2 Maccabees Chapter 05 (from Five Books of Maccabees)


01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05 | 06 | 07 | 08 | 09 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 1516 |


P. 69 – 77 Book 2 B.C. 164 [PDF: 119/127 of p.524]

CHAPTER V

(i) The wars of Judas. The expedition of Simon.

1 Now it came to pass when the nations round about heard that the altar was built, and the sanctuary renewed as before, [B.C. 165.] they were 2 very wroth. Wherefore they took counsel to destroy the generation of Jacob which was in the midst of them, and thereupon they began to slay 3 and destroy among the people. Then Judas fought against the children of Esau, in Idumaea, at Acrabattine[1]P. 69 Foot Note a. A district of Idumaea, which in the books of Numbers and Joshua is called Akrabbim., because they besieged Israel; and he gave them a great overthrow, and brought 4 them down, and took their spoils. Also he p. 70 remembered the injury of the children of Baean[2]P. 70 Foot Note b. Baean, or Baanas, appears from Josephus to have been the name of an Idumaean chief., who had been a snare and a stumbling block unto the people, in that they lay in wait for them in the ways. And they were shut up by him in the 5 towers, and he encamped against them, and destroyed[3]P. 70 Foot Note c. Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] which may also mean, ” he took an oath to destroy them.” them utterly, and burnt the towers of that place with fire, with all those who were therein. Afterwards he passed over to the children 6 of Amnion, where he found a mighty power, and much people, with Timotheus their captain. So 7 he fought many battles with them, and they were discomfited before his face ; and he smote them. And when he had taken Jazer[4]P. 70 Foot Note d. A considerable city in the eastern part of the Holy Land, north of Aroer : it is mentioned in the books of Numbers and Joshua., and the towns[5]P. 70 Foot Note e. Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] an elegant metaphor. Compare Numbers, ch. xxi. 25 : Ezech. xvi. 44—61. 8 belonging thereto, he returned into Judaea. Then 9 the heathen who were in Galaad[6]P. 70 Foot Note f. Galaad, or Gilead, is often put for the whole country eastward of the river Jordan. assembled themselves together against the Israelites who were in their quarters, to destroy them ; but they fled to the fortress of Dathema[7]P. 70 Foot Note g. A fortress in the land of Gilead, the exact situation of which is unknown to us. Possibly it may be the same place with that which is mentioned at Numbers xxxiii. 18, 19.; and sent letters unto 10 Judas and his brethren, “The heathen who are round about us are assembled together against us, to destroy us. And they are preparing to 11 come and take the fortress whereunto we are fled, Timotheus being captain of their host. 12 Come now therefore and deliver us from their p. 71 13 hands, for many of us are slain. Yea, all our brethren who were in the places of Tobie[8]P. 71 Foot Note h. Compare Judges xi. 3. also 3 Mace. xii. 17., are put to death : their wives and their children also they have carried away captives, and borne away their stuff, and they have destroyed there 14 about a thousand men.” While these letters were yet reading, behold, there came other messengers from Galilee, with their clothes rent, who 15 reported according to these words, and said, ” They of Ptolemais, and of Tyrus, and Sidon, and all Galilee of the Gentiles, are assembled together 16 against us to consume us.” Now when Judas and the people heard these words, there assembled a great congregation together, to consult what they should do for their brethren who were in 17 trouble, and assaulted by them. Then said Judas unto Simon his brother, Chuse thee out men, and go and deliver thy brethren who are in Galilee ; but I and Jonathan my brother will go into the 18 country of Galaad. So he left Joseph the son of Zacharias and Azarias, captains of the people, with the remnant of the host in Judaea, to keep it. 19 And he gave them commandment, saying, Take ye the charge of this people, and make no war against the heathen, until the time that we come 20 again. Now unto Simon were given three thousand men to go into Galilee, and unto Judas eight 21 thousand men for the country of Galaad. Then went Simon into Galilee, where he fought many battles with the heathen, and the heathen were 22 discomfited before his face. And he pursued them unto the gate of Ptolemais[9]P. 71/72 Foot Note i. A seaport town belonging to the Phoenicians, lying p.72 to the north of mount Carmel. In ancient times it was called Acca ; and now, Acre. ; and there were slain p. 72 of the heathen about three thousand men, whose spoils he took. And those who were in Galilee, 23 and in Arbatta[10]P. 72 Foot Note j. Or Arbattis, a city of Galilee., with their wives and their children, and all which they had, took he away with him, and brought them into Judaea with great joy.

