views updated


HELIODORUS ° of Antioch, chancellor of *Seleucusiv Philopator (187–175 b.c.e.). The official title of chancellor (ó ὲπί τών πραγμάτων), by which he is described in ii Maccabees 3:7, is also found in an official inscription (W. Dittenberger (ed.), Orientis Graeci inscriptiones selectae, 1 (1903), no. 247). When Simeon, "head of the Temple" in Jerusalem, denounced the Jews before Apollonius, commander of the Syrian army, claiming that there were treasures in the Temple which belonged to the king, Heliodorus was sent to Jerusalem to remove these treasures. Attempting to break into the Temple, he was suddenly smitten by two angels (ii Macc. 3:7–40). It is probable that in fact Heliodorus was driven from the Temple by force. In 176 b.c.e. Heliodorus murdered Seleucus iv, and placed the king's young son upon the throne. Subsequently he had him removed also in order to obtain the throne for himself. However, Antiochus Epiphanes put an end to his rule. These events are perhaps reflected in *Daniel 7:7–8 and 11:20.


V. Tcherikover, Hellenistic Civilization and the Jews (1959), index; B. Niese, Geschichte der griechischen und makedonischen Staaten, 3 (1903), 91–92; W. Otto, in: Pauly-Wissowa, 15 (1912), 12ff.; E. Bickerman, in: Annuaire de l'Institut de Philologie et d'Histoire Orientales et Slaves, 7 (1939–44), 5–40; W.R. Farmer, Maccabees, Zealots and Josephus (1956), 93–96.

[Abraham Schalit]