Who were the Zealots?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The Zealots were a very radical group of Jews who were important because of their resistance to the Roman rule of what was then called the Province of Judaea.  The Zealots wanted to conduct an armed rebellion against the Roman occupiers and eject them from the area.  This movement started during the first century BCE.  The Zealots conducted acts of violence not only against the Romans but against Jews, like the Sadducees, who were seen as allies of the Romans.  The Zealots are most famous in history for their long defense of their fortress at Masada and for their mass suicide when finally defeated there.

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loraaa | Student | (Level 2) Valedictorian

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was a zealot (Luke 6:15, Acts 1:13). Considering the fact that Jesus opposed violent rebellion against Rome, many probably wondered why Jesus would choose such a fellow. The irony increases when we add the fact that Matthew was a tax collector. Tax collectors were very much in league with Rome. There were probably no two groups of Jews in Palestine who hated each other more than the tax collectors and the zealots. Yet, Jesus chose one of each. Most people probably would have been afraid that these two fellows would kill each other. The Lord wasn’t. He knew the kingdom of God was more powerful than the hatred of men. The very fact Jesus chose two men so opposite in their worldviews was a demonstration of its power.

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