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HASIDEANS hăs’ ə de’ ənz (חֲסִידִֽים, ̔Ασιδαίοι, the pious).The Heb. word hasidim is frequently found in the OT, where it is usually tr. “saints,” and is never used in a technical sense (1 Sam 2:9 KJV; 2 Chron 6:41; Ps 30:4; 31:23; 37:28; etc.). In the OT Apoc., it is used three times to refer to a group of very orthodox Jews who took part with the Maccabeans in the revolt against the efforts of the Syrians to compel the Jews to give up their ancestral religion and worship pagan gods.

There is reason to believe that after the war they broke with the Maccabeans over the legitimacy of the Maccabean claims to the high priesthood. It is thought that the later Pharisees and possibly the Essenes developed out of two branches of the Hasideans.


E. Schürer, A History of the Jewish People in the Time of Jesus Christ, II (1893); W. Forster, Palestinian Judaism in New Testament Times (1964); D. S. Russell, The Method and Message of Jewish Apocalyptic (1964).