residing in or near Jerusalem, there were many different 'lay' functionaries associated with the temple and its daily rituals, requiring thereby a variety of specialisations: woodcutters, incense makers, market inspectors, money changers, water carriers, providers of doves and other sacrificial animals and the like. Many of these professions were looked down upon by the elites, due to suspicion with regard to the observance of purity regulations, several featuring in various lists of trades viewed as despicable in rabbinic literature.34 This form of social segregation meant that Jerusalem had more than the usual share of urban poor. Thus, despite all its obvious advantages, the economy ofJerusalem was out of balance. The wealth of the temple itself was non-productive, and its benefits did not flow back into the country. Those who stood to gain most from the temple system, the aristocratic priestly families, were its immediate guardians who jealously sought to protect their privileged status (AJ 15.247-8). In contravention of the biblical ideal that the tribe of Levi should have no share in the land, the best plots in the Judaean countryside were in the hands of the priests or their wealthy (Sadducean) supporters (BJ 6.115).35 Yet, an attempt was made to conceal this anomalous situation by claims of religious loyalty, as is evident from Josephus' own posturing in Galilee, while freely admitting that he owned lands adjacent to Jerusalem (Vit. 63.80, 63.348, 63.442).
It is not surprising, then, that the first century saw an increase in social turmoil in the Judaean countryside: banditry, prophetic movements ofprotest and various religious ideologies which can be directly related to prevailing conditions. Thus the Essenes' practice of a common life in the Judaean desert away from the city, as well as the Pharisees' espousal of a modest lifestyle (AJ 18.12 and 18.18) represent classic counter-cultural responses to the prevailing aristocratic ethos, treating poverty as an ideal rather than shameful. A similar stance seems to have been adopted by the Jesus movement both in its Galilean and later, Jerusalem, forms, as we can infer from the earliest strata of the gospels as well as from Acts of the Apostles (Acts 2:44-7, 4:32-5). However, it is in the various revolutionary groups and their strategies that one can best judge the resentment felt towards the native aristocracy. The refusal to pay the tribute, the cessation of 'the loyal sacrifice' on behalf of Rome, the burning of the debt records and the election by lot of a 'rude peasant' to replace the aristocratic Ananus as high priest (BJ 2.404, 2.409, 2.427, 4.151) were all acts prompted as much by resentment of the native aristocracy as by hatred of the Roman presence.36 The comment of Josephus on these events - himself a member
34 Jeremías, Jerusalem, 303-17.
35 Stern, 'Aspects of Jewish society'.
36 Goodman, Ruling class of Judaea, 152-97.
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