1 Maccabees Chapter 02 (from Five Books of Maccabees)


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p. 6 – 12 Book 1 B.C. 211. [PDF: 56/62 of p.524]

CHAPTER II.

(i) The prayer of Simon. Ptolemy is baffled. His cruel edicts.

1 [1]p. 6 Foot Note b. There is some uncertainty respecting the exact time at which the transactions mentioned in this book took place, Archbishop Ussher, in his ” Annals of the World,” … Continue readingThereupon the high priest Simon[2]p. 6 Foot Note c. The son of Onias II. and father of Onias III.: he p. 7 succeeded to the high priesthood in the year B.C. 211. He is thought to have been the person of whom that eulogy is … Continue reading, [B.C. 211.] bowing his knees before the holy place, and spreading out his hands in reverent form, p. 7 2 made the following prayer: ” O Lord, Lord, king of heaven, and ruler of all creation, Holy in the holies[3]p. 7 Foot Note d. [Gr.  click on image to enlarge], the only Governor, the Almighty; give ear unto us who are afflicted by this wicked and profane man, puffed up with insolence and 3 strength. For thou, who hast created all things, and rulest all things, thou art the righteous Governor, and judgest those who do any thing in 4 insolence and pride. Thou didst destroy them who in former times worked wickedness, among whom were the giants[4]p. 7 Foot Note e. So in the book of Wisdom, xiv.6, “the proud giants” are mentioned, in allusion to Genesis vi. 4. See also Ecclesiastieus, xvi. 7., trusting in their strength and courage, by bringing upon them, 5 an immense mass of water. Thou didst burn up with fire and brimstone the Sodomites, workers of wickedness, who were infamous for their “iniquities; and madest them an example[5]p. 7 Foot Note f. Compare 2 Peter ii. 6; and Jude, ver. 7. to 6 those who should come afterward. Thou shewedst thy dominion by trying the vaunting bold Pharaoh, (who had enslaved thy people the holy Israel,) with many and various kinds of punishment, whereby thou madest known thy great 7 strength. And when he pursued them with his chariots and the multitude of his troops, thou didst drown him in the depth of the sea: and didst carry through unhurt those who trusted 8 on thee, the Lord of the whole creation. Who also, after they had experienced the works of 9 thy hands, praised thee[6]p. 8 Foot Note g. See 1 Kings xiv. 21 ; 2 Chron. vii. 15. xii. 13; Ezra vi. 12; Nehemiah i. 9, &c., the Almighty. Thou, p. 8 O King, when thou hadst created the boundless and immeasurable earth, didst chuse this city, and sanctify this place for thy names,[7]p. 7 Foot Note g. See the line song of Moses on the deliverance of the p. 8 lsraelites, at Exodus xv. 1—19. who standest in need of nothing[8]p. 8 Foot Note h. [Gr.  click on image to enlarge] So at 3 Mace. xiv. 35, God is said to be [Gr.  click on image to enlarge] Compare Acts xvii. 25.: and hast glorified it by thy magnificent presence, and compacted it for the glory of thy great and honourable name. And out of love to the house of Israel, 10 thou promisedst[9]p. 8 Foot Note i. See 1 Kings viii. and ix. and 2 Chron. vi. and vii. truly that if we should fall off from thee, and distress[10]p. 8 Foot Note j. See Deuteron. iv. 30. should overtake us, and we should come to this place and pray ; thou wouldest hear our supplication. And indeed 11 thou art faithful and true.

12 And since, when our fathers were often in affliction, thou hast afforded them assistance in their low estate, and hast delivered them out of great dangers :—Lo now, O holy King, we are 13 afflicted on account of our many and great sins: we are also become subject to our enemies, and are fainting in our infirmities. Now in our 14 calamity[11]p. 8 Foot Note k. Literally, ” our fall,” (or prostration,’) [Gr.  click on image to enlarge this insolent and profane man endeavours to dishonour this holy place, which has been set apart upon earth for thy glorious name. Thy habitation indeed is the heaven of 15 heaven[12]p. 8 Foot Note l. See 1 Kings viii. 27; 2 Chron. ii. ; vi. 18., unapproachable[13]p. 8 Foot Note m. So at 1 Tim. vi. 10, Christ is said to dwell ” in the light which no man can approach unto.” by men. But because 16 thou hast been pleased to place thy glory among thy people Israel, thou hast sanctified p. 9 17 this place. Do not thou take vengeance[14]p. 9 Foot Note n. See the same sentiment expressed at 3 Mace. x. 4; and also below, chap. vi. 10, of this book. on us by the pollution of these men : neither do thou 18 punish us by their profanation: that the transgressors may not glory[15]p. 9 Foot Note o. Sec Psalm xxv. 2. in their fury, nor rejoice in the pride of their tongue ; saying, ‘ We have trodden down[16]p. 9 Foot Note p. Compare Isaiah lxiii. 18; Daniel viii. 13. the house of sanctification, as the houses of abominations[17]p. 9 Foot Note q. Literally ” stumbling blocks,” [Gr.  click on image to enlarge] a word of frequent occurrence in the Septuagint version, denoting idols. are trodden 19 down.’ Blot out our sins, and disperse our errors, and send the light of thy mercy upon 20us at this hour. Let thy mercies prevent us[18]p. 9 Foot Note r. See precisely the same words at Psalm lxxiv. 8. ” quickly : and put praises into the mouth of us who are fallen down and become contrite in our souls, by giving us peace.”

