Nica'nor (Νικάνωρ, victor), the name of two or three men in Scripture history. 1. The "son of Patroclus" (1 Maccabees 8:9), a general under Antiochus, Epiphanes, and Demetrius I, who took a prominent part in the wars waged by the Syrians against the Jews, to whom he "bore a deadly hate." Under Antiochus he had been master of the royal elephants (ἐλεφαντάρχης), but he was appointed governor of Judea by Demetrius (2 Maccabees 14:12), whose trusted friend he was, and who had accompanied him when he escaped from Rome (Polyb. 3:21; Josephus, Ant. 12:10, 4). Nicanor, being one of the generals chosen by Lysias when he invaded Judaea, B.C. 166' (1 Maccabees 3:38), by the sale of Jewish captives at ninety for a talent, brought multitudes of slave-merchants to his camp (1 Maccabees 3:41; 2 Maccabees 8:10, 11; Josephus, Ant. 12:7, 3 and 4). He was, however, most signally disappointed in his expectations, for, in common with his companions in arms, he suffered a disgraceful defeat from Judas Maccabaeus, and was compelled to escape in the disguise of a slave to Antioch, where he declared that the Jews had God for their "defender," and that they were "invulnerable" (ἄτρωτοι), "because they followed the laws appointed by him." Four years later, entrusted with a large army by Demetrius, he had orders "not to spare" the nation of the Jews. According to 2 Maccabees 14, he at first made peace with Judas Maccabaeus, "whom he loved from his heart;" but, accused by Alcimus to Demetrius, he was compelled to break all his engagements with the Maccabean chief, and ordered to send him prisoner to Antioch. According to 1 Maccabees 7:26- 32, and Josephus, Ant. 12:10, 4, Nicanor attempted, at first, by pretense of friendship, to get Judas into his hands. Raphall unites both accounts, regarding the treachery of Nicanor as subsequent to the angry orders he received from Demetrius. Judas, however, discovered the treachery in time, and escaped. Open hostilities immediately commenced, when Nicanct was defeated with the loss of 5000 men, and took refuge in the fortress "which was in the city of David" (1 Maccabees 7:31, 32; Josephus, Ant. 12:10, 4). Josephus, indeed, as the text now stands, represents Judas as sustaining a defeat, and fleeing to the "citadel which was in Jerusalem." But there is evidently an error in the text here, as it contradicts the context, which shows that the citadel at Jerusalem was then in the hands of the Syrians. Nicanor, on coming down from the citadel, and meeting the priests, blasphemed God, and threatened to destroy their temple unless they delivered up Judas, a thing they could not do, even if they were disposed. Departing from Jerusalem, and joined by a fresh army out of Syria, he encamped at Beth-horon. Judas also pitched his camp at the village of Adasa, thirty furlongs off At length they joined battle, when, Nicanor having fallen among the first, the Syrians were beaten, routed, and slaughtered in their flight. Finding Nicanor on the battle-field, the Jews cut off his head and his right arm, which he "had stretched out so proudly," and hung them up at Jerusalem. His tongue also they cut out and minced, and threw to the birds. The day of the victory, Adar 13, being that before "Mardochaeus' day," they set apart as a season of annual solemnity (B.C. 161) (1 Maccabees 7:4349; 2 Maccabees 15:26-36; Josephus, Ant. 12:10, 5; see also Raphall's Post. Bib. Hist. of the Jews, ch. 4 and 6; Jahn's Heb. Commonwealth, § 96, 97, 98). SEE MACCABEE. 2. A Nicanor is mentioned in 2 Maccabees 12:2, as "governor of Cyprus" (κυπριάρχης) in the time of Antiochus V Eupator, and yet as interfering with the Jews in Palestine. But as the above Nicanor mentioned by Polybius cannot be meant, this must either be another person, or some confusion has befallen the author here (see Grimm, ad loc.). In 4 Maccabees 3:20, Nicanor is given as a surname of Seleucus, meaning apparently Seleucus I Nicator. 3. One of the first seven deacons appointed by the Church at Jerusalem along with Stephen (Ac 6:5), A.D. 29. Dorotheus makes him to have been one of the seventy disciples of our Lord, and according to the Pseudo-Hippolytus he "died at the time of the martyrdom of Stephen"' (p. 953, ed. Migne).

Bible concordance for NICANOR.

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