Scriptural - Truth with Robert Ferrel
Bible History and it's language


2nd Maccabees

The Second Book of the Maccabees
{1:1} The brethren, the Jews that be at Jerusalem and in
the land of Judea, wish unto the brethren, the Jews that are
throughout Egypt health and peace:
{1:2} God be gracious unto you, and remember his
covenant that he made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, his
faithful servants;
{1:3} And give you all an heart to serve him, and to do his
will, with a good courage and a willing mind;
{1:4} And open your hearts in his law and
commandments, and send you peace,
{1:5} And hear your prayers, and be at one with you, and
never forsake you in time of trouble.
{1:6} And now we be here praying for you.
{1:7} What time as Demetrius reigned, in the hundred
threescore and ninth year, we the Jews wrote unto you in the
extremity of trouble that came upon us in those years, from
the time that Jason and his company revolted from the holy
land and kingdom,
{1:8} And burned the porch, and shed innocent blood:
then we prayed unto the Lord, and were heard; we offered
also sacrifices and fine flour, and lighted the lamps, and set
forth the loaves.
{1:9} And now see that ye keep the feast of tabernacles in
the month Casleu.
{1:10} In the hundred fourscore and eighth year, the
people that were at Jerusalem and in Judea, and the council,
and Judas, sent greeting and health unto Aristobulus, king
Ptolemeus’ master, who was of the stock of the anointed
priests, and to the Jews that were in Egypt:
{1:11} Insomuch as God hath delivered us from great
perils, we thank him highly, as having been in battle against
a king.
{1:12} For he cast them out that fought within the holy
{1:13} For when the leader was come into Persia, and the
army with him that seemed invincible, they were slain in the
temple of Nanea by the deceit of Nanea’s priests.
{1:14} For Antiochus, as though he would marry her,
came into the place, and his friends that were with him, to
receive money in name of a dowry.
{1:15} Which when the priests of Nanea had set forth,
and he was entered with a small company into the compass
of the temple, they shut the temple as soon as Antiochus
was come in:
{1:16} And opening a privy door of the roof, they threw
stones like thunderbolts, and struck down the captain,
hewed them in pieces, smote off their heads and cast them
to those that were without.
{1:17} Blessed be our God in all things, who hath
delivered up the ungodly.
{1:18} Therefore whereas we are now purposed to keep
the purification of the temple upon the five and twentieth
day of the month Casleu, we thought it necessary to certify
you thereof, that ye also might keep it, as the feast of the
tabernacles, and of the fire, which was given us when
Neemias offered sacrifice, after that he had builded the
temple and the altar.
{1:19} For when our fathers were led into Persia, the
priests that were then devout took the fire of the altar
privily, and hid it in an hollow place of a pit without water,
where they kept it sure, so that the place was unknown to all
{1:20} Now after many years, when it pleased God,
Neemias, being sent from the king of Persia, did send of the
posterity of those priests that had hid it to the fire: but when
they told us they found no fire, but thick water;
{1:21} Then commanded he them to draw it up, and to
bring it; and when the sacrifices were laid on, Neemias
commanded the priests to sprinkle the wood and the things
laid thereupon with the water.
{1:22} When this was done, and the time came that the
sun shone, which afore was hid in the cloud, there was a
great fire kindled, so that every man marvelled.
{1:23} And the priests made a prayer whilst the sacrifice
was consuming, I say, both the priests, and all the rest,
Jonathan beginning, and the rest answering thereunto, as
Neemias did.
{1:24} And the prayer was after this manner; O Lord,
Lord God, Creator of all things, who art fearful and strong,
and righteous, and merciful, and the only and gracious King,
{1:25} The only giver of all things, the only just,
almighty, and everlasting, thou that deliverest Israel from all
trouble, and didst choose the fathers, and sanctify them:
{1:26} Receive the sacrifice for thy whole people Israel,
and preserve thine own portion, and sanctify it.
{1:27} Gather those together that are scattered from us,
deliver them that serve among the heathen, look upon them
that are despised and abhorred, and let the heathen know
that thou art our God.
{1:28} Punish them that oppress us, and with pride do us
{1:29} Plant thy people again in thy holy place, as Moses
hath spoken.
{1:30} And the priests sung psalms of thanksgiving.
{1:31} Now when the sacrifice was consumed, Neemias
commanded the water that was left to be poured on the great
{1:32} When this was done, there was kindled a flame:
but it was consumed by the light that shined from the altar.
{1:33} So when this matter was known, it was told the
king of Persia, that in the place, where the priests that were
led away had hid the fire, there appeared water, and that
Neemias had purified the sacrifices therewith.
{1:34} Then the king, inclosing the place, made it holy,
after he had tried the matter.
{1:35} And the king took many gifts, and bestowed
thereof on those whom he would gratify.
{1:36} And Neemias called this thing Naphthar, which is
as much as to say, a cleansing: but many men call it Nephi.
{2:1} It is also found in the records, that Jeremy the
prophet commanded them that were carried away to take of
the fire, as it hath been signified:
{2:2} And how that the prophet, having given them the
law, charged them not to forget the commandments of the
Lord, and that they should not err in their minds, when they
see images of silver and gold, with their ornaments.
{2:3} And with other such speeches exhorted he them,
that the law should not depart from their hearts.
{2:4} It was also contained in the same writing, that the
prophet, being warned of God, commanded the tabernacle
and the ark to go with him, as he went forth into the
mountain, where Moses climbed up, and saw the heritage of
{2:5} And when Jeremy came thither, he found an hollow
cave, wherein he laid the tabernacle, and the ark, and the
altar of incense, and so stopped the door.
{2:6} And some of those that followed him came to mark
the way, but they could not find it.
{2:7} Which when Jeremy perceived, he blamed them,
saying, As for that place, it shall be unknown until the time
that God gather his people again together, and receive them
unto mercy.
{2:8} Then shall the Lord shew them these things, and the
glory of the Lord shall appear, and the cloud also, as it was
shewed under Moses, and as when Solomon desired that the
place might be honourably sanctified.
{2:9} It was also declared, that he being wise offered the
sacrifice of dedication, and of the finishing of the temple.
{2:10} And as when Moses prayed unto the Lord, the fire
came down from heaven, and consumed the sacrifices: even
so prayed Solomon also, and the fire came down from
heaven, and consumed the burnt offerings.
{2:11} And Moses said, Because the sin offering was not
to be eaten, it was consumed.
{2:12} So Solomon kept those eight days.
{2:13} The same things also were reported in the writings
and commentaries of Neemias; and how he founding a
library gathered together the acts of the kings, and the
prophets, and of David, and the epistles of the kings
concerning the holy gifts.
{2:14} In like manner also Judas gathered together all
those things that were lost by reason of the war we had, and
they remain with us,
{2:15} Wherefore if ye have need thereof, send some to
fetch them unto you.
{2:16} Whereas we then are about to celebrate the
purification, we have written unto you, and ye shall do well,
if ye keep the same days.
{2:17} We hope also, that the God, that delivered all his
people, and gave them all an heritage, and the kingdom, and
the priesthood, and the sanctuary,
{2:18} As he promised in the law, will shortly have mercy
upon us, and gather us together out of every land under
heaven into the holy place: for he hath delivered us out of
great troubles, and hath purified the place.
{2:19} Now as concerning Judas Maccabeus, and his
brethren, and the purification of the great temple, and the
dedication of the altar,
{2:20} And the wars against Antiochus Epiphanes, and
Eupator his son,
{2:21} And the manifest signs that came from heaven
unto those that behaved themselves manfully to their honour
for Judaism: so that, being but a few, they overcame the
whole country, and chased barbarous multitudes,
{2:22} And recovered again the temple renowned all the
world over, and freed the city, and upheld the laws which
were going down, the Lord being gracious unto them with
all favour:
{2:23} All these things, I say, being declared by Jason of
Cyrene in five books, we will assay to abridge in one
{2:24} For considering the infinite number, and the
difficulty which they find that desire to look into the
narrations of the story, for the variety of the matter,
{2:25} We have been careful, that they that will read may
have delight, and that they that are desirous to commit to
memory might have ease, and that all into whose hands it
comes might have profit.
{2:26} Therefore to us, that have taken upon us this
painful labour of abridging, it was not easy, but a matter of
sweat and watching;
{2:27} Even as it is no ease unto him that prepareth a
banquet, and seeketh the benefit of others: yet for the
pleasuring of many we will undertake gladly this great pains;
{2:28} Leaving to the author the exact handling of every
particular, and labouring to follow the rules of an
{2:29} For as the master builder of a new house must care
for the whole building; but he that undertaketh to set it out,
and paint it, must seek out fit things for the adorning
thereof: even so I think it is with us.
{2:30} To stand upon every point, and go over things at
large, and to be curious in particulars, belongeth to the first
author of the story:
{2:31} But to use brevity, and avoid much labouring of
the work, is to be granted to him that will make an
{2:32} Here then will we begin the story: only adding
thus much to that which hath been said, that it is a foolish
thing to make a long prologue, and to be short in the story
{3:1} Now when the holy city was inhabited with all
peace, and the laws were kept very well, because of the
godliness of Onias the high priest, and his hatred of
{3:2} It came to pass that even the kings themselves did
honour the place, and magnify the temple with their best
{3:3} Insomuch that Seleucus of Asia of his own revenues
bare all the costs belonging to the service of the sacrifices.
{3:4} But one Simon of the tribe of Benjamin, who was
made governor of the temple, fell out with the high priest
about disorder in the city.
{3:5} And when he could not overcome Onias, he gat him
to Apollonius the son of Thraseas, who then was governor
of Celosyria and Phenice,
{3:6} And told him that the treasury in Jerusalem was full
of infinite sums of money, so that the multitude of their
riches, which did not pertain to the account of the sacrifices,
was innumerable, and that it was possible to bring all into
the king’s hand.
{3:7} Now when Apollonius came to the king, and had
shewed him of the money whereof he was told, the king
chose out Heliodorus his treasurer, and sent him with a
commandment to bring him the foresaid money.
{3:8} So forthwith Heliodorus took his journey; under a
colour of visiting the cities of Celosyria and Phenice, but
indeed to fulfil the king’s purpose.
