Monday, March 04, 2019

The Seleucid coins, Part 2

NUMISMATICS: CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series – The Seleucids and Their Coins: Part II (Mike Markowitz). Some of the Seleucids in this article are mentioned in the Book of Daniel, although not by name. Seleucid figures are in bold font in what follows.

There is an error at the beginning of the article: Antiochus III the Great was the brother of Seleucus III, not his son.

They both appear in Daniel 11:10 as "his [Seleucus II's] two sons. Then Antiochus III is the main subject of vv. 11-19 as "the king of the south."

Seleucus IV Philopater appears in Daniel 11:20 as the "one who shall arise in his (Antiochus III's) place." The "exactor of tribute" whom he sends is Heliodorus, on whom more here and here and links.

The "contemptible person" who follow in the succession (v. 21) is, of course, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, the most (in)famous Seleucid figure in the Bible. He is the "little horn" in Daniel chapter 7. His decree outlawing the practice of Judaism led to the Maccabean Revolt in 167-164 B.C.E. Daniel 11:21-39 mostly describe actual events in his reign, but vv. 40-45 are predictions of how his end would come about. We know they are predictions because, like most predictions of the future, they are completely wrong. Those events never happened and Antiochus met his end in Persia, which does not figure at all in them. The Maccabean Revolt is chronicled in much more comprehensible form in the books of 1-2 Maccabees.

I noted Part I of this series here. Also there, see a link for more on the Seleucids. And also see another link there to an earlier series by the same author on the Ptolemaic coins, which covers some of the same history in the current article.

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