About Judas Aristobulus I Hasmonean, King & High Priest of Judea
Judah Aristobulus I (Yehudah, Heb. יהודה) (reigned 104–103 BC), the first ruler of the Hebrew Hasmonean Dynasty to call himself "king," was the eldest of the five sons of John Hyrcanus, the previous leader. Josephus would declare him the first Jew in 481 years to “wear the diadem on his head” (Ant. xiii, 301). According to Jewish tradition, only descendants of Judah, or, more specifically, the House of David, were qualified to be kings of Israel, so all of Aristobulus' predecessors used the title of "nasi"/"president".
According to the directions of John Hyrcanus, the government of the country after his death was to be placed in the hands of his wife, and Aristobulus was originally to receive only the high-priesthood. But he seized the crown with support of his brother Antigonus, imprisoning his mother and other three brothers. Like his father, Aristobulus was a Sadducee who took actions to erode Jewish identity. Under Aristobulus’ reign, the name of the Jewish community or counsel of the Jews became “Hever ha-Yehhdim” and in the Greek, the “Sanhedrin.” The identity of ‘the community of the Jews’ may have been on his coins, but their title, like his crown, was seen and spoken in Greek terms. Like many crowns, the one Aristobulus wore held the weight of suspicion and jealousy. When he showed signs of disease, his wife, Queen Shelomit (Salome) Alexandra, conspired to murder Antigonus. She poisoned the king’s mind with suggestions that his brother was attempting to steal the throne by force. She then convinced Antigonus that his king wished to see his new armor, while telling Aristobulus that his brother was coming to kill him. Antigonus died before reaching the throne. Days later, Aristobulus died of internal bleeding from a disease. The Queen released the younger brothers from prison, placing Alexander Jannaeus on the throne (Jewish Wars i, 74-85).
SOURCES: Josephus Ant. xiii, (301-319); Jewish Wars (B.J.) i, (70-84).
ARISTOBULUS I. By : Richard Gottheil Louis Ginzberg
King of Judea, eldest son of John Hyrcanus; born about 140 B.C.; died 104. He succeeded his father in the office of high priest, while his mother (or, according to Wellhausen, his stepmother) was, by the will of his father, to rule as queen. Immediately after the death of his father, Aristobulus threw his mother into prison, where she was starved to death; and to secure himself against further danger from his family, he imprisoned three of his brothers. Then he ascended the throne, and became the first Jewish king after the Babylonian exile—an interval of nearly five hundred years.
Aristobulus was not content with the mere title of king, but endeavored, in the brief period of his reign, to prove himself worthy of his position. He made war on Iturea, subjugated a large portion of the people, strove to convert them to Judaism, and forced circumcision upon them. This fact, which Josephus derives from Timogenes, a heathen writer, admits of no doubt, although it is not known exactly what territory of the Itureans was conquered for Judea by Aristobulus.
Successful as was his public career, Aristobulus was extremely unfortunate in his family relations. Being of feeble health, he gradually came under the complete control of a clique, at the head of which stood Alexandra Salome, the queen. Through its machinations, he was led to suspect his favorite brother, Antigonus—whom he had entrusted with a share in the government, and whom he treated almost as a coregent—of designs against him, and was finally induced to order his execution, though unwittingly, it is claimed. After this deed Aristobulus is said to have been seized with such bitter remorse at having caused the death of his mother and brother, that he broke down completely and died of grief, 104 B.C. If the account of Josephus concerning the family history be true, Aristobulus is the darkest figure in the Hasmonean dynasty; but not much credence can be attached to this portion of his narrative, by reason of the amount of legend that has gathered about it. It must be observed that it was out of regard for the Pharisees that he used only Hebrew inscriptions upon his coinage, and caused himself to be represented upon it as a high priest, because according to the Pharisees only a member of the house of David could legitimately hold the throne. Although strongly inclined toward Hellenism himself, he was careful, even in such comparatively small matters, not to offend the Pharisees; it is therefore highly improbable that he should have risked their certain antagonism by the murders imputed to him.
