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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


the followers of Zabathai Zevi (or Sabatai Sebi), a celebrated Jewish impostor, who appeared at Smyrna about 1666, and, pretending to be the Messiah, promised to deliver the Jews, and re-establish them in more than pristine glory. Multitudes of his nation were deceived by him, and many of his followers pretended to visions and prophetic ecstasies. At length, falling into the hands of the sultan, he ordered him to be placed as a mark for his archers, to prove whether he was vulnerable or not (as he pretended), to avoid which Zevi turned Mohammedan. (See MESSIAHS, FALSE).

His sect, however, survived, and there is said to be still a remnant of them at Saloniki, who, while they profess to be Mussulmans, observe the Jewish rites in secret, marry among themselves, and all live in the same quarter of the city, without communicating with the Turks, except in commerce, and in the mosques. Zevi, it seems, had also adherents among the Jews of England, Holland, Germany, and Poland, some of which have remained to our own time; and M. Gregoire mentions a musician of this sect who came to Paris so lately as in 1808. See Adams, Hist. of the Jews, pages 316, 528; Gregoire, Hist. 2:309-313. (See SABBATHAI).

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Zabathaites'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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