Ruling After Alexander: Gone Bad

175 B.C.

Background.... 335 B.C.

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Phillip II of Macedon unified Greece for the first time. In 335 B.C. his son, Alexander (later known as Alexander the Great) took over his empire. Alexander wanted to be even more successful than his father. Along with ruling Greece, he conquered Egypt and the Persian Empire, the whole known world.
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323 B.C.

Death of Alexander the Macedonian

Alexander had reigned for 12 years when he died. Civil war broke out and the kingdom was divided:

  1. One ruler in Greece
  2. Ptolemies in Egypt
  3. Seleucids in the Persian Empire (Palestine was under the Ptolemies at first, but the Seleucids conquered it)

September, 175 B.C.

Antiochus IV Seizes the Seleucid Throne

The kingdom was peaceful until Antiochus IV rose to power. He wanted the whole kingdom to be Greek and to worship the Greek's religion. He forced Hellenization onto the people and many didn't willingly switch to the new way of life.

Antiochus's Kingdom

When the Seleucid kingdom became strong enough, he invaded Egypt and started a war with Ptolemy (the King of Egypt). Ptolemy fled for his life and Antiochus took over and ransacked Egypt.

Selling Power

Under Antiochus, the high priests were the rulers of the people. But he gave the positions to the people who paid the most, not to who really deserved them.

Since the high priesthood was in the hands of rich Hellenists, it was easy for the Jewish people to adopt Greek customs and to forget their religion. Soon, even the faithful priests joined in the Hellenistic culture.

Antiochus Rededicates the Temples

Antiochus turned the Temple in Jerusalem into a temple worshiping Zeus and turned various temples across the land to temples worshiping the Greek gods.

Hellenism was Worse than They Thought

Along with rededicating the temples, Antiochus introduced a new way of worshiping that the Jews didn't agree with. Anyone who openly practiced Judiasm was in danger of losing their life. Antiochus forced them to take part in the pagan rituals and forced them to go against the dietary restrictions put in place by their religion.

Jewish people STAY STRONG

Even through the treat of torture and death, many Jewish people defied Antiochus and stayed faithful. He murdered mothers who had their children circumcised and killed the people who refused to eat the unclean meats.

The Final Straw

In 169 BC, Antiochus returned to Jerusalem and pillaged the temple. He took all of the valuables and money to pay soldiers. He desecrated the temple; filled it with immoral women and offered unclean sacrifices.

they have had enough

With all the wrongs of Antiochus IV, it was only a matter of time before a brave group stood up to him. Mattathias and his 5 sons withdrew into the forest and organized the revolt.

They never thought that the resistance would be successful but it was better to die than be unfaithful to God. Against all odds, they were successful. Within 3 years, faithful Jews were able to take back and rededicate the Temple.


Tells how the Maccabean Revolt is realted to Hanukkah