Judas Maccabaeus also and his brother Jonathan 24 went over Jordan, and travelled three days’ journey in the wilderness ; where they met with the 25 Nabathaeans[11]P. 72 Foot Note k. These were Arabians, some of the ancient Edomites, descended from Nebaioth, the eldest son of Ishmael; see Genesis xxv. 13. According to Diodorus Siculus, (lib. II. 48,) they … Continue reading, who came unto them in peaceable manner, and told them every thing which had happened to their brethren in the land of Galaad : and how 26 that many of them were shut up in Bosora[12]P. 72 Foot Note l. A city of Idumaea, mentioned by Isaiah, who calls it Bozrah., and Bosor[13]P. 72 Foot Note m. A town of the country of Moah, named by Jeremiah at chap, xlviii. 24., and Alema[14]P. 72 Foot Note n. Another town of the Moabites. Grotius judges it to be that which Josephus calls Malle., Casphor[15]P. 72 Foot Note o. Or Casphon., as at ver. 36 : Calmet thinks it to be the same as Heshbon., Maked[16]P. 72 Foot Note p. Called Maachathi, or Maacah, in Deuteronomy and 2 Samuel., and Carnaim[17]P. 72 Foot Note q. A town lying between Abila and Edrai, about eight miles from Maspha. (all these cities are strong and great) : and 27 that they were shut up in the rest of the cities of the country of Galaad, and that against tomorrow they had appointed to bring their host against the forts, and to take them, and to destroy them all in p. 73 28 one day. Hereupon Judas and his host turned suddenly by the way of the wilderness unto Bosor ; and he won the city, and slew all the males with the edge of the sword, and took all 29 their spoils, and burnt the city with fire. From whence he removed by night, and went till he 30 came to the fortress[18]P. 73 Foot Note r. Namely, of Dathema.. And betimes in the morning they lifted up their eyes, and behold, there was an innumerable people bearing ladders, and other engines of war to take the fortress, and they 31 assaulted them. When Judas therefore saw that the battle was begun, and that the cry of the city went up to heaven, with trumpets, and a great 32 sound ; he said unto his host, Fight this day for 33 your brethren. So he went forth behind them in three companies, who sounded their trumpets, 34 and cried with prayer. Then the host of Timotheus perceived that it was Maccabaeus, and fled from his face : wherefore he smote them with a great slaughter ; so that there fell of them that 35 day about eight thousand men. This done, Judas turned aside to Maspha[19]P. 73 Foot Note s. Called Mizpeh in the books of Judges and Samuel, The same with Malle above named.; and he assaulted it, and took it, and slew all the males therein, and gathered the spoils thereof, and burnt it with 36 fire. From thence went he and took Casphon, Maged, Bosor, and the other cities of the country 37 of Galaad. After these things gathered Timotheus another host, and encamped before Raphon[20]P. 73 Foot Note t. Perhaps the town of Syria, called Raphana by Pliny. 38 beyond the brook. So Judas sent men to espy the host, who brought him word, saying, All the p. 74 heathen which are round about us are assembled unto them, even a very great host. He hath also 39 hired the Arabians to help them, and they have pitched their tents beyond the brook, ready to come and fight against thee. Upon this Judas went to meet them. Then Timotheus said unto 40 the captains of his host, When Judas and his host come near the water-brook, if he pass over first unto us, we shall not be able to withstand him: for he will mightily prevail against us. But if 41 he be afraid, and camp beyond the river, we shall go over unto him, and prevail against him. Now 42 when Judas came near the water-brook, he caused the scribes of the people to remain by the brook and he charged them all, saying, Suffer no man to pitch his tent, but let all come to the battle. So 43 he went over first unto them, and all the people after him ; then all the heathen being discomfited before him, cast away their weapons, and fled unto the temple[21]P. 74 Foot Note u. Viz. of the goddess Atargatis. See 3 Mace. xii. 26, and the note there. which was at Carnaim: but they 44 took the city, and burnt the temple, with all who were therein. Thus was Carnaim subdued, neither could they stand any longer before Judas. Then Judas gathered together all the Israelites 45 who were in the country of Galaad, from the least unto the greatest, even their wives and their children, and their stuff, a very great host, to the end they might come into the land of Judah.

46 Now when they came unto Ephron, (this was a great city in the way as they should go, very well fortified,) they could not turn from it, either on the right hand or the left, but must needs pass p. 75 47 through the midst of it. Then they of the city shut them out, and stopped up the gates with 48 stones. Whereupon Judas sent unto them with peaceable words, saying, We will pass through your land to go into our own country, and none shall do you any hurt ; we will only pass through on foot : howbeit, they would not open unto him. 49 Wherefore Judas commanded a proclamation to be made throughout the host, that every man should pitch his tent in the place where he was. 50 So the soldiers pitched, and assaulted the city all that day and all that night, till at the length the 51 city was delivered into his hands : and he slew all the males with the edge of the sword, and rased the city, and took the spoils thereof, and passed through the city, over them which were slain. 52 And they passed over Jordan, into the great 53 plain before Bethsan[22]P. 75 Foot Note x. Or Bethshean, a considerable city, situate in the tribe of Manasseh, about two miles east of Gilboah, in the neighbourhood of the river Jordan: it is often mentioned in … Continue reading. And Judas was gathering together those who were hindmost, and exhorting the people all the way through, till they came 54 into the land of Judah. So they went up to mount Zion with joy and gladness, where they offered burnt offerings, because not one of them were slain until they had returned in peace.

