2 Maccabees Chapter 03 (from Five Books of Maccabees)


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P. 57 – 63 Book 2 B.C. 166. [PDF: 107/113 of p.524]

CHAPTER III

(i) The valiant acts of Judas Maccabaus.

1 Then his son Judas called Maccabaeus rose up 2 in his stead. And all his brethren helped him, and so did all they who were joined with his father, and they fought with cheerfulness the battle of Israel. 3 So he gat his people great honour, and put on a breast-plate as a giant, and girt his warlike armour about him, and he fought battles, protecting 4 the host with his sword. In his acts he was like a lion, and like a lion’s whelp roaring for his 5 prey. For he pursued the wicked, and sought them out, and burnt up those who vexed his 6 people. Wherefore the wicked shrunk for fear of him, and all the workers of iniquity were confounded together, and deliverance was made to 7 prosper in his hand. He grieved also many kings, and made Jacob glad with his acts, and his 8 memorial is blessed for ever. Moreover, he went through the cities of Judah, and destroyed the ungodly out of them, and turned away wrath 9 from Israel : so that he was renowned unto the utmost part of the earth, and he received unto him such as were ready to perish.

10 Then Apollonius[1]P. 57 Foot Note a. The governor of Samaria. See above, chap. ii. 29. gathered together the Gentiles, and a great host out of Samaria, to fight 11 against Israel. Which thing when Judas p. 58 perceived, he went forth to meet him, and so he smote him, and slew him: many also fell down slain, but the rest fled. Wherefore Judas took 12 their spoils, and Apollonius’ sword also, and therewith he fought all his life long.

Now when Seron, the captain[2]P. 58 Foot Note b. Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] Josephus calls him governor of Caelosyria. of the army of 13 Syria, heard say, that Judas had gathered unto him a multitude and company of the faithful to go out with him to war ; he said, I will get me a 14 name and will be honoured in the kingdom ; for I will go fight with Judas, and them that are with him, who despise the king’s commandment. So 15 he made him ready to go up, and there went with him a mighty host of the ungodly to help him, and to be avenged of the children of Israel. And 16 when he came near to the going up of Bethoron[3]P. 59 Foot Note c. A town lying within the borders of the tribe of Ephraim, north-west from Jerusalem. See Josh. x. 10, 11. 1 Chron. vii. 24. Judas went forth to meet him with a small company. Who, when they saw the host coming to 17 meet them, said unto Judas, How shall we be able, being so few, to fight against so great a multitude and so strong, seeing we are ready to faint with fasting all this day? Unto whom Judas answered, 18 It is no hard matter for many to be shut up in the hands of a few ; and with the God of heaven it is all one to deliver with many[4]P. 59 Foot Note d. See 1 Sam. ch. xiv. 6, 2 Chron. xiv. 11. or with few ; for the victory of battle standeth not in the 19 multitude of an host, but strength cometh from heaven. They come to us in the abundance of pride and 20 iniquity, to destroy us and our wives and children, and to spoil us : but we fight for our lives and our 21 p. 59 22 laws. Wherefore the Lord himself will overthrow them before our face : and as for you, be ye not 23 afraid of them. Now as soon as he had left off speaking, he leapt suddenly upon them, and so Seron and his host was overthrown[5]P. 59 Foot Note e. Josephus informs us, that Seron himself was slain in this battle. before him. 24 And they pursued them in the going down of Bethoron, unto the plain, where were slain about eight hundred men of them ; and the residue fled 25 into the land of the Philistines. Then began the fear of Judas and his brethren, and great dread to 26 fall upon the nations round about them ; insomuch that his fame came unto the king, and all nations talked of the battles of Judas.

