International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
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.
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.)
(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.
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.
(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).
(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).
(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).