Second Book of Macabees
Next: Macabees 2 14
13:1 In the hundred forty and ninth year it was told Judas, that Antiochus Eupator was coming with a great power into Judea,
13:2 And with him Lysias his protector, and ruler of his affairs, having either of them a Grecian power of footmen, an hundred and ten thousand, and horsemen five thousand and three hundred, and elephants two and twenty, and three hundred chariots armed with hooks.
13:3 Menelaus also joined himself with them, and with great dissimulation encouraged Antiochus, not for the safeguard of the country, but because he thought to have been made governor.
13:4 But the King of kings moved Antiochus' mind against this wicked wretch, and Lysias informed the king that this man was the cause of all mischief, so that the king commanded to bring him unto Berea, and to put him to death, as the manner is in that place.
13:5 Now there was in that place a tower of fifty cubits high, full of ashes, and it had a round instrument which on every side hanged down into the ashes.
13:6 And whosoever was condemned of sacrilege, or had committed any other grievous crime, there did all men thrust him unto death.
13:7 Such a death it happened that wicked man to die, not having so much as burial in the earth; and that most justly:
13:8 For inasmuch as he had committed many sins about the altar, whose fire and ashes were holy, he received his death in ashes.
13:9 Now the king came with a barbarous and haughty mind to do far worse to the Jews, than had been done in his father's time.
13:10 Which things when Judas perceived, he commanded the multitude to call upon the Lord night and day, that if ever at any other time, he would now also help them, being at the point to be put from their law, from their country, and from the holy temple:
13:11 And that he would not suffer the people, that had even now been but a little refreshed, to be in subjection to the blasphemous nations.
13:12 So when they had all done this together, and besought the merciful Lord with weeping and fasting, and lying flat upon the ground three days long, Judas, having exhorted them, commanded they should be in a readiness.
13:13 And Judas, being apart with the elders, determined, before the king's host should enter into Judea, and get the city, to go forth and try the matter in fight by the help of the Lord.
13:14 So when he had committed all to the Creator of the world, and exhorted his soldiers to fight manfully, even unto death, for the laws, the temple, the city, the country, and the commonwealth, he camped by Modin:
13:15 And having given the watchword to them that were about him, Victory is of God; with the most valiant and choice young men he went in into the king's tent by night, and slew in the camp about four thousand men, and the chiefest of the elephants, with all that were upon him.
13:16 And at last they filled the camp with fear and tumult, and departed with good success.
13:17 This was done in the break of the day, because the protection of the Lord did help him.
13:18 Now when the king had taken a taste of the manliness of the Jews, he went about to take the holds by policy,
13:19 And marched toward Bethsura, which was a strong hold of the Jews: but he was put to flight, failed, and lost of his men:
13:20 For Judas had conveyed unto them that were in it such things as were necessary.
13:21 But Rhodocus, who was in the Jews' host, disclosed the secrets to the enemies; therefore he was sought out, and when they had gotten him, they put him in prison.
13:22 The king treated with them in Bethsum the second time, gave his hand, took their's, departed, fought with Judas, was overcome;
13:23 Heard that Philip, who was left over the affairs in Antioch, was desperately bent, confounded, intreated the Jews, submitted himself, and sware to all equal conditions, agreed with them, and offered sacrifice, honoured the temple, and dealt kindly with the place,
13:24 And accepted well of Maccabeus, made him principal governor from Ptolemais unto the Gerrhenians;
13:25 Came to Ptolemais: the people there were grieved for the covenants; for they stormed, because they would make their covenants void:
13:26 Lysias went up to the judgment seat, said as much as could be in defence of the cause, persuaded, pacified, made them well affected, returned to Antioch. Thus it went touching the king's coming and departing.