3 Maccabees Chapter 04


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P. 159 – 166 Book 3 B.C. 176 [PDF: 209/216 of P.524]

CHAPTER 4

(i) Jason is made high priest. He introduces Gentile fashions. He is supplanted by Menelaus. The murder of Onias.

1 But the aforesaid Simon, who had been the p. 160 betrayer of the money and of his country, spake slanderously of Onias, that it was he who had terrified Heliodorus, and had been the worker of these evils. And him, who was a benefactor of 2 the city, a careful tender of his countrymen, and zealous for the laws, he dared to call a traitor. But when their hatred went so far, that even 3 murders were committed by one of Simon’s faction ; Onias, seeing the danger of this contention, 4 and that Apollonius, as being the governor of Coelosyria and Phœnice, did rage, and increase Simon’s malice ;—went to the king, not to be an 5 accuser of his countrymen, but seeking the good of all, both public and private : for he saw that it was impossible that the state should continue quiet, and Simon leave his folly, unless the king did look thereunto.

7 But after the death of Seleucus, when Antiochus, called Epiphanes, [BC. 175.] succeeded to the kingdom ; Jason the brother of Onias laboured underhand to be high priest, promising 8 unto the king, by intercession[1]P. 160 Foot Note a. Or, ” in a conversation:” Gr. [ click on image to enlarge], three hundred and threescore talents of silver, and of another revenue eighty talents : besides this, he promised 9 to assign an hundred and fifty more, if he might have licence to set him up a place for exercise[2]P. 160 Foot Note b. details here… Gr. [ click on image to enlarge], and for the training up of youth in the fashions of the heathen, and to inscribe those of Jerusalem citizens of Antioch. Which when the king had 10 granted, and he had gotten into his hand the rule, he forthwith brought his own nation to the Greek p. 161 11 fashion. And the royal privileges granted of special favour to the Jews, by the means of John the father of Eupolemus, who went ambassador to Rome for amity and aid, lie threw aside : and putting down the forms of government which were according to the law, he brought up new 12 customs against the law. For he built gladly a place of exercise under the citadel itself; and bringing into training[3]P. 161 Foot Note c. Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] Here Schleusner suspects the word Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] to be superfluous, having slipped in by error of the copyists from Gr. [ … Continue reading the chief of the young men, he made them wear a hat.

13 Now such was the height of Greek fashions, and increase of heathenish manners, through the exceeding profaneness of Jason, [BC. 174.] that ungodly 14 wretch, and not high priest ; that the priests had no inclination to serve any more at the altar; but despising the temple, and neglecting the sacrifices, hastened to be partakers of the unlawful allowance in the place of exercise, after the challenge[15]P. 161 Foot Note d. Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] 15 at the Discus ; not esteeming the honours of their fathers, but liking the glory of the Grecians best 16 of all. By reason whereof sore calamity came upon them : for they had them to be their enemies and avengers, whose modes they followed so earnestly, and unto whom they desired to be alike 17 in all things. For it is not a light thing to do wickedly against the laws of God : but the time following will declare these things. 

p. 162 18 Now when the game[4]P. 162 Foot Note e. Which was instituted, not only in Tyre, but in many other places also, in imitation of the Olympic games. which was used every fifth year was kept at Tyrus, the king being present, this vile Jason sent sacred messengers[5]P. 162 Foot Note f. Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] so called by Plato, Thucydides, Sophocles, and other classic authors. from 19 Jerusalem, who were Antiochians, to carry three hundred[6]P. 162 Foot Note g. Grotius, thinking the sum too small, suggests an emendation, ” three thousand.” And indeed, three Greek manuscripts read, ” three thousand three … Continue reading drachms of silver to the sacrifice of Hercules: which even the bearers thereof thought fit not to bestow upon the sacrifice, because it was not proper, but to reserve for another charge. This money then, in regard of the sender, was 20 appointed to Hercules’ sacrifice ; but because of the bearers thereof, it was employed to the making of galleys.

