Antiochus

the name of several Syrian kings from B.C. 280 to B.C. 65. The most notable of these were, (1.) Antiochus the Great, who ascended the throne B.C. 223. He is regarded as the "king of the north" referred to in Dan. 11:13-19. He was succeeded (B.C. 187) by his son, Seleucus Philopater, spoken of by Daniel (11:20) as "a raiser of taxes", in the Revised Version, "one that shall cause an exactor to pass through the glory of the kingdom."

(2.) Antiochus IV., surnamed "Epiphanes" i.e., the Illustrious, succeeded his brother Seleucus (B.C. 175). His career and character are prophetically described by Daniel (11:21-32). He was a "vile person." In a spirit of revenge he organized an expedition against Jerusalem, which he destroyed, putting vast multitudes of its inhabitants to death in the most cruel manner. From this time the Jews began the great war of independence under their heroic Maccabean leaders with marked success, defeating the armies of Antiochus that were sent against them. Enraged at this, Antiochus marched against them in person, threatening utterly to exterminate the nation; but on the way he was suddenly arrested by the hand of death (B.C. 164).