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lingness corresponded with his desire, for no sooner did his kindness present a happy home for them in their native land, than innumerable families of the Jews repaired from Syria to Judea.* Of these returning exiles, some were the children or grandchildren of those whom, ninety-four years previous, Seleucus had settled in his Syro-Grecian cities, while others were those or the progeny of those who, many years back, had fled for safety into Syria, as noticed above. But all, from their long and familiar intercourse with the Greeks, would not fail to spread far and wide a knowledge of the Greek language in the country of their Hebrew forefathers. They introduced, for instance, the epoch of the Greeks called the era of the Seleucidæ, which came in consequence to be universally adopted in the calculation of years, tables, and histories. The later Rabbins call it n10 -he era of contracts.f In addition, they brought in other observances and malpractices of the Greeks, such as the idolatrous Olympian and Isthmian games, together with the infamous naidepuoria as the author of the Second Book of Maccabees informs us.
After naming the institution by Jason of Gymnasia and Ephebia in Judea, which I shall enlarge upon in the next section, he thus proceeds: Ην δ' ούτως ακμή τις Ελληνισμού, και πρόσβασης αλλοφυλισμού. .
The vulgate Latin rather expounds than translates it: “Erat autem hoc non initium, sed incrementum quoddam, et profectus gentilis, et alienigenæ conversationis propter impii Jasonis nefarium et inauditum scelus.” § 5. Jason endeavours to seduce the Jews into an adoption of
Grecian manners. In the year 177 before Christ, and the 120th year of the Greeks, after the death of Antiochus and his successor, Seleucus, Antiochus Epiphanes came to the throne in the pontificate of Onias JII. But Jesus, the brother of Onias, coveting the office, went to the new king and purchased the high-priesthood
* Josephus, lib. 12 Antiq. c. 3, p. 598.
+ Vide Joan. Mayerum de Temporibus sacris, par. 1, cap. 7, apud Ugolinum tom. i. qui putat perdurasse usque ad Mosis Bar-Maimonis ætatem, ejusve vitæ finem, qui mortuus censetur an. Christi 1201.
# Lib. 2 Mach. cap. 4, v. 13.
for a large sum of money. He obtained at the same time liberty to establish a gymnasium and school for youth (epheborum ludum) at Jerusalem, and procured for the Jewish people at large enrollment as citizens of Antioch. Returning to the capital of Judea, and assuming the pontificate, he sought, by all possible means, to withdraw the people from the customs of their forefathers, and to lead them into conformity with those of the Greeks. To aid bim in this measure, he brought back a great multitude of persons along with him from Syria. The first step he took was to have the citizens called men of Antioch. Next, at the foot of Mount Zion he erected a gymnasium in which naked Jews wrestled and played after the Greek fashion. In fine, he established a brothel for the gratification of unnatural lust. Thus the Jews began to desert the laws of their fathers, to imbibe new habits, to imitate the Grecian games and worship, and to seek to rival each other in devotion to these pursuits. The testimony of the Second Book of Maccabees is painfully express upon this point:
“That the priests bad no courage to serve any more at the altar, but despising the temple and neglecting the sacrifices, hastened to be partakers of the unlawful allowance in the place of exercise, after the game of Discus called them forth; not setting by the honors of their fathers, but liking the glory of the Grecians best of all. By reason whereof sore calamity came upon them: for they had them to be their enemies and avengers, whose custom they followed so earnestly, and unto whom they desired to be like in all things. For it is not a light thing to do wickedly against the laws of God: but the time following shall declare these things.
Nay, so far did this Philhellenism (pidena.nuouos), go, that the Jews devised means to correct the effect of their circumcision, that they might not be distinguished when naked from the Greeks. By certain artificial contrivances they obliterated the traces of this national badge, contrivances unknown to Hippocrates and the art of medicine. Now, from all these cir
* Lib. 2 Mach. cap. 4, v. 14 ad 17. + Lib. 1 Mach. cap. 1, v. 15.
| Hippocrates, sect. 6, aphoris. 19. At contraria docuerunt Celsus, lib. 7, cap. 25; Galenus, lib. 14, Methodi, cap. 16; Paulus Ægineta, lib. 6, cap. 53.
cumstances combined, it may be easily conceived how widely the Greek language must then have prevailed in Judea. Greek names, too, were generally affected, as, for instance, in the case of the high priest bimself, whose proper name was 9709_Jesus. This he changed into Jason, ('ldgova vocari voluit.) 6. The progress of Hellenism under the pontificate of Me
nelaus. After an interval of three years from the occupation of the pontifical throne by Jason, he resolved to send Onias, brother of the presect of the temple, to Antiochus with the stipulated price of his priestly office, and with tidings of the state of Judea. This Onias, a greater villain than Jason himself, presented the money in his own name, not in that of his employer, added to the sum three hundred talents more, and obtained the office of the high-priesthood for himself.* On his return to Judea, a struggle naturally ensued between the actual holder and the claimer of the office
“the crowd, meanwhile, Poised by conflicting claims, knows not to choose." The sons of Tobias stood by Onias, but the greater part of the people sided with Jason. Onias and his friends thereupon retire to Antiochus, as Josephus gives it, and profess their earnest desire to forsake every thing Jewish, and wholly adopt a Greek form of government and all social usages besides. To a Philhellenic king (quéna.nui) such a declaration was beyond measure agreeable. In order to sustain those who made it, he despatches into Judea a large force to assist them in upsetting the faction and influence of Jason. The high priest retires before them and flies to Ammonitis. When Onias had thus secured the object of his ambition, the most important duty demanding his care was the fulfilment of his Græcising profession to the king. In carrying it out into operation, a mighty impulse was given to the already widely prevalent Hellenism. He, too, changed his name, like his predecessor, calling himself Menelaus instead of the Hebrew Onias.