21 Now when Apollonius the son of Menestheus [B.C. 173.] was sent into Egypt for the coronation of king Ptolemaeus Philometor, Antiochus, understanding him not to be well-affected to his affairs, provided for his own safety : whereupon he came to Joppe, and from thence to Jerusalem : where he was honourably received by Jason, and 22 by the city, and was brought in with torch-light, and with great shoutings : and so afterward went with his host unto Phœnice.

23 Three years afterward Jason sent Menelaus [B.C. 172.] the foresaid Simon’s brother[7]P. 162 Foot Note h. Josephus on the contrary asserts, that he was brother to Onias and Jason ; which is much more probable, as he scarcely would have obtained the high-priesthood if he had not … Continue reading, to bear the money unto the king, and to put him in p. 163 24 mind of certain necessary matters. But he being brought to the presence of the king, when he had magnified him for the glorious appearance of his power, got the priesthood to himself, offering more than Jason by three hundred talents of silver. 25 So he came with the king’s mandate, bringing nothing worthy the high-priesthood, but having the fury of a cruel tyrant, and the rage of a 26 savage beast. Then Jason, who had undermined his own brother, being undermined[8]P. 163 Foot Note i. details here… Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] and [ click on image to enlarge] The expressions strictly apply to a case where an illegitimate person is substituted for … Continue reading by another, was compelled to flee into the country of the 27 Ammonites. So Menelaus obtained the authority : but as for the money which he had promised unto the king, he took no good order for it, albeit 28 Sostratus the ruler of the castle required it : for unto him appertained the gathering of the customs. Wherefore they were both called before the king. 29 Now Menelaus left his brother Lysimachus in his stead in the priesthood ; and Sostratus left Crates, 30 who was governor of the Cyprians. While those things were in doing, they of Tarsus and Mallos[9]P. 163 Foot Note k. Two cities of Cilicia. made insurrection, because they were given to the 31 king’s concubine called Antiochis. Then came the king in all haste to appease matters, leaving Andronicus, a man in authority, for his deputy. 32 Now Menelaus, supposing that he had gotten a convenient time, stole certain vessels [B.C. 171.] of gold out of the temple; and gave some to Andronicus, and some he sold at Tyrus, and the 33 cities round about. Which when Onias knew of a p. 164 surety, he reproved him, and withdrew himself into a sanctuary[10]P. 164 Foot Note l. Namely, of Apollo, who was worshipped with much solemnity at this Daphne, near Antioch in Syria. This asylum is noticed by Strabo, and is expressly named on some coins of … Continue reading at Daphne, which lieth by Antiochia. Wherefore Menelaus taking Andronicus 34 apart, prayed him to get Onias into his hands; who being persuaded thereunto, and coming to Onias in deceit, gave him his right hand with oaths ; and though he were suspected by him, yet persuaded he him to come forth from the sanctuary : whom forthwith he shut up and slew without regard of justice. For the which cause 35 not only the Jews, but many also of other nations took great indignation, and were much grieved for the unjust murder of the man.

36 And when the king was come again from the places about Cilicia, the Jews who were in the city, and certain of the Greeks who abhorred the fact also, complained because Onias was slain without cause. Therefore Antiochus was heartily 37 sorry, and moved to pity, and wept, because of the sober and orderly behaviour of him who was dead. And being inflamed with anger, forthwith 38 he took away Andronicus his purple, and rent off his clothes ; and leading him through the whole city unto that very place where he had committed impiety against Onias, there slew he[11]P. 164 Foot Note m. Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] : the verb may signify either ” to strip off the raiment,” or ” to kill :” but the stripping has been mentioned … Continue reading the bloodstained murderer. Thus the Lord awarded him his punishment, as he had deserved. p. 165 39 Now when many sacrileges had been committed in the city by Lysimachus, with the consent of Menelaus, [B.C. 170.] and the report thereof was spread abroad, the multitude gathered themselves together against Lysimachus, many vessels of gold 40 being already carried away. Whereupon the common people rising, and being filled with rage, Lysimachus armed about three thousand men, and began first to offer violence ; one Auranus being the leader, a man far gone in years, and no less in 41 folly. They then seeing the attempt of Lysimachus, some of them caught stones, some clubs ; others taking handfuls of dust which was next at hand, cast them all together upon Lysimachus, 42 and those who were with him. Thus many of them they wounded, and some they struck to the ground, and all of them they forced to flee : but as for the church-robber himself, him they killed 43 beside the treasury. Of these matters therefore there was an accusation laid against Menelaus.

