Means “the separate ones.” Descended from the Hasidim (“pious ones”); considered obedience to Torah to be the heart of a godly life. Separated from sinful ways and people in their desire to be faithful. Believed strongly in God’s judgment and a resurrection where men would be rewarded or punished according to their deeds. Constituted the largest Jewish sect during Jesus’ lifetime; exerted great control over society through synagogues.

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