Smith's Bible DictionaryAntiochus
(an opponent), the name of a number of kings of Syria who lived during the interval between the Old and New Testaments, and had frequent connection with the Jews during that period. They are referred to in the Apocrypha especially in the books of the Maccabees.
International Standard Bible EncyclopediaANTIOCHUS
an-ti'-o-kus (Antiochos; A, Antimachos (1 Maccabees 12:16)): The father of Numenius, who in company with Antipater, son of Jason, was sent by Jonathan on an embassy to the Romans and Spartans to renew "the friendship" and "former confederacy" made by Judas (1 Maccabees 12:16; 14:22; Ant, XIII, vi; 8).
an-ti'-o-kus (Antiochos Soter, "savior"): born 323 B.C.; died 261, son of Seleucus Nicator. He fell in love with his stepmother, Stratonike, and became very ill. His father, when he discovered the cause of his son's illness, gave her to him in 293, and yielded to him the sovereignty over all the countries beyond the Euphrates, as well as the title of king. When Seleucus returned to Macedonia in 281, he was murdered by Ptolemeus Ceraunus. Antiochus thus became ruler of the whole Syrian kingdom. He waged war on Eumenes of Pergamum, but without success. For the victories of his elephant corps over the Gauls, who had settled in Asia Minor, he received the surname of Soter ("Deliverer"). It was in a battle with these inveterate foes of his country that he met his death (261 B.C.). See also SELEUCIDAE.
J. E. Harry
Surnamed Theos (Theos, "god"): Son and successor of Antiochus (261-246 B.C.). He made a successful war on Ptolemy Philadelphus of Egypt, but was obliged to buy peace in 250 by divorcing his wife, Laodice, and by marrying Ptolemy's daughter, Berenice. After the death of Ptolemy, "the king of the south" (Daniel 11:6) 248 B.C., he recalled Laodice and named her eldest son (Seleucus Kallinikos) as his successor to the throne; but Laodice (probably because she feared a second repudiation) had Berenice, her child, and Antiochus all murdered (246 B.C.). The Milesians gave him the surname of Theos in gratitude for his liberating them from the tyranny of Timarchus. (See Arrian, I, 17, 10, and 18, 2; Josephus, Ant, XII, iii, 2; Dittenberger, Sylloge Inscr. Graec, 166-71.)
J. E. Harry
(Megas, "The Great," mentioned in 1 Maccabees 1:10; 8:6-8): Son of Seleucus Kallinikos; succeeded to the throne of Syria in 222 B.C.; put to death his general, Hermeas, and then led an army against Egypt. Theodotus surrendered to him Tyre, Ptolemais and his naval fleet. Rhodes and Cyzicus, as well as Byzantium and Aetolia, desired peace, but Antiochus declined to accept their terms. He renewed the war, but was defeated at Raphia in 217, and was obliged to give up Phoenicia and Coelesyria; Seleucia, however, he retained. He undertook to bring under his sway again all the territory of the Far East. His expedition against Bactria and Parthia gained for him the surname of "The Great." In 209 he carried away the treasure of the goddess Aine in Ecbatana, defeated the Parthians, and in 208 marched against the Bactrians. Later he made a treaty with an Indian rajah, and then returned to the West by way of Arachosia and Carmania, forcing the Gerraean Arabs to furnish him with frankincense, myrrh and silver. Then he took Ephesus, which he made his headquarters. In 196 he had crossed the Hellespont and rebuilt Lysimachia. Hannibal visited Antiochus in Ephesus the next year and became one of the king's advisers. He sought the friendship also of Eumenes of Pergamum, but without success.
Rome now requested the king not to interfere in Europe, or to recognize the right of the Romans to protect the Greeks in Asia. A war broke out in 192, and Antiochus was persuaded to come to Greece. The Aetolians elected him their general, who asked the Acheans to remain neutral. But the patriotic Philopoemen decided that an alliance with Rome was to be preferred. Antiochus first captured Calchis; then succeeded in gaining a footing in Boeotia, and later made an effort to get possession of Thessaly, but retired on the approach of the Macedonian army. In 191 the Romans made a formal declaration of war on Antiochus, who, being at that time in Acarnania, returned to Calchis, and finally sailed back to Ephesus. The Romans regained possession of Boeotia, Euboea and Sestus; but Polyxenidas defeated the Roman fleet near Samos, which island, together with Cyme and Phocaea, fell into the hands of Antiochus. The victorious Polyxenidas, however, soon sustained a crushing defeat at the hands of the Romans, and Antiochus abandoned Lysimachia, leaving an open road to Asia to the Romans. He was finally defeated at Magnesia and sent word to Scipio, who was at Sardis, that he was willing to make peace; but Scipio ordered him to send envoys to Rome. A decision was reached in 189; the Asiatic monarch was obliged to renounce everything on the Roman side of the Taurus; give up all his ships of war but ten and pay 15,000 talents to Rome, and 500 to Eumenes. Antiochus marched against the revolted Armenians in 187. In order to replenish his exhausted treasury, he attempted to plunder a temple and both he and his soldiers were slain by the Elymeans.
LITERATURE. Polyb. v0.40.21; Livy xxxi0.14; xxxiii. 19; Josephus, Ant, XII; Heyden, Res ab Ant; Babelon, Rois de Syrie, 77-86; Daniel 11:10-19; Tetzlaff, De Antiochi III Magni rebus gestis (Munster, 1874).
