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Seleucus IV Philopator

SELEUCUS IV PHILOPATOR°, Seleucid monarch 187–176 B.C.E.), son of *Antiochus II the Great. Following the crushing defeat by the Romans at Magnesia (190), the Seleucid Empire found itself in extreme financial difficulties, and these were to have a direct effect in altering the friendly relations cultivated by Antiochus III with the Jews of Palestine. In an attempt to raise funds for the Seleucid treasury, Seleucus dispatched his minister *Heliodorus to Jerusalem. The mission whose purpose was to appropriate funds on deposit in the Temple treasury, was encouraged by Simeon, an official of the Temple. According to the description in II Maccabees (1:1ff.), Heliodorus was miraculously prevented from entering the treasury. Forced to return empty-handed to Seleucus, he was eventually responsible for the assassination of the king. Seleucus IV was succeeded by his younger brother *Antiochus IV Epiphanes.


Schuerer, Gesch, 1 (19014), 169; E.R. Bevan, House of Seleucus, 2 (1902), 120–5.

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.