Aristobulus II  [murdered 49 BCE]

Given Hebrew name: Jehudah (Judah; Greek: Judas)

Seventh Hasmonean ruler of Judea. The impetuous younger son of Alexander Jannai & Salome Alexandra rebelled against his mother, defeated his older brother Hyrcanus at Jericho & proclaimed himself high priest & king. He was supported by the Sadducees but was driven from Jerusalem (65 BCE) by Arab armies of Nabatea [Jordan], who came to his brother's aid at the invitation of Antipater. Aristobulus called for & received support from the Roman legate of Syria. But Hyrcanus appealed directly to Pompey, the Roman conqueror of Syria, who was in Damascus. Aristobulus sent a counter-petition to Pompey. Yet, rather than wait for Pompey's decision --- which was complicated by an appeal by residents of Jerusalem to abolish the Judean monarchy & return to a theocracy ---, Aristobulus seized the fortress of Alexandrium. Pompey used this as a pretext to attack Jerusalem. When Aristobulus' aristocratic supporters fortified themselves in the temple, Pompey breached the walls, slaughtered thousands of Jews in the sanctuary & even entered the holy of holies. Aristobulus was sent to Rome as a hostage. He was eventually released by Julius Caesar (49 BCE), only to be poisoned by Pompey's supporters before he could wrest control of Jerusalem from supporters of his older brother.

References: Josephus, Antiquities 13.407-433
                                                        14.4-58, 71-82, 92-100, 120-126. 140-142.
                   _____, War 1.109, 114-160, 171-184.

Other online resources:

Perspective on the World of Jesus

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