{3:9} And when he was come to Jerusalem, and had been
courteously received of the high priest of the city, he told
him what intelligence was given of the money, and declared
wherefore he came, and asked if these things were so indeed.
{3:10} Then the high priest told him that there was such
money laid up for the relief of widows and fatherless
{3:11} And that some of it belonged to Hircanus son of
Tobias, a man of great dignity, and not as that wicked
Simon had misinformed: the sum whereof in all was four
hundred talents of silver, and two hundred of gold:
{3:12} And that it was altogether impossible that such
wrongs should be done unto them, that had committed it to
the holiness of the place, and to the majesty and inviolable
sanctity of the temple, honoured over all the world.
{3:13} But Heliodorus, because of the king’s
commandment given him, said, That in any wise it must be
brought into the king’s treasury.
{3:14} So at the day which he appointed he entered in to
order this matter: wherefore there was no small agony
throughout the whole city.
{3:15} But the priests, prostrating themselves before the
altar in their priests’ vestments, called unto heaven upon
him that made a law concerning things given to he kept, that
they should safely be preserved for such as had committed
them to be kept.
{3:16} Then whoso had looked the high priest in the face,
it would have wounded his heart: for his countenance and
the changing of his colour declared the inward agony of his
{3:17} For the man was so compassed with fear and
horror of the body, that it was manifest to them that looked
upon him, what sorrow he had now in his heart.
{3:18} Others ran flocking out of their houses to the
general supplication, because the place was like to come
into contempt.
{3:19} And the women, girt with sackcloth under their
breasts, abounded in the streets, and the virgins that were
kept in ran, some to the gates, and some to the walls, and
others looked out of the windows.
{3:20} And all, holding their hands toward heaven, made
{3:21} Then it would have pitied a man to see the falling
down of the multitude of all sorts, and the fear of the high
priest being in such an agony.
{3:22} They then called upon the Almighty Lord to keep
the things committed of trust safe and sure for those that
had committed them.
{3:23} Nevertheless Heliodorus executed that which was
{3:24} Now as he was there present himself with his
guard about the treasury, the Lord of spirits, and the Prince
of all power, caused a great apparition, so that all that
presumed to come in with him were astonished at the power
of God, and fainted, and were sore afraid.
{3:25} For there appeared unto them an horse with a
terrible rider upon him, and adorned with a very fair
covering, and he ran fiercely, and smote at Heliodorus with
his forefeet, and it seemed that he that sat upon the horse
had complete harness of gold.
{3:26} Moreover two other young men appeared before
him, notable in strength, excellent in beauty, and comely in
apparel, who stood by him on either side; and scourged him
continually, and gave him many sore stripes.
{3:27} And Heliodorus fell suddenly unto the ground, and
was compassed with great darkness: but they that were with
him took him up, and put him into a litter.
{3:28} Thus him, that lately came with a great train and
with all his guard into the said treasury, they carried out,
being unable to help himself with his weapons: and
manifestly they acknowledged the power of God.
{3:29} For he by the hand of God was cast down, and lay
speechless without all hope of life.
{3:30} But they praised the Lord, that had miraculously
honoured his own place: for the temple; which a little afore
was full of fear and trouble, when the Almighty Lord
appeared, was filled with joy and gladness.
{3:31} Then straightways certain of Heliodorus’ friends
prayed Onias, that he would call upon the most High to
grant him his life, who lay ready to give up the ghost.
{3:32} So the high priest, suspecting lest the king should
misconceive that some treachery had been done to
Heliodorus by the Jews, offered a sacrifice for the health of
the man.
{3:33} Now as the high priest was making an atonement,
the same young men in the same clothing appeared and
stood beside Heliodorus, saying, Give Onias the high priest
great thanks, insomuch as for his sake the Lord hath granted
thee life:
{3:34} And seeing that thou hast been scourged from
heaven, declare unto all men the mighty power of God. And
when they had spoken these words, they appeared no more.
{3:35} So Heliodorus, after he had offered sacrifice unto
the Lord, and made great vows unto him that had saved his
life, and saluted Onias, returned with his host to the king.
{3:36} Then testified he to all men the works of the great
God, which he had seen with his eyes.
{3:37} And when the king Heliodorus, who might be a fit
man to be sent yet once again to Jerusalem, he said,
{3:38} If thou hast any enemy or traitor, send him thither,
and thou shalt receive him well scourged, if he escape with
his life: for in that place, no doubt; there is an especial
power of God.
{3:39} For he that dwelleth in heaven hath his eye on that
place, and defendeth it; and he beateth and destroyeth them
that come to hurt it.
{3:40} And the things concerning Heliodorus, and the
keeping of the treasury, fell out on this sort.
{4:1} This Simon now, of whom we spake afore, having
been a betrayer of the money, and of his country, slandered
Onias, as if he ha terrified Heliodorus, and been the worker
of these evils.
{4:2} Thus was he bold to call him a traitor, that had
deserved well of the city, and tendered his own nation, and
was so zealous of the laws.
{4:3} But when their hatred went so far, that by one of
Simon’s faction murders were committed,
{4:4} Onias seeing the danger of this contention, and that
Apollonius, as being the governor of Celosyria and Phenice,
did rage, and increase Simon’s malice,
{4:5} He went to the king, not to be an accuser of his
countrymen, but seeking the good of all, both publick and
{4:6} For he saw that it was impossible that the state
should continue quiet, and Simon leave his folly, unless the
king did look thereunto.
{4:7} But after the death of Seleucus, when Antiochus,
called Epiphanes, took the kingdom, Jason the brother of
Onias laboured underhand to be high priest,
{4:8} Promising unto the king by intercession three
hundred and threescore talents of silver, and of another
revenue eighty talents:
{4:9} Beside this, he promised to assign an hundred and
fifty more, if he might have licence to set him up a place for
exercise, and for the training up of youth in the fashions of
the heathen, and to write them of Jerusalem by the name of
{4:10} Which when the king had granted, and he had
gotten into his hand the rule he forthwith brought his own
nation to Greekish fashion.
{4:11} And the royal privileges granted of special favour
to the Jews by the means of John the father of Eupolemus,
who went ambassador to Rome for amity and aid, he took
away; and putting down the governments which were
according to the law, he brought up new customs against the
{4:12} For he built gladly a place of exercise under the
tower itself, and brought the chief young men under his
subjection, and made them wear a hat.
{4:13} Now such was the height of Greek fashions, and
increase of heathenish manners, through the exceeding
profaneness of Jason, that ungodly wretch, and no high
{4:14} That the priests had no courage to serve any more
at the altar, but despising the temple, and neglecting the
sacrifices, hastened to be partakers of the unlawful
allowance in the place of exercise, after the game of Discus
called them forth;
{4:15} Not setting by the honours of their fathers, but
liking the glory of the Grecians best of all.
{4:16} By reason whereof sore calamity came upon them:
for they had them to be their enemies and avengers, whose
custom they followed so earnestly, and unto whom they
desired to be like in all things.
{4:17} For it is not a light thing to do wickedly against the
laws of God: but the time following shall declare these
{4:18} Now when the game that was used every faith year
was kept at Tyrus, the king being present,
{4:19} This ungracious Jason sent special messengers
from Jerusalem, who were Antiochians, to carry three
hundred drachms of silver to the sacrifice of Hercules,
which even the bearers thereof thought fit not to bestow
upon the sacrifice, because it was not convenient, but to be
reserved for other charges.
{4:20} This money then, in regard of the sender, was
appointed to Hercules’ sacrifice; but because of the bearers
thereof, it was employed to the making of gallies.
{4:21} Now when Apollonius the son of Menestheus was
sent into Egypt for the coronation of king Ptolemeus
Philometor, Antiochus, understanding him not to be well
affected to his affairs, provided for his own safety:
whereupon he came to Joppa, and from thence to Jerusalem:
{4:22} Where he was honourably received of Jason, and
of the city, and was brought in with torch alight, and with
great shoutings: and so afterward went with his host unto
{4:23} Three years afterward Jason sent Menelaus, the
aforesaid Simon’s brother, to bear the money unto the king,
and to put him in mind of certain necessary matters.
{4:24} But he being brought to the presence of the king,
when he had magnified him for the glorious appearance of
his power, got the priesthood to himself, offering more than
Jason by three hundred talents of silver.
{4:25} So he came with the king’s mandate, bringing
nothing worthy the high priesthood, but having the fury of a
cruel tyrant, and the rage of a savage beast.
{4:26} Then Jason, who had undermined his own brother,
being undermined by another, was compelled to flee into
the country of the Ammonites.
{4:27} So Menelaus got the principality: but as for the
money that he had promised unto the king, he took no good
order for it, albeit Sostratis the ruler of the castle required it:
{4:28} For unto him appertained the gathering of the
customs. Wherefore they were both called before the king.
{4:29} Now Menelaus left his brother Lysimachus in his
stead in the priesthood; and Sostratus left Crates, who was
governor of the Cyprians.
{4:30} While those things were in doing, they of Tarsus
and Mallos made insurrection, because they were given to
the king’s concubine, called Antiochus.
{4:31} Then came the king in all haste to appease matters,
leaving Andronicus, a man in authority, for his deputy.
{4:32} Now Menelaus, supposing that he had gotten a
convenient time, stole certain vessels of gold out of the
temple, and gave some of them to Andronicus, and some he
sold into Tyrus and the cities round about.
{4:33} Which when Onias knew of a surety, he reproved
him, and withdrew himself into a sanctuary at Daphne, that
lieth by Antiochia.
{4:34} Wherefore Menelaus, taking Andronicus apart,
prayed, him to get Onias into his hands; who being
persuaded thereunto, and coming to Onias in deceit, gave
him his right hand with oaths; and though he were suspected
by him, yet persuaded he him to come forth of the
sanctuary: whom forthwith he shut up without regard of
{4:35} For the which cause not only the Jews, but many
also of other nations, took great indignation, and were much
grieved for the unjust murder of the man.
{4:36} And when the king was come again from the
places about Cilicia, the Jews that were in the city, and
certain of the Greeks that abhorred the fact also, complained
because Onias was slain without cause.
