(Α᾿λέξανδρος, man-defender, a title often bestowed by Homer upon Paris, son of Priam, and hence a frequent Grecian name), the name of several men mentioned or involved in Biblical history, or in the Apocrypha and Josephus.
1. The third of the name, surnamed THE GREAT, son (by Olympias) and successor of Philip, king of Macedon. He is not expressly named in the Bible, but he is denoted in the prophecies of Daniel by a leopard with four wings, signifying his great strength; and the unusual rapidity of his conquests (Da 7:6); also by a one-horned he-goat, running over the earth so swiftly as not to touch it, attacking a ram with two horns, overthrowing him, and trampling him under foot, without any being able to rescue him (Da 8:4-7). The he-goat prefigured Alexander; the ram Darius Codomannus, the last of the Persian kings. In the statue beheld by Nebuchadnezzar in a dream (Da 2:39), the belly of brass was the emblem of Alexander, and the legs of iron designated his successors (Lengeike, Daniel p. 95 sq.). He is often mentioned in the books of the Maccabees (Wernsdorf, Defide libror. Maccabees p. 40 sq.); and his career is detailed by the historians Arrian, Plutarch, and Quintus Curtius (Droysen, Gesch. Alex. d. Gr. Berl. 1833, Hamb. 1837).
Alexander was born at Pella B.C. 356 (comp. 1 Maccabees 1:7; Euseb. Chron. Ann. 2, 33). At an early age he was placed under the care of Aristotle; and while still a youth he turned the fortune of the day at Chaeronea (B.C. 338). Philip was killed at a marriage feast when Alexander was about twenty. After he had performed the last duties to his father, and put down with resolute energy the disaffection and hostility by which his throne was menaced, he was chosen by the Greeks general of their troops against the Persians, and entered Asia with an army of 34,000 men, B.C. 334. In one campaign he subdued almost all Asia Minor. In the battle of Granicus he defeated Orobates, one of Darius's generals; and Darius himself, whose army consisted of 400,000 foot and 100,000 horse, in the narrow pass of Issus, which leads from Syria to Cilicia. Darius fled, abandoning his camp and baggage, his children, wife, and mother, B.C. 333. After he had subdued Syria, Alexander came to Tyre, and the Tyrians opposing his entrance into their city, he besieged it. At the same time he is said to have written to Jaddus, high-priest of the Jews, that he expected to be acknowledged by him, and to receive those submissions which had hitherto been paid to the king of Persia. Jaddus refusing to comply, as having sworn fidelity to Darius, Alexander resolved to march against Jerusalem when he had reduced Tyre (q.v.). After a protracted siege, the latter city was taken and sacked, B.C. 332. This done, Alexander entered Palestine and reduced it. Egypt next submitted to him; and in B.C. 331 he founded Alexandria (q.v.), which remains to the present day the most characteristic monument of his life and work. In the same year he finally defeated Darius at Gaugamela; and in B.C. 330 his unhappy rival was murdered by Bessus, satrap of Bactria. The next two years were occupied by Alexander in the consolidation of his Persian conquests, and the reduction of Bactria. In B.C. 327 he crossed the Indus, penetrated to the Hydaspes, and was there forced by the discontent of his army to turn westward. He reached Susa, B.C. 325, and proceeded to Babylon, B.C. 324, which he chose as the capital of his empire. In the next year he died there (B.C. 323) in the midst of his gigantic plans; and those who inherited his conquests left his designs unachieved and unattempted (comp. Da 7:6; Da 8:5; Da 11:3). His death is attributed to intemperance; and upon his death-bed he sent for his court, and declared that "he gave the empire to the most deserving." Some affirm, however, that he regulated the succession by a will. The author of the first book of Maccabees (1:6) says he divided his kingdom among his generals while he was living; and it is certain that a partition was eventually made of his dominions among the four principal officers of his army. He died at the age of thirty-three, after reigning twelve years-six as king of Macedon and six as monarch of Asia. He was buried at Alexandria. SEE MACEDONIA.
