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332−37 BCE

Ruler

Regnal
Year

BCE

Event

Alexander the Great (from his recognition in Babylonia) [331-323]

1st

331

 

 

 

323

Alexander dies in Babylon. Ptolemy, the later king of Egypt, transferred Alexander's body to Alexandria in Egypt where he entombed him.

   

323-301

These turbulent years included constant conflicts among Alexander's former generals ending in the parceling out of the Alexander's empire and the creation of the first Hellenistic kingdoms—Ptolemy Lagus, Alexander's half bother (Egypt and Palestine); Seleucus Nicator (Mesopotamia and Syria); Cassander (Macedonia and Greece); Antigonus (Asia Minor); and Lysimachus (Thrace).

 

 

312

At the battle of Gaza Seleucus I Nicator defeated Demetrius Poliorketes. The battle took place in the spring or summer. The exact date is unknown.

Jews and the Syrians began the Seleucidan Era with 1 SE in autumn 312, on October 24th (Frank 1956:30). Frank states: "The counting of years to this era was continued into the Middle Ages and is at present still done by the Yemenite Jews (and some Christian sects in Syria" (Frank 1956:77).

Seleucus I Nicator [311−280]

1st

311

 

       

Antiochus I Soter [280−261]

1st

280

 

Antiochus II Theos [261−246]

1st

261

 

Seleucus II Callinicus [246−225]

1st

246

 

Seleucus III Soter [225−223]

1st

225

 

Antiochus III Megas [the Great] [223−187]

1st

223

 
    217

In battle, Ptolemy IV, with a much smaller force, repels Antiochus III at Raphia (see Daniel 11:10).

    216-213

Antiochus III reconquers Sardis, and puts down the rebellion of his general, Achaeus.

    212-205

Antiochus' expedition to the east, in the spirit of Alexander the Great, whereon, after his conquests he becomes Antiochus III the Great.

      The Egyptian general Scopas invades Palestine (Josephus Antiquities 12§§131 et seq.; Polybius The Histories_16.39'1-2;  Porphyriu. Comments on the Book of Daniel FGrH (Fragments of the Greek Historians] 45; Jerome (Hieronymus) Chronological Tables_1814).
     

After the death of Ptolemy IV, and Ptolemy V is just 5 years old, Antiochus III invades with a larger, better-trained and better-equipped army.

Seleucus IV Philopator [187−175]

1st

187

 

    180

Simon the Benjamite, a traitorous official of the Temple, fell out with the High Priest Onias III. Unable to depose Onias, Simon falsely accused him of hoarding a large sum of money in the Temple treasury. According to 2 Maccabees 3-4 this Simon induced the king Seleucus IV Philopator, through his official Heliodorus, to undertake the plunder of the Temple treasury. The attempt was not successful. The Syrian court never forgave the high priest for its miscarriage.

Antiochus IV Epiphanes [175−164]

1st

175

Heliodorus murdered Seleucus IV Philopator, the brother of Antiochus Epiphanes, in a failed attempt to size the Syrian crown.

When Antiochus IV Epiphanes became king, Onias was obliged to yield to his own brother Jason (2 Maccabees 4.7). Jason, a.k.a. Yeshua (he changed his name, see Antiquities 12.5.1 §239), the brother of Onias III, bribed Antiochus IV to be appointed high priest at Jerusalem and arranged for the conversion of Jerusalem into a polis.

 

 

173

Antiochus IV visits Jerusalem amidst an enthusiastic welcome.

 

 

172

When the high priest Jason sent Menelaus to Antiochus on official business, Menelaus offered Antiochus IV a bribe higher than that of Jason in order to secure the priesthood for himself. Menelaus returned to Jerusalem and deposed Jason who fled for his life into Jordan.

 

 

171

Menelaus, who plundered gold vessels from the Temple, then arranged for the assignation of the deposed high priest Onias III, a "messiah" or an "anointed one" supposedly for resisting the Hellenization of Judea (beginning of the third phase, 7 years [171−164 BCE], of Daniel's Seventy Weeks Prophecy). Josephus says that as the son of Onias III was only an infant at the time of his father's death they gave the high priesthood to Jesus (Antiquities 12.5.1 §237). That is, it legitimately went to Jason at that point even with him in exile. Jason did not abandon his claims to the high-priesthood but awaited his chance to deal with Menelaus. According to 2 Maccabees, it was Menelaus who persuaded Antiochus to Hellenize the Jewish worship, and thereby brought about the uprising of the Judeans under the guidance of the Maccabees.

