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People: Judas Maccabeus

Judas Maccabeus

Led the Jewish revolt against the Syrians and rededicated the Temple in the 2nd century B.C.


Judas was nicknamed "the Maccabee" which means "the hammer." He lived in the second century B.C. The Syrian leader Antiochus IV tried to get the Jews to adopt Greek practices and turned the Jerusalem Temple into a shrine to Zeus. Judas and others revolted. Under his leadership in 164 B.C., the Jews recaptured and rededicated the Temple in Jerusalem (see Maccabean Period). This was the beginning of the feast of Hanukkah. The name "Maccabee" was also extended to the other members of the family who took part in the revolt (1 Maccabeus 2:4).

AUTHOR: Robert Brusic, Seminary Pastor Emeritus