55 Now what time as Judas and Jonathan were in the land of Galaad, and Simon his brother in p. 76 Galilee before Ptolemais; Joseph, the son of Zacharias, 56 and Azarias, captains of the army, heard of the valiant acts and warlike deeds which they had done. Wherefore they said, Let us also get 57 us a name, and go fight against the heathen who are round about us. So when they had given 58 charge unto the army which was with them, they went towards Jamnia. Then came Gorgias and 59 his men out of the city to meet them in battle. And so it was that Joseph and Azarias were put 60 to flight, and pursued unto the borders of Judaea : and there were slain that day of the people of Israel, about two thousand men. Thus was there 61 a great overthrow among the children of Israel, because they were not obedient unto Judas and his brethren, but thought to do some valiant act. Moreover, these men came not of the seed of those 62 by whose hand deliverance was given unto Israel. And the man Judas and his brethren were greatly 63 renowned in the sight of all Israel, and of all the heathen wheresoever their name was heard. 64 Insomuch that the people assembled unto them with joyful acclamation’s.

Afterward went Judas forth with his brethren, 65 and fought against the children of Esau in the land toward the south ; where he smote Hebron[23]P. 76 Foot Note y. This had formerly been one of the towns of Judah: but after that the Idumaeans had possessed themselves of the southern portion of Judaea, during the captivity of Babylon, … Continue reading, and the towns thereof, and pulled down the fortress of it, and burnt the towers thereof round about. From thence he removed to go into the 66 land of the Philistines, and passed through Samaria. 67 p. 77 At that time certain priests, desirous to shew their valour, were slain in battle, for that 68 they went out to fight unadvisedly. So Judas turned aside to Azotus in the land of the Philistines ; and when he had pulled down their altars, and burnt the carved images of their gods with fire, and spoiled their cities, he returned into the land of Judah.


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. 69 Foot Note a. A district of Idumaea, which in the books of Numbers and Joshua is called Akrabbim.
2 P. 70 Foot Note b. Baean, or Baanas, appears from Josephus to have been the name of an Idumaean chief.
3 P. 70 Foot Note c. Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] which may also mean, ” he took an oath to destroy them.”
4 P. 70 Foot Note d. A considerable city in the eastern part of the Holy Land, north of Aroer : it is mentioned in the books of Numbers and Joshua.
5 P. 70 Foot Note e. Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] an elegant metaphor. Compare Numbers, ch. xxi. 25 : Ezech. xvi. 44—61.
6 P. 70 Foot Note f. Galaad, or Gilead, is often put for the whole country eastward of the river Jordan.
7 P. 70 Foot Note g. A fortress in the land of Gilead, the exact situation of which is unknown to us. Possibly it may be the same place with that which is mentioned at Numbers xxxiii. 18, 19.
8 P. 71 Foot Note h. Compare Judges xi. 3. also 3 Mace. xii. 17.
9 P. 71/72 Foot Note i. A seaport town belonging to the Phoenicians, lying p.72 to the north of mount Carmel. In ancient times it was called Acca ; and now, Acre.
10 P. 72 Foot Note j. Or Arbattis, a city of Galilee.
11 P. 72 Foot Note k. These were Arabians, some of the ancient Edomites, descended from Nebaioth, the eldest son of Ishmael; see Genesis xxv. 13. According to Diodorus Siculus, (lib. II. 48,) they possessed the country eastward of the Jordan, as far north as mount Libanus. Their capital city was Petra, concerning which, and the manners and habits of the Nabathaeans see more in Diodorus Siculus, XIX. c. 94 – 97. 
12 P. 72 Foot Note l. A city of Idumaea, mentioned by Isaiah, who calls it Bozrah.
13 P. 72 Foot Note m. A town of the country of Moah, named by Jeremiah at chap, xlviii. 24.
14 P. 72 Foot Note n. Another town of the Moabites. Grotius judges it to be that which Josephus calls Malle.
15 P. 72 Foot Note o. Or Casphon., as at ver. 36 : Calmet thinks it to be the same as Heshbon.
16 P. 72 Foot Note p. Called Maachathi, or Maacah, in Deuteronomy and 2 Samuel.
17 P. 72 Foot Note q. A town lying between Abila and Edrai, about eight miles from Maspha.
18 P. 73 Foot Note r. Namely, of Dathema.
19 P. 73 Foot Note s. Called Mizpeh in the books of Judges and Samuel, The same with Malle above named.
20 P. 73 Foot Note t. Perhaps the town of Syria, called Raphana by Pliny.
21 P. 74 Foot Note u. Viz. of the goddess Atargatis. See 3 Mace. xii. 26, and the note there.
22 P. 75 Foot Note x. Or Bethshean, a considerable city, situate in the tribe of Manasseh, about two miles east of Gilboah, in the neighbourhood of the river Jordan: it is often mentioned in the books of Joshua, Judges, and Samuel. The Greeks called it Scythopolis ; under which name also it appears in the 3d book of Maccabees, chap, xii. 29. See Josephus, XII. 12: and Herodotus, who in his first book relates that irruption of the Scythians into Egypt and Palestine, from which it is thought by most authors to have derived its name.
23 P. 76 Foot Note y. This had formerly been one of the towns of Judah: but after that the Idumaeans had possessed themselves of the southern portion of Judaea, during the captivity of Babylon, they made Hebron their principal city.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *