Third Book of Maccabees: OUTLINE (In Brief version)

The third book, or second of our Bibles, contains, under the form of an abridgment, some account of the transactions of about fifteen years, commencing with a period ten or twelve years earlier than the preceding book. Jason, one of the Jews who were living at Cyrene in Africa, appears to have described, in five books, the principal transactions of the Jews during the reigns of Seleucus IV, Antiochus Epiphanes, and Antiochus Eupator. His work was abridged, by order of the Sanhedrim of Jerusalem, (as is asserted by Sixtus Senensis,) by some unknown writer ; who has also added to the book, as we now possess it, the acts and death of Nicanor, derived from some other source. It is observable, that the two epistles occurring at the beginning of the work belong to a later period ; and these, in the opinion of Grotius, may have been taken from the records of the Jewish synagogue at Alexandria. By the style, and also by the manner of computation, which differs from that of the preceding book, the abridger at least, if not the author, appears to have been a Hellenistic Jew.

The work exists in Greek, but is not known in Hebrew. It has been attributed to Philo, and to Josephus ; and by Leo Allatius, to Simon Maccabaeus. It is thought to be the [][1]source of greek text [p.24 PDF: 28/524]click to enlarge mentioned in the ” Stromata” of Clemens Alexandrinus. In point of authority and historic value it is considered far inferior to the former book, from which it differs in several particulars. There is a Syriac version of it in the London Polyglott. A German translation was published in 1786, by Jo. G. Hasse, accompanied by several critical disquisitions ; the author of which is of opinion that it was written about B.C. 150, by some Egyptian Jew, namely, the same person who composed the book of Wisdom, attributed to Solomon.

The English version of the second and third books, which appears in the present volume, is that of our authorized Bible ; but corrected in very many places by aid of the various readings from Greek manuscripts, furnished in the folio Oxford Septuagint, edited by Holmes and Parsons.

As these two have generally accompanied the Bibles throughout the western church, they have, much more than all the others, engaged the attention both of critics and commentators. A Harmony of them was composed and printed, though never published, by a French author, named Nicolas Toinard, who died in 1706. There seems great reason to regret the non-appearance of this work, from the high character which is bestowed on its author by cardinal Noris, in his ” Epochae ” Syro-Macedonum,” 4to. 1696. At p. 78, Noris thus expresses himself: LATINSpero fore ut hunc nobis nodum solvat Nicolaus Toinardus Aureliaunensis, in Harmonia libri utriusque Maccabaeourum. Nam cum in sacra aeque ac profana historia sit versatissimus, idemque peregrinarum linguarum peritissimus, simulque veterum nummorum Regum Syriae aliorumque curiosus perscrutator et interpres doctissimus, in laudato opere typis quidem impresso sed nondum publici juris facto, historiam Maccabaeorum ac rerum ab iis gestarum tempora summa eruditione explicabit.[2]English Translation by Google: I hope that we can solve the difficulty of Nicholas Toinardi Aureliaunensis and this to us, in the harmony the books of both Maccabaeourum. For when in a sacred as well … Continue reading

Again, at p. 244 : LATINIdem etiam qui totam banc messem metet, longe probabiliorem corundem interpretationem exhibebit, quam et ipse veluti ab oraculo emissam cum plausu excipiam.[3]English Translation by Google: Those who will reap the harvest of the whole of this same thing is also, by far the more probable one, will present to the interpretation of their own affairs, which … Continue reading

A short ordo temporum[4]order season accompanies Houbigant’s preface to these books, in his edition of the Hebrew Bible, 4 vols, folio, 1753. Information illustrative of the Maccabaean history from coins may be found in may in “Vaillant’s Historia Regum Syriae.” fol. 1738.

A Latin version, or rather Harmony, is said (by Harles, “Introductio ad Ling. Graec.” tom. II. part. 2. p. 54.) to have been commenced by Jo. Melchior Faber of Anspach, in a dissertation entitled, ” Harmonia Maccabseorum,” Onoldini, 1794.
Source of comments[5]p.23-26 [PDF: 27/30 of 524] THE FIVE BOOKS OF MACCABEES BY HENRY COTTON, D.C.L.

(i) A letter from the Jews at Jerusalem to their brethren.
P. 147 – 151 Book 3 B.C. 144 [PDF: 197/201 of P.524]

(i) The letter continued. The authors design in this book.
P. 151 – 155 Book 3 B.C. 125 [PDF: 201/205 of P.524]

(i) Heliodorus’ attempt to plunder the temple of Jerusalem.
P. 155 – 159 Book 3 B.C. 176 [PDF: 205/209 of P.524]

(i) Jason is made high priest. He introduces Gentile fashions. He is supplanted by Menelaus. The murder of Onias.
P. 159 – 166 Book 3 B.C. 176 [PDF: 209/216 of P.524]

(i) Jason s cruelties, and death. Antiochus defeats the Jews and plunders the temple.
P. 166 – 170 Book 3 B.C. 170 [PDF: 216/220 of P.524]

(i) Antiochus persecutes the Jews. The courage and death of Eleazar.
P. 170 – 174 Book 3 B.C. 167 [PDF: 220/224 of P.524]

(i) The constancy and death of seven brethren and their mother.
P. 174 – 178 Book 3 B.C. 167 [PDF: 224/228 of P.524]

(i) The exploits of Judas. His victory over Nicanor.
P. 179 – 184 Book 3 B.C. 166 [PDF: 229/234 of P.524]

(i) Antiochus’ sickness and death.
P. 184 – 188 Book 3 B.C. 164 [PDF: 234/238 of P.524]

(i) Judas purifies the temple. His valiant acts.
P. 188 – 192 Book 3 B.C. 165 [PDF: 238/242 of P.524]

(i) The acts of Lysias. Letters of Antiochus and of the Romans.
P. 192 – 196 Book 3 B.C. 164 [PDF: 242/246 of P.524]

(i) Judas defeats Timotheus and Gorgias. He takes many cities.
P. 196 – 203 Book 3 B.C. 164 [PDF: 246/256 of P.524]

(i) The attempts of’ Nicanor against the Jews.
P. 203 – 206 Book 3 B.C. 164 [PDF: 253/256 of P.524]

(i) The attempts of Nicanor against the Jews.
P. 206 – 212 Book 3 B.C. 164 [PDF: 256/262 of P.524]

(i) The defeat of Nicanor. His death.
P. 212 – 217 Book 3 B.C. 164 [PDF: 262/267 of P.524]

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 source of greek text [p.24 PDF: 28/524]
2 English Translation by Google: I hope that we can solve the difficulty of Nicholas Toinardi Aureliaunensis and this to us, in the harmony the books of both Maccabaeourum. For when in a sacred as well as profane history that he is well versed, and the same foreign languages ​​very skilled, at the same time of the ancient coins of kings of Syria, and the other curious about the searcher, and the interpreter of the most learned, in the you must praise the work of the printed even on a printed but not yet in a state of law fact, the history of the Maccabees, and of things, by those achievements, the times of the most profound learning, explain.
3 English Translation by Google: Those who will reap the harvest of the whole of this same thing is also, by far the more probable one, will present to the interpretation of their own affairs, which was by the oracle that was sent out with applause and approval, and of which he is to receive the
4 order season

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