Ja'siel (1Ch 11:46). SEE JAASIEL. Ja'son (Ι᾿άσων, he that will cure, originally the name of the leader of the Argonauts), a common Greek name, which was frequently adopted by Hellenizing Jews as the equivalent of Jesus, Joshua (Ι᾿ησοῦς; comp. Josephus, Ant. 12:5, 1; Aristeas, Hist. apud Hody, p. 7), probably with some reference to its supposed connection with ἰᾶσθαι(i.e. the healer). A parallel change occurs in Alcimus (Eliakim), while Nicolaus, Dositheus, Menelaus, etc., were direct translations of Hebrew names. It occurs with reference to several men in the Apocrypha, and one in the New Testament.
1. JASON, THE SON OF ELEAZER (comp. Ecclus. 1,27,Ι᾿ησοῦς υἱὸς Σιρὰχ Ε᾿λεάζαρ, Codex A), was one of the commissioners sent by Judas Maccabaeus, in conjunction with Eupolemus, to conclude a treaty of amity and mutual support with the Romans, B.C. 161 (1 Macc. 8:17; Josephus, Ant. 12, 10, 6).
2. JASON, THE FATHER OF ANTIPATER, who was an envoy to Rome to renew the treaty, at a later period, under Jonathan Maccabaeus, in conjunction with Numenius, the son of Antiochus (1 Macc. 12:16; 14:22), is probably the same person as No. 1.
3. JASON OF CYRENE, in Africa, was a Hellenizing Jew of the race of those whom Ptolemy Soter sent into Egypt (2 Macc. 1; Josephus, Ant. 12, 1; Prideaux, Connection, 2, 176). He wrote in five books the history of Judas Maccabeus and his brethren, and the principal transactions of the Jews during the reigns of Seleucus IV Philopator, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, and Antiochus V Eupator (B.C. 187-162), from which five books most of the second book of Maccabees (q.v.) is abridged. In all probability it was written in Greek, and, from the fact of its including the wars under Antiochus V Eupator, it must have been written after B.C. 162. The sources from which Jason obtained his information are unknown, and it is not certain when either he or his epitomizer lived. All that we know of his history is contained in the few verses of the 2nd Macc. 2, 19-23.
4. JASON, THE HIGH-PRIEST, was the second son of Simon II, and the brother of Onias III. His proper name was JESUS, but he had changed it to that of Jason (Ι᾿ησοῦς Ι᾿άσονα ἕαυτον μετωνόμασεν [Josephus, Ant. 12, 5,1]). Shortly after the accession of Antiochus IV Epiphanes, Jason offered to the king 440 talents of yearly tribute if he would invest him with the high-priesthood, to the exclusion of his elder brother (4 Macc. 4:17) (B.C. cir. 175). Josephus says that Onias III was dead on the accession of Jason to the high-priesthood, and that Jason received this post in consequence of his nephew, Onias IV, the son of Onias III, being as yet an infant (Ant. 12, 5,1). Jason also offered a further 150 talents for the license "to set him up a place of exercise, and for, the training up of youth in the fashions of the heathen" (2 Macc. 4:7-9; Josephus, Ant. 12, 5, 1). This offer was immediately accepted by Antiochus, and Jason built a gymnasium at Jerusalem. The effect of this innovation was to produce a stronger tendency than ever for Greek fashions and heathenish manners, and they so increased under the superintendence of the wicked Jason that the priests despised the Temple, and "hastened to be partakers of the unlawful allowance in the place of exercise, after the game of Discus (q.v.) called them forth" (2 Macc. 4:14). Some of the Jews even "made themselves uncircumcised," that they might appear to be Greeks when they were naked (1 Macc. 1:15; Josephus, Ant. 12:5,1). At last, as was the custom of the cities who used to send embassies to Tyre in honor of Hercules (Curtius, 4:2; Polybius, Reliq. 31, 20, 12), Jason sent special messengers (θεωρούς) from Jerusalem, who were the newly-elected citizens of Antioch (Α᾿ντιοχεῖς ὄντας; comp. 2 Macc. 4:9), to carry 300 drachme of silver to the sacrifice of that god. SEE HERCULES. The money, however, contrary to the wish of the sender, was not used for the sacrifice of Hercules, but reserved for making triremes, because the bearers of it did not think it proper (διὰ τὸ μὴ καθήκειν) to employ it for the sacrifice (2 Macc. 4:19, 20). In B.C. 172 Jason also gave a festival to Antiochus when he visited Jerusalem, Jason and the citizens leading him in by torchlight and with great shoutings (2 Macc. 4:22). Josephus mentions this visit, but says that it was an expedition against Jerusalem, and that Antiochus, upon obtaining possession of the city, slew many of the Jews, and plundered it of a great deal of money (Ant. 12:5, 3). The crafty Jason, however, soon found a yet more cunning kinsman, who removed him from his office in much the same manner a. he had done with his brother, Onias III. Menelaus, the son of Simon (Josephus, Ant. 12, 5,1; Simon's brother, 2 Macc. 4:23), governor of the Temple, having been sent by Jason to Antiochus, knew how, through flattery and by offering 300 talents more than Jason, to gain the favor of the king. Antiochus immediately gave him the office of high priest, and Jason was forced to flee into the country of the Ammonites (2 Macc. 4:26). SEE MENELAUS. In B.C. 170, Antiochus having undertaken his second expedition into Egypt, there was a rumor that he was dead, and Jason made an attack upon Jerusalem and committed many atrocities. He was, however, forced again to flee into the country of the Ammonites (2 Macc. 5, 5-7). At length, being accused before Aretas, king of the Arabians, he was compelled "to flee from city to city, pursued of all men, and being held in abomination as an open enemy of his country and countrymen," and eventually retired into Egypt (2 Macc. 5, 8). He afterwards retired to take refuge among the Lacedaemonians, "thinking there to find succor by reason of his kindred" (2 Macc. 5, 9; compare 1 Macc. 12:7,21; Josephus, Ant. 12:4, 10; see Prideaux, Connect. 2, 140; Frankel, Monatschrift, 1853, p. 456), and perished miserably "in a strange land'"(comp. Da 12:13 sq.; Macc. 1:12 sq.). His body remained without burial, and he had "none to mourn for him" (2 Macc. 5:9,10). SEE HIGH- PRIEST.
5. JASON OF THESSALONICA was the host of Paul and Silas at that city. In consequence, his house was assaulted by the 'Jews in order to seize the apostle (S. but, not finding him, they dragged Jason and other brethren before the ruler of the city, who released them on security (Ac 17:5-9). — A.D. 48. He appears to have been the same as the Jason mentioned in Ro 16:21 as one of the kinsmen of Paul, and probably accompanied him from Thessalonica to Corinth (A.D. 54). He was not one of those who accompanied the apostle into Asia, though Lightfoot conjectures that Jason and Secundus were the same person (Ac 20:4). Alford says Secundus is altogether unknown (Acts, 1. c.). According to tradition, Jason was bishop of Tarsus (Fabricius, Lux Evangelii, p. 91, 92).