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The Zealots have been considered a detached group of Judaism that may not have been united, but all of these groups had the same goal: There could be no foreign ruler in the Holy Land. It was a "contempt for God's name."  They regarded God as their sole ruler. The Pharisees' tacit withdrawal from politics  was not acceptable to them. The Zealots were ready to fight gun for their goal. The name Zealots comes from the Greek word ZELOTES, meaning those who believe in their faith  .

Andrew Shiva  /  Wikipedia  /  CC BY-SA 4.0

They have also been called daggers (Latin sicarii) because they used their weapon  tikaria.

The Jewish historian Josephus writes in his book The Jewish War   zelotics:

  "But the founder of the fourth school was Judas of Galilee. These men joined in all the doctrines of the Pharisees except that they had an absolute attachment to freedom and they say that God should be their only ruler."

At that point in history, such an attitude led to massacres. According to Josephus, these daggers were fighters of the fortress of Masada. About 960 fighters had retreated to the mountain fortress of Masada with women and children. When defeat against the Romans was evident in 73 AD, this group committed suicide rather than surrendered to the Romans.


Source: Lindqvist 2011: 70-72

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