Bible Encyclopedias

1911 Encyclopedia Britannica


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A Jewish scribe of the time of King Herod, whom tradition almost invariably couples with Hillel, with whom he stood in striking contrast, not merely in legal-religious decisions and discussions, but also in character and temperament. His motto (Aboth i. 15) reads: "Make thy study of the Thora a firmly established duty; say little and do much; and receive every man with friendly countenance." The last admonition is characteristic, as Shammai was choleric and brusque. The opposition between Shammai and Hillel was perpetuated by their respective schools, till, under Gamaliel II., the strife was decided at Jabneh in favour of the school of Hillel. (W. BA.)

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Bibliography Information
Chisholm, Hugh, General Editor. Entry for 'Shammai'. 1911 Encyclopedia Britanica. 1910.

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