5 Maccabees Chapter 08 (from The Five Books of Maccabees)


Cotton H.Sir : 

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P. 301 – 303 Book 5 B.C. 164 [PDF: 351/353 of p.524]

CHAPTER 8.1)Foot Note p. 301 a. Compare with this chapter 2 Mace, vi; 3 Mace, ix; Joseph. Antiq. XII. 13.

(i) The relation of Antiochus’ return, and of his going into the land of Judah, and of the disease which fell on him, of which he died in his journey.

1 But Antiochus returned out of the country of Persia, flying, with his army disbanded. [B.C. 164] 2 And when he had learned what had happened to his army which Lysias had sent forth, and to all his men, he went out with a large 3 army, marching to the land of Judah. Now when in his progress he had reached the middle of his journey, God smote his troops with most mighty 4 weapons : but this could not stop him from his journey ; but he persisted in it, uttering all sorts of insolence against God, and saying that no one could turn him aside, nor hinder him from his p. 302 determined purposes. Wherefore the great and good 5 God smote him also with ulcers which attacked the whole of his body : but even yet he did not desist, nor refrain from his journey ; but was 6 more filled with wrath, and inflamed with an eager desire to obtain what he had determined on, and to carry his resolution into effect.

Now there were in his army very many 7 elephants. It so happened that one of these ran away, and made a bellowing : upon which the horses which were drawing the couch on which Antiochus lay, ran off, and threw him out. And, 8 as he was fat and corpulent, his limbs were bruised, and some of his joints were dislocated. And the bad 9 smell of his ulcers, which already sent forth a faetid odour, was so much increased, that neither he himself could longer endure it, nor could those who came near him. So when he fell, his 10 servants took him up, and carried him upon their shoulders : but as the foul smell grew worse, they threw him down and departed to a distance.

Therefore, perceiving the evils which 11 surrounded him, he believed for certain that all that punishment had come upon him from the great and good God ; by reason of the injury and the tyranny which he had used towards the Hebrews, and the unjust shedding of their blood. In fear 12 therefore he turned himself to God, and, confessing his sins, said ; ” O God, in truth I deserve the things2)Foot Note p. 302 b. See Josephus’ remark upon Polybius’ account of the cause of Antiochus’ death ; in ch. 13 of his XIIth book of Antiquities. In fact, both Polybius and Josephus recognize the same principle, while they attribute this death to p. 303 different causes : Polybius, a Greek heathen, considered it a just recompense for his attempt to plunder the temple of Diana ; while Josephus, a Jew, regarded it as an example of Divine vengeance, punishing his spoliation of the temple of God at Jerusalem. which Thou hast sent upon me: p. 303 and indeed just art Thou3)Foot Note p. 303 c. The author here borrows the words of tin; 119th Psalm “Righteous art Thou, O Lord, and upright are Thy Lord, and upright are Thy in thy judgements 13 Thou humblest him who is exalted, and bringest down him who is puffed up : but thine is greatness, and magnificence, and majesty, and 14 prowess. truly, I own, I have oppressed the people, and have both acted and decreed 15 tyrannically against them. Forgive, I pray Thee, O God, this my error ; and wipe out my sin, and bestow on me my health : and my care shall be to fill the treasury of thy house with gold and 16 silver : and to strew4)Foot Note p. 303 d. Similar to this act of thanksgiving was the Lectisteruium of the Romans, when after a victory couches were solemnly placed and spread for the images of their gods, as if about to partake of a feast the floor of the house of thy sanctuary with purple vestments ; and to be circumcised ; and to proclaim throughout all my kingdom, that Thou only art the true God, without any partner, and that there is no God besides thee.”

17 But God did not hear his prayers, nor accept his supplication : but his troubles so increased on him that he voided his bowels : and his ulcers increased to that degree, that his flesh dropt off 18 from his body. Then he died, and was buried in his place. And his son reigned in his stead, whose name was Eupator.


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. Foot Note p. 301 a. Compare with this chapter 2 Mace, vi; 3 Mace, ix; Joseph. Antiq. XII. 13.
2. Foot Note p. 302 b. See Josephus’ remark upon Polybius’ account of the cause of Antiochus’ death ; in ch. 13 of his XIIth book of Antiquities. In fact, both Polybius and Josephus recognize the same principle, while they attribute this death to p. 303 different causes : Polybius, a Greek heathen, considered it a just recompense for his attempt to plunder the temple of Diana ; while Josephus, a Jew, regarded it as an example of Divine vengeance, punishing his spoliation of the temple of God at Jerusalem.
3. Foot Note p. 303 c. The author here borrows the words of tin; 119th Psalm “Righteous art Thou, O Lord, and upright are Thy Lord, and upright are Thy
4. Foot Note p. 303 d. Similar to this act of thanksgiving was the Lectisteruium of the Romans, when after a victory couches were solemnly placed and spread for the images of their gods, as if about to partake of a feast

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