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Second Book of the Maccabees

The Second Book of the Maccabees   [Sefer ha-Makabim]

Chapter 1

1 To the brethren the Yahudim [Jews] that are throughout Egypt, the brethren, the Yahudim that are in Yerusalem [Jerusalem], and in the land of Yahudah [Judea], I send health, and good peace.
2 May Yahwah be gracious to you, and remember His covenant that He made with Abraham, Isaac, and Yaacob [Jacob], His faithful servants.
3 May He give you all a heart to worship Him, to do His will with a great heart, and a willing mind.
4 May He open your heart in His law, and in His commandments, and send you peace.
5 May He hear your prayers, be reconciled to you, and never forsake you in the evil time.
6 We here are praying for you.
7 When Demetrius reigned, in the year one hundred and sixty-nine, we Yahudim wrote to you, in the trouble and violence that came upon us in those years, after Jason withdrew himself from the holy land, and from the kingdom.
8 They burned the gate, and shed innocent blood. We prayed to Yahwah, and were heard. We offered sacrifices, fine flour, lighted the lamps, and set forth the leaves.
9 Now celebrate the days of Scenopegia in the month of Casleu.
10 In the year one hundred and eighty-eight, the people that is at Yerusalem, in Yahudah, the senate, and Yahudah, to Aristobolus, the preceptor of king Ptolemy, who is of the stock of the anointed priests, and to the Yahudim that are in Egypt, health and welfare.
11 After being delivered by Yahwah out of great dangers, we give Him great thanks, forasmuch as we were in war with such a king.
12 He made numbers of men swarm out of Persia to fight against us, and the holy city.
13 When the leader himself was in Persia, and with him a very great army, he fell in the temple of Nanea, being deceived by the counsel of the priests of Nanea.
14 Antiochus came with his friends to the place as though he would marry her, that he might receive great sums of money under the title of a dowry.
15 When the priests of Nanea set it forth, and he entered into the compass of the temple with a small company, they shut the temple.
16 When Antiochus came in they opened a secret entrance of the temple, they cast stones, slew the leader, and those who were with him. They hewed them in pieces, cut off their heads, and threw them forth.
17 Blessed is Yahwah in all things, who delivered up the wicked.
18 Therefore we purpose to keep the purification of the temple on the five and twentieth day of the month of Casleu. We thought it necessary to signify it to you, that you may also keep the day of Scenopegia, and the day of the fire that was given when Nehemyah offered sacrifice, after the temple and the altar were built.
19 When our fathers were led in Persia, the priests who were worshippers of Yahwah then took the fire from the altar secretly, hid it in a valley where there was a deep pit without water, and they kept it safe there.
20 When many years passed, and it pleased Yahwah that Nehemyah [Nehemias] should be sent by the king of Persia, he sent some of the posterity of those priests who had hid it, to seek for the fire. As they told us, they found no fire, but thick water.
21 He bade them draw it up, and bring it to him. The priest Nehemyah commanded the sacrifices that were laid on, to be sprinkled with the same water, both the wood, and the things that were laid upon it.
22 When this was done, and the time came that the sun shone out (which was in a cloud before), there was a great fire kindled, so that all wondered.
23 All the priests made prayer while the sacrifice was consuming. Jonathan beginning, and the rest answering.
24 The prayer of Nehemyah was after this manner: O Father Yahwah, Creator of all things, dreadful and strong, just and merciful, who alone is the good king,
25 who alone is gracious, who alone is just, almighty, and eternal, who delivers Yisrayah [Israel] from all evil, who chose the fathers and sanctified them:
26 Receive the sacrifice for all your people Yisrayah. Preserve your own portion, and sanctify it.
27 Gather together our scattered people, deliver those who are slaves to the Gentiles, and look upon those who are despised and abhorred, that the Gentiles may know you are Yahwah.
28 Punish those who oppress us, and that treat us injuriously with pride.
29 Establish your people in your holy place, as Moshe spoke.
30 The priests sung hymns till the sacrifice was consumed.
31 When the sacrifice was consumed, Nehemyah commanded the water that was left to be poured out upon the great stones.
32 Which being done, there was kindled a flame from them, but it was consumed by the light that shined from the altar.
33 When this matter became public, it was told to the king of Persia, that in the place where the priests that were led away hid the fire, there appeared water, with which Nehemyah and those who were with him purified the sacrifices.
34 The king considered, diligently examined the matter, and made a temple for it, that he might prove what happened.
35 When he proved it, he gave the priests many goods, and diverse presents. He took and distributed them to them with his own hand.
36 Nehemyah called this place Nephthar, which is interpreted purification. But many call it Nephi.

Chapter 2

1 It is found in the descriptions of Yeremyah [Jeremiah] the prophet, that he commanded those who went into captivity, to take the fire, as it was signified, and how he gave charge to those who were carried away into captivity.
2 He gave them the law that they should not forget the commandments of Yahwah, that they should not err in their minds, seeing the idols of gold and silver, and the ornaments of them.
3 With other similar speeches, he exhorted them that they would not remove the law from their heart.
4 It was also contained in the same writing, how the prophet, being warned by Yahwah, commanded that the tabernacle and the ark should accompany him, till he came forth to the mountain "where Moshe went up and saw the inheritance of Yahwah".
5 When Yeremyah came there he found a hollow cave. He carried the tabernacle in there, with the ark and the altar of incense, and so stopped the door.
6 Some of those who followed him came up to mark the place, but they could not find it.
7 When Yeremyah perceived it, he blamed them, saying: The place shall be unknown till Yahwah gather together the congregation of the people, and receive them to mercy.
8 Then Yahwah will show these things, and the majesty of Yahwah shall appear. There shall be a cloud as it was also shown to Moshe, "and he showed it when Solomon prayed that the place might be sanctified to the great Yahwah."
9 He treated wisdom in a magnificent manner. He offered the sacrifice of the dedication like a wise man, and the finishing of the temple.
10 As Moshe prayed to Yahwah, and fire came down from heaven to consume the sacrifice, so Solomon also prayed, and fire came down from heaven to consume the sacrifice.
11 Moshe said: Because the sin offering was not eaten, it was consumed.
12 So Solomon also celebrated the dedication eight days.
13 These same things were set down in the memoirs and commentaries of Nehemyah. He made a library, and gathered together out of the countries, the books of the prophets, of David, the epistles of the kings, and concerning the holy gifts.
14 In like manner Yahudah also gathered together all such things as were lost by the war we had, and they are in our possession.
15 Wherefore if you want these things, send some that may fetch them to you.
16 We are then about to celebrate the purification. We wrote to you, and you shall do well if you keep the same days.
17 We hope Yahwah who delivered His people, rendered the inheritance to all, the kingdom, the priesthood, and the sanctuary,
18 will have mercy upon us shortly, as He promised in the law, and will gather us together from every land under heaven into the holy place.
19 He delivered us out of great perils, and cleansed the place.
20 Concerning Yahudah Maccabees [Machabeus], his brethren, the purification of the great temple, the dedication of the altar,
21 the wars against Antioch the Illustrious, and his son Eupator,
22 the manifestations from heaven to those who behaved themselves manfully on the behalf of the Yahudim (so that, being but a few, they made themselves masters of the whole country, put the barbarous multitude to flight,
23 recovered again the most renowned temple in all the world, delivered the city, and restored the laws that were abolished, Yahwah showing mercy to them with all clemency),
24 all such things as were comprised in five books by Jason of Cyrene, we attempt to abridge in one book.
25 Considering the multitude of books, and the difficulty that they who desire to undertake the narrations of histories find, because of the multitude of the matter,
26 We took care for those indeed who are willing to read, that it might be a pleasure of mind, and that the studious may more easily commit to memory, and that all who read might receive profit.
27 As to ourselves, in under-taking this work of abridging, we took in hand no easy task indeed, yea, rather a business full of watching and sweat.
28 But as those who prepare a feast, and seek to satisfy the will of others, we willingly undergo the labor for the sake of many.
29 Leaving to the authors the exact handling of every particular, and as for ourselves, according to the plan proposed, studying to be brief.
30 As the master builder of a new house must have care of the whole building, but he that takes care to paint it must seek out fit things for the adorning of it, so must it be judged for us.
31 To collect all that is to be known, to put the discourse in order, and to curiously discuss every particular point, is the duty of the author of a history.
32 But to pursue brevity of speech, to avoid nice declarations of things, is to be granted to him that makes an abridgment.
33 We will begin the narration here, let this be enough by way of a preface. It is a foolish thing to make a long prologue, and to be short in the story itself.

