ELEAZAR B. DINAI:
Leader of the Zealots (35-60,
The procurator Felix succeeded by cunning in capturing Eleazar and his band, sending him in chains to Rome (Josephus, "Ant." xx. 1, § 1; 6, § 1; 8, § 5; "B. J." ii. 12, § 4; 13, § 2).
Rabbinical sources also mention Eleazar. The Midrash to Cant. iii. 5 says that in the days of Amram and (Ben) Dinai the Jews prematurely attempted liberation. Mention is also made of a companion of Eleazar, Teḥina ben Perisha by name, probably the Alexander mentioned by Josephus. Through the example of these two men murders became so frequent that the sacrifice of atonement for an unknown murderer (Deut. xxi. 1-8) was abolished (Soṭah ix. 9; Tosef. xiv. 1; Bab. 47b; Yer. 24a; Sifre, Deut. 205). The wife of Eleazar b. Dinai is also mentioned (Ket. 27a).
- Grätz, Gesch. 4th ed., iii. 431, 436;
- Schürer, Gesch. 3d ed., i. 570;
- Büchler, Das Grosse Synedrion in Jerusalem, p. 143, Vienna, 1902.