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Seleucus

SELEUCUS

se-lu'-kus (Seleukos):

(1) Seleucus I (Nicator, "The Conqueror"), the founder of the Seleucids or House of Seleucus, was an officer in the grand and thoroughly equipped army, which was perhaps the most important part of the inheritance that came to Alexander the Great from his father, Philip of Macedon. He took part in Alexander's Asiatic conquests, and on the division of these on Alexander's death he obtained the satrapy of Babylonia. By later conquests and under the name of king, which he assumed in the year 306, he became ruler of Syria and the greater part of Asia Minor. His rule extended from 312 to 280 BC, the year of his death; at least the Seleucid era which seems to be referred to in 1 Macc 1:16 is reckoned from Seleucus I, 312 BC to 65 BC, when Pompey reduced the kingdom of Syria to a Roman province. He followed generally the policy of Alexander in spreading Greek civilization. He founded Antioch and its port Seleucia, and is said by Josephus (Ant., XII, iii, 1) to have conferred civic privileges upon the Jews. The reference in Daniel 11:5 is usually understood to be to this ruler.

(2) Seleucus II (Callinicus, "The Gloriously Triumphant"), who reigned from 246 to 226 BC, was the son of Antiochus Soter and is "the king of the north" in Daniel 11:7-9, who was expelled from his kingdom by Ptolemy Euergetes.

(3) Seleucus III (Ceraunus, "Thunderbolt"), son of Seleucus II, was assassinated in a campaign which he undertook into Asia Minor. He had a short reign of rather more than 2 years (226-223 BC) and is referred to in Daniel 11:10.

(4) Seleucus IV (Philopator, "Fond of his Father") was the son and successor of Antiochus the Great and reigned from 187 to 175 BC. He is called "King of Asia" (2 Macc 3:3), a title claimed by the Seleucids even after their serious losses in Asia Minor (see 1 Macc 8:6; 11:13; 12:39; 13:32). He was present at the decisive battle of Magnesia (190 BC). He was murdered by HELIODORUS (which see), one of his own courtiers whom he had sent to plunder the Temple (2 Macc 3:1-40; Daniel 11:20).

For the connection of the above-named Seleucids with the "ten horns" of Daniel 7:24, the commentators must be consulted.

Seleucus V (125-124 BC) and Seleucus VI (95-93 BC) have no connection with the sacred narrative.

J. Hutchison


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Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. "Entry for 'SELEUCUS'". "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia". 1915.