Life At A Price: Masada!

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Religion and Spirituality  |  No Houses

Everything to be desired in this world comes at a price ... Sometimes that price is simply too high to live with ...


Life At A Price: Masada!


The Fortress at Masada Israel



Peace is ever so much better than war,

life is ever so much better than death,

yet a good death is ever so much better,

than a life wasted living dishonorably ...


Historical Informative Footnote:

“When you glance at it from the highway, Masada looks much like any other mountain in the Judean desert. Yet it was on these heights, and in the middle of this dreary landscape, that King Herod the Great erected a luxurious desert fortress. And it was here, as well, that a group of besieged and desperate Jews fought the Romans with inhuman valor, then placed their belongings in a corner, set each pile afire, and committed a well-publicized mass suicide …

… Well below the mountain are remains of eight Roman military camps. Following Herod’s death, a garrison remained to guard Masada. At the beginning of the Great Revolt (67-73 C.E.), in which the Jews of Israel rose up against the Romans, a band of daring rebels overcame the mountain’s guards and took over Masada. They were known as the Sicarii because of the dagger, called a sica, which they carried on their bodies.

After the fall of Jerusalem, and destruction of the Holy Temple in 70 C.E., hundreds of Jews joined the Sicarii on the mountaintop. These brave men, women, and children, dedicated to the eradication of pagan rule in the Land of Israel, are known as Zealots. Their harrowing tale has become an eternal symbol of the Jewish fight for freedom …

… In 73 C.E., after the Great Revolt had been savagely subdued, the Romans decided to put an end to the last pocket of resistance: the freedom fighters of Masada. For three years, the Zealots had managed to keep the Romans off the mountain. Now, however, nearly 10,000 troops tried starving the Jewish rebels — and when that didn’t work they utilized every conceivable kind of contemporary siege weapon in an effort to break through the seemingly impregnable fortress. Finally, they breached the wall ...

… The embankment, an earthen ramp, was apparently erected by thousands of Jewish slaves whom the Romans brought to Masada especially for this purpose. They were sure that the Zealots would hesitate to shoot at their brethren and, in fact, they were right.

When it became clear that the end was near, Zealot leader Elazar Ben-Yair called his people – 967 men, women, and children – together. He reminded them that they had long ago resolved to serve God only, and not the Romans nor any other master. He called upon them to die as free men and women, rather than face capture and slavery by the pagan conquerors.

His heartrending and moving speech persuaded the Zealots to commit suicide before the expected dawn attack by the Romans. They burned their belongings and their weapons, leaving food so that the Romans would know that they had died of their own free will and had not perished of hunger.

Lots were drawn and 10 men were chosen as executioners:  the rest lay side by side and bared their necks. At the end, one Zealot killed the other nine and then took his own life. It was the first day of Passover, the holiday in which the Jews celebrate their freedom from bondage”


th, 2013)

Written By Marvin Thomas Cox-Flynn

Copyright © 2013 Marvin Thomas Cox

DBA: Marvin Thomas Cox-Flynn

All Rights Reserved

Submitted: October 26, 2020

© Copyright 2020 Marvin Thomas Cox-Flynn. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:


Steven P. Pody

Been there, seen that. A nice tribute.

Wed, October 28th, 2020 3:44pm

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