In this post, we’re going to start making the links between ‘Alexander the Alabarch’ and ‘Alcimus the Kohen Gadol’.
And in the meantime, we’re going to start uncovering more real Jewish history, to figure out WHO has been oppressing the Jewish people, for 2,000 years, behind the scenes. And how exactly the same modus operandi is happening today.
First, a word about Wikipedia.
The fact that I take a lot of snippets from Wikipedia doesn’t mean that I’ve ‘bought in’ to the idea that Wikipedia is a great, impeccable source of information. It isn’t. I use it, perhaps lazily, as a starting point that is easy to quote some of the information from, as I’m piecing things together here on the blog.
Of course, Wikipedia is not telling the whole story, or anywhere close.
But, it’s often a good ‘jumping off point’, that enables me to catch a drift that will lead to more of the information that is being ‘memory holed’.
So with that intro, let’s take a closer look at ‘Alexander the Alabarch’, the brother of the Greek-Jewish philosophy Philo.
Here’s what I learned, since that first post HERE, where we started to unpick how Philo and Josephus are connected to the ancient Roman mafia.
‘Alexander the Alabarch’, Philo’s brother, was also the business partner of a woman called Antonia Minor.
Antonia Minor was the daughter of that same Roman Emperor ‘Mark Antony’, whose grand-daughter is meant to be the ‘Mary Magdalene’ / Mary of Bethany who married the NT’s character of ‘Jesus the Nazarene’.
You can read the ‘standard history’ about her on Wikipedia, HERE.
This is the bit I want you to pay attention to, for this post:
Having inherited properties in Italy, Greece, and Egypt, she was a wealthy and influential woman, who often received visitors to Rome. She had many male friends, including Alexander the Alabarch, a wealthy Jew, and Lucius Vitellius, a consul and the father of Aulus Vitellius, a future emperor.
‘Alexander the Alabarch’ was way more than just a ‘male friend’, whatever that actually means in immoral Roman terms.
He was actually Antonia Minor’s business partner and estate manager.
And he was also Rome’s tax collector for Alexandria – which made him fabulously wealthy, and also very closely connected to the Roman Emperors and ‘aristocracy’.
To briefly recap, one of ‘Alexander the Alabarch’s’ sons is called Tiberius Julius Alexander. He’s the second in command of Titus, and helps to destroy the Second Temple, before becoming the Procurator of Judea, under the Emperor Claudius.
Meanwhile, he’s got a brother called ‘Marcus Julius Alexander‘, who marries into Herod the Great’s family.
Apparently, like this:
- Is Philo, the philosophy who put together the foundations of the new religion that came to be known in our days as ‘xtianity’ (more on that in another post.)
- Is his brother, ‘Alexander Lysimachus, Alabarch of Alexandria’ – notice his name.
- Is Alexander Lysimachus’ son, Marcus Julius Lysimachus, who marries ‘Julia Berenice, Princess of Judea‘.
- Is Tiberius Julius Alexander, the guy who helps destroy the Second Temple with Titus, then becomes the Roman Procurator of Judea.
You can read a lot about this ‘Julia Berenice’ HERE.
She also had a few husbands, was the lover of that same Titus who destroyed our Second Temple – and is seriously suspected of committing incest with her own brother, Herod Agrippa II, ‘last Herodian king of Judea’.
But before we continue, there is already some strange things going on here.
For example, ‘Julia Berenice’s’ father has two names.
He’s commonly referred to as ‘Herod Agrippa I’ – best friend of the Emperor Claudius.
Claudius’ mother is…..Antonia Minor, the business partner of ‘Alexander the Alabarch’.
And as a child, guess where all the ‘child captives’ from Judea’s royal family were being held, while they were being ‘re-educated’ in Rome?
Yes, you got it: at the home of Antonia Minor.
So ‘Herod Agrippa I’ grew up with what become the Emperor Claudius.
Now, what is the second name of ‘Herod Agrippa I’?
This is a screenshot from geni:
There seems to be a lot of hellenized Jews called ‘Marcus Julius’ with tight links to the Herodian royal family and Rome going on here.
There were strict naming conventions in Rome, and perhaps that explains it. But, there is something ‘niggling’ me about all this, not least because the details for this period of time, and Herod’s family, have been manipulated non-stop, the last 2,000 years.
Let’s park that for now, and continue.
This snippet comes from HERE – a site that used to be called ‘historyhuntersinternational’, but which disappeared off the web a few years ago, and now you can only find it on the WayBack Machine.
Philo and later, Ptolemy, used the Royal Library of Alexandria to develop their syncretic theme, starting with the first christology, then developing Greek magic, from which spring the divine men of Classical Antiquity.
The Lysimachus sought power and that is expensive. Jewish merchants dominated trade with the East and tax on trade became the single most important source of imperial funds after the Roman conquest of Britain, which stablised the imperial border and ended the instant revenue derived from the slaves and gold of conquest.
