Seleucus Philopator succeeded his father Antiochus, Anno Nabonass. 561, and reigned twelve years, but did nothing memorable, being sluggish, and intent upon raising money for the Romans to whom he was tributary. He was slain by Heliodorus, whom he had sent to rob the Temple of Jerusalem. Daniel thus describes his reign. Then shall stand up in his estate a raiser of taxes in the glory of the kingdom, but within few days he shall be destroyed, neither in anger nor in battle.
A little before the death of Philopator, his son Demetrius was sent hostage to Rome, in the place of Antiochus Epiphanes, the brother of Philopator; and Antiochus was at Athens in his way home from Rome, when Philopator died: whereupon Heliodorus the treasurer of the kingdom, stepped into the throne. But Antiochus so managed his affairs, that the Romans kept Demetrius at Rome; and their ally the King of Pergamus expelled Heliodorus, and placed Antiochus in the throne, while Demetrius the right heir remained an hostage at Rome. Antiochus being thus made King by the friendship of the King of Pergamus reigned powerfully over Syria and the neighboring nations: but carried himself much below his dignity, stealing privately out of the palace, rambling up and down the city in disguise with one or two of his companions; conversing and drinking with people of the lowest rank, foreigners and strangers; frequenting the meetings of dissolute persons to feast and revel; clothing himself like the Roman candidates and officers, acting their parts like a mimic, and in public festivals jesting and dancing with servants and light people, exposing himself by all manner of ridiculous gestures. This conduct made some take him for a madman, and call him Antiochus Epimanes. In the first year of his reign he deposed Onias the high-Priest, and sold the high-Priesthood to Jason the younger brother of Onias: for Jason had promised to give him 440 talents of silver for that office, and 150 more for a license to erect a place of exercise for the training up of youth in the fashions of the heathen; which license was granted by the King, and put in execution by Jason. The King sending one Appolonius into Egypt to the coronation of Ptolemy Philometor, the young son of Philometor and Cleopatra, and knowing Philometor not to be well affected to his affairs in Phoenicia, provided for his own safety in those parts; and for that end came to Joppa and Jerusalem, where he was honorably received; from thence he went in like manner with his little army to the cities of Phoenicia, to establish himself against Egypt, by courting the people, and distributing extraordinary favors amongst them. All which is thus represented by Daniel. And in his [Philometor’s] estate shall stand up a vile person, to whom they [the Syrians who set up Heliodorus] shall not give the honor of the kingdom.