(al' si muhs) HEBREW: ELYAQIM
"God will raise up"

A Jewish leader of the pro-Seleucid faction in Jerusalem, Alcimus served as high priest from 162 to 159 B.C. A descendant of Aaron but not a member of a high priestly family and thus without direct claim to legitimate succession, he nonetheless appealed to King Demetrius I Soter of Syria to be appointed high priest. Demetrius granted the request, sending Alcimus to Judea as high priest with a Syrian army led by Bacchides to enforce the appointment.

Infuriated by Alcimus's support of Seleucid rule, the rebel Judas Maccabeus harassed the high priest until he returned to the Seleucid king for help. Demetrius commanded Nicanor, a prince who detested Israel, to suppress Judas. Nicanor, however, was defeated and killed, and a new 20,000-man force was sent under Bacchides. The Syrian army met the outnumbered forces of Judas at Elasa. Judas was killed, and his army failed to prevent Alcimus's restoration to power.

The following year, Alcimus became paralyzed, apparently from a stroke, and soon died. His sudden death was believed to be an act of divine retribution for having broken down the wall that separated Gentiles from access to the inner courts of the temple that were reserved for Jews.

{E2 Dictionary of Biblical People}

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