The famous tradition of the visit of Alexander to Jerusalem during his Phoenician campaign (Josephus, Ant. 11, 8, 1 sq.) has been a fruitful source of controversy. The Jews, it is said, had provoked his anger by refusing to transfer their allegiance to him when summoned to do so during the siege of Tyre, and after the reduction of Tyre and Gaza (Josephus, 1. c.) he turned toward Jerusalem. Jaddua (Jaddus) the high priest (Ne 12:11,22), who had been warned in a dream how to avert the king's anger, calmly awaited his approach; and when he drew near went out to Sapha (צָפָה, he watched), within sight of the city and temple, clad in his robes of hyacinth and gold, and accompanied by a train of priests and citizens arrayed in white. Alexander was so moved by the solemn spectacle that he did reverence to the holy name inscribed upon the tiara of the high- priest; and when Parmenio expressed surprise, he replied that "he had seen the god whom Jaddua represented in a dream at Dium, encouraging him to cross over into Asia, and promising him success." After this it is said that he visited Jerusalem, offered sacrifice there, heard the prophecies of Daniel which foretold his victory, and conferred important privileges upon the Jews, not only in Judaea, but in Babylonia and Media, which they enjoyed during the supremacy of his successors. The narrative is repeated in the Talmud (Yoma, 69, ap. Otho, Lex. Rabb. s.v. Alexander; the high-priest is there said to have been Simon the Just), in later Jewish writers (Vajikra R. 13; Joseph ben Gorion, ap. Ste. Croix, p. 553), and in the chronicles of Abulfeda (Ste. Croix, p. 555). The event was adapted by the Samaritans to suit their own history, with a corresponding change of places and persons, and various embellishments (Aboul'lfatah, quoted by Ste. Croix, p. 209- 212); and in due time Alexander was enrolled among the proselytes of Judaism. On the other hand, no mention of the event occurs in Arrian, Plutarch, Diodorus, or Curtius; and the connection in which it is placed by Josephus is alike inconsistent with Jewish history (Ewald, Gesch. d. Volkes Isr. 4, 124 sq.) and with the narrative of Arrian (2, 1). SEE JADDUA.
But admitting the incorrectness of the details of the tradition as given by Josephus, there are several points which confirm the truth of the main fact. Justin says that "many kings of the East came to meet Alexander wearing fillets" (11, 10); and after the capture of Tyre "Alexander himself visited some of the cities which still refused to submit to him" (Curt. 4:5, 13). Even at a later time, according to Curtius, he executed vengeance personally on the Samaritans for the murder of his governor Andromachus (Curt. 4:8, 10). Besides this, Jewish soldiers were enlisted in his army (Hecat. ap. Josephus, Apion, 1, 22); and Jews formed an important element in the population of the city, which he founded shortly after the supposed visit. Above all, the privileges which he is said to have conferred upon the Jews, including the remission of tribute every sabbatical year, existed in later times, and imply some such relation between the Jews and the great conqueror as Josephus describes. Internal evidence is decidedly in favor of the story even in its picturesque fullness. From policy or conviction, Alexander delighted to represent himself as chosen by destiny for the great act which he achieved. The siege of Tyre arose professedly from a religious motive; the battle of Issus was preceded by the visit to Gordium; the invasion of Persia by the pilgrimage to the temple of Ammon. And if it be impossible to determine the exact circumstances of the meeting of Alexander and the Jewish envoys, the silence of the classical historians, who notoriously disregarded (e.g. the Maccabees) and misrepresented (Tac. Hist. 5, 8) the fortunes of the Jews, cannot be held to be conclusive against the occurrence of an event which must have appeared to them trivial or unintelligible (Jahn, Archceol. 3, 300 sq.; Ste. Croix, Examen critique, etc., Paris, 1810 [in Eng. Bath, 1793]; Thirlwall, Hist. of Greece, 2, 193 sq.; and, on the other side, Ant. van Dale, Dissert. super Aristed, Amstel. 1705, p. 69 sq.; Favini, De Alex. M. ingress. Hierosolyma, Flor. 1781). SEE PERSIA.
The tradition, whether true or false, presents an aspect of Alexander's character which has been frequently lost sight of by his recent biographers. He was not simply a Greek, nor must he be judged by a Greek standard. The Orientalism, which was a scandal to his followers, was a necessary deduction from his principles, and not the result of caprice or vanity (comp. Arr. 7:29). He approached the idea of a universal monarchy from the side of Greece, but his final object was to establish something hi her than the paramount supremacy of one people. His purpose was to combine and equalize, not to annihilate; to wed the East and West in a just union — not to enslave Asia to Greece (Plut. de Alex. Fort. 1, 6). The time, indeed, was not yet come when this was possible, but if he could not accomplish the great issue, he prepared for its accomplishment.
