Organized Jewish group who attempted to win freedom from the Romans. The word in Greek is derived from the Latin term Sicarii, and literally means “dagger men.” Josephus described them as hiding small daggers in their clothing, which they used in crowded situations to kill their victims. “Sicarii” was used by the Romans to refer to those Jews who engaged in the organized killing of political figures. Perhaps this group should be associated with the Zealots of the New Testament (see Zealots). The Sicarii were often called robbers, and it is likely that the thieves crucified with Jesus were suspected of belonging to this group. In
Acts 21:38, Paul was mistaken as a leader of four thousand Sicarii. KJV calls them murderers; REB and TEV, terrorists.
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.
Butler, Trent C. Editor.. "Entry for 'ASSASSINS'". "Holman Bible Dictionary".