Wednesday, December 10, 2014


Antigonus, from Socho7, received it8
from Shimon the Righteous. He was
wont to say, "Do not be like those
slaves who serve their master only
because they want a reward. Rather, be
like those slaves who serve their master,
regardless of any reward9; and may the
awe of Heaven10 be upon you."


The first scholar of whom Pharisaic tradition has preserved not only the name but also an important theological doctrine. He flourished about the first half of the third century B.C. According to the Mishnah, he was the disciple and successor of Simon the Just. His motto ran: "Be not like slaves who serve their master for their daily rations; be like those who serve their master without regard to emoluments, and let the fear of God be with you" (Ab. i. 3; see Grätz, "Gesch d. Juden," ii. 6, 239). Short as this maxim is, it contains the whole Pharisaic doctrine, which is very different from what it is usually conceived to be. Thus the first known Pharisee urges that good should be done for its own sake, and evil be avoided, without regard to consequences, whether advantageous or detrimental. The naive conception dominant in the Old Testament, that God's will must be done to obtain His favor in the shape of physical prosperity, is rejected by Antigonus, as well as the view, specifically called "Pharisaic," which makes reward in the future life the motive for human virtue. It is impossible that Antigonus could have been influenced by Hellenic views: chronology forbids the supposition. The cause of this ethical superiority was simply that the Pharisees carefully nurtured the germs of higher morality sown by the Prophets of the Old Testament and brought them to full fruition. Particularly Jewish is the second phrase of his maxim; the fear of God is the Jewish correlate to general human morality mentioned in the first half of the motto. Antigonus points out that men's actions should not be influenced by the lowly sentiment of fear of mortals, but that there is a divine judgment of which men must stand in awe. The expression "Heaven" for "God" is the oldest evidence in postexilic Judaism of the development of the idea of a transcendental Deity. It is also a curious fact that Antigonus is the first noted Jew to have a Greek name.
Later legend connects Antigonus with the origin of the Sadducee sect

SADDUCEES (Hebrew, ; Greek, Σαδδου καῖοι):

