of the living prophet was silent.  The priests had ceased to teach and were simply ministers at the altar, and in the turmoil of the Maccabean struggle the teaching of the wise had practically come to an end.  Instead the Jews became in every sense the people of the book.  It was at this time and as a result of the forces at work in this age that the scribes attained their place as the chief teachers of the people.  It was natural that they who copied, edited, and above all interpreted the revered Law and the Prophets should have the ear of the masses and should be regarded more and more as the authorized teachers of the Jewish race.  Judaism had at last attained its maturity.

Section CXIII.  THE RULE OF JOHN HYRCANUS AND ARISTOBULUS

[Sidenote:  I Macc. 16:11-17] Now Ptolemy the son of Abubus had been appointed commander over the plain of Jericho.  He possessed much silver and gold, for he was the high priest’s son-in-law.  Then he grew ambitious and determined to make himself master of the country.  So he formed treacherous plots against Simon and his sons, to make away with them.  Now Simon was visiting the cities that were in the country and providing for their good management.  And he went down to Jericho with Mattathias and Judas his sons, in the one hundred and seventy-seventh year, in the eleventh month, that is the month Sebat.  Then the son of Abubus received them treacherously in a little stronghold that is called Dok, which he had built, and made them a great banquet, and his men were there.  And when Simon and his sons were drunk, Ptolemy and his men rose up and took their weapons, and rushing in upon Simon in the banquet hall, they slew him and his two sons, and some of his servants.  Thus he committed a great act of treachery and paid back evil for good.

[Sidenote:  I Macc. 16:18-22] Then Ptolemy wrote what had happened, and asked the king to send forces to aid him, and promised to hand over to him their country and the cities.  And he sent others to Gazara to make away with John.  And to the officers commanding thousands he sent letters to come to him, that he might give them silver and gold and gifts.  And others he sent to take possession of Jerusalem and the temple-mount.  But some ran before to Gazara and told John that his father and brothers had perished, and they said, He has sent to slay you too.  And when he heard, he was dumb with amazement, but he seized the men who came to destroy him, and slew them, for he saw that they were seeking to destroy him.

[Sidenote:  Jos.  Jew.  War, I, 2:3c-4b] Now when Hyrcanus had received the high priesthood which his father had held before him and had offered sacrifice to God, he made haste to attack Ptolemy, that he might relieve his mother and brothers.  So he laid siege to the fortress and was superior to Ptolemy in other respects; but he was defeated through his natural affection.  For when Ptolemy was distressed, he brought Hyrcanus’s mother and his brothers and set them upon the wall and beat them with rods in the sight of all and threatened that unless Hyrcanus went away immediately, he would throw them down headlong.  At this sight Hyrcanus’s pity and concern overcame his anger.

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