5 Maccabees Chapter 16 (from The Five Books of Maccabees)


Cotton H.Sir : 

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P. 320 – 323 Book 5 B.C. 162 [PDF: 370/373 of p.524]

CHAPTER 16.1)p. 320 Foot Note a. Compare 2 Mace, vii ; 3 Mace. xiv. xv ; Joseph. Ant. XII. 17.

(i) The history of the arrival at Antioch of Demetrius the son of Seleucus, and of his defeating Etipator.

1 After these things, king Eupator marched [B.C. 162] into the country of Macedonia, and then returned to Antioch. Whom Demetrius 2 attacked with an army of Romans, and defeated, and slew, together with Lysias his cousin’s son and he reigned at Antioch. But to him went 3 Alcimus, the leader of those three2)Foot Note p. 320 b. See above, ch. iii. 6, and xv. 14. wicked men who, coming into his presence, prostrated himself before him, and wept most vehemently, and said “O king, Judas and his company have been 4 slaying great numbers of us; because, having deserted their religion, we have embraced the religion of the king. Wherefore, O king, assist us against them, and avenge us on them.” Then 5 he made the Jews go to him, and incensed him ; suggesting to them such things as might provoke Demetrius, and irritate him to fit out an army to vanquish Judas. To whom the king giving heed, 6 p. 321 sent a general named Nicanor3)Foot Note p. 321 c. Compare 3 Mace. xiv. 12., with a great army 7 and an abundant supply of weapons of war. And when Nicanor had come into the Holy Land, he sent messengers to Judas to come to him ; and did not disclose that he had come to conquer the 8 nation, but stated that he came only on account of the peace which was made between him and the nation, and that they4)Foot Note p. 321 d. That is to say, that Demetrius, as well as the Jews, was in amity with the Romans; so that no danger was to be apprehended by them from him. also were under obedience 9 to the Romans. And Judas went out to him with a certain number of his men, who were endued with strength and courage : and he commanded them not to go far from him, lest Demetrius5)Foot Note p. 321 e. Probably we ought to read here, and in the following verse, Nicanior ; as it does not appear from the history that Demetrius was present in person. Compare the other accounts, as given in 2 Mace. vii. and 3 Mace. xiv. might lay a snare for him. 10 When therefore he had met Demetrius, he saluted him ; and, a seat being placed for each of them, they sat down, and Demetrius conversed with him as he pleased : afterwards each of them went into a tent which the troops had erected for him.

11 And Nicanor and Judas departed into the Holy City, and there dwelt together : and a firm friendship 12 grew up between them : which being made known to Alcimus, he went to Demetrius and incensed him against Judas, and persuaded him to write and command Nicanor to send Judas to him 13 bound in chains. But tidings of this came to Judas, [B.C. 161] and he went out from the city by night, and departed to Sebaste6)Foot Note p. 321/322 f. That is, Samaria ; it had p. 322 not yet obtained this appellation, but at a subsequent period was so named by Herod the Great. See below, ch. xxi. 28., and sent to p. 322 his companions to come to him. And when 14 they were come, he sounded the trumpet, and commanded them to prepare themselves to attack Nicanor. But Nicanor sought Judas with great 15 diligence, and could learn no tidings of him. Wherefore he went to the house of God, requiring 16 of the priests to give him up to him, that he might send him bound in chains to the king : but they sware that he had not come into the house of God. Whereupon he abused both them and the 17 house of God, and spake insolently of the temple, and threatened that he would demolish it from the very foundations ; and departed in a rage. He also took care to search all the houses of the Holy City. Likewise he sent his men to the 18 house of a certain excellent man7)Foot Note p. 322 g. Namely Rhazis, mentioned at 3 Mace. xiv. 37., who had been seized in the time of Antiochus, and put to extreme torture ; but after the death of Antiochus the Jews increased his authority and greatly honoured him. And when the messengers of 19 Nicanor came to him, he feared lest he should meet with the same treatment which he had received from Antiochus ; wherefore he laid hands on himself. When this was told to Judas, he was 20 very sorry and much afflicted : and he sent to Nicanor, saying ; “Do not seek me in the city, for I am not there : therefore come forth to me, that we may meet each other, either in the plains or in the mountains, as you chuse.” And Nicanor 21 went forth to him, and Judas met him with p. 323 these words : ” O God, it was Thou who didst exterminate the army of king Sennacherib ; and he indeed was greater than this man, in fame, 22 in empire, and in the multitude of his host : and Thou didst deliver Ezechiah king of Judah from him, when he had trusted in Thee and prayed to Thee : deliver us, I pray thee, O God, from his malice, and make us victorious over him.” 23 Then he made ready himself for battle, and advanced to Nicanor, saying, ” Take care of yourself, 24 it is to you I come.” And Nicanor turned his back and fled : and Judas pursuing smote him on the shoulders, which he divided ; and his men 25 were put to flight. And there fell of them on that day thirty thousand : and the inhabitants of the cities went out and slew them, so that they 26 left not one of them. And they decreed that that clay should be every year a day of thanksgiving to the great and good God, and a day of gladness, and of feasting, and of drinking.

[Thus far is finished the Second8)Foot Note p. 323 h. Here indeed ends the history, so far as is contained in the third (usually second) book: the second (first) book carries the accounts down to the death of Simon, the brother of Judas. Book from the translation of the Hebrews.]


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. 320 Foot Note a. Compare 2 Mace, vii ; 3 Mace. xiv. xv ; Joseph. Ant. XII. 17.
2. Foot Note p. 320 b. See above, ch. iii. 6, and xv. 14.
3. Foot Note p. 321 c. Compare 3 Mace. xiv. 12.
4. Foot Note p. 321 d. That is to say, that Demetrius, as well as the Jews, was in amity with the Romans; so that no danger was to be apprehended by them from him.
5. Foot Note p. 321 e. Probably we ought to read here, and in the following verse, Nicanior ; as it does not appear from the history that Demetrius was present in person. Compare the other accounts, as given in 2 Mace. vii. and 3 Mace. xiv.
6. Foot Note p. 321/322 f. That is, Samaria ; it had p. 322 not yet obtained this appellation, but at a subsequent period was so named by Herod the Great. See below, ch. xxi. 28.
7. Foot Note p. 322 g. Namely Rhazis, mentioned at 3 Mace. xiv. 37.
8. Foot Note p. 323 h. Here indeed ends the history, so far as is contained in the third (usually second) book: the second (first) book carries the accounts down to the death of Simon, the brother of Judas.

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