Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Hebrew Name Matthew

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Matthew is another name whose popularity is based on Christianity but is actually the Greek form of a Hebrew name, Mattityahu. The name means “Gift of God.”

There is really only one famous Mattityahu in early Jewish tradition, and he is not in the Hebrew Bible. Rather, Mattityahu is the first hero in the story of Chanukah and the Maccabees. A High Priest, descended from the Hasmonean line, Mattityahu lived in the city of Modi’in with his five sons. Mattityahu started the rebellion against the Syrian-Greeks when he refused to sacrifice a pig to a Greek god and slew the Jew who volunteered to do so.

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  1. Thank you for telling us about the Matthew name thing.

    Oh yeah, talking Maccabees...

    In my university (I take Hebrew and Jewish history at the University of Cairo), we studied that the Maccbean revolution has failed in the end because the Jews took again the Greek philosophy and way of life again by their own choice.

    Is that true? or is it just they are trying to mislead us about the Jewish history? I always get very suspicious when I study Jewish history by non-Jews.

    Shalom vetodah.


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