Judas of Gamala

Judas of Gamala, also called Theudas was a Galilean revolutionary around 4-5 BC. One of the many insurgent leaders who arose in Palestine shortly after the death of Herod the Great in 4 BC. This man's attempt ended in his own destruction after which his movement evaporated. There was a patriot of the forbidden Zealot party, and he led a desperate crew on a madman's enterprise. Rebellion in Galilee when Jesus was 11 years old. In those days, Palestine had a quick succession of fire-brand leaders who set themselves up as the deliverers of their country and sometimes even as the Messiah.

When Judas of Gamala first raised the standard of rebellion, he marched on Sepphoris, a few miles N of Nazareth, seized the arsenal there and for a brief time triumphed, until Varus, the Roman general, defeated him, burned Sepphoris to the ground, and sold its inhabitants into slavery. Rebelling against the census of Quirinus, founded a "Fourth philosophy" among the Jews.. with their passionate love of liberty their determination to acknowledge no ruler except God, and their fanatical fearlessness whether in killing or dying.

Judah, the son of that Hezekiah whom Herod had executed, gathered a band of patriots, armed them with weapons from the royal arsenal at Sepphoris, and operated throughout Galilee. Varus came down with two legions and with the help of Arab auxiliaries dispersed the Galilean rebels.. Sepphoris burned to the ground and the population sold as slaves. Varus them marched into Judea, caught up the groups of patriots and had as many as 2000 of them nailed to the cross.. many of the patriots branched off the Pharisees and organized the Zealots.
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