2 Maccabees 2

1 Now it is found in the descriptions of the prophet Jeremiah that he ordered those who transmigrated to take the fire, just as it was signified and as he ordered, into the transmigration.

2 And he gave them the law, so that they would never forget the commandments of the Lord, and so that they would not go astray in their minds, seeing the idols of gold and silver, and their ornaments.

3 And in this manner, with other sayings, he exhorted them, lest they remove the law from their heart.

4 Furthermore, it was in the same writing, how the prophet, by divine response, ordered that the tabernacle and the ark be made to accompany him, until he exited from the mountain, where Moses ascended and saw the inheritance of God.

5 And arriving there, Jeremiah found a place in a cave. And he brought both the tabernacle, and the ark, and the altar of incense into that place, and he obstructed opening.

6 And certain ones of those who followed him, approached to make note of the location, but they were not able to find it.

7 But when Jeremiah knew of it, he blamed them, saying: “The place shall be unknown, until God shall gather together the congregation of the people, and until he may be favorably inclined.

8 And then the Lord will reveal these things, and the majesty of the Lord shall appear, and there will be a cloud, just as it was also manifested to Moses, and just as he manifested these when Solomon petitioned that the place should be sanctified to the great God.

9 For he also drew upon wisdom magnificently, and so, having wisdom, he offered the sacrifice of the dedication and the consummation of the temple.

10 And, just as Moses prayed to the Lord, and fire descended from heaven and consumed the holocaust, so also Solomon prayed and fire descended from heaven and consumed the holocaust.

11 And Moses said that it was consumed because the sin offering was not eaten.

12 And similarly, Solomon also celebrated the eight days of the dedication.

13 Moreover, these same things were put into the descriptions and commentaries of Nehemiah, including how, when constructing a library, he gathered together from the regions the books of the Prophets, and of David, and the epistles of the kings, and from the holy gifts.

14 And, similarly, Judas also gathered together all the things that were destroyed by the war that befell us, and these are with us.

15 Therefore, if you desire these things, send those who may carry them to you.

16 And so, since we will be celebrating the purification, we wrote to you. Therefore, you will do well, if you keep these days.

17 But we hope that God, who has freed his people and has rendered to all the inheritance, and the kingdom, and the priesthood, and sanctification,

18 just as he promised in the law, will quickly have mercy on us and will gather us together from under heaven into the holy place.

19 For he has rescued us from great perils, and he has purged the place.

20 The truth about Judas Maccabeus, and his brothers, and the purification of the great temple, and the dedication of the altar,

21 and also about the battles, which pertain to Antiochus the illustrious, and his son, Eupator,

22 and about the illuminations, which came from heaven to those who acted on behalf of the Jews with fortitude, was such that they, though few, vindicated the entire region and put to flight a multitude of the barbarous,

23 and recovered the most famous temple in the whole world, and freed the city, and restored the laws that were abolished. For the Lord, with all tranquility, was acting favorably toward them.

24 And similar things as have been comprised in five books by Jason the Cyrenean, we have attempted to abridge into one volume.

25 For, considering the multitude of the books, and the difficulty that those who are willing to undertake the narrations of histories find, due to the multitude of events,

26 we have taken care, so that, indeed, those who are willing to read may have delights of the mind, and so that, in truth, the studious may more easily be able to commit it to memory, and also so that all readers may find it useful.

27 And indeed, we ourselves, who have taken up the task of abridging this work, have no easy labor. For, in truth, more correctly, we have assumed an activity full of vigilance and sweat.

28 Just as those who prepare a feast also seek to be attentive to the will of others, for the sake of the gratitude of many, we willingly undertake the labor.

29 Indeed, leaving to the authors the truths about particular details, we instead have been devoted to this form, striving to be brief.

30 For, just as the architect of a new house will have concern for the entire structure, and, in truth, he who takes care to paint it will seek out what is fitting to adorn it, so also should such things be considered by us.

31 Moreover, to collect knowledge, and to order words, and to discuss every particular point attentively, is the duty of the author of a history.

32 Yet truly, to pursue brevity of speech, and to shun the extension of matters, is conceded to an abbreviator.

33 Therefore, here we will begin the narration. Let so much be sufficient to say in preface. For it is foolish to go on and on before the account, when the account itself is succinct.

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