2Mac.1 The brethren, the Jews that be at Jerusalem and in the
land of Judea, wish to the brethren, the Jews that are throughout Egypt health
 God be gracious to you, and remember his covenant
that he made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, his faithful
 And give you all an heart to serve him, and to do his
will, with a good courage and a willing mind;
 And open your hearts
in his law and commandments, and send you peace,
 And hear your
prayers, and be at one with you, and never forsake you in time of
 And now we be here praying for you.
time as Demetrius reigned, in the hundred threescore and ninth year, we the Jews
wrote to 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
 And burned the porch, and shed innocent blood: then we
prayed to the Lord, and were heard; we offered also sacrifices and fine flour,
and lighted the lamps, and set forth the loaves.
 And now see that
ye keep the feast of tabernacles in the month Casleu.
 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 to Aristobulus,
king Ptolemeus' master, who was of the stock of the anointed priests, and to the
Jews that were in Egypt:
 Insomuch as God hath delivered us from
great perils, we thank him highly, as having been in battle against a
 For he cast them out that fought within the holy
 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.
 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.
 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:
 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
 Blessed be our God in all things, who hath
delivered up the ungodly.
 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
 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 men.
 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;
 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
 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
 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.
 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
 The only giver of all things, the only just, almighty, and
everlasting, you that deliverIsrael from all trouble, and didst choose the
fathers, and sanctify them:
 Receive the sacrifice for thy whole
people Israel, and preserve your own portion, and sanctify it.
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 you art our God.
 Punish them that oppress us, and with
pride do us wrong.
 Plant thy people again in thy holy place, as
Moses hath spoken.
 And the priests sung psalms of
 Now when the sacrifice was consumed, Neemias
commanded the water that was left to be poured on the great
 When this was done, there was kindled a flame: but it was
consumed by the light that shined from the altar.
 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.
 Then the king,
inclosing the place, made it holy, after he had tried the matter.
And the king took many gifts, and bestowed thereof on those whom he would
 And Neemias called this thing Naphthar, which is as much
as to say, a cleansing: but many men call it Nephi.
2Mac.2 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
 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
 And with other such speeches exhorted he them,
that the law should not depart from their hearts.
 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 God.
 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.
And some of those that followed him came to mark the way, but they could not
 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 to mercy.
 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.
 It was also declared, that he
being wise offered the sacrifice of dedication, and of the finishing of the
 And as when Moses prayed to 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.
And Moses said, Because the sin offering was not to be eaten, it was
 So Solomon kept those eight days.
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
 In like manner also Judas gathered together all those
things that were lost by reason of the war we had, and they remain with
 Wherefore if ye have need thereof, send some to fetch them
 Whereas we then are about to celebrate the
purification, we have written to you, and ye shall do well, if ye keep the
 We hope also, that the God, that delivered all his
people, and gave them all an heritage, and the kingdom, and the priesthood, and
 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
 Now as concerning Judas Maccabeus, and his brethren, and
the purification of the great temple, and the dedication of the
 And the wars against Antiochus Epiphanes, and Eupator his
 And the manifest signs that came from heaven to those that
behaved themselves manfully to their honour for Judaism: so that, being but a
few, they overcame the whole country, and chased barbarous
 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 to them with all favour:
 All these things, I
say, being declared by Jason of Cyrene in five books, we will assay to abridge
in one volume.
 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,
 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
 Therefore to us, that have taken upon us this painful
labour of abridging, it was not easy, but a matter of sweat and
 Even as it is no ease to him that prepares
banquet, and seeksthe benefit of others: yet for the pleasuring of many we
will undertake gladly this great pains;
 Leaving to the author the
exact handling of every particular, and labouring to follow the rules of an
 For as the master builder of a new house must care
for the whole building; but he that undertakes to set it out, and paint it,
must seek out fit things for the adorning thereof: even so I think it is with
 To stand upon every point, and go over things at large, and
to be curious in particulars, belongsto the first author of the
 But to use brevity, and avoid much labouring of the work,
is to be granted to him that will make an abridgment.
