4 Maccabees Chapter 04 (from The Five Books of Maccabees)


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P. 230 – 233 Book 4 B.C. 176 [PDF: 280/283 of p.524]

CHAPTER 4

(i) The attempt of Apollonius. The beginning of Antiochus ill-will to the Jews.

1 For a certain man named Simon, who was opposed in politics to Onias, then holding the high-priesthood for his life, an upright and honourable man,—after that by every kind of accusation thrown out to the hurt of his nation, he could do him no harm ; fled away, with the design of betraying his country, to the enemy. Wherefore, when he was come to Apollonius[1]P. 230 Foot Note a. Compare the history of this transaction with the accounts given in the other books ; namely, at 3 Mace, iii. 5, &c. 5 Mace. i. 2. Both these hooks stale that the person … Continue reading, 2 the military governor of Syria and Phœnice and Cilicia, he said : ” Being well affected towards 3 the interests of the king, I am come to inform you that many immense sums[2]P. 230 Foot Note b. details here Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] of private money are hoarded up in the treasuries in Jerusalem, which monies have no connexion with the temple, but belong of right to king Seleucus.”

4 Apollonius, coining to the knowledge of these particulars, praises Simon for his affectionate regard for the king ; and, going up to Seleucus, apprised him of this accumulated treasure. And 5 when he had received a commission respecting it, taking his attendant troops, and quickly returning into our country with the accursed Simon and a most powerful army ; he proclained that he was 6 come at the king’s command, to take away from p. 231 the treasury the money which belonged to 7 individuals. And when our nation was indignant at this speech, and spake up against it ; thinking it were extremely hard that they who had confided their deposits to the sacred treasury should be deprived of them ; they prepared what resistance 8 they could. But Apollonius with threats 9 departed for the temple. But the priests, with the women and children in the temple, having besought God to protect the holy place which was 10 thus contemned ; and while Apollonius with his armed forces was going up to the seizure of the treasure;—there appeared from heaven angels[3]P. 231 Foot Note c. Compare the account given in 3 Mace. iii. which differs in a few particulars: for example, Heliodorus, not Apollonius, is there made the principal actor., riding on horses, glittering all over in their armour, and filling his troops with great fear and 11 trembling. And Apollonius, falling down half dead upon the floor of that court of the temple which is open to all[4]P. 231 Foot Note d. Namely, that which was called ” the court of the Gentiles.” nations, stretched forth his hands to heaven, and with tears besought the Hebrews, that by offering up prayers for him they 12 would appease the heavenly host. [For he owned that he had sinned, so as even to be worthy of death ; and that, if he were preserved, he would proclaim abroad to all men the blessedness of the holy place[5]P. 231 Foot Note e. This verse does not occur in Josephus..]

13 Onias the high priest, induced by these words, and on other grounds being anxious that king Seleucus should not think that Apollonius had been thus laid hold on by human stratagem and not by Divine vengeance, prayed for him. And 14 lie, being thus unexpectedly preserved from death, departed, intending to shew unto the king[6]P. 232 Foot Note f. Compare 3 Mace. iii. 36—39. the things which had happened to him.

15 But when king Seleucus was dead, his son Antiochus Epiphanes succeeded[7]P. 232 Foot Note g. Namely, in the year before Christ 175. to his kingdom, a haughty and wicked man[8]P. 232 Foot Note h. See his character drawn ; at 2 Mace. i. 10, and the notes there.. Who, 16 having deposed Onias from the high-priesthood, appointed his brother Jason high priest: who had 17 covenanted, if Antiochus would give him the authority, to pay him[9]P. 232 Foot Note i. If the figures here given be correct, the money promised yearly to Antiochus amounts to the enormous sum of one hundred and thirty one thousand three hundred and ninety … Continue reading every year three thousand six hundred and sixty talents. And the king gave 18 him authority to be high priest, and to be civil ruler of the nation. Who both changed the way 19 of living of the Jewish people, and led them aside by strange policies to all kinds of transgression of their law. So that he not only erected a 20 gymnasium on the very citadel of our country, but also put a stop[10]P. 232 Foot Note k. See this predicted at Daniel xi. 31, and its fulfilment detailed more fully at 2 Mace. i. 39. 41, &c. to the service of the temple. At which things Divine Justice being provoked, 21 caused Antiochus himself to be their enemy.

