* * * * *
THE GREEK AND MACCABEAN AGE
Section CIV. The Jews under their Greek rulers
[Sidenote: 1 Mac. 1:1-4] Now after Alexander the Macedonian, the son of Philip, who came from the land of the Greeks, had smitten Darius king of the Persians and Medes, he reigned in his place as the first ruler of the Syrian kingdom.
He fought many battles,
And won many strongholds,
And slew the kings of the earth;
He went on to the ends of the earth;
And took spoils from a multitude of nations.
And when the earth was at peace before him,
He was exalted and his heart was lifted up;
He gathered an exceedingly great army,
And ruled over countries and peoples and principalities;
And they became tributary to him.
[Sidenote: Jos. Ant. XI, 8:7a, c] Now when Alexander was dead, the government was divided among his successors. It was about this time that Jaddua the high priest died and Onias, his son, took the high priesthood.
[Sidenote: Jos. Ant. XII, 1:1b-d] Alexander’s empire was divided among many: Antigonus gained possession of the province of Asia; Seleucus of Babylon and the surrounding nations; Lysimachus governed the Hellespont, and Cassander held Macedonia; Ptolemy, The son of Lagus, got Egypt. While these princes ambitiously contended with one another, each for his own kingdom, there were continual and protracted wars. And the cities suffered and lost many of their inhabitants in these days of distress, so that all Syria experienced at the hands of Ptolemy, the son of Lagus, the opposite of what is implied by his title of saviour. He also captured Jerusalem by means of deceit and treachery; for, coming into the city on a sabbath day, as if to offer sacrifices, he without difficulty gained possession of the city, since the Jews did not oppose him, for they did not suspect him to be their enemy, and that day they always spent in rest and quietness. And when he had gained possession of it, he ruled over it in a cruel manner.