Jason (1)

ja'-sun (Iason): A common name among the Hellenizing Jews who used it for Jesus or Joshua, probably connecting it with the Greek verb iashthai ("to heal").

See a list of verses on JASON in the Bible.

(1) Son of Eleazar, sent (161 BC) by Judas Maccabeus with other deputies to Rome "to make a league of amity and confederacy" (1 Macc 8:17; Josephus, Ant, XII, x, 6), and perhaps to be identified with (2).

(2) The father of Antipater who went as ambassador of Jonathan to Rome in 144 BC (1 Macc 12:16; 14:22; Ant, XIII, v, 8).

(3) Jason of Cyrene, a Jewish historian, who is known only from what is told of him in 2 Macc 2:19-23. 2 Macc is in fact simply an abridgment in one book of the 5 books written by Jason on the Jewish wars of liberation. He must have written after 162 BC, as his books include the wars under Antiochus Eupator.

(4) Jason the high priest, second son of Simon II and brother of Onias III. The change of name from Jesus (Josephus, Ant, XII, v) was part of the Hellenizing policy favored by Antiochus Epiphanes from whom he purchased the high-priesthood by a large bribe, thus excluding his elder brother from the office (2 Macc 4:7-26). He did everything in his power to introduce Greek customs and Greek life among the Jews. He established a gymnasium in Jerusalem, so that even the priests neglected the altars and the sacrifices, and hastened to be partakers of the "unlawful allowance" in the palaestra. The writer of 2 Macc calls him "that ungodly wretch" and "vile" Jason. He even sent deputies from Jerusalem to Tyre to take part in the worship of Hercules; but what he sent for sacrifices, the deputies expended on the "equipment of galleys." After 3 years of this Hellenizing work he was supplanted in 172 BC in the favor of Antiochus by Menelaus who gave a large bribe for the high priest's office. Jason took refuge with the Ammonites; on hearing that Antiochus was dead he tried with some success to drive out Menelaus, but ultimately failed (2 Macc 5:5 ff). He took refuge with the Ammonites again, and then with Aretas, the Arabian, and finally with the Lacedaemonians, where he hoped for protection "as being connected by race," and there "perished-miserably in a strange land."

(5) A name mentioned in Ac 17:5-9 and in Ro 16:21. See following article.

J. Hutchison

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