Facts and Events
Seleucus IV Philopator (Greek: Σέλευκος Δ' Φιλοπάτωρ) (c. 218 – 175 BC), ruler of the Hellenistic Seleucid Empire, reigned from 187 BC to 175 BC over a realm consisting of Syria (now including Cilicia and Judea), Mesopotamia, Babylonia and Nearer Iran (Media and Persia). He was the second son and successor of Antiochus III the Great and Laodice III. The wife of Seleucus IV was his sister Laodice IV, by whom he had three children: two sons Antiochus, Demetrius I Soter and a daughter Laodice V.
He was compelled by financial necessities, created in part by the heavy war-indemnity exacted by Rome, to pursue an ambitious policy. In an effort to collect money to pay the Romans, he sent his minister Heliodorus to Jerusalem to seize the Jewish temple treasury.
The Bible tells of a prophecy given by a messenger angel in Daniel 11:20 (NLT). The text states that Seleucus "will be remembered as the king who sent a tax collector to maintain the royal splendor." The Apocrypha lends more to this in 2 Maccabees 3:2-3... "It came to pass that even the kings themselves, and the princes esteemed the place [the Temple in Jerusalem] worthy of the highest honour, and glorified the temple with very great gifts: So that Seleucus king of Asia allowed out of his revenues all the charges belonging to the ministry of the sacrifices."
On his return from Jerusalem, Heliodorus assassinated Seleucus, and seized the throne for himself. The true heir Demetrius, son of Seleucus, was now being retained in Rome as a hostage, and the kingdom was seized by the younger brother of Seleucus, Antiochus IV Epiphanes. Antiochus managed to oust Heliodorus and an infant son of Seleucus, also named Antiochus, was formal head of state for a few years until Epiphanes had him murdered.