5 Maccabees Chapter 30 (from The Five Books of Maccabees)


Cotton H.Sir : 

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P. 352 – 354 Book 5 B.C. 81 [PDF: 402/404 of p.524]

CHAPTER 30.1)Foot note p. 352 a. Compare Joseph. Antiq. XIII. 23.

(i) The account of the death of Alexander the son of Hyrcanus.

1 Afterwards king Alexander fell sick with a quartan fever, [B.C. 81.] for three whole years. But 2 when the governor of a city named Ragaba2)Foot note p. 352 b. Josephus calls it a for tress beyond Jordan, in the country of the Gerasenes. revolted from him, he led thither a powerful army, taking with him his wife and family, and besieged the city. But when it was on the 3 point of being taken, his disease increased and his strength declined ; and his wife, who was named Alexandra, lost all hope of his recovery : who 4 going up to him said ; ” You know now what differences there are between you and the Pharisees”: and your two sons are little boys, and I am a woman, and altogether we shall not be p. 353 able to resist them : what advice therefore do 5 you give to me and them ?” He said to her, ” My advice is, that you persevere against the 6 city till it be taken, which will be shortly. And when it shall have been won, establish its government according as the other cities have 7 been established. But towards all these people, pretend that I am sick ; and whatever you do, pretend that you do it at my suggestion ; and reveal my death to those servants on whom you 8 can depend. And when you shall have finished these matters, go into the city of the Holy House, having previously dried and embalmed my body with spices ; and fill the place where I lie with many perfumes,, that no unpleasant smell 9 may proceed from me. And when the affairs of the country are settled, go thence, and roll me up in abundance of perfumes, and carry me into 10 the palace, as if sick : and when I am there, send for the principal men of the Pharisees; and when they come, honour them, and speak 11 good words to them : then say, Alexander is already dead, and behold I give him up to you, do with him whatever seems good to you : and I from henceforth will behave to you as you 12 shall please. For if you do this, I know very well that they will do nothing to me and you, except that which is good ; and the people will follow them, and your affairs will be ordered aright after my death, and you will reign securely until your two sons be grown up.” 13 After this, Alexander died ; and his wife concealed his death ; and when the city was taken, she returned to Jerusalem ; and having sent for p. 354 the chief men of the Pharisees, she addressed them as Alexander had advised her. To whom they 14 replied, that Alexander had been their king, and they had been his people ; and they spoke to her with all affection, and promised to place her at the head of their government. Then they went 15 out and collected men ; and taking Alexander’s body, they carried it forth magnificently to its burial : and they sent for men to appoint Alexandra queen ; with whose concurrence she was so appointed. And the years of Alexander’s reign 16 were twenty-seven.


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. 352 a. Compare Joseph. Antiq. XIII. 23.
2. Foot note p. 352 b. Josephus calls it a for tress beyond Jordan, in the country of the Gerasenes.

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