{4:37} Therefore Antiochus was heartily sorry, and
moved to pity, and wept, because of the sober and modest
behaviour of him that was dead.
{4:38} And being kindled with anger, forthwith he took
away Andronicus his purple, and rent off his clothes, and
leading him through the whole city unto that very place,
where he had committed impiety against Onias, there slew
he the cursed murderer. Thus the Lord rewarded him his
punishment, as he had deserved.
{4:39} Now when many sacrileges had been committed in
the city by Lysimachus with the consent of Menelaus, and
the fruit thereof was spread abroad, the multitude gathered
themselves together against Lysimachus, many vessels of
gold being already carried away.
{4:40} Whereupon the common people rising, and being
filled with rage, Lysimachus armed about three thousand
men, and began first to offer violence; one Auranus being
the leader, a man far gone in years, and no less in folly.
{4:41} They then seeing the attempt of Lysimachus, some
of them caught stones, some clubs, others taking handfuls of
dust, that was next at hand, cast them all together upon
Lysimachus, and those that set upon them.
{4:42} Thus many of them they wounded, and some they
struck to the ground, and all of them they forced to flee: but
as for the churchrobber himself, him they killed beside the
{4:43} Of these matters therefore there was an accusation
laid against Menelaus.
{4:44} Now when the king came to Tyrus, three men that
were sent from the senate pleaded the cause before him:
{4:45} But Menelaus, being now convicted, promised
Ptolemee the son of Dorymenes to give him much money, if
he would pacify the king toward him.
{4:46} Whereupon Ptolemee taking the king aside into a
certain gallery, as it were to take the air, brought him to be
of another mind:
{4:47} Insomuch that he discharged Menelaus from the
accusations, who notwithstanding was cause of all the
mischief: and those poor men, who, if they had told their
cause, yea, before the Scythians, should have been judged
innocent, them he condemned to death.
{4:48} Thus they that followed the matter for the city, and
for the people, and for the holy vessels, did soon suffer
unjust punishment.
{4:49} Wherefore even they of Tyrus, moved with hatred
of that wicked deed, caused them to be honourably buried.
{4:50} And so through the covetousness of them that
were of power Menelaus remained still in authority,
increasing in malice, and being a great traitor to the citizens.
{5:1} About the same time Antiochus prepared his second
voyage into Egypt:
{5:2} And then it happened, that through all the city, for
the space almost of forty days, there were seen horsemen
running in the air, in cloth of gold, and armed with lances,
like a band of soldiers,
{5:3} And troops of horsemen in array, encountering and
running one against another, with shaking of shields, and
multitude of pikes, and drawing of swords, and casting of
darts, and glittering of golden ornaments, and harness of all
{5:4} Wherefore every man prayed that that apparition
might turn to good.
{5:5} Now when there was gone forth a false rumour, as
though Antiochus had been dead, Jason took at the least a
thousand men, and suddenly made an assault upon the city;
and they that were upon the walls being put back, and the
city at length taken, Menelaus fled into the castle:
{5:6} But Jason slew his own citizens without mercy, not
considering that to get the day of them of his own nation
would be a most unhappy day for him; but thinking they
had been his enemies, and not his countrymen, whom he
{5:7} Howbeit for all this he obtained not the principality,
but at the last received shame for the reward of his treason,
and fled again into the country of the Ammonites.
{5:8} In the end therefore he had an unhappy return,
being accused before Aretas the king of the Arabians,
fleeing from city to city, pursued of all men, hated as a
forsaker of the laws, and being had in abomination as an
open enemy of his country and countrymen, he was cast out
into Egypt.
{5:9} Thus he that had driven many out of their country
perished in a strange land, retiring to the Lacedemonians,
and thinking there to find succour by reason of his kindred:
{5:10} And he that had cast out many unburied had none
to mourn for him, nor any solemn funerals at all, nor
sepulchre with his fathers.
{5:11} Now when this that was done came to the king’s
car, he thought that Judea had revolted: whereupon
removing out of Egypt in a furious mind, he took the city by
force of arms,
{5:12} And commanded his men of war not to spare such
as they met, and to slay such as went up upon the houses.
{5:13} Thus there was killing of young and old, making
away of men, women, and children, slaying of virgins and
{5:14} And there were destroyed within the space of three
whole days fourscore thousand, whereof forty thousand
were slain in the conflict; and no fewer sold than slain.
{5:15} Yet was he not content with this, but presumed to
go into the most holy temple of all the world; Menelaus,
that traitor to the laws, and to his own country, being his
{5:16} And taking the holy vessels with polluted hands,
and with profane hands pulling down the things that were
dedicated by other kings to the augmentation and glory and
honour of the place, he gave them away.
{5:17} And so haughty was Antiochus in mind, that he
considered not that the Lord was angry for a while for the
sins of them that dwelt in the city, and therefore his eye was
not upon the place.
{5:18} For had they not been formerly wrapped in many
sins, this man, as soon as he had come, had forthwith been
scourged, and put back from his presumption, as Heliodorus
was, whom Seleucus the king sent to view the treasury.
{5:19} Nevertheless God did not choose the people for
the place’s sake, but the place far the people’s sake.
{5:20} And therefore the place itself, that was partaker
with them of the adversity that happened to the nation, did
afterward communicate in the benefits sent from the Lord:
and as it was forsaken in the wrath of the Almighty, so
again, the great Lord being reconciled, it was set up with all
{5:21} So when Antiochus had carried out of the temple a
thousand and eight hundred talents, he departed in all haste
unto Antiochia, weening in his pride to make the land
navigable, and the sea passable by foot: such was the
haughtiness of his mind.
{5:22} And he left governors to vex the nation: at
Jerusalem, Philip, for his country a Phrygian, and for
manners more barbarous than he that set him there;
{5:23} And at Garizim, Andronicus; and besides,
Menelaus, who worse than all the rest bare an heavy hand
over the citizens, having a malicious mind against his
countrymen the Jews.
{5:24} He sent also that detestable ringleader Apollonius
with an army of two and twenty thousand, commanding him
to slay all those that were in their best age, and to sell the
women and the younger sort:
{5:25} Who coming to Jerusalem, and pretending peace,
did forbear till the holy day of the sabbath, when taking the
Jews keeping holy day, he commanded his men to arm
{5:26} And so he slew all them that were gone to the
celebrating of the sabbath, and running through the city with
weapons slew great multitudes.
{5:27} But Judas Maccabeus with nine others, or
thereabout, withdrew himself into the wilderness, and lived
in the mountains after the manner of beasts, with his
company, who fed on herbs continually, lest they should be
partakers of the pollution.
{6:1} Not long after this the king sent an old man of
Athens to compel the Jews to depart from the laws of their
fathers, and not to live after the laws of God:
{6:2} And to pollute also the temple in Jerusalem, and to
call it the temple of Jupiter Olympius; and that in Garizim,
of Jupiter the Defender of strangers, as they did desire that
dwelt in the place.
{6:3} The coming in of this mischief was sore and
grievous to the people:
{6:4} For the temple was filled with riot and revelling by
the Gentiles, who dallied with harlots, and had to do with
women within the circuit of the holy places, and besides
that brought in things that were not lawful.
{6:5} The altar also was filled with profane things, which
the law forbiddeth.
{6:6} Neither was it lawful for a man to keep sabbath
days or ancient fasts, or to profess himself at all to be a Jew.
{6:7} And in the day of the king’s birth every month they
were brought by bitter constraint to eat of the sacrifices; and
when the fast of Bacchus was kept, the Jews were
compelled to go in procession to Bacchus, carrying ivy.
{6:8} Moreover there went out a decree to the neighbour
cities of the heathen, by the suggestion of Ptolemee, against
the Jews, that they should observe the same fashions, and be
partakers of their sacrifices:
{6:9} And whoso would not conform themselves to the
manners of the Gentiles should be put to death. Then might
a man have seen the present misery.
{6:10} For there were two women brought, who had
circumcised their children; whom when they had openly led
round about the city, the babes handing at their breasts, they
cast them down headlong from the wall.
{6:11} And others, that had run together into caves near
by, to keep the sabbath day secretly, being discovered by
Philip, were all burnt together, because they made a
conscience to help themselves for the honour of the most
sacred day.
{6:12} Now I beseech those that read this book, that they
be not discouraged for these calamities, but that they judge
those punishments not to be for destruction, but for a
chastening of our nation.
{6:13} For it is a token of his great goodness, when
wicked doers are not suffered any long time, but forthwith
{6:14} For not as with other nations, whom the Lord
patiently forbeareth to punish, till they be come to the
fulness of their sins, so dealeth he with us,
{6:15} Lest that, being come to the height of sin,
afterwards he should take vengeance of us.
{6:16} And therefore he never withdraweth his mercy
from us: and though he punish with adversity, yet doth he
never forsake his people.
{6:17} But let this that we at spoken be for a warning unto
us. And now will we come to the declaring of the matter in
a few words.
{6:18} Eleazar, one of the principal scribes, an aged man,
and of a well favoured countenance, was constrained to
open his mouth, and to eat swine’s flesh.
{6:19} But he, choosing rather to die gloriously, than to
live stained with such an abomination, spit it forth, and
came of his own accord to the torment,
{6:20} As it behoved them to come, that are resolute to
stand out against such things, as are not lawful for love of
life to be tasted.
{6:21} But they that had the charge of that wicked feast,
for the old acquaintance they had with the man, taking him
aside, besought him to bring flesh of his own provision,
such as was lawful for him to use, and make as if he did eat
of the flesh taken from the sacrifice commanded by the king;
{6:22} That in so doing he might be delivered from death,
and for the old friendship with them find favour.
{6:23} But he began to consider discreetly, and as became
his age, and the excellency of his ancient years, and the
honour of his gray head, whereon was come, and his most
honest education from a child, or rather the holy law made
and given by God: therefore he answered accordingly, and
willed them straightways to send him to the grave.
{6:24} For it becometh not our age, said he, in any wise to
dissemble, whereby many young persons might think that
Eleazar, being fourscore years old and ten, were now gone
to a strange religion;
{6:25} And so they through mine hypocrisy, and desire to
live a little time and a moment longer, should be deceived
by me, and I get a stain to mine old age, and make it
{6:26} For though for the present time I should be
delivered from the punishment of men: yet should I not
escape the hand of the Almighty, neither alive, nor dead.
