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brought up with him from his youth, and parted his kingdom among them while he was yet alive.
(7) “So Alexander reigned twelve years and then died. And his servants bare rule every one in his place. And after his death they all put crowns upon themselves, so did their sons after them many years, and evils were multiplied in the earth.
(10) “And there came out of them a wicked root, Antiochus, surnamed Epiphanes, son of Antiochus the king who had been an hostage at Rome, and he reigned in the hundred and thirty and seventh year of the kingdom of the Greeks.
(11) “And in those days went there out of Israel wicked men who persuaded many, saying, Let us go and make a covenant with the heathen that are round about us; for since we departed from them we have had much sorrow. So this device pleased them well. Then certain of the people were so forward herein, that they went to the king, who gave them licence to do after the ordinances of the heathen. Whereupon they built a place of exercise at Jerusalem according to the customs of the heathen, and made themselves uncircumcised and forsook the covenant and joined themselves to the heathen and were sold to do mischief."
From 2 Maccabees we fill in with more particularity : “Now when the Holy City was inhabited with all peace, and the laws were very well kept because of the godliness of Onias the High Priest and his hatred of wickedness, it came to pass that even the kings themselves did honour the place and magnify the Temple with their best gifts, Insomuch that Seleucus, king of Asia, of his own revenues bare all the costs belonging to the service of the sacrifices. But one Simon, of the tribe of Benjamin, who was made governor of the Temple, fell out with the High Priest about disorder in the city; And when he could not overcome Onias, he gat him to Apollonius, the son of Thraseas, who then was governor of Coelosyria and Phenice, and told him that the treasury in Jerusalem
the Temple, Iv; and po
was full of infinite sums of money, so that the multitude of their riches which did not pertain to the account of the sacrifices was innumerable, and that it was possible to bring all into the king's hand.”
In this probably he did not exaggerate. Probably, in addition to receiving deposits as a bank, then as later, it was the custom for every Jew, wherever domiciled, to send an annual contribution to the Temple, so that it became fabulously wealthy. For the moment the poisonous suggestion did not work, but it was to have evil results a little later. But these machinations of Simon were followed by the more deadly defection of Joshua, the brother of Onias, who took the name of Jason and tried to supplant him in his office. As soon as Antiochus Epiphanes took the throne, to the exclusion of the rightful heir, his nephew Demetrius, Jason immediately sought him, and by the promise of higher tribute secured the much-coveted high priesthood. He was leader of the extreme Hellenists, and with his accession the customs of the Greeks became established even to the giving up of the daily sacrifices in the Temple. Then Jason had occasion to send an embassy to the king, and he chose Menelaus, the brother of Simon, as his deputy. He so well used his opportunity and so ingratiated himself with the king—in particular by the promise of still more tribute that he got himself appointed High Priest instead of Jason. In power, and one of his first acts was to procure the murder of Onias. After a short while there were rumours of the death of Antiochus in Egypt; these coming to the ears of Jason, he raised a small army and deposed Menelaus and once more tried to become High Priest. But news of his rising reaching the king, he, greedy of treasure, chose to see in it a general revolt of the people. Thus in 2 Maccabees v. we read:
(11) “Whereupon, removing out of Egypt in a furious mind, he took the city by force of arms, and commanded his men of war not to spare such as they met and to slay such as went upon the houses. Thus there was killing of young and old, making away of men, women, and children, slaying of virgins and infants. And there were destroyed within the space of three whole days four score thousand whereof forty thousand were slain in the conflict, and no fewer sold than slain.”
Or as we also read in 1 Maccabees, ch. i.: " After that Antiochus had smitten Egypt he returned again in the hundred and forty and third year and went up against Israel and Jerusalem with a great multitude. And entered proudly into the sanctuary, and took away the golden altar and the candlestick of light and all the vessels thereof. And the table of the shewbread, and the pouring vessels, and the vials, and the censers of gold, and the veil and the crowns and the golden ornaments that were before the Temple, all of which he pulled off. He took also the silver and the gold and the precious vessels. Also he took the hidden treasures which he found. And when he had taken all away, he went into his own land, having made a great massacre and spoken very proudly. Therefore there was great mourning in Israel, in every place where they were ... the land also was moved for the inhabitants thereof, and all the house of Jacob was covered with confusion.” No doubt it was a horrible episode. And it was followed by two years of appalling tyranny. To overawe the people he built a tower or citadel, frowning over the city, which he filled with his own soldiers and people. Its capture was to be almost the last act in the struggle for freedom which we have to relate. Then, further, he was determined to stamp out Judaism, and his minister Apollonius carried out his orders with no pretence of mercy.
(i. 60). "At which time, according to the commandment, they put to death certain women that had caused their children to be circumcised, and they hanged the infants about their necks, and rifled their houses, and slew them that had circumcised them.” And thus this pitiless rule continued (iii. 45): “Now Jerusalem
lay void as a wilderness, there was none of her children that went in and out, the sanctuary also was trodden down, and aliens kept the stronghold. The heathen had their habitation in that place; and joy was taken from Jacob, and the pipe with the harp ceased.” Thus persecution, pitiless and resolute, did its work, and as far as Jerusalem was concerned the faith of the Jew was dead. Jehovah was no more the God of the Temple. It was Jupiter Capitolinus who was now worshipped, and to him the king set up an altar on which he sacrificed the flesh of swine. Thus the abomination of desolation and the pollution was complete. But-deepest depth in that pollution—the leaders and the people took no unwilling part.
THE DECLINE OF HELLENISM.
38. And now no more “In Judah is God known," no more His name is great in Israel. But what God intends is, and what is God INTENDS. And no part of His purpose that His revelation should thus end; its preservation is one of the miracles of man's story. What if the higher criticism be undoubted? what if prophecies were invariably written after the event? what if the same human agency be found in these writings as in all writings? What all these facts, probably undoubted, when the message itself rings out its clarion note, and when nothing had now saved it but God's most undoubted will? By this miracle all other miracles are trifling and commonplace, miracles unworthy of a God of infinite power and majesty. Through the length and breadth of the land His revelation of Himself to the Jew is stamped out. Apollonius had done his part only too well, and he has nothing left but to congratulate himself on the thoroughness of his work. In Jerusalem is worship of his Jupiter Olympius, in Gerizim of his Jupiter “Defender of Strangers ”-no less a god would they put in the
latio done his palate himselforship of his Defender the
Temple of Jehovah, whether in Sion or Samaria-and for once, in a common degradation and adversity, we are to find the animosities of the past almost forgotten by these irreconcileable kinsmen.
Here again let us anticipate our story by giving a few of the material dates of the ensuing period.
167. Hellenism practically established in Judea;
Mattathias at Modin alone refuses to con-
had joined against him.
ceeded by Antiochus Eupator, his son, only nine. Lysias has charge of him, and renews
war against Judas and presses him closely. 163. Hearing that Philip, an officer of Antiochus,
claims regency, and is establishing himself in Antioch, makes hasty peace with Judas and appoints him governor. He defeats
Philip. 162. Demetrius, son of Seleucus, escapes from
Rome, raises an army, and captures both Lysias and the young king, and slays them both. The Hellenists of Judea make overtures to him, and war is renewed against
Judas. 161. Judas successful, makes an alliance with
Rome which is to be the basis of her future relations with the Jews. Judas killed at battle of Eleasa. His brother Jonathan
succeeds him. 153. The Romans support a puppet king, Alex
ander, son, or pretended son, of Antiochus