From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [1]

Claudins Lysias was the chiliarch, the tribune, in command of the Roman troops stationed at the Tower of Antonia at the time of St. Paul’s last visit to Jerusalem. The conjecture is probable that he was by birth a Greek, and that he adopted the name Claudius when ‘with a great sum’ he obtained the station of a Roman citizen ( Acts 22:28; see R. J. Knowling, Expositor’s Greek Testament , ‘Acts,’ 1900, p. 463; of.  Acts 21:37). The Tower of Antonia communicated by a stairway with the cloisters of the Temple (see G. A. Smith, Jerusalem , 1898, ii. 495f., and articleJerusalem for the position of the tower), and care was taken to have soldiers there in readiness for any emergency, especially at the time of the Jewish festivals (Jos. Bellum Judaicum (Josephus)  Acts 21:5;  Acts 21:8), like that of Pentecost, which St. Paul was attending. News was quickly brought up to the Tower of the riotous attack made upon the Apostle in the Temple at the instigation of ‘Jews from Asia’ ( Acts 21:27 ff.). It was suggested to Lysias, or the idea occurred spontaneously to him, that the object of the fury of the mob might be a man whom he was anxious to apprehend-viz. the leader of a recent seditious movement, who had managed to escape when the procurator Felix fell upon him and the crowd of his followers (Jos. Ant. xx. 8. 6, and Bellum Judaicum (Josephus) ii. 13. 5). Hence the surprise with which the chiliarch turns to St. Paul, so soon as he had been snatched from his assailants, with the question: ‘You are not, then, the Egyptian …?’ ( Acts 21:38) After allowing St. Paul to address the people from ‘the stairs,’ Lysias had him taken within the Tower, and had given orders that he should be examined by scourging, when he was made aware that his prisoner was a Roman citizen, whom ‘it was illegal to subject to such treatment’ ( Acts 22:25 ff.). Seeking to obtain the information he desired by other means, Lysias convened a meeting of the Jewish Council on the following day, ‘and brought St. Paul down and set him before them’ ( Acts 22:30). The tumult that arose on St. Paul’s statement that he was a Pharisee, and was called in question ‘touching the hope and resurrection of the dead,’ was so great that he had to be rescued by the soldiers, who took him again to the Tower. Then followed the ‘plot of certain of the Jews to kill St. Paul,’ if the chiliarch could be induced to bring him again before the Council. News of this was carried to Lysias by ‘Paul’s sister’s son.’ Thereupon the resolution was taken to send the Apostle for greater safety to Caesarea ( Acts 23:16 ff.). With the escort, Lysias sent a letter to the Governor Felix ( Acts 23:24 ff.). In writing, he forgot the misconception about ‘the Egyptian’ under which he had first apprehended St. Paul. Uppermost in his mind was the fact that he had been the means of rescuing ‘a Roman’ from the mad fury of the Jews. Not unnaturally it is that fact he emphasized when writing to the Governor. No further trace of Lysias is forthcoming.

G. P. Gould.

Smith's Bible Dictionary [2]

Lys'ias. (Dissolving). A nobleman of the blood-royal,  1 Maccabees 3:32;  2 Maccabees 11:1, who was entrusted by Antiochus Epiphanes, (cir. B.C. 166), with the government of southern Syria and the guardianship of his son, Antiochus Eupator.  1 Maccabees 3:32;  2 Maccabees 10:11.

After the death of Antiochus Epiphanes, B.C. 184, Lysias assumed the government as guardian of his son, who was yet a child.  1 Maccabees 6:17. In B.C. 164, he, together with his ward, fell into the hands of Demetrius Soter, who put them both to death.  1 Maccabees 7:2-4;  2 Maccabees 14:2.

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [3]

LYSIAS. 1 . A general of Antiochus Epiphanes, charged with a war of extermination against the Jews ( 1Ma 3:32 ff., cf. 2Ma 10:11; 2Ma 11:1 ff.); defeated at Bethsura ( 1Ma 4:34 ff.); after the death of Epiphanes he championed the cause of Eupator, and finally suffered death along with the latter at the hands of Demetrius (6:14ff., 63, 1Ma 7:2-4 , 2Ma 14:2 ). Cf. art. Maccabees, § 2 .

2. See next article.

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [4]

Or Claudius Lysias, commander of the Roman guard at Jerusalem during Paul's last visit there. In the honorable discharge of his duty, he repeatedly saved Paul from the malice of the Jews,  Acts 21:27-40   22:1-23:35 .

Holman Bible Dictionary [5]

 Acts 23:26Claudius Acts 24:7  Acts 24:22

Morrish Bible Dictionary [6]


Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [7]

( Δυσίας , a common Greek name), the name of two men mentioned, one in the Apocrypha, and the other in the New Testament.

