ar-is-to-bu'-lus (Aristoboulos, "best counselor"):
(1) Son of the Maccabean, John Hyrcanus, who assumed the power and also the title of king after his father's death (105 BC) and associated with him, as co-regent, his brother Antigonus (Ant., XIII, xi), though by the will of his father the government was entrusted to his mother. Three other brothers and his mother he cast into prison, where they died of starvation. He murdered Antigonus, and died conscience-stricken himself in 104 BC.
(2) Aristobulus, nephew of the former, dethroned his mother, Alexandra (69 BC), and forced his brother Hyrcanus to renounce the crown and mitre in his favor. In 64 Pompey came to Palestine and supported the cause of Hyrcanus. See HYRCANUS. Aristobulus was defeated and taken prisoner, and Hyrcanus was appointed ethnarch in 63 BC. Aristobulus and his two daughters were taken to Rome, where he graced the triumph of Pompey. The father escaped later (56 BC) and appeared in Palestine again as a claimant to the throne. Many followers flocked to his standard, but he was finally defeated, severely wounded and taken prisoner a second time and with his son, Antigonus, again taken to Rome. Julius Caesar not only restored him to freedom (49 BC), but also gave him two legions to recover Judea, and to work in his interest against Pompey. But Quintus Metellus Scipio, who had just received Syria as a province, had Aristobulus poisoned as he was on his way to Palestine.CR #(3) Grandson of the preceding, and the last of the Maccabean family.
(4) The Jewish teacher of Ptol. VII (2 Macc 1:10).
(5) An inhabitant of Rome, certain of whose household are saluted by Paul (Ro 16:10). He was probably a grandson of Herod and brother of Herod Agrippa, a man of great wealth, and intimate with the emperor Claudius. Lightfoot (Philippians, 172) suggests that "the household of Aristobulus" were his slaves, and that upon his death they had kept together and had become the property of the emperor either by purchase or as a legacy, in which event, however, they might, still retain the name of their former master. Among these were Christians to whom Paul sends greeting.
M. O. Evans