The first and most direct consequence of the policy of Alexander was the weakening of nationalities, the first condition necessary for the dissolution of the old religions. The swift course of his victories, the constant incorporation of foreign elements in his armies, the fierce wars and changing fortunes of his successors, broke down the barriers by which kingdom had been separated from kingdom, and opened the road for larger conceptions of life and faith than had hitherto been possible (comp. Polyb. 3, 59). The contact of the East and West brought out into practical forms thoughts and feelings which had been confined to the schools. Paganism was deprived of life as soon as it, was transplanted beyond the narrow limits in which it took its shape. The spread of commerce followed the progress of arms; and the Greek language and literature vindicated their claim to be considered the most perfect expression of human thought by becoming practically universal. The Jews were at once most exposed to the powerful influences thus brought to bear upon the East, and most able to support them. In the arrangement of the Greek conquests which followed the battle of Ipsus, B.C. 301, Judaea was made the frontier land of the rival empires of Syria and Egypt, and though it was necessarily subjected to the constant vicissitudes of war, it was able to make advantageous terms with the state to which it owed allegiance from the important advantages which it offered for attack or defense. SEE ANTIOCHUS. Internally also the people were prepared to withstand the effects of the revolution which the Greek dominion effected. The constitution of Ezra had obtained its full development. A powerful hierarchy had succeeded in substituting the idea of a church for that of a state, and the Jew was now able to wander over the world and yet remain faithful to the God of his fathers. SEE DISPERSION. The same constitutional change had strengthened the intellectual and religious position of the people. A rigid "fence" of ritualism protected the course of common life from the license of Greek manners; and the great doctrine of the unity of God, which was now seen to be the divine center of their system, counteracted the attractions of a philosophic pantheism. SEE SIMON THE JUST. Through a long course of discipline, in which they had been left unguided by prophetic teaching, the Jews had realized the nature of their mission to the world, and were waiting for the means of fulfilling it. The conquest of Alexander furnished them with the occasion and the power. But, at the same time, the example of Greece fostered personal as well as popular independence. Judaism was speedily divided into sects, analogous to the typical forms of Greek philosophy. But even the rude analysis of the old faith was productive of good. The freedom of Greece was no less instrumental in forming the Jews for their final work than the contemplative spirit of Persia, or the civil organization of Rome; for if the career of Alexander was rapid, its effects were lasting. The city which he chose to bear his name perpetuated in after ages the office which he providentially discharged for Judaism and mankind; and the historian of Christianity must confirm the judgment of Arrian, that Alexander, "who was like no other man, could not have been given to the world without the special design of Providence" (Arr. 7:30). SEE ALEXANDRIA. And Alexander himself appreciated this design better even than his great teacher; for it is said (Plut. De Alex. 1, 6) that when Aristotle urged him to treat the Greeks as freemen and the Orientals as slaves, he found the true answer to this counsel in the recognition of his "divine mission to unite and reconcile the world." SEE SECTS, JEWISH.
In the prophetic visions of Daniel the influence of Alexander is necessarily combined with that of his successors. They represented with partial exaggeration the several phases of his character; and to the Jews nationally the policy of the Syrian kings was of greater importance than the original conquest of Asia. But some traits of "the first mighty king" (Da 8:21; Da 11:3) are given with vigorous distinctness. The emblem by which he is typified (צָפַיר, a he-goat, from צָפִרּ, he leaped, Gesenius, Thes. s.v.) suggests the notions of strength and speed; and the universal extent (Da 8:5, … from the west on the face of the whole earth) and marvellous rapidity of his conquests (Daniel 1. c. he touched not the ground) are brought forward as the characteristics of his power, which was directed by the strongest personal impetuosity (Da 8:6, in the fury of his power). He ruled with great dominion, and did according to his will (Da 11:3); "and there was none that could deliver... out of his hand" (Da 8:7). SEE GOAT.
The name of Alexander is equally celebrated in the writings of the Orientals, as in those of the Greeks and Romans; but they vary extremely from the accounts which Western historians give of him (D'Herbelot, Bibl. Orient. s.v. Escander; Moses Choren. p. 82). They call him Iscander Dulkarnaim (see Golii, Lex. Arab. 1896), "double-horned Alexander," alluding to the two horns of his empire (or his power) in the East and West. For further details, see Anthon's Class. Dict.; Smith's Dict. of Class. Biog. s.v. SEE GREECE.
2. Surnamed BALAS (Josephus, Ant. 13, 4, 8, Α᾿λέξανδρος ὁ Βάλας λεγόμενος; Strab. 14, p. 751, τὸν Βάλαν Α᾿λέξανδρον; Justin. 35:1, Subornant pro eo Balam quendam … et . . nomen ei Alexandri inditur; comp. the Aramaean בִּעֲלָא, the lord), a personage whose history is detailed in the Maccabees and Josephus (comp. Justin. 35; Polyb. 33:14, 16; Liv. Epit. 1, 53; Appian. Syriaca, 67; Euseb. Chron.). He likewise assumed the titles "Epiphanes" (ἐπιφανής, illustrious), "Euergetes" (εὐεργετής, benefactor), etc. His extraction is doubtful; but he professed to be the natural son of Antiochus Epiphanes, and in that capacity, out of opposition to Demetrius Soter, he was recognised as king of Syria by the king of Egypt, by the Romans, and eventually by Jonathan Maccabaeus (Strab. 13; Josephus, Ant. 13, 2, 1), but he was more generally regarded as an impostor, who falsely assumed the connection (App. Syr. 67; Justin. 1.
