NICANOR (Nuccipcdp). i. The Son of Patro clus' (2 Maccab. viii. 9), a general under Antiochus Epiphanes and Demetrius I., who took a pro minent part in the wars waged by the Syrians against the Jews, to whom he 'bore a deadly hate.' Under Antiochus, he had been master of the royal elephants (Aeocuircipxvs), but was appointed gov ernor of by Demetrius (2 Maccab. xiv. 12), whose trusted friend he was, and who had accom panied him when he escaped from Rome (Polyb. 3, 21 ; Joseph. Antiq. xii. 10. 4). Nicanor being one of the generals chosen by Lysias when he invaded Judea, B.C. 166 (1 Maccab. iii. 38), by the pro clamation of the sale of Jewish captives, at ninety for a talent, brought multitudes of slave-merchants to his camp (1 Maccab. iii. 41 ; 2 Maccab. viii. so, Is ; Joseph. Antig. xii. 7.3. 4). He was, however, most signally disappointed in his expectations; for, in common with his companions-in-arms, he suf fered a most disgraceful defeat from Judas Mac cabus, and was compelled to escape in the disguise of a slave to Antioch, where he declared that the Jews had God for their defender,' and that they were `invulnerable' 'because they fol lowed the laws appointed by Him.' Four years later, entrusted with a large army by Demetrius, he had orders 'not to spare' the nation of the Jews. According to 2 Maccab. xiv., he at first made peace with Judas Maccabteus, 'whom he loved from his heart ;' but, accused by Alcimus to Demetrius, he was compelled to break all his en gagements with the Maccabxan chief, and ordered to send him prisoner to Antioch. But, according to i Maccab. vii. 26-32, and Joseph. Antiq. xii. co. 4, Nicanor attempted, at first, by pretence of friend ship, to get Judas into his hands. Raphall unites both accounts, regarding the treachery of Nicanor as subsequent to the angry orders he received from Demetrius. Judas, however, discovered the trea chery in time, and escaped. Open hostilities im
mediately commenced, when Nicanor was defeated with the loss of 5000 men, and took refuge in the fortress which was in the city of David' Mac cab. vii. 3 r, 32; Joseph. Antiq. xii. la 4). Josephus, indeed, as the text now stands, represents Judas as sustaining a defeat, and fleeing to the citadel which was in Jerusalem.' But there is evidently an error in the text here, as it contradicts the con text, which shows that the citadel at Jerusalem was then in the hands of the Syrians.
Nicanor, on coming down from the citadel, and meeting the priests, blasphemed God, and threat ened to destroy their temple unless they delivered up Judas, a thing they could not do, even if they were disposed. Departing from Jerusalem, and joined by a fresh army out of Syria, be encamped at Beth-horon. Judas also pitched his camp at the village of Adasa, thirty furlongs off. At length they joined battle, when, Nicanor having fallen among the first, the Syrians were beaten, routed, and slaughtered in their flight. Finding Nicanor on the battle-field, the Jews cut off his head and his right arm, which he had stretched out so proudly,' and hung them up at Jerusalem. His tongue also they cut out and minced, and threw to the birds. The day of the victory, the 13th of Adar, being that before Mardocheus' day,' they set apart as a season of annual solemnity (B.C. 161) (r Maccab. vii. 43-49 ; 2 Maccab. xv. 26-36 ; Joseph. Antiq. xii. ro. 5; see also Winer's R. TV. ; Raphall's Post. Bib. Hist. of the yews, chaps. 4 and 6; Jahn's Heb. Commonwealth, secs. 96, 97, 98).
2. One of the seven first deacons, Acts vi. 5. Tradition represents him as having suffered martyr dom at the same time with Stephen. Dorotheus makes him one of the seventy disciples (Winer,