Antiochus IV Epiphanes
Antiochus IV Epiphanes (175-164 BC), was the 8th ruler of the Seleucid empire. He was violently bitter against the Jews, and he made a furious and determined effort to exterminate them and their religion. He devastated Jerusalem (168 BC), defiled the Temple, offered a sow on its altar, erected an altar to Jupiter, prohibited Temple worship, forbade circumcision on pain of death, sold thousands of Jewish families into slavery, destroyed all copies of Scripture that could be found, and slaughtered everyone discovered in possession of such copies, and resorted to every conceivable torture to force Jews to renounce their religion. This led to the Maccabaean revolt, one of the most heroic feats in history.