c. comp. Polyb. 33:16). He claimed the throne of Syria in B.C. 152 in opposition to Demetrius Soter, who had provoked the hostility of the neighboring kings and alienated the affections of his subjects (Josephus, 1. c.). His pretensions were put forward by Heraclides, formerly treasurer of Antiochus Epiphanes, who obtained the recognition of his title at Rome by scandalous intrigues (Polyb. 33:14, 16). After landing at Ptolemais (1 Maccabees 10:1) Alexander gained the warm support of Jonathan, who was now the leader of the Jews (1 Maccabees 9:73); and though his first efforts were unsuccessful (Justin. 35:1, 10), in B.C. 150 he completely routed the forces of Demetrius, who himself fell in the retreat (1 Maccabees 10:48-50; Josephus, Ant. 13, 2, 4; Strab. 16, p. 751). After this Alexander married Cleopatra, the daughter of Ptolemaeus VI Philometor; and in the arrangement of his kingdom appointed Jonathan governor (μεριδάρχης, 1 Maccabees 10:65) of a province (Judaea; comp. 1 Maccabees 11:57). But his triumph was of short duration. After obtaining power, he gave himself up to a life of indulgence (Liv. Epit. 50; comp. Athen. 5, 211), leaving the government in the hands of ministers whose misrule rendered his reign odious (Diod. Sic. Fragments, 33). Accordingly, when Demetrius Nicator, the son of Demetrius Soter, landed in Syria in B.C. 147, the new pretender found powerful support (1 Maccabees 10:67 sq.). At first Jonathan defeated and slew Apollonius, the governor of Coele-Syria, who had joined the party of Demetrius, for which exploit he received fresh favors from Alexander (1 Maccabees 10:69-89); but shortly afterward (B.C. 146) Ptolemy entered Syria with a large force, and after he had placed garrisons in the chief cities on the coast, which received him according to the commands of Alexander, suddenly pronounced himself in favor of Demetrius (1 Maccabees 11:1-11; Josephus, Ant. 13, 4, 5 sq.), alleging, probably with truth, the existence of a conspiracy against his life (Josephus, 1. c.; comp. Diod. ap. Muller, Fragm. 2, 16). Alexander, who had been forced to leave Antioch (Josephus, 1. c.), was in Cilicia when he heard of Ptolemy's defection (1 Maccabees 11:14). He hastened to meet him, but was defeated (1 Maccabees 11:15; Justin. 35:2), and fled to Abse, in Arabia (Diod. 1. c.), where he was murdered, B.C. 146 (Diod. 1. c.; 1 Maccabees 11:17, differ as to the manner; and Euseb. Chron. Arm. 1, 349, represents him to have been slain in the battle). The narrative in 1 Maccabees and Josephus show clearly the partiality which the Jews entertained for Alexander "as the first that entreated of true peace with them" (1 Maccabees 10:47); and the same feeling was exhibited afterward in the zeal with which they supported the claims of his son Antiochus.
Balas left a young son, who was eventually made king of Syria by Tryphon, under the name of Antiochus Theos (1 Maccabees 11:13-18; Josephus, Ant. 13, 4). SEE ANTIOCHUS.
3. Surnamed ZEBINA (or Zabinas, Ζαβίνας, said to signify "purchased," from a report that Ptolemy had bought him as a slave), the son of a merchant named Protarchus; he was set up by Ptolemy Physcon, king of Egypt, as a pretender to the crown of the Greek kingdom of Syria shortly after the death of Antiochus Sidetes and the return of Demetrius Nicator from his captivity among the Parthians (B.C. 128). Antioch, Apamea, and several other cities, disgusted with the tyranny of Demetrius, acknowledged the authority of Alexander, who pretended to have been adopted by Sidetes; but he never succeeded in obtaining power over the whole of Syria. In the earlier part of the year 125 he defeated Demetrius, who fled to Tyre, and was there killed; but in the middle of the same year Alexander's patron, the king of Egypt, set up Antiochus Gryphus, a son of Demetrius, by whom he was defeated in battle. Alexander fled to Antioch, where he attempted to plunder the temple of Jupiter in order to pay his troops; but the people rose against him and drove him out of the city. He soon fell into the hands of robbers, who delivered him up to Antiochus, by whom he was put to death, B.C. 122. He was weak and effeminate, but sometimes generous. (Justin. 39:1, 2; Josephus, Ant. 13, 9, 10; Clinton, Fasti, 3, 334.)
