Matthias to Herod

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Matthias to Herod

The idea that Josephus shows that Herod the Great was a descendent of Matthias of the Hasmonean dynasty has been reported on the article "Antipater the Idumaean" on Wikipedia. That article was then cited here on the Ancient Genealogy group. This linkage is spurious as I shall demonstrate.

The spurious linkage is given as follows:

Matthias the Hasmonean had five sons, including Judas Maccabeus & Eleazar Auran, XII:9:4
Eleazar Auran had Jason, XII:10:6
Jason had Antipas/Antipator I, XIII:5:8
Antipas/Antipator had Antipas II, XIV:1:3
Antipas/Antipator II was by Prss. Cypros of Petra Nabatea father of
Herod the Great, King of Judea

Now let's deconstuct it.

Contents

XII 9:4

The relevant part of XII 9:4 says this :
"When Judas saw this, he was not terrified.... But when his brother Eleazar, whom they called Auran.... so the elephant fell upon Eleazar, and by his weight crushed him to death."

So from this we can say that: A) Judas had a brother Eleazar called Auran; and that B) this Eleazar died at this battle.

XII 10:6

The relevant part of XII 10:6 says this :
"But now as the high priest Alcimus, was resolving to pull down the wall of the sanctuary...[a] stroke made him fall down speechless upon the ground; and undergoing torments for many days, he at length died, when he had been high priest four years. And when he was dead, the people bestowed the high priesthood on Judas; who hearing of the power of the Romans.... He therefore sent to Rome some of his friends, Eupolemus the son of John, and Jason the son of Eleazar.... This decree was written by Eupolemus the son of John, and by Jason the son of Eleazar, when Judas was high priest of the nation, and Simon his brother was general of the army."

So from this we can say that : A) When Judas was made high priest, there was some adult named "Jason the son of Eleazar" who is called his "friend", not his nephew.

XIII 5:8

The relevant part of XIII 5:8 says :
"... Numenius the son of Antiochus, and Antipater the son of Jason, who are both honorable men belonging to our senate, to the Romans, we gave them this epistle to you also, that they might renew that friendship which is between us."

So we can say from this, that at this time, there was a person named Antipater, who was the son of Jason, and who was a member of the senate of Judea.

Sources

  • A snapshot of the article "Antipater the Idumaean" on Wikipedia
  • Message 443 on the Google Group "Ancient Genealogy"
  • Christopher Ingham posts to soc-genealogy-ancient on Aug 28, 2007 that : "The accepted genealogy of the family of Herod was established by K. C. Hanson in "The Herodians and Mediterranean Kinship, pt. 1: Genealogy and Descent" (_Biblical Theology Bulletin_19 [1989]:75-84; reproduced in Peter Richardson,_Herod: King of the Jews and Friend of the Romans_[Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1996], 46-9)."
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