The Pharisees were men who separated themselves from sinners, always giving good example.

Monday, 8/25/14

Jesus criticized the Pharisees who did everything to be as seen as good. Let’s go back over the chain of events that made them that way. The first link in that chain takes us all the way back to 970 B.C. when King David lie dying.

 David had promised the throne to Solomon, but another son, Adonijah, was already acting as king, and he had a small army backing up his claim. When the dying David heard of this, he called in the priest Zadoc, ordering him to take Solomon out to the spring of Gihon where he was to solemnly consecrate him as king.

Zadoc was certain that Adonijah would kill him, but out of obedience to David, he poured the oil of chrism on the head of Solomon, anointing him king. Amazingly, the people arose as one, shouting, “Long live King Solomon,” and that set Adonijah running for his life.

The people rewarded the courage of Zadoc, by making him their high priest. And from that time on it became their tradition that no one but a direct descendent of Zadoc could be given the office of High Priest.

The nation held to that tradition for eight hundred years, then in 152 B.C. the only descendent of Zadoc available for the high office was useless and illiterate. However, fifteen years before that, Judas Maccabeus had saved the temple from destruction, and Jonathan, the younger brother of Judas, was a highly qualified priest.

Two thirds of the people ushered Joanathan into be consecrated High Priest, but the other third of the people said keeping to tradition was all that mattered. Half of that numbr, one sixth of the population, migrated over to caves over the Dead Sea. They were the Essenes who left us the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Another sixth of the people, conservative adherents to tradition, stayed on as the Separatists, who in their language were called Pharisees. They set themselves up as examples to the rest of how real pious Jews should live. They were good people, and they did give good examples to those who were slack in following their religion.  Many of the Pharisees were wonderful men, but some seem to have become hypocrites. In the Rogers and Hart musical “Carousal” the women sing,

“Stone cutters cut it in stone. Woodcutters cut it in wood. There’s nothing quite so bad as a man who thinks he’s good.”  

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