During the first years of the restoration of the Jewish worship Menelaus remained (though only nominally) high priest. He is said to have been put to death by Antiochus V Eupator when the latter made definite concessions to the Jews, the reason assigned being that Menelaus, by his evil counsel, was indirectly responsible for the Jewish rebellion.

    171

Josephus Antiquities 13.3.1-3 §§62-73; 20:10 §§235-237; Wars 7.10.2-4 §§420-436 [The Jewish Temple at Leontopolis in Egypt, authorized sometime after 171 BCE, destroyed ca. 73 CE]. Josephus refers to the Onias who built the Temple at Leontopolis [Onias IV] as "the son of Onias the high priest, who was of the same name as his father" (Antiquities 13.3.1 §62). The builder of the temple was a son of the murdered Onias III. If he was an infant in 171 BCE it would be years for him to have the maturity and support to petition Ptolemy VI. Ptolemy ruled until 145 so assuming Onias IV was in his middle 20s when he petitioned Ptolemy to build the temple at Leontopolis just before the latter's death.

 

 

169

When a false rumor arose that Antiochus had been killed in battle in Egypt, the High Priest Jason succeeded in making himself master of Jerusalem and in forcing Menelaus to seek refuge into the Citadel. Antiochus regarded this proceeding as an affront upon his majesty.

 

 

167

Compelled by the Romans to leave Egypt, an angry Antiochus sent his general Apollonius to Jerusalem with a large force to consolidate his control over Judea. Apollonius killed large numbers of Menelaus' opponents in a attack on Shabbat (Sabbath) and at Menelaus' invitation he looted the Temple. The Seleucids "built up the City of David with its high, massive wall and strong towers, and it became their Citadel" (1 Maccabees 1:31-33). In the Citadel (or Akra), Apollonius garrisoned a Seleucid military unit. The Akra and the Temple were so close that Aristeas could observe, from the Akra, the priests performing their ceremonial functions within the Temple precincts. The Akra "was the special protection of the temple and its founder had fortified it so strongly that it might efficiently protect it" (Thackeray 2003).

The Seleucids outlawed temple sacrifices, circumcision, Sabbath and festival observance, and the reading of the Scriptures. Antiochus IV instituted idolatrous pagan worship at the Temple and there converted the altar of burnt offering to an altar of sacrifice to Zeus. This "desolating sacrilege on the altar of burnt offering" (I Maccabees 1:54) identifies Antiochus' blasphemous sacrifices as the "abomination of desolation" prophesied in Daniel 11:31.

 

 

166

The Maccabean revolt began when Mattathias, an aged Jewish priest of the Hasmonean family who had taken refuge in the village of Modein about seventeen miles northwest of Jerusalem, refused to obey the order of Antiochus IV's envoy to sacrifice to the heathen gods, and instead slew the envoy and a Jew who was about to comply. He led his five sons into the hills where they organized bands of rebels for war against the Seleucids. After the slaughter of a thousand Jews on Sabbath by Antiochus' forces, Mattathias proclaims that battle on Shabbat is permissible and necessary in order to protect and save lives.

Before his death, Mattathias placed Judas in command of the army and instructed his sons to heed the wise counsel of their brother Simeon.

 

 

164

Judas Maccabeus gained control of Jerusalem (marking the end of Daniel's Seventy Weeks Prophecy). He destroyed the altar of Zeus but he could not dislodge the Seleucids from the Akra. He had the Temple purified and rededicated as best he could. He had the Altar of Burnt Offerings torn down and the old stones stored away. He then had a new Altar built in its place (I Maccabeus 4:42-50). The first call for celebration of greater Hanukkah on Kislev 25 (December 14) made by Judas Maccabeus upon the renewal of sacrificial services.

Antiochus V Eupator [163−162]

1st

163

Menelaus is said to have been put to death by Antiochus V Eupator when the latter made definite concessions to the Jews, the reason assigned being that Menelaus, by his evil counsel, was indirectly responsible for the Jewish rebellion.

Demetrius I Soter [162−150]

1st

162

Judas placed the Akra, where the garrison at the continued to harass those who guarded the Temple, under siege. He abandoned the effort when Antiochus V came against Judea with an army of 120,000. A Sabbatical year [163-162 BCE].

