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Morrish Bible Dictionary
A Jewish sect in existence when the Lord was on earth, and whose principles in some respects resembled the more recent monasticism. They enjoined celibacy, isolation, ceremonial ablutions, and abstinence from animal food. The worshipping of angels was part of their profession. They neglected sacrifices and the temple service, but had priests of their own. They are not mentioned by name in the N.T., but may be alluded to in Colossians 2:18,23; and it is to be remarked that two of the tenets, celibacy and abstaining from animal food, are specially condemned in 1 Timothy 4:3 , which things are being revived in the present day by Theosophists and Spiritualists.
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Morrish, George. Entry for 'Essenes'. Morrish Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/mbd/e/essenes.html. 1897.