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The New Oxford Annotated Bible New Revised Standard Study Bible that provides essential scholarship and guidance for Bible readers.

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Commentary on 1 Maccabees

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10.1–21 : Alexander Balas appoints Jonathan high priest.

1 :

Alexander I Epiphanes, who came from Ephesus and whose given name was Balas (perhaps originally Baal), posed as the son of Antiochus IV. He claimed the kingship from 150 BCE onward, and reigned until about 145. Attalus II of Pergamum and Ptolemy VI persuaded the Roman senate to recognize him. Ptolemais, see 5.15n.

6 :

Gave him authority, as a local prince or governor, but not independence. The hostages, 9.53 . The Syrians held the citadel at Jerusalem.

11 :

Lysias had ordered the wall of the Jewish fortress torn down ( 6.62 ).

14 :

Some, i.e., Hellenized Jews opposed to the Hasmoneans.

18–20 :

Alexander, hearing of Demetrius's letter, decided to outbid him. Until the time of Antiochus IV, the hereditary high priest had been confirmed but not appointed by the ruler; now Alexander appointed Jonathan and made him one of his Friends (see 2.18n. ); the Jews had not elected him.

21 :

The sacred vestments, Ex 28.1–39; 39.1–26 . Booths, a seven‐day festival held in September (Lev 23.33–43 ), had come to be associated with the hope of victory over the Gentiles (Zech 14.16–19 ).

10.22–50 : Demetrius's offer to the Jews; his defeat.

25 :

The letter addressed to the nation, ignoring Jonathan. Demetrius thought that he could drive a wedge between leader and people.

29–30 :

All the Jews in the Seleucid realm, not merely in Judea. Tribute, direct taxes proportionate to individual wealth. Salt tax, on salt from the marshes and the Dead Sea. Crown levies, fixed amounts of money. The three districts ( 11.34 ) that Alexander the Great had transferred from Samaria to Judea and Antiochus IV had reassigned to Samaria were now restored (v. 38 ).

32 :

Release of control of the citadel would free Jerusalem from military domination.

34 :

Appointed days, other public festivals.

36–37 :

Opening the army and the civil service to Jews might strengthen their loyalty to the crown.

39 :

Ptolemais was in the hands of Alexander (v. 1 ). This was an invitation to the Jews to help Demetrius recapture it.

40 :

A shekel weighed ca. 8.5 gr (.3 oz).

41 :

The additional funds were grants once made to the Temple by Ptolemaic and Seleucid kings, but not paid since the time of Antiochus IV.

44–45 :

Here Demetrius followed the custom of Persian kings (Ezra 6.8; 7.20 ).

47 :

Alexander was also recognized as king by the Jews’ allies, the Romans.

50 :

Demetrius fell probably in 150 BCE (v. 57 ).

10.51–66 : Alexander's relations with Egypt and Judea.

51 :

Ptolemy VI Philometor (1.18n.).

55 :

Ptol‐emy recognized Alexander as legitimate (see 10.1–21n. ).

57 :

Cleopatra III, who later married her uncle, Ptolemy VIII.

65 :

Chief Friends, see 2.18n. General and governor, with military and civil authority.

10.67–89 : Victories of Jonathan.

67 :

Demetrius II son of Demetrius I disputed the throne with Alexander and later with Tryphon and Antiochus VI; in 138 BCE he was taken captive by the Parthians. He reigned again from 129 until his death in 125.

69 :

Coelesyria, meaning “hollow Syria,” designated the region between the Lebanon and Anti‐lebanon mountains. Jamnia, 4.15 .

72 :

Twice put to flight, referring to 6.54; 9.18 ; or perhaps to earlier defeats in Israel's history.

74 :

Jonathan now had forces for more than guerrilla engagements (v. 65 ).

75 :

Joppa, now Jaffa, a seaport near Jamnia and 58 km (36 mi) northwest of Jerusalem.

77–78 :

By stationing his army near Azotus (Ashdod), south of Joppa, Apollonius drew Jonathan's forces out onto the plain, which Apollonius believed favored his own troops (see vv. 71–73 ).

82 : His force had been held in reserve and was fresh. Phalanx, the infantry.

83 :

Beth‐dagon, house of Dagon, the Philistine grain god (Judg 16.23 ).

86 :

Askalon, earlier Ashkelon, about 16 km (10 mi) south of Azotus.

89 :

A golden buckle, with which the most select of the Friends of the king fastened their purple robes. Ekron, northernmost of the original Philistine cities, about 21 km (13 mi) east of Azotus, was given to Jonathan as a personal possession, and its taxes were assigned to him.

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