Pharisaic Judaism, put to the severest test to which a religious system has ever been subject, showed itself able to control and idealize life in all its phases.
The suppression of the Pharisaic ordinances and the punishment of those who observed them led to some disturbance.
All the Pharisaic ordinances which Hyrcanus had abolished were reaffirmed as binding.
It is reported by Josephus that, when Alexander Jannaeus, in the year 95 B.e., was acting as high-priest in the temple on the Feast of Tabernacles, instead of pouring the water libation on the altar, according to the Pharisaic custom, he poured it at his feet, giving rise to a riot in which 6000 men are said to have lost their lives (Ant.
The Maccabean dynasty had now reached the zenith of its prosperity, and in its reigning representative, who alone in the history of Judaism possessed the triple offices of prophet, priest and king, the Pharisaic party had come to recognize the actual Messiah.