{6:27} Wherefore now, manfully changing this life, I will
shew myself such an one as mine age requireth,
{6:28} And leave a notable example to such as be young
to die willingly and courageously for the honourable and
holy laws. And when he had said these words, immediately
he went to the torment:
{6:29} They that led him changing the good will they bare
him a little before into hatred, because the foresaid speeches
proceeded, as they thought, from a desperate mind.
{6:30} But when he was ready to die with stripes, he
groaned, and said, It is manifest unto the Lord, that hath the
holy knowledge, that whereas I might have been delivered
from death, I now endure sore pains in body by being
beaten: but in soul am well content to suffer these things,
because I fear him.
{6:31} And thus this man died, leaving his death for an
example of a noble courage, and a memorial of virtue, not
only unto young men, but unto all his nation.
{7:1} It came to pass also, that seven brethren with their
mother were taken, and compelled by the king against the
law to taste swine’s flesh, and were tormented with
scourges and whips.
{7:2} But one of them that spake first said thus, What
wouldest thou ask or learn of us? we are ready to die, rather
than to transgress the laws of our fathers.
{7:3} Then the king, being in a rage, commanded pans
and caldrons to be made hot:
{7:4} Which forthwith being heated, he commanded to
cut out the tongue of him that spake first, and to cut off the
utmost parts of his body, the rest of his brethren and his
mother looking on.
{7:5} Now when he was thus maimed in all his members,
he commanded him being yet alive to be brought to the fire,
and to be fried in the pan: and as the vapour of the pan was
for a good space dispersed, they exhorted one another with
the mother to die manfully, saying thus,
{7:6} The Lord God looketh upon us, and in truth hath
comfort in us, as Moses in his song, which witnessed to
their faces, declared, saying, And he shall be comforted in
his servants.
{7:7} So when the first was dead after this number, they
brought the second to make him a mocking stock: and when
they had pulled off the skin of his head with the hair, they
asked him, Wilt thou eat, before thou be punished
throughout every member of thy body?
{7:8} But he answered in his own language, and said, No.
Wherefore he also received the next torment in order, as the
former did.
{7:9} And when he was at the last gasp, he said, Thou like
a fury takest us out of this present life, but the King of the
world shall raise us up, who have died for his laws, unto
everlasting life.
{7:10} After him was the third made a mocking stock:
and when he was required, he put out his tongue, and that
right soon, holding forth his hands manfully.
{7:11} And said courageously, These I had from heaven;
and for his laws I despise them; and from him I hope to
receive them again.
{7:12} Insomuch that the king, and they that were with
him, marvelled at the young man’s courage, for that he
nothing regarded the pains.
{7:13} Now when this man was dead also, they tormented
and mangled the fourth in like manner.
{7:14} So when he was ready to die he said thus, It is
good, being put to death by men, to look for hope from God
to be raised up again by him: as for thee, thou shalt have no
resurrection to life.
{7:15} Afterward they brought the fifth also, and mangled
{7:16} Then looked he unto the king, and said, Thou hast
power over men, thou art corruptible, thou doest what thou
wilt; yet think not that our nation is forsaken of God;
{7:17} But abide a while, and behold his great power,
how he will torment thee and thy seed.
{7:18} After him also they brought the sixth, who being
ready to die said, Be not deceived without cause: for we
suffer these things for ourselves, having sinned against our
God: therefore marvellous things are done unto us.
{7:19} But think not thou, that takest in hand to strive
against God, that thou shalt escape unpunished.
{7:20} But the mother was marvellous above all, and
worthy of honourable memory: for when she saw her seven
sons slain within the space of one day, she bare it with a
good courage, because of the hope that she had in the Lord.
{7:21} Yea, she exhorted every one of them in her own
language, filled with courageous spirits; and stirring up her
womanish thoughts with a manly stomach, she said unto
{7:22} I cannot tell how ye came into my womb: for I
neither gave you breath nor life, neither was it I that formed
the members of every one of you;
{7:23} But doubtless the Creator of the world, who
formed the generation of man, and found out the beginning
of all things, will also of his own mercy give you breath and
life again, as ye now regard not your own selves for his
laws’ sake.
{7:24} Now Antiochus, thinking himself despised, and
suspecting it to be a reproachful speech, whilst the youngest
was yet alive, did not only exhort him by words, but also
assured him with oaths, that he would make him both a rich
and a happy man, if he would turn from the laws of his
fathers; and that also he would take him for his friend, and
trust him with affairs.
{7:25} But when the young man would in no case hearken
unto him, the king called his mother, and exhorted her that
she would counsel the young man to save his life.
{7:26} And when he had exhorted her with many words,
she promised him that she would counsel her son.
{7:27} But she bowing herself toward him, laughing the
cruel tyrant to scorn, spake in her country language on this
manner; O my son, have pity upon me that bare thee nine
months in my womb, and gave thee such three years, and
nourished thee, and brought thee up unto this age, and
endured the troubles of education.
{7:28} I beseech thee, my son, look upon the heaven and
the earth, and all that is therein, and consider that God made
them of things that were not; and so was mankind made
{7:29} Fear not this tormentor, but, being worthy of thy
brethren, take thy death that I may receive thee again in
mercy with thy brethren.
{7:30} Whiles she was yet speaking these words, the
young man said, Whom wait ye for? I will not obey the
king’s commandment: but I will obey the commandment of
the law that was given unto our fathers by Moses.
{7:31} And thou, that hast been the author of all mischief
against the Hebrews, shalt not escape the hands of God.
{7:32} For we suffer because of our sins.
{7:33} And though the living Lord be angry with us a
little while for our chastening and correction, yet shall he be
at one again with his servants.
{7:34} But thou, O godless man, and of all other most
wicked, be not lifted up without a cause, nor puffed up with
uncertain hopes, lifting up thy hand against the servants of
{7:35} For thou hast not yet escaped the judgment of
Almighty God, who seeth all things.
{7:36} For our brethren, who now have suffered a short
pain, are dead under God’s covenant of everlasting life: but
thou, through the judgment of God, shalt receive just
punishment for thy pride.
{7:37} But I, as my brethren, offer up my body and life
for the laws of our fathers, beseeching God that he would
speedily be merciful unto our nation; and that thou by
torments and plagues mayest confess, that he alone is God;
{7:38} And that in me and my brethren the wrath of the
Almighty, which is justly brought upon our nation, may
{7:39} Than the king’ being in a rage, handed him worse
than all the rest, and took it grievously that he was mocked.
{7:40} So this man died undefiled, and put his whole trust
in the Lord.
{7:41} Last of all after the sons the mother died.
{7:42} Let this be enough now to have spoken concerning
the idolatrous feasts, and the extreme tortures.
{8:1} Then Judas Maccabeus, and they that were with
him, went privily into the towns, and called their kinsfolks
together, and took unto them all such as continued in the
Jews’ religion, and assembled about six thousand men.
{8:2} And they called upon the Lord, that he would look
upon the people that was trodden down of all; and also pity
the temple profaned of ungodly men;
{8:3} And that he would have compassion upon the city,
sore defaced, and ready to be made even with the ground;
and hear the blood that cried unto him,
{8:4} And remember the wicked slaughter of harmless
infants, and the blasphemies committed against his name;
and that he would shew his hatred against the wicked.
{8:5} Now when Maccabeus had his company about him,
he could not be withstood by the heathen: for the wrath of
the Lord was turned into mercy.
{8:6} Therefore he came at unawares, and burnt up towns
and cities, and got into his hands the most commodious
places, and overcame and put to flight no small number of
his enemies.
{8:7} But specially took he advantage of the night for
such privy attempts, insomuch that the fruit of his holiness
was spread every where.
{8:8} So when Philip saw that this man increased by little
and little, and that things prospered with him still more and
more, he wrote unto Ptolemeus, the governor of Celosyria
and Phenice, to yield more aid to the king’s affairs.
{8:9} Then forthwith choosing Nicanor the son of
Patroclus, one of his special friends, he sent him with no
fewer than twenty thousand of all nations under him, to root
out the whole generation of the Jews; and with him he
joined also Gorgias a captain, who in matters of war had
great experience.
{8:10} So Nicanor undertook to make so much money of
the captive Jews, as should defray the tribute of two
thousand talents, which the king was to pay to the Romans.
{8:11} Wherefore immediately he sent to the cities upon
the sea coast, proclaiming a sale of the captive Jews, and
promising that they should have fourscore and ten bodies
for one talent, not expecting the vengeance that was to
follow upon him from the Almighty God.
{8:12} Now when word was brought unto Judas of
Nicanor’s coming, and he had imparted unto those that were
with him that the army was at hand,
{8:13} They that were fearful, and distrusted the justice of
God, fled, and conveyed themselves away.
{8:14} Others sold all that they had left, and withal
besought the Lord to deliver them, sold by the wicked
Nicanor before they met together:
{8:15} And if not for their own sakes, yet for the
covenants he had made with their fathers, and for his holy
and glorious name’s sake, by which they were called.
{8:16} So Maccabeus called his men together unto the
number of six thousand, and exhorted them not to be
stricken with terror of the enemy, nor to fear the great
multitude of the heathen, who came wrongly against them;
but to fight manfully,
{8:17} And to set before their eyes the injury that they
had unjustly done to the holy place, and the cruel handling
of the city, whereof they made a mockery, and also the
taking away of the government of their forefathers:
{8:18} For they, said he, trust in their weapons and
boldness; but our confidence is in the Almighty who at a
beck can cast down both them that come against us, and
also all the world.
{8:19} Moreover, he recounted unto them what helps
their forefathers had found, and how they were delivered,
when under Sennacherib an hundred fourscore and five
thousand perished.
{8:20} And he told them of the battle that they had in
Babylon with the Galatians, how they came but eight
thousand in all to the business, with four thousand
Macedonians, and that the Macedonians being perplexed,
the eight thousand destroyed an hundred and twenty
thousand because of the help that they had from heaven, and
so received a great booty.
{8:21} Thus when he had made them bold with these
words, and ready to die for the law and the country, he
divided his army into four parts;
{8:22} And joined with himself his own brethren, leaders
of each band, to wit Simon, and Joseph, and Jonathan,
giving each one fifteen hundred men.
