Bacchides

Bac'chides (Βακχίδης, son of Bacchus), a friend of Antiochus Epiphanes (Josephus, Ant. 12:10, 2) and governor of Mesopotamia (ἐν τῷ πέραν τοῦ ποταμοῦ, 1 Maccabees 7:8), who was commissioned by Demetrius Soter to investigate the charges which Alcimus (q.v.) preferred against Judas Maccabaeus. He confirmed Alcimus in the high-priesthood; and, having inflicted signal vengeance on the extreme party of the Assidaeans (q.v.), he returned to Antioch. After the expulsion of Alcimus and the defeat and death of Nicanor, he led a second expedition into Judea. Judas Maccabaeus fell in the battle which ensued at Laisa (B.C. 161), and Bacchides re- established the supremacy of the Syrian faction (1 Maccabees 9:25, οἱ ἀσεβεῖς ἄνδρες; Joseph. Ant. 13:1,1). He next attempted to surprise Jonathan, who had assumed the leadership of the national party after the death of Judas; but Jonathan escaped across the Jordan. Bacchides then placed garrisons in several important positions, and took hostages for the security of the present government. Having completed the pacification of the country (Joseph. Ant. 13:1, 5), he returned to Demetrius (B.C. 160). After two years he came back at the request of the Syrian faction, in the hope of overpowering Jonathan and Simon, who still maintained a small force in the desert; but, meeting with ill success, he turned against those who had induced him to undertake the expedition, and sought an honorable retreat. When this was known by Jonathan he sent envoys to Bacchides and concluded a peace (B.C. 158) with him, acknowledging him as governor under the Syrian king, while Bacchides pledged himself not to enter the land again, a condition which he faithfully observed (1 Maccabees 9:70 sq.; Joseph. Ant. 12:1, 6; 13:1; comp. 2 Maccabees 8:30).

He must have been a different person from the Bacchides, the general of Antiochus Epiphanes in charge of the fortresses of Judaea, whom the Asmonaean priest Matthias, with his sons, slew with their daggers (Joseph. War, 1:1, 2).

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

 
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