Chapter 3

1 The holy city was inhabited with all peace, and the laws as yet were very well kept, because of the righteousness of Onias the high priest, and the hatred his soul had of evil.
2 It came to pass that even the kings themselves, and the princes, esteemed the place worthy of the highest honor, and glorified the temple with very great gifts.
3 Seleucus king of Asia allowed out of his revenues all the charges belonging to the ministry of the sacrifices.
4 But one Simon of the tribe of Benjamin, who was appointed overseer of the temple, strove in opposition to the high priest, to bring about some unjust thing in the city.
5 When he could not overcome Onias he went to Apollonius the son of Tharseas, who at that time was governor of Celesyria and Phenicia.
6 He told him the treasury in Yerusalem was full of immense sums of money, and the common store was infinite, which did not belong to the account of the sacrifices. And that it was possible to bring all into the king's hands.
7 Apollonius gave the king notice concerning the money that he was told of. He called for Heliodorus, who had the charge over his affairs, and sent him with commission to bring him the foresaid money.
8 So Heliodorus forthwith began his journey, under a color of visiting the cities of Celesyria and Phenicia, but indeed to fulfil the king's purpose.
9 When he came to Yerusalem, and was courteously received in the city by the high priest, he told him what information was given concerning the money. He declared the cause for which he was come, and asked if these things were indeed so.
10 The high priest told him that these were sums deposited, provisions for the subsistence of the widows and the fatherless.
11 That some part of that which wicked Simon gave intelligence of belonged to Hircanus son of Tobiyah, a man of great dignity. The whole was four hundred talents of silver, and two hundred of gold.
12 To deceive those who trusted to the place and temple which is honored throughout the whole world, for the reverence and holiness of it, was a thing which could not be done by any means.
13 By reason of the orders he received from the king, he said that by all means the money must be carried to the king.
14 So on the day he appointed, Heliodorus entered in to order this matter. There was no small terror throughout the whole city.
15 The priests prostrated themselves before the altar in their priests' vestments, and called upon Him from heaven, who made the law concerning things given to be kept, that He would preserve them safe for those who had deposited them.
16 Whosoever saw the countenance of the high priest was wounded in heart. His face, and the changing of his color declared the inward sorrow of his mind.
17 The man was so compassed with sadness and horror of the body that it was manifest to those who beheld him what sorrow he had in his heart.
18 Others also came hocking together out of their houses, praying and making public supplication, because the place was like to come into contempt.
19 The women, girded with haircloth about their breasts, came together in the streets. The virgins who were shut up also came forth, some to Onias, some to the walls, and others looked out of the windows.
20 All holding up their hands towards heaven, made supplication.
21 The expectation of the mixed multitude, and of the high priest who was in an agony, would have moved anyone to pity.
22 These indeed called upon almighty Yahwah, to preserve the things that were committed to them, safe and sure for those who had committed them.
23 Heliodorus executed that which he resolved, himself being present in the same place with his guard about the treasury.
24 The Spirit of the Almighty Yahwah gave a great evidence of His presence. All who presumed to obey him were struck with fainting and dread, falling down by the power of Yahwah.
25 There appeared to them a horse with a terrible rider upon him, adorned with a very rich covering. He ran fiercely, and struck Heliodorus with his fore feet, he who sat upon him seemed to have armor of gold.
26 Moreover there appeared two other young men beautiful and strong, bright and glorious, and in comely apparel. They stood by him, on either side, and scourged him without ceasing with many stripes.
27 Heliodorus fell to the ground suddenly. They took him up, covered with great darkness, put him into a litter, and carried him out.
28 So he who came into the aforesaid treasury, with many servants and all his guard, was carried out. No one was able to help him, the manifest power of Yahwah being known.
29 He lay speechless by the power of Yahwah, without all hope of recovery.
30 They praised Yahwah because He glorified His place. The temple, that a little before was full of fear and trouble, was filled with joy and gladness when the almighty Yahwah appeared.
31 Then some of the friends of Heliodorus begged of Onias, that he would call upon the most High to grant him his life, who was ready to give up the ghost.
32 The high priest considered that the king might perhaps suspect that some mischief was done to Heliodorus by the Yahudim, and offered a sacrifice of health for the recovery of the man.
33 When the high priest was praying, the same young men in the same clothing stood by Heliodorus, and said to him: Give thanks to Onias the priest, for his sake Yahwah granted you life.
34 Having been scourged by Yahwah, declare to all men the great works and the power of Yahwah. Then they did not appear anymore.
35 Heliodorus offered a sacrifice to Yahwah, made great vows to him who granted him life, gave thanks to Onias, took his troops with him, and returned to the king.
36 He testified to all men the works of the great Yahwah, which he saw with his own eyes.
37 The king asked Heliodorus who might be a fit man to be sent yet once more to Yerusalem. He said:
38 If you have any enemy or traitor to your kingdom, send him there. You shall receive him again scourged, if so be he escape. There is undoubtedly a certain power of Yahwah in that place.
39 He who has His dwelling in the heavens is the visitor and protector of that place. He strikes and destroys those who come to do evil to it.
40 The things concerning Heliodorus, and the keeping of the treasury, fell out in this manner.