22 For when he was in Egypt warring with Ptolemy[11]P. 232 Foot Note l. Ptolemy Philometor. Antiochus wishing ” to have the dominion of two realms,” (see 2 Mace. i. 16.) entered into Egypt, and made war against Ptolemy, and … Continue reading, and had heard that, on a report of his death [About/B.C. 170.] circulated, the men of p. 233 Jerusalem had most exceedingly rejoiced[12]P. 233 Foot Note m.  Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] Respecting their supposed joy, see 3 Mace. v. 5. and 11., he marched 23 against them with all speed. And when he had defeated them, he made a decree, that if any of them were seen living according to the laws and customs of their country, they should be put to 24 death. And when he could in no way accomplish by his decrees the dissolution of that affection which the people bore to their own law ; but saw that all his threats and punishments were 25 rendered vain : so that even women[13]P. 233 Foot Note n. Compare 3 Mace. vi. 10., because they had circumcised their children, were thrown down a precipice, together with their infants, being previously aware that they would suffer this punishment 26 if they ventured to circumcise: when therefore his decrees were treated with contempt by the people, he in person compelled by tortures every individual of the nation, by tasting forbidden and unclean meats[14]P. 233 Foot Note o. How strong a contrast does this present to the conduct of his predecessor Antiochus the Great : who, in his eager desire to benefit and please the Jews, forbade that any of … Continue reading, to abjure the Jewish religion.


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

References
1 P. 230 Foot Note a. Compare the history of this transaction with the accounts given in the other books ; namely, at 3 Mace, iii. 5, &c. 5 Mace. i. 2. Both these hooks stale that the person sent was Heliodorus, not Apollonius : but this latter name is mentioned (as archbishop Ussher observes)  in the Fasti Siculi.
2 P. 230 Foot Note b. details here Gr. [ click on image to enlarge]
3 P. 231 Foot Note c. Compare the account given in 3 Mace. iii. which differs in a few particulars: for example, Heliodorus, not Apollonius, is there made the principal actor.
4 P. 231 Foot Note d. Namely, that which was called ” the court of the Gentiles.”
5 P. 231 Foot Note e. This verse does not occur in Josephus.
6 P. 232 Foot Note f. Compare 3 Mace. iii. 36—39.
7 P. 232 Foot Note g. Namely, in the year before Christ 175.
8 P. 232 Foot Note h. See his character drawn ; at 2 Mace. i. 10, and the notes there.
9 P. 232 Foot Note i. If the figures here given be correct, the money promised yearly to Antiochus amounts to the enormous sum of one hundred and thirty one thousand three hundred and ninety pounds, of our money!
10 P. 232 Foot Note k. See this predicted at Daniel xi. 31, and its fulfilment detailed more fully at 2 Mace. i. 39. 41, &c.
11 P. 232 Foot Note l. Ptolemy Philometor. Antiochus wishing ” to have the dominion of two realms,” (see 2 Mace. i. 16.) entered into Egypt, and made war against Ptolemy, and defeated him, anno Selencid. 143. B.C. 170.
12 P. 233 Foot Note m.  Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] Respecting their supposed joy, see 3 Mace. v. 5. and 11.
13 P. 233 Foot Note n. Compare 3 Mace. vi. 10.
14 P. 233 Foot Note o. How strong a contrast does this present to the conduct of his predecessor Antiochus the Great : who, in his eager desire to benefit and please the Jews, forbade that any of the meats which their law pronounced to be unclean should even be brought within the precincts of the city. See Josephus, Antiq. XII. 3.

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