21 Here the all-seeing God, who is before all things, Holy in the holies, heard our righteous supplication ; and chastised him who was greatly 22 exalted with insolence and boldness : shaking him this way and that way, as a reed is shaken by the wind ; so that he lay upon the floor without the power[19]p. 9 Foot Note s. [Gr.  click on image to enlarge] a word frequently used by Polybius in this sense. of exertion, and paralysed in his limbs, and not even able to speak, being overtaken with 23 a just judgment. Whereupon his friends and body-guards, when they saw that speedy and sharp punishment which had overtaken him, being afraid lest he should even die; struck with overwhelming fear they quickly drew him out of the place. 

p. 10 24 But when after some time he had recovered himself, his punishment did not bring him to repentance: but he departed with bitter threatenings. [B.C. 210.] So that when he came into Egypt, he both grew 25, worse in wickedness, and upon conversing with his drinking companions and such friends as were estranged from all which was good, of whom we have already spoken[20]p. 10 Foot Note t. This dues not appear in any previous part of the book, such as we now possess it ; it therefore furnishes an additional reason for our thinking, with Grotius, that that which … Continue reading; he not only persevered 26 in countless instances of debauchery[21]p. 10 Foot Note u. Historians, as Polybius, Justin, and Strabo, speak of the systematic luxury and licentiousness of this monarch, especially at this period., but proceeded farther to that degree of insolence, that he raised reproaches against us in those places ; and that many of our friends, carefully watching the king’s purpose, did themselves also follow his will.

27 Now he proposed to bring forward publicly an accusation against our nation : and raising up a pillar at the door of his court, he engraved on it an inscription : ” That none who did not sacrifice 28 in their temples should enter ; and that all the Jews should be brought to the lowest registry[22]p. 10 Foot Note x. [Gr.  click on image to enlarge] which Grotius translates ” relatio in plebem.” See his note. Compare chap. vii. 22.,  and to the condition of slaves : and that those who refuse to comply should be seized upon by force and put to death. That those also who 29 are registered shall have a mark imprinted by fire upon their body, namely, an ivy-leafy[23]p. 10 Foot Note y. Compare 3 Maccabees, vi. 7. From the horror with which the Jews appear to regard this threat, may be judged the falsehood of the story, which is mentioned by Phitarch and … Continue reading, the p. 11 emblem of Bacchus : and that those thus marked[24]p. 11 Foot Note z.  [Gr.  click on image to enlarge] Grutwell wholly omits this clause. See Grotius’e note on the place. shall be inscribed in a separate register with 30 inferior and diminished rights. But, that he might not appear an enemy to them all, he wrote underneath thus : that if any of them chuse to be joined with those who are initiated into our mysteries, and to live accordingly, they shall have equal privileges[25]p. 11 Foot Note a. Precisely the same tiling had been granted to their ancestors by Ptolemy Lagos. See Josephus, Ant. XII. 1. And at a still earlier period Seleucus Nicator had honoured them in … Continue reading with the citizens of Alexandria[26]p. 11 Foot Note b. That is, with the Macedonians who had been planted at Alexandria by Alexander and his successors.

31 Then indeed a few of those who dwelt in the city, who hated the advances[27]p. 11 Foot Note c. [Gr.  click on image to enlarge]  The sense of the word [Gr.  click on image to enlarge] appears from a passage in Josephus, Ant. XI. 8. [Gr.  click on image to … Continue reading of the religion of the city, easily resigned themselves to his will: as expecting to be made partakers of some great glory, from the familiarity which they would have 32 with the king. But the greatest part persevered with a generous spirit, and did not depart from their religion : and redeeming their lives with money, did fearlessly endeavour to escape from the registries, and stood in good hope of obtaining p. 12  assistance. They also abhorred those of themselves who had apostatized; and deemed them the enemies of their nation; and excluded them from common intercourse and the advantages of social life.