 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
2Mac.3 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 wickedness,
 It came to pass that even
the kings themselves did honour the place, and magnify the temple with their
 Insomuch that Seleucus of Asia of his own revenues
bare all the costs belonging to the service of the sacrifices.
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.
 And when he
could not overcome Onias, he got him to Apollonius the son of Thraseas, who then
was governor of Celosyria and Phenice,
 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
 Now when Apollonius came to the king, and had showed 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.
forthwith Heliodorus took his journey; under a color of visiting the cities of
Celosyria and Phenice, but indeed to fulfil the king's purpose.
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
 Then the high priest told him that there was such money
laid up for the relief of widows and fatherless children:
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:
 And that it
was altogether impossible that such wrongs should be done to 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.
Heliodorus, because of the king's commandment given him, said, That in any wise
it must be brought into the king's treasury.
 So at the day which
he appointed he entered in to order this matter: wherefore there was no small
agony throughout the whole city.
 But the priests, prostrating
themselves before the altar in their priests' vestments, called to 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.
whoso had looked the high priest in the face, it would have wounded his heart:
for his countenance and the changing of his color declared the inward agony of
 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.
 Others ran flocking out of their houses to the
general supplication, because the place was like to come into
 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
 And all, holding their hands toward heaven, made
 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.
 They then called upon the Almighty Lord to keep
the things committed of trust safe and sure for those that had committed
 Nevertheless Heliodorus executed that which was
 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.
 For there
appeared to 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
 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
 And Heliodorus fell suddenly to the ground, and was
compassed with great darkness: but they that were with him took him up, and put
him into a litter.
 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
 For he by the hand of God was cast down, and lay speechless
without all hope of life.
 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
 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.
 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.
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
 And seeing that you hast been scourged from heaven,
declare to all men the mighty power of God. And when they had spoken these
words, they appeared no more.
 So Heliodorus, after he had offered
sacrifice to the Lord, and made great vows to him that had saved his life,
and saluted Onias, returned with his host to the king.
testified he to all men the works of the great God, which he had seen with his
 And when the king Heliodorus, who might be a fit man to be
sent yet once again to Jerusalem, he said,
 If you hast any enemy
or traitor, send him thither, and you shalt receive him well scourged, if he
escape with his life: for in that place, no doubt; there is an especial power of
 For he that dwellsin heaven hath his eye on that place,
and defendsit; and he beatsand destroysthem that come to hurt
 And the things concerning Heliodorus, and the keeping of the
treasury, fell out on this sort.
2Mac.4 This Simon now, of whom we spoke 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.
 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.
 But when their
hatred went so far, that by one of Simon's faction murders were
 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,
 He went to the king, not to be an accuser
of his countrymen, but seeking the good of all, both publick and
 For he saw that it was impossible that the state should
continue quiet, and Simon leave his folly, unless the king did look
 But after the death of Seleucus, when Antiochus, called
Epiphanes, took the kingdom, Jason the brother of Onias laboured underhand to be
 Promising to the king by intercession three hundred
and threescore talents of silver, and of another revenue eighty
 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 Antiochians.
 Which when the king had
granted, and he had gotten into his hand the rule he forthwith brought his own
nation to Greekish fashion.
 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
 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
 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 priest;
 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;
 Not setting
by the honours of their fathers, but liking the glory of the Grecians best of
 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 to whom they desired to be like in all things.
 For it is
not a light thing to do wickedly against the laws of God: but the time following
shall declare these things.
 Now when the game that was used every
faith year was kept at Tyrus, the king being present,
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.
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
 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:
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 to
 Three years afterward Jason sent Menelans, the aforesaid
Simon's brother, to bear the money to the king, and to put him in mind of
certain necessary matters.
 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
 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.
 Then Jason, who had undermined his own
brother, being undermined by another, was compelled to flee into the country of
 So Menelans got the principality: but as for the
money that he had promised to the king, he took no good order for it, albeit
Sostratis the ruler of the castle required it:
 For to him
appertained the gathering of the customs. Wherefore they were both called before
 Now Menelans left his brother Lysimachus in his stead
in the priesthood; and Sostratus left Crates, who was governor of the
 While those things were in doing, they of Tarsus and
Mallos made insurrection, because they were given to the king's concubine,
 Then came the king in all haste to appease
matters, leaving Andronicus, a man in authority, for his deputy.
