P. 179 – 184 Book 3 B.C. 166 [PDF: 229/234 of P.524]
(i) The exploits of Judas. His victory over Nicanor.
1 Then Judas Maccabaeus, and they which were with him, went privily into the towns, and called their kinsfolks together; [BC. 166.] and taking unto them all such as continued in the Jews’ 2 religion, assembled about six thousand men : and they called upon the Lord, that he would look upon the people which was trodden down by all, and also pity the temple profaned by ungodly 3 men : and that he would have compassion upon the city, sore defaced, and ready to be laid even with the ground, and hear the blood which cried 4 unto him : and remember the wicked slaughter of harmless infantsP. 179 Foot Note a. Compare book II. ch. i. 61., and the blasphemies committed against his name ; and that he would shew his 5 hatred against the wicked. Now when Maccabaeus had his company about him, he could not be withstood by the heathen : for the wrath of 6 the Lord was turned into mercy. Therefore he came at unawares, and burnt up towns and cities ; and got into his hands the most commodious places, and overcame and put to flight no small 7 number of his enemies. But specially took he advantage of the night for such privy attempts, insomuch that a fame of his manliness was spread every where.
8 So when PhilipP. 179 Foot Note b. See ch. v. 22. saw that this man increased by little and little, and that things prospered with p. 180 him still more and more; he wrote unto Ptolemaeus the governorP. 180 Foot Note c. That is, governor under Apollonius. of Cœlosyria and Phœnice, to yield more aid to the king’s affairs. And forthwith 9 chusing Nicanor the son of Patroclus, one of his special friends, he sent him with no fewer than twenty thousand of all nations under him, to root out the whole generation of the Jews ; and with him he joined also Gorgias a captain, who in matters of war had great experience. So Nicanor 10 undertook to make so much money of the captive Jews, as should defray the tribute of two thousand talents, which the king was to payP. 180 Foot Note d. Namely, according to the stipulations of a treaty which had been made between the Romans and Antiochus the Great, after the defeat of the latter. The particulars of … Continue reading to the Romans. Wherefore immediately he sent to the 11 cities upon the sea-coast, inviting them to a sale of the captive Jews ; and promising that they should have fourscore and ten bodies for one talent ; not expecting the vengeance which was about to follow upon him from the Almighty God.
12 Now when word was brought unto Judas of Nicanor’s coming, and he had imparted unto those who were with him that the army was at hand ; they which were fearful, and distrusted the justice 13 of God, fled, and conveyed themselves away. Others sold all which they had left, and withal 14 besought the Lord to deliver them, being sold by the wicked Nicanor, before they met together : and if not for their own sakes, yet for the 15 covenants he had made with their fathers, and for his p. 181 holy and glorious name’s sake, by which they were called.
16 So Maccabaeus, calling together those who remained with him, unto the number of six thousand, exhorted them not to be stricken with terror of the enemy ; nor to fear the great multitude of the heathen, who came wrongfully against them, 17 but to fight manfully: and to set before their eyes the injury which they had unjustly done to the holy place, and the cruel handling of the city, whereof they made a mockery, and also the taking 18 away of the government of their forefathers. For they (said he) trust in their weaponsP. 181 Foot Note e. Judas here almost repeats the very words of David, at Psalm xx. 7: “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses : but we will remember the name of the Lord our … Continue reading and boldness ; but our confidence is in the Almighty God, who with a nod can cast down both them which 19 come against us, and also all the world. Moreover, he recounted unto them what helps their forefathers had found ; and how they were delivered, when under Sennacherib an hundred 20 fourscore and five thousand perishedP. 181 Foot Note f. See the history of this transaction at 2 Kings xix. 35. . And he told them of the battle which they had in Babylon with the GalatiansP. 181 Foot Note g. That is, the Asiatic Gauls ; for an account of whom see the note at book II. ch. viii. 2.; how they came but eight thousand in all to the business, with four thousand Macedonians ; and that the Macedonians being perplexed, the eight thousand destroyed an hundred and twenty thousand, through the help which they had from heaven, and so received a 21 great booty. Thus when he had made them bold p. 182 with these words, and ready to die for the laws and the country, he divided his army into four parts : and joined with himself his own brethren, 22 leaders of each band, to wit, Simon, and JosephP. 182 Foot Note h. He is called Joannan at 2 Mace. ii. 2., and Jonathan, giving each one fifteen hundred men. Also he appointed EleazarP. 182 Foot Note i. The Greek text of tins clause is rather obscure : Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] which Grotius would correct to Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] ” quum prælegisset de … Continue reading to read the 23 holy book: and when he had given them this watchword, ” The help of God ;” himself leading the first band, he joined battle with Nicanor. And by the help of the Almighty they slew above 24 nine thousand of their enemies, and wounded and maimed the most part of Nicanor’s host, and so put all to flight : and took the money of those 25 who had come to buy them, and pursued them far : but being pressed for time, they returned. 26 For it was the day before the sabbath, and therefore they did not long continue to pursue them.
