Second Temple Judaism: A Brief
Babylon and North Syria
West, i.e. Macedonia
South Syria and Egypt
Thrace and West Asia
2.2. The Ptolemaic Dynasty [323-198 BCE]
323-285 Ptolemy I Soter rules first as satrap of Egypt and then as king (Dan.11:5).
285-247 Ptolemy II Philadelphus
280 Two powerful families emerge to control the middle east:
252 Berenice, daughter of Ptolemy II, marries Antiochus II, to seal a political alliance, but she and her son are murdered by Laodice, other wife of Antiochus (Dan.11:6)
247-221Ptolemy III Euergetes I
246 Ptolemy invades Syria to avenge the death of his sister Berenice and her son (Dan.11:7-8).
240 Peace settlement.
221-203Ptolemy IV Philopator
See the legends recorded in 3 Maccabees (generally dated to 1st c.BCE).
203-181Ptolemy V Epiphanes becomes king at age 5.
198 His forces lose the battle of Panion to the Seleucids.
2.3. The Seleucidic Dynasty [198-167 BCE]
305-281 Seleucus I Nicator
281-261 Antiochus I Soter
261-247 Antiochus II Theos
252 Ant. marries Berenice, daughter of Ptolemy II, to seal a political alliance. Laodice, his first wife, has her assassinated (Dan.11:6).
247-226 Seleucus II Callinicus (son of Laodice)
226-223 Seleucus III Soter Ceraunos
223-187 Antiochus III the Great
219-217 Antiochus attempts to acquire Phoenicia and Palestine, but is defeated by Ptolemy IV at Raphia, near Gaza (Dan.11:10-12; cf. 3 Macc.1:1-5).
198 Antiochus defeats Ptolemy's general Scopas at the battle of Panion. Phoenicia and Palestine (Dan.11:13-17) come under Seleucid control.
219-196 (cf. Sirach 50:1-21).
190 Antiochus is defeated by the Romans at Magnesia.
187 Antiochus dies while attempting to loot a temple of Bel (to raise money to pay off Rome).
187-175 Seleucus IV sends his son Demetrius to Rome in exchange for his younger brother, Antiochus (IV).
175-163 Antiochus IV Epiphanes [Theos Epiphanes = God (i.e. Zeus) manifest]
175 Antiochus IV Epiphanes seizes power from Seleucus IV, his brother.
1. House of Tobiah - tend to be pro-Ptolemies
2. House of Onias - tend to be pro-Seleucids [Onias (Gk) = Honi / Johanan (Heb) = John]
- Antiochus installs Jason, brother of Onias III, who accelerated Hellenization in Palestine.
- See 2 Macc.4:7-22 on Jason's attempt to make Jerusalem a Greek polis.
- From now on, and even with the Romans, the office of high priest becomes a political appointment.
- Antiochus installs Menelaus, one who had no qualifications to be high priest. He is rejected by the people for his non-priestly lineage.
- Menelaus retains power by force (see 2 Macc.4:32-50).
170/169Antiochus attacks Egypt but fails to conquer Alexandria.
168 Antiochus attacks Egypt again but is challenged and humiliated there by Roman envoys who enforce a treaty between Egypt and Rome.
167 Antiochus issues a decree abolishing Jewish religion.
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