Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible 
MENELAUS. Brother of Simon the Benjamite ( 2M Malachi 3:4 ), or, according to Josephus ( Ant . XII. v. 1), a younger brother of Jason and Onias. He purchased the office of high priest from Antiochus Epiphanes for the sum of 660 talents ( c [Note: circa, about.] . b.c. 172), thereby causing the deposition of Jason, who had obtained the office by similar corrupt means. Being unable, through lack of funds, to pay the required sum, he was cited to appear before the king, but, finding the latter absent on warfare, he plundered the Temple of sacred vessels and thereby found means to silence his enemies. Having secured the death of Onias III., who threatened to divulge the sacrilege ( 2Ma 4:27-34 ), he became so unpopular that Jason marched against him to recover the office he had lost ( 2Ma 5:5-10 ). After this attempt of Jason, which ended in failure, Menelaus is lost to sight for some years, but finally suffered death at the hands of Antiochus Eupator ( c [Note: circa, about.] . b.c. 163).
T. A. Moxon.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia 
men - ḗ - lā´us ( Μενέλαος , Menélaos ): According to the less likely account of Josephus ( Ant. , Xii , v, 1; XV, iii, 1; XX, x, 3), Menelaus was a brother of Jason and Onias III, and his name was really Onias. But it is very unlikely that there should be two brothers of the same name. The account of 2 Maccabees is more credible - that Menelaus was the brother of the notorious Simon who suggested to the Syrians the plundering of the temple; he was thus of the tribe of Benjamin ( 2 Maccabees 4:23; compare with 3:4) and not properly eligible to the high-priesthood. He was entrusted by Jason (171 BC), who had supplanted Onias, with contributions to the king of Syria, Antiochus Epiphanes, and by outbidding Jason in presents he secured the office of high priest for himself ( 2 Maccabees 4:23 f), 171 BC. Menelaus returned with "the passion of a cruel tyrant" to Jerusalem, and Jason fled. But as Menelaus failed to pay the promised amount, both he and Sostratus, the governor, were summoned to appear before the king. Lysimachus, the brother of Menelaus, was left at Jerusalem in the meantime as deputy high priest. The king was called from his capital to suppress an insurrection of Tarsus and Mallus. Menelaus took advantage of his absence to win over Andronicus, the king's deputy, by rich presents stolen from the temple. For this sacrilege Onias 3 sharply reproved him and fled to a sanctuary, Daphne, near Antioch. Andronicus was then further persuaded by Menelaus to entice Onias from his retreat and murder him ( 2 Maccabees 4:34 f) - an act against which both Jews and Greeks protested to the king on his return, and secured deserved punishment for Andronicus. Meanwhile, the oppression of Lysimachus, abetted by Menelaus, caused a bloody insurrection in Jerusalem, in connection with which a Jewish deputation brought an accusation against Menelaus on the occasion of Antiochus' visit to Tyre. Menelaus bribed Ptolemy, son of Dorymenes, to win over the king to acquit himself and secure the execution of "those hapless men, who, if they had pleaded even before Scythians, would have been discharged uncondemned" ( 2 Maccabees 4:39 ff). Menelaus returned in triumph to his office. But Jason, taking advantage of Epiphanes' absence in Egypt and a false rumor of his death, made a bloody but unsuccessful attempt upon the city, in order to secure his office again; his rival took refuge in the citadel. The king returned in fury, caused a three days' slaughter of the citizens, rifled the temple with Menelaus as guide, and left him as one of his agents to keep the Jews in subjection ( 2 Maccabees 5:1 ff). He appears next and for the last time in the reign of Eupator in 162 BC. Lysias, the king's chancellor, accused him to the king as the cause of all the troubles in Judea ( 2 Maccabees 13:3-8 ). Eupator caused him to be brought to Berea and there - before, according to 2 Maccabees, loc. cit., or after, according to Josephus, Ant. , Xii , ix, 7, the invasion of Judea by Eupator and Lysias - to be put to death by being flung from the top of a high tower into the ashes of which it was full - a fitting end for such a wretch.
The Nuttall Encyclopedia 
King of Sparta, the brother of Agamemnon and the husband of Helen, the carrying away of whom by Paris led to the Trojan War.