The passage clearly indicates that the yirei shamayim have been sympathetic to Judaism but have not yet been converted, since their conversion is to take place when the Messiah comes. That this conclusion is justified is apparent from the discussion which follows and which raises the question as to whether Antoninus was a proselyte or not. Those who say that he was point to the fact that he was seen walking on the Day of Atonement with a broken sandal (since it is prohibited to wear normal shoes on that day), whereupon we find the retort: “What can you deduce from that? Even fearers of Heaven (yirei shamayim) go out wearing such a sandal.” The implication is that such “sympathizers” are a degree away from complete conversion. There then follows a statement that no one who is uncircumcised may eat of the Paschal lamb, whereupon, according to one version, Antoninus proceeds to circumcise himself. The inevitable conclusion is that circumcision is what distinguishes the full proselyte from a mere “sympathizer.”