3 Maccabees Chapter 12


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P. 196 – 203 Book 3 B.C. 164 [PDF: 246/256 of P.524]

CHAPTER 12

(i) Judas defeats Timotheus and Gorgias. He takes many cities.

1 When these covenants were made, Lysias went unto the king, and the Jews were about their husbandry. But of the governors of several places, 2 Timotheus[1]P. 197 Foot Note a. Compare 2 Mace. v. 6, 37 ; 3 Mace. viii. 30, 32 x. 37., and Apollonius the son of Gennæus, also Hieronymus, and Demophon, and besides them Nicanor the governor of Cyprus, would not suffer them to be quiet, and live in peace. 3 The men of Joppe also did such an ungodly deed as this : they prayed the Jews who dwelt among them to go with their wives and children into the boats which they had prepared, as though 4 they had meant them no hurt. Who accepted of it according to the common decree of the city, as being desirous to live in peace, and suspecting nothing : but when they were gone forth into the deep, they drowned[2]P. 197 Foot Note b. Josephus relates a similar act of cruelty practised by the Galilæans against those who were favourers of Herod. (Antiq. XIV. 27.). no less than two hundred of them.

5 When Judas heard of this cruelty done unto his countrymen, he commanded those who were with 6 him to make them ready. And calling upon God the righteous Judge, he came against those murderers of his brethren; and burnt the haven by night, and set the boats on fire, and those who 7 fled thither he slew. But when the town was shut up, he retreated, with a determination to come again and root out the whole state and 8 people of Joppe. But when he heard that the Jamnites[3]P. 197 Foot Note c. Jamnia was another seaport town, near Joppe. See book II. ch. iv. 15, and the note there. were minded to do in like manner unto the 9 Jews who dwelt among them ; he came upon the Jamnites also by night, and set fire on the haven, and the navy ; so that the light of the fire was p. 198 seen at Jerusalem, two hundred and forty furlongs off.

10 Now when they were gone from thence nine furlongs, in their journey towards Timotheus, no fewer than five thousand men on foot, and five hundred horsemen of the Arabians set upon him. Whereupon there was a very sore battle ; but 11 Judas’ side, by the help of God, got the victory ; so that the Nomades[4]P. 198 Foot Note d. ” Wanderers,” so called from their roving unsettled mode; of life ; their custom being not to reside in towns or in any fixed spot, hut to move from place to … Continue reading of Arabia being overcome, besought Judas for peace, promising both to give him cattle, and to assist him in other matters. Then Judas, thinking indeed that they would be 12 profitable in many things, granted them peace : and having received assurance of this, they departed to their tents.

13 He went also about to take a certain city, which was strongly secured by bridges, and fenced about with walls, and inhabited by people of divers countries ; and the name of it was Caspis[5]P. 198 Foot Note e. Or Casphon, as it is called at 2 Mace. v. 36 : probably the place designated is Heshbon.. But 14 they which were within it, put such trust in the strength of the walls and provision of victuals, that they behaved themselves rudely towards Judas and his company ; railing also and blaspheming, and uttering such words as were not to be spoken. Wherefore Judas with his company, 15 calling upon the great Lord of the world, (who without any rams or engines of war, did cast p. 199 down Jericho f in the time of Joshua[6]P. 199 Foot Note f. Compare Joshua vi. 20. gave a 16 fierce assault against the walls ; and took the city by the will of God, and made unspeakable slaughters ; insomuch that a lake two furlongs broad, near adjoining thereunto, being filled full, appeared to be running with blood.

17 Then departed they from thence seven hundred and fifty furlongs, and came to Characa unto 18 the Jews who are called Tubieni[7]P. 199 Foot Note g. See at 2 Mace. v. 13. But as for Timotheus, they found him not in the places : for before he had dispatched any thing, he departed from thence, having left a very strong garrison in 19 a certain hold. Howbeit, Dositheus and Sosipater, who were of Maccabæus’s captains, went forth, and slew those whom Timotheus had left in the fortress, above ten thousand men.

20 And Maccabæus ranged his army by bands, and set them over the bands ; and went against Timotheus, who had about him an hundred and twenty thousand men of foot, and two thousand and five 21 hundred horsemen. Now when Timotheus had knowledge of Judas’ coming, he sent the women and children, and the other baggage, unto a fortress called Carnion[8]P. 199 Foot Note h. Or Carnaim. Compare 2 Mace. v. 43.; (for the post was hard to besiege, and uneasy to come unto, by reason of the 22 straitness of all the places); but when Judas his first band came in sight, the enemies (being smitten with fear and terror, through the appearing of Him who seeth all things) fled amain; one running this way, another that way, so as that they were often hurt by their own men, and wounded with 23 the points of their own swords. Judas also was p. 200 very earnest in pursuing them, killing those wicked wretches, of whom he slew about thirty thousand men. Moreover, Timotheus himself fell 24 into the hands of Dositheus and Sosipater, whom he besought with much craft to let him go with his life ; because he had many of the Jews’ parents, and the brethren of some of them, who, if they put him to death, should not be regarded. So when he had confirmed the agreement[9]P. 200 Foot Note i. Gr. [https://fourcornerministries.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/P.200-3.Macca_.12-FN-i-01-00-20mm-h.fw_-50x20.png 50w" sizes="(max-width: 52px) 100vw, 52px" /> click on image to enlarge] the same word occurs at Daniel vi. 10, and 12 ; where it is translated, a writing or decree. with 25 many words, that he would restore these without hurt, they let him go, for the saving of their brethren.