Name given to the party representing views and practises of the Law and interests of Temple and priesthood directly opposite to those of the Pharisees. The singular form, "Ẓadduḳi" (Greek, Σαδδουκαῖος), is an adjective denoting "an adherent of the Bene Ẓadoḳ," the descendants of Zadok, the high priests who, tracing their pedigree back to Zadok, the chief of the priesthood in the days of David and Solomon (I Kings i. 34, ii. 35; I Chron. xxix. 22), formed the Temple hierarchy all through the time of the First and Second Temples down to the days of Ben Sira (II Chron. xxxi. 10; Ezek. xl. 46, xliv. 15, xlviii. 11; Ecclus. [Sirach] li. 12 [9], Hebr.), but who degenerated under the influence of Hellenism, especially during the rule of the Seleucidæ, when to be a follower of the priestly aristocracy was tantamount to being a worldly-minded Epicurean. T he name, probably coined by the Ḥasidim as opponents of the Hellenists, became in the course of time a party name applied to all the aristocratic circles connected with the high priests by marriage and other social relations, as only the highest patrician families intermarried with the priests officiating at the Temple in Jerusalem (Ḳid. iv. 5; Sanh. iv. 2; comp. Josephus, "B. J." ii. 8, § 14). "Haughty men these priests are, saying which woman is fit to be married by us, since our father is high priest, our uncles princes and rulers, and we presiding officers at the Temple"—these words, put into the mouth of Nadab and Abihu (Tan., Aḥare Mot, ed. Buber, 7; Pesiḳ. 172b; Midr. Teh. to Ps. lxxviii. 18),reflect exactly the opinion prevailing among the Pharisees concerning the Sadducean priesthood (comp. a similar remark about the "haughty" aristocracy of Jerusalem in Shab. 62b). The Sadducees, says Josephus, have none but the rich on their side ("Ant." xiii. 10, § 6). The party name was retained long after the Zadokite high priests had made way for the Hasmonean house and the very origin of the name had been forgotten. Nor is anything definite known about the political and religious views of the Sadducees except what is recorded by their opponents in the works of Josephus, in the Talmudic literature, and in the New Testament writings.
Josephus relates nothing concerning the origin of what he chooses to call the sect or philosophical school of the Sadducees; he knows only that the three "sects"—the Pharisees, Essenes, and Sadducees—dated back to "very ancient times" (ib. xviii. 1, § 2), which words, written from the point of view of King Herod's days, necessarily point to a time prior to John Hyrcanus (ib. xiii. 8, § 6) orthe Maccabean war (ib. xiii. 5, § 9). Among the Rabbis the following legend circulated: Antigonus of Soko, successor of Simon the Just, the last of the "Men of the Great Synagogue," and consequently living at the time of the influx of Hellenistic ideas, taught the maxim, "Be not like servants who serve their master for the sake of wages [lit. "a morsel"], but be rather like those who serve without thought of receiving wages" (Ab. i. 3); whereupon two of his disciples, Zadok and Boethus, mistaking the high ethical purport of the maxim, arrived at the conclusion that there was no future retribution, saying, "What servant would work all day without obtaining his due reward in the evening?" Instantly they broke away from the Law and lived in great luxury, using many silver and gold vessels at their banquets; and they established schools which declared the enjoyment of this life to be the goal of man, at the same time pitying the Pharisees for their bitter privation in this world with no hope of another world to compensate them. These two schools were called, after their founders, Sadducees and Boethusians (Ab. R. N. v.).
The unhistorical character of this legend is shown by the simple fact, learned from Josephus, that the Boethusians represent the family of high priests created by King Herod after his marriage to the daughter of Simon, the son of Boethus ("Ant." xv. 9, § 3; xix. 6, § 2; see Boethusians). Obviously neither the character of the Sadducees nor that of the Boethusians was any longer known at the time the story was told in the rabbinical schools. Nor does the attempt to connect the name "Sadducees" with the term "ẓedeḳ" or " ẓedaḳah" (= "righteousness"; Epiphanius, "Panarium," i. 14; Derenbourg, "Histoire de la Palestine," p. 454) deserve any more consideration than the creation by Grätz ("Gesch." 3d ed., iii. 88, 697) and others, for the purpose of accounting for the name, of a heretic leader called Zadok. Geiger's ingenious explanation ("Urschrift," pp. 20 et seq.), as given above, indorsed by Well-hausen ("Die Pharisäer und die Sadducäer," p. 45), is very generally approved to-day (see Schürer, "Gesch." 3d ed., ii. 408); and it has received striking confirmation from the special blessing for "the Sons of Zadok whom God has chosen for the priesthood" in the Hebrew Ben Sira discovered by Schechter (see Schechter and Taylor, "Wisdom of Ben Sira," 1899, p.35). In the New Testament the high priests and their party are identified with the Sadducees (Acts v. 17; comp. ib.xxiii. 6 with ib. xxii. 30, and John vii. 30, xi. 47, xviii. 3 with the Synoptic Gospels; see also "Ant." xx. 9, § 1).
