From 62 to 30 BC

- ו ה ו -

End of the Hasmonean Kingdom

From 62 to 30 BC

Flavius Josephus, The Jewish Wars, Book I, Chapter 11, Section 9 

Herod creates alliances with other forces in the region and begins to gain power. John Hyrcanus II slowly becomes his political nemesis. The Hasmonean king marries his daughter, Mariamne, to Herod in a desperate attempt to secure the continuation of his dynasty and the future of Jewish independence. John Hyrcanus II’s status continues to dwindle and during the Parthian invasion of 40 BC, he is abducted and exiled. Haunted by the idea of being overthrown, Herod later kills his wife, Mariamne, and many of her relatives. The death of Herod’s wife marks the end of the Hasmonean dynasty. Her descendants are ultimately cast out of Jerusalem and deny their Jewish heritage and Hasmonean lineage. Thus, the Jewish independent state, which lasted for only 120 years, comes to its end. Save for a few noteworthy episodes during the First Jewish–Roman War and the Bar Kokhba revolt, Jewish sovereignty in the land of Israel will not become a reality again until 1948. The great historic mission of the Hasmonean dynasty was to save Judaism from complete destruction and instill in the Jewish people an unyielding hope for redemption.

Continuous power struggles and the pursuit of honor usher in the end of the Hasmonean dynasty. The Hasmonean kingdom has reached its end. When material pursuits prevail over spirit, Jewish sovereignty becomes an impossibility. The problems and suffering we face in our lives are inevitably the consequence of previous actions. In order to overcome and heal, we must find ways to repair and take action to eliminate the seeds of negativity. Only then can we create for ourselves a new life filled with hope. 

“Nor was he mistaken in the conjecture he made; for Herod got his army together, out of the anger he bare him for his threatening him with the accusation in a public court, and led it to Jerusalem, in order to throw Hyrcanus down from his kingdom” (Josephus Flavius, The Jewish Wars, Book 1, Chapter 10, paragraph 9)

Self-limitation is learning to channel  our energies into specific, carefully selected fields of work.