2.1. The Division of Alexander's Empire
323 Alexander dies in Babylon at age 32.
Antigonus Babylon and North Syria Cassander West, i.e. Macedonia Ptolemy South Syria and Egypt Lysimachus 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.