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LYSIMACHUS lī sĭm’ ə kus (Λυσίμαχος). 1. Mentioned in the Additions to Esther (in Gr.) as the interpreter (tr.) of Esther into Gr. (Add Esth 11:1). This mention, which occurs at the end of the Gr. text, asserts that in the fourth year of the reign of Ptolemy and Cleopatra, Dositheus, who said that he was a priest and a Levite, and Ptolemy his son brought this (or the above) epistle of Purim (to Egypt), which they said had been tr. by Lysimachus, son of Ptolemy of Jerusalem. (See H. B. Swete, An Introduction to the Old Testament in Greek [1902], pp. 25, 258; R. H. Pfeiffer, Introduction to the Old Testament [1948], p. 736, and History of New Testament Times [1949], pp. 310, 311; B. M. Metzger, An Introduction to the Apocrypha [1957], pp. 55, 56; O. Eissfeldt, The Old Testament: An Introduction. Eng. tr. [1965], p. 592.)

2. Brother of Menelaus, high priest in the days of Antiochus Epiphanes, who served in Menelaus’ stead in the priesthood for a time. 2 Maccabees 4 reports that he committed many sacrileges with the consent of Menelaus, that many vessels of gold were carried away, and that the people were aroused against him. When the multitude rose against him, and were filled with rage, Lysimachus armed about 3,000 men, and began first to offer violence. The people retaliated, defeated the forces of Lysimachus, and killed him beside the treasury.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)


(1) The son of Ptolemy, of Jerusalem, is named (Additions to Esther 11:1) as the interpreter (translator of the Rest of Esther into Greek).

See The Rest of Esther.

(2) Brother of Menelaus, a Greek name said by Josephus (Ant., XII, v, 1) to have been assumed by Onias, the high priest in the hellenizing days of Antiochus Epiphanes, as the Jewish name Jesus was changed to Jason. When Menelaus was summoned to Antioch (2 Macc 4:29) on a charge of malversation, he left Lysimachus as his deputy in the priesthood at Jerusalem. Lysimachus robbed the temple and caused an insurrection in which he met his death beside the treasury (2 Macc 4:42). The name of Lysimachus does not appear in the narrative of these events given by Josephus