Antiochus IV Ephiphanes
a Greek king of the Seleucid Empire from 175 BC until his death in 164 BC. He was a son of King Antiochus III the Great. His original name was Mithradates (alternative form Mithridates); he assumed the name Antiochus after he ascended the throne.Notable events during the reign of Antiochus IV include his near-conquest of Egypt, which led to a confrontation that became an origin of the metaphorical phrase, "line in the sand" (see below), and the rebellion of the Jewish Maccabees.While Antiochus was busy in Egypt, a rumor spread that he had been killed. The deposed High Priest Jason gathered a force of 1,000 soldiers and made a surprise attack on the city of Jerusalem. The High Priest appointed by Antiochus, Menelaus, was forced to flee Jerusalem during a riot. On the King's return from Egypt in 167 BC enraged by his defeat, he attacked Jerusalem and restored Menelaus, then executed many Jews.To consolidate his empire and strengthen his hold over the region, Antiochus decided to side with the Hellenized Jews by outlawing Jewish religious rites and traditionskept by observant Jews and by ordering the worship of Zeus as the supreme god (2 Maccabees 6:1–12). This was anathema to the Jews and when they refused, Antiochus sent an army to enforce his decree. Because of the resistance, the city was destroyed, many were slaughtered, and a military Greek citadel called the Acra was established.