“While the holy city was inhabited in unbroken peace, the laws were strictly observed. This was due to the piety of the high priest Onias and his hatred of wickedness. It came about that the kings themselves honored the place and glorified the temple with the finest presents. Even King Seleucus of Asia defrayed from his own revenues all the expenses connected with the service of the sacrifices.”
This author reminds us of the good old days when things were peaceful in Jerusalem. The Mosaic laws were strictly observed because the good pious high priest, Onias III was in charge from 199-175 BCE. He hated wickedness. In fact, the Seleucid dynasty of kings honored this Second Jerusalem Temple with many presents, especially the Asian King Seleucus IV (186-175 BCE). Everything was wonderful because this king sent money to defray the expenses of the Temple in Jerusalem. 175 BCE seems to be the turning point here. Before that, everyone was happy.
“When King Antiochus heard these reports, he was greatly angered. He sent for and gathered all the forces of his kingdom, a very strong army. He opened his coffers and gave a year’s pay to his forces. He ordered them to be ready for any need. Then he saw that the money in the treasury was exhausted. The revenues from the country were small because of the dissension and disaster that he had caused in the land by abolishing the laws that had existed from the earliest days. He feared that he might not have such funds as he had before for his expenses and for the gifts which he used to give more lavishly than preceding kings. He was greatly perplexed in mind. He determined to go to Persia. There he could collect the revenues from those regions and thus raise a large fund.”
The Seleucid Syrian King Antiochus IV got angry when he heard these reports about Judas Maccabeus. He wanted a strong army. Thus he paid all the people in the army for a full year so that they would be ready at any moment. However, he soon realized that he did not have as much money as he expected. The revenues were diminishing after he set in motion the new laws of unification that did away with all the local laws. There was a lot of dissension that led to this disaster. He decided that he would go to Persia and get some money from that region there.