5 Maccabees Chapter 41 (from The Five Books of Maccabees)


Cotton H.Sir : 

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P. 377 – 379 Book 5 B.C. 54 [PDF: 427/429 of p.524]

CHAPTER 41.1)Foot note p. 377 a. Compare Joseph. Antiq. XIV. 12.

(i) The history of Crassus.

1 When Gabinius had returned to Rome, the 2 Persians2)Foot note p. 377 bParthians, as before. played false to the Romans ; [B.C. 54.] and Crassus3)Foot note p. 377 c. Marcus Licinius Crassus, whose history and fame are well known, after having served under Sylla, and obtained great glory by his timely defeat of Spartacus and the revolted slaves, became consul, censor, triumvir with Caesar and Pompey, and thus governor of the province of Syria. His subsequent attempts against the Parthians, his defeat and death, are recorded by Plutarch and other writers. marched with a large army into Syria, and came to Jerusalem, requiring of the priests that they should deliver to him whatever 3 money there was in the house of God. To whom they made answer, how will this be lawful for you, when Pompey, Gabinius, and others have deemed it unlawful ? But he answered, I must 4 do it at all events. And Eleazar the priest said to him, Swear to me that you will not lay your hand upon any thing which belongs to it, and I 5 will give you three hundred minse of gold. And he sware to him that he would take nothing from the treasure of the house of God, if he would 6 deliver to him what he had mentioned. And Eleazar gave him a bar of wrought gold, the upper part of which had been inserted into the wall of the treasury of the temple, upon which were placed every year the old veils of the house, new ones being 7 substituted for them. And the bar weighed three hundred minae4)Foot note p. 377 d. Josephus states here, “the minse with us weighs two pounds and a half:” from whence the immense value of this bar may be understood. of gold, and it was covered with p. 378 the veils which were accumulated during a long course of years, being known to no one besides Eleazar. Crassus then, having received this bar, 8 broke his word, going back from the agreement made with Eleazar; and he took all the treasures of the temple, and plundered whatever money was therein, to the amount of two thousand talents : for this money had been accumulating from the 9 building of the temple until that time, out of the spoils of the kings of Judah and their offerings, and also from the presents which the kings of the Gentiles5)Foot note p. 378 e. See above, ch. I. 1. had sent ; and they were multiplied and 10 increased in the lapse of years ; all which he took. Then that vile Crassus went off with the 11 money and his army into the country of the Persians ; and they defeated him6)Foot note p. 378 f.  For the miserable end of this expedition against the Parthians, which cost the life of Crassus, and the destruction of his whole army, see the Roman historians. and his army in battle, slaying them in a single day : and the 12 Persian army took as spoil every thing which was in the camp of Crassus.

After this feat, they marched into the country of 13  Syria, [B.C 53.] which they won, and detached from its submission to the Romans. Which the 14 Romans learning, sent a renowned general named Cassius7)Foot note p. 378 g. He was first treasurer to Crassus ; after whose death lie was made governor of Syria. Subsequently he became conspicuous as one of the murderers of Julius Caesar. with a great army : who, arriving in the country of Syria, drove out those of the Persians who were in it. Then proceeding to the Holy City, 15 he delivered Hyrcanus from the war which the Jews were waging against him, reconciling the parties. Afterwards, passing the Euphrates8)Foot note p. 378 h. Ussher remarks, that there is a mistake in this assertion : as the Roman historians mention indeed the suecesses of Cassius against the Parthians in Syria, but say not a word of his having pursued them back into their own country., he fought 16 with the Persians, and brought them back to their 17 subjection to the Romans: he also reduced to submission the two and twenty kings9)Foot note p. 379 i. The historian Orosius, after reciting Pompey’s exploits in Asia, states ; ” Hochelium orientis cum vigintiet duobus regibus sese gessisse ipse Pompeius pro concione narravit.” Histor. VI. c. 6. whom Pompey had subdued ; and reduced under obedience to the Romans every thing in the countries of the east.


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. 377 a. Compare Joseph. Antiq. XIV. 12.
2. Foot note p. 377 bParthians, as before.
3. Foot note p. 377 c. Marcus Licinius Crassus, whose history and fame are well known, after having served under Sylla, and obtained great glory by his timely defeat of Spartacus and the revolted slaves, became consul, censor, triumvir with Caesar and Pompey, and thus governor of the province of Syria. His subsequent attempts against the Parthians, his defeat and death, are recorded by Plutarch and other writers.
4. Foot note p. 377 d. Josephus states here, “the minse with us weighs two pounds and a half:” from whence the immense value of this bar may be understood.
5. Foot note p. 378 e. See above, ch. I. 1.
6. Foot note p. 378 f.  For the miserable end of this expedition against the Parthians, which cost the life of Crassus, and the destruction of his whole army, see the Roman historians.
7. Foot note p. 378 g. He was first treasurer to Crassus ; after whose death lie was made governor of Syria. Subsequently he became conspicuous as one of the murderers of Julius Caesar.
8. Foot note p. 378 h. Ussher remarks, that there is a mistake in this assertion : as the Roman historians mention indeed the suecesses of Cassius against the Parthians in Syria, but say not a word of his having pursued them back into their own country.
9. Foot note p. 379 i. The historian Orosius, after reciting Pompey’s exploits in Asia, states ; ” Hochelium orientis cum vigintiet duobus regibus sese gessisse ipse Pompeius pro concione narravit.” Histor. VI. c. 6.

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