Antiochus was really pleased with himself, not realizing the Lord had become angry for a short time because of the sins of those who lived in the city. For this reason, he had shut his eyes to the holy temple.2 Maccabees 5:17
Onias did not lose the priesthood to Simon, but he lost it to his conniving brother, Jason. You know you’ve got problems when the high priest is a thief and a liar.
Seleucus died and the Antiochus IV became king. He was a literal abomination, as he was considered by many to be a god.
Jason essentially sold out all of Israel for much gold and silver. Jason made his own people abandon their way of life and embrace Greek customs. He abolished the Torah and instituted new statutes. He even promoted wearing the latest fashion in hat wear.
The temple priests abandoned the sacrifices and hosted wrestling matches and discus throwing competitions. But all this pandering to the Greeks did not work.
The Jews were eventually envied and despised by the Greeks. Jews were treated as second class citizens, and even strangers in their own land.
High priest Jason ordered some of his men to travel to Tyre for the athletic games. He gave them money to buy sacrifices to Hercules. That didn’t quite seem right to these priests, so, instead of bringing a bunch of cash home with them, they spent it on beefing up some warships.
The evil Simon had a brother. This guy was evil too. Menelaus double crossed Jason to buy the high priesthood directly from Antiochus. Jason had to become an exile.
It didn’t take too long for Menelaus to get too big for his britches. He started keeping the tax money himself instead of sending it to the king. He stole gold straight from the Temple.
There were three witnesses to his treachery. When Menelaus learned of them, he framed them, and they were executed. There was much more bloodshed of the innocent as well. Many Jews became Greeks and turned on their own people.
Great signs were seen in the skies. Angelic armies were seen in the clouds. They were on horseback, and were wearing armor.
The angels were clearly seen for 40 days. Many Israelites thought they were there to protect them, but unfortunately, the opposite was true. YHWH of hosts withdrew His protecting angels from the Temple. The sin of the people, especially the priesthood became so great, that the Father allowed Antiochus to come in and ransack the temple.
Menelaus himself guided Antiochus in and revealed the riches. The holy items were taken for spoil.
If they hadn’t previously been involved in so many sins, Antiochus would have been forced to abandon his rashness and been defeated at once when he attacked, just like Heliodorus (the one King Seleucus sent to inspect the treasury).2 Maccabees 5:18
His wrath over His beloved is not forever.
The good news is that the blessings would return one day. His hand of discipline would, one day, become the protecting one, and even the avenging hand.
So the temple also shared the misfortunes of the nation, but afterward it also shared in its good fortunes. That which the almighty abandoned in his wrath would again be restored with all glory when the nation was reconciled to the great Lord.2 Maccabees 5:20
Antiochus would soon meet a man named Judas Maccabees.