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IZATES:

Proselyte; King of Adiabene; son of Queen Helena and Monobaz I.; born in the year 1 of the common era; died in 55. While in Charan Spasinu, whither he had been sent by his father, a Jewish merchant named Ananias acquainted him with the tenets of the Jewish religion, in which he became deeply interested. His mother had been previously won over to Judaism without his knowledge. On ascending the throne on the death of his father, Izates discovered the conversion of his mother; and he himself intended to adopt Judaism, and even to submit to circumcision. He was, however, dissuaded from this step both by his teacher Ananias and by his mother, but was ultimately persuaded thereto by another Jew, Eleazar.

For some time Izates enjoyed peace; and he was so highly respected that he was chosen as arbitrator between the Parthian king Artaban III. and the rebellious nobles of that monarch. But when several of Izates' relatives openly acknowledged their conversion to Judaism, some of the nobles of Adiabene secretly induced Abia, King of Arabia, to declare war against him. Izates defeated his enemy, who in despair committed suicide. The nobles then conspired with Volageses, King of Parthia, but the latter was at the last moment prevented from carrying out his plans, and Izates continued to reign undisturbed for twenty-four years. He left twenty-four sons and twenty-four daughters. Izates' remains and those of Queen Helena were sent by Monobaz II. to Jerusalem for burial. For the account of Izates' conversion given in the Midrash see Gen. R. xlvi. Compare Adiabene; Ananias; Helena, and the bibliography there cited.

G. I. Br.
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