* Lib. 2 Mach. cap. 4, v. 23 et seq.
§ 7. Antiochus Epiphanes endeavors to establish Hellenism
in Judea. But these facts are of little moment, compared with those now to be noticed, of which Antiochus Epiphanes was the author in Judea. We must, however, premise a word or two about his character. He was of a fierce and savage disposition, incredibly insolent and proud, and persevering above conception in every thing which he undertook-(supra modum pertinax.) So frantic, however, and wild was he in his proceedings, that Polybius the grave historian calls him 'Eruary mad, not ’Erigavís illustrious.* He was wonderfully addicted to Greek habits. Thus, after he came to the throne of Syria, there was nothing which so occupied his thoughts as the scheme for turning the Jews into Greeks, (ut Judæos Græcos redderet,) by forcing the Greek language no less than the Greek laws upon them. Polybiust and Tacitus, the heathen authors, affirm the fact; the latter says: Antiochus demere superstitionem, et mores Græcorum dare adnixus, quominus teterrimam gentem in melius commutaret.” I Therefore labor, threat, punishment, reward, or stratagem, any and every art by which he hoped to gain his end, the propagation of Hellenism, he spared not, as I shall presently show.
In the year 171 A. C., and in the fifth year of his reign, Antiochus visited Jerusalem with a large arıny, on his return fron Alexandria. There, according to the testimony of Sulpicius Sererus,ll he found great diversity of practice among the Jews with regard to the Grecian rites, and regulated his conduct accordingly; visiting with extraordinary favor those who faithfully observed them, whilst those who were tenacious of Judaism he gave to death. In the period of three days, therefore, Jerusalem mourned the loss of eighty thousand souls, besides forty thousand imprisoned, and as many sold to slavery. After this, Antiochus went up into the temple with Menelaus, and offered sacrifice after the manner of the Greeks, and when he had taken eigiteen hundred talents from the sacred edifice, he returned to Antioch. I
Polybius apud Athenæum, lib. 5, cap. 3, p. 193.
Lib. 2 Mach. cap. 5, v. 14.
In the meantime, lest the Jews should prove unfaithful to this newly-adopted Hellenism, he placed garrisons of Grecian soldiers throughout the country. At Jerusalem he stationed Philip as prefect, at Gerizim Andronicus, over both of whom the enthusiastic Philhellenist (quéranya) Menelaus bad command. All this was done with a view to secure allegiance to the Greek language and usages on the part of the enthralled Jews, if not through good will, at least through the influence of fear.
§ 8. Jerusalem filled with Grecian settlers. Two years afterwards, Antiochus having heard that certain Jews had returned to their national observances, sent Apollonius, the chief collector of the tribute (tributorum præfectum)* into their territory with an army of twenty-two thousand Macedonian soldiers. When Apollonius had reached Judea, he kept himself quiet until the Sabbath day. No sooner did he perceive the citizens indulging in the rest of the day, than he burst into Jerusalem, traversed it with his troops, and whomsoever they found professing the Jewish religion was put to the sword without delay. He then set fire to the city and levelled its walls to the ground. When these cruel deeds were done, he caused a castle to be built on Mount Zion,t or the city of David, f according to Josephus, in which he stationed a garrison of Grecian troops, to overawe the inhabitants into conformity with the king's Philhellenizing propensities. This castle was called by the Greek name " Axoce, that is summit, as Josephus writes: Τούτο δε του άστεως το μέρος." Ακρα κέκληται. Now the number of the Greek garrison stationed there greatly exceeded the number of the citizens, for, in the language of the First Book of Maccabees, “Jerusalem was made the habitation of strangers." This easily accounts for the incapacity of the Maccabean princes to throw off the incumbrance of a foreign yoke, as they strove to do again and again. Judas, for example, under Antiochus Epiphanes, and again under Eupator;** and Jonatban, after
* [* Αρχοντα φορολογίας. Εν.]
t lib. 1 Mach. cap. 1, v. 37 et seq., lib. 2, cap. 5, v. 24 et seq.
Joseph. lib. 12 Antiq. cap. v. § 4, p. 609.
Joseph. de Bello, lib. 1, cap. 1, § 4, p. 53. § Lib. 1 Mach. cap. 1, v. 40. 1 Lib. 1 Mach. cap. 1, v. 41. ** Ibid. cap. 6, v. 18 et seq.