4. Surnamed JANNAEUS (Ι᾿ανναῖος), the first prince of the Maccabaean dynasty who for any considerable period enjoyed the title of king. SEE MACCABEES. Coins of his reign are extant, from which it appears that his original name was Jonathan, which he exchanged for the Greek name Alexander, according to the Hellenizing custom of the age. His history is detailed by Josephus (Ant. 13, 12-16). He was the third son of John Hyrcanus, who left three sons, or five, according to Josephus (War, 1, 2, 7). The father was particularly fond of Antigonus and Aristobulus, but could not endure his third son, Alexander, because he had dreamed that he would reign after him, which implied the death of his two brothers. Antigonus never reigned, and Aristobulus reigned but for a short time. After his death, Salome, or Alexandra, his widow, liberated Alexander, whom Aristobulus had confined in prison since their father's death, and made him king, B.C. 104. Alexander put to death one of his brothers, who had formed a design on his life, and heaped favors on another, called Absalom, who, being contented with a private condition, lived peaceably, and retired from public employments. Alexander was of a warlike, enterprising disposition; and when he had regulated his dominions he marched against Ptolemais, but was soon compelled to relinquish the object of his expedition in order to defend his own territories against Ptolemy Lathyrus, who had marched a powerful army into Galilee. Alexander gave him battle near Asophus, not far from the Jordan; but Ptolemy killed 30,000, or, as others say, 50,000 of his men. After this victory the latter met with no resistance. His mother, Cleopatra, however, apprehensive for the safety of Egypt, determined to stop his further progress, and for this purpose levied a numerous army, and equipping a large fleet, soon landed in Phoenicia, B.C. 102. Ptolemais opened its gates to receive her; and here Alexander Jannaeus presented himself in her camp with considerable presents, and was received as an unhappy prince, an enemy of Ptolemy, who had no refuge but the queen's protection, B.C. 101. Cleopatra made an alliance with him in the city of Scythopolis, and Alexander marched with his troops into Coele-Syria, where he took the town of Gadara after a siege of ten months, and after that Amathus, one of the best fortresses in the country, where Theodorus, son of Zeno, had lodged his most valuable property as in absolute security. This Theodorus, falling suddenly on Alexander's army, killed 10,000, and plundered his baggage. — Alexander, however, was not deterred by this disaster from prosecuting his purposes: having recruited his army, he besieged Raphia, Anthedon, and Gaza — towns on the Mediterranean — and took them; the latter, after a desperate resistance, was reduced to a heap of ruins, B.C. 96.
After this Alexander returned to Jerusalem, but the Jews had revolted; and on the feast of tabernacles, while he, as high-priest, was preparing to sacrifice, the people assembled in the temple had the insolence to throw lemons at him, taken from the branches which they carried in their hands. Alexander put the seditious to the sword, and killed about 6000. Afterward he erected a partition of wood before the altar and the inner temple to prevent the approach of the people; and to defend himself in future against such attempts, he took into his pay guards from Pisidia and Cilicia. Finding Jerusalem likely to continue the seat of clamor and discontent, Alexander quitted the metropolis, at the head of his army, B.C. 93; and, having crossed the Jordan, he made war upon the Moabites and Ammonites, and obliged them to pay tribute; attacked Amathus, the fortress beyond Jordan before mentioned, and razed it; and also made war with Obeda, king, of the Arabians, whom he subdued. On his return to Jerusalem he found the Jews more incensed against him than ever, and a civil war shortly ensued, in which he killed above 50,000 persons. All his endeavors to bring about a reconciliation proving fruitless, Alexander one day asked them what they would have him do to acquire their good-will. They answered unanimously "that he had nothing to do but to kill himself." After this they sent deputies to desire succors from Demetrius Eucaerus against their king, who marched into Judaea with 3000 horse and 40,000 infantry, and encamped at Sichem. A battle ensued, in which Alexander was defeated and compelled to fly to the mountains for shelter, B.C. 88. This occurrence, however, contributed to his re-establishment, for a large number of the Jews, touched with the unhappy condition of their king, joined him; and Demetrius, retiring into Syria, left the Jews to oppose their king with their own forces. Alexander, collecting his army, marched against his rebellious subjects, whom he overcame in every engagement, and having shut up the fiercest of them in Bethom, he forced the town, made them prisoners, and carried them to Jerusalem, where he ordered eight hundred of them to be crucified before him during a great entertainment which he made for his friends; and before these unhappy wretches had expired he commanded their wives and children to be murdered in their presence — an unheard-of and excessive cruelty, which occasioned the people of his own party to call him "Thracides," meaning "as cruel as a Thracian," B.C. 86. Some time afterward Antiochus, surnamed Dionysius, having conquered Damascus, resolved to invade Judaea; but Alexander defeated his intention, and compelled him to return into Arabia, where he was killed. Aretas, the succeeding king of Damascus, however, came into Judea, and defeated Alexander in the plain of Sephala, B.C. 82. A peace being concluded, Aretas returned to Damascus, and Alexander ingratiated himself with the Jews, B.C. 81. Having given himself up to excessive drinking, he brought on a violent quartan fever, which terminated his life. His queen, Alexandra, observing him to be near his end, and foreseeing all she had to fear from a mutinous people not easily governed, and her children not of age to conduct her affairs,, was greatly distressed. Alexander told her that, to reign in peace, she should conceal his death from the army till Ragaba, which he was then besieging, was taken; that, when returned to Jerusalem, she should give the Pharisees some share in the government; that she should send for the principal of them, show them his dead body, give them permission to treat it with what indignities they pleased in revenge for the ill-treatment they had received from him, and promise that she would in future do nothing in the government without their advice and participation. He died at the age of forty-eight, after a reign of twenty-seven years, B.C. 78. This admission of the Pharisees into the government demands the especial notice of the reader, as it accounts not only for their influence over the minds of the people, but also for their connection with the rulers, and their power as public governors, — which appear so remarkably in the history of the Gospels — much beyond what might be expected from a sect merely religious. Alexander left two sons, Hyrcanus and Aristobulus, who disputed the kingdom and high-priesthood till the time of Herod the Great, and whose dissensions caused the ruin of their family, and were the means of Herod's elevation. SEE ALEXANDRIA.
