A party twice mentioned in the Gospels (Matthew 22:16 parallel Mark 12:13; 3:6) as acting with the Pharisees in opposition to Jesus. They were not a religious sect, but, as the name implies, a court or political party, supporters of the dynasty of Herod. Nothing is known of them beyond what the Gospels state. Whatever their political aims, they early perceived that Christ's pure and spiritual teaching on the kingdom of God was irreconcilable with these, and that Christ's influence with the people was antagonistic to their interests. Hence, in Galilee, on the occasion of the healing of the man with the withered hand, they readily joined with the more powerful party of the Pharisees in plots to crush Jesus (Mark 3:6); and again, in Jerusalem, in the last week of Christ's life, they renewed this alliance in the attempt to entrap Jesus on the question of the tribute money (Matthew 22:16). The warning of Jesus to His disciples to "beware of the leaven of Herod" (Mark 8:15) may have had reference to the insidious spirit of this party.
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