{8:23} Also he appointed Eleazar to read the holy book:
and when he had given them this watchword, The help of
God; himself leading the first band,
{8:24} And by the help of the Almighty they slew above
nine thousand of their enemies, and wounded and maimed
the most part of Nicanor’s host, and so put all to flight;
{8:25} And took their money that came to buy them, and
pursued them far: but lacking time they returned:
{8:26} For it was the day before the sabbath, and
therefore they would no longer pursue them.
{8:27} So when they had gathered their armour together,
and spoiled their enemies, they occupied themselves about
the sabbath, yielding exceeding praise and thanks to the
Lord, who had preserved them unto that day, which was the
beginning of mercy distilling upon them.
{8:28} And after the sabbath, when they had given part of
the spoils to the maimed, and the widows, and orphans, the
residue they divided among themselves and their servants.
{8:29} When this was done, and they had made a
common supplication, they besought the merciful Lord to
be reconciled with his servants for ever.
{8:30} Moreover of those that were with Timotheus and
Bacchides, who fought against them, they slew above
twenty thousand, and very easily got high and strong holds,
and divided among themselves many spoils more, and made
the maimed, orphans, widows, yea, and the aged also, equal
in spoils with themselves.
{8:31} And when they had gathered their armour
together, they laid them up all carefully in convenient
places, and the remnant of the spoils they brought to
{8:32} They slew also Philarches, that wicked person,
who was with Timotheus, and had annoyed the Jews many
{8:33} Furthermore at such time as they kept the feast for
the victory in their country they burnt Callisthenes, that had
set fire upon the holy gates, who had fled into a little house;
and so he received a reward meet for his wickedness.
{8:34} As for that most ungracious Nicanor, who had
brought a thousand merchants to buy the Jews,
{8:35} He was through the help of the Lord brought down
by them, of whom he made least account; and putting off
his glorious apparel, and discharging his company, he came
like a fugitive servant through the midland unto Antioch
having very great dishonour, for that his host was destroyed.
{8:36} Thus he, that took upon him to make good to the
Romans their tribute by means of captives in Jerusalem, told
abroad, that the Jews had God to fight for them, and
therefore they could not be hurt, because they followed the
laws that he gave them.
{9:1} About that time came Antiochus with dishonour out
of the country of Persia
{9:2} For he had entered the city called Persepolis, and
went about to rob the temple, and to hold the city;
whereupon the multitude running to defend themselves with
their weapons put them to flight; and so it happened, that
Antiochus being put to flight of the inhabitants returned
with shame.
{9:3} Now when he came to Ecbatane, news was brought
him what had happened unto Nicanor and Timotheus.
{9:4} Then swelling with anger. he thought to avenge
upon the Jews the disgrace done unto him by those that
made him flee. Therefore commanded he his chariotman to
drive without ceasing, and to dispatch the journey, the
judgment of GOd now following him. For he had spoken
proudly in this sort, That he would come to Jerusalem and
make it a common burying place of the Jews.
{9:5} But the Lord Almighty, the God of Isreal, smote
him with an incurable and invisible plague: or as soon as he
had spoken these words, a pain of the bowels that was
remediless came upon him, and sore torments of the inner
{9:6} And that most justly: for he had tormented other
men’s bowels with many and strange torments.
{9:7} Howbeit he nothing at all ceased from his bragging,
but still was filled with pride, breathing out fire in his rage
against the Jews, and commanding to haste the journey: but
it came to pass that he fell down from his chariot, carried
violently; so that having a sore fall, all the members of his
body were much pained.
{9:8} And thus he that a little afore thought he might
command the waves of the sea, (so proud was he beyond the
condition of man) and weigh the high mountains in a
balance, was now cast on the ground, and carried in an
horselitter, shewing forth unto all the manifest power of
{9:9} So that the worms rose up out of the body of this
wicked man, and whiles he lived in sorrow and pain, his
flesh fell away, and the filthiness of his smell was noisome
to all his army.
{9:10} And the man, that thought a little afore he could
reach to the stars of heaven, no man could endure to carry
for his intolerable stink.
{9:11} Here therefore, being plagued, he began to leave
off his great pride, and to come to the knowledge of himself
by the scourge of God, his pain increasing every moment.
{9:12} And when he himself could not abide his own
smell, he said these words, It is meet to be subject unto
God, and that a man that is mortal should not proudly think
of himself if he were God.
{9:13} This wicked person vowed also unto the Lord,
who now no more would have mercy upon him, saying thus,
{9:14} That the holy city (to the which he was going in
haste to lay it even with the ground, and to make it a
common buryingplace,) he would set at liberty:
{9:15} And as touching the Jews, whom he had judged
not worthy so much as to be buried, but to be cast out with
their children to be devoured of the fowls and wild beasts,
he would make them all equals to the citizens of Athens:
{9:16} And the holy temple, which before he had spoiled,
he would garnish with goodly gifts, and restore all the holy
vessels with many more, and out of his own revenue defray
the charges belonging to the sacrifices:
{9:17} Yea, and that also he would become a Jew himself,
and go through all the world that was inhabited, and declare
the power of God.
{9:18} But for all this his pains would not cease: for the
just judgment of God was come upon him: therefore
despairing of his health, he wrote unto the Jews the letter
underwritten, containing the form of a supplication, after
this manner:
{9:19} Antiochus, king and governor, to the good Jews
his citizens wisheth much joy, health, and prosperity:
{9:20} If ye and your children fare well, and your affairs
be to your contentment, I give very great thanks to God,
having my hope in heaven.
{9:21} As for me, I was weak, or else I would have
remembered kindly your honour and good will returning out
of Persia, and being taken with a grievous disease, I thought
it necessary to care for the common safety of all:
{9:22} Not distrusting mine health, but having great hope
to escape this sickness.
{9:23} But considering that even my father, at what time
he led an army into the high countries. appointed a
{9:24} To the end that, if any thing fell out contrary to
expectation, or if any tidings were brought that were
grievous, they of the land, knowing to whom the state was
left, might not be troubled:
{9:25} Again, considering how that the princes that are
borderers and neighbours unto my kingdom wait for
opportunities, and expect what shall be the event. I have
appointed my son Antiochus king, whom I often committed
and commended unto many of you, when I went up into the
high provinces; to whom I have written as followeth:
{9:26} Therefore I pray and request you to remember the
benefits that I have done unto you generally, and in special,
and that every man will be still faithful to me and my son.
{9:27} For I am persuaded that he understanding my mind
will favourably and graciously yield to your desires.
{9:28} Thus the murderer and blasphemer having suffered
most grievously, as he entreated other men, so died he a
miserable death in a strange country in the mountains.
{9:29} And Philip, that was brought up with him, carried
away his body, who also fearing the son of Antiochus went
into Egypt to Ptolemeus Philometor.
{10:1} Now Maccabeus and his company, the Lord
guiding them, recovered the temple and the city:
{10:2} But the altars which the heathen had built in the
open street, and also the chapels, they pulled down.
{10:3} And having cleansed the temple they made another
altar, and striking stones they took fire out of them, and
offered a sacrifice after two years, and set forth incense, and
lights, and shewbread.
{10:4} When that was done, they fell flat down, and
besought the Lord that they might come no more into such
troubles; but if they sinned any more against him, that he
himself would chasten them with mercy, and that they
might not be delivered unto the blasphemous and barbarous
{10:5} Now upon the same day that the strangers
profaned the temple, on the very same day it was cleansed
again, even the five and twentieth day of the same month,
which is Casleu.
{10:6} And they kept the eight days with gladness, as in
the feast of the tabernacles, remembering that not long afore
they had held the feast of the tabernacles, when as they
wandered in the mountains and dens like beasts.
{10:7} Therefore they bare branches, and fair boughs, and
palms also, and sang psalms unto him that had given them
good success in cleansing his place.
{10:8} They ordained also by a common statute and
decree, That every year those days should be kept of the
whole nation of the Jews.
{10:9} And this was the end of Antiochus, called
{10:10} Now will we declare the acts of Antiochus
Eupator, who was the son of this wicked man, gathering
briefly the calamities of the wars.
{10:11} So when he was come to the crown, he set one
Lysias over the affairs of his realm, and appointed him his
chief governor of Celosyria and Phenice.
{10:12} For Ptolemeus, that was called Macron, choosing
rather to do justice unto the Jews for the wrong that had
been done unto them, endeavoured to continue peace with
{10:13} Whereupon being accused of the king’s friends
before Eupator, and called traitor at every word because he
had left Cyprus, that Philometor had committed unto him,
and departed to Antiochus Epiphanes, and seeing that he
was in no honourable place, he was so discouraged, that he
poisoned himself and died.
{10:14} But when Gorgias was governor of the holds, he
hired soldiers, and nourished war continually with the Jews:
{10:15} And therewithall the Idumeans, having gotten
into their hands the most commodious holds, kept the Jews
occupied, and receiving those that were banished from
Jerusalem, they went about to nourish war.
{10:16} Then they that were with Maccabeus made
supplication, and besought God that he would be their
helper; and so they ran with violence upon the strong holds
of the Idumeans,
{10:17} And assaulting them strongly, they won the
holds, and kept off all that fought upon the wall, and slew
all that fell into their hands, and killed no fewer than twenty
{10:18} And because certain, who were no less than nine
thousand, were fled together into two very strong castles,
having all manner of things convenient to sustain the siege,
{10:19} Maccabeus left Simon and Joseph, and Zaccheus
also, and them that were with him, who were enough to
besiege them, and departed himself unto those places which
more needed his help.
{10:20} Now they that were with Simon, being led with
covetousness, were persuaded for money through certain of
those that were in the castle, and took seventy thousand
drachms, and let some of them escape.
{10:21} But when it was told Maccabeus what was done,
he called the governors of the people together, and accused
those men, that they had sold their brethren for money, and
set their enemies free to fight against them.
{10:22} So he slew those that were found traitors, and
immediately took the two castles.
{10:23} And having good success with his weapons in all
things he took in hand, he slew in the two holds more than
twenty thousand.