Now Menelans, 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.
 Which when Onias
knew of a surety, he reproved him, and withdrew himself into a sanctuary at
Daphne, that lies by Antiochia.
 Wherefore Menelans, 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 justice.
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
 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.
Therefore Antiochus was heartily sorry, and moved to pity, and wept, because of
the sober and modest behaviour of him that was dead.
 And being
kindled with anger, forthwith he took away Andronicus his purple, and rent off
his clothes, and leading him through the whole city to 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.
when many sacrileges had been committed in the city by Lysimachus with the
consent of Menelans, and the fruit thereof was spread abroad, the multitude
gathered themselves together against Lysimachus, many vessels of gold being
already carried away.
 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.
 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
 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 treasury.
 Of these matters
therefore there was an accusation laid against Menelans.
 Now when
the king came to Tyrus, three men that were sent from the senate pleaded the
cause before him:
 But Menelans, being now convicted, promised
Ptolemee the son of Dorymenes to give him much money, if he would pacify the
king toward him.
 Whereupon Ptolemee taking the king aside into a
certain gallery, as it were to take the air, brought him to be of another
 Insomuch that he discharged Menelans 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.
 Thus they that followed the
matter for the city, and for the people, and for the holy vessels, did soon
suffer unjust punishment.
 Wherefore even they of Tyrus, moved
with hatred of that wicked deed, caused them to be honourably
 And so through the covetousness of them that were of
power Menelans remained still in authority, increasing in malice, and being a
great traitor to the citizens.
2Mac.5 About the same time Antiochus prepared his second
voyage into Egypt:
 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
 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 sorts.
 Wherefore every man prayed that that
apparition might turn to good.
 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, Menelans fled into
 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 conquered.
 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.
 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.
 Thus he that had driven
many out of their country perished in a strange land, retiring to the
Lacedemonians, and thinking there to find succor by reason of his
 And he that had cast out many unburied had none to mourn
for him, nor any solemn funerals at all, nor sepulchre with his
 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,
 And commanded his men of
war not to spare such as they met, and to slay such as went up upon the
 Thus there was killing of young and old, making away of
men, women, and children, slaying of virgins and infants.
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
 Yet was he not content with this, but presumed to go
intothe most holy temple of all the world; Menelans, that traitor to the laws,
and to his own country, being his guide:
 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.
 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
 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
 Nevertheless God did not choose the people for the
place's sake, but the place far the people's sake.
 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 glory.
 So when Antiochus had
carried out of the temple a thousand and eight hundred talents, he departed in
all haste to Antiochia, weening in his pride to make the land navigable, and
the sea passable by foot: such was the haughtiness of his mind.
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
 And at Garizim, Andronicus; and besides, Menelans, who
worse than all the rest bare an heavy hand over the citizens, having a malicious
mind against his countrymen the Jews.
 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:
 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 themselves.
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.
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
2Mac.6 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:
 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
 The coming in of this mischief was sore and grievous to the
 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
 The altar also was filled with profane things, which the
 Neither was it lawful for a man to keep sabbath
days or ancient fasts, or to profess himself at all to be a Jew.
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.
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:
 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.
 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.
 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.
 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
 For it is a token of his great goodness, when wicked
doers are not suffered any long time, but forthwith punished.
not as with other nations, whom the Lord patiently forbearsto punish, till
they be come to the fulness of their sins, so dealshe with us,
Lest that, being come to the height of sin, afterwards he should take vengeance
 And therefore he never withdrawshis mercy from us: and
though he punish with adversity, yet doth he never forsake his
 But let this that we at spoken be for a warning to us.
And now will we come to the declaring of the matter in a few
 Eleazar, one of the principal scribes, an aged man, and of
a well favoured countenance, was constrained to open his mouth, and to eat
 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,
 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
 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
 That in so doing he might be delivered from death, and for
the old friendship with them find favour.
 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
 For it becomes 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;
 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
 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.
 Wherefore now, manfully changing this
life, I will shew myself such an one as mine age requireth,
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:
 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.
