His organization of local government and his efforts to maintain law and order brought him into collision with the Zealots and especially with John of Giscala, one of their leaders.
By the end of the year (67) Galilee was in the hands of Vespasian, and John of Giscala had fled.
The Idumaeans left, but John of Giscala remained master of Jerusalem.
When Eleazar opened the temple-gates to admit those who wished to worship God, John of Giscala introduced some of his own men, fully armed under their garments, and so got possession of the Temple.
At last John of Giscala portioned out the sacred wine and oil, saying that they who fought for the Temple might fearlessly use its stores for their sustenance.
His obvious desire to preserve law and order excited the hostility of John of Giscala, who endeavoured vainly to remove him as a traitor to the national cause by inciting the Galileans to kill him and by persuading the Sanhedrin at Jerusalem to recall him.