44 Now when the king came to Tyrus, three men who were sent from the council pleaded the cause 45 before him : but Menelaus being now convicted, promised Ptolemy[12]P. 165 Foot Note n. For whom see 2 Mace. iii. 38, where he is reckoned one of the three ” mighty men of the king’s friends.” the son of Dorymenes to give him much money, if he would pacify the king 46 towards him. Whereupon Ptolemy taking the king aside into a certain gallery[13]P. 165 Foot Note o. Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] a place surrounded by pillars, a colonnade.  , as it were to take 47 the air, brought him to be of another mind. Insomuch that he discharged Menelaus from the accusations ; who, notwithstanding, was cause of all p. 166 the mischief : and those poor men, who, if they had told their cause, yea, before the Scythians, should have been judged innocent, them he condemned to death. Thus they who spake up in 48 defence of the city, and of the people, and of the holy vessels, quickly suffered an unjust punishment. Wherefore even they of Tyrus, moved 49 with hatred with that wicked deed, caused them to be honourably buried. And so through the 50 covetousness of them who were in power, Menelaus remained still in authority, increasing in malice, and being a great traitor[14]P. 166 Foot Note p. Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] lying in wait for any opportunity of injuring or annoying them. to the citizens.


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. 160 Foot Note a. Or, ” in a conversation:” Gr. [ click on image to enlarge]
2 P. 160 Foot Note b. details here… Gr. [ click on image to enlarge]
3 P. 161 Foot Note c. Gr. [https://fourcornerministries.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/P.161-3.Macca_.4-FN-c-01-00-20mm-h.fw_-300x15.png 300w" sizes="(max-width: 413px) 100vw, 413px" /> click on image to enlarge] Here Schleusner suspects the word Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] to be superfluous, having slipped in by error of the copyists from Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] which followed : and indeed, in one manuscript, the word is wanting : yet, from a quotation from ” Hippolytus de Antichristo,” given by Wesseling in a note on Diodorns Siculus, Eclog. lib. XXXIV. 1. it would appear that [ click on image to enlarge] must be retained.
4 P. 162 Foot Note e. Which was instituted, not only in Tyre, but in many other places also, in imitation of the Olympic games.
5 P. 162 Foot Note f. Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] so called by Plato, Thucydides, Sophocles, and other classic authors.
6 P. 162 Foot Note g. Grotius, thinking the sum too small, suggests an emendation, ” three thousand.” And indeed, three Greek manuscripts read, ” three thousand three hundred:” which account is adopted by Vaillant, in his ” Historia Regam) Syriæ.”
7 P. 162 Foot Note h. Josephus on the contrary asserts, that he was brother to Onias and Jason ; which is much more probable, as he scarcely would have obtained the high-priesthood if he had not been of the family of Aaron.
8 P. 163 Foot Note i. details here… Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] and [ click on image to enlarge] The expressions strictly apply to a case where an illegitimate person is substituted for a legitimate or proper one.
9 P. 163 Foot Note k. Two cities of Cilicia.
10 P. 164 Foot Note l. Namely, of Apollo, who was worshipped with much solemnity at this Daphne, near Antioch in Syria. This asylum is noticed by Strabo, and is expressly named on some coins of Antioch.
11 P. 164 Foot Note m. Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] : the verb may signify either ” to strip off the raiment,” or ” to kill :” but the stripping has been mentioned already in an earlier portion of this verse.
12 P. 165 Foot Note n. For whom see 2 Mace. iii. 38, where he is reckoned one of the three ” mighty men of the king’s friends.”
13 P. 165 Foot Note o. Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] a place surrounded by pillars, a colonnade.
14 P. 166 Foot Note p. Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] lying in wait for any opportunity of injuring or annoying them.
15 P. 161 Foot Note d. Gr. [ click on image to enlarge]

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