How to Pronounce Zealot
Audio Pronunciation of Zealot
Phonetic Pronunciation of ZealotZEE-laht
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Learn more about Zealot
The Zealots were a political movement in 1st-century Second Temple Judaism which sought to incite the people of Judea Province to rebel against the Roman Empire and expel it from the Holy Land by force of arms, most notably during the First Jewish–Roman War (66–70 AD).
Who Were The Zealots?
The Zealots were radical anti-Roman Jews who were prepared to use violence to advance their goals. They emerged as a major force in Jerusalem around the time of the First Jewish Revolt against Rome. They were distinct from the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes, the other major Jewish groups of that period.
Bible References for Zealots
- Matthew 10:4 - Simon the Zealot, one of Jesus' twelve apostles, is referred to, suggesting he may have had ties or sympathies with the Zealot movement.
- Acts 1:13 - Simon the Zealot is listed again among the apostles.
- Acts 21:38 - An Egyptian who led a revolt in the wilderness is mistakenly identified with Paul by a Roman tribune. This reference sheds light on the environment of revolts and insurrectionists, among whom the Zealots were active.
Significance of Zealots
The Zealots played a crucial role in the events leading up to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. Their strong opposition to Roman rule, along with their refusal to pay tribute to the emperors, and their occasional violent attacks against Roman soldiers, contributed to the tensions that erupted in the Jewish-Roman wars. Their actions and ideology highlight the intense political and religious climate of first-century Judea.
The term "Zealot" can be pronounced as ZEAL-luht. The word derives from the Greek 'zelotes', meaning "emulator" or "enthusiast."
Main Themes about Zealots
The Zealots represent one response to foreign domination in the diverse Jewish landscape of the Second Temple period. Their militant stance and commitment to the sovereignty of Israel, even at great personal risk, illustrates the lengths to which some Jews were willing to go to resist foreign domination. Their story also serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers of radicalism and the tragic consequences of insurrection against a vastly superior power.