J. E. Harry
ANTIOCHUS IV; ANTIOCHUS EPIPHANES
(Epiphanes, e-pif'-a-naz, "Illustrious"): Son of Antiochus III who became king after his brother, Seleucus IV, had been murdered by Heliodorus. As a boy Antiochus lived at Rome as a hostage. The Pergamene monarchs, Eumenes and Attalus, succeeded in placing upon the throne the brother of Seleucus, although Heliodorus had wished to ascend the throne himself. The young king was even more enterprising than his father. He was called in to settle a quarrel between Onias III and his brother, Jason, the leader of the Hellenizing faction in Jerusalem, and Onias was driven out (2 Maccabees 4:4-6). Jason became high priest in his stead (2 Maccabees 4:9-16; 1 Maccabees 1:10-15; Ant, XII, v, 1). Antiochus himself afterward visited Jerusalem and was signally honored (2 Maccabees 4:22). On the death of Ptolemy VI in 173, Antiochus laid claim to Coelesyria, Palestine and Phoenicia; whereupon war broke out between Syria and Egypt. In this war Antiochus was victorious. Ptolemy Philometor was taken prisoner, and Antiochus had himself crowned king of Egypt (171-167 B.C.) at Memphis; whereupon Alexandria revolted and chose Ptolemy's brother as their king. The Roman ambassador, Popilius Laenas, demanded the surrender of Egypt and the immediate withdrawal of its self-constituted king. Antiochus yielded; gave up Pelusium and withdrew his fleet from Cyprus, but retained Coelesyria, Palestine and Phoenicia.
While Antiochus was on a second campaign in Egypt, he heard of the siege of Jerusalem. He returned immediately, slew many thousands of the inhabitants and robbed the temple of its treasures (1 Maccabees 1:20-24; 2 Maccabees 5:11-21). By his prohibition of the Jewish worship and his introduction or substitution of the worship of the Olympian Zeus (1 Maccabees 1:54; 2 Maccabees 6:2; Ant, XII, v, 4) he brought about the insurrection of the Jews, under the Maccabees, upon whom he made an unsuccessful war in 167-164 B.C. After this war Antiochus retired to the eastern provinces and died, after having failed in an attack on the temple of the Sun in Elymais, in Persia. See also ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION; ANTIOCHIANS.
J. E. Harry
(Eupator, "Nobleborn"): Son and successor to Antiochus Epiphanes, ascended the throne as a mere boy (163-161 B.C.) under the guardianship of Lysias, who led an expedition to the relief of Jerusalem, which had been besieged by Judas Maccabeus (1 Maccabees 6:18-30; Ant, XII, ix, 4), who was defeated (1 Maccabees 6:42). Antiochus then besieged Jerusalem. Peace was finally concluded on the condition that the Jews should not be compelled to change any of their national customs (1 Maccabees 6:55-60; Ant, XII, ix, 7). Philip, the king's foster-brother (2 Maccabees 9:29), was defeated at Antioch, but soon afterward Lysias and Antiochus were themselves defeated by Demetrius Soter, son of Seleucus Philopator (1 Maccabees 7:4; 2 Maccabees 14:2; Ant, XII, x, 1; Polyb. xxxi0.19; Livy Epit. 46).
J. E. Harry
(Surnamed Theos (Theos), or, according to coins, Dionysus Epiphanes): Was the son of Alexander Balas, who claimed to be the son of Antiochus Epiphanes. Alexander left the throne to his son in 146 B.C. The young king retired to Arabia-perhaps through compulsion. The shrewd diplomatist and skillful general, Tryphon, succeeded first in winning over to his side the two leaders of the Jews, Jonathan and Simon, and then, by force of arms, in making the Syrians recognize his protege. As soon as the monarchy had been firmly established, Tryphon unmasked his projects: he had been ambitious only for himself; Antiochus had been only an instrument in his hands. In 143; after a reign of a little more than three years, Antiochus was assassinated by Tryphon, who ascended the throne himself (1 Maccabees 13:31; Ant, XIII, vii, 1; Livy Epit. 55).
J. E. Harry
(Surnamed Sidetes, Sidetes, after Sida in Pamphylia, where he was educated): Younger son of Demetrius Soter and brother of Demetrius Nicator, whose wife, Cleopatra, he married when Demetrius was taken prisoner by the Parthians. Antiochus overthrew the usurper, Tryphon, and ascended the throne himself and reigned from 139 to 130 B.C. He defeated John Maccabeus and besieged Jerusalem (Ant., XIII, viii, 2), but concluded a favorable peace (Ant., XIII, viii, 3) from fear of Rome. Later he waged war with the Parthians and was slain in battle (1 Maccabees 15:2-9, 28-31).
J. E. Harry
Easton's Bible Dictionary
The name of several Syrian kings from B.C. 280 to B.C. 65. The most notable of these were,
(1.) Antiochus the Great, who ascended the throne B.C. 223. He is regarded as the "king of the north" referred to in Dan. 11:13-19. He was succeeded (B.C. 187) by his son, Seleucus Philopater, spoken of by Daniel (11:20) as "a raiser of taxes", in the Revised Version, "one that shall cause an exactor to pass through the glory of the kingdom."
(2.) Antiochus IV., surnamed "Epiphanes" i.e., the Illustrious, succeeded his brother Seleucus (B.C. 175). His career and character are prophetically described by Daniel (11:21-32). He was a "vile person." In a spirit of revenge he organized an expedition against Jerusalem, which he destroyed, putting vast multitudes of its inhabitants to death in the most cruel manner. From this time the Jews began the great war of independence under their heroic Maccabean leaders with Marked success, defeating the armies of Antiochus that were sent against them. Enraged at this, Antiochus marched against them in person, threatening utterly to exterminate the nation; but on the way he was suddenly arrested by the hand of death (B.C. 164).