of the persecution of the Jews in the third century B.C.
The Egyptian King Ptolemy IV threatened to desecrate
the Temple in Jerusalem. Simon the high priest
prayed for divine help, and God prevented the
desecration. Returning to Egypt, the king took
revenge by forcing the Egyptian Jews to join the
cult of Dionysus. The Jews resisted, but
they were to be forcibly registered in the pagan
cult, then tortured and executed. God intervened
again by cutting short the supply of writing materials
so that the registration could not be completed.
The king then determined to kill the Jews by trampling
them with war elephants, but God intervened once
more. King Ptolemy repented and became a supporter
of the Jews, allowing them to return to their