 But when he
was ready to die with stripes, he groaned, and said, It is manifest to 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.
 And thus this
man died, leaving his death for an example of a noble courage, and a memorial of
virtue, not only to young men, but to all his nation.
2Mac.7 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.
 But one of them
that spoke first said thus, What wouldyou ask or learn of us? we are ready
to die, rather than to transgress the laws of our fathers.
the king, being in a rage, commanded pans and caldrons to be made
 Which forthwith being heated, he commanded to cut out the
tongue of him that spoke first, and to cut off the utmost parts of his body, the
rest of his brethren and his mother looking on.
 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 vapor of the pan was for a
good space dispersed, they exhorted one another with the mother to die manfully,
 The Lord God looksupon 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.
 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 you eat, before you be punished throughout every member of thy
 But he answered in his own language, and said, No. Wherefore
he also received the next torment in order, as the former did.
when he was at the last gasp, he said, you like a fury takus out of this
present life, but the King of the world shall raise us up, who have died for his
laws, to everlasting life.
 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.
 And said courageously,
These I had from heaven; and for his laws I despise them; and from him I hope to
receive them again.
 Insomuch that the king, and they that were
with him, marvelled at the young man's courage, for that he nothing regarded the
 Now when this man was dead also, they tormented and
mangled the fourth in like manner.
 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, you shalt have no resurrection to
 Afterward they brought the fifth also, and mangled
 Then looked he to the king, and said, you hast power over
men, you art corruptible, you dowhat you wilt; yet think not that our
nation is forsaken of God;
 But abide a while, and behold his
great power, how he will torment thee and thy seed.
 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 to us.
 But think
not thou, that take in hand to strive against God, that you shalt escape
 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
 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 to them,
 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;
 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.
 Now Antiochus,
thinking himself despised, and suspecting it to be a reproachful speech, whilst
the youngwas 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.
 But when the young man would
in no case hearken to him, the king called his mother, and exhorted her that
she would counsel the young man to save his life.
 And when he had
exhorted her with many words, she promised him that she would counsel her
 But she bowing herself toward him, laughing the cruel tyrant
to scorn, spoke 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 to this age, and endured the troubles of
 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 likewise.
 Fear not this
tormentor, but, being worthy of thy brethren, take thy death that I may receive
thee again in mercy with thy brethren.
 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.
 And thou, that hast been the author of
all mischief against the Hebrews, shall not escape the hands of
 For we suffer because of our sins.
 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.
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 God:
 For you have not yet escaped the judgment of
Almighty God, who sees all things.
 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
 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 to our
nation; and that you by torments and plagues mayconfess, that he alone is
 And that in me and my brethren the wrath of the Almighty,
which is justly brought upon our nation, may cease.
 Than the
king' being in a rage, handed him worse than all the rest, and took it
grievously that he was mocked.
 So this man died undefiled, and
put his whole trust in the Lord.
 Last of all after the sons the
 Let this be enough now to have spoken concerning the
idolatrous feasts, and the extreme tortures.
2Mac.8 Then Judas Maccabeus, and they that were with him,
went privily into the towns, and called their kinsfolks together, and took to
them all such as continued in the Jews' religion, and assembled about six
 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;
 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 to him,
 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.
 Now when Maccabeis had his company
about him, he could not be withstood by the heathen: for the wrath of the Lord
was turned into mercy.
 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.
specially took he advantage of the night for such privy attempts, insomuch that
the fruit of his holiness was spread every where.
 So when Philip
saw that this man increased by little and little, and that things prospered with
him still more and more, he wrote to Ptolemeus, the governor of Celosyria and
Phenice, to yield more aid to the king's affairs.
 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.
 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.
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.
 Now when word was brought to Judas of
Nicanor's coming, and he had imparted to those that were with him that the
army was at hand,
 They that were fearful, and distrusted the
justice of God, fled, and conveyed themselves away.
 Others sold
all that they had left, and withal besought the Lord to deliver them, sold by
the wicked Nicanor before they met together:
 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.
Maccabeus called his men together to 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
 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
 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.
