5 Maccabees Chapter 20 (from The Five Books of Maccabees)


Cotton H.Sir : 

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P. 328 – 330 Book 5 B.C. 135 [PDF: 378/380 of p.524]

CHAPTER 20.1)Foot note p. 328 a. Compare Josephus, Antiq. XIII. 15.

(i) The history of’ Hyrcanus the son of Simeon.

1 Now Simeon, while he was yet alive2)Foot note p. 328 b. See 2 Mace. xiii. 53., had appointed Jochanan his son to be captain; [B.C. 135] and having gathered to him very many troops, he sent him to vanquish a certain man who had come out against him, and was called Hyrcanus3)Foot note p. 328 c. Others say that he gained the name by a victory over the Hyrcanians. See Eusebii Chronicon, and Sulpitius Severus. Calmet thinks that the person designated by the name Hyrcanus was Cendebacus, the general of king Antiochus ; whom John defeated near Modin, as is related at 2 Mace. xvi.. Now he was a man of great fame, 2 powerful in strength, and of an ancient sovereignty. Whom Jonathan encountered, and 3 defeated : wherefore Simeon named his son Jochanan Hyrcanus ; on account of his slaying Hyrcanus, and gaining a victory over him.

p. 329 4 But when this Hyrcanus had heard that Ptolemy had killed his father, he was afraid of Ptolemy, and fled to Gaza4)Foot note p. 329 d. Here, as in many former places, the names of Gaza and Gazara appear to have been interchanged. Compare 3 Mace. xvi. 19, 21.: and Ptolemy pursued him 5 with many followers. But the citizens of Gaza helped Hyrcanus, and shut the gates of their city, and hindered Ptolemy from reaching Hyrcanus. 6 And Ptolemy returned, and departed to Dagon5)Foot note p. 329 e. Josephus states this to be one of the fortresses above Jericho.” It was also called Docus, and was the place where Simon was slain by Ptolemy his son-in-law. See 2 Mace. xvi. 15., having with him the mother of Hyrcanus and his two brothers. Now Dagon had at that time a strongly fortified castle.

7 But Hyrcanus went to the Holy House6)Foot note p. 329 f. Hottinger remarks, that this is the expression used to designate the temple of Jerusalem by all Oriental writers, sacred and profane. (Exercitt. Antimorin. 4to. 1044. p. 66)., and offered sacrifices, and succeeded his father: and he collected a large army and went to attack Ptolemy. Wherefore Ptolemy shut the gate of Dagon upon himself and his company, and fortified himself 8 therein. And Hyrcanus besieged him, and made an iron ram to batter the wall, and to open it: 9 and the battle between them lasted long, and Hyrcanus prevailed against Ptolemy, and went up 10 close to the castle, and almost took it. When Ptolemy therefore saw this, he commanded the mother of Hyrcanus and his two brothers to be brought out upon the wall, and to be tortured 11 most severely; which was done to them. But Hyrcanus, seeing this, stood still ; and fearing that they would be put to death, desisted from fighting. 12 To whom his mother called out, and said ; “My p. 330 son, do not be moved by love and filial piety towards me and your brethren, in preference to your father : nor on account of our captivity be 13 weakened in your desire of avenging him ; but demand satisfaction for the rights of your father and mine, to the utmost of your power. But 14 that which you fear for us from that tyrant, he will necessarily do to us at all events : wherefore press forward your siege without any intermission.”

When therefore Hyrcanus had heard the words 15 of his mother, he urged on the siege : wherefore Ptolemy increased the tortures of his mother and his brothers ; and sware that he would throw them headlong from the castle, as often as Hyrcanus came near to the wall. Therefore Hyrcanus 16 feared, lest he should be the cause of their death ; and he returned to his camp, still continuing the siege of Ptolemy. Now it happened, that the 17 feast of tabernacles was at hand7)Foot note p. 330 g. Joseplius states, that the departure of Hyrcanus, and the consequent protraction of the siege, was owing to the coming on of the sabbatical year.; wherefore Hyrcanus went into the city of the Holy House, that he might be present at the feast and the solemnity and the sacrifices. And when Ptolemy knew that 18 he had departed to the Holy City, and was detained there, he seized upon the mother of Hyrcanus and his brothers, and slew them ; and he fled into a place8)Foot note p. 330 h. [note text shows k this appears a typo error] Namely, to Philadelphia; where a friend of his called Zeno (and Cotylas) had seized upon the sovereignty. [Josephus.] whither Hyrcanus could not come.


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. 328 a. Compare Josephus, Antiq. XIII. 15.
2. Foot note p. 328 b. See 2 Mace. xiii. 53.
3. Foot note p. 328 c. Others say that he gained the name by a victory over the Hyrcanians. See Eusebii Chronicon, and Sulpitius Severus. Calmet thinks that the person designated by the name Hyrcanus was Cendebacus, the general of king Antiochus ; whom John defeated near Modin, as is related at 2 Mace. xvi.
4. Foot note p. 329 d. Here, as in many former places, the names of Gaza and Gazara appear to have been interchanged. Compare 3 Mace. xvi. 19, 21.
5. Foot note p. 329 e. Josephus states this to be one of the fortresses above Jericho.” It was also called Docus, and was the place where Simon was slain by Ptolemy his son-in-law. See 2 Mace. xvi. 15.
6. Foot note p. 329 f. Hottinger remarks, that this is the expression used to designate the temple of Jerusalem by all Oriental writers, sacred and profane. (Exercitt. Antimorin. 4to. 1044. p. 66).
7. Foot note p. 330 g. Joseplius states, that the departure of Hyrcanus, and the consequent protraction of the siege, was owing to the coming on of the sabbatical year.
8. Foot note p. 330 h. [note text shows k this appears a typo error] Namely, to Philadelphia; where a friend of his called Zeno (and Cotylas) had seized upon the sovereignty. [Josephus.]

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