P. 155 – 159 Book 3 B.C. 176 [PDF: 205/209 of P.524]
(i) Heliodorus’ attempt to plunder the temple of Jerusalem.
1 Now when the holy city was inhabited with all peace, and the laws were kept very well, because of the godliness of OniasP. 155 Foot Note a. The third of that name, son of Simon II : he succeeded to the high-priesthood in the year 191 B.C. [BC. 187.] the high 2 priest, and his hatred of wickedness ; it came to pass, that even the kings themselves did honour the place, and magnify the temple with their best 3 presentsP. 155 Foot Note b. details here Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] See Josephus, Antiq. XII. 2, &c. The word occurs in this sense also at 3 Esdras ix. 51. 54. Compare the note e at 2 … Continue reading; insomuch that SeleucusP. 155 Foot Note c. Called Philopator, or Soter : he was the son of Antiochus the Great, and elder brother of Antiochus Epiphanes. king of Asia, [BC. 186.] of his own revenues, bare all the costs belonging to the services of the sacrifices. 4 But one Simon of the tribe of Benjamin, who was made governor of the temple, [BC. 176.] fell out with the high priest about evil doingsP. 155 Foot Note d. Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] : but several manuscripts read Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] the office of agoranomus, or ædile : a matter in which it was likely that … Continue reading in the 5 city. And when he could not overcome Onias, he went to Apollonius the son of Thraseas, who then 6 was governor of CoelosyriaCoele-Syria and PhoenicePhoenike (Greek: Φοινίκη); and told him, that the treasury in Jerusalem was full of infinite sums of money, so that the multitude of their riches was innumerable ; and that these did not belong to the account of the sacrifices, but p. 156 that it was possible that all of them might fall into the king’s power.
7 Now when Apollonius came to the king and that it was possible that all of them might fall into the king’s power. had shewed him of the money whereof he was told, the king chose out Heliodorus his treasurerP. 156 Foot Note e. Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] There is a various reading, Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] which our translators have followed. If we take the other reading, we ought … Continue reading, and sent himP. 156 Foot Note f. See Daniel’s prophecy concerning the deeds of Seleucus, ;it ch. xi. 20, &c. with a commandment to bring away the fore said money. So forthwith Heliodorus 8 took his journey, under a colour of visiting the cities of Coelosyria and Phoenice, but indeed to fulfil the king’s purpose. And when he was come 9 to Jerusalem, and had been courteously received by the high priest of the city ; he told him what intelligence was given of the money, and declared wherefore he came, and asked if these things were so indeed. Then the high priest told him, that 10 there was money laid up for the relief of widows and fatherless children : and some also belonging 11 to Hircanus, grandson of TobiasP. 156 Foot Note g. Concerning this man consult Josephus, Antiq. XII. 4., a man of great dignity, and not as that wicked Simon had misinformed : the sum whereof in all was four hundred talents of silver, and two hundred of gold : and that it was altogether impossible that wrong 12 should be done unto them, which had committed it to the holiness of the place, and to the majesty and inviolable sanctity of the temple, honoured over all the world. But Heliodorus, 13 because of the kings commandment given him, p. 157 said, That in any wise, this must be brought into the king’s treasury.
14 So at the day which he appointed, he entered in to order the overseeing of this matter : wherefore there was no small agony throughout the 15 whole city. But the priests, prostrating themselves before the altar in their priests’ vestments, called unto heaven upon him who made a law concerning things given to be kept, to preserve these sums safely for such as had committed them 16 to be kept. Then whoso had looked the high priest in the face, it would have wounded his heart : for his countenance, and the changing of his colour, declared the inward agony of his mind. 17 For the man was compassed round with a fear, and bodily stupor, by which it was manifest to them which looked upon him, what sorrow he had 18 in his heart. Others ran flocking out of their houses to a general supplication, because the place 19 was like to come into contempt. And the women, girt with sackcloth under their breasts, collected in great numbers in the streets ; and the virgins who were kept in, ran some to the gates, and some upon the walls, and others looked out of the 20 windows. And all, stretching forth their hands toward 21 heaven, made supplication. Then it was pitiful to see the promiscuous falling down of the multitude, and the fearful expectation of the high priest 22 in great agony. They then called upon the Almighty Lord, to keep the things committed of trust safe and sure for those who had committed 23 them. But Heliodorus was executing that which was decreed.