 Moreover, he
recounted to them what helps their forefathers had found, and how they were
delivered, when under Sennacherib an hundred fourscore and five thousand
 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.
 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;
 And joined with
himself his own brethren, leaders of each band, to wit Simon, and Joseph, and
Jonathan, giving each one fifteen hundred men.
 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,
 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;
And took their money that came to buy them, and pursued them far: but lacking
time they returned:
 For it was the day before the sabbath, and
therefore they would no longer pursue them.
 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 to that day, which was the beginning of mercy
distilling upon them.
 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.
 When this was done,
and they had made a common supplication, they besought the merciful Lord to be
reconciled with his servants for ever.
 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.
 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 Jerusalem.
They slew also Philarches, that wicked person, who was with Timotheus, and had
annoyed the Jews many ways.
 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.
 As for that most ungracious
Nicanor, who had brought a thousand merchants to buy the Jews,
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 to Antioch having very great
dishonour, for that his host was destroyed.
 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.
2Mac.9 About that time came Antiochus with dishonour out of
the country of Persia
 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.
 Now when he came to Ecbatane,
news was brought him what had happened to Nicanor and Timotheus.
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.
 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 parts;
And that most justly: for he had tormented other men's bowels with many and
 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.
 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 to all the
manifest power of God.
 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 filyourss of his smell was noisome to all his army.
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.
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
 And when he himself could not abide his own smell, he
said these words, It is meet to be subject to God, and that a man that is
mortal should not proudly think of himself if he were God.
wicked person vowed also to the Lord, who now no more would have mercy upon
him, saying thus,
 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:
 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:
 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:
 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.
 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 to the Jews the letter underwritten, containing the form of a
supplication, after this manner:
 Antiochus, king and governor, to
the good Jews his citizens wishes much joy, health, and
 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
 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
 Not distrusting mine health, but having great hope to escape
 But considering that even my father, at what time
he led an army into the high countries. appointed a successor,
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:
 Again, considering how that the
princes that are borderers and neighbours to 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 to many of you, when I
went up into the high provinces; to whom I have written as
 Therefore I pray and request you to remember the
benefits that I have done to you generally, and in special, and that every man
will be still faithful to me and my son.
 For I am persuaded that
he understanding my mind will favourably and graciously yield to your
 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.
 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.
2Mac.10 Now Maccabeus and his company, the Lord guiding them,
recovered the temple and the city:
 But the altars which the
heathen had built in the open street, and also the chapels, they pulled
 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.
 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 to
the blasphemous and barbarous nations.
 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
 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
 Therefore they bare branches, and fair boughs, and palms
also, and sang psalms to him that had given them good success in cleansing his
 They ordained also by a common statute and decree, That
every year those days should be kept of the whole nation of the
 And this was the end of Antiochus, called
 Now will we declare the acts of Antiochus Eupator, who
was the son of this wicked man, gathering briefly the calamities of the
 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
 For Ptolemeus, that was called Macron, choosing rather
to do justice to the Jews for the wrong that had been done to them,
endeavoured to continue peace with them.
 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 to 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.
 But when Gorgias
was governor of the holds, he hired soldiers, and nourished war continually with
 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
 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,
 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
 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,
 Maccabeus left Simon and
Joseph, and Zaccheus also, and them that were with him, who were enough to
besiege them, and departed himself to those places which more needed his
 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.
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.
 So he slew
those that were found traitors, and immediately took the two
 And having good success with his weapons in all things
he took in hand, he slew in the two holds more than twenty
 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.
when he drew near, they that were with Maccabeus turned themselves to pray to
God, and sprinkled earth upon their heads, and girded their loins with
 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.
 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.
 Now the
sun being newly risen, they joined both together; the one part having together
with their virtue their refuge also to the Lord for a pledge of their success
and victory: the other side making their rage leader of their
 But when the battle waxed strong, there appeared to the
enemies from heaven five comely men upon horses, with bridles of gold, and two
of them led the Jews,
 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 killed.
 And there were slain of
footmen twenty thousand and five hundred, and six hundred
 As for Timotheus himself, he fled into a very strong
hold, called Gawra, where Chereas was governor.