{10:24} Now Timotheus, whom the Jews had overcome
before, when he had gathered a great multitude of foreign
forces, and horses out of Asia not a few, came as though he
would take Jewry by force of arms.
{10:25} But when he drew near, they that were with
Maccabeus turned themselves to pray unto God, and
sprinkled earth upon their heads, and girded their loins with
{10:26} And fell down at the foot of the altar, and
besought him to be merciful to them, and to be an enemy to
their enemies, and an adversary to their adversaries, as the
law declareth.
{10:27} So after the prayer they took their weapons, and
went on further from the city: and when they drew near to
their enemies, they kept by themselves.
{10:28} Now the sun being newly risen, they joined both
together; the one part having together with their virtue their
refuge also unto the Lord for a pledge of their success and
victory: the other side making their rage leader of their battle
{10:29} But when the battle waxed strong, there appeared
unto the enemies from heaven five comely men upon
horses, with bridles of gold, and two of them led the Jews,
{10:30} And took Maccabeus betwixt them, and covered
him on every side weapons, and kept him safe, but shot
arrows and lightnings against the enemies: so that being
confounded with blindness, and full of trouble, they were
{10:31} And there were slain of footmen twenty thousand
and five hundred, and six hundred horsemen.
{10:32} As for Timotheus himself, he fled into a very
strong hold, called Gawra, where Chereas was governor.
{10:33} But they that were with Maccabeus laid siege
against the fortress courageously four days.
{10:34} And they that were within, trusting to the strength
of the place, blasphemed exceedingly, and uttered wicked
{10:35} Nevertheless upon the fifth day early twenty
young men of Maccabeus’ company, inflamed with anger
because of the blasphemies, assaulted the wall manly, and
with a fierce courage killed all that they met withal.
{10:36} Others likewise ascending after them, whiles they
were busied with them that were within, burnt the towers,
and kindling fires burnt the blasphemers alive; and others
broke open the gates, and, having received in the rest of the
army, took the city,
{10:37} And killed Timotheus, that was hid in a certain
pit, and Chereas his brother, with Apollophanes.
{10:38} When this was done, they praised the Lord with
psalms and thanksgiving, who had done so great things for
Israel, and given them the victory.
{11:1} Not long after the, Lysias the king’s protector and
cousin, who also managed the affairs, took sore displeasure
for the things that were done.
{11:2} And when he had gathered about fourscore
thousand with all the horsemen, he came against the Jews,
thinking to make the city an habitation of the Gentiles,
{11:3} And to make a gain of the temple, as of the other
chapels of the heathen, and to set the high priesthood to sale
every year:
{11:4} Not at all considering the power of God but puffed
up with his ten thousands of footmen, and his thousands of
horsemen, and his fourscore elephants.
{11:5} So he came to Judea, and drew near to Bethsura,
which was a strong town, but distant from Jerusalem about
five furlongs, and he laid sore siege unto it.
{11:6} Now when they that were with Maccabeus heard
that he besieged the holds, they and all the people with
lamentation and tears besought the Lord that he would send
a good angel to deliver Israel.
{11:7} Then Maccabeus himself first of all took weapons,
exhorting the other that they would jeopard themselves
together with him to help their brethren: so they went forth
together with a willing mind.
{11:8} And as they were at Jerusalem, there appeared
before them on horseback one in white clothing, shaking his
armour of gold.
{11:9} Then they praised the merciful God all together,
and took heart, insomuch that they were ready not only to
fight with men, but with most cruel beasts, and to pierce
through walls of iron.
{11:10} Thus they marched forward in their armour,
having an helper from heaven: for the Lord was merciful
unto them
{11:11} And giving a charge upon their enemies like
lions, they slew eleven thousand footmen, and sixteen
hundred horsemen, and put all the other to flight.
{11:12} Many of them also being wounded escaped
naked; and Lysias himself fled away shamefully, and so
{11:13} Who, as he was a man of understanding, casting
with himself what loss he had had, and considering that the
Hebrews could not be overcome, because the Almighty God
helped them, he sent unto them,
{11:14} And persuaded them to agree to all reasonable
conditions, and promised that he would persuade the king
that he must needs be a friend unto them.
{11:15} Then Maccabeus consented to all that Lysias
desired, being careful of the common good; and whatsoever
Maccabeus wrote unto Lysias concerning the Jews, the king
granted it.
{11:16} For there were letters written unto the Jews from
Lysias to this effect: Lysias unto the people of the Jews
sendeth greeting:
{11:17} John and Absolom, who were sent from you,
delivered me the petition subscribed, and made request for
the performance of the contents thereof.
{11:18} Therefore what things soever were meet to be
reported to the king, I have declared them, and he hath
granted as much as might be.
{11:19} And if then ye will keep yourselves loyal to the
state, hereafter also will I endeavour to be a means of your
{11:20} But of the particulars I have given order both to
these and the other that came from me, to commune with
{11:21} Fare ye well. The hundred and eight and fortieth
year, the four and twentieth day of the month Dioscorinthius.
{11:22} Now the king’s letter contained these words:
King Antiochus unto his brother Lysias sendeth greeting:
{11:23} Since our father is translated unto the gods, our
will is, that they that are in our realm live quietly, that every
one may attend upon his own affairs.
{11:24} We understand also that the Jews would not
consent to our father, for to be brought unto the custom of
the Gentiles, but had rather keep their own manner of
living: for the which cause they require of us, that we
should suffer them to live after their own laws.
{11:25} Wherefore our mind is, that this nation shall be in
rest, and we have determined to restore them their temple,
that they may live according to the customs of their
{11:26} Thou shalt do well therefore to send unto them,
and grant them peace, that when they are certified of our
mind, they may be of good comfort, and ever go cheerfully
about their own affairs.
{11:27} And the letter of the king unto the nation of the
Jews was after this manner: King Antiochus sendeth
greeting unto the council, and the rest of the Jews:
{11:28} If ye fare well, we have our desire; we are also in
good health.
{11:29} Menelaus declared unto us, that your desire was
to return home, and to follow your own business:
{11:30} Wherefore they that will depart shall have safe
conduct till the thirtieth day of Xanthicus with security.
{11:31} And the Jews shall use their own kind of meats
and laws, as before; and none of them any manner of ways
shall be molested for things ignorantly done.
{11:32} I have sent also Menelaus, that he may comfort
{11:33} Fare ye well. In the hundred forty and eighth
year, and the fifteenth day of the month Xanthicus.
{11:34} The Romans also sent unto them a letter
containing these words: Quintus Memmius and Titus
Manlius, ambassadors of the Romans, send greeting unto
the people of the Jews.
{11:35} Whatsoever Lysias the king’s cousin hath
granted, therewith we also are well pleased.
{11:36} But touching such things as he judged to be
referred to the king, after ye have advised thereof, send one
forthwith, that we may declare as it is convenient for you:
for we are now going to Antioch.
{11:37} Therefore send some with speed, that we may
know what is your mind.
{11:38} Farewell. This hundred and eight and fortieth
year, the fifteenth day of the month Xanthicus.
{12:1} When these covenants were made, Lysias went
unto the king, and the Jews were about their husbandry.
{12:2} But of the governours of several places,
Timotheus, and Apollonius the son of Genneus, also
Hieronymus, and Demophon, and beside them Nicanor the
governor of Cyprus, would not suffer them to be quiet and
live in peace.
{12:3} The men of Joppa also did such an ungodly deed:
they prayed the Jews that dwelt among them to go with their
wives and children into the boats which they had prepared,
as though they had meant them no hurt.
{12:4} Who accepted of it according to the common
decree of the city, as being desirous to live in peace, and
suspecting nothing: but when they were gone forth into the
deep, they drowned no less than two hundred of them.
{12:5} When Judas heard of this cruelty done unto his
countrymen, he commanded those that were with him to
make them ready.
{12:6} And calling upon God the righteous Judge, he
came against those murderers of his brethren, and burnt the
haven by night, and set the boats on fire, and those that fled
thither he slew.
{12:7} And when the town was shut up, he went
backward, as if he would return to root out all them of the
city of Joppa.
{12:8} But when he heard that the Jamnites were minded
to do in like manner unto the Jews that dwelt among them,
{12:9} He came upon the Jamnites also by night, and set
fire on the haven and the navy, so that the light of the fire
was seen at Jerusalem two hundred and forty furlongs off.
{12:10} Now when they were gone from thence nine
furlongs in their journey toward Timotheus, no fewer than
five thousand men on foot and five hundred horsemen of the
Arabians set upon him.
{12:11} Whereupon there was a very sore battle; but
Judas’ side by the help of God got the victory; so that the
Nomades of Arabia, being overcome, besought Judas for
peace, promising both to give him cattle, and to pleasure
him otherwise.
{12:12} Then Judas, thinking indeed that they would be
profitable in many things, granted them peace: whereupon
they shook hands, and so they departed to their tents.
{12:13} He went also about to make a bridge to a certain
strong city, which was fenced about with walls, and
inhabited by people of divers countries; and the name of it
was Caspis.
{12:14} But they that were within it put such trust in the
strength of the walls and provision of victuals, that they
behaved themselves rudely toward them that were with
Judas, railing and blaspheming, and uttering such words as
were not to be spoken.
{12:15} Wherefore Judas with his company, calling upon
the great Lord of the world, who without rams or engines of
war did cast down Jericho in the time of Joshua, gave a
fierce assault against the walls,
{12:16} And took the city by the will of God, and made
unspeakable slaughters, insomuch that a lake two furlongs
broad near adjoining thereunto, being filled full, was seen
running with blood.
{12:17} Then departed they from thence seven hundred
and fifty furlongs, and came to Characa unto the Jews that
are called Tubieni.
{12:18} But as for Timotheus, they found him not in the
places: for before he had dispatched any thing, he departed
from thence, having left a very strong garrison in a certain
{12:19} Howbeit Dositheus and Sosipater, who were of
Maccabeus’ captains, went forth, and slew those that
Timotheus had left in the fortress, above ten thousand men.
{12:20} And Maccabeus ranged his army by bands, and
set them over the bands, and went against Timotheus, who
had about him an hundred and twenty thousand men of foot,
and two thousand and five hundred horsemen.
