Macarites is the name of a Jewish sect, whose, founder is believed to have been Benjamin Nahavendi (q.v.), a Karaite, who flourished about the opening of the 9th century. Their most peculiar doctrine was that God is too elevated to reveal himself directly to man, and that revelation was therefore made by messenger — an angel, a vice-god. If the Bible speaks of God's manifestation to man, it refers, they held, to the manifestation of the divine being in the person of his messenger who was the first being God created. This angel was the creator of the world, not God himself. (Quite like the evolution theory in our day, advocated by Mivart, who likewise holds that God was only indirectly the creator of the world.) In this and many other respects the Macarites much resemble the Mohammedan sect of Motazalites. See Furst, Gesch. d. Karaerthums, 2:26: sq.; Rule, Karaites, pages 105, 109; Gratz, Gesch. d. Juden,. 5:230 sq., 518 sq.

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