 

 

160

Judas Maccabeus killed in battle at Eleasa.

 

 

159

 

Jonathan [152−142]
(The Hasmoneans appear in blue to distinguish them from the Seleucids.)

1st

152

 

 

 

152

The Hasmoneans received official recognition when Alexander Balas, one of the Seleucid pretenders, made Jonathan [152-142], Judas' brother and successor, governor of the ethnos. His rival Demetrius appointed Jonathan high priest. On Sukkoth Jonathan wore the vestments for the first time.

Alexander Balas [150−145]

1st

150

Alexander defeated Demetrius and became the new Seleucid king. Jonathan made general and governor of Judea.

Demetrius II Nicator [145−140]

1st

145

Presumably ca. 145 Onias IV petitioned Ptolemy to build the temple at Leontopolis in Egypt just before the latter's death.

Antiochus VI Epiphanes [145−142]

1st

145

 

 

 

143

Jonathan taken prisoner by another pretender to the Seleucid throne.

Tryphon [142−138]

1st

142

Tryphon captures Jonathan at Ptolemais and has him put to death.

Simon the Hasmonean [142-134]

1st

142

Demetrius II, the new Seleucid king, appoints Simon the Hasmonean ruler of the ethnos and high priest.

 

 

142

Simon the Hasmonean defeated the Syrians holding the Akra and set about to destroy it (I Maccabees 13:49-51). Judea became independent of the Seleucids and free of pagan control.

The second call for dedication by Simon the Hasmonean who orders the razing of the old "Mount Zion" and the "Ophel" and the desolate remains of the Temple (which had been polluted by Antiochus Epiphanes and the high priest Alcimus) and the rebuilding of a new sanctified Temple in the same spot on the Ophel, but with the area more leveled and enlarged. Josephus records that the razing of the Akra and leveling the hill on which it stood took three years (Josephus, Ant. 13.6.7; Whiston 1957:390).

Antiochus VII Sidetes [138−129]

1st

138

 

 

 

135-134

A Sabbatical year [135-134 BCE] (Josephus, Ant. 13.8.1; Whiston 1957:392).

John Hyrcanus I [134-104]

1st

134

At a feast of the Jews, Simon murdered by his son-in-law Ptolemy (Josephus, Ant. 13.7.4; Whiston 1957:392).

Demetrius II Nicator [129−125] (restored)

1st

129

 

 

 

129

Samaritan temple on Mount Gerizim destroyed by John Hyrcanus.

Alexander Zebinas [128−122]

1st

128

 

Cleopatra Thea [126]

1st

126

 

Cleopatra Thea and Antiochus VIII Grypus [125−121]

1st

125

 

Seleucus V [125]

1st

125

 

 

 

124

The third and final call to mark the greater Hanukkah, during the reign of John Hyrcanus, celebrating the dedication of the completely renewed Temple (a brand new Temple).

Antiochus VIII Grypus [121−113, 111−96]

1st

121

 

Antiochus IX Cyzicenus [113−95]

1st

113

 

Aristobulus I [104-103]

1st

104

Aristobulus I took the title king replacing ethnarch.

Alexander Yannai (Jannaeus) [103-76]

1st

103

 

Seleucus VI Epiphanes Nicator [96−95]

1st

96

 

Demetrius III Philopator [95−88]

1st

95

 

Antiochus X Eusebes [95−83]

1st

95

 

Antiochus XI Philadelphus [94]

1st

94

 

Philip I Philadelphus [94−83]

1st

94

 

Antiochus XII Dionysus [87−84]

1st

87

 

Salome Alexandra [76-63]

1st

76

 

Antiochus XIII Asiaticus [69−64]

1st

69

 

Philip II [67−65]

1st

67

 

Aristobulus II [67-63]

1st

67

 

Hyrcanus II [63-40]

1st

63

Pompey invaded Jerusalem. The Roman takeover of Jerusalem ended Hasmonean rule. Pompey profanes the Hasmonean Temple and he is the first gentile to enter into the inner parts (Josephus, Ant. 14.4.4; Whiston 1957:414). Pompey ordered the cleansing of the Temple the next day after its desecration.

 

 

55

Licinius Crassus came to Jerusalem and took gold and monies from the Temple treasury.

Matthias Antigonus [40-370

1st

40


Page last edited: 04/09/11 10:56 AM


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