Hasmonean Revolt Against Seleucid Rule. We know little about life in Israel during the period of about 300 years between the time of the return from Babylon and the time of the taking over of the country by the Seleucids. We do know that religious observance was so important that they would not even defend themselves when attacked on the Sabbath (the weekly day of rest) so as not to desecrate it. The Seleucid rulers started a process of hellenisation. Among the Jewish leadership were those who served the Seleucid rulers by offering greater annual taxes for the sake of obtaining personal power. They collected them from the people. At the same time they weakened and opposed the influence of the Jewish religion so as to weaken the people. It was of course the people who suffered and who became more and more discontented.