“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent
unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth
her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!”
- Matthew 23:37


Jerusalem and The City Quarters
The walled city of Jerusalem in 30 A.D. was approximately 300 acres. In illustration above, the area outlined in yellow is called the “Upper City.” The area outlined in blue is called the “Lower City.” The area outlined in red is called the “Essene Quarter.” The Sadducees occupied the Upper City; they only recognized the written law and refused to believe in the resurrection of the body (Matthew 22:23).

Many Pharisees lived in the Lower City. Their party was derived from the Scribes, the Sadducees from the Priests. The characteristic feature of the Pharisees was their legal tendency; the distinguishing feature of the Sadducees was their social position. Pharisees avoide contact with non-Pharisees. This is exemplified in Luke 5:27-32, where the Pharisees find fault with Yeshua freely interacting with “tax collectors and sinners.”

The Essene Quarter (Lower City) was given to the Essenes by Herod as a gesture of good will following their support of his rulership. The Essenes were an ascetic community of men that held the traditional Jewish world view, which held an absolute belief in providence. This view was in common with the Pharisees. The Essenes were more pious than the Pharisees. Their main colonies were near the northern end of the Dead Sea. The most famous work attributed to them was the Dead Sea Scrolls. Some have suggested that Yeshua may have been an Essene; others say that He only had interaction with the Essenes.