Deuterocanonical Apocrypha: First Book of Macabees 4

First Book of Macabees

Chapter 4


4:1 Then Gorgias took five thousand footmen, and a thousand of the best horsemen, and removed out of the camp by night;
4:2 So that he might rush in on the camp of the Jews, and strike them suddenly. And the men of the fortress were his guides.
4:3 Now when Judas heard of it he removed himself and the valiant men with him, so that he might strike the king's army which was at Emmaus,
4:4 While as yet the forces were dispersed from the camp.
4:5 In the mean time Gorgias ame by night to the camp of Judas: and when he found no man there, he sought them in the mountains: for said he, These fellows are fleeing from us
4:6 But as soon as it was day, Judas showed himself in the plain with three thousand men, who nevertheless had neither armor nor swords to their hands.
4:7 And they saw the camp of the heathen, that it was strong and well harnessed, and compassed round about with horsemen; and these were expert in war.
4:8 Then Judas said to the men that were with him, Do not fear their multitude, neither be afraid of their assault.
4:9 Remember how our fathers were delivered in the Red sea, when Pharaoh pursued them with an army.
4:10 Now therefore let us cry to heaven, if perhaps the Lord will have mercy upon us, and remember the covenant of our fathers, and destroy this host before our face this day:
4:11 So that all the heathen may know that there is one who delivers and saves Israel.
4:12 Then the strangers lifted up their eyes, and saw them coming over against them.
4:13 Wherefore they went out of the camp to battle; but they that were with Judas sounded their trumpets.
4:14 So they joined battle, and the heathen being confused fled to the plain.
4:15 Howbeit all the rear of them were slain with the sword: for they pursued them to Gazera, and to the plains of Idumea, and Azotus, and Jamnia, so that there were slain of them about three thousand men.
4:16 This done, Judas returned again with his host from pursuing them,
4:17 And said to the people, Do not be greedy of the spoil inasmuch as there is a battle before us,
4:18 And Gorgias and his host are here by us in the mountain: but stand now against our enemies, and overcome them, and after this ye may boldly take the spoils.
4:19 As Judas was yet speaking these words, there appeared a part of them looking out of the mountain:
4:20 Who when they perceived that the Jews had put their host to flight and were burning the tents; for the smoke that was seen declared what was done:
4:21 Therefore when they perceived these things, they were sore afraid, and seeing also the host of Judas in the plain ready to fight,
4:22 They fled every one into the land of heathen.
4:23 Then Judas returned to spoil the tents, where they got much gold, and silver, and blue silk, and purple of the sea, and great riches.
4:24 After this they went home, and sang a song of thanksgiving, and praised the Lord in heaven: because it is good, because his mercy endures forever.
4:25 Thus Israel had a great deliverance that day.
4:26 Now all the strangers that had escaped came and told Lysias what had happened:
4:27 Who, when he heard it, was confounded and discouraged, because neither such things as he wanted were done to Israel, nor such things as the king commanded him happened.
4:28 Therefore the next year following Lysias gathered together sixty thousand choice men on foot, and five thousand horsemen, that he might subdue them.
4:29 So they came into Idumea, and pitched their tents at Bethsura, and Judas met them with ten thousand men.
4:30 And when he saw that mighty army, he prayed and said, Blessed are You O Savior of Israel, who did quell the violence of the mighty man by the hand of your servant David, and gave the host of strangers into the hands of Jonathan the son of Saul, and his armorbearer;
4:31 Shut up this army in the hand of thy people Israel, and let them and thier horsemen be confounded in their power:
4:32 Make them to be of no courage, and cause the boldness of their strength to fall away, and let them quake at their destruction:
4:33 Cast them down with the sword of those who love You, and let all those that know your name praise You with thanksgiving.
4:34 So they joined battle; and there were slain of the host of Lysias about five thousand men, they slain were even before them.
4:35 Now when Lysias saw his army put to flight, and the manliness of Judas' soldiers, and how they were ready either to live or die valiantly, he went into Antiochia, and gathered together a company of heathen, and having made his army greater than it was, he purposed to come again into Judea.
4:36 Then Juda and his brethrens said, Behold, our enemies are confounded: let us go up to cleanse and dedicate the sanctuary.
4:37 Upon this all the host assembled themselves together, and went up into mount Zion.
4:38 And when they saw the sanctuary desolate, and the altar profaned, and the gates burned up, and shrubs growing in the courts as in a forest, or in one of the mountains, yes, and the priests' chambers pulled down;
4:39 They tore their clothes, and made great lamentation, and cast ashes upon their heads,
4:40 And fell down flat to the ground on their faces, and blew an alarm with the trumpets, and cried toward heaven.
4:41 Then Judas appointed certain men to fight against those that were in the fortress, until he had cleansed the sanctuary.
4:42 So he chose priests of blameless conversation, such as had pleasure in the law:
4:43 Who cleansed the sanctuary, and bare out the defiled stones into an unclean place.
4:44 And when as they consulted what to do with the altar of burnt offerings, which was profaned;
4:45 They thought it best to pull it down, lest it should be a reproach to them, because the heathen had defiled it: therefore they pulled it down,
4:46 And laid up the stones in the mountain of the temple in a convenient place, until there should come a prophet to show what should be done with them.
4:47 Then they took whole stones according to the law, and built a new altar according to or like the former;
4:48 And made up the sanctuary, and the things that were within the temple, and hallowed the courts.
4:49 They made also new holy vessels, and they brought the candlestick into the temple, and the altar of burnt offerings, and of incense, and the table.
4:50 And on the altar they burned incense, and the lamps that were upon the candlestick they lighted, that they might give light in the temple.
4:51 Furthermore they set the loaves upon the table, and spread out the veils, and finished all the works which they had begun to make.
4:52 Now on the twentieth fifth day of the ninth month, which is called the month Casleu, in the hundred forty and eighth year, they rose up betimes in the morning, See 1:54 (3 yrs & 10 days)
4:53 And offered sacrifice according to the law upon the new altar of burnt offerings, which they had made.
4:54 Look, at what time and what day the heathen had profaned it, even in that was it dedicated with songs, and citherns, and harps, and cymbals.
4:55 Then all the people fell upon their faces, worshipping and praising the God of heaven, who had given them good success.
4:56 And so they kept the dedication of the altar eight days and offered burnt offerings with gladness, and sacrificed the sacrifice of deliverance and praise.
4:57 They also decorated the forefront of the temple with crowns of gold, and with shields; and the gates and they renewed and the chambers, and hanged doors on them.
4:58 Thus there was very great gladness among the people, for that the reproach of the heathen was put away.
4:59 Moreover Judas and his brethren with the whole congregation of Israel ordained, that the days of the dedication of the altar should be kept in their season, with mirth and gladness, from year to year by the space of eight days, from twenty fifth day of the month Casleu.
4:60 At that time also they built up Mount Zion with high walls and strong towers round about, lest the Gentiles should come and tread it down as they had done before.
4:61 And they set a garrison there to keep it, and fortified Bethsura to preserve it; that the people might have a defence against Idumea.
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