The views and principles of the Sadducees may be summarized as follows:
  • (1) Representing the nobility, power, and wealth ("Ant." xviii. 1, § 4), they had centered their interests in political life, of which they were the chief rulers. Instead of sharing the 'Messianic hopes of the Pharisees, who committed the future into the hand of God, they took the people's destiny into their own hands, fighting or negotiating with the heathen nations just as they thought best, while having as their aim their own temporary welfare and worldly success. This is the meaning of what Josephus chooses to term their disbelief in fate and divine providence ("B. J." ii. 8, § 14; "Ant." xiii. 5 § 9).
  • (2) As the logical consequence of the preceding view, they would not accept the Pharisaic doctrine of the resurrection (Sanh. 90b; Mark xii. 12; Ber. ix. 5, "Minim"), which was a national rather than an individual hope. As to the immortality of the soul, they seem to have denied this as well (see Hippolytus, "Refutatio," ix. 29; "Ant." x. 11, § 7).
  • (3) According to Josephus (ib. xiii. 10, § 6), they regarded only those observances as obligatory which are contained in the written word, and did not recognize those not written in the law of Moses and declared by the Pharisees to be derived from the traditions of the fathers. Instead of accepting the authority of the teachers, they considered it a virtue to dispute it by arguments.
  • (4) According to Acts xxiii. 8, they denied also the existence of angels and demons. This probably means that they did not believe in the Essene practise of incantation and conjuration in cases of disease, and were therefore not concerned with the Angelology and Demonology derived from Babylonia and Persia.
  • (5) In regard to criminal jurisdiction they were so rigorous that the day on which their code was abolished by the Pharisaic Sanhedrin under Simeon b. Shetaḥ's leadership, during the reign of Salome Alexandra, was celebrated as a festival (Meg. Ta'an. iv.; comp. Ket. 105a). They insisted on the literal execution of the law of retaliation: "Eye for eye, tooth for tooth" (Ex. xxi. 24; Meg. Ta'an. iv.; B. Ḳ. 84a; comp. Matt. v. 38). On the other hand, they would not inflict the death penalty on false witnesses in a case where capital punishment had been wrongfully carried out, unless the accused had been executed solely in consequence of the testimony of such witnesses (Mak. i. 8; Tosef., Sanh. vi. 6, where "Bocthusians" stands for "Sadducees").
  • (6) They held the owner of a slave fully as responsible for the damage done by the latter as for that done by the owner's ox or ass; whereas the Pharisees discriminated between reasonable and unreasonable beings (Yad. iv. 7).
  • (7) They also insisted, according to Meg. Ta'an. iv., upon a literal interpretation of Deut. xxii. 17 (comp. Sifre, Deut. 237; Ket. 46; see also the description of the custom still obtaining at weddings among the Jews of Salonica, in Braun-Wiesbaden's "Eine Türkische Reise," 1876, p. 235), while most of the Pharisaic teachers took the words figuratively. The same holds true in regard to Deut. xxv. 9: "Then shall his brother's wife . . . spit in his [her deceased husband's brother's] face," which the Pharisees explained as "before him" (Yeb. xii. 6; see Weiss, "Dor," i. 117, note).
  • (8) They followed a traditional practise of their own in granting the daughter the same right of inheritance as the son's daughter in case the son was dead (Meg. Ta'an. v.; Tos. Yad. ii. 20; B. B. viii. 1, 115b).
  • (9) They contended that the seven weeks from the first barley-sheaf-offering ("'omer") to Pentecost should, according to Lev. xxiii. 15-16, be countedfrom "the day after Sabbath," and, consequently, that Pentecost should always be celebrated on the first day of the week (Meg. Ta'an. i.; Men. 65a). In this they obviously followed the old Biblical view which regards the festival of the firstlings as having no connection whatsoever with the Passover feast; whereas the Pharisees, connecting the festival of the Exodus with the festival of the giving of the Law, interpreted the "morrow after the Sabbath" to signify the second day of Passover (see Jubilees, Book of).
  • Views on Temple Practises.
    • (10) Especially in regard to the Temple practise did they hold older views, based upon claims of greater sanctity for the priesthood and of its sole dominion over the sanctuary. Thus they insisted that the daily burnt offerings were, with reference to the singular used in Num. xxviii. 4, to be offered by the high priest at his own expense; whereas the Pharisees contended that they were to be furnished as a national sacrifice at the cost of the Temple treasury into which the "she-ḳalim" collected from the whole people were paid (Meg. Ta'an. i. 1; Men. 65b; Sheḳ. iii. 1, 3; Grätz, l.c. p. 694).
    • (11) They claimed that the meal offering belonged to the priest's portion; whereas the Pharisees claimed it for the altar (Meg. Ta'an. viii.; Men. vi. 2).

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