Chapter 4

1 Simon, of whom we spoke before (and of his country), spoke ill of Onias, as though he incited Heliodorus to do these things, and was the promoter of evils.
2 He presumed to call him a traitor to the kingdom, who provided for the city, defended his nation, and was zealous for the law of Yahwah.
3 Enmities proceeded so far that murders were committed by some of Simon's friends.
4 Onias considered the danger of this contention. Apollonius (the governor of Celesyria and Phenicia) was outrageous, which increased the malice of Simon.
5 Onias went to the king, not to be an accuser of his countrymen, but with a view to the common good of all the people.
6 He saw that it was impossible matters would be settled in peace, or that Simon would cease from his folly, except the king took care.
7 After the death of Seleucus, Antiochus (who was called the Illustrious [Antiochus Epiphanes]) took possession of the kingdom. Jason the brother of Onias ambitiously sought the high priesthood.
8 He went to the king, promised him three hundred and sixty talents of silver, and out of other revenues four-score talents.
9 Besides this he also promised a hundred and fifty more, if he might have license to set up a place for exercise, and a place for youth, to entitle those who were at Yerusalem as Antiochians.
10 The king granted, he got the rule into his hands, and he began to bring over his countrymen to the fashion of the heathens.
11 He abolished those things which were decreed of special favor by the kings in behalf of the Yahudim, by the means of Yahchanan [John] the father of Eupolemus, who went ambassador to Rome to make amity and alliance. He disannulled the lawful ordinances of the citizens, and brought in fashions that were perverse.
12 He had the boldness to set up a place of exercise under the very castle, and to put all the choicest youths in brothel houses.
13 This was not the beginning, but an increase, and progress of heathenish and foreign manners, through the abominable and unheard-of wickedness of Jason, that impious wretch and no priest.
14 The priests were no longer occupied about the offices of the altar, but despising the temple, and neglecting the sacrifices. They hastened to be partakers of the games, of the unlawful allowance thereof, and of the exercise of the discus.
15 Setting nought by the honors of their fathers, they esteemed the Grecian [Greek] glories for the best.
16 For the sake of which they incurred a dangerous contention, and followed earnestly their ordinances. In all things they coveted to be like those who were their enemies and murderers.
17 Acting wickedly against the laws of Yahwah does not pass unpunished, the time following will declare this.
18 The king was present when the game that was used every fifth year was kept at Tyre.
19 The wicked Jason sent sinful men from Yerusalem to carry three hundred didrachmas of silver for the sacrifice of Hercules. But the bearers thereof desired it might not be bestowed on the sacrifices, because it was not necessary, but might be deputed for other charges.
20 The money was appointed by him who sent it to the sacrifice of Hercules, but because of those who carried it was employed for the making of galleys.
21 Apollonius the son of Mnestheus was sent into Egypt to treat with the nobles of king Philometor. Antiochus understood that he was wholly excluded from the affairs of the kingdom. Consulting his own interest, he departed there, came to Joppe, and from there to Yerusalem.
22 He was received in a magnificent manner by Jason, and the city. He came in with torch lights, and with praises. From there he returned with his army into Phenicia.
23 Three years afterwards Jason sent Menelaus, brother of the aforesaid Simon, to carry money to the king, and to bring answers from him concerning certain necessary affairs.
24 He was recommended to the king when he magnified the appearance of his power, and got the high priesthood for himself by offering more than Jason by three hundred talents of silver.
25 He received the king's mandate, and returned bringing nothing worthy of the high priesthood. He had the mind of a cruel tyrant, the rage of a savage beast.
26 Jason, who had undermined his own brother, was himself undermined and driven out a fugitive into the country of the Ammonites.
27 Menelaus got the principality. But he took no care for the money he promised to the king, when Sostratus the governor of the castle called for it.
28 The gathering of the taxes appertained to him, therefore they were both called before the king.
29 Menelaus was removed from the priesthood, Lysimachus his brother succeeding. Sostratus was made governor of the Cyprians.
30 When these things were in doing, it fell out that they of Tharsus and Mallos raised a sedition, because they were given for a gift to Antiochis, the king's concubine.
31 The king therefore went in all haste to appease them, leaving Andronicus, one of his nobles, for his deputy.
32 Menelaus supposed that he found a convenient time, stole certain vessels of gold out of the temple, and gave them to Andronicus. Others he sold at Tyre, and in the neighboring cities.
33 When Onias understood most certainly, he reproved him, keeping himself in a safe place at Antioch beside Daphne.
34 Menelaus came to Andronicus, desiring him to kill Onias. He went to Onias, gave him his right hand with an oath, persuaded him to come forth out of the sanctuary (though he were suspected by him), and immediately slew him, without any regard to justice.
35 For which cause not only the Yahudim conceived indignation, but also the other nations. They were much grieved for the unjust murder of so great a man.
36 When the king came back from the places of Cilicia, the Yahudim that were at Antioch (and also the Greeks) went to him, complaining of the unjust murder of Onias.
37 Antiochus was grieved in his mind for Onias. Being moved to pity, he shed tears, remembering the sobriety and modesty of the deceased.
38 Being inflamed to anger, he commanded Andronicus to be stripped of his purple, and to be led about through all the city. In the same place wherein he committed the impiety against Onias, the sacrilegious wretch should be put to death, Yahwah repaying him his deserved punishment.
39 Many sacrileges were committed by Lysimachus in the temple by the counsel of Menelaus a great quantity of gold being already carried away. The rumor of it was spread abroad. The multitude gathered themselves together against Lysimachus.
40 The multitude made an insurrection, their minds filled with anger. Lysimachus armed about three thousand men, and began to use violence, one Tyrannus being captain, a man far gone both in age, and in madness.
41 When they perceived the attempt of Lysimachus, some caught up stones, some strong clubs, and some threw ashes upon Lysimachus.
42 Many of them were wounded, and some struck down to the ground, but all were put to flight. They slew the sacrilegious fellow himself beside the treasury.
43 Concerning these matters, an accusation was laid against Menelaus.
44 When the king was come to Tyre, three men were sent from the ancients to plead the cause before him.
45 Menelaus was convicted, promised Ptolemy to give him much money to persuade the king to favor him.
46 Ptolemy went to the king in a certain court where he was, as it were to cool himself, and brought him to be of another mind.
47 Menelaus, who was guilty of all the evil, was acquitted by him of the accusations. Those poor men were condemned to death, who, if they pleaded their cause even before Scythians, should have been judged innocent.
48 Those who prosecuted the cause for the city, for the people, and the sacred vessels, did soon suffer unjust punishment.
49 Even the Tyrians were liberal towards their burial, being moved with indignation.
50 Menelaus continued in authority through the covetousness of those who were in power, increasing in malice, to the betraying of the citizens.

