History in the Bible Podcast

The Maccabeans

Podcast Episodes: 2.12 Grappling with the Greeks III: The Maccabeans Revolt to 2.15.

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The Maccabeans (named after Judas Maccabaeus), also known as the Hasmoneans (named after the dynastic founder Hashmon), led an insurgency against their Hellenistic rulers. The Maccabeans expanded the small province of Judea to a size not seen since the Kingdom of Solomon. But it came crashing down in murder.

The Maccabean Leaders and Rulers

Name Relationship Role & Dates Notes
Hashmon Dynastic founder   Gave rise to the name Hasmoneans
Mattathias Great-grandson of Hashmon? Insurgent leader: 168–166 BC
Judas Maccabaeus (the Hammer) Son of Mattathias Insurgent leader: 166–160 Rededicated the Temple. Died in battle.
Jonathon Son of Mattathias Insurgent leader. 160–143
High priest: 152–143
Overthrew the ancient Zadokite high-priesthood. Murdered by the Seleucids.
Simon Son of Mattathias National leader (ethnarch) and high priest: 142–134 Murdered by the Seleucids.
John Hyrcanus I Son of Simon Ethnarch and high priest: 134–104 Greatly expanded Judean territory. Managed to die in his bed.
Aristobulus I Son of John Hyrcanus I King and high priest: 104–103 Killed his mother and imprisoned his brothers.
Alexander Jannaeus Son of John Hyrcanus I King and high priest: 103–76 Greatest warrior of his dynasty. Left the kingdom to his wife Alexandra, and the high-priesthood to his son John Hyrcanus II.
Alexandra Wife of Alexander Jannaeus Queen: 76–67 Golden age.
John Hyrcanus II Son of Alexander Jannaeus and Alexandra High priest: 76–66
King: 67–66
Succeeded his mother to the throne.
66: Defeated in battle by his brother Aristobulus II.
Aristobulus II Son of Alexander Jannaeus and Alexandra Ethnarch and high priest: 66–63 Defeated his brother John Hyrcanus II in battle. Deposed by the Romans
John Hyrcanus II (restoration) Ethnarch and high priest: 63–40 63: Reinstated by the Romans.
40: Fled to Parthia after the installation of Antigonus.
30: Murdered by Herod the Great
Antigonus Son of Aristobulus II King and high priest: 40–37 Installed by the Parthians in a moment of Roman weakness. Cut off the ears of his uncle John Hyrcanus II. Deposed by Herod the Great.
Aristobulus III Grandson of both Aristobulus II and John Hyrcanus II High priest: 37–36 BC
Murdered by Herod the Great.

The Maccabean Conquests

Click the map to enlarge.

The Maccabean Conquests

The Maccabean Conquests. Click the map to enlarge.

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