The alabarch financed Jewish kings and the Temple in Jerusalem, as well as the Flavians. Their wealth depended on stability, giving them the urgent motive to resolve the threat to Pax Romana of Messianic Judaism.
They also sought to return to the old stamping ground of the general Lysimachus, in Thrace and Asia Minor, which is the context for the marriage of Marcus and the campaigning of Tiberius with Corbulo in Armenia.
In 1838 an inscription was found in Aradus, in which the council and the people of Aradus pay homage simultaneously to Pliny the Elder and to Alexander (Corpus Inscriptionum Græcarum, iii. 1278, No. 4536 et seq.).
The dignities of Alexander are stated in this inscription as follows: (this appellation is found here only, and is equivalent to vice-procurator; see Mommsen in “Hermes,” xix. 640); eparch of the Jewish host; governor of Syria; eparch of the twenty-second legion in Egypt. The stone bearing this inscription was brought to Paris in 1864 (Renan, “Mission en Phénicie,” 1864, p. 29).
Over the last century, many inscriptions and documents from this period have been found, of which most have yet to be understood fully. Even so, we may expect in the near future for more flesh to be added to the Lysimachus prosopography.
Two specific areas of this dynasty I suggest could be beneficial to study are:
The syncretisms of Cleopatra and Philo and if any relationship exists between them.
Possible confusions between the histories of Alexander, son of the alabarch, and Alexander, son of Herod the Great. The account by Josephus of a pretender to the Herodian prince may be a hint at something more.
I’m not expecting you to understand all this totally.
I am still figuring it out myself.
But the point is, this ‘Alexander Lysimach, the Alabarch’ is VERY connected with the Romans, and financing and controlling Herod’s royal family in Judea, exactly when the temple is destroyed.
And then, his brother Philo just happens to be raiding the Library in Alexandra to put together the bones of a new ‘Greek-Jewish’ syncrestic religion that we come to know as ‘christianity’.
Just at the same time that Rome is trying to stamp out ‘Messianic Judaism’, for political reasons.
(There is way more to that story, but I am saving it for another post, so as not to overwhelm you.)
OK, so now, how does all this tie in with the other stuff we’ve been unpicking here, about that family of ‘rogue Kohanim‘, related to the Hasmoneans and Shimon HaTzaddik, who started up their own rival Temple in Heliopolis?
Let’s turn to that side of the equation now.
And here’s where the tale zooms off into even more interesting.
In the stories about what happened to spark off Antiochus Epiphanes’ harsh decrees against the Torah and the Jews, that in turn led to the Hashmonaim revolt and the Chanuka story, there are a lot of ‘missing details’.
Here’s that ‘standard story’, from Wikipedia:
Menelaus was a high priest and a Greek Jewish leader during the Second Temple period and the Hasmonean Revolt, between 163 and 172 BC.
Menelaus, under the reign of Antiochus IV (Epiphanes) the Seleucian, caused the desecration of the Temple and the waste of its treasures which were the property of the people, thus laying the groundwork for the decrees of religious persecution of Antiochus IV in 168 BC.
Menelaus, along with his brother Shimon and the two rulers of Israel close to him in the leadership dynasty, Jason and Alcimus, are the central figures identified with the phenomenon of degeneration and its significance in the Jewish tradition.
The ‘Jason’ mentioned here is the brother of Chonyo / Onias / Yochanan III, the Kohen Gadol mentioned in the Gemara Tractate Menuchot 109b.
Read more about that HERE.
Chonyo III’s son, Chonyo / Onias VI (or other’s say, Onias V) goes down to Egypt, starts up his own rival ‘Temple’ in Heliopolis, and gets very cosy with the Egyptian rulers:
When Ptolemy Philopater dies, it’s Onias IV, head of his army, and his Jewish mercenaries, who save the Egyptian Queen Cleopatra when a civil war erupts.
I am now thinking that ‘Chonyo / Onias VI’ is the ancestor of this same ‘Alexander the Alabarch’, and his family, including Philo.
We’ll see if that pans out.
In the meantime, there’s a ton of confusion about where this ‘rival’ corrupt Kohen Gadol, Menelaus, came from.
Josephus claims that he is also another brother of Chonyo III and Jason.
Modern historians don’t like that idea. But while I was tootling around, I found more details, in Russian, that started to open up some very interesting possibilities of what was really going on.
It started when I found an entry on ‘CycloWiki’ called: Jewish Revolt against Lysimachus
I’d never heard of this particular ‘Jewish Revolt’ before, but the name ‘Lysimachus’ caught my eye.
Menelaus, who received the title of high priest for a bribe, left his brother Lysimachus in Jerusalem as a kind of “acting” high priest when he was summoned to Antiochus Epiphanes to pay for his position.
