People/Characters: Onias IV

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II Maccabees : a new translation with introduction and commentary by Jonathan A. Goldstein
I Maccabees : a new translation, with introduction and commentary by Jonathan A. Goldstein

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Character description

Onias IV (fl. 2nd century B.C.E.): The last significant representative of the ancient Jewish High Priestly line which went back to Zadok in the time of Solomon. He was the son, or just possibly the nephew, of Onias III, the last true Zadokite High Priest in Jerusalem. But Onias III lived in a time when the Seleucid and Ptolemaic Empires were disputing ownership of Judah, and Onias III got caught up in this conflict. He was set aside by the Seleucid Antiochus IV, and later murdered, as a result of the politics of the period. Onias IV fled to Egypt, set up an alternate Temple at Leontopolis, and carried on a campaign to restore and rehabilitate the Zadokite line. He may have published a book supporting his claims around 130 B.C.E. His sons eventually stopped maintaining his rights in the time of Alexander Jannaeus, early in the first century B.C.E.

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