2 Maccabees 11

1 But a short time afterwards, Lysias, the procurator of the king and a near relative, who also was in charge of the government, was heavily weighed upon by what had happened.

2 Gathering together eight thousand, along with all the horsemen, he came against the Jews, thinking that the city would certainly be captured, making it a dwelling place for the Gentiles,

3 in truth, also thinking to make a profit in money from the temple, just as from the other shrines of the Gentiles, and to put the priesthood up for sale every year.

4 Never recognizing the power of God, but inflated in mind, he trusted in the multitude of the foot soldiers, and in the thousands of horsemen, and in the eighty elephants.

5 And so, he entered Judea, and, approaching Bethzur, which was in a narrow place, at an interval of five stadia from Jerusalem, he laid siege to that stronghold.

6 But when Maccabeus and those who were with him realized that the strongholds were besieged, they and all the crowd together petitioned the Lord with weeping and tears, that he would send a good Angel to save Israel.

7 And so the leader Maccabeus, taking up arms, exhorted the others, to undergo the peril together with him, and to bring assistance to their brothers.

8 And when they together were going forth with a ready spirit, there appeared at Jerusalem a horseman, preceding them in radiant clothing and with weapons of gold, waving a spear.

9 Then they all together blessed the merciful Lord, and strengthened their souls, being prepared to break through not only men, but also the most ferocious beasts and walls of iron.

10 Thus, they went forth readily, having a helper from heaven, and with the Lord taking pity on them.

11 Then, rushing violently against the enemy, in the manner of lions, they struck down from among them: eleven thousand foot soldiers and one thousand six hundred horsemen.

12 And they turned all the rest to flight. But many of them, being wounded, escaped with nothing. And Lysias himself also escaped, fleeing in disgrace.

13 And because he was not irrational, thinking to himself about the loss that had happened against him, and understanding the Hebrews to be invincible because they depend upon the help of Almighty God, he sent to them,

14 and he promised that he would agree to all things that are just, and that he would persuade the king to be their friend.

15 Then Maccabeus assented to the request of Lysias, considering it useful in every way. And whatever Maccabeus wrote to Lysias, concerning the Jews, the king consented to it.

16 For there were letters written to the Jews from Lysias, which, indeed, were composed in this way: “Lysias, to the people of the Jews: greetings.

17 John and Absalom, who had been sent from you to deliver your writings, requested that I would implement these things that were signified by them.

18 Therefore, whatever things could be brought before the king, I have presented them. And he has conceded to those things that are permitted.

19 If, therefore, you will keep yourselves faithful in these matters, then, from now on, I will endeavor to be a cause of your good.

20 But as for other particulars, I have given orders by word, both to these, and to those who have been sent by me, to confer with you.

21 Farewell. In the one hundred forty-eighth year, on the twenty-fourth day of the month of Dioscorus.”

22 But the letter of the king contained this: “King Antiochus to Lysias, his brother: greetings.

23 Since our father has been transferred among the gods, we are willing that those who are in our kingdom should act without tumult, and should attend diligently to their own concerns.

24 We have heard that the Jews would not consent to my father to convert to the rites of the Greeks, but that they chose to keep to their own institutions, and, because of this, that they ask of us to leave them to their own laws.

25 Therefore, wanting this nation, likewise, to be at rest, we have reached a judgment that the temple should be restored to them, so that they may act according to the custom of their ancestors.

26 You will do well, therefore, if you send to them and grant them a pledge, so that our will becomes known, and they may be of good courage, and may look after their own needs.”

27 Truly, the letter of the king to the Jews was such as this: “King Antiochus to the senate of the Jews, and to the rest of the Jews: greetings.

28 If you are well, such is what we desire. But we ourselves are also well.

29 Menelaus came to us, saying that you wished to come down to your own, who are among us.

30 Therefore, we grant a pledge of security to those who come and go, even until the thirtieth day of the month of Xanthicus,

31 so that the Jews may make use of their own foods and laws, just as also before, and so that none of them should endure any kind of trouble for things which have been done by ignorance.

32 And so, we have also sent Menelaus, who will talk with you.

33 Farewell. In the one hundred forty-eighth year, on the fifteenth day of the month of Xanthicus.”

34 But the Romans also now sent a letter, having this in it: “Quintus Memmius and Titus Manilius, ambassadors of the Romans, to the people of the Jews: greetings.

35 Concerning these things that Lysias, the relative of the king, has conceded to you, we also have conceded.

36 But about such things as he judged should be referred to the king, send someone, as soon as you have diligently conferred among yourselves, so that we may make a decree, just as it is agreeable to you. For we are going to Antioch.

37 And, therefore, make haste to write back, so that we may know whatever your will may be.

38 Farewell. In the one hundred forty-eighth year, on the fifteenth day of the month of Xanthicus.”

2 Maccabees 12

1 After these pacts were made, Lysias proceeded on to the king, but the Jews undertook the work of agriculture.

2 However, those who had withdrawn: Timothy, and Apollonius, the son of Gennaeus, along with Hieronymus, and Demophon, and, in addition to these, Nicanor, the governor of Cyprus, would not permit them to live in peace and quiet.

3 Truly, those of Joppa were also perpetrators of very shameful acts. They asked the Jews, who lived among them, to go up into small boats, which they had prepared, with their wives and sons, as if no underlying hostility was between them.

4 And so, according to the common decree of the city, they acquiesced to them, having no suspicions and because there was peace. When they had proceeded out into deep water, they drowned no less than two hundred of them.

5 When Judas learned of the cruelty done to the men of his nation, he informed the men who were with him, and, having called upon God, the Just Judge,

6 he went against the executors of his brothers, and he even set the port on fire in the night; he burned the boats, but those who took refuge from the fire, he destroyed with the sword.

7 And when he had done these things in this way, he departed, as if he would return again to eradicate all those of Joppa.

8 But when he also realized those who were of Jamnia wanted to act in a similar way to the Jews living among them,

9 he went against those of Jamnia also by night, and he set the port on fire, along with the ships, so much so that the light of the fire was seen at Jerusalem, two hundred and forty stadia away.

10 When they had now gone from there nine stadia, and were making their way toward Timothy, they met in battle with those of Arabia: five thousand men and five hundred horsemen.

11 And when a strong fight occurred, and, by the help of God, it ceased favorably, the remainder of the Arabians who were overcome petitioned Judas to give them a pledge, promising to give him pastures and to assist him in other things in the future.

12 Then Judas, thinking that they truly might be useful in many ways, promised peace. And after receiving the pledge of his right hand, they withdrew to their tents.

13 Then he also assaulted a certain strong city, surrounded with bridges and walls, which was inhabited by a crowd from many different nations, the name of which is Casphin.

14 In truth, those who were inside, trusting in the strength of the walls and in the preparations of rations, acted irresponsibly, and they challenged Judas with evil words and blaspheming, as well as by speaking what is not lawful.

15 But Maccabeus rushed fiercely to the walls, calling upon the great Leader of the world, who, without battering rams or machines of war, had thrown down the walls of Jericho in the time of Joshua.

16 And, having captured the city through the will of the Lord, he made a slaughter without number, so much so that an adjoining pool, two stadia in width, was seen to flow with the blood of the slain.

17 From there, they withdrew seven hundred and fifty stadia, and they came to Charax, to those Jews who are called Tubianites.

18 And Timothy, indeed, they did not find in those places, for he withdrew before he completed any endeavor, having left behind a very strong garrison in a certain place.

19 But Dositheus and Sosipater, who were commanders with Maccabeus, destroyed those who were left behind by Timothy in the stronghold: ten thousand men.

20 And Maccabeus, having positioned six thousand men around him and having divided them into cohorts, went forth against Timothy, who had with him one hundred twenty thousand foot soldiers, and two thousand five hundred horsemen.

21 But when Timothy learned of the arrival of Judas, he sent ahead the women, and the children, and the remainder of the preparations, into a fortress, which is called Carnion. For it was impregnable and difficult to access because of the narrowness of the places.

22 And when the first cohort of Judas had appeared, the enemies were struck with fear by the presence of God, who beholds all things, and they were turned to flight, one over another, to such an extent that they were being knocked over by one another and were being wounded with the strokes of their own swords.

