2 Maccabees Chapter 09 (from Five Books of Maccabees)


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P. 94 – 101 Book 2 B.C. [PDF: 144/151 of p.524]

CHAPTER IX

(i) The death of Judas. Also, of John. Jonathan is made captain. The death of Alcimus.

1 Furthermore, when Demetrius heard that Nicanor and his host were slain in battle, he proceeded to send Bacchides and Alcimus into the land of Judah the second time, and with them the chief strength[1]P. 94 Foot Note a. Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] the right wing, which, as the post of honour, usually was occupied by the bravest or most favourite troops. of his host: who went forth 2 by the way which leadeth to Galgala[2]P. 94 Foot Note b. Or Gilgal, as in Joshua iv. 19. Drusius thinks that we ought to read Galilee in this passage., and pitched their tents before Maseloth, which is in Arbela[3]P. 94 Foot Note c. Perhaps the same as Arbatta ; mentioned above, at chap. v. 23. Josephus calls it ” a city of Galilee.”, and they won it, and slew much people. Also 3 in the first month of the hundred fifty and second year, [B.C. 161.] they encamped before Jerusalem. From whence they removed and went to 4 Bersea[4]P. 94 Foot Note d. Or Berzetho ; perhaps the same as Bezeth, mentioned at chap. vii. 19., with twenty thousand foot-men, and two thousand horse-men.

5 Now Judas had pitched his tents at Eleasa[5]P. 94 Foot Note e. There is a variety of reading here. Possibly it may designate Adasa, named above, at chap. vii. 40. Compare hook V. chap. 17-2., and three thousand chosen men with him : 6 who seeing the multitude of the other army to be so great, were sore afraid; whereupon many conveyed themselves out of the host, insomuch that there abode of them no more than eight hundred men. When Judas therefore saw that his host slipt 7 away, and that the battle pressed upon him, he was sore troubled in mind, for that he had no p. 95 8 time to gather them together. And he was distressed : but nevertheless, unto them which remained, he said, Let us rise and go up against our enemies, if peradventure we may be able to 9 fight with them. But they dehorted him, saying, We shall never be able : let us now rather save our lives, and hereafter we will return with our brethren, and fight against them : for we are but 10 few. Then Judas said, God forbid, that I should do this thing, and flee away from them : if our time be come, let us die manfully for our brethren, and let us not leave behind a stain upon 11 our honour. With that the host of Bacchides removed out of their tents, and stood over against them, their horsemen being divided into two troops, and their slingers and archers going before the host, and they which marched in the 12 fore-ward were all mighty men. And Bacchides was in the right wing : so the host drew near on 13 the two parts, and sounded their trumpets. They also of Judas’s side, even they sounded their trumpets also, so that the earth shook at the noise of the armies, and the battle was joined from morning 14 till night. And Judas perceived that Bacchides and the strength of his army were on the right-side ; and all who were hardy in heart went 15 with him : and the right wing was discomfited by them, and they pursued after them unto the 16 mount Azotus. But when they of the left wing saw that they of the right wing were discomfited, they followed upon Judas and those who were 17 with him, hard at the heels from behind : whereupon there was a sore battle, insomuch that many 18 were slain on both parts. Judas also was killed, p. 96 and the remnant fled. Then Jonathan and Simon 19 took Judas their brother, and buried him in the sepulchre of his fathers in Modin. Moreover, 20 they bewailed him, and all Israel made great lamentation for him, and mourned many days, saying, ” How is the valiant man fallen, who 21 delivered Israel !” As for the other things[6]P. 96 Foot Note f. Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] concerning 22 Judas and his wars, and the noble acts which he did, and his greatness, they are not written : for they were very many.

23 Now after the death of Judas, the wicked began to lift up their heads in all the coasts of Israel, and there rose up all such as wrought iniquity. In those days also was there a very great famine, 24 by reason whereof the country revolted, and went with them. Then Bacchides chose the wicked 25 men, and made them lords of the country. And 26 they made inquiry and search for Judas’s friends, and brought them unto Bacchides, who took vengeance on them, and used them despite-fully[7]P. 96 Foot Note g. Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] literally “he mocked them.”. So 27 there was a great affliction in Israel, the like whereof was not since the time that a prophet[8]P. 96 Foot Note h. That is, since the death of the prophet Malachi ; a period of more than two hundred years. was not seen amongst them.