26 Then Maccabaeus marched forth to Carnion, and to the temple of Atargatis[10]P. 200 Foot Note k. This deity, called also Dercetis, or Derceto, by the Greeks, was worshipped extensively throughout Phoenicia and Babylonia. Lucian describes her image as being half woman half … Continue reading; and there he slew five and twenty thousand persons. And 27 after he had put to flight and destroyed them, Judas removed the host towards Ephron[11]P. 200 Foot Note l. Compare 2 Mace. v. 46., a strong city, wherein Lysias abode and a great multitude of divers nations, and the strong young men kept the walls, and defended them mightily : wherein also was great provision of engines and darts. 28 But when Judas and his company had called upon almighty God, (who with his power breaketh the strength of his enemies,) they won the city, and slew twenty and five thousand of them which were within.

29 From thence they departed to Scythopolis[12]P. 201 Foot Note m. The same which at 2 Mace. v. 52, is called Bethsan. See the note there., which lieth six hundred furlongs from Jerusalem. 30 But when the Jews who dwelt there had testified that the Scythopolitans dwelt lovingly with them, and entreated them kindly in the time of their 31 adversity ; they gave them thanks, desiring them to be friendly still unto them : and so they came to Jerusalem, the feast of the weeks approaching.

32 And after the feast called Pentecost, they went[13]P. 201 Foot Note n. Namely, Joseph the son of Zacharias, and Azarias, whom Judas had left in charge of the people, while he himself was gone on a military expedition. Compare 2 Mace. v. 18. forth against Gorgias the governor of Idumaea[14]P. 201 Foot Note o. Beyond doubt the reading is faulty, and ought to be Jamnia, as at 2 Mace, v. 58. Josephus warrants this correction.33 who came out with three thousand men of foot, 34 and four hundred horsemen. And it happened that in their fighting together, a few of the Jews 35 were slain. At which time Dositheus, one of Bacenor’s company, who was on horseback, and a strong man, pressed close upon Gorgias, and taking hold of his coat, drew him by force ; and when he would have taken that cursed man alive, a horseman of Thracia coming upon him, smote off his shoulder[15]P. 201 Foot Note p. More properly, ” his arm at the shoulder.”, so that Gorgias escaped 36 unto Marisa[16]P. 201 Foot Note q. A town or fortress of Judah, near to Eleutheropolis.. Now when Gorgias[17]P. 201/202 Foot Note r. There is here a remarkable variety among the MSS. p.202 some reading Gr. [  click on image to enlarge] or Gr. [ click on image to enlarge]  which Grotius judges ought … Continue reading and his men p. 202 had fought long, and were weary ; Judas called upon the Lord, that he would shew himself to be their helper, and leader of the battle. And with 37 that he began in his own language, and sung psalms with a loud voice; and rushing unawares upon Gorgias and his men, he put them to flight. So Judas gathered his host, and came into the 38 city Odollam[18]P. 202 Foot Note s. Query whether this be the same as Adullam, mentioned at Genesis xxxviii. 12.?.. And when the seventh day came, they purified themselves, (as the custom was,) and kept the sabbath in the same place.

39 And upon the day following, as the use had been[19]P. 202 Foot Note t. The Greek text varies, between Gr. [ click on image to enlarge], and Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] The latter would signify ” when all which was necessary had been … Continue reading, Judas and his company came to take up the bodies of them which were slain, and to bury them with their kinsmen in their fathers’ graves. Now under the coats of every one who was slain, 40 they found things[20]P. 202 Foot Note u. See the same offence and its punishment recorded at Joshua vii. 4—26. consecrated to the idols of the Jamnites, which are forbidden[21]P. 202 Foot Note x. See Deuteron. vii. 5. the Jews by the law. Then every man saw that this was the cause wherefore they were slain. All men therefore 41 praising the Lord the righteous Judge, who had opened the things that were hid, betook themselves 42 unto prayer ; and besought him, that the sin committed might wholly be put out of remembrance. Besides, that noble Judas exhorted the people to keep themselves from sin ; forsomuch as they saw before their eyes the things which came p. 203 to pass, for the sins of those who were slain. 43 And when he had made a gathering throughout the company[22]P. 203 Foot Note y. Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] ” man by man.” Verses 43—45.] It deserves to be noticed, that no mention of any such offering or idea, as that which is … Continue reading to the sum of two thousand[23]P. 203 Foot Note z. Three Greek manuscripts read ” three thousand.” drachms of silver, he sent it to Jerusalem to offer a sin-offering, doing therein very well, and properly, in that he was mindful of the resurrection ; 44 (for if he had not hoped that they which were slain should have risen again, it had been 45 superfluous and vain to pray for the dead ); and also in that he perceived that there was great favour laid up for those who died godly. (It was an holy and good thought.) Whereupon he made an expiation for the dead, that they might be delivered from sin.


