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Jewish Sects and Antiochus’s Oppression


Emergence of Jewish Sects

At this juncture, the Jewish community divides into two major sects of the New Testament era: the Pharisees, representing the fundamentalist majority, and the Sadducees Roman Intervention and Antiochus IV’s Reign, embodying the liberal upper class. Jason, a Sadducee, secures the high priest’s position by surpassing his brother Onias III’s gift to Antiochus. Onias III, seen as pro-Ptolemaic, loses favor. Jason, once in power, attempts to win Antiochus’s favor further by renaming Jerusalem to Antiochia and constructing a gymnasium near the temple, which greatly offends devout Jews. Eventually, the disapproval leads to Jason’s exile, setting the stage for more upheaval.

Antiochus’s Actions and Egyptian Campaigns

Antiochus, concurrently, engages in battles in Egypt. His initial campaign (170) results in the complete conquest of Egypt. However,

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