23 But Judas pursued them vehemently, punishing the profane and striking down thirty thousand of their men.

24 In truth, Timothy himself fell to the group under Dositheus and Sosipater. And with much begging, he pleaded with them to release him alive, because he held the parents and brothers of many of the Jews, who, at his death, might happen to be mistreated.

25 And when he had given his faith that he would restore them according to the agreement, they released him unharmed, for the sake of their brothers’ well-being.

26 Then Judas departed to Carnion, where he slew twenty-five thousand.

27 After having put to flight or killed these, he moved his army to Ephron, a fortified city, in which there lived a multitude of diverse peoples. And hardy young men, standing upon the walls, put up a strong fight. Moreover, in this place, there were many machines of war, and equipment for casting darts.

28 But when they had called upon the Almighty, who with his power breaks the strength of enemies, they seized the city. And they struck down twenty-five thousand of those who were inside.

29 From there, they went to the city of Scythia, which was six hundred stadia away from Jerusalem.

30 But the Jews, those who were among the Scythians, testified that they were treated kindly by them, and that, even in the times of unhappiness, they had treated them mildly.

31 They gave thanks to them, exhorting them to be kind to their people, now and at other times. And they went to Jerusalem, as the solemn days of the seven weeks were underway.

32 And, after Pentecost, they marched against Gorgias, the foremost leader over Idumea.

33 And he went out with three thousand foot soldiers and four hundred horsemen.

34 And when they came together, it happened that a few of the Jews were overthrown.

35 In fact, a certain Dositheus, a horseman of Bacenor, a strong man, took hold of Gorgias. And when he would have captured him alive, a certain horseman of the Thracians rushed upon him and cut off his arm, and so, in this way, Gorgias escaped to Maresa.

36 But when those who were with Esdris had fought all day and were fatigued, Judas called upon the Lord to be their helper and leader in the battle.

37 Beginning in the language of the fathers, and loudly extolling hymns, he inspired the soldiers of Gorgias to take flight.

38 Then Judas, having collected his army, went into the city Adullam. And, when the seventh day came, they purified themselves according to the custom, and they kept the Sabbath in the same place.

39 And the following day, Judas came with his own, in order to take away the bodies of the fallen, and to place them in the sepulchers of their fathers with their ancestors.

40 But they found, under the tunics of the slain, some of the treasures of the idols that were near Jamnia, which were prohibited to Jews by the law. Therefore, it became manifest that it was for this reason that they had been overthrown.

41 And so, they all blessed the just judgment of the Lord, who had made hidden things manifest.

42 So then, turning themselves to prayers, they petitioned him that the offense which had been done would be delivered into oblivion. And truly, the very strong Judas exhorted the people to keep themselves without sin, since they had seen with their own eyes what had happened because of the sins of those who were struck down.

43 And, calling an assembly, he sent twelve thousand drachmas of silver to Jerusalem, to be offered for a sacrifice for the sins of the dead, thinking well and religiously about the resurrection,

44 (for if he had not hoped that those who had fallen would be resurrected, it would have seemed superfluous and vain to pray for the dead,)

45 and because he considered that those who had fallen asleep with piety had great grace stored up for them.

46 Therefore, it is a holy and beneficial thought to pray on behalf of those who have passed away, so that they may be released from sins.

2 Maccabees 14

1 But after a time of three years, Judas and those who were with him realized that Demetrius of Seleucus had gone up to strategic places with a very strong multitude and a navy at the port of Tripoli,

2 and had taken hold of the regions opposite Antiochus, and his commander, Lysias.

3 Now a certain Alcimus, who had been high priest, but who had willfully defiled himself in the time of the co-mingling, considering there to be no means for his safety, nor access to the altar,

4 went to king Demetrius in the one hundred and fiftieth year, offering to him a crown of gold, and a palm, and beyond these, some branches that seemed to belong to the temple. And, indeed, on that day, he was silent.

5 But, having met with an opportune time for his madness, he was called to a counsel by Demetrius and asked what things the Jews relied upon and what were their counsels.

6 He responded: “Those among the Jews who are called Hasideans, of whom Judas Maccabeus is foremost, nourish wars, and raise seditions, and will not permit the kingdom to be at peace.

7 For I also, being cheated out of the glory of my ancestors (but I speak of the high priesthood), have come here,

8 first, indeed, in faithful service to the king’s interests, but also as an advisor of the citizens. For our entire nation is no less afflicted by their depravity.

9 But I beg you, O king, knowing each of these things, look after both the region and our people, according to your humanity, which is publicly known to all.

10 For, as long as Judas survives, it is impossible for the matter to be at peace.”

11 Then, having spoken such things before them, the rest of the allies, who held themselves to be enemies against Judas, further inflamed Demetrius.

12 And immediately he sent Nicanor, the commander over the elephants, into the first position against Judea,

13 giving him orders to be certain to capture Judas himself, and, truly, to scatter all those who were with him, and to appoint Alcimus as the high priest of the great temple.

14 Then the Gentiles, who had fled from Judas away from Judea, mingled themselves in flocks with Nicanor, thinking that the miseries and calamities of the Jews would become the cause of their prosperity.

15 And so, when the Jews heard of Nicanor’s arrival and that the nations were assembled, they, sprinkling dirt on their heads, petitioned him who established his people to preserve them in eternity, and who likewise protected his portion by clear signs.

16 Then, at the command of their leader, they moved promptly from there, and together assembled at the town of Dessau.

17 In truth, Simon, the brother of Judas, had joined battle with Nicanor, but he became frightened at the unexpected arrival of the adversaries.

18 Even so, Nicanor, hearing of the virtue of the companions of Judas, and the great courage with which they struggled on behalf of their country, was afraid to accomplish judgment by the sword.

19 For this reason, he sent ahead Posidonius, and Theodotus, and Matthias, so as to give and receive the pledge of right hands.

20 And when a council was held all day about this, and the commander had brought it before the multitude, they were all of one opinion to consent to an alliance.

21 And so, they appointed a day, on which they would act among themselves secretly, and seats were brought out and placed for each of them.

22 But Judas instructed armed men to be in strategic places, lest some kind of malice might unexpectedly spring up from the enemies. And they had an agreeable conference.

23 Then Nicanor stayed in Jerusalem, and he did no iniquity; he sent away the flocks of the crowds, which had been gathered together.

24 And Judas always held him dear to the heart, and was favorably inclined toward the man.

25 And he asked him to consider a wife, and to procreate sons. He got married; he lived quietly, and they all lived in common.

26 But Alcimus seeing the love that they had for one another, and the agreements, went to Demetrius, and he told him that Nicanor had assented to foreign interests, and that he had chosen Judas, a traitor to the kingdom, as his successor.

27 And so the king, being exasperated and provoked by this very wicked accusation, wrote to Nicanor, saying that he was certainly overburdened by the agreement of alliance, and he ordered him nevertheless to send Maccabeus quickly to Antioch in chains.

28 When this was known, Nicanor was in consternation, and he took it grievously that he would make void the things that were agreed, having received no injury from the man.

29 But, because he was not able to oppose the king, he watched for an opportunity to follow through with the orders.

30 But Maccabeus, seeing that Nicanor acted more formally with him, and that, when they met together as usual, he exhibited insolence, understood this austerity not to be from goodness. So, gathering together a few men, he hid himself from Nicanor.

31 But when he realized that he was effectively prevented by the man, he went to the greatest and holiest temple, and he ordered the priests, offering the usual sacrifices, to deliver the man to him.

32 When these spoke oaths to him that they did not know where he who was being sought was, he extended his hand toward the temple,

33 and he swore, saying: “Unless you deliver Judas to me in chains, I will reduce this shrine of God to the ground, and I will dig up the altar, and I will consecrate this temple to Liber the father.”

34 And having said this, he departed. But the priests, extending their hands toward heaven, called upon him who had always fought for his people, saying this:

35 “O Lord of the universe, who needs nothing, you willed that the temple of your dwelling should be with us.

36 And now, O Lord, Holy of all holies, preserve unpolluted, until eternity, this house, which was recently made clean.”

37 Then Razias, a certain one of the elders from Jerusalem, was brought before Nicanor; the man was of good reputation, and was one who loved the city. For his affection, he was called the father of the Jews.

38 This one, for a long time, held on to his purpose of continuing in Judaism, and he was content to hand over body and life, so that he might persevere in it.