5. The son of Aristobulus and Alexandra, and grandson of Alexander Jannaeus. He was to have been carried captive to Rome, with his brother Antigonus, when Pompey took Jerusalem from Aristobulus (B.C. 63); on the way, however, he found means to escape, and, returning to Judaea (B.C. 57), raised an army of 10,000 foot and 15,000 horse, with which he performed many gallant actions, and seized the fortresses of Alexandrium and Machaerus. Hyrcanus applied for aid to Gabinius, the general of the Roman troops, who drove him from the mountains, beat him near Jerusalem, killed 3000 of his men, and made many prisoners. By the mediation of his mother, Alexandra, matters were accommodated with Gabinius, and the Romans marched into Egypt, but were soon compelled to return by the violent proceedings of Alexander. Wherever he met with Romans he sacrificed them to his resentment, and a number were compelled to fortify themselves on Mount Gerizim, where Gabinius found him at his return from Egypt. Being apprehensive of engaging the great number of troops who were with Alexander, Gabinius sent Antipater with offers of general pardon if they laid down their arms. This had the desired success; many forsook Alexander, and retired to their own houses; but with 30,000 still remaining he resolved to give the Romans battle. The armies met at the foot of Mount Tabor, where, after a very obstinate action, Alexander was overcome, with the loss of 10,000 men.
Under the government of Crassus (B.C. 53) Alexander again began to embroil affairs; but after the unhappy expedition against the Parthians Cassius obliged him, under conditions, to continue quiet (B.C. 52) while he marched to the Euphrates to oppose the passage of the Parthians. During the wars between Caesar and Pompey, Alexander and Aristobulus, his father, espoused Caesar's interest, B.C. 49. Aristobulus was poisoned, and Alexander beheaded at Antioch. B.C. 48. (Josephus, Ant. 14, 5-7; War, 1, 8 and 9.)
6. The son of Jason, sent to Rome to renew friendship and alliance between the Jews and Romans: he is named in the decree of the senate directed to the Jews in the ninth year of Hyrcanus's pontificate, B.C. 60 (Josephus, Ant. 14, 8, 5).
7. The son of Dositheus, another Jewish ambassador on the same occasion (Josephus, ib.). Perhaps identical with the following.
8. The son of Theodorus, sent to Rome by Hyrcanus to renew his alliance with the senate. He is named in the decree of the senate addressed to the magistrates of Ephesus, made in the consulship of Dolabella (B.C. 43), which specified that the Jews should not be forced into military service, because they could not bear arms on the Sabbath-day, nor have, at all times, such provisions in the armies as were authorized by their law (Josephus, Ant. 14, 10, 10 and 11).