{12:21} Now when Timotheus had knowledge of Judas’
coming, he sent the women and children and the other
baggage unto a fortress called Carnion: for the town was
hard to besiege, and uneasy to come unto, by reason of the
straitness of all the places.
{12:22} But when Judas his first band came in sight, the
enemies, being smitten with fear and terror through the
appearing of him who seeth all things, fled amain, one
running into this way, another that way, so as that they were
often hurt of their own men, and wounded with the points of
their own swords.
{12:23} Judas also was very earnest in pursuing them,
killing those wicked wretches, of whom he slew about thirty
thousand men.
{12:24} Moreover Timotheus himself fell into the hands
of Dositheus and Sosipater, whom he besought with much
craft to let him go with his life, because he had many of the
Jews’ parents, and the brethren of some of them, who, if
they put him to death, should not be regarded.
{12:25} So when he had assured them with many words
that he would restore them without hurt, according to the
agreement, they let him go for the saving of their brethren.
{12:26} Then Maccabeus marched forth to Carnion, and
to the temple of Atargatis, and there he slew five and twenty
thousand persons.
{12:27} And after he had put to flight and destroyed
them, Judas removed the host toward Ephron, a strong city,
wherein Lysias abode, and a great multitude of divers
nations, and the strong young men kept the walls, and
defended them mightily: wherein also was great provision
of engines and darts.
{12:28} But when Judas and his company had called upon
Almighty God, who with his power breaketh the strength of
his enemies, they won the city, and slew twenty and five
thousand of them that were within,
{12:29} From thence they departed to Scythopolis, which
lieth six hundred furlongs from Jerusalem,
{12:30} But when the Jews that dwelt there had testified
that the Scythopolitans dealt lovingly with them, and
entreated them kindly in the time of their adversity;
{12:31} They gave them thanks, desiring them to be
friendly still unto them: and so they came to Jerusalem, the
feast of the weeks approaching.
{12:32} And after the feast, called Pentecost, they went
forth against Gorgias the governor of Idumea,
{12:33} Who came out with three thousand men of foot
and four hundred horsemen.
{12:34} And it happened that in their fighting together a
few of the Jews were slain.
{12:35} At which time Dositheus, one of Bacenor’s
company, who was on horseback, and a strong man, was
still upon Gorgias, and taking hold of his coat drew him by
force; and when he would have taken that cursed man alive,
a horseman of Thracia coming upon him smote off his
shoulder, so that Gorgias fled unto Marisa.
{12:36} Now when they that were with Gorgias had
fought long, and were weary, Judas called upon the Lord,
that he would shew himself to be their helper and leader of
the battle.
{12:37} And with that he began in his own language, and
sung psalms with a loud voice, and rushing unawares upon
Gorgias’ men, he put them to flight.
{12:38} So Judas gathered his host, and came into the city
of Odollam, And when the seventh day came, they purified
themselves, as the custom was, and kept the sabbath in the
same place.
{12:39} And upon the day following, as the use had been,
Judas and his company came to take up the bodies of them
that were slain, and to bury them with their kinsmen in their
fathers’ graves.
{12:40} Now under the coats of every one that was slain
they found things consecrated to the idols of the Jamnites,
which is forbidden the Jews by the law. Then every man
saw that this was the cause wherefore they were slain.
{12:41} All men therefore praising the Lord, the righteous
Judge, who had opened the things that were hid,
{12:42} Betook themselves unto prayer, and besought
him that the sin committed might wholly be put out of
remembrance. Besides, that noble Judas exhorted the people
to keep themselves from sin, forsomuch as they saw before
their eyes the things that came to pass for the sins of those
that were slain.
{12:43} And when he had made a gathering throughout
the company to the sum of two thousand drachms of silver,
he sent it to Jerusalem to offer a sin offering, doing therein
very well and honestly, in that he was mindful of the
{12:44} For if he had not hoped that they that were slain
should have risen again, it had been superfluous and vain to
pray for the dead.
{12:45} And also in that he perceived that there was great
favour laid up for those that died godly, it was an holy and
good thought. Whereupon he made a reconciliation for the
dead, that they might be delivered from sin.
{13:1} In the hundred forty and ninth year it was told
Judas, that Antiochus Eupator was coming with a great
power into Judea,
{13:2} And with him Lysias his protector, and ruler of his
affairs, having either of them a Grecian power of footmen,
an hundred and ten thousand, and horsemen five thousand
and three hundred, and elephants two and twenty, and three
hundred chariots armed with hooks.
{13:3} Menelaus also joined himself with them, and with
great dissimulation encouraged Antiochus, not for the
safeguard of the country, but because he thought to have
been made governor.
{13:4} But the King of kings moved Antiochus’ mind
against this wicked wretch, and Lysias informed the king
that this man was the cause of all mischief, so that the king
commanded to bring him unto Berea, and to put him to
death, as the manner is in that place.
{13:5} Now there was in that place a tower of fifty cubits
high, full of ashes, and it had a round instrument which on
every side hanged down into the ashes.
{13:6} And whosoever was condemned of sacrilege, or
had committed any other grievous crime, there did all men
thrust him unto death.
{13:7} Such a death it happened that wicked man to die,
not having so much as burial in the earth; and that most
{13:8} For inasmuch as he had committed many sins
about the altar, whose fire and ashes were holy, he received
his death in ashes.
{13:9} Now the king came with a barbarous and haughty
mind to do far worse to the Jews, than had been done in his
father’s time.
{13:10} Which things when Judas perceived, he
commanded the multitude to call upon the Lord night and
day, that if ever at any other time, he would now also help
them, being at the point to be put from their law, from their
country, and from the holy temple:
{13:11} And that he would not suffer the people, that had
even now been but a little refreshed, to be in subjection to
the blasphemous nations.
{13:12} So when they had all done this together, and
besought the merciful Lord with weeping and fasting, and
lying flat upon the ground three days long, Judas, having
exhorted them, commanded they should be in a readiness.
{13:13} And Judas, being apart with the elders,
determined, before the king’s host should enter into Judea,
and get the city, to go forth and try the matter in fight by the
help of the Lord.
{13:14} So when he had committed all to the Creator of
the world, and exhorted his soldiers to fight manfully, even
unto death, for the laws, the temple, the city, the country,
and the commonwealth, he camped by Modin:
{13:15} And having given the watchword to them that
were about him, Victory is of God; with the most valiant
and choice young men he went in into the king’s tent by
night, and slew in the camp about four thousand men, and
the chiefest of the elephants, with all that were upon him.
{13:16} And at last they filled the camp with fear and
tumult, and departed with good success.
{13:17} This was done in the break of the day, because
the protection of the Lord did help him.
{13:18} Now when the king had taken a taste of the
manliness of the Jews, he went about to take the holds by
{13:19} And marched toward Bethsura, which was a
strong hold of the Jews: but he was put to flight, failed, and
lost of his men:
{13:20} For Judas had conveyed unto them that were in it
such things as were necessary.
{13:21} But Rhodocus, who was in the Jews’ host,
disclosed the secrets to the enemies; therefore he was
sought out, and when they had gotten him, they put him in
{13:22} The king treated with them in Bethsum the
second time, gave his hand, took their’s, departed, fought
with Judas, was overcome;
{13:23} Heard that Philip, who was left over the affairs in
Antioch, was desperately bent, confounded, intreated the
Jews, submitted himself, and sware to all equal conditions,
agreed with them, and offered sacrifice, honoured the
temple, and dealt kindly with the place,
{13:24} And accepted well of Maccabeus, made him
principal governor from Ptolemais unto the Gerrhenians;
{13:25} Came to Ptolemais: the people there were grieved
for the covenants; for they stormed, because they would
make their covenants void:
{13:26} Lysias went up to the judgment seat, said as
much as could be in defence of the cause, persuaded,
pacified, made them well affected, returned to Antioch.
Thus it went touching the king’s coming and departing.
{14:1} After three years was Judas informed, that
Demetrius the son of Seleucus, having entered by the haven
of Tripolis with a great power and navy,
{14:2} Had taken the country, and killed Antiochus, and
Lysias his protector.
{14:3} Now one Alcimus, who had been high priest, and
had defiled himself wilfully in the times of their mingling
with the Gentiles, seeing that by no means he could save
himself, nor have any more access to the holy altar,
{14:4} Came to king Demetrius in the hundred and one
and fiftieth year, presenting unto him a crown of gold, and a
palm, and also of the boughs which were used solemnly in
the temple: and so that day he held his peace.
{14:5} Howbeit having gotten opportunity to further his
foolish enterprize, and being called into counsel by
Demetrius, and asked how the Jews stood affected, and
what they intended, he answered thereunto:
{14:6} Those of the Jews that he called Assideans, whose
captain is Judas Maccabeus, nourish war and are seditious,
and will not let the rest be in peace.
{14:7} Therefore I, being deprived of mine ancestors’
honour, I mean the high priesthood, am now come hither:
{14:8} First, verily for the unfeigned care I have of things
pertaining to the king; and secondly, even for that I intend
the good of mine own countrymen: for all our nation is in
no small misery through the unadvised dealing of them
{14:9} Wherefore, O king, seeing knowest all these
things, be careful for the country, and our nation, which is
pressed on every side, according to the clemency that thou
readily shewest unto all.
{14:10} For as long as Judas liveth, it is not possible that
the state should be quiet.
{14:11} This was no sooner spoken of him, but others of
the king’s friends, being maliciously set against Judas, did
more incense Demetrius.
{14:12} And forthwith calling Nicanor, who had been
master of the elephants, and making him governor over
Judea, he sent him forth,
{14:13} Commanding him to slay Judas, and to scatter
them that were with him, and to make Alcimus high priest
of the great temple.
{14:14} Then the heathen, that had fled out of Judea from
Judas, came to Nicanor by flocks, thinking the harm and
calamities ot the Jews to be their welfare.
{14:15} Now when the Jews heard of Nicanor’s coming,
and that the heathen were up against them, they cast earth
upon their heads, and made supplication to him that had
established his people for ever, and who always helpeth his
portion with manifestation of his presence.
{14:16} So at the commandment of the captain they
removed straightways from thence, and came near unto
them at the town of Dessau.