This Lysimachus decided to use his power to enrich himself, and with 3 thousand soldiers began to plunder the people.
These forces were not enough, and the Jews, armed with sticks and stones, defeated Lysimachus ‘ army, and lynched him in front of the Temple:
“But when many blasphemies were committed in the city by Lysimachus, with the permission of Menelaus, and the rumor spread, the people rebelled against Lysimachus, for many golden vessels were stolen.
When the people rose up in anger, Lysimachus armed up to three thousand men and began lawless violence under the leadership of a tyrant who was old in years and no less old in madness. Seeing this violence of Lysimachus, some seized stones, others stout stakes, and others, snatching up dust from the ground, threw them all together at Lysimachus ‘ men, and thus wounded many of them, struck others, and put them all to flight, and killed the sacrilegious man himself near the treasury.” – Book of Maccabees II, 4, 39-42
This corrupt, money-grubbing ‘Lysimachus’ was apparently also a Kohen.
Also a ‘Kohen Gadol’ – number 45, according to the Russian Cyclowiki site.
And it was while he was trying to steal stuff out of the Temple Treasury that the revolt began that lead to Antiochus Epiphanes believing the Jews were revolting against Greek rule, so he came back at them with the decrees that three years’ later, led to the Hasmonean revolt, and Chanuka.
In fact, ‘Chonyo III’ (aka ‘Yochanan Kohen Gadol – from the ‘Bnei Zadokim’ line) is the guy that tries to prevent ‘Lysimachus’ from doing what he’s doing, only to be deposed, and then later murdered by Lysimarch’s brother ‘Menelaus’, presumably taking revenge for the death of his brother.
And it just so happens that ‘Alexander the Alabarch’ is also called ‘Lysimachus’ a couple of generations later, and it’s his son who destroys the Temple with Titus.
And his brother, Philo, that comes up with the philosophy that became ‘christology’.
Now, let’s take a closer look at another Kohen Gadol called ‘Alcimus’, to see how he is meant to fit into this picture.
These snippets come from CycloWiki HERE:
Alcimus (or Joiakim) was a leader of the anti-national Hellenistic party in Judea, who was appointed high priest of the Jews by the Syrian King Demetrius Seleucides and installed in this position by his general Bacchides in 161 BC…..
Following Demetrius ‘ accession to the throne in 162 BC, Alcimus appeared as a defender of the impending fall of Syrian rule in Judea; he went to Antioch to petition for the appointment of himself as high priest and to ask for help against the revolutionary party of Judas Maccabeus.
Demetrius sent Bacchides, the ruler of Celes-ria, to Jerusalem and instructed him to appoint Alcimus as high priest.
In Judea, Alcimus by trickery managed to gain the confidence of the scribes and strict legalists (Hasidians), who did not sympathize with the political uprising in general and therefore asked Alcimus to bring the matter to a peace agreement between Judea and Syria.
However, despite his promise of security, he executed several of the Hasidim in order to intimidate the others.
Bacchides himself killed all the followers of Judas Maccabeus who fell into his hands, and having provided Judea with a sufficient garrison force, which he entrusted to Alcimus, he returned to Syria.
Alcimus, united with his fellow Hellenists, launched a war against the Maccabees and fought for the primacy in Judea and for the αρχιερωσύνη (office of high priest). However, he was not able to resist and turned to the king for help.
To support Alcimus, Demetrius sent his general Nicanor in 161 BC, who was defeated and killed in a skirmish with the Jews; the day of this victory, 13 Adar, was celebrated annually in Jerusalem under the name of Nicanor’s Day.
Shortly afterward, Alcimus approached Jerusalem with Bacchides, who attacked Judas Maccabeus at Eleasa with such a large force that Judas was defeated and killed. Alcimus and the Hellenists then seized control of Judea and enjoyed the persecution and murder of nationalist Jews. Bakkhid greatly assisted them in this, continuing the war with the Hasmonean leaders Jonathan and Shimon and establishing a large number of fortresses in Judea.
Alcimus ‘ name does not appear in reports of the Maccabean Wars; only his death in 160 BC is recorded in connection with his attempt to destroy the wall surrounding the Temple courtyard.
He held the position for three or four years, having been appointed to it by Antiochus V as early as 163 BC, as the successor of Menelaus.
There is a lot to unpick here.
First, I realised that this ‘Alcimus’ is meant to be the successor to Menelaus.
And then, I realised that ‘Lysimachus’ was also meant to be the successor to Menalaus.
And then I realised that A-L-C-I-M-U-S is effectively an anagram of LYSIMACHUS.
I.e. they are the same person.
Now, let’s take a look at R’ Yose ben Yoezer, nasi of the Sanhedrin at this period of time.