9. A son of Herod the Great by Mariamne. The history of this prince, which is given by Josephus (Ant. 15, 16; War, 1, 22-27), can hardly be separated from that of Aristobulus, his brother and companion in misfortune. After the tragical death of their mother, Mariamne (Josephus, Ant. 15, 7), Herod sent them to Rome to be educated in a manner suitable to their rank (ib. 10, 1). Augustus allowed them an apartment in his palace, intending this mark of his consideration as a compliment to their father Herod. On their return to Judea (ib. 16, 1, 2) the people received the princes with great joy; but Salome, Herod's sister, who had been the principal cause of Mariamne's death, apprehending that if ever the sons of the latter possessed authority she would feel the effects of their resentment, resolved by her calumnies to alienate the affections of their father from them. This she managed with great address, and for some time discovered no symptoms of ill-will. Herod married Alexander to Glaphyra, daughter of Archelaus, king of Cappadocia, and Aristobulus to Berenice, daughter of Salome. Pheroras, the king's brother, and Salome, his sister, conspiring to destroy these young princes, watched closely their conduct, and often induced them to speak their thoughts freely and forcibly concerning the manner in which Herod had put to death their mother Mariamne. Whatever they said was immediately reported to the king in the most odious and aggravated terms, and Herod, having no distrust of his brother and sister, confided in their representations as to his sons' intentions of revenging their mother's death. To check in some degree their lofty spirits, he sent for his eldest son, Antipater, to court — he having been brought up at a distance from Jerusalem, because the quality of his mother was much inferior to that of Mariamne — thinking that, by thus making Aristobulus and Alexander sensible that it was in his power to prefer another of his sons before them, they would be rendered more circumspect in their conduct. The contrary, however, was the case. The presence of Antipater only exasperated the two princes, and he at length succeeded in so entirely alienating his father's affection from them, that Herod carried them to Rome to accuse them before Augustus of designs against his life, B.C. 11 (ib. 10, 7). But the young princes defended themselves so well, and affected the spectators so deeply with their tears, that Augustus reconciled them to their father, and sent them back to Judaea, apparently in perfect union with Antipater, who expressed great satisfaction to see them restored to Herod's favor. When returned to Jerusalem Herod convened the people in the temple, and publicly declared his intention that his sons should reign after him — first Antipater, then Alexander, and afterward Aristobulus. This declaration exasperated the two brothers still further, and gave new occasion to Pheroras, Salome, and Antipater to represent their disaffection to Herod. The king had three confidential eunuchs, whom he employed even in affairs of great importance. These were accused of being corrupted by the money of Alexander, and, being subjected to the rack, the extremity of the torture induced them to confess that they had often been solicited by Alexander and Aristobulus to abandon Herod and join them and their party, who were ready for any undertaking in asserting their indisputable right to the crown. One of them added that the two brothers had conspired to lay snares for their father while hunting, and were resolved, should he die, to go instantly to Rome and beg the kingdom of Augustus. Letters were produced likewise from Alexander to Aristobulus, wherein he complained that Herod had given fields to Antipater which produced an annual rent of 200 talents. This intelligence confirmed the fears of Herod, and rendered him suspicious of all persons about his court. Alexander was put under arrest, and his principal friends to the torture. The prince, however, was not dejected at this storm. He not only denied nothing which had been extorted from his friends, but admitted even more than they had alleged against him, whether desiring to confound the credulity and suspicions of his father, or to involve the whole court in perplexities, from which they should be unable to extricate themselves. He conveyed letters to the king, in which he represented that to torment so many persons on his account was useless; that, in fact, he had laid ambuscades for him; that the principal courtiers were his accomplices, naming, in particular, Pheroras and his most intimate friends, adding that Salome came secretly to him by night, and that the whole court wished for nothing more than the moment when they might be delivered from that pain in which they were continually kept by his cruelties.
In the mean time, Archelaus, king of Cappadocia, and father-in-law of Alexander, informed of what was passing in Judaea, came to Jerusalem for the purpose of effecting, if possible, a reconciliation between Herod and his son. Knowing the violence of Herod's temper, he feigned to pity his present situation, and to condemn the unnatural conduct of Alexander. The sympathy of Archelaus produced some relentings in the bosom of Herod, and finally led to his reconciliation with Alexander and the detection of the guilty parties. But this calm did not long continue. One Eurycles, a Lacedemonian, having insinuated himself into Herod's favor, gained also the confidence of Alexander; and the young prince opened his heart freely concerning the grounds of his discontent against his father. Eurycles repeated all to the king whose suspicions against his sons were revived, and he at length ordered them to be tortured. Of all the charges brought against the young princes, nothing could be proved except that they had formed a design to retire into Cappadocia, where they might be freed from their father's tyranny, and live in peace. Herod, however, having substantiated this fact, took the rest for granted, and dispatched two envoys to Rome, demanding from Augustus justice against Alexander and Aristobulus. Augustus ordered them to be tried at Berytus, before the governors of Syria and the tributary sovereigns of the neighboring provinces, particularly mentioning Archelaus as one, and giving Herod permission, should they be found guilty, to punish them as he might deem proper. Herod convened the judges, but basely omitted Archelaus, Alexander's father-in-law; and then, leaving his sons under a strong guard at Platane, he pleaded his own cause against them before the assembly, consisting of 150 persons. After adducing against them every thing he had been able to collect, he concluded by saying that, as a king, he might have tried and condemned them by his own authority, but that he preferred bringing them before such an assembly to avoid the imputation of injustice and cruelty. Saturnius, who had been formerly consul, voted that they should be punished, but not with death, and his three sons voted with him; but they were overruled by Volumnius, who gratified the father by condemning his sons to death, and induced the rest of the judges to join with him in this cruel and unjust sentence. The time and manner of carrying it into execution were left entirely to Herod. Damascenus, Tyro, and other friends interfered in order to save the lives of the unfortunate princes, but in vain. They remained some time in confinement, and, after the report of another plot, were conveyed to Sebaste, or Samaria, and there strangled, B.C. 5 (ib. 11, 7).