27 Now when king Antiochus heard these things, he was full of indignation : wherefore he sent and gathered together all the forces of his realm, even 28 a very strong army. He opened also his treasure[6]P. 59 Foot Note f. See Daniel xi. 24., and gave his soldiers pay for a year, commanding 29 them to be ready for every need. Nevertheless, when he saw that the money of his treasures failed, and that the tributes[7]P. 59 Foot Note g. Or, ” the collectors of tributes were few:” for the Greek MSS. vary between Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] and Gr. [ click on image to enlarge]  in the country were small, because of the dissension, and plague which he had brought upon the land by taking away the 30 laws which had been of old time ; he feared that he should not, as in former times, have sufficient for his charges, and for the gifts, which before he had given with a liberal hand : for he had abounded above the kings[8]P. 59 Foot Note h. Thus it had been prophesied of him by Daniel, that he shall do that which his fathers have not done, nor his fathers’ fathers: he shall scatter among them the p. 60 prey, … Continue reading that were before him. p. 60 Wherefore, being greatly perplexed in his mind, 31 he determined to go into Persia, there to take the tributes of the countries, and to gather much money. So he left Lysias, an honourable man, 32 and one of the blood royal, to oversee the affairs of the king, from the river Euphrates, unto the borders of Egypt ; and to bring up his son 33 Antiochus, until he came again. Moreover, he 34 delivered unto him the half of his forces, and the elephants, and gave him charge of all things that he would have done, as also concerning them which dwelt in Judaea and Jerusalem : to wit, that he 35 should send an army against them, to destroy and root out the strength of Israel and the remnant of Jerusalem, and to take away their memorial from that place ; and that he should place strange 36 children in all their quarters, and divide their land by lot. So the king took the half of the forces which 37 remained, and departed from Antioch[9]P. 60 Foot Note i. A celebrated city of Syria, on the river Orontes : near it was the grove called Daphne. See a description of it in the XVIth book of Strabo. his royal city, the hundred forty and seventh year ; and having passed the river Euphrates, he went through the high countries[10]P. 60 Foot Note j. Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] i. e. the parts adjoining the Enphrates, and remote from the sea. So Polybius calls the governments of Upper Asia Gr. [ click on image to … Continue reading.

Then Lysias chose Ptolemee the son of 38 Dorymenes, and Nicanor, and Gorgias, mighty men of the king’s friends : and with them he sent forty 39 thousand foot-men, and seven thousand horse-men, to go into the land of Judah, and to destroy it, as p. 61 40 the king commanded. So they went forth with all their power, and came and pitched by 41 Emmaus[11]P. 61 Foot Note k. A village situate seven miles and a half from Jerusalem, Luke xxiv. 13., in the plain country. And the merchants of the country hearing the fame of them, took silver and gold very much, and servants, and came into the camp to buy the children of Israel for slaves ; a power also of Syria, and of the land of the Philistines[12]P. 61 Foot Note l. Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] This word in its primary signification denotes any person who is not of the same country with the writer, an alien ; and in this sense it is … Continue reading, joined themselves unto them.

42 Now when Judas and his brethren saw that miseries were multiplied, and that the forces did encamp themselves in their borders, (for they knew how the king had given commandment to destroy the people, and utterly abolish them) ; 43 they said one to another, Let us restore the decayed estate of our people, and let us fight for 44 our people, and the sanctuary. Then was the congregation gathered together, that they might be ready for battle, and that they might pray, and 45 ask mercy and compassion. Now Jerusalem was uninhabited as a wilderness, there was none of her children that went in, or out : the sanctuary also was trodden down, and aliens kept the strong hold : the heathen had their habitation in that place, and joy was taken away from Jacob, and p. 62 the pipe and the harp ceased. Wherefore the 46 Israelites assembled themselves together, and came to Maspha[13]P. 62 Foot Note m. See Judges ch. xx. 1, 1 Sam. vii. 5, 2 Kings xxv., over against Jerusalem ; for in Maspha was the place where they prayed aforetime in Israel. Then they fasted that day, and 47 put on sackcloth, and cast ashes upon their heads, and rent their clothes ; and laid open the book of 48 the law, for which the heathen had sought diligently to paint in them the pictures[14]P. 62 Foot Note n. And by these means to render them useless and abominable to the Jews, who by their law were expressly forbidden to use any such representations. See Levit. xxvi. 1 Numb, … Continue reading of their idols. They brought also the priests’ garments, 49 and the first-fruits, and the tithes ; and the Nazarites[15]P. 62 Foot Note 0. For the particulars of the Nazarites and their vows, consult Numb. vi. 2—21. they stirred up[16]P. 62 Foot Note p. Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] ” put forward,” Grotius. Compare Amos ii. 11., who had accomplished their days. Then cried they with a loud voice toward 50 heaven, saying, What shall we do with these, and whither shall we carry them away ? For thy 51 sanctuary is trodden down and profaned, and thy priests are in heaviness and brought low. And 52 lo, the heathen are assembled together against us to destroy us : what things they imagine against us, thou knowest. How shall we be able to stand 53 against them, except thou, O God, be our help? Then sounded they with trumpets, and cried with 54 a loud voice. And after this, Judas ordained 55 captains over the people, even captains over thousands, and over hundreds, and over fifties, and over tens. But as for such as were building 56 p. 63 houses, or had betrothed wives, or were planting vineyards, or were fearful[17]P. 63 Foot Note q. See Deuteron. xx. 5—8. Judges vii. 3., those he commanded that they should return every man to his own 57 house, according to the law. So the camp removed, and pitched upon the south side of 58 Emmaus. And Judas said, Arm yourselves, and be valiant men, and see that ye be in readiness against the morning, that ye may fight with these nations which are assembled together against us, 59 to destroy us and our sanctuary. For it is better for us to die in battle, than to behold the calamities 60 of our nation and our sanctuary. Nevertheless, as the will of God is in heaven, so let him do.


