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.
ASMONEUS, or Asamonaeus (so Josephus), great-grandfather of Mattathias, the father of Judas Maccabaeus.
,;pt;) was originally the distinctive surname of Judas, third son of the Jewish priest Mattathias, who struck the first blow for religious liberty during the persecution under Antiochus IV.
At Modin, Mattathias, an aged priest, not only refused to offer the first sacrifice, but slew an apostate Jew who was about to step into the breach.
In view of the ruthless slaughter of a thousand sabbatarians in the wilderness, Mattathias and his friends decided to resist attack even on the sabbath.
In 166 Mattathias died, after charging his sons to give their lives for their ancestral faith, and nominating Judas Maccabaeus as their leader in the holy campaign.
All the sons of Mattathias had now died for the sake of " The Law "; and the result of their work, so valorously prosecuted for over thirty years, was a new-born enthusiasm in Israel for the ancestral faith.
ASSIDEANS (the Anglicized form, derived through the Greek, of the Hebrew Hasidim, " the pious"), the name of a party or sect which stood out against the Hellenization of the Jews in the 2nd century B.C. After the massacre of those who fled from the forces of Antiochus Epiphanes and would not resist on the sabbath, Mattathias (or Judas) decided to set aside the law and was joined by a company of Assideans, brave men of Israel every one, who offered themselves willingly for the law (1 Macc. ii.
The rewards to which the dying Mattathias points his sons are all for this life.