Deuterocanonical Apocrypha: First Book of Macabees 1
First Book of Macabees

Chapter 1


1:1 And it happened, after Alexander son of Philip, the Macedonian, who came out of the land of Chittiim, had conquered Darius king of the Persians and Medes, that he reigned in his stead, the first over Greece,
1:2 And made many wars, and won many strong holds, and slew the kings of the earth,
1:3 And went through to the ends of the earth, and took spoils of many nations, insomuch that the earth was quiet before him; thus he was exalted and his heart was lifted up.
1:4 And he gathered a mighty strong host and ruled over countries, and nations, and kings, who became tributaries to him.
1:5 And after these things he fell sick, and perceived that he should die.
1:6 Wherefore he called his servants, such as were honourable, and had been brought up with him from his youth, and parted his kingdom among them, while he was yet alive.
1:7 So Alexander reigned twelves years, and then died.
1:8 And his servants bore rule every one in his place.
1:9 And after his death they all put crowns on themselves; so did their sons after them many years: and evils were multiplied in the earth.
1:10 And there came out of them a wicked root Antiochus surnamed Epiphanes, son of Antiochus the king, who had been a hostage at Rome, and he reigned in the hundred and thirty and seventh year of the kingdom of the Greeks.
1:11 In those days went there out of Israel wicked men, who persuaded many, saying, Let us go and make a covenant with the heathen that are round about us: for since we departed from them we have had much sorrow.
1:12 So this device pleased them well.
1:13 Then certain of the people were so forward in this, that they went to the king, who gave them licence to do after the ordinances of the heathen:
1:14 Whereupon they built a place of exercise, a gymnasium at Jerusalem according to the customs of the heathen:
1:15 And made themselves uncircumcised, and forsook the holy covenant, and joined themselves to the heathen, and were bent on doing mischief.
1:16 Now when the kingdom was established before Antiochus, he thought to reign over Egypt that he might have the dominion of two realms.
1:17 Wherefore he entered into Egypt with a great multitude, with chariots, and elephants, and horsemen, and a great navy,
1:18 And made war against Ptolemey king of Egypt: but Ptolemey was afraid of him, and fled; and many were wounded to death.
1:19 Thus they got the strong cities in the land of Egypt and he took the its spoils.
1:20 And after Antiochus had smitten Egypt, he returned again in the hundred forty and third year, and went up against Israel and Jerusalem with a great multitude,
1:21 And entered proudly into the sanctuary, and took away the golden altar, and the candlestick of light, and all its vessels,
1:22 And the table of the shewbread, and the pouring vessels, and the vials. and the censers of gold, and the veil, and the crown, and the golden ornaments that were before the temple, all which he pulled off from the temple.
1:23 He took also the silver and the gold, and the precious vessels: also he took the hidden treasures which he found.
1:24 And when he had taken all away, he went into his own land, having made a great massacre, and spoken very proudly.
1:25 Therefore there was a great mourning in Israel, in every place where they were;
1:26 So that the princes and elders mourned, the virgins and young men were made feeble, and the beauty of women was changed.
1:27 Every bridegroom took up lamentation, and she that sat in the marriage chamber was in heaviness,
1:28 The land also was moved by its inhabitants, and all the house of Jacob was covered with confusion.
1:29 And after two years had fully expired the king sent his chief collector of tribute to the cities of Judea, who came to Jerusalem with a great multitude,
1:30 And spoke peaceable words to them, but all was deceit: for when they had given him credence, he fell suddenly upon the city, and smote it very sore, and destroyed many people of Israel.
1:31 And when he had taken the spoils of the city, he set it on fire, and pulled down its houses and walls on every side.
1:32 But they took the women and children captive, and possessed the cattle.
1:33 Then they built the city of David with a great and strong wall, and with mighty towers, and made it a strong hold for them.
1:34 And they put in it a sinful nation, wicked men, and fortified themselves there.
1:35 They stored it also with armour and victuals, and when they had gathered together the spoils of Jerusalem, they laid them up there, and so they became a sore snare:
1:36 For it was a place to lie in wait against the sanctuary, and an evil adversary to Israel.
1:37 Thus they shed innocent blood on every side of the sanctuary, and defiled it:
1:38 Insomuch that the inhabitants of Jerusalem fled because of them: whereupon the city was made a habitation of strangers, and became strange to those that were born in her; and her own children left her.
1:39 Her sanctuary was laid waste like a wilderness, her feasts were turned into mourning, her sabbaths into reproach her honor into contempt.
1:40 As her glory had been increased,, so was her dishonour and her excellency was turned into mourning.
1:41 Moreover king Antiochus wrote to his whole kingdom, that all should be one people,
1:42 And every one should leave his laws: so all the heathen agreed according to the commandment of the king.
1:43 Yes, many also of the Israelites consented to his religion, and sacrificed to idols, and profaned the sabbath.
1:44 For the king had sent letters by messengers to Jerusalem and the cities of Judea that they should follow the strange laws of the land,
1:45 And forbade burnt offerings, and sacrifice, and drink offerings, in the temple; and that they should profane the sabbaths and festival days:
1:46 And pollute the sanctuary and holy people:
1:47 Set up altars, and groves, and chapels of idols, and sacrifice swine's flesh, and unclean beasts:
1:48 That they should also leave their children uncircumcised, and make their souls abominable with all manner of uncleanness and profanation:
1:49 So that they might forget the law, and change all the ordinances.
1:50 And whoever would not do according to the commandment of the king, he said, he should die.
1:51 In the selfsame manner he wrote to his whole kingdom, and appointed overseers over all the people, commanding the cities of Judea to sacrifice, city by city.
1:52 Then many of the people were gathered to them, that is, every one that forsook the law; and so they committed evils in the land;
1:53 And drove the Israelites into secret places, even whereever they could flee for succour.
1:54 Now the fifteenth day of the month Casleu, in the hundred forty and fifth year, they set up the abomination of desolation upon the altar, and buildt idol altars throughout the cities of Judea on every side; See I Mac 4:52
1:55 And burned incense at the doors of their houses, and in the streets.
1:56 And when they had torn in pieces the books of the law which they found, they burned them with fire.
1:57 And whoever was found with any the book of the testament, or if any committed to the law, the king's commandment was, that they should put him to death.
1:58 Thus they did by their authority to the Israelites every month, to as many as were found in the cities.
1:59 Now on the twentieth fifth day of the month they did sacrifice upon the idol altar, which was on the altar of God.
1:60 At which time according to the commandment they put to death certain women, who had caused their children to be circumcised.
1:61 And they hanged the infants from their necks, and rifled their houses, and killed those who had circumcised them.
1:62 Even so, many in Israel were fully resolved and confirmed in themselves not to eat any unclean thing.
1:63 So that they would rather die, so that they might not be defiled with meats, and that they might not profane the holy covenant: so then they died.
1:64 And there was very great wrath on Israel.

Next: Macabees 1 2