R’ Yose ben Yoezer was known to be a ‘Hasidean’, i.e. part of that group that were against the Hasmonean’s military revolt, who were ‘tricked’ into aligning with ‘Alcimus Kohen Gadol’, before Alciums turned on them and had a bunch of them crucified.
This from Wikipedia:
The Midrash reports the following dialogue between Alcimus and Jose ben Joezer while the latter was on the way to execution:
- Alcimus: “See the profit and honors that have fallen to my lot in consequence of what I have done, whilst thou, for thy obstinacy, hast the misfortune to die as a criminal.”
- Yose, quietly: “if such is the lot of those who anger God, what shall be the lot of those who accomplish His will?”
- Alcimus: “Is there any one who accomplished His will more than thou?”
- Yose: “If this is the end of those who accomplish His will, what awaits those who anger Him?”
On this Alcimus was seized with remorse and committed suicide:
“He went and subjected himself to all four modes of execution inflicted by the Beth Din: stoning, burning, beheading, and strangulation. What did he do [to accomplish this]? He took a beam and stuck it in the ground, attached a rope to it, set up logs [in front of it], and built a stone wall around it. He then made a bonfire [with the logs] and stuck a sword in the middle. He then hanged himself with the rope, and while he was strangling the rope burnt through and snapped, he fell on the sword, while the wall [of stones] fell upon him and he burned [in the fire].”
You can read more about ‘Alcimus’, the wicked Kohen Gadol who was actually leading the war against Judah Maccabee and the Hashmonaim on the Jewish Encyclopedia site, HERE.
As usual, there’s massive confusion over whether he was really a Kohen Gadol, or not, but the book of Maccabees relates this:
[Alcimus] mentions his ἀρχιερωσύυη to the king as being inherited from his ancestors (II Macc. xiv. 7); yet, without question, the members of another family up to this time had had uninterrupted possession of the high-priesthood.
The ‘Biblesearchers’ site combines a bunch of cobblers about the descent of Yoshki, with some interesting details gained from ‘official history’ and research from that period of time in Jerusalem.
The trick is trying to sort the fact from the fiction. To say that’s not easy is quite the understatement.
But I checked back on their ‘Kohen Gadol’ genealogy, to see if I could shed some more light on where these ‘Menelaus / Lysimach’ brothers actually came from. HERE is what they show:
A lot of this seems to pan out (until we get down to Yoshki – more on that another time.)
And they show ‘Menelaus and Lysimach’ as the cousins of Chonyo III and Jason-Jesus.
Which makes a lot of sense.
And not only that, they have ‘Menelaus’ with his original name as ‘Chonyo IV’ – which would also make sense, as his grandfather was the same ‘Chonyo II’ (‘Yochanan’) that ‘Chonyo III’ is named for.
And then, these two sets of cousins – both from ‘Beit Chonyo / Bnei Zadokim’ – start fighting it out, leading to civil war, mamash, to see who gets to ‘rule’ in the Temple, and act as the Greek governor of occupied Judea.
What is very strange here, is that ‘Judah Maccabbee’ is not included in this list of ‘High Priests’, even though he apparently served for three years, before the Hellenising Jews under Alcimus managed to kill him.
Clearly, there are still more mysteries to solve.
But for now, let’s finish up with Alcimus, and what he did to his uncle.
R’ Yose ben Yoezer, a Kohen, and head of the Sanhedrin, and a ‘Hasid’, was effectively crucified by his own nephew, ‘Alcimus the Kohen Gadol’.
And ‘Alcimus’ = ‘Lysimachus’.
One more detail, for now, and then we’ll wrap this up for today.
(There’s always so much more to say, but slowly does it.)
In the book I have by Allen Goldenthal, the Sadducee-Karaite-Kahana descendant, who has clued me into how these ‘Sadduccee-Karaites-Kohens’ have continued to rule and corrupt the Jewish community from behind the scenes for the last 2,000 years, there is a family tree, where he traces his own descent from this ‘Alcimus’.
That family tree shows that ‘Jesus the Nazarene’, ‘James the Just’, Caiaphas the Kohen Gadol (from the NT account), and last but not least, ‘Josephus Flavius’ – all descend from this Alcimus.
And ALCIMUS = LYSIMACHUS, who is also the presumed ancestor of ‘Alexander Lysimach the Alabarch’, tax collector of Egypt, business partner of Antonia Minor – guy who was effectively financing all of Rome’s ‘puppet royalty’ after their indoctrination at Antonia Minor’s place, as children.
I have a lot more unpicking to do.
But, I think we came a big step closer to figuring out who these people really were, and more of what was actually going on in the lead up to the destruction of the Second Temple.
And once we know what that sin of ‘sinat chinam’ actually really was, tachlis, then we can really start doing the teshuva required to fix it, and to have geula and the rebuilt Third Temple.
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