39 Then Nicanor, being willing to manifest the hatred that he held for the Jews, sent five hundred soldiers to apprehend him.

40 For he thought, if he mistreated him, it would bring great disaster upon the Jews.

41 Now, as the group sought to rush into his house, and to break open the door, and wanting even to bring in fire, as he was about to be apprehended, he struck himself with the sword:

42 choosing to prefer to die nobly rather than to become subject to sinners, or to suffer unworthy injustices against his birth.

43 But, since he had, in haste, not obtained the certitude of a decisive wound, and the crowd was breaking in the doors, he, running boldly to the wall, manfully threw himself down upon the crowd.

44 But they quickly provided a place for his fall, so he landed at the middle of the neck.

45 And, since he was still breathing, and being inflamed in soul, he rose up, and as his blood flowed down in a great stream, being very gravely wounded, he ran through the crowd.

46 And standing upon a certain steep rock, and being now almost without blood, grasping his intestines with both hands, he threw himself over the crowd, calling upon the Ruler of life as well as spirit, to restore these to him again. And so he passed away from this life.

2 Maccabees 15

1 But when Nicanor discovered Judas to be in the places of Samaria, he decided to meet him in warfare with all violence, on the Sabbath day.

2 In truth, the Jews who followed him out of necessity were saying: “Do not act so fiercely and barbarously, but give honor to the day of sanctification and reverence to him who beholds all things.”

3 That unhappy man asked, “Is there a powerful One in heaven, who commanded the day of the Sabbath to be kept.”

4 And they responded to him, “There is the living Lord himself in heaven, the powerful One, who ordered the seventh day to be kept.”

5 And so he said: “I also am powerful upon the earth, so I command arms to be taken up and the king’s plans to be fulfilled.” Nevertheless, he did not succeed in accomplishing his plan.

6 And Nicanor, being certainly lifted up with the greatest arrogance, had decided to establish a public monument of his victory over Judas.

7 But Maccabeus, as always, trusted with all hope that God would be present to help them.

8 And he exhorted his own not to fear the arrival of the nations, but to keep in mind the assistance they had received before from heaven, and now to hope for a future victory from the Almighty.

9 And speaking to them from the law and the prophets, reminding them even of the conflicts they had fought before, he made them more willing.

10 And so, having raised up their courage, at the same time he revealed the deceitful plan of the Gentiles and their betrayal of the oaths.

11 Then he armed every one of them, not with the weapons of shield and spear, but with the best speeches and exhortations; and he explained to them a dream, worthy to be believed, in which he rejoiced with them all.

12 Now the vision was in this manner: Onias, who had been high priest, a good and kind man, modest in appearance, gentle in manners, and noble in speech, and who from boyhood was trained in the virtues, extending his hands, prayed on behalf of all the people of the Jews.

13 After this, there appeared also another man, admirable in age and glory, and with a bearing of great dignity about him.

14 In truth, Onias responded by saying: “This one loves his brothers and the people of Israel. This is he who prays greatly for the people and for all the holy city: Jeremiah, the prophet of God.”

15 Then Jeremiah extended his right hand, and he gave to Judas a sword of gold, saying:

16 “Receive this holy sword as a gift from God, with it you shall cast down the adversaries of my people Israel.”

17 And so, having been exhorted by the very good words of Judas, by which the readiness and courage of the young men were able to be raised and strengthened, they resolved to strive and to contend with fortitude, so that virtue would judge the matter, because the holy city and the temple were in peril.

18 For their concern was less for their wives and sons, and likewise less for their brothers and relatives; in truth, their greatest and first fear was for the sanctity of the temple.

19 But those also who were in the city had no small concern for those who had gathered together.

20 And, when all now hoped that judgment would soon occur, and when the enemies were near, and the army was set in order, with the beasts and the horsemen positioned in strategic places,

21 Maccabeus, considering the arrival of the multitude, and the various preparations of weapons, and the fierceness of the beasts, extending his hands to heaven, called upon the Lord, who works miracles, who gives victory to those who are worthy, not according to the power of the weapons, but just as it pleases him.

22 Then, calling out in this way, he said: “You, O Lord, who sent your Angel under Hezekiah, king of Judah, and who killed one hundred and eighty-five thousand from the camp of Sennacherib,

23 now also, O Ruler of the heavens, send your good Angel before us, who are in fear and trembling at the greatness of your arm,

24 so that those who approach against your holy people with blasphemy may be afraid.” And in this way, indeed, he concluded his prayer.

25 But Nicanor, and those who were with him, advanced with trumpets and songs.

26 In truth, Judas, and those who were with him, calling upon God through prayers, came together against them.

27 Indeed, fighting with their hands, but praying to the Lord with their hearts, they struck down no less than thirty-five thousand, being delighted by the presence of God.

28 And when they had ceased and were returning with gladness, they realized, by his armor, that Nicanor had been slain.

29 And so, making a loud noise and inciting a disturbance, they blessed the Almighty Lord in the language of the fathers.

30 But Judas, who was prepared throughout all his body and soul to die for his citizens, instructed that Nicanor’s head, and his hand with the arm, should be cut off and carried through to Jerusalem.

31 When it arrived, having called together his fellow tribesmen, and the priests to the altar, he summoned those also who were in the stronghold.

32 And he displayed the head of Nicanor, and his nefarious hand, which he had extended against the holy house of Almighty God with magnificent boasting.

33 He even ordered now that the tongue of the impious Nicanor should be cut up and given in pieces to the birds, but that the hand of this demented man should be suspended opposite the temple.

34 Therefore, they all blessed the Lord of heaven, saying, “Blessed is he who has kept his own place uncontaminated.”

35 Then he suspended Nicanor’s head at the top of the stronghold, so that it would be an evident and manifest sign of the assistance of God.

36 And so, they all decreed by common counsel in no way to let this day pass without celebration,

37 but to hold a celebration on the thirteenth day of the month of Adar, which was called in the Syrian language: the day before Mardochias’ day.

38 Therefore, these things were accomplished concerning Nicanor, and from that time the city was possessed by the Hebrews. And so, I will bring an end to my narration here.

39 And, indeed, if I have done well, so as to have made an adequate history, this also is what I wanted. But if it is less than worthy, may it be permitted me.

40 For, just as it is adverse to drink always wine, or always water, so also it is pleasant to use sometimes the one, and sometimes the other. So, if the words were always exact, it would not be pleasing to the readers. Therefore, here it shall be completed. The Holy Bible Catholic Public Domain Version New Testament

1 Maccabees 1

1 And it happened afterwards that Alexander, the son of Philip the Macedonian, who first reigned in Greece having come from the land of Kittim, struck Darius the king of the Persians and the Medes.

2 He appointed many battles, and he took hold of all the fortifications, and he executed the kings of the earth.

3 And he passed through even to the ends of the earth. And he received the spoils of many nations. And the earth was silenced in his sight.

4 And he gathered together power, and an exceedingly strong army. And he was exalted, and his heart was lifted up.

5 And he captured the regions of nations and of sovereign leaders, and they became tributaries to him.

6 And after these things, he fell down on his bed, and he knew that he would die.

7 And he called his servants, nobles who were raised with him from his youth. And he divided his kingdom to them, while he was still alive.

8 And Alexander reigned twelve years, and then he died.

9 And his servants obtained his kingdom, each one in his place.

10 And they all put diadems on themselves after his death, and their sons after them, for many years; and evils were multiplied on the earth.

11 And there went forth from among them a sinful root, Antiochus the illustrious, the son of king Antiochus, who had been a hostage at Rome. And he reigned in the one hundred and thirty-seventh year of the kingdom of the Greeks.

12 In those days, there went forth from Israel sons of iniquity, and they persuaded many, saying: “Let us go and negotiate a covenant with the Gentiles that are all around us. For since we have withdrawn from them, many evils have found us.”

13 And the word seemed good in their eyes.

14 And some of the people determined to do this, and they went to the king. And he gave them the power to act according to the justice of the Gentiles.

15 And they built a sports arena in Jerusalem, according to the laws of the Nations.

16 And they made themselves uncircumcised, and they withdrew from the holy covenant, and they were joined to the nations, and they were sold into evil-doing.

17 And the kingdom was ready in the sight of Antiochus, and he began to reign over the land of Egypt, so that he might reign over two kingdoms.

18 And he entered into Egypt with an oppressive multitude, with swift chariots, and elephants, and horsemen, and a great abundance of ships.

19 And he appointed a war against Ptolemy, the king of Egypt, and Ptolemy was filled with dread before his face, and he fled, and many fell down wounded.

20 And he took hold of the fortified cities in the land of Egypt, and he received the spoils of the land of Egypt.

21 And Antiochus turned back, after he struck Egypt, in the one hundred and forty-third year, and he ascended against Israel.

22 And he ascended to Jerusalem, with an oppressive multitude.

23 And he entered into the sanctuary with arrogance, and he took the golden altar, and the lampstand of light, and all the vessels, and the table for the bread of the Presence, and the vessels of libation, and the vials, and the little mortars of gold, and the veil, and the crowns, and the golden ornament, which was at the face of the temple. And he crushed them all.

24 And he took the silver and gold, and the precious vessels, and he took the hidden treasures, which he found. And having taken all these things away, he departed into his own land.

25 And he caused a massacre of men, and he was speaking with great arrogance.

26 And there was great wailing in Israel and in all of their places.

27 And the leaders and elders mourned, and the virgins and young men became weak, and the splendor of the women was changed.

28 Every bridegroom took up lamentation, and those who sat in the marriage bed mourned.

29 And the land shook on behalf of the inhabitants in it, and the entire house of Jacob was clothed with confusion.

30 And after two years of days, the king sent the prince of his tributes to the cities of Judah, and he came to Jerusalem with a great crowd.

31 And he spoke peaceful words to them, in deceitfulness; and they believed him.

32 And he rushed upon the city suddenly, and he struck it with a great scourging, and he destroyed many of the people of Israel.

33 And he took the spoils of the city, and he burned it with fire, and he destroyed its houses and the walls around it.

34 And they led away the women as captives, and they possessed the children and the cattle.

35 And they built up the city of David with a great and strong wall, and with strong towers, and it became a stronghold for them.

36 And they set up in that place a sinful people, wicked men, and together they grew strong in it. And they stored up weapons and provisions. And they gathered together the spoils of Jerusalem,

37 and deposited them in that place. And they became a great snare.

38 And this became a place of ambush against the sanctuary and a diabolical evil in Israel.

39 And they poured out innocent blood around the sanctuary, and they contaminated the sanctuary.

40 And the inhabitants of Jerusalem fled because of them, and the city became the dwelling place of outsiders, and she became a stranger to her own offspring, and her own children abandoned her.

41 Her sanctuary was desolate, like a place of solitude, her feast days were turned into mourning, her sabbaths into disgrace, her honors into nothing.

42 Her shame was multiplied according to her glory, and her loftiness was turned into lamentation.

43 And king Antiochus wrote to all his kingdom, that all the people must be one, and that each one should relinquish his own law.

44 And all Gentiles consented, according to the word of king Antiochus.

45 And many out of Israel consented to his servitude, and they sacrificed to idols, and they polluted the Sabbath.

46 And the king sent letters, by the hand of messengers, to Jerusalem and to all the cities of Judah: that they should follow the law of the Nations of the earth,

47 and that they should prohibit holocausts and sacrifices and atonements to be made in the temple of God,

48 and that they should prohibit the celebration of the Sabbath and the solemn days.

49 And he ordered the holy places to be defiled, along with the holy people of Israel.

50 And he ordered altars to be built, and temples, and idols, and he ordered the immolation of the flesh of swine and of unclean cattle,

51 and that they should leave their sons uncircumcised, and defile their souls with all that is unclean, and with abominations, so that they would forget the law and would alter all the justifications of God,

52 and that whoever would not act according to the word of king Antiochus should be put to death.

53 According to all these words, he wrote to all his kingdom. And he appointed leaders over the people, who would compel them to do these things.

54 And these ordered the cities of Judah to sacrifice.

55 And many from the people, who had abandoned the law of the Lord, were gathered together by them. And they committed evils upon the land.

56 And they drove the people of Israel into hiding and into the secret places of fugitives.

57 On the fifteenth day of the month of Kislev, in the one hundred and forty-fifth year, king Antiochus set up the abominable idol of desolation on the altar of God, and they built altars throughout all the surrounding cities of Judah.

58 And they burned frankincense, and they sacrificed before the doors of houses and in the streets.

59 And they cut up the books of the law of God and destroyed them with fire.

60 And all those who were found with the books of the testament of the Lord, and whoever observed the law of the Lord, they butchered, according to the edict of the king.

61 By their power, they did these things to the people of Israel, as they were discovered in the cities, month after month.

62 And on the twenty-fifth day of the month, they sacrificed on that altar which was opposite the high altar.

63 And the women who circumcised their sons were butchered, according to the order of king Antiochus.

64 And they suspended the children by their necks in all their houses, and those who had circumcised them, they butchered.

65 And many of the people of Israel decided within themselves that they would not eat unclean things. And they chose to die, rather than to be defiled with unclean foods.

66 And they were not willing to infringe upon the holy law of God, and they were butchered.

67 And there was a very great wrath upon the people.

1 Maccabees 2

1 In those days, there rose up Mattathias, the son of John, the son of Simeon, a priest of the sons of Joarib from Jerusalem, and he settled on the mountain of Modin.

2 And he had five sons: John, who was surnamed Gaddi,

3 and Simon, who was surnamed Thassi,

4 and Judas, who was called Maccabeus,

5 and Eleazar, who was surnamed Avaran, and Jonathan, who was surnamed Apphus.

6 These saw the evils that were done among the people of Judah and in Jerusalem.

7 And Mattathias said: “Woe to me, for why was I born to see the grief of my people and the grief of the holy city, and to sit there, while it is given into the hands of the enemies?

8 The holy places have fallen into the hands of outsiders. Her temple is like a man without honor.

9 The vessels of her glory have been taken away captive. Her old men have been butchered in the streets, and her young men have fallen by the sword of the enemies.

10 What nation has not inherited her kingdom and taken from her spoils?

11 All her beauty has been taken away. She who was free, has become a slave.

12 And behold, our sanctuary, and our beauty, and our splendor has been desolated, and the Gentiles have defiled them.

13 Therefore, what is it to us that we still live?”

14 And Mattathias and his sons tore their garments, and they covered themselves with haircloth, and they lamented greatly.

15 And those who had been sent from king Antiochus came to that place, to compel those who fled into the city of Modin to immolate, and to burn frankincense, and to depart from the law of God.

16 And many of the people of Israel consented and came to them. But Mattathias and his sons stood firm.

17 And those who had been sent from Antiochus, responding, said to Mattathias: “You are a ruler, and very splendid and great in this city, and you are adorned with sons and brothers.

18 Therefore, approach first, and carryout the order of the king, as all the nations have done, and the men of Judah, and those who remained in Jerusalem. And you and your sons will be among the friends of the king, and enriched with gold and silver and many gifts.”

19 And Mattathias responded, and he said with a loud voice: “Even if all nations obey king Antiochus, so that each one departs from the service of the law of his fathers and consents to his commandments,

20 I and my sons and my brothers will obey the law of our fathers.

21 May God be forgiving to us. It is not useful for us to abandon the law and the justices of God.

22 We will not listen to the words of king Antiochus, nor will we sacrifice, transgressing the commandments of our law, so as to set out on another way.”

23 And, as he ceased speaking these words, a certain Jew approached in the sight of all to sacrifice to the idols upon the altar in the city of Modin, according to the order of the king.

24 And Mattathias saw, and he grieved, and his temperament trembled, and his fury was enkindled according to the judgment of the law, and leaping up, he slaughtered him on the altar.

25 Moreover, the man whom king Antiochus had sent, who compelled them to immolate, he killed at the same time, and he destroyed the altar,

26 and he was zealous for the law, just as Phinehas did to Zimri, the son of Salomi.

27 And Mattathias exclaimed with a loud voice in the city, saying, “All who hold zeal for the law, maintaining the covenant, let them follow me.”

28 And he and his sons fled to the mountains, and they left behind whatever they had in the city.

29 Then many who sought judgment and justice went down into the desert.

30 And they camped there, with their sons, and their wives, and their herds, because evils had overwhelmed them.

31 And it was reported to the king’s men, and to the army that was in Jerusalem, in the city of David, that certain men, who had cast aside the commandment of the king, had departed into the hidden places in the desert, and that many had followed after them.

32 And immediately, they went out to them, and they arranged a battle against them, on the day of the Sabbath.

33 And they said to them: “And now, do you still resist? Go out and act according to the word of king Antiochus, and you will live.”

34 And they said, “We will not go out, and we will not do the king’s word, so as to profane the day of the Sabbath.”

35 And they rushed against them in battle.

36 But they did not respond, nor did they cast a stone at them, nor did they barricade the hidden places,

37 for they said, “Let us all die in our simplicity. And heaven and earth will testify for us, that you destroyed us unjustly.”

38 So they carried out a battle on the Sabbath. And they were put to death, with their wives, and their sons, and their cattle, even to the number of a thousand souls of men.

39 And Mattathias and his friends heard of it, and they held a very great lamentation for them.

40 And every man said to his neighbor, “If we all do just as our brothers have done, and if we do not fight against the Gentiles for the sake of our lives and our justifications, then they will quickly eradicate us from the earth.”

41 And they decided, on that day, saying: “Every man, who will come against us in warfare on the day of the Sabbath, we will fight against him. And we will not all die, like our brothers who were put to death in the hidden places.”

42 Then there was assembled before them the synagogue of the Hasideans, strong men from Israel, each one with a will for the law.

43 And all those who fled from the evils added themselves to them, and they became a firmament to them.

44 And they gathered together an army, and they struck down the sinners in their wrath and the wicked men in their indignation. And the others fled to the nations, so as to escape.

45 And Mattathias and his friends traveled around, and they destroyed the altars.

46 And they circumcised all the uncircumcised boys, whom they found within the limits of Israel, and they acted with fortitude.

47 And they pursued the sons of arrogance, and the work was prosperous in their hands.

48 And they obtained the law from the hands of the Gentiles, and from the hands of the kings. And they did not surrender the horn to the sinner.

49 Then the days drew near when Mattathias would die, and he said to his sons: “Now arrogance and chastisement have been strengthened, and it is a time of overturning and of the wrath of indignation.

50 Now therefore, O sons, be imitators of the law, and give your lives for the sake of the covenant of your fathers.

51 And call to mind the works of the fathers, which they have done in their generations. And you will receive great glory and an eternal name.

52 Was not Abraham found to be faithful in temptation, and so it was accounted to him as justice?

53 Joseph, in the time of his anguish, kept the commandment, and he was made ruler of Egypt.

54 Phinehas our father, being zealous in the zeal of God, received the covenant of an eternal priesthood.

55 Jesus, since he fulfilled the word, was made a commander in Israel.

56 Caleb, since he testified in the assembly, received an inheritance.

57 David, in his mercy, obtained the throne of a kingdom for all generations.

58 Elijah, since he was zealous with a zeal for the law, was received into heaven.

59 Hananiah and Azariah and Mishael, by believing, were delivered from the flame.

60 Daniel, in his simplicity, was delivered from the mouth of the lions.

61 And so, consider that, through generation after generation of all those who trusted in him, none have failed in strength.

62 And fear not the words of a sinful man, for his glory is dung and worms.

63 Today he is extolled, and tomorrow he will not be found, because he has returned into his earth and his thinking has perished.

64 Therefore, you sons, be strengthened and act manfully in the law. For by it, you shall become glorious.

65 And behold, I know that your brother Simon is a man of counsel. Heed him always, and he will be a father to you.

66 And Judas Maccabeus, who has been strong and resourceful from his youth, let him be the leader of your militia, and he will manage the war of the people.

67 And you shall add to yourselves all who observe the law, and you shall claim the vindication of your people.

68 Render to the Gentiles their retribution, and pay attention to the precepts of the law.”

69 And he blessed them, and he was added to his fathers.

70 And he passed away in the one hundred and forty-sixth year, and he was buried by his sons in the sepulchers of his fathers, in Modin, and all Israel mourned for him with a great mourning.

1 Maccabees 3

1 And his son Judas, who was called Maccabeus, rose up in his place.

2 And all his brothers assisted him, along with all those who had joined themselves to his father. And they fought the battle of Israel with rejoicing.

3 And he expanded the glory of his people, and he clothed himself with a breastplate like a giant, and he surrounded himself his weapons of war in battles, and he protected the camp with his sword.

4 In his actions, he became like a lion, and like a young lion roaring in the hunt.

5 And he pursued the wicked and tracked them down. And those who disturbed his people, he burned with fire.

6 And his enemies were repelled by the fear of him, and all the workers of iniquity were troubled. And salvation was well-directed in his hand.

7 And he provoked many kings, and he gave joy to Jacob by his works, and his memory will be a blessing for all generations.

8 And he traveled through the cities of Judah, and he destroyed the impious out of them, and he turned wrath away from Israel.

9 And he was renowned, even to the utmost part of the earth, and he gathered together those who were perishing.

10 And so Apollonius gathered together the Gentiles, with a numerous and great army from Samaria, to make war against Israel.

11 And Judas knew about it, and he went forth to meet him. And he struck him and killed him. And many fell down wounded, and the rest fled away.

12 And he took away their spoils. And Judas took possession of the sword of Apollonius, and he fought with it during all his days.

13 And Seron, the leader of the army of Syria, heard that Judas had gathered together a company of the faithful and an assembly with him.

14 And he said, “I will make a name for myself, and I will be glorified in the kingdom, and I will defeat Judas in warfare, and those who are with him, who have spurned the word of the king.”

15 And he prepared himself. And the camp of the impious went up with him, with strong auxiliaries, so as to act with vengeance upon the sons of Israel.

16 And they approached even as far as Bethhoron. And Judas went forth to meet him, with a few men.

17 But when they saw the army coming to meet them, they said to Judas, “How will we few be able to fight against so great and so strong a multitude, even though we are weakened by fasting today?”

18 And Judas said: “It is easy for many to be enclosed in the hands of a few, for there is no difference in the sight of the God of heaven to liberate by means of many, or by means of few.

19 For victory in warfare is not in the multitude of the army, but in the strength from heaven.

20 They come to us with a contemptuous multitude and with arrogance, in order to destroy us, with our wives and our sons, and to despoil us.

21 In truth, we will fight on behalf of our souls and our laws.

22 And the Lord himself will crush them before our face. But as for you, do not fear them.”

23 And as soon as he had ceased speaking, he attacked them suddenly. And Seron and his army were crushed in his sight.

24 And he pursued him from the descent of Bethhoron, even to the plains. And eight hundred of their men were cut down, but the rest fled into the land of the Philistines.

25 And the fear and dread of Judas, as well as his brothers, fell upon all the nations around them.

26 And his name reached even to the king, and all the nations told stories of the battles of Judas.

27 But when king Antiochus heard these accounts, he was angry to his very soul. And he sent and gathered together forces from his entire kingdom, a very strong army.

28 And he opened his treasury, and he gave out stipends to the army for a year. And he commanded them to make ready for all things.

29 And he saw that the money from his treasures had failed, and that the tributes of the country were small, because of the dissension and the scourging that he had caused on earth in order to take away the legitimate laws, which had been since the first days.

30 And he feared, lest he not have enough the second time as the first, for expenses and gifts, which he had given before with a liberal hand. For his excesses were more than the kings who had been before him.

31 And he was alarmed to his very soul, and he intended to go into Persia, and to take tributes from the regions, and to gather together much money.

32 And he left behind Lysias, a nobleman of royal family, to preside over the kingdom from the river Euphrates, even to the river of Egypt,

33 and to raise his son, Antiochus, until he would return.

34 And he handed over to him half of the army, and the elephants. And he commanded him concerning all that he wanted, and concerning the inhabitants of Judea and Jerusalem:

35 so that he would send an army against them to crush and to root out the virtue of Israel and the remnant of Jerusalem, and to take away the memory of them from that place,

36 and so that he would establish dwelling places for the sons of foreigners in all their parts, and would distribute their land by lot.

37 And so, the king took the remaining part of the army, and he went forth from Antioch, the city of his kingdom, in the one hundred and forty-seventh year. And he crossed over the river Euphrates, and he traveled through the upper regions.

38 Then Lysias chose Ptolemy, the son of Dorymenes, and Nicanor and Gorgias, powerful men from among the king’s friends.

39 And he sent them with forty thousand men, and seven thousand horsemen, to enter into the land of Judah, and to destroy it, according to the word of the king.

40 And so, they proceeded with all their power, and they arrived and took a position near Emmaus, in the land of the plains.

41 And the merchants of the regions heard of their name. And they took very much silver, and gold, and servants, and they came into the camp to take the sons of Israel into servitude. And armies from Syria and from the lands of foreigners were added to them.

42 And Judas and his brothers saw that evils were being multiplied, and that armies had been positioned near their borders. And they knew the words of the king, which ordered the people to be put to death and to be utterly consumed.

43 And they said, each one to his neighbor, “Let us relieve the dejection of our people, and let us fight on behalf of our people and our sacred places.”

44 And an assembly was gathered together, so that they would be prepared for battle, and so that they could pray and ask for mercy and compassion.

45 Now Jerusalem was not inhabited, but was like a desert. There was no one who entered or exited from among her children. And the sanctuary was trampled upon, and the sons of foreigners were in the stronghold. This place was the habitation of the Gentiles. And delight was taken away from Jacob, and the music of flute and harp ceased in that place.

46 And they gathered together and came to Mizpah, opposite Jerusalem. For a place of prayer was in Mizpah, in the former Israel.

47 And they fasted on that day, and they clothed themselves with haircloth, and they placed ashes on their heads, and they tore their garments.

48 And they laid open the books of the law, in which the Gentiles searched for the likeness of their idols.

49 And they brought the priestly ornaments, and the first fruits and tithes, and they roused the Nazirites, who had fulfilled their days.

50 And they cried out with a loud voice toward heaven, saying: “What shall we do with these, and where shall we take them?

51 For your holy things have been trampled and defiled, and your priests have been in mourning and in humiliation.

52 And behold, the Nations gather together against us, to destroy us. You know what they intend against us.

53 How shall we be able to stand before their face, unless you, O God, assist us?”

54 Then they sounded the trumpets with a loud call.

55 And after this, Judas appointed commanders over the people: over thousands, and over hundreds, and over fifties, and over tens.

56 And he said to those who were building houses, or who had betrothed wives, who were planting vineyards, or who were terribly afraid, that they should return, each one to his own house, according to the law.

57 So they moved the camp, and relocated to the south of Emmaus.

58 And Judas said: “Gird yourselves, and be sons of power, and be ready in the morning, so that you may fight against these nations that have assembled against us, so as to destroy us and our sacred things.

59 For it is better for us to die in battle, than to see evils come to our nation and to the sacred places.

60 Nevertheless, as it shall be willed in heaven, so let it be.”

1 Maccabees 4

1 Then Gorgias took five thousand men and a thousand chosen horsemen, and they moved out of the camp by night,

2 so that they might set upon the camp of the Jews and strike them suddenly. And the sons who were from the stronghold were their guides.

3 And Judas heard of it, and he rose up, with his powerful men, to strike the force from the king’s army that was in Emmaus.

4 For the army was still dispersed from the camp.

5 And Gorgias came by night, into the camp of Judas, and found no one, and he sought them in the mountains. For he said, “These men flee from us.”

6 And when it had become day, Judas appeared in the plain with only three thousand men, who had neither armor nor swords.

7 And they saw the strength of the camp of the Gentiles, and the men in armor, and the horsemen surrounding them, and that these were trained to fight.

8 And Judas said to the men who were with him: “Do not be afraid of their multitude, and do not dread their attack.

9 Remember in what way salvation came to our fathers in the Red Sea, when Pharaoh pursued them with a great army.

10 And now, let us cry out to heaven, and the Lord will have mercy on us, and he will remember the covenant of our fathers, and he will crush this army before our face this day.

11 And all nations shall know that there is One who redeems and frees Israel.”

12 And the foreigners lifted up their eyes, and they saw them coming against them.

13 And they went out of the camp into battle, and those who were with Judas sounded the trumpet.

14 And they came together. And the Gentiles were crushed, and they fled into the plains.

15 But the last of them all fell by the sword, and they pursued them even to Gazara, and even to the plains of Idumea, and Azotus, and Jamnia. And there fell from them as many as three thousand men.

16 And Judas returned, with his army following him.

17 And he said to the people: “Do not desire the spoils; for there is war before us.

18 And Gorgias and his army are near us on the mountain. But stand firm now against our enemies, and fight against them, and you shall take the spoils afterwards, securely.”

19 And while Judas was speaking these words, behold, a certain part of them appeared, looking out from the mountain.

20 And Gorgias saw that his men were put to flight, and that they had set fire to the camp. For the smoke that he saw declared what had happened.

21 When they had seen this, they became very afraid, seeing at the same time both Judas and his army in the plains prepared to do battle.

22 So they all fled away into the encampment of the foreigners.

23 And Judas returned to take the spoils of the camp, and they obtained much gold and silver, and hyacinth, and purple of the sea, and great riches.

24 And returning, they sang a canticle, and they blessed God in heaven, because he is good, because his mercy is with every generation.

25 And so, a great salvation occurred in Israel in that day.

26 But those among the foreigners who escaped went and reported to Lysias all that had happened.

27 And when he heard these things, he was discouraged, being alarmed to his very soul. For things had not occurred in Israel according to his wishes, nor as the king had commanded.

28 And, in the following year, Lysias gathered together sixty thousand chosen men and five thousand horsemen, so that he might defeat them in warfare.

29 And they came into Judea, and they positioned their camp in Bethzur, and Judas met them with ten thousand men.

30 And they saw the strength of the army, and so he prayed, and he said: “Blessed are you, Savior of Israel, who crushed the assault of the powerful by the hand of your servant David, and who delivered up the camp of the foreigners into the hand of Jonathan, the son of Saul, and his armor bearer.

31 Enclose this army in the hand of your people Israel, and let them be confounded in their soldiers and their horsemen.

32 Strike them with dread, and melt away the boldness of their strength, and let them shudder in their grief.

33 Cast them down with the sword of those who love you, and let all who know your name praise you with hymns.”

34 And they went forth to battle, and there fell from the army of Lysias five thousand men.

35 But Lysias, seeing their flight and the boldness of the Jews, and that they were prepared either to live or to die with fortitude, went to Antioch and chose soldiers, so that they might come back to Judea with greater numbers.

36 Then Judas and his brothers said: “Behold, our enemies have been crushed. Let us go up now to cleanse and renew the holy places.”

37 And all the army gathered together, and they ascended to Mount Zion.

38 And they saw the sanctuary deserted, and the altar profaned, and the gates burned, and weeds growing up in the courts, as in a forest or as on the mountains, and the adjoining chambers demolished.

39 And they rent their garments, and they made a great wailing, and they placed ashes on their heads.

40 And they fell to the ground on their faces, and they sounded the trumpets of alarm, and they cried out toward heaven.

41 Then Judas numbered men to fight against those who were in the stronghold, until they had cleansed the holy places.

42 And he chose priests without blemish, whose will held to the law of God.

43 And they cleansed the holy places, and they took away the stones of defilement to an unclean place.

44 And he considered the altar of holocausts, which had been profaned, as to what he should do with it.

45 And a good counsel fell upon them, to destroy it, lest it might become a reproach to them, because the Gentiles had defiled it; so they demolished it.

46 And they stored the stones in the mountain house, in a fitting place, until there should come a prophet, who would provide an answer about these.

47 Then they took whole stones, according to the law, and they built a new altar, according to that which was before.

48 And they rebuilt the holy places and the things that were in the inner parts of the temple, and they sanctified the temple and the courts.

49 And they made new holy vessels, and they brought the lampstand, and the altar of incense, and the table into the temple.

50 And they placed incense on the altar, and they lit the lamps, which were on the lampstand, and they gave light in the temple.

51 And they placed the bread on the table, and they hung up the veils, and they completed all the works which they had begun.

52 And they arose before the morning, on the twenty-fifth day of the ninth month, (which is the month of Kislev) in the one hundred and forty-eighth year.

53 And they offered sacrifice, according to the law, on the new altar of holocausts that they made.

54 According to the time and according to the day, on which the Gentiles had contaminated it, on the same day, it was renewed with canticles, and lutes, and lyres, and cymbals.

55 And all the people fell upon their faces, and they adored, and they blessed, toward heaven, him that had prospered them.

56 And they kept the dedication of the altar for eight days, and they offered holocausts with joy, and sacrifices of salvation and praise.

57 And they adorned the face of the temple with crowns of gold and small shields. And they dedicated the gates and the adjoining chambers, and they set up doors on them.

58 And there was very great rejoicing among the people, and the disgrace of the Gentiles was averted.

59 And Judas, and his brothers, and all the assembly of Israel decreed that the day of the dedication of the altar must be kept in its time, from year to year, for eight days, from the twenty-fifth day of the month of Kislev, with joy and gladness.

60 And they built up, at that time, Mount Zion, with high walls and strong towers all around, lest the Gentiles should at any time come and trample upon it, as they did before.

61 And he stationed a garrison there, to keep it, and he fortified it, in order to guard Bethzur, so that the people might have a fortification opposite the face of Idumea.

1 Maccabees 5

1 And it happened that, when the surrounding nations heard that the altar and the sanctuary had been rebuilt as before, they were very angry.

2 And they intended to destroy the people of Jacob that were among them, and they began to kill some of the people, and to persecute them.

3 Then Judas defeated in warfare the sons of Esau in Idumea, and those who were in Akrabattene, because they besieged the Israelites, and he struck them with a great scourging.

4 And he remembered the malice of the sons of Baean, who were a snare and a scandal to the people, lying in ambush for them in the way.

5 And they were trapped by him in the towers, and he took up a position near them, and he anathematized them, and he burned their towers with fire, along with all who were in them.

6 Then he crossed over to the sons of Ammon, and he found a strong hand, and an abundant people, and Timothy was their commander.

7 And he engaged in many battles with them, and they were crushed in their sight, and he struck them down.

8 And he seized the city of Jazer, and her sister cities, and he returned to Judea.

9 And the Gentiles, who were in Gilead, gathered together against the Israelites, who were within their borders, to take them away, and so they fled into the fortress of Dathema.

10 And they sent letters to Judas and his brothers, saying: “The Gentiles all around have been gathering together against us to carry us away.

11 And they are preparing to come and occupy the fortress into which we have fled. And Timothy is the commander of their army.

12 Now, therefore, come and rescue us from their hands, for many of us have fallen.

13 And all our brothers, who were in the places of Tob, have been put to death. And they have led away as captives their wives, and their children, and their spoils. And they have slain nearly a thousand men in that place.”

14 And while they were still reading these letters, behold, there arrived from Galilee other messengers, with torn garments, who announced according to these words:

15 saying that those of Ptolemais and Tyre and Sidon have assembled against them, “and all of Galilee has been filled with foreigners, in order to consume us.”

16 So then, when Judas and the people heard these words, a great assembly came together, to consider what they should do for their brothers who were in trouble and were being assailed by them.

17 And Judas said to Simon his brother: “Choose men for yourself, and go, and free your brothers in Galilee. But I and my brother Jonathan, will go into the country of Gilead.”

18 And he left behind Joseph, son of Zachariah, and Azariah, as commanders of the people, with the remainder of the army, in Judea, to guard it.

19 And he instructed them, saying, “Take charge of this people, but do not go to war against the Gentiles, until we return.”

20 Now three thousand men were divided to Simon, to go into Galilee, but eight thousand were divided to Judas, to go into the land of Gilead.

21 And Simon went into Galilee, and he engaged in many battles with the Gentiles, and the Gentiles were crushed before his face, and he pursued them even to the gates of Ptolemais.

22 And there fell of the Gentiles nearly three thousand men, and he took their spoils.

23 And he took with him those who were in Galilee and in Arbatta, with their wives and children, and all that was theirs, and he led them into Judea with great rejoicing.

24 And Judas Maccabeus, and Jonathan his brother, crossed over the Jordan, and they traveled three days’ journey through the desert.

25 And the Nabateans met them, and they accepted them peacefully, and they described to them all that had happened to their brothers in the land of Gilead,

26 and that many of them were trapped in Bozrah, and Bosor, and Alema, and in Chaspho, and Maked, and Carnaim. All these are large and fortified cities.

27 Moreover, they were held in their grasp in the other cities of Gilead, and they had arranged to move their army, on the next day, to these cities, and to seize them, and to destroy them all in one day.

28 Then Judas and his army unexpectedly turned their path into the desert, to Bosor, and they occupied the city. And he killed every male by the edge of the sword, and took all their spoils, and burned it with fire.

29 And they arose from there by night, and they went forth all the way to the fortress.

30 And it happened that, at first light, when they lifted up their eyes, behold, there was a multitude of people, which could not be numbered, bringing ladders and machines, in order to seize the fortress, and to assault them.

31 And Judas saw that the fight had begun, and the cry of the battle went up to heaven like a trumpet, and a great cry went out of the city.

32 And he said to his army, “Fight today on behalf of your brothers.”

33 And he came, with three companies behind them, and they sounded the trumpets, and they cried out in prayer.

34 And the camp of Timothy knew that it was Maccabeus, and they took flight before his face. And they struck them with a great scourging. And there fell from them in that day nearly eight thousand men.

35 And Judas diverted to Mizpah, and he fought and seized it. And he killed all of its males, and he took its spoils, and he burned it with fire.

36 From there, he continued on, and he seized Chaspho, and Maked, and Bosor, and the rest of the cities of Gilead.

37 But after these events, Timothy gathered together another army, and he positioned his camp opposite Raphon, across the torrent.

38 And Judas sent men to catch sight of the army. And they reported back to him, saying: “All the nations that surround us have assembled before him, with an exceedingly great army.

39 And they have brought the Arabians as auxiliaries to them, and they have set up camp across the torrent, in preparation to come against you in battle.” And Judas went to meet them.

40 And Timothy said to the leaders of his army: “When Judas and his army approach, close to the torrent of water, if he crosses over to us first, we will not be able to withstand him. For he will be able to prevail against us.

41 If, truly, he is afraid to cross over, and so he sets up camp across the river, we will cross over to them, and we will prevail against him.”

42 But when Judas approached, close to the torrent of water, he stationed the scribes of the people near the torrent, and he commanded them, saying, “Permit no man to stay behind, but let all come into the battle.”

43 And he crossed over to them first, and all the people after him. And all the Gentiles were crushed before their face, and they threw away their weapons, and they fled to the temple that was in Carnaim.

44 And he occupied that city, and he burned the temple with fire, along with all the things that were in it. And Carnaim was subdued, and it could not stand against the face of Judas.

45 And Judas gathered together all the Israelites who were in the land of Gilead, from the least even to the greatest, with their wives and children, and a very great army, to come into the land of Judah.

46 And they came as far as Ephron. And this was a great city, positioned at the entrance, strongly fortified, and there was no way to go around it on the right or on the left, but the path was through the midst of it.

47 And those who were in the city shut themselves in and barricaded the gates with stones. And so Judas sent to them with words of peace,

48 saying, “Let us cross through your land, to go into our own land, and no one will harm you; we will only cross through on foot.” But they were not willing to open to them.

49 Then Judas instructed a proclamation to be made in the camp, that they would engage them, each one from the place where he was.

50 And the men of the army drew close. And he assaulted that city all day and all night. And the city was delivered into his hand.

51 And they destroyed every male with the edge of the sword, and he eradicated the city, and he took its spoils, and he crossed through the entire city, over those who had been slain.

52 Then they crossed over the Jordan to the great plain that is opposite the face of Bethshan.

53 And Judas was gathering the stragglers and exhorting the people, throughout the entire way, until they came into the land of Judah.

54 And they ascended to mount Zion with joy and gladness, and they offered holocausts, because not one of them had fallen, until they had returned in peace.

55 Now in the days that Judas and Jonathan were in the land of Gilead, and Simon his brother was in Galilee against the face of Ptolemais:

56 Joseph, the son of Zachariah, and Azariah, the leader of the army, heard good things about the battles that were fought.

57 And he said, “Let us also make a name for ourselves, and let us go to fight against the Gentiles that are all around us.”

58 And he gave orders to those who were in his army, and they went out towards Jamnia.

59 And Gorgias and his men exited the city, to meet them in the fight.

60 And Joseph and Azariah were forced to flee, even to the borders of Judea. And there fell on that day, from the people of Israel, up to two thousand men, and it was a great defeat for the people.

61 For they did not listen to Judas and his brothers, supposing that they should act boldly.

62 But these were not of the offspring of those men by whom salvation was brought to Israel.

63 And the men of Judah were magnified greatly in the sight of all Israel and of all the nations where their name was heard.

64 And the people gathered to them with favorable acclamations.

65 And so Judas and his brothers went out and assailed the sons of Esau, in the land that is toward the south, and he struck Hebron and her sister cities, and he burned its walls and the towers all around it with fire.

66 And he moved his camp to go into the land of the foreigners, and he traveled through Samaria.

67 In that day, some priests fell in battle. Since they desired to act boldly, they went out, without counsel, into the battle.

68 And Judas turned aside to Azotus, into the land of the foreigners, and he destroyed their altars, and he burned the statues of their gods with fire. And he seized the spoils of the cities, and he returned to the land of Judah.

1 Maccabees 6

1 And king Antiochus was traveling through the upper regions, and he heard that the city of Elymais in Persia was very noble and abundant in silver and gold,

2 and that the temple in it was very opulent, and that there were, in that place, coverings of gold, and breastplates and shields, which Alexander, the son of Philip, king of Macedonia, who reigned first in Greece, had left behind.

3 So he came and sought to seize the city and to pillage it. And he was not able, because this plan became known to those who were in the city.

4 And they rose up in battle, and he fled away from there, and he departed with great sadness, and he returned into Babylon.

5 And someone arrived to report to him in Persia, that those who were in the land of Judah were forced to flee the camp,

6 and that Lysias went forth with a particularly strong army, and he was forced to flee before the face of the Jews, and that they were strengthened by the weapons, and resources, and many spoils which they seized from the camps they demolished,

7 and that they had destroyed the abomination, which he had established on the altar that was in Jerusalem, and that the sanctuary, just as before, had been encircled with high walls, along with Bethzur, his city.

8 And it happened that, when the king heard these words, he was terrified and very moved. And he fell down on his bed, and he fell into feebleness out of grief. For it had not happened to him as he had intended.

9 And he was in that place through many days. For a great grief was renewed in him, and he concluded that he would die.

10 And he called all his friends, and he said to them: “Sleep has withdrawn from my eyes, and I am declining, and my heart has collapsed out of anxiety.

11 And I said in my heart: How much trouble has come to me, and what floods of sorrow there are, where I am now! I used to be cheerful and beloved in my power!

12 Truly, now, I remember the evils that I did in Jerusalem, from which place I also took away all the spoils of gold and silver that were in it, and I sent to carry away the inhabitants of Judah without cause.

13 Therefore, I know that it is because of this that these evils have found me. And behold, I perish with great sorrow in a foreign land.”

14 Then he called Philip, one of his friends, and he placed him first over all his kingdom.

15 And he gave him the diadem, and his robe, and his ring, so that he would guide Antiochus, his son, and raise him, and so that he would reign.

16 And king Antiochus died there, in the one hundred and forty-ninth year.

17 And Lysias knew that the king was dead, and he appointed Antiochus, his son, to reign, whom he had raised from adolescence. And he called his name Eupator.

18 And those who were in the stronghold had enclosed the Israelites by surrounding the holy places. And they continually sought to do evil to them and to support the Gentiles.

19 And Judas intended to disperse them. And he called together all the people, in order to besiege them.

20 And they came together and besieged them in the one hundred and fiftieth year, and they made catapults and other machines.

21 And certain ones of these, who were besieged, escaped. And some of the impious out of Israel joined themselves to them.

22 And they went to the king, and they said: “How long will you not act with judgment and vindicate our brothers?

23 We resolved to serve your father, and to walk according to his precepts, and to obey his edicts.

24 And because of this, the sons of our people have alienated themselves from us, and they have put to death as many of us as they could find, and they have torn apart our inheritances.

25 And they have not extended their hand against us only, but also against all within our borders.

26 And behold, this day they have taken a position near the stronghold of Jerusalem to occupy it, and they have fortified the stronghold of Bethzur.

27 And, unless you quickly act to prevent them, they will do greater things than these, and you will not be able to subdue them.”

28 And the king was angry when he heard this. And he called together all his friends, and the leaders of his army, and those who were over the horsemen.

29 But there even came to him mercenary armies from other kingdoms and from the islands of the sea.

30 And the number of his army was one hundred thousand footmen, and twenty thousand horsemen, and thirty-two elephants trained for battle.

31 And they traveled through Idumea, and they took a position near Bethzur. And they fought for many days, and they made machines of war. But they came out and burnt them with fire, and they fought manfully.

32 And Judas departed from the stronghold, and he moved the camp to Bethzechariah, opposite the camp of the king.

33 And the king rose up, before it was light, and he forced his troops to march toward the way of Bethzechariah. And the armies prepared themselves for battle, and they sounded the trumpets.

34 And they showed the elephants the blood of grapes and mulberries, to provoke them to fight.

35 And they divided the beasts by the legions, and there stood by every elephant a thousand men, with shields joined together and with brass helmets on their heads. And five hundred well-ordered horsemen were chosen for every beast.

36 These were ready beforehand, and wherever the beast was, they were there; and whenever it moved, they moved, and they did not depart from it.

37 Moreover, upon them there were strong wooden turrets, watching over every beast, with machines upon them, and on them were thirty-two valiant men, who fought from above, and an Indian to rule each beast.

38 And the rest of the horsemen, he stationed here and there, in two parts, with trumpets to stir up the army and to urge on those who were slow to move within its legions.

39 And so, when the sun reflected off the shields of gold and of brass, the mountains were resplendent from them, and they glowed like lamps of fire.

40 And part of the king’s army was divided to the high mountains, and the other part to the low places. And they went forth with order and caution.

41 And all the inhabitants of the land were shaken at the voice of their multitude, and at the advance of the company, and at the clash of the armor. For the army was very great and strong.

42 And Judas and his army drew near for battle. And there fell of the king’s army six hundred men.

43 And Eleazar, the son of Saura, saw one of the beasts shielded with the king’s shield, and it was higher than the other beasts. So it seemed to him that the king must be on it.

44 And he gave himself for the freedom of his people, and to obtain for himself a name in eternity.

45 And he ran up to it boldly in the midst of the legion, killing on the right and on the left, and they fell down before him on this side and that.

46 And he went between the feet of the elephant, and put himself under it, and he killed it. And it fell to the ground upon him, and he died there.

47 And, seeing the strength of the king and the forcefulness of his army, they turned themselves away from them.

48 But the king’s camp went up against them in Jerusalem. And the king’s camp took up a position near Judea and Mount Zion.

49 And he made peace with those who were in Bethzur. And they went out of the city, because they had no provisions in their confinement, for it was the Sabbath of the land.

50 And the king captured Bethzur, and he stationed a garrison there to keep it.

51 And he turned his camp against the place of sanctification for many days. And he stationed there catapults and other machines: machines to cast fire, and windlasses to cast stones and darts, and small catapults to cast arrows and metal.

52 But they also made machines against their machines, and they fought for many days.

53 But there were no foods in the city, because it was the seventh year. And those who had remained in Judea were from the Gentiles, so they consumed all that they had left from what had been stored up.

54 And there remained in the holy places a few men, for the famine had prevailed over them. And they were scattered, each one to his own place.

55 Then Lysias heard that Philip, whom king Antiochus had appointed, when he was still alive, to raise his son, Antiochus, and to reign,

56 had returned from Persia and Media, with the army that went with him, and that he sought to take upon himself the affairs of the kingdom.

57 He hurried to go and to say to the king and the commanders of the army: “We are weakened everyday, and our food is limited, and the place that we besiege is strong, and it is incumbent upon us to put the kingdom in order.

58 And so now, let us bestow a pledge to these men, and make peace with them and with all their nation.

59 And let us establish for them that they may walk according to their own laws, just as before. For, because of their laws, which we despised, they have become angry and have done all these things.”

60 And the idea was pleasing in the sight of the king and the leaders. And he sent to them to make peace. And they accepted it.

61 And the king and the leaders swore to them. And they went out of the stronghold.

62 Then the king entered into Mount Zion, and saw the fortifications of the place, and so he abruptly broke the oath that he had sworn, and he commanded the surrounding wall to be destroyed.

63 And he departed in haste and returned to Antioch, where he found Philip ruling the city. And he fought against him and occupied the city.