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'''Ethnarch''' is the anglicized form of the Greek '''εθνάρχες έθνάρχες ''ethnarches'''''. It refers generally to political leadership over a common [[Ethnic Group|ethnic group]] or homogeneous kingdom. The word is derived from the Greek ἔθνος ''ethnos'', ethnic group "tribe/nation") and ἄρχων ''archon'', "leader/ruler". [[Strong's|Strong's concordance]] gives the definition of 'ethnarch' as "the governor (not king) of a district."<ref>''[ Strong's number ''1481'' ἐθνάρχης ''ethnarchos'' (]</ref>
In [[Ancient Historyhistory|Antiquity]], the title first appeared in the [[Hellenistic]] [[Middle East]]. In the [[1 Maccabees|First book of Maccabees]] the word is used three times (1 Maccabees 14:47 and 15:1-2), where Simon Thassi, one of the five [[Maccabee]]s is referred to as the [[High Priest]] and ethnarch of the Judeans.
:"And Simon accepted and was pleased to be high priest and to be commander and '''ethnarch''' of the Judeans and priests and to protect all of them." ([[1 Maccabees]] 14:47, New English Translation of the Septuagint [NETS]).<ref>''[ 1 Makkabees].'' Transl. George Themelis Zervos. In: Albert Pietersma and Benjamin G. Wright (Eds.). A NEW ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF THE SEPTUAGINT. Oxford University Press, 2009. p.&nbsp;500.</ref>
The title was used even after the region fell under the dominion of Rome unto the early [[Roman Empire]], to refer to rulers of vassal kingdoms who did not rise to the level of [[king]]s. The Romans used the Latin terms ''natio'' and ''gens'' for a people as a genetic and cultural entity, regardless of political statehood.
The best-known is probably Herod Archelaus, son of [[Herod|Herod the Great]], who was ethnarch of [[Samaria]], [[Kingdom of Judah|Judea]] (Biblical Judah)]], and [[Edom|Idumea (Biblical [[Edom)]]), from the death of his father in 4 B.C. to A.D. 6. The territory was known as the Tetrarchy (''ruler of a quarterone-fourth territory'') of JudeaJudaea. His brother Philip was assigned the north-east of the realm as ''Tetrarch''(''ruler of a quarter''); and Galilee was assigned to [[Herod Antipas]], who bore the same title. Herod Archelaus' title of ''ethnarch'' designated him as the senior ruler, higher in rank than the tetrarchs and the chief of the Jewish nation; these three sovereignties were in a sense reunited under [[Herod Agrippa]] from A.D. 41 to 44.
Before 63 B.C., Hyrcanus II, grandson of [[John Hyrcanus|Hyrcanus I]], held the title of both ethnarch and [[High Priest]]. (See [[Pompey]].)
In the [[New Testament]] the word is used only once by the [[Saint Paul the Apostle|Apostle Paul]] in his [[2 Corinthians|Second Epistle to the Corinthians]]. :"In Damascus the '''ethnarch''' under Aretas the king was guarding the city of the Damascenes in order to seize me," (2&nbsp;Corinthians 11:32} )
However the definition of the word there in terms of the actual jurisdiction and public office of the ethnarch may not be accurately determined.
== External links ==
* [ Ethnarch - definition (]* [ Ethnarch - Encyclopedia of the Bible (]
[ Ethnarch - Encyclopedia of the Bible (] [[categoryCategory:Dictionary]][[categoryCategory:Judaism]][[categoryCategory:Middle East]][[categoryCategory:New Testament]]
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