28 For this cause all Judas’s friends came together, and said unto Jonathan, Since thy In-other Judas 29 died, we have no man like him to go forth against our enemies and Bacchides, and against them of our nation, which are adversaries to us. Now 30 therefore we have chosen thee this day to be our prince and captain in his stead, that thou mayest p. 97 31 fight our battles. Upon this, Jonathan took the governance upon him at that time, and rose up 32 instead of his brother Judas. But when Bacchides gat knowledge thereof, he sought to slay 33 him. Then Jonathan and Simon his brother, and all who were with him, perceiving that, fled into the wilderness of Thecoe[9]P. 97 Foot Note i. Or Tekoah, as written at 2 Chron. xx. 20, and Jer. vi. 1 It appears to have been situate at no great distance from Bethlehem, towards the south., and pitched their tents 34 by the water of the pool Asphar. Which when Bacchides understood, he came over Jordan with all his host upon the sabbath-day.

35 Now Jonathan had sent his brother John, a captain of the people, to pray his friends the Nabathaeans[10]P. 97 Foot Note k. See above, chap. v. 25., that they might leave with them their 36 baggage, which was much. But the children of Jambri came out of Medaba, and took John[11]P. 97 Foot Note l. And put him to death ; as appears by verse 42. and all which he had, and went their way with it. 37 After this came word to Jonathan and Simon his brother, that the children of Jambri were making a great marriage, and were bringing the bride from Nadabatha with a great train, as being the daughter of one of the great princes of Chanaan. 38 Therefore they remembered John their brother, and went up and hid themselves under the covert 39 of the mountain. Where they lifted up their eyes and looked, and behold, there was much ado, and great baggage : and the bridegroom came forth, and his friends and brethren, to meet them with drums and instruments of musick, and many weapons. 40 Then Jonathan and they which were with him, rose up against them from the place where p. 98 they lay in ambush, and made a slaughter of them in such sort, that many[12]P. 98 Foot Note m. Josephus reckons them at four hundred. fell down dead, and the remnant fled into the mountain, and they took all their spoils. Thus was the marriage turned into 41 mourning, and the noise of their melody into lamentation. So when they had avenged fully the 42 blood of their brother, they turned again to the marsh of Jordan.

43 Now when Bacchides heard hereof, he came on the sabbath-day unto the banks of Jordan with a great power. Then Jonathan said to his company, 44 Let us go up now and fight for our lives, for it standeth not with us today, as it was yesterday and the day before : for, behold, the battle is 45 before us and behind us, and the water of Jordan on this side and that side, the marsh likewise and wood, neither is there place for us to turn aside. Wherefore cry ye now unto heaven, that ye may 46 be delivered from the hand of your enemies. With 47 that they joined battle ; and Jonathan stretched forth his hand to smite Bacchides, but he turned back from him. Then Jonathan and they which 48 were with him leapt into Jordan, and swam over unto the farther bank : howbeit, the other passed not over Jordan unto them. So there were slain 49 of Bacchides’ side that day about a thousand[13]P. 98 Foot Note n. Josephus doubles the number. men.

50 Afterward returned Bacchides to Jerusalem, and repaired the strong cities in Judaea, the fort in Jericho, and Emmaus, and Beth-horon, and Beth-el, and Thamnatha Pharathoni, and Taphon, with high walls, with gates, and with p. 99 51 bars. And in them he set a garrison, that they 52 might work malice[14]P. 99 Foot Note o. Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] it signifies ” to do harm, or mischief.” upon Israel. He fortified also the city Bethsura, and Gazara, and the tower, and put forces in them, and provision of victuals. 53 Besides, he took the chief men’s sons in the country for hostages, and put them into the tower at Jerusalem to be kept.

54 Moreover, in the hundred fifty and third year, in the second month, [B.C. 160.] Alcimus commanded that the wall of the inner court of the sanctuary should be pulled down[15]P. 99 Foot Note p. So that thenceforward no distinction should be made between Jew and Gentile, but that all should have equal privilege of access to the inner court, which in former times had … Continue reading ; he pulled 55 down also the works of the prophets. And as he began to pull down, even at that time was Alcimus plagued, and his enterprises hindered : for his mouth was stopped, and he was taken with a palsy, so that he could no more speak any thing, 56 nor give order concerning his house. So Alcimus died at that time with great torment.

57 Now when Bacchides saw that Alcimus was dead, he returned to the king, whereupon the land of Judah was in rest two years.

