[murdered 134 BCE]
Fourth leader of the Judean revolt against
the Greco-Syrian empire (166
BCE). The second
& last surviving son of Mattathias
of Modein aided &
consolidated the gains of his younger brothers, Judah
Maccabee & Jonathan. After rallying
dispirited Jews to defeat the Syrian general who had killed Jonathan
he persuaded Demetrius II to exempt Jews from taxation or tribute.
He then eliminated the last vestige of Syrian control
by capturing the citadel in Jerusalem.
His military & diplomatic successes won him renewal of the
alliances that his brothers had negotiated with Rome & Sparta.
Judean coins proclaimed him "High Priest, General & Ruler
of the Jews." He may be the legendary "Simon
the Just" of later
rabbinic tradition. Yet, the price of his diplomatic triumphs was
renewed Hellenization of Judea. As the only son of Mattathias who
produced male heirs, he was the real founder of
dynasty. But he was assassinated along with his two oldest
sons at a banquet hosted by his own son-in-law, Ptolemy, who
hoped to succeed him.
9:19, 33, 62, 67;
15:1-9, 15-21, 26-36;
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