Jacob ben Sosas

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JACOB BEN SOSAS , one of the four commanders of the Idumean forces during the Jewish War (66–70/73 c.e.) who played a prominent role in the internecine struggle in Jerusalem. The other Idumean commanders were Jacob's brother John, Simeon b. Cathlas, and Phinehas b. Clusoth. Jacob may have been a member of one of the Jewish families living in Idumea, the "Jews of the south" (Klausner). He opened up Idumea to Simeon Bar Giora when sent by his countrymen to reconnoiter the strength of the latter's forces, so that Simeon was able to march into the country without bloodshed. In the defense of Jerusalem Jacob was one of the ten chiefs of the 5,000 Idumean warriors who joined forces with Simeon Bar Giora. He distinguished himself in various battles during the siege of Jerusalem. When the Idumean defenders of Jerusalem deliberated surrender after the fall of the Temple, Jacob, together with the other Idumean chiefs, was arrested by Simeon Bar Giora. Nothing else is known about him.


Jos., Wars, 4:235, 521ff.; 5:249; 6:92, 148, 380; Klausner, Bayit Sheni, 5 (19512), 212, 231, 239.

[Edna Elazary]

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Jacob ben Sosas

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