Jacob of Kefar Sakhnayya

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JACOB OF KEFAR SAKHNAYYA , Judeo-Christian disciple of *Jesus. It is related that Jacob once met *Eliezer b. Hyrcanus, to whom he reported that Jesus interpreted the verse "For of the hire of a harlot hath she gathered them and unto the hire of a harlot they shall return" (Micah 1:7), to mean that since the money originated in a place of filth, it could be applied to a place of filth; therefrom that, if the hire of a harlot had been consecrated, it could be applied to the erection of a privy for the high priest (Tosef., Ḥul. 2:24; Av. Zar. 17a; Eccles. R. 1:8, no. 3), despite the prohibition of Deuteronomy 23:19. There is no mention of such a view in Christian sources, but it is characteristic of the attitude of Jesus to fallen women (cf. Luke 7:36–50). In the family of Jesus and among his disciples there were several named Jacob, but it is not clear whether Jacob of Kefar Sakhnayya can be identified with any one of those mentioned in early Christian literature; in any case he is probably not to be identified with Jacob the brother of Jesus (as Klausner suggests). It is also unclear whether the same man is referred to in the following story (Tosef., Ḥul. 2:22–23; Av. Zar. 27b; tj, Shab. 14:4, 14d; tj, Av. Zar. 2:2, 40d): "It once happened that Eleazar b. Dama was bitten by a snake and Jacob of Kefar Sama (in tb, Sekhanya) came to cure him in the name of Jesus b. Pantirah, but R. Ishmael did not permit him to do so."


J. Klausner, Jesus of Nazareth, His Life, Times, and Teaching (1929), 38ff., 286; Rokeah, in: Tarbiz, 39 (1969/70), 9–15; R.T. Herford, Christianity in Talmud and Midrash (1903), 137ff.; H.J. Schonfield, History of Jewish Christianity (1936), 73–79.

[Moshe David Herr]