Skip to main content

Bathyra, Sons of

BATHYRA, SONS OF

BATHYRA, SONS OF (according to tb; in tj known as "Elders of Bathyra"), members of a famous Jewish family who were prominent from the first century b.c.e. to the second century c.e. Some scholars conjecture that the family was named after the city of *Bathyra in northern Transjordan. It is inferred from talmudic sources that members of this family were the religious authorities of their time, but that when Hillel demonstrated his superior knowledge of Torah (on the question of whether the paschal offering overrides the Sabbath) "they set him at their head and appointed him nasi over them" (TJ, Kil. 9:4, 32b; Pes. 66a; bm 85a). As a result of this abdication they were regarded exemplars of humility; Judah ha-Nasi said of them "whatever I am bidden I am prepared to do except what the Elders of Bathyra did for my ancestor (Hillel), namely abdicating from their high office in order to elevate him" (tj, Ket. 12:3, 35a). The talmudic sources do not specify their names. According to the Jerusalem Talmud they were nesi'im. In other talmudic sources, while they were not specifically designated as such, it is implied that they held the patriarchate before Hillel was appointed. According to Halevy, the Sons of Bathyra carried out the functions of the patriarchate when the Sanhedrin was not functioning (possibly at the beginning of Herod's rule). Apparently members of this family exercised influence even after the destruction of the Temple, when the Sanhedrin was in Jabneh. Johanan b. Zakkai was said to have consulted the Sons of Bathyra in regard to certain legal rulings. A number of tannaim known by this patronymic, e.g., Judah b. Bathyra, Joshua b. Bathyra, and Simeon b. Bathyra, presumably belonged to this family.

bibliography:

Halevy, Dorot, 1 pt. 3 (1923), 36–89; 1 pt. 5 (1923), 190–9; Hyman, Toledot, 365ff.; Graetz, in: mgwj, 1 (1851), 115–20; Klausner, Bayit Sheni, 4 (19502), 56, 143; Neusner, Babylonia, 1 (1965), index, s.v.Bathyrans.

[Zvi Kaplan]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Bathyra, Sons of." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Encyclopedia.com. 15 Oct. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Bathyra, Sons of." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 15, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/bathyra-sons

"Bathyra, Sons of." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Retrieved October 15, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/bathyra-sons

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.