2 Maccabees Chapter 08 (from Five Books of Maccabees)


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P.89 – 93 Book 2 B.C. 161 [PDF: 139/143 of p.524]

CHAPTER VIII. 

(i) Judas makes a league with the Romans.  

1 Now Judas had heard of the fame of the Romans, that they were mighty in power, [B.C. 161.] and such as would lovingly accept all who joined themselves unto them, and make a league of amity 2 with all who came unto them ; and that they were men of great valour. It was told him also of their wars and noble acts which they had done among the Galatians[1]P. 89 Foot Note a. Namely, the Gauls of Asia, or Gallo-gracci ; who, migrating from Gaul under Brennus and other chiefs, passed over into Asia, and after some time established themselves in … Continue reading , and how they had p. 90 conquered them, and brought them under tribute. And what they had done in the country of Spain 3 for the winning of the mines of the silver and gold which is there : and that by their policy and 4 patience they had conquered all the place, (though it were very far from them,) and the kings also who came against them from the uttermost part of the earth, till they had discomfited them, and given them a great overthrow, so that the rest did give them tribute every year. Besides this, how 5 they had discomfited in battle Philip, and Perseus king of the Citims[2]P. 90 Foot Note b. Namely, Macedonians, See chapter I. 1. Philip was conquered by the Romans in the first, and Perseus in the second Macedonic war ; by the subjugation of whom an end was put … Continue reading , with others who lifted up themselves against them, and had overcome them. How also Antiochus[3]P. 90 Foot Note c. See the accounts of these transactions given by Polybius and Livy. the great king of Asia, who 6 came against them in battle, having an hundred and twenty elephants, with horsemen and chariots, and a very great army, was discomfited by them ; and how they took him alive, and 7 covenanted that he, and such as reigned after him, should pay a great tribute, and give hostages, and an appointed sum[4]P. 90 Foot Note d. Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] or, ” a division of his territory.”. And the country of India, 8 and Media[5]P. 90 Foot Note e. Grotius takes notice of these two names, (in which, nevertheless, all the MSS. agree,) and suggests, that perhaps we ought to read Ionia and Mysia, which indeed were given … Continue reading , and Lydia, and of the goodliest p. 91 countries, which they took from him and gave to king 9 Eumenes[6]P. 91 Foot Note f. The son of Attalus, king of Pergamus. : moreover, how the Grecians[7]P. 91 Foot Note g. Probably the allusion is to the AEtolians and other Greek allies of Antiochus. had 10 determined to come and destroy them ; and that they, having knowledge thereof, sent against them a certain captain, and fighting with them slew many of them, and carried away captives their wives and their children, and spoiled them, and took possession of their lands, and pulled down their strong holds, and brought them to be their 11 servants unto this day. It was told him besides, how they destroyed and brought under their dominion all other kingdoms and isles, which at 12 any time resisted them: but with their friends and such as relied upon them, they kept amity : and that they had conquered kingdoms both far and nigh, insomuch that all who heard of their 13 name were afraid of them : also, that whom they chose to help, and that they should reign, those reign; and whom again they would, they displace; 14 and that they were greatly exalted: yet for all this, none of them wore a crown, or was clothed in 15 purple to walk proudly in it : moreover, how they had made for themselves a senate-house, wherein three hundred and twenty[8]P. 91 Foot Note h. The Roman senate, about this period, consisted usually of three hundred members but the number varied from time to time, so that the author of this book may be correct in his … Continue reading men sat in council daily, consulting alway for the people, to the end they p. 92 might be well ordered : and that they committed 16 their government to one man[9]P. 92 Foot Note i. Though there were uniformly and invariably two consuls, yet, inasmuch as one of these had the entire management of military and foreign affairs, he alone was likely to he … Continue reading every year, who ruled over all their country ; and that all were obedient to that one, and that there was neither envy nor emulation amongst them.

17 And Judas chose Eupolemus the son of John, the son of Accos, and Jason, the son of Eleazar, and sent them to Rome, to make a league of amity and confederacy with them ; and to intreat 18 them, that they would take the yoke from them ; for they saw that the kingdom of the Grecians did oppress Israel with servitude. They went 19 therefore to Rome, (which was a very great journey,) and came into the senate, where they spake, and said, ” Judas Maccabseus and his brethren, 20 and the people of the Jews, have sent us unto you, to make a confederacy and peace with you, and that we might be registered your confederates and friends.” So that matter pleased[10]P. 92 Foot Note k. The historian Justin has a shrewd remark upon this : ” A Demetrio cum descivissent, [Judaei] amieitia Romanorum petita, primi omnium ex orientalibus libertatem … Continue reading 21 the Romans well.