24 Now as he was there present himself with his p. 157 guard about the treasury, the Lord of spiritsP. 158 Foot Note h. The Greek text varies here, between Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] and Gr. [ click on image to enlarge], and the Prince of all power, caused a great apparition; so that all who presumed to come in with him were astonished at the power of God, and fainted, and were sore afraid : for there appeared unto 25 them a horse with a terrible rider upon him, and adorned with a very fair covering ; and he ran fiercely, and smote at Heliodorus with his forefeet; and it seemed that he who sat upon the horse had complete armour of gold. Moreover, two other 26 young men appeared before him, notable in strength, excellent in beauty, and splendid in apparel ; who stood by him on either side, and scourged him continually, and gave him many sore stripes. And Heliodorus fell suddenly unto 27 the ground, and was compassed with great darkness : but they which were with him took him up, and put him into a litter. Thus him who lately 28 came with a great train, and with all his guard into the said treasury, they carried out, being unable to help himself with his weapons : and manifestly they recognised the power of God. He 29 then, by the hand of God, was cast down, and lay speechless without any hope of life. But they 30 praised the Lord who had miraculously honoured his own place : and the temple, which a little afore was full of fear and trouble, when the Almighty Lord appeared, was filled with joy and gladness. Then straightway certain of Heliodorus’ 31 friends prayed Onias, that he would call upon the Most High, to grant him his life, who lay utterly at the last gasp. So the high priest, p. 159 suspecting 32 lest the king should misconceive that some treachery had been done to Heliodorus by the Jews, offered a sacrifice for the health of the man. 33 Now as the high priest was making an atonement, the same young men, in the same clothing, appeared and stood beside Heliodorus; saying, Give Onias the high priest great thanks, insomuch as 34 for his sake the Lord hath granted thee life : and seeing that thou hast been scourged from heaven, declare unto all men the mighty power of God. And when they had spoken these words, they 35 disappeared. So Heliodorus, after he had offered sacrifice unto the Lord, and made great vows unto him who had saved his life, and saluted Onias, 36 returned with his host to the king. Then testified he to all men the works of the great God, 37 which he had seen with his eyes. And when the king asked Heliodorus who might be a fit man to 38 be sent yet once again to Jerusalem, he said ; If thou hast any enemy or traitor, send him thither, and thou shalt receive him well scourged, if he escape with his life : for in that place, no doubt, 39 there is an especial power of God. He himself who dwelleth in heaven, hath his eye on that place, and defendeth it ; and he beateth and 40 destroyeth them which come to hurt it. And the things concerning Heliodorus, and the keeping of the treasury, fell out on this sort.
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
|↑1||P. 155 Foot Note a. The third of that name, son of Simon II : he succeeded to the high-priesthood in the year 191 B.C.|
|↑2||P. 155 Foot Note b. details here Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] See Josephus, Antiq. XII. 2, &c. The word occurs in this sense also at 3 Esdras ix. 51. 54. Compare the note e at 2 Mace, ii. 19.|
|↑3||P. 155 Foot Note c. Called Philopator, or Soter : he was the son of Antiochus the Great, and elder brother of Antiochus Epiphanes.|
|↑4||P. 155 Foot Note d. Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] : but several manuscripts read Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] the office of agoranomus, or ædile : a matter in which it was likely that Simon would raise a quarrel.|
|↑6||Phoenike (Greek: Φοινίκη|
|↑7||P. 156 Foot Note e. Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] There is a various reading, Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] which our translators have followed. If we take the other reading, we ought to render it, as the Douay version does, ” him who was over his affairs :” but it seems most likely that the treasurer would be the officer sent, in a case where the seizing of treasure was the business to be performed.|
|↑8||P. 156 Foot Note f. See Daniel’s prophecy concerning the deeds of Seleucus, ;it ch. xi. 20, &c.|
|↑9||P. 156 Foot Note g. Concerning this man consult Josephus, Antiq. XII. 4.|
|↑10||P. 158 Foot Note h. The Greek text varies here, between Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] and Gr. [ click on image to enlarge]|