5 Maccabees Chapter 01 (from The Five Books of Maccabees)


Cotton H.Sir : 

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PREFACE (from the Paris Polyglott Bible.)

THIS book, from the first to the sixteenth chapter inclusive, is entitled, “The Second Book of Maccabees according to the translation of the Hebrews,” as may be seen at the end of ch. xvi. The remainder of it is entitled simply, ” The Second Book of Maccabees,” the series of chapters being continued from the preceding portion. But, since the work agrees neither with the Syriac text, which is considered of the highest authority among the Orientals, nor with the Greek, nor with the Vulgate version, (although it exists in almost all the Oriental manuscripts), we have placed it at the end of this Bible, and moreover without its points : both, that it may not be supposed by any one that we include it among the canonical books; and also, because the Second Book of Maccabees, which is reckoned canonical, still remains to us entire, though under the name of “The First Book.” 

You have however in this book some particulars extracted from the first and from the second : also some others which perhaps have never yet been made public; which we trust may not be without some degree of pleasure to you: inasmuch as the entire book is a sort of continuation of the history, carried down from the very Maccabees to the reign of Herod and the government of Pilate1)P. 278 Foot Note a. This appears to be a mistake as will be seen on reference to the note at ch. lix. 25., and consequently to the time of Christ our Lord. Lastly, we wish you to understand that we have copied the text with that scrupulous exactness, that we have not changed even those things which easily might have been altered for the better.


P. 277 – 281 Book 5 B.C. 184 [PDF: 327/331 of p.524]

CHAPTER 12)Foot notes p.278 b Compare this chapter with 3 Mace. iii.

(i.) The attempt of Heliodorus on the treasury.

1 It was ordained by the kings3)Foot notes p.278 c Namely, by Seleucus Nicanor, Antiochus the Second, Antiochus the Great, and also Seleucus IV, surnamed Soter, or Philopator, the son of Antiochus the Great. of the Grecian [B. C. 184] Gentiles that large sums of money should be sent into the holy city4)Foot notes p.278 d Among the peculiarities of expression observable in this Fifth Book, are to be reckoned ” the house of ” God,” or ” the holy house,” instead of ” the temple ;” ” the holy city,” or ” the city of the holy house,” (p.279) for Jerusalem ; and ” the ” land (or region) of the ” holy house,” to designate ” Judaea.” The other more usual appellations do some times occur, but very seldom. About this title, ” the holy ” city,” a phrase which is used frequently in the Old Testament; and likewise in St. Matthew and the book of Revelation, much has been written by commentators ; and the reader, desirous of fuller information on the point, is referred to Calmet and Prideaux. every year, and p. 279 should be delivered to the priests, that they might add it to the treasury of the house of God, as money for the receivers of alms [orphans] and for widows.

2 Now Seleucus5)Foot notes p.279 e Namely, Seleucus IV was king in Macedonia6)Foot notes p.279 f And of Syria also ; by which means he possessed the sovereignty of Judea.: and he had a friend7)Foot notes p.279 g In 3 Mace. iii. Heliodorus is called treasurer to the king., one of his captains, who was called Heliodorus. [B.C. 176] This man was sent to spoil the treasury, and to take whatever 3 money was therein.

When this was noised abroad, it created great grief among the citizens; and they were afraid lest Heliodorus should proceed 4 to greater lengths ; as they had not sufficient power to prevent him from executing his orders. 5 Wherefore they all fly to God for aid, and ordained a general fast, and supplicated with huinility 6 bowing of the knees, and great wailing ; putting on sackcloth, and rolling themselves in ashes, with Onias8)Foot notes p.279 h Namely, Onias III. N.B. I have generally judged it superfluous to make mention, in the notes on this book, of persons previously named and described in any of the former books. the high priest and the other princes and elders, even to the common people, and women 7 and children. And on the next day Heliodorus came into the house of God, with a train of followers; and entered into the house with his foot p. 280 soldiers, he himself being on horseback, and was search of the money. But the great and good 8 God9)Foot note p. 280 i This phrase, ” Deus Optimus Maximus,” occurs continually, and is peculiar to this one book of Maccabees the same phrase, as we learn from Hottinger, is usual in the Samaritan Chronicle. (Hottingeri Exercitationes Antimorin. p. 66. 4to. 1644.). sent a loud, terrible voice upon him ; and he saw a person armed with weapons of war, riding on a large horse, and advancing against him: wherefore he was seized with fear and trembling: 9 and that person came up to him, and pulled him off from his saddle10)Foot note p. 280 k Or horsecloth, or housing, Lat. sagma ; which is the word used by the Latin Vulgate at Leviticus xv. 9. where our translators read “saddle.” , and struck him with violence to the earth. So that being exceedingly terror 10 struck, and frightened out of his senses, he became dumb. But when his attendants saw what had 11 befallen him, and could perceive no one who had done these things unto him, they carried him with all haste down to his own house: and he remained 12 during several days, neither speaking nor taking any food. Wherefore the chief men of his friends 13 went to Onias the priest, beseeching him to be appeased towards him, and to implore the great and good God that He would not punish him. Which thing Onias did ; and Heliodorus was 14 healed of his disease. And he saw in a vision the 15 person, whom he had seen in the sanctuary, commanding him to go to Onias the priest, and to salute him, and pay him becoming honour; telling him, that the great and good God had heard his prayers, and had healed him at Onias’ request. Heliodorus therefore hastened to Onias the priest, 16 p. 281 whom falling down he sainted ; and gave him money of various kinds11)Foot note p. 281 L Lat. denarios et drachmas. , requesting him to add it to that which was in the treasury.

17    Then he went from Jerusalem into the country of Macedonia, and related to king Seleucus what had happened to him ; entreating that he would not compel him12)Foot note p. 281 m Compare ver. 38 of book III. ch. iii. to become his representative at 18 Jerusalem. Wherefore the king wondered at the things which Heliodorus mentioned to him ; and commanded him to publish them to the world. 19 And he took care that his men should be removed and sent away from Jerusalem, increasing the gifts which he used to send thither annually, on 20 account of what had befallen Heliodorus. And the kings added more to the money which they ordered to be given to the priests, that it might be spent on the orphans and widows ; also to that which was to be spent on the sacrifices.


Original Source: Transcribed from PDF copy of Book "The Five Books of Maccabees in English. With Notes and Illustrations", by HENRY COTTON, D.C.L.(Sir) Archdeacon of Cashel, and Late Student of Christ Church, Oxford. Publication date 1832 | PDF


References   [ + ]

1. P. 278 Foot Note a. This appears to be a mistake as will be seen on reference to the note at ch. lix. 25.
2. Foot notes p.278 b Compare this chapter with 3 Mace. iii.
3. Foot notes p.278 c Namely, by Seleucus Nicanor, Antiochus the Second, Antiochus the Great, and also Seleucus IV, surnamed Soter, or Philopator, the son of Antiochus the Great.
4. Foot notes p.278 d Among the peculiarities of expression observable in this Fifth Book, are to be reckoned ” the house of ” God,” or ” the holy house,” instead of ” the temple ;” ” the holy city,” or ” the city of the holy house,” (p.279) for Jerusalem ; and ” the ” land (or region) of the ” holy house,” to designate ” Judaea.” The other more usual appellations do some times occur, but very seldom. About this title, ” the holy ” city,” a phrase which is used frequently in the Old Testament; and likewise in St. Matthew and the book of Revelation, much has been written by commentators ; and the reader, desirous of fuller information on the point, is referred to Calmet and Prideaux.
5. Foot notes p.279 e Namely, Seleucus IV
6. Foot notes p.279 f And of Syria also ; by which means he possessed the sovereignty of Judea.
7. Foot notes p.279 g In 3 Mace. iii. Heliodorus is called treasurer to the king.
8. Foot notes p.279 h Namely, Onias III. N.B. I have generally judged it superfluous to make mention, in the notes on this book, of persons previously named and described in any of the former books.
9. Foot note p. 280 i This phrase, ” Deus Optimus Maximus,” occurs continually, and is peculiar to this one book of Maccabees the same phrase, as we learn from Hottinger, is usual in the Samaritan Chronicle. (Hottingeri Exercitationes Antimorin. p. 66. 4to. 1644.).
10. Foot note p. 280 k Or horsecloth, or housing, Lat. sagma ; which is the word used by the Latin Vulgate at Leviticus xv. 9. where our translators read “saddle.”
11. Foot note p. 281 L Lat. denarios et drachmas.
12. Foot note p. 281 m Compare ver. 38 of book III. ch. iii.

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