And this is the copy of the epistle which the 22 senate wrote back again, in tables of brass, and sent to Jerusalem, that there they might have by them a memorial of peace and confederacy : ” Good 23 success be to the Romans and to the people of the Jews, by sea and by land for ever: the sword also and the enemy be far from them. If 24 p. 93 there come first any war upon the Romans, or any of their confederates throughout all their 25 dominion, the people of the Jews shall help them, as the time shall be appointed them, with 26 all their heart. Neither shall they give any thing unto those who make war upon them, or aid them with victuals, weapons, money, or ships, as it hath seemed good unto the Romans ; but they shall keep their covenants without taking 27 any thing therefore. In the same manner also if a war come first upon the nation of the Jews, the Romans shall help them with all their heart, according as the time shall be appointed them. 28 Neither shall victuals be given to those who take part against them, or weapons, or money, or ships, as it hath seemed good to the Romans : but they shall keep their covenants, and that 29 without deceit.” ” According to these articles did the Romans make a covenant with the 30 people of the Jews. Howbeit, if hereafter the one party or the other shall think meet to add or diminish any thing, they may do it at their pleasures ; and whatsoever they shall add or 31 take away, shall be ratified. And as touching the evils which Demetrius doeth to the Jews, we have written unto him, saying, ‘ Wherefore hast thou made thy yoke heavy upon our friends 32 and confederates the Jews?’ If therefore they complain any more against thee, we will do them justice, and fight with thee by sea and by land.” 



References

1 P. 89 Foot Note a. Namely, the Gauls of Asia, or Gallo-gracci ; who, migrating from Gaul under Brennus and other chiefs, passed over into Asia, and after some time established themselves in the countries on the river Halys. Becoming: allies of Antiochus the Great, they incurred the resentment of the Romans, who Romans, who sent Cneius Manlius to punish them; and from this general they experienced two signal defeats, at Ancyra and at mount Olympus, A. C. 189. See Livy, XXXVIII. 12-26.
2 P. 90 Foot Note b. Namely, Macedonians, See chapter I. 1. Philip was conquered by the Romans in the first, and Perseus in the second Macedonic war ; by the subjugation of whom an end was put to the Macedonian empire.
3 P. 90 Foot Note c. See the accounts of these transactions given by Polybius and Livy.
4 P. 90 Foot Note d. Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] or, ” a division of his territory.”
5 P. 90 Foot Note e. Grotius takes notice of these two names, (in which, nevertheless, all the MSS. agree,) and suggests, that perhaps we ought to read Ionia and Mysia, which indeed were given to Eumenes by the Romans ; whereas neither of the other two had belonged either to them or to Roman senate after the defeat of Antiochus, are furnished to us by Livy, XXXVII. 55. ” Ut cis Taurum montem quae intra regui Antiochi fines fuissent Eumeni attribuerentur, praeter Lyciam Cariamque, usque ad Maeandrum fluvium.” India and Media therefore are wholly out of the question.
6 P. 91 Foot Note f. The son of Attalus, king of Pergamus.
7 P. 91 Foot Note g. Probably the allusion is to the AEtolians and other Greek allies of Antiochus.
8 P. 91 Foot Note h. The Roman senate, about this period, consisted usually of three hundred members but the number varied from time to time, so that the author of this book may be correct in his statement. It deserves notice also, that in the Vth book of Maccabees, chap. xii. xiii. xlii., the same precise number is assigned. See the places.
9 P. 92 Foot Note i. Though there were uniformly and invariably two consuls, yet, inasmuch as one of these had the entire management of military and foreign affairs, he alone was likely to he well-known to the Jewish writer of this history.
10 P. 92 Foot Note k. The historian Justin has a shrewd remark upon this : ” A Demetrio cum descivissent, [Judaei] amieitia Romanorum petita, primi omnium ex orientalibus libertatem receperunt, facile tunc Romanus de alieno largientibus,” lih. XXXVI. 3.

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