Chapter 5

1 At the same time Antiochus prepared for a second journey into Egypt.
2 It came to pass that through the whole city of Yerusalem for the space of forty days there were seen horsemen running in the air, in gilded raiment, and armed with spears, like bands of soldiers.
3 Horses set in order by ranks, running one against another, with the shakings of shields. A multitude of men in helmets, with drawn swords, casting darts, glittering golden armor, and harnesses of all sorts.
4 Wherefore all men prayed that these prodigies might turn to good.
5 There went forth a false rumor, as though Antiochus wass dead. Jason took no fewer than a thousand men with him, and suddenly assaulted the city. Though the citizens ran together to the wall, at length the city was taken, and Menelaus fled into the castle.
6 Jason slew his countrymen without mercy, not considering that prosperity against one's own kindred is a very great evil, thinking they were enemies, and not citizens, whom he conquered.
7 He did not get the principality, but received confusion at the end for the reward of his treachery, and fled again into the country of the Ammonites.
8 Shut up by Aretas the king of the Arabians at the last, in order for his destruction, flying from city to city, hated by all men as a forsaker of the laws, and execrable, as an enemy of his country and countrymen, he was thrust out into Egypt.
9 He who drove many out of their country perished in a strange land, going to Lacedemon, as if for kindred sake he should have refuge there.
10 He who cast many out unburied, was himself cast forth both unlamented and unburied, having neither foreign burial, nor being partaker of the sepulchre of his fathers.
11 When these things were done, the king suspected that the Yahudim would forsake the alliance. Departing out of Egypt with a furious mind, he took the city by force of arms.
12 He commanded the soldiers to kill, to not spare any that came in their way, and to go up into the houses, and slay.
13 There was a slaughter of young and old, a destruction of women and children, killing of virgins and infants.
14 There were slain fourscore thousand in the space of three whole days, forty thousand were made prisoners, and as many sold.
15 But this was not enough. He also presumed to enter into the temple, the most holy in all the world. Menelaus, that traitor to the laws, and to his country, was his guide.
16 He took the holy vessels in his wicked hands (which were given by other kings and cities, for the ornament and the glory of the place), and he unworthily handled and profaned them.
17 Going astray in mind, Antiochus did not consider for a while that Yahwah was angry. He thought contempt happened to the place because of the sins of the habitants of the city.
18 Being involved in many sins, as Heliodorus (who was sent by king Seleucus to rob treasury), so this man also, as soon as he came, was forthwith scourged and put back from his presumption.
19 Yahwah did not choose the people for the place's sake, but the place for the people's sake.
20 The place itself was made partaker of the evils of the people, but afterward shall communicate in the good things thereof. As it was forsaken in the wrath of almighty Yahwah, it shall be exalted again with great glory, when the great Yahwah shall be reconciled.
21 When Antiochus took a thousand and eight hundred talents away out of the temple, he went back in all haste to Antioch, thinking through pride that he might now make the land navigable, and the sea passable on foot. Such was the haughtiness of his mind.
22 He left governors to afflict the people. In Yerusalem, Philip, a Phrygian by birth, but in manners more barbarous than he that set him there.
23 And in Gazarim, Andronicus and Menelaus, who bore a more heavy hand upon the citizens than the rest.
24 Whereas he was set against the Yahudim, he sent that hateful prince Apollonius with an army of two and twenty thousand men, commanding him to kill all that were of perfect age, and to sell the women and the younger sort.
25 He came to Yerusalem, pretending peace, rested till the holy day of the sabbath. He commanded his men to take arms as the Yahudim were keeping holiday.
26 He slew all that were come forth to see, running through the city with armed men, he destroyed a very great multitude.
27 Yahudah Maccabees, who was the tenth, withdrewn himself into a desert place, and lived there among wild beasts in the mountains with his company. They continued feeding on herbs, that they might not be partakers of the pollution.

Chapter 6

1 Not long after the king sent a certain old man of Antioch, to compel the Yahudim to depart from the laws of their fathers, and of Yahwah.
2 And to defile the temple that was in Yerusalem, to call it the temple of Jupiter Olympius, and that in Gazarim Jupiter Hospitalis, according as they were that inhabited the place.
3 This invasion of evils was very bad and grievous to all.
4 The temple was full of the riot and revellings of the Gentiles, and of men lying with lewd women. Women thrust themselves of their accord into the holy places, and brought in things that were not lawful.
5 The altar was filled with unlawful things, which were forbidden by the laws.
6 The sabbaths were not kept, nor the solemn days of the fathers observed, neither did any man plainly profess himself to be a Jew.
7 They were led to the sacrifices by bitter constraint on the king's birthday. When the feast of Bacchus was kept, they were compelled to go about crowned with ivy in honor of Bacchus.
8 There went out a decree into the neighboring cities of the Gentiles, by the suggestion of the Ptolemeans, that they also should act in like manner against the Yahudim, to oblige them to sacrifice.
9 Whosoever would not conform themselves to the ways of the Gentiles, should be put to death. Then misery was to be seen.
10 Two women were accused to have circumcised their children. They openly led them about through the city, with the infants hanging at their breasts, then threw them down headlong from the walls.
11 Others met together in caves that were near, and were keeping the sabbath day privately. They were discovered by Philip, and burned with fire, because they made a conscience to help themselves with their hands, by reason of the religious observance of the day.
12 Now I beseech those that read this book, that they not be shocked at these calamities. They should consider the things that happened, not as being for the destruction, but for the correction of our nation.
13 It is a token of great goodness when sinners are not suffered to go on in their ways for a long time, but are presently punished.
14 Yahwah patiently expects that when the day of judgment shall come, He may punish them in the fulness of their sins.
15 He does not deal with us as with other nations, so as to suffer our sins to come to their height, and then take vengeance on us.
16 He never withdraws His mercy from us, though He chastise His people with adversity, He does not forsake them.
17 Let this suffice in a few words for a warning to the readers. Now we must come to the narration.
18 Eleazar one of the chief of the scribes, a man advanced in years, and of a comely countenance, was pressed to open his mouth to eat swine's flesh.
19 Choosing rather a most glorious death, rather than a hateful life, he went forward voluntarily to the torment.
20 Considering in what manner he was come to it, patiently bearing, he determined not to do any unlawful things for the love of life.
21 Those who stood by were moved with wicked pity for the old friendship they had with the man. They took him aside, desired that flesh might be brought, which it was lawful for him to eat, that he might make as if he ate of the flesh of the sacrifice, as the king commanded.
22 By doing so he might be delivered from death. For the sake of their old friendship with the man they did him this courtesy.
23 He began to consider the dignity of his age, his ancient years, the inbred honor of his grey head, his good life and conversation from a child. He answered without delay, according to the ordinances of the holy law made by Yahwah, saying he would rather be sent into the other world.
24 He said: It does not become our age to dissemble. Many young persons might think that Eleazar, at the age of fourscore and ten years, was gone over to the life of the heathens.
25 Through my dissimulation, and for a little time of a corruptible life, they should be deceived, and hereby I should bring a stain and a curse upon my old age.
26 Though I should be delivered from the punishments of men for the present time, yet I should not escape the hand of the Almighty, either alive nor dead.
27 Wherefore by departing manfully out of this life, I shall show myself worthy of my old age.
28 I shall leave an example of fortitude to young men, if I suffer an honorable death with a ready mind and constancy, for the most venerable and most holy laws. Having spoken thus, he was forthwith carried to execution.
29 Those who led him, and had been more mild a little before, were changed to wrath for the words he spoke, which they thought were uttered out of arrogancy.
30 When he was now ready to die with the stripes, he groaned, and said: O Yahwah, you have the holy knowledge. You know manifestly that whereas I might be delivered from death, I suffer grevious pains in body, but in soul am well content to suffer these things because I fear you.
31 This man died, leaving the memory of his death for an example of virtue and fortitude, not only to young men, but also to the whole nation.