Aristobulus (Ἀριστόβουλος; Aristóboulos). Judas A. I., High Priest 104-103 BC Judas A. I, son and successor of John Hyrcanus, High Priest in 104-103 BC, had his mother and brother incarcerated or killed to secure his rule. This and his philhellenic leanings determined his negative image in Jewish tradition. The claim of Josephus that he took on the title of king is thrown into doubt by (rare) coins with the Hebrew legend: ‘Judas the High Priest and the Council of Elde http://referenceworks.brillonline.com/entries/brill-s-new-pauly/salome-e1028520?s.num=10
Judah Aristobulus I (from Greek Ἀριστόβουλος, meaning "best advising"; reigned c. 104-103 BC), was the first ruler of the Hasmonean Dynasty to declare himself "king," and was the eldest of the five sons of John Hyrcanus, the previous leader. Josephus would declare him the first Jew in 481 years to wear the diadem on his head.
Aristobulus was not only just the first king from the Hasmonean lineage, but the first of any Hebrew kings to claim both the high priesthood and the kingship title. The Sadducees and the Essenes were not concerned about the newly titles of Judah, however, the Pharisees were infuriated of the new kingship title as they felt that the kingship can only be from decedents of the Davidic lineage as the Hasmoneans are Levites. The Pharisees began a massive rebellion, but Aristrobulus died before any attempt to depose of him could occur.
Ascension as king
According to the directions of John Hyrcanus, the country after his death was to be placed in the hands of his wife, and Aristobulus was originally to receive the high-priesthood only. Aristobulus did not approve of his father's wishes, instead, he seized the crown with the support of his brother Antigonus who would later be killed by Aristobulus's guards. To secure his kingship, he had his mother placed in prison, where she starved to death, and to secure himself against further endangerment from his family, he placed his three brothers into prison except for Antigonus.
Conquest of Galilee
Much of the Galilee region was annexed by Aristobulus, however, there was some resistance from the Arab Ituraean tribes from the northern parts of the region. The terrain made campaigning difficult against the Galilee inhabitants. In the end, Aristobulus would eventually conquer much of the territory from them. The Golan region was also taken during the campaign and Mount Hermon as well. The conquered inhabitants were forced to accept the Jewish faith, primarily, circumcision was forcibly performed as the first step to conversion.
Death and successor
Aristobulus's feeble health gradually lead his remaining reign under the control of a clique, at the head of which stood Queen Alexandra Salome, his wife. Through his machinations reign, he was led to suspect his favorite brother, Antigonus—whom he had entrusted with a share in the government, and whom he treated almost as a coregent—of designs against him. When he showed signs of disease, the queen conspired to murder Antigonus. She deceived the king with suggestions that Antigonus was attempting to overthrow him by force. Salome then convinced Antigonus that his king wished to see his new armor, while telling Aristobulus that his brother was coming to kill him. Antigonus was killed by Aristobulus's guards before he could get close to his brother. Days later, Aristobulus died from pain and internal bleeding from an unknown disease, which Jews perceived his death as a sign of God's disgruntlement. The queen released the younger brothers from prison, placing Alexander Jannaeus on the throne.
Galilee and Golan settlements
Archaeological findings in eastern Galilee and lower Golan reveal massive ethnic changes in the area just before, during, and immediately after Aristobulus's reign. Beginning with John Hyrcanus and ending with Alexander Jannaeus, large numbers of pro-Hasmonean Jews immigrated into those territories to support Hasmonean political, economic, and religious ideology, displacing much of the indigenous population. Although many of these towns were later seized by Roman forces who instituted pro-Hellenic policies, the previous Hasmonean influence survived and would incite conflict during and after the rule of Herod the Great.
The first mint of Hasmonean coins didn't begin until the leadership of John Hyrcanus.[Note 1] Like his father, Judah Aristobulus only minted his coins with the title of the high priesthood. It wasn't until Alexander Jannaeus that both the roles of kingship and the high priesthood were minted onto coins. The majority of Judah's coins were found in the regions of Galilee and the Golan, primary, the largest amount of coins were from Gamla. Majority of them come from his actual reign, while a small amount of these coins were minted after.
