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Pronunciation:  sih-KAHR-ee-ai

Occurrences:  3

First Reference:  Yeshua 7:67


And there was among them, Judas of Kerioth who was come from Jerusalem, and he was of the Sicarii, and there was with him, Thomas Zelotes.



See:  Judas Bar Abbas, Judas of Kerioth, Zealots


Summary:  In Latin, the term “Sicarii” is the plural form of “Sicarius”, meaning dagger-man, or dagger-wielder. During the 1st century CE, the Sicarii represented an extremist splinter group of the Jewish political faction known as the Zealots. The Sicarii were assassins hired primarily to target those who worked against the aims of the Zealot party. However, their services were not exclusive to the Zealot cause. The Sicarii would work for anyone willing to pay.


Judas of Kerioth was a member of the Sicarii, initially hired by Caiaphas and the chief priests to infiltrate the Essene community and spy on John the Baptizer (Y:1:50-53). It was Judas who first informed Caiaphas regarding the baptism of Yeshua, his appearance, and how that many of John’s disciples had chosen to follow the Nazarene (Y:3:27-44). Later, Caiaphas commissioned Judas to spy on Yeshua, hoping to find some reason to legally put him to death (Y:5:25-26). Judas was eventually paid by Caiaphas to assassinate Yeshua (Y:21:1-25), but his plan was interrupted when Yeshua identified Judas in the midst of his ambush (Y:27:1-6).


Soon after Lazarus was miraculously raised from the dead, he was killed by the members of the Sicarii, likely paid by Caiaphas who sought to scare would be supporters of Yeshua (Y:42:21-23).


As an interesting note, the chief of the Sicarii — a man name Judas Bar Abbas — tried to persuade Yeshua to join the Zealot cause (Y:29:1-27).



Azrael’s Commentary — Sicarii


The word refers to a long slender dagger used by assassins to remove those who too strongly opposed the aims and designs of a political party known as the Zealots (Yeshua 27:1-2). Those who were of the Sicarii often hired out their services to anyone who was willing to pay. The Sicarii were the most radical and violent element within the organization of Zealots.

The initiation rite into the ranks of the Sicarii was simple. First, the applicant had to kill someone they hated. And to the Sicarii this could only be a Roman soldier. Second, the applicant had to kill someone they loved. If an applicant failed in accomplishing either one of these two requirements, the applicant would have his throat cut and his corpse would be sown into the carcass of a pig.




When, therefore, Caiaphas saw that Judas was fearful, he ridiculed him to scorn, saying:

“Why will you fear the killing of this pretender? Are you not of the Sicarii which struts and boasts throughout all Israel that you fear neither God nor man?

Go then unto Tyre and Sidon and prove yourself unto us. And when you have found again this Nazarene, kill him, and we will pay you well.

Yeshua 21:14-16


But Lazarus, as he was going unto Jerusalem to feast, there fell upon him certain of the Sicarii, and they killed him and did strip him of all his clothing, and they hung him from the walls of the city.

And all which passed by, when they saw it, spoke, saying: “Is this not the man which the Master raised from the dead?”

And many which followed after the Lord, withdrew themselves from him, lest they also be killed, for they began to fear for their lives.

Yeshua 42:21-23