1. A Syrian "nobleman of the blood royal" whom Antiochus Epiphanes, when setting out for Persia, appointed guardian of his son, and regent of that part of his kingdom which extended from the Euphrates to the borders of Egypt ( 1 Maccabees 3:32;  2 Maccabees 10:11; compare Josephus, Ant. 12:7, 2; Appian, De Rebus Syr. 46). Acting under the special orders of the king, Lysias collected a large force for the purpose of carrying on a war of extermination against the Jews. This army, under the command of the generals Ptolemy, Nicanor, and Gorgias, was surprised and put to flight by Judas Maccabaeus near Emmaus ( 1 Maccabees 3:38 to  1 Maccabees 4:18; Josephus, Ant. 12:7, 3, 4). In the following year, B.C. 165, Lysias himself invaded Judaea with a still larger army, and joined battle with Judas in the neighborhood of Bethsura. The Syrians were again defeated, and so decisively that Judas was able to accomplish his great purpose, the purification of the Temple, and the re-establishment of divine worship at Jerusalem ( 1 Maccabees 4:28-61; Josephus, Ant. 12:7, 5-7). Lysias retired to Antioch. and, while preparing for a fresh campaign, the death of Epiphanes left him in virtual possession of the supreme power. Shortly afterwards (probably B.C. 163), with an army equal in number to the former two combined, with three hundred war-chariots and two-and-thirty elephants, and accompanied by the young king Antiochus Eupator, he again entered Judaea from the side of Idumaea. Having taken the fortified city of Bethsura, he advanced to Jerusalem and laid siege to the Temple. Meeting here with a stouter resistance than he had anticipated, and hearing that Philip, a rival claimant to the guardianship of the king, was returning from Persia, he hastily concluded a peace with the Jews, and set out for Antioch. On reaching this city he found it in the possession of his rival. In the engagement which followed Philip was defeated and slain. Another and more formidable opponent, however, soon appeared in the person of Demetrius Soter, first cousin of the king, who, escaping from Rome, landed at Tripolis, and laid claim to the throne. The people rose in his favor, and Antiochus and Lvsias were seized and put to death (1 Macc. 6-7. 2;  2 Maccabees 13:1 to  2 Maccabees 14:2; Joseph. Ant. 12:9, 10; Appian, De rebus Syr. 47).

In the second book of Maccabees an account is given at some length of an invasion of Judaea by Lysias, made befbre the final invasion, but after the death of Epiphanes (2 Maccabees 11). It is scarcely possible to reconcile this with the more trustworthy narratives of the first book, and it is clear from 2 Mace. 9:28-10:10, that the writer is not following a strictly chronological order in this part of his history. Internal evidence seems to favor the opinion that this narrative has been compiled from separate and partial accounts of the two invasions referred to in 1 Maccabees 4-6, the writer too hastily inferring that they described the same event. Kitto. "There is no sufficient ground for believing that the events recorded are different (Patritius, De Consensue Macc. § 27, 37), for the mistake of date in 2 Macc. is one which might easily arise (compare Wernsdorf, De fide Macc. § 66; Grimm, on  2 Maccabees 11:1). The idea of Grotius that 2 Maccabees 11 and 2 Maccabees 13 are duplicate records of the same event, in spite of Ewald's support (Geschichte, 4:365, note), is scarcely tenable, and leaves half the difficulty unexplained."

2. Claudius Lysias the chiliarch ( Χιλίαρχος , "chief captain") who commanded the Roman troops in Jerusalem during the latter part of the procuratorship of Felix, and by whom Paul was secured from the fury of the Jews, and sent under guard to the procurator Felix at Caesarea ( Acts 21:31-38;  Acts 22:24-30;  Acts 23:17-30;  Acts 24:7;  Acts 24:22). A.D. 55. Nothing more is known of him than what is stated in these passages. From his name, and from  Acts 22:28, it may be inferred that he was a Greek who had become a Roman citizen. His proper rank appears to have been that of military tribune, and his note to his superior officer is an interesting specimen of Roman military correspondence (comp. Wernsdorf. Cl. Lysiae Oratio. Helmst. 1743). (See Paul).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [8]

lis´i - as ( Λυσίας , Lusı́as ):

(1) "A noble man, and one of the blood royal" whom Antiochus Epiphanes (circa 166 BC) left with the government of Southern Syria and the guardianship of his son, while he went in person into Persia to collect the revenues which were. not coming in satisfactorily ( 1 Maccabees 3:32;  2 Maccabees 10:11 ). According to Josephus ( Ant. , Xii , vii, 2), the instructions of Lysias were' "to conquer Judea, enslave its inhabitants, utterly destroy Jerusalem and abolish the whole nation." Lysias, accordingly, armed against Judas Maccabeus a large force under Ptolemy, son of Dorymenes, Nicanor and Gorgias. Of this force Judas defeated the two divisions under Nicanor and Gorgias near Emmaus (166 BC), and in the following year Lysias himself at Bethsura ( 1 Maccabees 4 ), after which he proceeded to the purification of the temple. In the narration of these campaigns there are considerable differences between the writers of 1 Maccabees and 2 Maccabees which scholars have not found easy to explain. Antiochus died at Babylon on his Persian expedition (164 BC), and Lysias assumed the office of regent during the minority of his son, who was yet a child ( 1 Maccabees 6:17 ). He collected another army at Antioch, and after the recapture of Bethsura was besieging Jerusalem when he learned of the approach of Philip to whom Antiochus, on his deathbed, had entrusted the guardianship of the prince ( 1 Maccabees 6:15;  2 Maccabees 13 ). He defeated Philip in 163 Bc and was supported at Rome, but in the following year he fell with his ward Antiochus into the hands of Demetrius I (Soter), who put both of them to death ( 1 Maccabees 7:1-23 ).

(2) See Claudius Lysias ( Acts 23:26 ).

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [9]

Lys´sias, or Claudius Lysias, chiliarch and commandant of the Roman troops who kept guard at the temple of Jerusalem, by whom Paul was secured from the fury of the Jews, and sent under guard to the procurator Felix at Cesarea ( to ).