JOHN HYRCANUS (135 - 104 BC) For the first several years of his rule, John Hyrcanus was little more than a pawn in the hands of Antiochus VII. With the death of Antiochus VII in 128 BC, however, t
The Hasmonean era is among the most glorious in Jewish history, yet contained seeds of self-destruction that almost destroyed everything.
Judah the Maccabee, of the Hasmonean family, led the Jews successfully in militarily repelling of the Greek rule. They then entered the Temple and purified it, and found the miraculous jug of oil, which, legend tells, though it had only enough oil to light the Menorah (candelabra) for one night, lasted for eight nights. After this triumphant return to Jerusalem, the period of Hasmonean rule began. More Hasmonean victories, combined with a weakening of Seleucid authority, led the Seleucids to return autonomy of Israel to the Jewish people. The Hasmoneans ruled in the Holy Land for close to a century.
When I have bent Judah for me, filled the bow with Ephraim, and raised up thy sons, O Zion, against thy sons, O Greece, and made thee as the sword of a mighty man.—Zechariah 9:13
Judas Maccabeus' death would mark the end of the Maccabean revolt against the Greeks – and the start of the extremely unstable Hasmonean dynasty.
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