Deuterocanonical Apocrypha: First Book of Macabees 2
First Book of Macabees
2:1 In those days Mattathias the son of John, the son of Simeon arose, a priest of the
sons of Joarib, from Jerusalem, who dwelt in Modin.
2:2 And he had five sons, Johannan, called Caddis:
2:3 Simon; called Thassi:
2:4 Judeas, who was called Maccabeus:
2:5 Eleazar, called Avaran: and Jonathan, whose surname was Apphus.
2:6 And when he saw the blasphemies that were committed in Judea and Jerusalem,
2:7 He said, Woe is me! why was I born to see this misery of my people, and of the holy
city, and to dwell there, when it was delivered into the hand of the enemy, and the sanctuary into the hand
2:8 Her temple is become as a man without glory.
2:9 Her glorious vessels are carried away into captivity, her infants are slain in the
streets, her young men with the sword of the enemy.
2:10 What nation has not had a part in her kingdom and received of her spoils?
2:11 All her ornaments are taken away; from a free woman she has become a bondslave.
2:12 And, behold, our sanctuary, even our beauty and our glory, is laid waste, and the
Gentiles have profaned it.
2:13 To what end therefore shall we live any longer?
2:14 Then Mattathias and his sons tore their clothes, and put on sackcloth, and mourned
2:15 In the mean while the king's officers, such as compelled the people to revolt,
came into the city of Modin, to make them sacrifice.
2:16 And when many of Israel came to them, Mattathias also and his sons came together.
2:17 Then the king's officers answered and said to Mattathias on this wise, You are a
ruler, and an honorable and great man in this city, and strengthened with sons and brothers:
2:18 Now therefore you come first, and fulfil the king's commandment, just like as all the
heathen have done, yes, and the men of Judea also, and such as remain at Jerusalem: so shall you and your house
be in the number of the king's friends, and thou and you children shall be honored with silver and gold, and
2:19 Then Mattathias answered and spoke with a loud voice, Though all the nations that
are under the king's dominion obey him, and fall away every one from the religion of their fathers, and give
consent to his commandments:
2:20 Yet will I and my sons and my brethren walk in the covenant of our fathers.
2:21 God forbid that we should forsake the law and the ordinances.
2:22 We will not hearken to the king's words, to go from our religion, either on the
right hand, or the left.
2:23 Now when he had left speaking these words, there came one of the Jews in the sight
of all to sacrifice on the altar which was in Modin, according to the king's commandment.
2:24 When Mattathias saw this thing, he was inflamed with zeal, and his reins trembled,
neither could he forbear to shew his anger according to judgment: wherefore he ran, and slew him upon the
2:25 Also he killed the king's commissioner who compelled men to sacrifice at that time,
and he pulled down the altar .
2:26 Thus he dealt zealously for the law of God like Phinees did to Zambri the son of
2:27 And Mattathias cried throughout the city with a loud voice, saying, Whoever is
zealous for the law, and maintains the covenant, let him follow me.
2:28 So he and his sons fled into the mountains, and left all that they ever had in the
2:29 Then many who sought after justice and judgment went down into the wilderness, to
2:30 They, and their children, and their wives; and their cattle; because afflictions
increased sore on them.
2:31 Now when it was told to the king's servants, and the host that was at Jerusalem,
in the city of David, that certain men, who had broken the king's commandment, were gone down into the secret
places in the wilderness,
2:32 They pursued after them a great number, and having overtaken them, they camped
against them, and made war against them on the sabbath day.
2:33 And they said to them, Let that which you have done before suffice; come forth,
and do according to the commandment of the king, and you shall live.
2:34 But they said, We will not come forth, neither will we do the king's commandment,
to profane the sabbath day.
2:35 So then they gave them the battle with all speed.
2:36 Howbeit they did not answer them, neither did they cast a stone at them, nor stopped
the places where they lay hidden;
2:37 But said, Let us all die in our innocency: heaven and earth will testify for us,
that you put us to death wrongfully.
2:38 So they rose up against them in battle on the sabbath, and they slew them, with
their wives and children and their cattle, to the number of a thousand people.
2:39 Now when Mattathias and his friends understood this, they mourned for them right
2:40 And one of them said to another, If we all do as our brethren have done, and do not
fight for our lives and laws against the heathen, they will now quickly root us out of the earth.
2:41 At that time therefore they decreed, saying, Whoever shall come to make battle
with us on the sabbath day, we will fight against him; neither will we all die, as our brethren that were
murdered im the secret places.
2:42 Then there came to him a company of Assideans who were mighty men of Israel, even
all such as were voluntarily devoted to the law.
2:43 Also all they that fled for persecution joined themselves to them, and were a stay
2:44 So they joined their forces, and struck sinful men in their anger, and wicked men
in their wrath: but the rest fled to the heathen for succour.
2:45 Then Mattathias and his friends went round about, and pulled down the altars:
2:46 And what children soever they found within the coast of Israel uncircumcised, those they circumcised valiantly.
2:47 They also pursued after the proud men, and the work prospered in their hand.
2:48 So they recovered the law out of the hand of the Gentiles, and out of the hand of
kings, neither did they suffer the sinner to triumph.
2:49 Now when the time drew near that Mattathias should die, he said to his sons, Now
has pride and rebuke gotten strength, and the time of destruction, and the wrath of indignation:
2:50 Now therefore, my sons, be zealous for the law, and give your lives for the
covenant of your fathers.
2:51 Call to remembrance what acts our fathers did in their time; so shall you receive
great honor and an everlasting name.
2:52 Was not Abraham found faithful in temptation, and it was imputed to him for
2:53 Joseph in the time of his distress kept the commandment and was made lord of Egypt.
2:54 Phineas our father in being zealous and fervent obtained the covenant of an
2:55 Joshua for fulfilling the word was made a judge in Israel.
2:56 Caleb for bearing witness before the congregation received the heritage of the land.
2:57 David for being merciful possessed the throne of an everlasting kingdom.
2:58 Elias for being zealous and fervent for the law was taken up into heaven.
2:59 Ananias, Azarias, and Mishael, by believing were saved out of the flame.
2:60 Daniel for his innocency was delivered from the mouth of lions.
2:61 And thus consider throughout all ages, that none that put their trust in him shall
2:62 Fear not then the words of a sinful man: for his glory shall be dung and worms.
2:63 Today he shall be lifted up and tomorrow he shall not be found, because he is
returned into his dust, and his thought is come to nothing.
2:64 Wherefore, ye my sons, be valiant and shew yourselves men in the behalf of the law;
for by it you shall obtain glory.
2:65 And behold, I know that your brother Simon is a man of counsel, give ear to him
alway: he shall be a father to you.
2:66 As for Judas Maccabeus, he has been mighty and strong, even from his youth up: let
him be your captain, and fight the battle of the people.
2:67 Take also to you all those that observe the law, and avenge the wrong of your people.
2:68 Recompense fully the heathen, and take heed to the commandments of the law.
2:69 So he blessed them, and was gathered to his fathers.
2:70 And he died in the hundred forty and sixth year, and his sons buried him in the
sepulchres of his fathers at Modin, and all Israel made great lamentation for him.