27 So when they had gathered their armour together, and spoiled their enemies, they occupied themselves about the sabbath; yielding exceeding great praise and thanks to the Lord, who had preserved them unto that day, and distilledP. 182 Foot Note k. See the same expression used at Deuteron, xxxii. 2, ” My speech shall distil as the dew.” upon them this the beginning of his mercy. And 28 after the sabbath, when they had given part of the spoils to the maimed, and the widows, and orphans ; the residue they divided among themselves and their servants. When this was done, 29 p. 183 and they had made a common supplication, they besought the merciful Lord to be reconciled with his servants for ever.
30 Moreover, of those who were with Timotheus and Bacchides, [B.C. 163.] who fought against them, they slew above twenty thousand ; and very easily won high and strong holds, and divided amongst themselves many spoils more; and made the maimed, orphans, widows, yea, and the aged also, equal 31 in spoils with themselves. And when they had gathered their armour together, they laid it all up carefully in convenient places; and the remnant of 32 the spoils they brought to Jerusalem. They slew also Philarches that wicked person, who was with Timotheus, and had annoyed the Jews many 33 ways. Furthermore, at such time as they kept the feast for the victory in their country, they burnt CallisthenesP. 183 Foot Note l. The Vatican manuscript adds here, “and certain others.”, who had set fire upon the holy gates, who was fled into a little house, who thus received a reward meet for his wickedness.
34 As for that wicked wretch Nicanor, who had brought a thousand merchants to buy the Jews ; 35 he was, through the help of the Lord, brought down by them of whom he made least account ; and putting off’ his glorious apparel, and discharging his company, he came like a fugitive servant through the midland unto Antioch, having very great misadventure, for that his host was 36 destroyed. Thus he, who took upon him to make good to the Romans their tribute, by means of the captives in Jerusalem, told broad, that the Jews had God to fight for them ; and therefore p. 184 they could not be hurt, because they followed the laws which he had appointed them.
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. 179 Foot Note a. Compare book II. ch. i. 61.|
|↑2||P. 179 Foot Note b. See ch. v. 22.|
|↑3||P. 180 Foot Note c. That is, governor under Apollonius.|
|↑4||P. 180 Foot Note d. Namely, according to the stipulations of a treaty which had been made between the Romans and Antiochus the Great, after the defeat of the latter. The particulars of this transaction are related by Polybius and Livy.|
|↑5||P. 181 Foot Note e. Judas here almost repeats the very words of David, at Psalm xx. 7: “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses : but we will remember the name of the Lord our God.”|
|↑6||P. 181 Foot Note f. See the history of this transaction at 2 Kings xix. 35.|
|↑7||P. 181 Foot Note g. That is, the Asiatic Gauls ; for an account of whom see the note at book II. ch. viii. 2.|
|↑8||P. 182 Foot Note h. He is called Joannan at 2 Mace. ii. 2.|
|↑9||P. 182 Foot Note i. The Greek text of tins clause is rather obscure : Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] which Grotius would correct to Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] ” quum prælegisset de Eleazaro,” ‘ after reading to them concerning Eleazar :” namely, to kindle their courage by his example.|
|↑10||P. 182 Foot Note k. See the same expression used at Deuteron, xxxii. 2, ” My speech shall distil as the dew.”|
|↑11||P. 183 Foot Note l. The Vatican manuscript adds here, “and certain others.”|