King Seleucus died and was succeeded by his son Antiochus, an arrogant and terrible man, who, in turn, replaced the noble and good man, Onias, as high priest with Onias' brother, Jason, who agreed to pay the king a large sum every year.
Note: a foreign king had decided who would be the high priest for the Jews.
Jason violated Jewish law; e.g., he allowed a gymnasium to be constructed. issued a decree that any Jews found observing the Jewish law would be executed. Even so, the Jews disregarded his command and kept being Jews. In response, he had women who had circumcised their sons executed along with their infant sons. He instituted torture so as to compel everyone to eat foods they considered defiling and to renounce Judaism.