 But they that
were with Maccabeus laid siege against the fortress courageously four
 And they that were within, trusting to the strength of the
place, blasphemed exceedingly, and uttered wicked words.
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.
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
 And killed Timotheus, that was hid in a certain pit,
and Chereas his brother, with Apollophanes.
 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.
2Mac.11 Not long after the, Lysias the king's protector and
cousin, who also managed the affairs, took sore displeasure for the things that
 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,
 And to make a gain of the temple, as
of the other chapels of the heathen, and to set the high priesthood to sale
 Not at all considering the power of God but puffed up
with his ten thousands of footmen, and his thousands of horsemen, and his
 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 to it.
 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
 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.
And as they were at Jerusalem, there appeared before them on horseback one in
white clothing, shaking his armour of gold.
 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
 Thus they marched forward in their armour, having an
helper from heaven: for the Lord was merciful to them
giving a charge upon their enemies like lions, they slew eleven thousand
footmen, and sixteen hundred horsemen, and put all the other to
 Many of them also being wounded escaped naked; and Lysias
himself fled away shamefully, and so escaped.
 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 to them,
 And persuaded them to agree to all reasonable
conditions, and promised that he would persuade the king that he must needs be a
friend to them.
 Then Maccabeus consented to all that Lysias
desired, being careful of the common good; and whatsoever Maccabeus wrote to
Lysias concerning the Jews, the king granted it.
 For there were
letters written to the Jews from Lysias to this effect: Lysias to the people
of the Jews sendsgreeting:
 John and Absolom, who were sent
from you, delivered me the petition subscribed, and made request for the
performance of the contents thereof.
 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.
 And if then ye will keep yourselves loyal to
the state, hereafter also will I endeavour to be a means of your
 But of the particulars I have given order both to these and
the other that came from me, to commune with you.
 Fare ye well.
The hundred and eight and fortieth year, the four and twentieth day of the month
 Now the king's letter contained these words: King
Antiochus to his brother Lysias sendsgreeting:
 Since our
father is translated to the gods, our will is, that they that are in our realm
live quietly, that every one may attend upon his own affairs.
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.
 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 forefathers.
 you shalt do well
therefore to send to 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
 And the letter of the king to the nation of the Jews
was after this manner: King Antiochus sendsgreeting to the council, and the
rest of the Jews:
 If ye fare well, we have our desire; we are
also in good health.
 Menelans declared to us, that your desire
was to return home, and to follow your own business:
they that will depart shall have safe conduct till the thirtieth day of
Xanthicus with security.
 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.
 I have sent also Menelans, that he
may comfort you.
 Fare ye well. In the hundred forty and eighth
year, and the fifteenth day of the month Xanthicus.
 The Romans
also sent to them a letter containing these words: Quintus Memmius and Titus
Manlius, ambassadors of the Romans, send greeting to the people of the
 Whatsoever Lysias the king's cousin hath granted, therewith
we also are well pleased.
 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
 Therefore send some with speed, that we may know what is
 Farewell. This hundred and eight and fortieth year,
the fifteenth day of the month Xanthicus.
2Mac.12 When these covenants were made, Lysias went to the
king, and the Jews were about their husbandry.
 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.
 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.
 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.
 When Judas heard of this cruelty done to
his countrymen, he commanded those that were with him to make them
 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.
 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.
 But when he heard that the Jamnites were minded to
do in like manner to the Jews that dwelt among them,
 He came
upon the Jamnites also by night, and set fire on the haven and the navy, so that
the light of the fire was seen at Jerusalem two hundred and forty furlongs
 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.
 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.
Judas, thinking indeed that they would be profitable in many things, granted
them peace: whereupon they shook hands, and so they departed to their
 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.
 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
 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,
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.
 Then departed they from thence seven hundred
and fifty furlongs, and came to Characa to the Jews that are called
 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 hold.
 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.
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.
 Now when Timotheus
had knowledge of Judas' coming, he sent the women and children and the other
baggage to a fortress called Carnion: for the town was hard to besiege, and
uneasy to come to, by reason of the straitness of all the
 But when Judas his first band came in sight, the enemies,
being smitten with fear and terror through the appearing of him who sees 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
 Judas also was very earnest in pursuing them, killing
those wicked wretches, of whom he slew about thirty thousand men.
