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Reference: Judas Of Galilee


Led the rebellion in the days of the taxing under Pub. Sulp. Quirinus, A.D. 6, as Gamaliel notices (Ac 5:37). A Gaulonite Pharisee of Ganiala; called "the Galilean," as his revolt began in Galilee. His watchword was, "we have no Lord or master but God"; so he stigmatized paying tribute to Caesar as treason to the Mosaic law. This illustrates how subtle was the trap laid for Jesus, that He might compromise Himself either with the people, who largely sympathized with this view, or with the Roman governor. Jesus too might be supposed to concur in Judas's watchword (Mt 22:15-22; 23:8-10).

A lawless multitude joined Judas, but was "dispersed" by Roman arms, but not finally destroyed until the destruction of Jerusalem. Stubborn love of freedom was their characteristic, so that they bore torments and death rather than call any man master. These "Gaulonites" (Josephus, Ant. 18:1, section 1, 6; B. J. 2:8, section 1) were precursors of the Zealots and Sicarii, through whose sanguinary fanaticism mainly Jerusalem fell. James and John sons of Judas led a revolt against the procurator Tib. Alexander, A.D. 47, and were crucified. In A.D. 66 Menahem, youngest son of Judas, at the head of a fanatical mob pillaged Masada and took Jerusalem, where he assumed kingly state, but was taken by the high priest Eleazar's partisans, tortured, and killed.

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Ju'das of Galilee,

the leader of a popular revolt "in the days of the taxing" (i.e. the census, under the prefecture of P. Sulp. Quirinus, A.D. 6, A.U.C. 759), referred to by Gamaliel in his speech before the Sanhedrin.

Ac 5:37

According to Josephus, Judas was a Gaulonite of the city of Gamala, probably taking his name of Galilean from his insurrection having had its rise in Galilee. The Gaulonites, as his followers were called, may be regarded as the doctrinal ancestors of the Zealots and Sicarii of later days.

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