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Re: Dss related questions (copper scroll)

Russell Gmyrken wrote:
It is widely believed that Hyrkanus committed suicide in 169 after the failed
attempt by Jason to retake Jerusalem.  I have no problem with that.  But how
does this demonstrate 
that Hyrkanus "clearly" not ruled by the Seleucids throughout his lifetime?
 After all, Jason himself, the leader of the 169 uprising, was the
Seleucid-appointed high priest 175-173 BCE. 
On the first point, I admit that this point is not all that clear. It is a
possibility. However, I do not believe that the Seleucids would have left a
Ptolemaic appointed/supported ruler remain in power unless he swore
allegiance. Furthermore, there is no evidence that the Seleucids ever sent
force after him until the force was sent, in the face of which he committed
suicide or was killed. Josephus had a thing about suicide and I'm not so sure
that this point is accurate, but it is irrelevant here.
     As for the second point, that Jason was the Seleucid appointed High
Priest, I do not believe that this was the case. I would argue that rather
than appointing him, the Antiochus IV merely confirmed the decision. I argue
this in my thesis. Thus, Jason was not necessarily ever aligned with the
Seleucids. This may have been the reason that Antiochus lept at the chance to
appoint Menelaus, who was definitely favorable to him.

Russell wrote:
Excuse me for pointing this out, but it was his father Antiochus the Great
who was defeated by the Romans at the battle of Magnesia in Asia Minor ca.
188 I believe.  This was where the tribute came from as late as the time of
Antiochus IV Epiphanes -- in fact, Antiochus the Great also had to rob
temples to pay the debt.  And Antiochus IV was not "soundly crushed by the
Romans in Egypt and forced to flee to the North."  After the Romans defeated
Perseus they sent a two-man senatorial delegation to Antiochus IV at
Alexandrium to order him out of Egypt or forfeit Roman friendship, which
Antiochus IV complied with in light of the recent Roman victory.  You might
due well to familiarize yourself with Polybius, Livy, Appian, or just read up
on Roman history, as you have some very unusual ideas about Roman activities
in this period.
Actually, you are right that the Romans did win a battle in 188 BCE in Asia
Minor and that did pose big problems for the Seleucids, but it was not the
big blow. They servived very well from 188-168 BCE without ravaging the
temple in Jerusalem. I will grant you that the defeat in 188 BCE lead to a
heightened concern over money, but did not play the biggest role in either
the problem of the money of Hyrcanus in the Temple stores or the pillaging of
the temple by Menelaus and Antiochus IV.
     Hyrcanus money was a problem precisely because he was an enemy of the
king, going back to the point above. That the Jews were receiving tribute
that the king did not receive must have bothered Antiochus greatly. As for
the latter problem, the pillaging of the temple, I am certain that if you
bother to look at the history books that you pointed out to me, you would see
that the Romans did in fact defeat Antiochus IV in Egypt in 168 BCE. It is
called the Battle of Pydna. The tribute that was owed to Rome was increased
dramatically after this defeat. Whether this was because he "complied" with
Roman "friendship", I don't know. I ask you this though, do you not think
that a Roman author might have a biased point of view on this anyway? I doubt
that the Seleucids would have looked at a treaty by which they were forced to
pay tribute as a "Friendship" treaty. This is the Roman view.
     I believe that the argument for Pydna being the crucial event is found
in Johnathan Goldstein's Anchor Bible volumes on I and II Maccabees. Not
having them readily available, I can't give exact page numbers. I believe
that this theory is based upon II Macc. 5:15ff.
     By the way, I have read all of the history books that you cited and know
my history well, thank you. I also try to make sure that I know when my
sources are heavily biased and how that bias might affect them. 

Russell wrote:
Actually, Antiochus IV died in 164 BCE.  His successor, Antiochus V, battled
a rival Philip in 163, and was slain by Demetrius in 161.
Sorry, I didn't clearly say what I meant. However, Demetrius was already a
problem in 163 BCE. Again see, Goldstein. Demetrius affirmed Alcimus as High
Priest in 163 BCE. Hence, there were already problems between Ant. IV and V
with him then.

Russell continued:
I would refer you to 1 Macc. 5:9-63; 2 Macc. 10:24-38.  In the former, it is
said that "all our kindred in the land of Tob have been killed" (5:13); the
latter "tremendous force of mercenaries" and "cavalry from Asia in no small
number" (10:24) with which the Seleucids enforced their control of
Russell, Come on. The end of your statement is not in either text. Neither
text says, "with which the Seleucids enforced their control of Transjordan."
In fact, I would argue that the passages support my point. That there were
powerful semi-independant, if not fully independant warlords to the East.
Nothing in this text associates Timothy with the Seleucids. That there was a
fierce battle does not require that he was a Seleucid. This list in II Macc
is a list of battles, not necessarily a list of battles against the
Seleucids."Gentiles" does not necessarily equal Seleucids.
     The point that the force was a mercenary force is also supportive of the
idea that this was an independant warlord and not a Seleucid representative.
Where is the mention of troops? Generals? Timothy's group sounds more like a
band of thugs than an army. There is simply no mention that he was Seleucid.
Your statement about enforcing Seleucid control is simply an assumption and
one that I believe is not necessarily justified. If anything, the Seleucid
government may have assisted financially Timothy's efforts, but that may only
have been to help him, as an independant warlord, to attack their enemies,
the Hasmoneans, whom they were fighting in Palestine and to whom they were

Russell wrote:
I would point out that the campaigns of Antiochus the Great, by which he
wrested the Transjordan and Judea from the Ptolemies, specifically included
campaigns through Gilead in Transjordan, which he took care to
secure prior to approaching Judea.
What does secure mean? Does that mean that he ruled it outright or that he
made sure that there wasn't an army powerful enough to do major damage to him
there? Afterall, he probably had to make sure that there wasn't a Ptolemaic
army laying in wait. He also had to show his strength in an effort to deter
the warlords, such as Hyrcanus, from becoming ambitious. I don't think that
marching through a land necessarily means that you control it.

Russell wrote:
At 1 Macc. 5:13 it is the Tobiads who appeal to Judas Maccabaeus for
assistance; and later Tobiad cavalry fight in his army.  Is there a valid
distinction between joining the Hasmoneans and supporting them? 
You completely missed my point. My point is that one can not make blanket
statements about "Tobiads" because there were at least two camps of Tobiads
who were enemies. One faction may well have supported them. The other
probably did not.

Russell wrote:
Just out of curiosity, let me see if I have this straight.  (1) Although
Onias IV fled to Egypt to the protection of Ptolemy VI Philometer at the
accession of Alcimus in 162 or so, you have a continuing struggle between the
Oniads and Hasmoneans in 159, with the Oniads possessing a substantial army.
Onias didn't flee in 162 BCE or so, but in 159 BCE after it was clear that
the Oniads would not remain in control.

Russell wrote:
On what basis in
historical fact do you (or others on the list) propose an antagonism between
the Oniads and the Hasmoneans?
All of this is detailed in my thesis, of which you are now in possession of a
copy. It would help to read it before continuing this discussion.

-David Jay Kaufman
HUC-JIR Jerusalem
Rabbinical Student