ra'-zis (Rhazeis): "An elder of Jerusalem," "lover of his countrymen," and for his good will toward them called "father of the Jews," accused before the Syrian general Nicanor as an opponent of Hellenism. In order to escape falling into the hands of Nicanor's soldiers he committed suicide with the greatest determination in a rather revolting manner (2 Macc 14:37 ff), in his death calling upon "the Lord of life" in the hope of a resurrection. His suicide--contrary to Jewish sentiment--was regarded with approbation by the author of 2 Macc (14:42,43).

See also the McClintock and Strong Biblical Cyclopedia.

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