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

References
1 P. 57 Foot Note a. The governor of Samaria. See above, chap. ii. 29.
2 P. 58 Foot Note b. Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] Josephus calls him governor of Caelosyria.
3 P. 59 Foot Note c. A town lying within the borders of the tribe of Ephraim, north-west from Jerusalem. See Josh. x. 10, 11. 1 Chron. vii. 24.
4 P. 59 Foot Note d. See 1 Sam. ch. xiv. 6, 2 Chron. xiv. 11.
5 P. 59 Foot Note e. Josephus informs us, that Seron himself was slain in this battle.
6 P. 59 Foot Note f. See Daniel xi. 24.
7 P. 59 Foot Note g. Or, ” the collectors of tributes were few:” for the Greek MSS. vary between Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] and Gr. [ click on image to enlarge]
8 P. 59 Foot Note h. Thus it had been prophesied of him by Daniel, that he shall do that which his fathers have not done, nor his fathers’ fathers: he shall scatter among them the p. 60 prey, and spoil, and riches.” Dan, xi. 24. Compare Joseph. Antiq. XII. 11.
9 P. 60 Foot Note i. A celebrated city of Syria, on the river Orontes : near it was the grove called Daphne. See a description of it in the XVIth book of Strabo.
10 P. 60 Foot Note j. Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] i. e. the parts adjoining the Enphrates, and remote from the sea. So Polybius calls the governments of Upper Asia Gr. [https://fourcornerministries.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/P.60-2.Macca_.3-fn-j-02-00-20mm-h.fw_-300x18.png 300w" sizes="(max-width: 333px) 100vw, 333px" /> click on image to enlarge] Lib. III. et V. So also we read in Josephus  Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] ill Acts xix. 1.
11 P. 61 Foot Note k. A village situate seven miles and a half from Jerusalem, Luke xxiv. 13.
12 P. 61 Foot Note l. Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] This word in its primary signification denotes any person who is not of the same country with the writer, an alien ; and in this sense it is used by Thucydides and other classic authors. To the Greeks all other nations were Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] which was equivalent to Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] ; and to the Romans, on the contrary, the Greeks were Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] Among the Jews the word was used to express all Gentiles generally ; but more particularly the race of Philistines. In both these senses the expression occurs in the books of Maccabees.
13 P. 62 Foot Note m. See Judges ch. xx. 1, 1 Sam. vii. 5, 2 Kings xxv.
14 P. 62 Foot Note n. And by these means to render them useless and abominable to the Jews, who by their law were expressly forbidden to use any such representations. See Levit. xxvi. 1 Numb, xxxiii. 52.
15 P. 62 Foot Note 0. For the particulars of the Nazarites and their vows, consult Numb. vi. 2—21.
16 P. 62 Foot Note p. Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] ” put forward,” Grotius. Compare Amos ii. 11.
17 P. 63 Foot Note q. See Deuteron. xx. 5—8. Judges vii. 3.

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