Friends; Chief Friends

(hoi philoi proton): Expressions used in 1 and 2 Macc to designate the favored courtiers of the Antiochi. Mattathias is promised enrollment among the king's Friends, to tempt him to apostatize (1 Macc 2:18); Alexander Balas writes Jonathan among his Chief Friends (1 Macc 10:65). Compare also 1 Macc 3:38; 6:10,14; 10:60; 11:26,27; 2 Macc 8:9.

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