The leading incidents of this narrative, which is chiefly interesting as confirmatory of the barbarous character attributed to Herod in the Gospels, are confirmed by Strabo (16, 765). It is probably this event to which Macrobius alludes (Saturn. 2, 4) when speaking of the jocose remark that Augustus is said to have made on hearing that in the massacre of the Bethlehemite children (Mt 2:16) one of the king's own sons had perished, "It were better to be Herod's swine than his son!" Perhaps, however, the son referred to may be Antipater (q.v.), whom he also ordered to execution just before his death. SEE HEROD.
10. A son of Alexander Herod (above) by Glaphyra (Josephus, War, 1, 18, 1). SEE HEROD.
11. A son of Phasaelus (son of Phasaelus, Herod's brother) by Salampsio, Herod's daughter (Josephus, Ant, 18, 5, 4). SEE HEROD.
12. A relative of the high-priest, and a leading Jew, present at the examination of Peter and John before the Sanhedrim for the cure of the lame man (Ac 4:6), A.D. 29. Many (Kuinol, in loc.) suppose he was the Alexandrian alabarch Alexander Lysimachus (below), who was a brother of the well-known Philo, and an old friend of the Emperor Claudius (Josephus, Ant. 18, 8, 1; 19:5, 1), and whose son, Alexander Tiberius (below), was procurator of Judaea and afterward of Egypt (Josephus, War, 2, 11, 6; 15, 1, etc.).
13. A man whose father, Simon, a Cyrenian Jew, was compelled to bear the cross of Christ — behind him from the gate to Calvary (Mr 15:21). A.D. post 29. From the manner in which he and his brother Rufus are mentioned, it is not unlikely that they were afterward known as Christians.
14. An alabarch (q.v.) of Alexandria, surnamed LYSIMACHUS, steward of Antonia the mother of Claudius, who freed him from the incarceration to which he had been subjected by the preceding emperor (Josephus, Ant. 19, 5, 1). It was through him that Agrippa received the loan of 200,000 drachmae (ib. 18, 6, 3). Some have thought him the same with No. 12, above.
15. A son of the foregoing, surnamed TIBERIUS (Josephus, Ant. 20, 5, 2). His uncle was Philo, the celebrated Jewish author. Alexander, however, did not continue in the faith of his ancestors, and was rewarded for his apostasy by various public appointments. In the reign of Claudius he succeeded Fadius as procurator of Judaea, about A.D. 46, and was promoted to the equestrian order. He was subsequently appointed by Nero procurator of Egypt; and by his order 50,000 Jews were slain on one occasion at Alexandria in a tumult in the city. It was apparently during his government in Egypt that he accompanied Corbulo in his expedition into Armenia, A.D. 64; and he was, in this campaign, given as one of the hostages to secure the safety of Tiridates when the latter visited the Roman camp. Alexander was the first Roman governor who declared in favor of Vespasian; and the day on which he administered the oath to the legions in the name of Vespasian, the kalends of July, A.D. 69, is regarded as the beginning of that emperor's reign. Alexander afterward accompanied Titus in the war against Judaea, and was present at the taking of Jerusalem. (Josephus, War, 2, 11, 6; 15, 1; 18; 7, 8; 4:10, 6; 6:4, 3; Tacitus, Ann. 15, 28; Hist. 1, 11; 2:74, 79; Suetonius, Vesp. 6.)
16. A Jew of Ephesus, known only from the part he took in the uproar about Diana which was raised there by the preaching of Paul (Ac 19:33), A.D. 54. As the inhabitants confounded the Jews and Jewish Christians, the former, apprehensive lest they might be involved in the popular commotion as opponents of the prevalent idolatry, put forward Alexander, apparently one of their own number, and perhaps a practiced speaker, to defend them from any connection with the Christians (Conybeare and Howson's St. Paul, 2, 87 note); but his interference only inflamed the mob the more, so that he was unable in the tumult to obtain a hearing (Neander, Planting of the Church, 1, 318, Edinb. ed.). Some suppose that this person is the same with "Alexander the coppersmith" of 2Ti 4:14; but this is by no means probable: the name of Alexander was in those times very common among the Jews.
17. A coppersmith or brazier (mentioned in 1Ti 1:20; 2Ti 4:14), who, with Hymenaeus and others, broached certain heresies touching the resurrection, for which they were excommunicated by the Apostle Paul, A.D. 54-64. These persons, and especially Alexander, appear to have maligned the faith they had forsaken and the character of the apostle. As every Jew learned some trade, it has been imagined that Alexander was really a man of learning, and not an artisan, although acquainted with the brazier's craft. But we are not aware that it was usual to designate a literate person by the name of the trade with which he was acquainted, although this may possibly have been the case when a man bore a name so common and so undistinguishing as that of Alexander. The supposition of some (Neander, Planting, 1, 407 note), that different persons are alluded to in the two passages cited, is not the more probable one (Matthies, Pastoralbriefe, p. 259 sq.).