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.
 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.
 Then Maccabeus
marched forth to Carnion, and to the temple of Atargatis, and there he slew five
and twenty thousand persons.
 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.
 But when Judas and his company had called upon
Almighty God, who with his power breaksthe strength of his enemies, they won
the city, and slew twenty and five thousand of them that were
 From thence they departed to Scythopolis, which lies six
hundred furlongs from Jerusalem,
 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;
 They gave
them thanks, desiring them to be friendly still to them: and so they came to
Jerusalem, the feast of the weeks approaching.
 And after the
feast, called Pentecost, they went forth against Gorgias the governor of
 Who came out with three thousand men of foot and four
 And it happened that in their fighting together
a few of the Jews were slain.
 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 to Marisa.
 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
 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
 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.
 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'
 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
 All men therefore praising the Lord, the righteous Judge,
who had opened the things that were hid,
 Betook themselves to
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.
 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 resurrection:
 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.
 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.
2Mac.13 In the hundred forty and ninth year it was told
Judas, that Antiochus Eupator was coming with a great power into
 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.
 Menelans 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
 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 to Berea, and to put him to
death, as the manner is in that place.
 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.
 And whosoever was
condemned of sacrilege, or had committed any other grievous crime, there did all
men thrust him to death.
 Such a death it happened that wicked
man to die, not having so much as burial in the earth; and that most
 For inasmuch as he had committed many sins about the
altar, whose fire and ashes were holy, he received his death in
 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.
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
 And that he would not suffer the people, that had
even now been but a little refreshed, to be in subjection to the blasphemous
 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
 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.
 So when he
had committed all to the Creator of the world, and exhorted his soldiers to
fight manfully, even to death, for the laws, the temple, the city, the
country, and the commonwealth, he camped by Modin:
 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 chiefof the elephants,
with all that were upon him.
 And at last they filled the camp
with fear and tumult, and departed with good success.
 This was
done in the break of the day, because the protection of the Lord did help
 Now when the king had taken a taste of the manliness of the
Jews, he went about to take the holds by policy,
 And marched
toward Bethsura, which was a strong hold of the Jews: but he was put to flight,
failed, and lost of his men:
 For Judas had conveyed to them
that were in it such things as were necessary.
 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 prison.
The king treated with them in Bethsum the second time, gave his hand, took
their's, departed, fought with Judas, was overcome;
 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,
 And accepted well of Maccabeus, made
him principal governor from Ptolemais to the Gerrhenians;
to Ptolemais: the people there were grieved for the covenants; for they stormed,
because they would make their covenants void:
 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.
2Mac.14 After three years was Judas informed, that Demetrius
the son of Seleucus, having entered by the haven of Tripolis with a great power
 Had taken the country, and killed Antiochus, and Lysias
 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
 Came to king Demetrius in the hundred and one and
fiftieth year, presenting to 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
 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:
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
 Therefore I, being deprived of mine ancestors' honour, I
mean the high priesthood, am now come hither:
 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 aforersaid.
Wherefore, O king, seeing knowall these things, be careful for the country,
and our nation, which is pressed on every side, according to the clemency that
thou readily shewunto all.
 For as long as Judas liveth, it is
not possible that the state should be quiet.
 This was no sooner
spoken of him, but others of the king's friends, being maliciously set against
Judas, did more incense Demetrius.
 And forthwith calling Nicanor,
who had been master of the elephants, and making him governor over Judea, he
sent him forth,
 Commanding him to slay Judas, and to scatter them
that were with him, and to make Alcimus high priest of the great
 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
 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 helpshis portion with manifestation of his presence.
at the commandment of the captain they removed straightways from thence, and
came near to them at the town of Dessau.
 Now Simon, Judas'
brother, had joined battle with Nicanor, but was somewhat discomfited through
the sudden silence of his enemies.
 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
 Wherefore he sent Posidonius, and Theodotus, and
Mattathias, to make peace.