{14:17} Now Simon, Judas’ brother, had joined battle
with Nicanor, but was somewhat discomfited through the
sudden silence of his enemies.
{14:18} Nevertheless Nicanor, hearing of the manliness
of them that were with Judas, and the courageousness that
they had to fight for their country, durst not try the matter
by the sword.
{14:19} Wherefore he sent Posidonius, and Theodotus,
and Mattathias, to make peace.
{14:20} So when they had taken long advisement
thereupon, and the captain had made the multitude
acquainted therewith, and it appeared that they were all of
one mind, they consented to the covenants,
{14:21} And appointed a day to meet in together by
themselves: and when the day came, and stools were set for
either of them,
{14:22} Ludas placed armed men ready in convenient
places, lest some treachery should be suddenly practised by
the enemies: so they made a peaceable conference.
{14:23} Now Nicanor abode in Jerusalem, and did no
hurt, but sent away the people that came flocking unto him.
{14:24} And he would not willingly have Judas out of his
sight: for he love the man from his heart
{14:25} He prayed him also to take a wife, and to beget
children: so he married, was quiet, and took part of this life.
{14:26} But Alcimus, perceiving the love that was
betwixt them, and considering the covenants that were
made, came to Demetrius, and told him that Nicanor was
not well affected toward the state; for that he had ordained
Judas, a traitor to his realm, to be the king’s successor.
{14:27} Then the king being in a rage, and provoked with
the accusations of the most wicked man, wrote to Nicanor,
signifying that he was much displeased with the covenants,
and commanding him that he should send Maccabeus
prisoner in all haste unto Antioch.
{14:28} When this came to Nicanor’s hearing, he was
much confounded in himself, and took it grievously that he
should make void the articles which were agreed upon, the
man being in no fault.
{14:29} But because there was no dealing against the
king, he watched his time to accomplish this thing by policy.
{14:30} Notwithstanding, when Maccabeus saw that
Nicanor began to be churlish unto him, and that he entreated
him more roughly than he was wont, perceiving that such
sour behaviour came not of good, he gathered together not a
few of his men, and withdrew himself from Nicanor.
{14:31} But the other, knowing that he was notably
prevented by Judas’ policy, came into the great and holy
temple, and commanded the priests, that were offering their
usual sacrifices, to deliver him the man.
{14:32} And when they sware that they could not tell
where the man was whom he sought,
{14:33} He stretched out his right hand toward the
temple, and made an oath in this manner: If ye will not
deliver me Judas as a prisoner, I will lay this temple of God
even with the ground, and I will break down the altar, and
erect a notable temple unto Bacchus.
{14:34} After these words he departed. Then the priests
lifted up their hands toward heaven, and besought him that
was ever a defender of their nation, saying in this manner;
{14:35} Thou, O Lord of all things, who hast need of
nothing, wast pleased that the temple of thine habitation
should be among us:
{14:36} Therefore now, O holy Lord of all holiness, keep
this house ever undefiled, which lately was cleansed, and
stop every unrighteous mouth.
{14:37} Now was there accused unto Nicanor one Razis,
one of the elders of Jerusalem, a lover of his countrymen,
and a man of very good report, who for his kindness was
called a father of the Jews.
{14:38} For in the former times, when they mingled not
themselves with the Gentiles, he had been accused of
Judaism, and did boldly jeopard his body and life with all
vehemency for the religion of the Jews.
{14:39} So Nicanor, willing to declare the hate that he
bare unto the Jews, sent above five hundred men of war to
take him:
{14:40} For he thought by taking him to do the Jews
much hurt.
{14:41} Now when the multitude would have taken the
tower, and violently broken into the outer door, and bade
that fire should be brought to burn it, he being ready to be
taken on every side fell upon his sword;
{14:42} Choosing rather to die manfully, than to come
into the hands of the wicked, to be abused otherwise than
beseemed his noble birth:
{14:43} But missing his stroke through haste, the
multitude also rushing within the doors, he ran boldly up to
the wall, and cast himself down manfully among the
thickest of them.
{14:44} But they quickly giving back, and a space being
made, he fell down into the midst of the void place.
{14:45} Nevertheless, while there was yet breath within
him, being inflamed with anger, he rose up; and though his
blood gushed out like spouts of water, and his wounds were
grievous, yet he ran through the midst of the throng; and
standing upon a steep rock,
{14:46} When as his blood was now quite gone, he
plucked out his bowels, and taking them in both his hands,
he cast them upon the throng, and calling upon the Lord of
life and spirit to restore him those again, he thus died.
{15:1} But Nicanor, hearing that Judas and his company
were in the strong places about Samaria, resolved without
any danger to set upon them on the sabbath day.
{15:2} Nevertheless the Jews that were compelled to go
with him said, O destroy not so cruelly and barbarously, but
give honour to that day, which he, that seeth all things, hath
honoured with holiness above all other days.
{15:3} Then the most ungracious wretch demanded, if
there were a Mighty one in heaven, that had commanded the
sabbath day to be kept.
{15:4} And when they said, There is in heaven a living
Lord, and mighty, who commanded the seventh day to be
{15:5} Then said the other, And I also am mighty upon
earth, and I command to take arms, and to do the king’s
business. Yet he obtained not to have his wicked will done.
{15:6} So Nicanor in exceeding pride and haughtiness
determined to set up a publick monument of his victory over
Judas and them that were with him.
{15:7} But Maccabeus had ever sure confidence that the
Lord would help him:
{15:8} Wherefore he exhorted his people not to fear the
coming of the heathen against them, but to remember the
help which in former times they had received from heaven,
and now to expect the victory and aid, which should come
unto them from the Almighty.
{15:9} And so comforting them out of the law and the
prophets, and withal putting them in mind of the battles that
they won afore, he made them more cheerful.
{15:10} And when he had stirred up their minds, he gave
them their charge, shewing them therewithall the falsehood
of the heathen, and the breach of oaths.
{15:11} Thus he armed every one of them, not so much
with defence of shields and spears, as with comfortable and
good words: and beside that, he told them a dream worthy
to be believed, as if it had been so indeed, which did not a
little rejoice them.
{15:12} And this was his vision: That Onias, who had
been high priest, a virtuous and a good man, reverend in
conversation, gentle in condition, well spoken also, and
exercised from a child in all points of virtue, holding up his
hands prayed for the whole body of the Jews.
{15:13} This done, in like manner there appeared a man
with gray hairs, and exceeding glorious, who was of a
wonderful and excellent majesty.
{15:14} Then Onias answered, saying, This is a lover of
the brethren, who prayeth much for the people, and for the
holy city, to wit, Jeremias the prophet of God.
{15:15} Whereupon Jeremias holding forth his right hand
gave to Judas a sword of gold, and in giving it spake thus,
{15:16} Take this holy sword, a gift from God, with the
which thou shalt wound the adversaries.
{15:17} Thus being well comforted by the words of
Judas, which were very good, and able to stir them up to
valour, and to encourage the hearts of the young men, they
determined not to pitch camp, but courageously to set upon
them, and manfully to try the matter by conflict, because the
city and the sanctuary and the temple were in danger.
{15:18} For the care that they took for their wives, and
their children, their brethren, and folks, was in least account
with them: but the greatest and principal fear was for the
holy temple.
{15:19} Also they that were in the city took not the least
care, being troubled for the conflict abroad.
{15:20} And now, when as all looked what should be the
trial, and the enemies were already come near, and the army
was set in array, and the beasts conveniently placed, and the
horsemen set in wings,
{15:21} Maccabeus seeing the coming of the multitude,
and the divers preparations of armour, and the fierceness of
the beasts, stretched out his hands toward heaven, and
called upon the Lord that worketh wonders, knowing that
victory cometh not by arms, but even as it seemeth good to
him, he giveth it to such as are worthy:
{15:22} Therefore in his prayer he said after this manner;
O Lord, thou didst send thine angel in the time of Ezekias
king of Judea, and didst slay in the host of Sennacherib an
hundred fourscore and five thousand:
{15:23} Wherefore now also, O Lord of heaven, send a
good angel before us for a fear and dread unto them;
{15:24} And through the might of thine arm let those be
stricken with terror, that come against thy holy people to
blaspheme. And he ended thus.
{15:25} Then Nicanor and they that were with him came
forward with trumpets and songs.
{15:26} But Judas and his company encountered the
enemies with invocation and prayer.
{15:27} So that fighting with their hands, and praying
unto God with their hearts, they slew no less than thirty and
five thousand men: for through the appearance of God they
were greatly cheered.
{15:28} Now when the battle was done, returning again
with joy, they knew that Nicanor lay dead in his harness.
{15:29} Then they made a great shout and a noise,
praising the Almighty in their own language.
{15:30} And Judas, who was ever the chief defender of
the citizens both in body and mind, and who continued his
love toward his countrymen all his life, commanded to
strike off Nicanor’s head, and his hand with his shoulder,
and bring them to Jerusalem.
{15:31} So when he was there, and called them of his
nation together, and set the priests before the altar, he sent
for them that were of the tower,
{15:32} And shewed them vile Nicanor’s head, and the
hand of that blasphemer, which with proud brags he had
stretched out against the holy temple of the Almighty.
{15:33} And when he had cut out the tongue of that
ungodly Nicanor, he commanded that they should give it by
pieces unto the fowls, and hang up the reward of his
madness before the temple.
{15:34} So every man praised toward the heaven the
glorious Lord, saying, Blessed be he that hath kept his own
place undefiled.
{15:35} He hanged also Nicanor’s head upon the tower,
an evident and manifest sign unto all of the help of the Lord.
{15:36} And they ordained all with a common decree in
no case to let that day pass without solemnity, but to
celebrate the thirtieth day of the twelfth month, which in the
Syrian tongue is called Adar, the day before Mardocheus’
{15:37} Thus went it with Nicanor: and from that time
forth the Hebrews had the city in their power. And here will
I make an end.
{15:38} And if I have done well, and as is fitting the
story, it is that which I desired: but if slenderly and meanly,
it is that which I could attain unto.
{15:39} For as it is hurtful to drink wine or water alone;
and as wine mingled with water is pleasant, and delighteth
the taste: even so speech finely framed delighteth the ears of
them that read the story. And here shall be an end

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