Whether led by this Mattathias or not, certain Jews fled into the wilderness and found a leader in Judas Maccabaeus his reputed son, the first of the five Asmonean (Hasmonean) brethren.
From the foundation of the Hasmonean state to the time of Herod the history of the high-priesthood merges in the political history of the nation; from Herod onward the priestly aristocracy of the Sadducees lost its chief hold over the nation and expired in vain controversy with the Pharisees.
Jewish shekels were first coined by Simon the Hasmonean, probably in 139-138 B.C. These bear inscriptions in the archaic Hebrew and various emblems, such as the cup or chalice, the lily branch with three flowers, the candlestick, the citron and palm branch and so forth.
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