Chapter 7

1 It came to pass, seven brethren were apprehended together with their mother, and compelled by the king to eat swine's flesh against the law, for which end they were tormented with whips and scourges.
2 One of them, who was the eldest, said: What would you ask, or learn of us? We are ready to die rather than to transgress the laws of Yahwah, received from our fathers.
3 Being angry the king commanded fryingpans and brazen caldrons to be made hot.
4 While being heated, he commanded to cut out the tongue of him who spoke first, draw off the skin of his head, and to also chop off the extremities of his hands and feet (the rest of his brethren, and his mother, looking on).
5 When he was now maimed in all parts, he commanded him, being yet alive, to be brought to the fire and to be fried in the fryingpan. While he was suffering long torments therein, the rest, together with the mother, exhorted one another to die manfully,
6 saying: Yahwah will look upon the truth, and will take pleasure in us, as Moshe declared in the profession of the canticle: He will take pleasure in His servants.
7 So when the first was dead after this manner, they brought the next to make him a mocking stock. When they pulled off the skin of his head with the hair, they asked him if he would eat, before he were punished throughout the whole body in every limb.
8 He answered in his own language, and said: I will not do it. Wherefore Ire also in the next place, received the torments of the first.
9 When he was at the last gasp, he said: You indeed, O most wicked man, destroy us out of this present life. But in the resurrection of eternal life the King of the world will raise up us who die for His laws.
10 After him the third was made a mocking stock. When he was required, he quickly put forth his tongue, and courageously stretched out his hands.
11 He said with confidence: These were from heaven, but for the laws of Yahwah I now despise them, because I hope to receive them again from Him.
12 The king, and those who were with him, wondered at the young man's courage, because he esteemed the torments as nothing.
13 After he was dead, they tormented the fourth in the like manner.
14 When he was now ready to die, he spoke thus: It is better, being put to death by men, to look for hope from Yahwah, to be raised up again by Him. You shall have no resurrection to life.
15 When they brought the fifth, they tormented him.
16 Looking upon the king, he said: Whereas you have power among men, you are corruptible. You do what you will, but do not think our nation is forsaken by Yahwah.
17 But stay patiently a while, and you shall see His great power, in what manner He will torment you and your seed.
18 After him they brought the sixth, and he being ready to die, spoke thus: Do not be deceived without cause. We suffer these things for ourselves, having sinned against Yahwah, and things worthy of admiration are done to us.
19 Do not think you will escape unpunished, for you attempted to fight against Yahwah.
20 The mother was to be had above measure, worthy to be remembered by good men. She beheld seven sons slain in the space of one day, and bore it with a good courage, for the hope that she had in Yahwah.
21 She bravely exhorted every one of them in her own language, being filled with wisdom. Joining a man's heart to a woman's thought,
22 she said to them: I do not know how you were formed in my womb. I neither gave you breath, nor soul, nor life, neither did I frame the limbs of every one of you.
23 The Creator of the world, that formed the nativity of man, and that found out the origin of all, He will restore both breath and life to you again in His mercy, as you now despise yourselves for the sake of His laws.
24 Antiochus, thinking himself despised, and withal despising the voice of the upbraider, when the youngest was yet alive, did not only exhort him by words, but also assured him with an oath, that he would make him a rich and a happy man, and, if he would turn from the laws of his fathers, would take him for a friend, and furnish him with things necessary.
25 The young man was not moved with these things. The king called the mother, and counselled her to deal with the young man to save his life.
26 When he exhorted her with many words, she promised that she would counsel her son.
27 So bending herself towards him, mocking the cruel tyrant, she said her own language: My son, have pity upon me, that bore you nine months my womb, gave you suck years, nourished you, and brought you up to this age.
28 I beseech you, my son, look upon heaven and earth, and all that is in them. Consider that Yahwah made them out of nothing, and mankind also.
29 You shall not fear this tormentor. Receive death, being made a worthy partner with your brethren, that in mercy I may receive you again with your brethren.
30 While she was yet speaking these words, the young man said: For whom do you stay? I will not obey the commandment of the king, but the commandment of the law given us by Moshe.
31 You who were the author of all mischief against the Hebrews, shall not escape the hand of Yahwah.
32 We suffer for our sin.
33 Yahwah is angry with us a little while, for our chastisement and correction, yet He will be reconciled again to His servants.
34 But you, O wicked and of all men most flagitious, do not be lifted up without cause with vain hopes while you are raging against His servants.
35 You have not yet escaped the judgment of the almighty Yahwah, who beholds all things.
36 My brethren, having now undergone a short pain, are under the covenant of eternal life. By the judgment of Yahwah you shall receive just punishment for your pride.
37 Like my brethren, I offer up my life and my body for the laws of our fathers. I call upon Yahwah to be speedily merciful to our nation, and that you by torments and stripes may confess that He alone is Yahwah.
38 In me and in my brethren the wrath of the Almighty shall cease, which was justly brought upon all our nation.
39 Being incensed with anger, the king raged against him more cruelly than all the rest, taking it grievously that he was mocked.
40 So this man also died undefiled, wholly trusting in Yahwah.
41 And last of all the mother was also consumed after the sons.
42 Now there is enough said of the sacrifices, and of the excessive cruelties.