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. 6 Foot Note b. There is some uncertainty respecting the exact time at which the transactions mentioned in this book took place, Archbishop Ussher, in his ” Annals of the World,” places Ptolemy’s ill-usage of the Jew under the year B.C.216; and Vaillant, in his ” Historia Ptolemaeortrm,” assigns it to the eighth year of that king’s reign, viz. B. C. 212. But, if we support the reading in the text of ver. 1 of this chapter, that ” the high priest Simon prayed for the people,” we must carry the occurrence a few years onward; as it is allowed that Simon did not succeed to that office until B. C. 211.
2 p. 6 Foot Note c. The son of Onias II. and father of Onias III.: he p. 7 succeeded to the high priesthood in the year B.C. 211. He is thought to have been the person of whom that eulogy is pronounced in the book of Ecclesiasticus chap. 1.
3 p. 7 Foot Note d. [Gr.  click on image to enlarge]
4 p. 7 Foot Note e. So in the book of Wisdom, xiv.6, “the proud giants” are mentioned, in allusion to Genesis vi. 4. See also Ecclesiastieus, xvi. 7.
5 p. 7 Foot Note f. Compare 2 Peter ii. 6; and Jude, ver. 7.
6 p. 8 Foot Note g. See 1 Kings xiv. 21 ; 2 Chron. vii. 15. xii. 13; Ezra vi. 12; Nehemiah i. 9, &c.
7 p. 7 Foot Note g. See the line song of Moses on the deliverance of the p. 8 lsraelites, at Exodus xv. 1—19.
8 p. 8 Foot Note h. [Gr.  click on image to enlarge] So at 3 Mace. xiv. 35, God is said to be [Gr.  click on image to enlarge] Compare Acts xvii. 25.
9 p. 8 Foot Note i. See 1 Kings viii. and ix. and 2 Chron. vi. and vii.
10 p. 8 Foot Note j. See Deuteron. iv. 30.
11 p. 8 Foot Note k. Literally, ” our fall,” (or prostration,’) [Gr.  click on image to enlarge
12 p. 8 Foot Note l. See 1 Kings viii. 27; 2 Chron. ii. ; vi. 18.
13 p. 8 Foot Note m. So at 1 Tim. vi. 10, Christ is said to dwell ” in the light which no man can approach unto.”
14 p. 9 Foot Note n. See the same sentiment expressed at 3 Mace. x. 4; and also below, chap. vi. 10, of this book.
15 p. 9 Foot Note o. Sec Psalm xxv. 2.
16 p. 9 Foot Note p. Compare Isaiah lxiii. 18; Daniel viii. 13.
17 p. 9 Foot Note q. Literally ” stumbling blocks,” [Gr.  click on image to enlarge] a word of frequent occurrence in the Septuagint version, denoting idols.
18 p. 9 Foot Note r. See precisely the same words at Psalm lxxiv. 8.
19 p. 9 Foot Note s. [Gr.  click on image to enlarge] a word frequently used by Polybius in this sense.
20 p. 10 Foot Note t. This dues not appear in any previous part of the book, such as we now possess it ; it therefore furnishes an additional reason for our thinking, with Grotius, that that which remains is only a portion of a larger work. See the note on chap. i. 1.
21 p. 10 Foot Note u. Historians, as Polybius, Justin, and Strabo, speak of the systematic luxury and licentiousness of this monarch, especially at this period.
22 p. 10 Foot Note x. [Gr.  click on image to enlarge] which Grotius translates ” relatio in plebem.” See his note. Compare chap. vii. 22.
23 p. 10 Foot Note y. Compare 3 Maccabees, vi. 7. From the horror with which the Jews appear to regard this threat, may be judged the falsehood of the story, which is mentioned by Phitarch and alluded to by Tacitus, (Histor. V. 5.) that they were supposed by some writers to be worshippers of Bacchus.
24 p. 11 Foot Note z.  [Gr.  click on image to enlarge] Grutwell wholly omits this clause. See Grotius’e note on the place.
25 p. 11 Foot Note a. Precisely the same tiling had been granted to their ancestors by Ptolemy Lagos. See Josephus, Ant. XII. 1. And at a still earlier period Seleucus Nicator had honoured them in a similar manner, by creating them citizens of Antioch. Joseph. Ant. XII. 3.
26 p. 11 Foot Note b. That is, with the Macedonians who had been planted at Alexandria by Alexander and his successors.
27 p. 11 Foot Note c. [Gr.  click on image to enlarge]  The sense of the word [Gr.  click on image to enlarge] appears from a passage in Josephus, Ant. XI. 8. [Gr.  click on image to enlarge] where it signifies, ” they considered that his marriage would become a step (or stepping-stone) to those who wished to transgress the laws.” [Gr.  click on image to enlarge] was the name of an engine of war used in sieges ; as may be seen in Vitruvius, who translates it “Accessus, sen ascendens machina.” See Vitrnv. de Architect. X. 19. and the note of Philander on the passage. It is also used by Polybius, and by Diodorus Sienlus.

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