 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
 And appointed a day to meet in together by themselves:
and when the day came, and stools were set for either of them,
Ludas placed armed men ready in convenient places, lest some treachery should be
suddenly practised by the enemies: so they made a peaceable
 Now Nicanor abode in Jerusalem, and did no hurt, but
sent away the people that came flocking to him.
 And he would
not willingly have Judas out of his sight: for he love the man from his
 He prayed him also to take a wife, and to beget children:
so he married, was quiet, and took part of this life.
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.
 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 to Antioch.
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.
 But because there was no dealing against
the king, he watched his time to accomplish this thing by policy.
But, when Maccabeus saw that Nicanor began to be churlish to 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.
 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
 And when they sware that they could not tell where the
man was whom he sought,
 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 to Bacchus.
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
 Thou, O Lord of all things, who hast need of nothing,
wast pleased that the temple of your habitation should be among
 Therefore now, O holy Lord of all holiness, keep this house
ever undefiled, which lately was cleansed, and stop every unrighteous
 Now was there accused to 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.
 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.
 So Nicanor, willing to declare the
hate that he bare to the Jews, sent above five hundred men of war to take
 For he thought by taking him to do the Jews much
 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
 Choosing rather to die manfully, than to come into the
hands of the wicked, to be abused otherwise than beseemed his noble
 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 thickof them.
 But they quickly giving
back, and a space being made, he fell down into the midst of the void
 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,
 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.
2Mac.15 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.
 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 sees all things, hath honoured with holiness above all
 Then the most ungracious wretch demanded, if there
were a Mighty one in heaven, that had commanded the sabbath day to be
 And when they said, There is in heaven a living Lord, and
mighty, who commanded the seventh day to be kept:
 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
 So Nicanor in exceeding pride and haughtiness determined to
set up a publick monument of his victory over Judas and them that were with
 But Maccabeus had ever sure confidence that the Lord would
 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 to them from the Almighty.
 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.
 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.
 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
 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.
done, in like manner there appeared a man with gray hairs, and exceeding
glorious, who was of a wonderful and excellent majesty.
Onias answered, saying, This is a lover of the brethren, who praysmuch for
the people, and for the holy city, to wit, Jeremias the prophet of
 Whereupon Jeremias holding forth his right hand gave to
Judas a sword of gold, and in giving it spoke thus,
 Take this
holy sword, a gift from God, with the which you shalt wound the
 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.
 For the care that
they took for their wives, and their children, their brethren, and folks, was in
least account with them: but the greatand principal fear was for the holy
 Also they that were in the city took not the least care,
being troubled for the conflict abroad.
 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
 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 workswonders, knowing
that victory comes not by arms, but even as it seemsgood to him, he gives
it to such as are worthy:
 Therefore in his prayer he said after
this manner; O Lord, you did send your angel in the time of Hezekiah king of
Judea, and didst slay in the host of Sennacherib an hundred eightyfive
 Wherefore now also, O Lord of heaven, send a good angel
before us for a fear and dread to them;
 And through the might
of your arm let those be stricken with terror, that come against thy holy
people to blaspheme. And he ended thus.
 Then Nicanor and they
that were with him came forward with trumpets and songs.
Judas and his company encountered the enemies with invocation and
 So that fighting with their hands, and praying to God
with their hearts, they slew no less than thirty and five thousand men: for
through the appearance of God they were greatly cheered.
 Now when
the battle was done, returning again with joy, they knew that Nicanor lay dead
in his harness.
 Then they made a great shout and a noise,
praising the Almighty in their own language.
 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
 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
 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.
 And when he had cut out the tongue of
that ungodly Nicanor, he commanded that they should give it by pieces to the
fowls, and hang up the reward of his madness before the temple.
So every man praised toward the heaven the glorious Lord, saying, Blessed be he
that hath kept his own place undefiled.
 He hanged also Nicanor's
head upon the tower, an evident and manifest sign to all of the help of the
 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
 Thus went it with Nicanor: and from that time
forth the Hebrews had the city in their power. And here will I make an
 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
 For as it is hurtful to drink wine or water alone;
and as wine mingled with water is pleasant, and delightsthe taste: even so
speech finely framed delightsthe ears of them that read the story. And here
shall be an end.