Simon II


Jason of the Oniad family and brother to Onias III assumed the office of the High Priest in Jerusalem upon the accession of Antiochus Epiphanes to the throne of the Seleucid Empire.

In the midst of the ongoing dispute between Onias II and Simon the Benjaminite over the attempted plunder of the Temple by Heliodorus, Jason offered to pay Antiochus in order to be confirmed as the new High Priest in Jerusalem. Antiochus accepted the offer and further allowed Jason to build a gymnasium in Jerusalem and to create a Greek-style Polis named after the king, Antioch.

With the creation of Antioch, Jason abandoned the ordinances granting the Judeans religious freedom given under Antiochus III.

Jason's time as High Priest was brought to an abrupt end in 172 BCE when he sent Menelaus, the brother of Simon the Benjaminite, to deliver money to Antiochus. Menelaus took this opportunity to "outbid" Jason for the priesthood, resulting in Antiochus confirming Menelaus as the High Priest.