58 Then all the ungodly men held a council, [B.C. 158.] saying, Behold, Jonathan and his company are at ease, and dwell without care : now there, fore we will bring Bacchides hither, who shall 59 take them all in one night. So they went and consulted 60 with him. Then removed he, and came with a great host, and sent letters privily to his adherents in Judaea, that they should take Jonathan and those who were with him : howbeit, p. 100 they could not, because their counsel was made known unto them. Wherefore they took of the 61 men of the country who were authors of that mischief, about fifty persons, and slew them. 62 Afterward Jonathan and Simon, and they which were with him, got them away to Bethbasi[16]P. 100 Foot Note q. Josephus calls it ” Bethalaga, a village in the wilderness.” which is in the wilderness, and they repaired the decays thereof, and made it strong. Which thing when 63 Bacchides knew, he gathered together all his host, and sent word to them which were of Judaea. Then went he and laid siege against Bethbasi ; 64 and they fought against it a long season, and made engines of war. But Jonathan left his 65 brother Simon in the city, and went forth himself into the country, and with a certain number went he forth. And he smote Odonarces[17]P. 100 Foot Note r. Or Odoarres, or Odomera. There is great variety of reading, and no less uncertainty about the person designated. Probably he was one of the captains of Bacchides, or some of … Continue reading and his 66 brethren, and the children of Phasiron in their tent. And when he began to smite them, and to 67 advance with his forces, Simon and his company went out of the city, and burnt up the engines of war, and fought against Bacchides, who was 68 discomfited by them, and they afflicted him sore : for his counsel and travail was in vain. Wherefore, 69 he was very wroth at the wicked men who gave him counsel to come into the country, insomuch that he slew many of them, and purposed to return into his own country. Whereof when 70 Jonathan had knowledge, he sent ambassadors unto him, to the end he should make peace with him, and deliver them the prisoners. 71 Which thing he p. 101 accepted, and did according to his demands, and sware unto him, that he would never devise evil 72 against him all the days of his life. When therefore he had restored unto him the prisoners whom he had taken aforetime out of the land of Judah, he returned and went his way into his own land, neither came he[18]P. 101 Foot Note s. Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] the same phrase occurs at verse 1 of this chapter. any more into their borders. 73 Thus the sword ceased from Israel : and Jonathan dwelt at Machmas[19]P. 101 Foot Note t. Or Michmash, as at 1 Sam. xiii. 2, &c. ; a town situate about nine miles north from Jerusalem., and began to govern the people ; and he destroyed the ungodly men out of Israel.


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. 94 Foot Note a. Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] the right wing, which, as the post of honour, usually was occupied by the bravest or most favourite troops.
2 P. 94 Foot Note b. Or Gilgal, as in Joshua iv. 19. Drusius thinks that we ought to read Galilee in this passage.
3 P. 94 Foot Note c. Perhaps the same as Arbatta ; mentioned above, at chap. v. 23. Josephus calls it ” a city of Galilee.”
4 P. 94 Foot Note d. Or Berzetho ; perhaps the same as Bezeth, mentioned at chap. vii. 19.
5 P. 94 Foot Note e. There is a variety of reading here. Possibly it may designate Adasa, named above, at chap. vii. 40. Compare hook V. chap. 17-2.
6 P. 96 Foot Note f. Gr. [ click on image to enlarge]
7 P. 96 Foot Note g. Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] literally “he mocked them.”
8 P. 96 Foot Note h. That is, since the death of the prophet Malachi ; a period of more than two hundred years.
9 P. 97 Foot Note i. Or Tekoah, as written at 2 Chron. xx. 20, and Jer. vi. 1 It appears to have been situate at no great distance from Bethlehem, towards the south.
10 P. 97 Foot Note k. See above, chap. v. 25.
11 P. 97 Foot Note l. And put him to death ; as appears by verse 42.
12 P. 98 Foot Note m. Josephus reckons them at four hundred.
13 P. 98 Foot Note n. Josephus doubles the number.
14 P. 99 Foot Note o. Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] it signifies ” to do harm, or mischief.”
15 P. 99 Foot Note p. So that thenceforward no distinction should be made between Jew and Gentile, but that all should have equal privilege of access to the inner court, which in former times had been open to Jews alone.
16 P. 100 Foot Note q. Josephus calls it ” Bethalaga, a village in the wilderness.”
17 P. 100 Foot Note r. Or Odoarres, or Odomera. There is great variety of reading, and no less uncertainty about the person designated. Probably he was one of the captains of Bacchides, or some of his allies.
18 P. 101 Foot Note s. Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] the same phrase occurs at verse 1 of this chapter.
19 P. 101 Foot Note t. Or Michmash, as at 1 Sam. xiii. 2, &c. ; a town situate about nine miles north from Jerusalem.

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