Antiochus Epiphanes

Antiochus Epiphanes was a Syrian King that came to power about 175 BC and is the representative forerunner of the Anti-christ soon to appear. He was one of the Seleucids who in succession to Alexander the Great built a realm in Syria and adjacent lands. Epiphanes' name means God made manifest. Epiphanes sought to force Greek culture and manners on the Jews. In imposing Hellenism, Epiphanes was but following out the intentions of his predecessor, Alexander whose dream was to create an empire, not by the sword but by culture. This had a measure of success among the 'free thinking' section of the priesthood, but there were a hard core of obstinate priests and people who refused to abandon the faith of their fore-fathers and be 'westernized'. By the introduction of Hellenistic cults, Epiphanes tried to put an end to the Jewish religious community. The events were the cause of the Maccabean struggle. Severe punitive measures merely brought the matter to a head and the revolt followed.

In 170 a law was announced requiring all citizens to present themselves four times a year to pay formal homage to Antiochus Epiphanes as the senior god of the Seleucids. The day chosen for these periodic submissions was Shabbat, when Jews preferred not to leave their homes, this being their day of prayer. Epiphanes was met by revolt and the setting up of a small state in which the high priest was the central figure. He launched against the Jews soon after. The Maccebean revolt gained the Jews their independence.

It is an exciting time for Judah when the heroes of the revolt were kindled. In 168 BC Antiochus Epiphanes dared to occupy Jerusalem, enter the Holy of Holies, desecrate the sanctuary by offering unclean animals upon the alter of burnt-offerings, pollute the whole building by sprinkling it with water in which flesh had been boiled, dedicated the Temple itself to Jupiter Olympius, and erected the statue of that deity and plundered the temple treasures.

Antiochus Epiphanes represents the type of 'the abomination of desolation' foretold by the prophet Daniel, on the altar of the Lord in the inner court of the Temple. Antiochus Epiphanes serves as a foreshadowing of the Anti-christ to come in the days ahead. Many Old Testament types pointing to end time fulfillments are first in the natural and second in the spiritual, so we may see the spiritual temple defiled in these days. Prophecies concerning Antichrist would be 8th chapter of Daniel: first Greece and Alexander, then four notables. Daniel "And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences shall stand up. etc.." May also be prefigured in Dan 11.6 as the king of the north.
[08, 23, 319, 304, Daniel, 392]

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