The Hasmonean Kings were a mix of pious, moral people as well as violent, agressive people.

The greatest in terms of power was Alexander Jannaeus (Yannai). He expanded the Jewish state until borders that included much of today’s Syria, Transjordan, Lebanon…

He served as the High Priest and as the King. The Rabbis objected to this concentration of power in one person, but Alexander did not listen. This instigated a Civil War.

At the same time, the Sadducees- a group of Jews who were assimilated and objected the authority of Rabbis and Oral Law. Alexander took the side of the Saduccees as a political counterweight.

At the end of his life, however, Alexander realized his mistake and changed paths. He famously said on his deathbed: “Be not frightened of the Rabbis, be not frightened of the Sadduccees, but be frightened of the hypocrites who behave in an immoral fashion and want to be rewarded as if they are the most pious people in the world.”

With the death of Alexander, the rule of Hasmonean Kings comes to an end.