[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
Re: Dss related questions (copper scroll)
David Kaufman wrote:
> Russell Gmyrken wrote:
> I don't understand on what historical basis you believe the Ptolemies
> remained in control of and maintained property in portions of Palestine
> the Hasmonean period. The was a war between Antiochus the Great and the
> Ptolemies' Greek-mercenary general Scopas that decided this whole issue in
> 200 BCE.
> Granted. But not in the Transjordan. Hyrcanus Tobiad was clearly not ruled
> the Seleucids at any time during his lifetime. I believe that he died
> helping Jason try to retake the High Priesthood circa 169 BCE. As Hyrcanus
> was a puppet ruler of the Ptolemaic Empire, I think it fair to say that
> remained in control of or at least in significant influence over this
> until at least 169 BCE. The question then becomes whether or not they lost
> control immediately after the death of Hyrcanus. My answer to this would
> probably not.
It is widely believed that Hyrkanus committed suicide in 169 after the failed
attempt by Jason to retake Jerusalem. I have no problem with that. But how
does this demonstrate
that Hyrkanus "clearly" not ruled by the Seleucids throughout his lifetime?
After all, Jason himself, the leader of the 169 uprising, was the
Seleucid-appointed high priest 175-173 BCE.
> The dynamics of the situation are far more complicated than most
> assume. In 169 BCE, the Seleucids were worried about battling against
> not only the Ptolemies. Romans were massing on both the western border of
> Seleucid empire and in Egypt. Antiochus didn't have time to mess around in
> the East. He had to attack/defend those borders. In 168 BCE he was soundly
> crushed by the Romans in Egypt and forced to flee to the North. Because of
> this defeat, he was forced to pay an extreme level of tribute to the
> something that forced him to rob all of the temples in his empire,
> Jerusalem. Did he have the time or the resources to take the Transjordan
> this point? Unlikely.
Excuse me for pointing this out, but it was his father Antiochus the Great
who was defeated by the Romans at the battle of Magnesia in Asia Minor ca.
188 I believe. This was where the tribute came from as late as the time of
Antiochus IV Epiphanes -- in fact, Antiochus the Great also had to rob
temples to pay the debt. And Antiochus IV was not "soundly crushed by the
Romans in Egypt and forced to flee to the North." After the Romans defeated
Perseus they sent a two-man senatorial delegation to Antiochus IV at
Alexandrium to order him out of Egypt or forfeit Roman friendship, which
Antiochus IV complied with in light of the recent Roman victory. You might
due well to familiarize yourself with Polybius, Livy, Appian, or just read up
on Roman history, as you have some very unusual ideas about Roman activities
in this period.
> A few years later in 163 BCE, he had to battle Demetrius for control
> the Seleucid empire. Did he have the ability to attack the Transjordan
Actually, Antiochus IV died in 164 BCE. His successor, Antiochus V, battled
a rival Philip in 163, and was slain by Demetrius in 161.
> When the Hasmoneans came to power, circa 159 BCE, pro-Ptolemaic
> or semi-independent armies, such as the one possessed by Hyrcanus, lay on
> their Eastern border. They were probably not under the influence of, much
> less under the control of, the Seleucids.
> Hence your conclusion is not necessarily correct:
I would refer you to 1 Macc. 5:9-63; 2 Macc. 10:24-38. In the former, it is
said that "all our kindred in the land of Tob have been killed" (5:13); the
latter "tremendous force of mercenaries" and "cavalry from Asia in no small
number" (10:24) with which the Seleucids enforced their control of
Transjordan. I would point out that the campaigns of Antiochus the Great, by
which he wrested the Transjordan and Judea from the Ptolemies, specifically
included campaigns through Gilead in Transjordan, which he took care to
secure prior to approaching Judea. While Hyrkanus and the Tobiads of
Ammanitis were doubtless pro-Ptolemaic, your ideas of the political
independence of this region from Seleucid rule are simply without hiastorical
> Russell continues:
> Fair enough on the Tobiad region being pro-Ptolemaic. Of course this also
> put them firmly in the anti-Seleucid Maccabean camp, as evidenced by the
> Tobiad cavalry unit fighting in the Maccabean army, for instance.
> No, not necessarily. There were two factions of the Tobiads. One was
> pro-Ptolemaic. The other may have been pro-strongest, not necessarily only
> pro-Seleucid. Thus when the balance of power was shifting and money was
> pouring in from Rome, the Jerusalem, former pro-Seleucid, Tobiads may have
> joined the Hasmonean cause. Another possibility is that the Transjordan
> Tobiads joined the Hasmoneans in order to defeat their current enemy, the
> Seleucids, not necessarily because they supported the Hasmoneans.
At 1 Macc. 5:13 it is the Tobiads who appeal to Judas Maccabaeus for
assistance; and later Tobiad cavalry fight in his army. Is there a valid
distinction between joining the Hasmoneans and supporting them?
> Russell continues:
> The natural explanation for the mention of specific estates in the Copper
> Scroll is that certain individuals were assigned the duties for hiding
> different portions of the temple treasure, and that the Copper Scroll
> represents the "accounting." [The Greek letters have been plausibly
> suggested as initials -- or name beginnings -- of the responsible
> So I would say this is a cave either on the Akkos estate or known to them
> and given the Akkos clan connection with the temple treasury, this
> approaches a near certainty in my opinion.
> You are right that the most likely explanation is that they knew.
> I would argue that the family as a whole sided with the Oniads. After all,
> their livelihood was being threatened by the Hasmoneans who were ousting
> their bosses...
> [No opposing army] is another reason why I suggest the 159 BCE date.
> It makes much more sense logistically. There was no huge occupying army
> and the Oniads had a substantial one of their own.
Just out of curiosity, let me see if I have this straight. (1) Although
Onias IV fled to Egypt to the protection of Ptolemy VI Philometer at the
accession of Alcimus in 162 or so, you have a continuing struggle between the
Oniads and Hasmoneans in 159, with the Oniads possessing a substantial army.
[Do you mean the Egyptian troops later under command of Onias IV??] (2) And
somehow you relate this to the Oniads [who? where?] hiding the temple
treasures in 159 at the death of Alcimus. Do I have this correct?
My above query is less important than the one that follows. On what basis in
historical fact do you (or others on the list) propose an antagonism between
the Oniads and the Hasmoneans? This seems to be a universal premiss in the
DSS field, but I can find no textual basis for it anywhere. Onias III is
favorably regarded at 2 Macc. 3.1, and Judas Maccabaeus his spiritual heir at
2 Macc. 15.12-16; that Onias IV gained his early military experience in the
Maccabean army seems a foregone conclusion; Ananias, the son of Onias IV, and
Egyptian general, dissuaded Cleopatra from invading Judea in the time of
Alexander Jannaeus (Ant. 13.285, 287, 349, 354-355). Is the hostility of the
Oniads for the Hasmoneans or vice versa an actual datum?
-- Russell Gmirkin