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. 197 Foot Note a. Compare 2 Mace. v. 6, 37 ; 3 Mace. viii. 30, 32 x. 37.
2 P. 197 Foot Note b. Josephus relates a similar act of cruelty practised by the Galilæans against those who were favourers of Herod. (Antiq. XIV. 27.).
3 P. 197 Foot Note c. Jamnia was another seaport town, near Joppe. See book II. ch. iv. 15, and the note there.
4 P. 198 Foot Note d. ” Wanderers,” so called from their roving unsettled mode; of life ; their custom being not to reside in towns or in any fixed spot, hut to move from place to place at pleasure, according to the convenience of pasturage for their cattle. From this word Nomades, the Latin authors afterwards called them Numidæ.
5 P. 198 Foot Note e. Or Casphon, as it is called at 2 Mace. v. 36 : probably the place designated is Heshbon.
6 P. 199 Foot Note f. Compare Joshua vi. 20.
7 P. 199 Foot Note g. See at 2 Mace. v. 13.
8 P. 199 Foot Note h. Or Carnaim. Compare 2 Mace. v. 43.
9 P. 200 Foot Note i. Gr. [https://fourcornerministries.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/P.200-3.Macca_.12-FN-i-01-00-20mm-h.fw_-50x20.png 50w" sizes="(max-width: 52px) 100vw, 52px" /> click on image to enlarge] the same word occurs at Daniel vi. 10, and 12 ; where it is translated, a writing or decree.
10 P. 200 Foot Note k. This deity, called also Dercetis, or Derceto, by the Greeks, was worshipped extensively throughout Phoenicia and Babylonia. Lucian describes her image as being half woman half fish, like Dagon of the Philistines; and indeed she has been considered to be the same deity (for in these the sexes were holden changeable at pleasure). Diodorus Siculus mentions that a statue of it at Ascalon had the face only of a woman, all the rest of the body, &c. being like a fish. The name is said to signify, ” a magnificent fish.” See Selden, de Diis Syris. Dercetis and her worship is mentioned by Ovid, Metamorphos. IV. 45. And it is noticed in the Fragments to Calmet, (from the Asiatic Researches, vol. IV.) that the name Antargati occurs as the Sanskrit appellation of one of the Chaldæan deities.
11 P. 200 Foot Note l. Compare 2 Mace. v. 46.
12 P. 201 Foot Note m. The same which at 2 Mace. v. 52, is called Bethsan. See the note there.
13 P. 201 Foot Note n. Namely, Joseph the son of Zacharias, and Azarias, whom Judas had left in charge of the people, while he himself was gone on a military expedition. Compare 2 Mace. v. 18.
14 P. 201 Foot Note o. Beyond doubt the reading is faulty, and ought to be Jamnia, as at 2 Mace, v. 58. Josephus warrants this correction.
15 P. 201 Foot Note p. More properly, ” his arm at the shoulder.”
16 P. 201 Foot Note q. A town or fortress of Judah, near to Eleutheropolis.
17 P. 201/202 Foot Note r. There is here a remarkable variety among the MSS. p.202 some reading Gr. [  click on image to enlarge] or Gr. [ click on image to enlarge]  which Grotius judges ought to be Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] the city mentioned :it ver. 27. Archbishop Ussher takes Esdris for one of Judas’ captains.
18 P. 202 Foot Note s. Query whether this be the same as Adullam, mentioned at Genesis xxxviii. 12.?.
19 P. 202 Foot Note t. The Greek text varies, between Gr. [ click on image to enlarge], and Gr. [https://fourcornerministries.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/P.202-3.Macca_.12-FN-t-02-00-20mm-h.fw_-300x20.png 300w" sizes="(max-width: 310px) 100vw, 310px" /> click on image to enlarge] The latter would signify ” when all which was necessary had been done.”
20 P. 202 Foot Note u. See the same offence and its punishment recorded at Joshua vii. 4—26.
21 P. 202 Foot Note x. See Deuteron. vii. 5.
22 P. 203 Foot Note y. Gr. [ click on image to enlarge] ” man by man.” Verses 43—45.] It deserves to be noticed, that no mention of any such offering or idea, as that which is inserted here, is found either in the Second Book of Maccabees, or in the Fifth, although the same portion of the history is there treated of.
23 P. 203 Foot Note z. Three Greek manuscripts read ” three thousand.”

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