11 Facts About Alcimus


Alcimus was a moderate Hellenizer who favored the ruling government of the Seleucid Empire and opposed the Maccabean Revolt which was in progress at the time.

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Alcimus is described as a leader of the Hellenizing faction of Hellenistic Judaism that favored more enthusiastic adoption of Greek practices and less adherence to Jewish law.

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Alcimus was a descendant of the Biblical Aaron, brother of Moses, and possibly himself was in the high-priestly line.

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Alcimus was of the Hellenizing party, and therefore bitterly opposed by the Maccabees.

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The favor with which Alcimus was received by the Jews at Jerusalem on account of his Aaronic descent was turned to hate by his cruelties.

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Alcimus ordered the arrest and execution of 60 Jews, apparently members of the Hasideans.

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Alcimus returned to Demetrius I to ask for more troops to fight the rebels.

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Nicanor at first attempted to make a peace deal with Judas; 2 Maccabees reports that Alcimus sabotaged the deal by complaining to Demetrius I Nicanor then attempted to arrest Judas and eventually went into the countryside to fight the Maccabees; he was defeated and killed, however.

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Alcimus did not long enjoy his triumph, since he died soon after.

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The author of 1 Maccabees describes any who worked with Alcimus as godless traitors, but it seems that there was a branch of moderates caught in the middle - moderate Hellenists who were happy to work with Alcimus as long as religious protections were guaranteed and Antiochus IV's decrees stayed repealed.

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One theory of Alcimus's successor is that it was the Righteous Teacher, a mysterious figure described in the Qumran Habakkuk Commentary, one of the Dead Sea Scrolls discovered in 1947.

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