Chapter 8

1 Yahudah Maccabees, and those who were with him, went into the towns secretly. They called their kinsmen and friends together, and taking to them such as continued in the Yahudim' religion, they assembled six thousand men.
2 They called upon Yahwah that He would look upon His people that was trodden down by all, and would have pity on the temple that was defiled by the wicked.
3 That He would also have pity upon the city that was destroyed, that was ready to be made even with the ground, and would hear the voice of the blood that cried to Him.
4 That He would also remember the most unjust deaths of innocent children, and the blasphemies offered to His name, and would show His indignation on this occasion.
5 When Maccabees gathered a multitude, he could not be withstood by the heathens, the wrath of Yahwah was turned into mercy.
6 Coming unawares upon the towns and cities, he set them on fire, and taking possession of the most commodious places, he made no small slaughter of the enemies.
7 He went upon these expeditions especially in the nights, and the fame of his valor was spread abroad everywhere.
8 Philip saw that the man gained ground by little and little, and that things for the most part succeeded prosperously with him. He wrote to Ptolemy the governor of Celesyria and Phenicia, to send aid to the king's affairs.
9 With all speed he sent Nicanor the son of Patroclus, one of his special friends, giving him no fewer than twenty thousand armed men of different nations, to root out the whole race of the Yahudim, joining also with him Gorgias, a good soldier, and of great experience in matters of war.
10 Nicanor purposed to raise for the king the tribute of two thousand talents, that was to be given to the Romans, by making so much money of the captive Yahudim.
11 He immediately sent to the cities upon the sea coast, to invite men together to buy up the Jewish slaves, promising that they should have ninety slaves for one talent, not reflecting on the vengeance which was to follow him from the Almighty.
12 When Yahudah found that Nicanor was coming, he imparted to the Yahudim that were with him that the enemy was at hand.
13 Some of them were afraid, distrusted the justice of Yahwah, and fled away.
14 Others sold all they had left, and besought Yahwah withal, that He would deliver them from the wicked Nicanor, who sold them before he came near them.
15 And if not for their sakes, yet for the covenant He made with their fathers, and for the sake of His holy and glorious name that was invoked upon them.
16 Maccabees called together seven thousand that were with him, and exhorted them to not be reconciled to the enemies, nor to fear the multitude of the enemies who came wrongfully against them, but to fight manfully.
17 He set before their eyes the injury they unjustly did the holy place, and also the injury they did to the city, which was shamefully abused, besides their destroying the ordinances of the fathers.
18 They trust in their weapons, and in their boldness. We trust in the Almighty Yahwah, who at a beck can utterly destroy both those who come against us, and the whole world.
19 Moreover he put them in mind also of the helps their fathers received from Yahwah, and how under Sennacherib a hundred and eighty-five thousand were destroyed.
20 And of the battle they fought against the Galatians in Babylonia. When it came to the point, and Macedonians their companions were a stand, being in all but six thousand, slew a hundred and twenty thousand because of the help they had from heaven, and for this they received many favors.
21 With these words they were greatly encouraged, and disposed even to die for the laws and their country.
22 So he appointed his brethren captains over each division of his army, Simon, Yahusef [Joseph], and Jonathan, giving to one fifteen hundred men.
23 The holy Book was read to them by Esdras, and he gave them: The help of Yahwah; for a watchword. Himself leading the first band, he joined battle with Nicanor.
24 The Almighty was their helper, so they slew above nine thousand men. They wounded and disabled the greater part of Nicanor's army, and obliged them to fly.
25 They took the money of those who came to buy them, and they pursued them on every side.
26 They came back for want of time. It was the day before the sabbath, therefore they did not continue the pursuit.
27 When they gathered together their arms and their spoils, they kept the sabbath, blessing Yahwah who delivered them that day, distilling the beginning of mercy upon them.
28 After the sabbath they divided the spoils to the feeble, the orphans, and the widows. The rest they took for themselves and their servants.
29 When this was done, and they all made a common supplication, they besought the merciful Yahwah to be reconciled to His servants to the end.
30 Moreover they slew above twenty thousand of those who were with Timotheus and Bacchides who fought them, and they made themselves masters of the high strongholds. They divided amongst them many spoils, giving equal portions to the feeble, the fatherless, the widows, yea, and the aged also.
31 They gathered together their arms carefully, laid them all up in convenient places, and the residue of their spoils they carried to Yerusalem.
32 They also slew Philarches who was with Timotheus, a wicked man, who afflicted the Yahudim many ways.
33 When they kept the feast of the victory at Yerusalem, they burned Callisthenes, who set fire to the holy gates, who took refuge in a certain house, rendering to him a worthy reward for his impieties.
34 As for that most wicked man Nicanor, he brought a thousand merchants to the sale of the Yahudim.
35 He was brought down by them through the help of Yahwah, of whom he had made no account. Laying aside his garment of glory, fleeing through the midland country, he came alone to Antioch, being rendered very unhappy by the destruction of his army.
36 He who promised to levy the tribute for the Romans by the means of the captives of Yerusalem, now professed that the Yahudim had Yahwah for their protector. They could not be hurt, because they followed the laws appointed by Him.

Chapter 9

1 At that time Antiochus returned with dishonor out of Persia.
2 He had entered into the city called Persepolis, and attempted to rob the temple and oppress the city. The multitude ran together to arms, and put them to flight. So it fell out that Antiochus returned with disgrace, being put to flight.
3 When he came about Ecbatana, he received the news of what happened to Nicanor and Timotheus.
4 Swelling with anger he thought to revenge upon the Yahudim the injury done by those who put him to flight. Therefore he commanded his chariot to be driven, without stopping in his journey, the judgment of heaven urging him forward, because he spoke so proudly, that he would come to Yerusalem, and make it a common burying place of the Yahudim.
5 But Yahwah of Yisrayah, that sees all things, struck him with an incurable and an invisible plague. As soon as he ended these words, a dreadful pain in his bowels came upon him, and bitter torments of the inner parts.
6 And indeed very justly, seeing he had tormented the bowels of others with many and new torments, albeit he by no means ceased from his malice.
7 Being filled with pride, breathing out fire in his rage against the Yahudim, and commanding the matter to be hastened, it happened as he was going with violence that he fell from the chariot, so that his limbs were much pained by a grievous bruising of the body.
8 Thus he who seemed to himself to command even the waves of the sea, being proud above the condition of man, and to weigh the heights of the mountains in a balance, now being cast down to the ground, was carried in a litter, bearing witness to the manifest power of Yahwah in himself.
9 Worms swarmed out of the body of this man, he lived in sorrow and pain, his flesh fell off, and the filthiness of his smell was noisome to the army.
10 The man who a little before thought he could reach the stars of heaven, no man could endure to carry, for the intolerable stench.
11 By this means, being brought from his great pride, he began to come to the knowledge of himself, being admonished by the scourge of Yahwah, his pains increasing every moment.
12 When he himself could not abide his own stench, he spoke thus: It is just to be subject to Yahwah, and that a mortal man should not equal himself to Yahwah.
13 This wicked man prayed to Yahwah, of whom he was not like to obtain mercy.
14 He now desired to make free the city to which he was going in haste to lay it even with the ground, to make it a common burying-place.
15 Once he said he would not account Yahudim worthy to be so much as buried, but would give them up to be devoured by the birds and wild beasts, and would utterly destroy them with their children. Now he promised to make the Yahudim equal with the Athenians.
16 The holy temple which he spoiled before, he promised to adorn with goodly gifts, to multiply the holy vessels, and to allow out of his revenues the charges pertaining to the sacrifices.
17 Yea also, that he would become a Jew himself, would go through every place of the earth, and declare the power of Yahwah.
18 But his pains did not cease, for the just judgment of Yahwah was come upon him. Despairing of life he wrote to the Yahudim in the manner of a supplication, a letter in these words:
19 To his very good subjects the Yahudim, Antiochus king and ruler wishes much health and welfare, and happiness.
20 If you and your children are well, and if all matters go with you to your mind, we give very great thanks.
21 As for me, being infirm, but yet I remember you kindly. Being taken with a grievous disease while returning out of the places of Persia, I thought it necessary to take care for the common good.
22 Not distrusting my life, but having great hope to escape the sickness.
23 At what time my father led an army into the higher countries, he appointed who should reign after him.
24 To the end that if anything contrary to expectation should fall out, or really bad tidings should be brought, those who were in the countries might not be troubled, knowing to whom the whole government was left.
25 Moreover, considering that neighboring princes and borderers wait for opportunities, and expect what the event shall be, I appoint my son Antiochus king, whom I often recommended to many of you, when I went into the higher provinces. I wrote to him what I join here below.
26 I pray, and request of you, remembering favors both public and private, you will every man of you continue to be faithful to me and to my son.
27 I trust he will behave with moderation and humanity, and will be gracious to you, following my intentions.
28 Thus the murderer and blasphemer, being grievously struck, as he treated others, died a miserable death in a strange country among the mountains.
29 Philip (who was brought up with him) carried away his body, and out of fear of the son of Antiochus, went into Egypt to Ptolemy Philometor.

