5 Maccabees Chapter 51 (from The Five Books of Maccabees)


Cotton H.Sir : 

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P. 400 – 402 Book 5 B.C. 39 [PDF: 450/452 of p.524]

CHAPTER 51.1)Foot note p. 400 a. Compare Josephus, Ant. XIV. 27. Hell. I. 12.

(i) The history of the magnanimity of certain of Herod’s men, and of their bravery.

1 Now thieves, and they who were longing for the property of others, had multiplied during the time of Antigonus ; [B.C. 39.] betaking 2 themselves to some caves in the mountains, to which there was no approach except for one man p. 401 at a time, through certain places fitted for the 3 purpose by them, and known to them alone : and even though others should know them, they could not go up to the cave ; because that a man was ever ready at the mouth, who, with a very little trouble, could easily repel a person who was 4 climbing up. And now some of these men had gotten to themselves in that cave abundance of arms, provisions, and drink, and all those things 5 which they needed ; together with all the spoils which they had gained by attacking those whom they met, and that which they had taken by right or wrong.

6 When therefore Herod had learnt their proceedings, and found that their matters were likely to cause delay2)Foot note p. 401 b. In other words, that in all probability their marauding system would not easily be put a stop to, from the difficulty of coming at their retreats. ; also that men could not at present mount up to them by ladders, nor in fact 7 climb up in any way ; he made use of great wooden chests fitted and joined together, and filled them with men, (adding food and water,) bearing 8 very long hooked spears : and those chests he ordered to be let down from the summit of the mountains, at the middle of which the caves were, until they were placed opposite to their mouths : 9 and when they were opposite to these, he desired that his men should attack them in close fight with swords, and from a distance should drag 10 them out with those spears. And the chests were 11 made, and filled with men. And when some of them were let down, and were opposite to the mouths of those caves, no information having been given to the persons living there ; one of the men who were in the chests rushed into the caves, followed by his companions; and they killed the 12 robbers who were in them, together with their followers, and threw them down into the valleys below ; all the men whom Herod had sent, emulating these first. And in this exploit, their 13 courage, bravery, and boldness was so conspicuous, that the like of it was never seen : and they wholly rooted out the robbers from all those parts.


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. 400 a. Compare Josephus, Ant. XIV. 27. Hell. I. 12.
2. Foot note p. 401 b. In other words, that in all probability their marauding system would not easily be put a stop to, from the difficulty of coming at their retreats.

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