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ARATHES ă rā’ thez (̓Αριαράθης; ̓Αράθης; ASV form of RSV, KJV ARIARATHES). King of Cappadocia (163-130 b.c.), he was driven from his throne by the Syrian king, Demetrius Soter, because, in conformity with the wishes of his ally, Rome, he declined a proposal to marry the sister of the Syrian king. In 158 b.c. he fled to Rome, but later was restored to the throne. In 139 b.c. the Romans wrote letters to him and other eastern kings in favor of the Jews (1 Macc 15:22). This was the result of an embassy sent to Rome by Simon Maccabeus.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

King of Cappadocia, 163-130 BC. Educated in Rome, he imbibed Roman ideas and became a faithful ally of the Romans, in conformity with whose wishes he declined a proposal of marriage with the sister of Demetrius Soter. The latter declared war, drove Arathes from his kingdom and set up Holophernes in his stead. He fled to Rome about 158, and through the good offices of the Romans succeeded in obtaining for himself a participation in the government of Cappadocia. Later he again became sole king. In 139 BC, as a result of an embassy sent by Simon Maccabeus, the Romans wrote letters to Arathes (1 Macc 15:22) and other eastern kings in behalf of the Jews. (See Diodor. XXXI, 19, 28, 32; Justin, XXXV, 1; Polyb. III, 5; XXXII, 20-30; XXXIII, 12).

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