Chapter 10

1 By the protection of Yahwah, Maccabees and those who were with him recovered the temple and the city again.
2 He threw down the altars the heathens set up in the streets, as also the temples of the idols.
3 After purifying the temple, they made another altar. Taking fire out of the fiery stones, they offered sacrifices after two years, and set forth incense, lamps, and the leaves of proposition.
4 When they did these things, they besought Yahwah, lying prostrate on the ground, that they might not fall into such evils anymore. If they should sin at any time, that they might be chastised more gently by Him, not be delivered up to barbarians and blasphemous men.
5 Upon the same day that the temple was polluted by the strangers, on the very same day it was cleansed again, to wit, on the five and twentieth day of the month of Casleu.
6 They kept eight days with joy, after the manner of the feast of the tabernacles, remembering that not long before they kept the feast of the tabernacles when they were in the mountains, in dens like wild beasts.
7 Therefore now they carried boughs, green branches, and palms, for Him who gave them good success in cleansing His place.
8 They ordained by a common statute, and decree, that all the nation of the Yahudim should keep those days every year.
9 This was the end of Antiochus that was called the Illustrious.
10 Now we will relate the acts of Eupator the son of that wicked Antiochus, abridging the account of the evils that happened in the wars.
11 When he came to the crown, he appointed Lysias over the affairs of his realm, general of the army of Phenicia and Syria.
12 Ptolemy, who was called Macer, was determined to be strictly just to the Yahudim, especially by reason of the wrong that was done them, and to deal peaceably with them.
13 Being accused for this to Eupator by his friends, and being oftentimes called traitor because he left Cyprus which Philometor had committed to him, and coming over to Antiochus the Illustrious had revolted from him also, he put an end to his life by poison.
14 Gorgias, governor of the holds, took the strangers with him, and fought often against the Yahudim.
15 The Yahudim that occupied the most commodious hold received those who were driven out of Yerusalem, and attempted to make war.
16 Those who were with Maccabees besought Yahwah by prayers to be their helper, and made a strong attack upon the strong holds of the Idumeans.
17 Assaulting them with great force, won the holds, killed those who came in the way, and slew altogether no fewer than twenty thousand.
18 Some were fled into very strong towers, having all manner of provision to sustain a siege.
19 Maccabees left Simon, Yahusef, and Zacheus, and those who were with them in sufficient number to besiege them, and departed to those expeditions which urged more.
20 Some who were with Simon were led with covetousness, and for the sake of money were persuaded by some in the towers. Taking seventy thousand didrachmas, let some of them escape.
21 When it was told Maccabees what was done, he assembled the rulers of the people, and accused those men who sold their brethren for money, having let their adversaries escape.
22 He put these traitors to death, and took the two towers forthwith.
23 He slew more than twenty thousand in the two holds, having good success in arms, and in all things he took in hand.
24 Timotheus (who was overcome before by the Yahudim) called together a multitude of foreign troops, assembled horsemen out of Asia, and came as though he would take Yahudah by force of arms.
25 Maccabees and those who were with him prayed to Yahwah when he drew near, sprinkling earth upon their heads, girding their loins with haircloth,
26 Lying prostrate at the foot of the altar, they besought Him to be merciful to them, to be an enemy to their enemies, and an adversary to their adversaries, as the law says.
27 Taking their arms after prayer, they went forth further from the city, and when they were come very near the enemies they rested.
28 As soon as the sun was risen both sides joined battle. With their valor the one part has Yahwah for a surety of victory and success, but the other side makes rage their leader in battle.
29 When they were in the heat of the engagement there appeared to the enemies five men upon horses from heaven, comely with golden bridles, conducting the Yahudim.
30 Two of whom took Maccabees between them, covered him on every side with their arms, and kept him safe. They cast darts and fireballs against the enemy, so that they fell down, being confounded with blindness, and filled with trouble.
31 There were slain twenty thousand five hundred, and six hundred horsemen.
32 Timotheus fled into Gazara a stronghold, where Chereas was governor.
33 Maccabees, and those who were with him, cheerfully laid siege to the fortress four days.
34 Trusting to the strength of the place, those who were within blasphemed exceedingly, and cast forth abominable words.
35 When the fifth day appeared, twenty young men of those who were with Maccabees, inflamed in their minds because of the blasphemy, approached manfully to the wall, pushed forward with fierce courage, and got up on it.
36 Moreover others got up after them, went to set fire to the towers and the gates, and to burn the blasphemers alive.
37 They pillaged and sacked the fortress for two days. They killed Timotheus, who was found hid in a certain place. They also slew his brother Chereas, and Apollophanes.
38 When this was done, they blessed Yahwah with hymns and thanksgiving, who did great things in Yisrayah, and gave them the victory.

