Of the many kings who bore this name. Anti ochus, called Epiphanes, has the chief claim on our attention in a Biblical Cyclopzedia. since in the Books of Maccabees and in the prophecies of Daniel his person is so prominent. Nevertheless, it will be our business to forth, not that which readers of the Bible can gather for themselves, but such preliminary and collateral information as will tend to throw light on the position of the Jews towards the Syrian monarchy.
The name Antiochus may be interpreted he who withstands, or lasts out; and denotes mili tary prowess, as do many other of the Greek names.
(1) Antiochus I. The first Seleucus, father of Antiochus 1, built a prodigious number of cities with Greek institutions, not, like Alex ander. from military or commercial policy. hut to gratify ostentation, or his love for Greece. This love, indeed, led him to fix his capi tal, not at Babylon, where Alexander would have placed it, but in the north of Syria (see Asitoon), and in extreme old age his life fell a sacrifice to his romantic passion for revisiting his native Mace donia.
Scarcely, indeed, had the second of the line, Antiochus I, begun to reign (B. C. 28o) when four sovereigns in Asia Minor established their com plete independence the kings of Pontus, Bithy nia, Cappadocia and Pergainus. Then the Gauls, that had ravaged Greece, Macedon and Thrace, invaded Asia Minor, killed him, and established them-elves in Galatia.
(2) Antioehus II (Theos). In the next reign, that of Antiochus 11, Theos, the revolt of the Parthians under Arsaces (B. C. 25o) was fol lowed speedily by that of the distant province of Bactriana. For thirty years together the Par thians continued to grow at the expense of the Syrian monarchy. 'Ibis king was followed by Seleuen, 11, Callinicus, 247-226 B. C., who was beset by rebellion and wars with Egypt and l'ar thia. The next, Seleucus iIi, Ceraunus, a youth, was murdered in 223. and his brother, the great Antiochus III, followed.
(3) Antiochus III (tho Great). Through the great revolution of Asia the Hebrews of Pales tine were now placed nearly on the frontier of two mighty monarchies, and it would seem that the rival powers bid against one another f it their good will—so great were the benefits showered upon them by the second Ptolemy. Even when a war broke out for the possession of Curle-Syria, under Antiochus the Great and the fourth Ptol emy (It. C. 218, 2171, though the people of Judea, as part of the battlefield and contested possession, were exposed to severe suffering, it was not the worse for their ultimate prospects, for Antiochus, when left ma ter of southern Syria (B. C. tog), took occasion to heap on the Jews and Jerusalem new honors and exemptions (Joseph. .1,04 xii: 3, 3). In short, in days in which no station of those parts could hope for pol.tical independence, there was none which seemed so likely as the 1 lebrew nation to enjoy an honorable social and religious liberty. 'I he go at Aninochus pa sed a
life of war (B. C. 223-187). In his youth he had to contend against his revolted satrap of Media and afterwards against his kinsman Acheus, in Asia Minor. We have already noticed his strug gles in Cede-Syria against the Ptolemies. Be sides this, he was seven years engaged in suc cessful campaign, against the Parthian, and the king of Baetriana, and, finally, met unexpected and staggering reverses in war with the Romans, so that his last days were inglorious and his re sources thoroughly broken. The Syrian empire, as left by the Great to his son, was weaker than that which the first Seleneus founded. Respecting the reign of this son. Seleuens IV (Philnpator), B. C 187 .17b. we know little, ex cept that he left his kingdom inbut-ry to the Romans (Livy, xiii:6). In Dan. x1:20 he is named a raiser of taxes, which shows what was the chief direction of policy in his reign.
(4) Antioehus IV (Epiphanes). Seleuens IV having been assassinated by one of his courtiers. his brother Antiochus Epiphanes hastened to oc cupy the vacant throne, although the natural heir, Demetrius, son of Seleucus, was alive, but a hostage at Rome. In Dan. xi:21, it is indicated that he gained the kingdom by flatteries; and there can be no doubt that a most lavish bribery was his chief instrument. According to the description in Liyy (xlii2o), the magnificence of his largesses had almost the appearance of insanity. Antiochus, apprehending that the Jews would never he con stant in obedience to him, unless he obliged them to change their religion, and to embrace that of the Greeks, issued an edict, enjoining them to conform to the laws of other nations, and forbid ding their usual sacrifices in the temple, their fes tivals and their sabbath. The statue of Jupiter Olympus was placed on the altar of the temple. Many corrupt Jews complied with these orders, but others opposed them. NIattatbias and his sons retired to the mountains, and old F.leazar and the seven brethren, Maccabees, suffered death with great courage at Antioch (2. Mace.. vii). After the death of Mattathas, Judas Maceabxus put himself at the head of those Jews who con tinued faithful, and opposed with success the generals who were sent against him. Finding his treasures exhausted, Antiochus went into Per sia to levy tributes. When he arrived at Ec batana he received news of the defeat of Nicanor and Timotheus, and that Judas Maccatorus had retaken the temple of Jerusalem and restored the worship of the Lord. On receiving this intelli gence, transported with indignation, he com manded the driver of his chariot to urge the horses forward, threatening to make Jerusalem a grave for the Jews. Ile fell from his chariot, however, and died, overwhelmed with pain and grief.