[es-een, e-seen] /ˈɛs in, ɛˈsin/

noun, Judaism.
a member of a Palestinian sect, characterized by asceticism, celibacy, and joint holding of property, that flourished from the 2nd century b.c. to the 2nd century a.d.
/ˈɛsiːn; ɛˈsiːn/
(Judaism) a member of an ascetic sect that flourished in Palestine from the second century bc to the second century ad, living in strictly organized communities

1550s, member of a Jewish sect (first recorded 2c. B.C.E.), from Latin, from Greek Essenoi, of disputed etymology, perhaps from Hebrew tzenum “the modest ones,” or Hebrew hashaim “the silent ones.” Klein suggests Syriac hasen, plural absolute state of hase “pious.”

a Jewish mystical sect somewhat resembling the Pharisees. They affected great purity. They originated about B.C. 100, and disappeared from history after the destruction of Jerusalem. They are not directly mentioned in Scripture, although they may be referred to in Matt. 19:11, 12, Col. 2:8, 18, 23.


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