Bible Brutality: Heliodorus is Beaten by Angels
Who Is in the Story?
- Heliodorus, agent of Seleuceus, Seleucid king
- Onias, High Priest of the Temple
- Simon, wannabe High Priest
- The Angels
So What Happened?
Simon, the wannabe High Priest, did not like Onias, presumably by virtue of Onias being High Priest while he was not. He concocted a master plan to help him become a priest. He told the governor of the region, Apollonius, that there was a lot of gold in the Temple. Apollonius, being a good governor, told the king Seleucus. Seleucus, being king, then sent his henchman Heliodorus to Jerusalem to see if there really was gold in the Temple.
When Heliodorus arrived in the city, he immediately asked Onias if there was gold in the Temple. Onias told him that there was gold, but the temple was being used as a bank to store valuables for the citizens, and it was nowhere near enough gold to warrant confiscation and that Simon was trying to pull a fast one. Heliodorus was having none of that.
He marched into the Temple, and angels beat him up.
Upon his entry into the Temple, an angel on a presumably angelic horse knocked him down. Two more angels appeared and rained fists upon the man. Even the horse got in on the fun and began kicking him. This went on for a bit until the angels decided that justice had been served. They departed, and poor old Heliodorus had to be carried out of the Temple. As he was carried out of the Temple, everyone began to praise God, presumably so the angels wouldn't return and beat them as well.
This is one of the few, perhaps only, occasion where a man was attacked by angels.