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Maccabean Leaders the Hasmonean Dynasty III

By choosing to side with Alexander Ballas, Jonathan became the first member of his dynasty to achieve appointment as High Priest. He was now the official leader of his people, which meant that the Jews were given a certain level of protection. In this article, you will learn the benefits of siding with Alexander, and what followed for the leader of the Hasmonean Dynasty.

The Hellenistic party could no longer attack him without having to answer with harsh repercussions. The first time Jonathan put on the garments of the High Priest and officiated, it was in 153 BCE at the Feast of Tabernacles.

It was Jonathan’s desire to be on the side of Alexander Balas. He did not trust Demetrius, who wrote a letter to him, making promises that he would have never been able to keep. He made impossible offers. In 150 BCE, Demetrius lost the throne and was killed with Alexander becoming the victorious sole ruler of the Seleucid Empire. Alexander soon wed in an elaborate affair with Jonathan being invited. He attended after the wedding ceremony. While there, he was clothed in his own royal garment and given high honors that he took back to Jerusalem with him.

Simon Maccabeus was the second son of Mattathias (founder of the Maccabean revolt) and the last leader of the Maccabees, who ruled from 142 to 141 BCE. He was known as the first prince of the Hebrew Hasmonean Dynasty , reigning from 142 to 135 BC.

The Hasmonean Dynasty was founded by a resolution that was adopted in 141 BCE. According to 1 Maccabees xiv. 41, this passed before a large assembly “of the priests and the people and of the elders of the land, to the effect that Simon should be their leader and high priest forever, until there should arise a faithful prophet.” The Roman Republic recognized the new dynasty with the help of the Senate in 139 BCE. This took place when the delegation of Simon was in Rome. Simon is responsible for making the Jewish people semi-independent of the Seleucid Empire.

In 135 BCE, Simon was assassinated in connection to his son-in-law Ptolemy, who was the son of Abubus.  The next leader of the Hasmonean Dynasty was the third son of Simon , Jon Hyrcanus.

The Future of the Hasmonean Dynasty

Under the leadership of the Maccabeans, the Jewish revolt was eventually a success for the religious and personal safety of the Jews. With the different shifts in power, the Hasmonean Dynasty had their share of ups and down. In the end, Antiochus would successfully conquer the entire district of Judea, but decided against attacking the Temple or interfering with any observances of the Jews.

When Antiochus died in 129 BCE, Judea was finally freed from Seleucid rule. Hasmonean rule would last until 63 BCE, and ended when the Roman general Pompey captured Jerusalem. This meant that Israel was subjected to Roman rule. The end of the Hasmonean dynasty came in 37 BCE when the Herod the Great became the king of Israel and king of the Jews.