has-i-de'-anz (Hasidaioi, a transliteration of chacidhim, "the pious," "Puritans"):
A name assumed by the orthodox Jews (1 Macc 2:42; 7:13) to distinguish them from the Hellenizing faction described in the Maccabean books as the "impious," the "lawless," the "transgressors." They held perhaps narrow but strict and seriously honest views in religion, and recognized Judas Maccabeus as their leader (2 Macc 14:6). They existed as a party before the days of the Maccabees, standing on the ancient ways, caring little for politics, and having small sympathy with merely national aspirations, except when affecting religion (1 Macc 1:63; 2 Macc 6:18; Judith 12:2; Ant, XIV, iv, 3). Their cooperation with Judas went only to the length of securing the right to follow their own religious practices. When Bacchides came against Jerusalem, they were quite willing to make peace because Alcimus, "a priest of the seed of Aaron," was in his company. Him they accepted as high priest, though sixty of them soon fell by his treachery (1 Macc 7:13). Their desertion of Judas was largely the cause of his downfall.
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