3 Maccabees Chapter 11


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P. 192 – 196 Book 3 B.C. 164 [PDF: 242/246 of P.524]

CHAPTER 11

(i) The acts of Lysias. Letters of Antiochus and of the Romans.

1 Not long after this, Lysias the king’s[1]P. 192 Foot Note a. Namely, young Antiochus Eupator. protector and cousin, who also managed the affairs, took sore displeasure for the things which were done. p. 193 2 And when he had gathered about fourscore thousand men, with all the horsemen, he came against the Jews, thinking to make the city an habitation 3 for the Gentiles ; and to make a gain of the temple, as of the other chapels of the heathen, and to 4 set the high-priesthood to sale every year : not at all considering the power of God, but puffed up with his ten thousands of footmen, and his thousands of horsemen, and his fourscore elephants. 5 So he came to Judaea, and drew near to Bethsura, which was a strong town, but distant from Jerusalem about five furlongs ; and he laid sore siege 6 unto it. Now when Maccabaeus and his company heard that he besieged the holds, they and all the people with lamentation and tears besought the Lord, that he would send a good angel to deliver 7 Israel. Then Maccabaeus himself first of all took up weapons, exhorting the others that they would jeopard themselves together with him to help their brethren : so they went forth together with 8 a willing mind. And as they were at Jerusalem, there appeared going before them on horseback, one in white clothing, shaking a panoply of gold. 9 Then they praised the merciful God, all together, and took heart; insomuch that they were ready, not only to fight with men, but with most cruel 10 beasts, and to pierce through walls of iron. Thus they marched forward in their array, having a helper from heaven : for the Lord was merciful 11 unto them. And giving a charge upon their enemies like lions, they slew eleven thousand footmen, and sixteen hundred horsemen, and put all 12 the others to flight. The greater part of them p. 194 also being wounded escaped naked[2]P. 194 Foot Note b. details here Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] that is, ” without their armour:” having thrown away their weapons, for the greater facility of escape. ; and Lysias himself fled away shamefully, and so escaped. Who, as he was a man of understanding, casting 13 with himself what loss he had had ; and considering that the Hebrews could not be overcome, because the Almighty God helped them ; he sent unto them, and persuaded them to agree to all 14 reasonable conditions, and promised that he would persuade the king that he must needs be a friend unto them. Then Maccabaeus consented to all 15 which Lysias desired, being careful of the common good ; and whatsoever Maccabaeus wrote unto Lysias concerning the Jews, the king granted it. For there were letters written unto the Jews 16 from Lysias to this effect : ” Lysias unto the people of the Jews, sendeth greeting : John and 17 Absalom, who were sent from you, delivered me the petition subscribed, and made the request for the performance of the contents thereof. Therefore what things soever were meet to 18 be reported to the king, I have declared them, and he hath granted as much as might be. If 19 then ye will keep yourselves loyal to the state, hereafter also will I endeavour to be a means of your good. But of the particulars I have given 20 order, both to these, and the others who came from me, to commune with you. Fare ye well. 21 The hundred and eight and fortieth year, the four and twentieth day of the month Dioscorinthius[3]P. 194/195 Foot Note c. No such name of a month is known. The Latin version reads Dioscorus. Grotius believes that the reading is faulty, and ought to be Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] (one … Continue reading.”

p. 195 22 Now the king’s letters contained these words King Antiochus unto his brother Lysias, sendeth 23 greeting : Since our father is translated unto the gods, our will is, that they which are in our realm live quietly, that every one may attend 24 upon his own affairs. We understand also, that the Jews did not agree to our father’s bringing them to the Grecian customs, but had rather keep their own manner of living : for the which cause they require that their own laws may be 25 allowed to them. Desiring therefore that this nation also shall be in rest, we have determined to restore them their temple, that they may live according to the customs of their forefathers. 26 Thou shalt do well therefore to send unto them, and grant them peace[4]P. 195 Foot Note d. The Greek phrase here, and in many following passages, is, Gr. [ click on image to enlarge]; that when they are certified of our mind, they may be of good corn fort, and ever go cheerfully about their own affairs.”

27 And the letter of the king unto the nation of the Jews was after this manner : ” King Antiochus sendeth greeting unto the council, and the 28 rest of the Jews : If ye fare well, we have our 29 desire ; we are also in good health. Menelaus declared unto us, that your desire was to return 30 home, and to follow your own business : wherefore p. 196 they which will depart shall have safe conduct, with security, till the thirtieth day of Xanthicus[5]P. 196 Foot Note e. Answering to our April.. And the Jews shall use their own kind 31 of meats, and laws, as before ; and none of them any manner of ways shall be molested for things ignorantly done. I have sent also Menelaus, 32 that he may comfort you. Fare ye well. In 33 the hundred forty and eighth year, and in the fifteenth day of the month Xanthicus.”

34 The Romans also sent unto them a letter containing these words : ” Quintus Memmius[6]The fifth Norbanus, and Titus Manlius, ambassadors of the Romans, send greeting unto the people of the Jews : Whatsoever 35 Lysias the king’s cousin hath granted, therewith we also are well pleased. But touching 36 such things as he judged to be referred to the king, after ye have advised thereof, send one forthwith, that we may declare as it is convenient for you : for we are now going to Antioch. Therefore send some with speed, that 37 we may know what is your mind. Farewell. 38 This hundred and eight and fortieth year, the fifteenth day of the month Xanthicus[7]P. 196 Foot Note f. The abridgment of Jason’s history has been thought by some to end with this chapter ; and the remainder of the book to have been composed from other sources..”

 


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. 192 Foot Note a. Namely, young Antiochus Eupator.
2 P. 194 Foot Note b. details here Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] that is, ” without their armour:” having thrown away their weapons, for the greater facility of escape.
3 P. 194/195 Foot Note c. No such name of a month is known. The Latin version reads Dioscorus. Grotius believes that the reading is faulty, and ought to be Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] (one of the Macedonian months,) which the copyist may have mistaken for an abbreviated word, and supplied at his own discretion. Archbishop Ussher believes it to be an intercalary month, the same as Adar-Nisan, or Dyster-Xanthicus, which occurs in Esther iii. J, in a Greek MS. now in the British Museum, (MS. Holmes, N°. 93.).
4 P. 195 Foot Note d. The Greek phrase here, and in many following passages, is, Gr. [ click on image to enlarge]
5 P. 196 Foot Note e. Answering to our April.
6 The fifth Norbanus
7 P. 196 Foot Note f. The abridgment of Jason’s history has been thought by some to end with this chapter ; and the remainder of the book to have been composed from other sources.

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