Although the Jews had been allowed to return from exile, they were not in charge of their land. Some of the Jews were ready to accept that situation as inevitable and suggested that they seek some kind of accommodation with the Gentiles surrounding them.
So, they approached the king who allowed them to construct a gymnasium (a Gentile kind of place, so Gentile, that in order to use it, they uncircumcised themselves).
Meanwhile, the king, Antiochus IV, decided to overtake Egypt. Having that success (198 BCE), he led a strong army into Jerusalem and looted the sanctuary.
How much accommodation to civic life is appropriate?