About יהודה אריסטובלוס הראשון Hasmonean, King & High Priest of Judea (עברית)
אריסטובולוס הראשון, הידוע גם בשם יהודה אריסטובולוס (מת 103 לפנה"ס) - מלך יהודה והכהן הגדול בין השנים 103-104 לפני ספירת הנוצרים, היה בנו הבכור של יוחנן הורקנוס.
אריסטובולוס ואחיו אנטיגונוס הראשון שיתפו פעולה, בתקופת חיי אביהם, במלחמה לכיבוש השומרון. אולם יוחנן הורקנוס, האב, לא חפץ שאריסטובולוס יהיה מלך, אלא כהן גדול בלבד. זאת כדי להפחית קנאת האחים, או כדי שהכהן הגדול לא יטמא ידיו בדם מלחמות. את משרת הנשיאות (לא המלוכה) ייעד הורקנוס לאשתו, אך משעלה אריסטובולוס לשלטון הוא כלא את אימו, עד שגוועה, ואת אחיו, פרט לאנטיגונוס הראשון, שהיה קרוב אליו בשנים ואהוב עליו, אשר על כן חלק לו מכבודו.
אריסטובולוס הכתיר את עצמו למלך, שם על ראשו כתר, והיה הראשון לבית חשמונאי שלקח לעצמו תואר זה. בינתיים נפל למשכב. מששמע על ניצחונות אחיו אנטיגונוס, חשש שמא זה יתפוס את מקומו. הוא הורה שזה לא יבוא אליו מזוין בנשק, וציווה גם שכל מי שיבוא למלך חמוש ייהרג לאלתר. המלכה, אשתו של אריסטובולוס, ששטמה את אנטיגונוס, הורתה לספר לו שאחיו רוצה לראות אותו עם כל כלי נשקו, כיאות לגיבור מנצח. כך הוא אכן עשה, וכצפוי הרגו אותו השומרים. האשמה שחש על מות אחיו הגבירה את חולי המלך אריסטובולוס הראשון, במיוחד כשהחל לפלוט דם מפיו ונתגלגלו העניינים כך שדם זה נשפך בדיוק במקום שבו נשפך דם אחיו, ובסופו של דבר הוא מת.
על דברים אלו כותב יוסף קלוזנר: "כל הסיפורים האלו, מתחילתם ועד סופם, חשודים הם בדמיונות והפלגה. יש כאן דברי אגדה יותר מדי. הרי הסיפורים הללו נקראים כרומן היסטורי ממש!"
על כן מפרט קלוזנר מה לדעתו מקור ההכפשות על אריסטובולוס: "מה ששם יהודה אריסטובולוס כתר מלכות בראשו הרגיז את הפרושים ובעלי בריתם. מלך היה יכול להיות לישראל רק מבית דוד. נוסף על זה היה אוהב יוונים... מי יודע אם לא מתה אמו מחמת זקנה, כדרך כל הארץ. ואחיו נהרג על ידי שונאי בית חשמונאי, שקנאו בגדולתו, ולא על ידו. כל הסיפור בדבר חרטתו העזה שקרבה את קצו מוכיח שיוסף בן מתתיהו השתדל להשלים בין מעשי אכזריות אלה ובין מזגו הטוב של אריסטובולוס"
הישגו הגדול של אריסטובולוס, שבוצע על ידי אחיו, היה כיבוש שטחי הגליל ובעיקר כיבושם וגיורם של היטורים, שבט ערבי צפוני. בתקופת שלטונו הקצרה, שארכה שנה בלבד, הספיק יהודה אריסטובולוס לכבוש את עמק יזרעאל ולגייר את תושבי הגליל העליון. לדעת קלוזנר, גיורם מעיד שלמרות קרבתו ליוונים לא היה אריסטובולוס מתייוון ממש.
ממשיכו היה אלכסנדר ינאי, הגדול באחיו שנותרו. לפי רוב הדעות הוא לקח לו לאישה את אשתו של אריסטובולוס, והיא זו שלימים תהפוך להיות המלכה שלומציון.