Chapter 11

1 A short time after this Lysias the king's lieutenant, and cousin, who had chief charge over all the affairs, was greatly displeased with what happened.
2 He gathered together fourscore thousand men, and all the horsemen, and came against the Yahudim, thinking to take the city, and make it a habitation of the Gentiles.
3 And to make the temple as the other temples of the Gentiles, and to set the high priesthood for sale every year.
4 He never considered the power of Yahwah, but was puffed up in mind, trusting in the multitude of his foot soldiers, the thousands of his horsemen, and his four-score elephants.
5 So he came into Yahudah and approached to Bethsura, which was in a narrow place, the space of five furlongs from Yerusalem, and he laid siege to that fortress.
6 When Maccabees and those who were with him understood that the strongholds were besieged, they and all the people besought Yahwah with lamentations and tears, that He would send a good malak [messenger, angel] to save Yisrayah.
7 Maccabees himself, taking his arms first, exhorted the rest to expose themselves to the danger together with him, and to succour their brethren.
8 When they were going forth together with a willing mind, there appeared at Yerusalem a horseman going before them in white clothing, with golden armor, shaking a spear.
9 They all together blessed merciful Yahwah, and took great courage, being ready to break through not only men, but also the fiercest beasts and walls of iron.
10 They went on courageously, having a helper from heaven, Yahwah, who showed mercy to them.
11 Rushing violently upon the way, like lions, they slew of them eleven thousand footmen, and one thousand hundred horsemen.
12 They put all the rest to flight. Being wounded, many of them escaped naked. Yea, Lysias himself fled away shamefully, and escaped.
13 He was a man of understanding, considered with himself the loss he suffered, and perceived that the Hebrews could not be overcome, because they relied upon the help of the Almighty Yahwah.
14 He sent to them and promised he would agree to all things that are just, and he would persuade the king to be their friend.
15 Then Maccabees consented to the request of Lysias, providing for the common good in all things, and whatsoever Maccabees wrote to Lysias concerning the Yahudim, the king allowed of.
16 There were letters written to the Yahudim from Lysias, to this effect: Lysias, to the people of the Yahudim, greeting.
17 Yahchanan [John] and Abesalom who were sent from you, delivered your writings. They request that I would accomplish those things which were signified by them.
18 Therefore whatsoever things could be reported to the king I represented to him, and he granted as much as the matter permitted.
19 If therefore you will keep yourselves loyal in affairs, I will endeavour to be a means of your good.
20 Concerning other particulars, I gave orders by word both to these, and to those who are sent by me, to commune with you.
21 Fare you well. In the year one hundred and forty-eight, the four and twentieth day of the month of Dioscorus.
22 The king's letter contained these words: King Antiochus to Lysias his brother, greeting.
23 Our father being translated among the gods, we are desirous that those who are in our realm should live quietly, and apply themselves diligently to their own concerns.
24 We heard the Yahudim do not consent to my father to turn to the rites of the Greeks, but they would keep to their own manner of living, and therefore they request us to allow them to live after their own laws.
25 Being desirous that this nation should also be at rest, we ordain and decree, the temple should be restored to them, and they may live according to the custom of their ancestors.
26 You shall do well therefore to send to them, and grant them peace, that our pleasure being known, they may be of good comfort, and look to their own affairs.
27 The king's letter to the Yahudim was in this manner: King Antiochus to the senate of the Yahudim, and to the rest of the Yahudim, greeting.
28 If you are well, you are as we desire. We ourselves are well also.
29 Menelaus came to us, saying you desire to come down to your countrymen, that are with us.
30 We grant a safe conduct to all that come and go, until the thirtieth day of the month of Xanthicus,
31 The Yahudim may use their own mind of meats, their own laws as before, and none of them may be molested for things which were done by ignorance.
32 We also sent Menelaus to speak to you.
33 Fare you well. In the year one hundred and forty-eight, the fifteenth day of the month of Xanthicus.
34 The Romans also sent them a letter, to this effect. Quintus Memmius, and Titus Manilius, ambassadors of the Romans, to the people of the Yahudim, greeting.
35 Whatsoever Lysias the king's cousin granted you, we also grant.
36 Touching such things as he thought should be referred to the king, after you diligently confer among yourselves, send some one forthwith, that we may decree as it is convenient for you. For we are going to Antioch.
37 Make haste to write back, that we may know of what mind you are.
38 Fare you well. In the year one hundred and forty-eight, the fifteenth day of the month of Xanthicus.

Chapter 12

1 When these covenants were made, Lysias went to the king, and the Yahudim gave themselves to husbandry.
2 Those who were behind Timotheus, Apollonius the son of Genneus, also Hieronymus, Demophon, and besides them Nicanor the governor of Cyprus, would not suffer them to live in peace, and to be quiet.
3 The men of Joppe were also guilty of this kind of wickedness. They desired the Yahudim who dwelt among them to go with their wives and children into the boats, which they had prepared, as though they had no enmity to them.
4 Which they consented to, according to the common decree of the city, suspecting nothing because of the peace. When they were gone forth into the deep, they drowned no fewer than two hundred of them.
5 As soon as Yahudah heard of this cruelty done to his countrymen, he commanded the men that were with him.
6 After calling upon Yahwah the just judge, He came against those murderers of his brethren, set the haven on fire in the night, burned the boats, and slew with the sword those who escaped from the fire.
7 When he did these things in this manner, he departed as if he would return again, and root out all the Joppites.
8 But he understood that the men of Jamnia also designed to do in like manner to the Yahudim that dwelt among them.
9 He came upon the Jamnites by night also, and set the haven on fire, with the ships, so that the light of the fire was seen at Yerusalem two hundred and forty furlongs off.
10 When they were now gone from there nine furlongs, and were marching towards Timotheus, five thousand footmen and five hundred horsemen of the Arabians set upon them.
11 After a hard fight, they got the victory by the help of Yahwah. The rest of the Arabians were overcome, and besought Yahudah for peace, promising to give him pastures, and to assist him in other things.
12 Yahudah thought they might be profitable indeed in many things, promised them peace, and after joining hands, they departed to their tents.
13 He also laid siege to a certain strong city, encompassed with bridges and walls, and inhabited by multitudes of different nations, the name of which is Casphin.
14 Those who were within it trusted in the strength of the walls, and the provision of victuals. They behaved in a negligent manner, and provoked Yahudah with railing and blaspheming, uttering such words as were not to be spoken.
15 Maccabees called upon the great Yahwah of the world, who without any rams or engines of war threw down the walls of Yericho in the time of Yahshua, and fiercely assaulted the walls.
16 He took the city by the will of Yahwah, and made an unspeakable slaughter, so that a pool adjoining of two furlongs broad seemed to run with the blood of the slain.
17 From there they departed seven hundred and fifty furlongs, and came to Characa to the Yahudim that are called Tubianites.
18 As for Timotheus, they did not find him in those places, for before he dispatched anything he went back, having left a very strong garrison in a certain hold.
19 Dositheus, and Sosipater, who were captains with Maccabees, slew those who were left in the hold by Timotheus, to the number of ten thousand men.
20 Maccabees set in order about him six thousand men, divided them by bands, and went forth against Timetheus, who had with him a hundred and twenty thousand footmen, and two thousand five hundred horsemen.
21 When Timotheus had knowledge of the coming of Yahudah, he sent the women, children, and the baggage, before him into a fortress, called Carnion. It was impregnable and hard to come at, by reason of the straitness of the places.
22 When the first band of Yahudah came in sight, the enemies were struck with fear by the presence of Yahwah, who sees all things. They were put to flight one from another, so that they were often thrown down by their own companions, and wounded with the strokes of their own swords.
23 Yahudah was vehemently earnest in punishing the profane, of whom he slew thirty thousand men.
24 Timotheus himself fell into the hands of the band of Dositheus and Sosipater. He besought them with many prayers to let him go with his life, because he had the parents and brethren of many of the Yahudim, who might happen to be deceived by his death.
25 When he gave his faith that he would restore them according to the agreement, they let him go without hurt, for the saving of their brethren.
26 Yahudah went away to Carnion, where he slew five and twenty thousand persons.
27 After he put to flight and destroyed these, he removed his army to Ephron, a strong city, wherein there dwelt a multitude of diverse nations. Stout young men stood upon the walls and made a vigorous resistance. And in this place there were many engines of war, and a provision of darts.
28 When they invocated the Almighty, who with His power breaks the strength of the enemies, they took the city, and slew five and twenty thousand of those who were within.
29 From there they departed to Scythopolis, which lies six hundred furlongs from Yerusalem.
30 The Yahudim that were among the Scythopolitans testified that they were used kindly by them, and that even in the times of their adversity they treated them with humanity.
31 They gave them thanks, exhorted them to still be friendly to their nation, and so they came to Yerusalem, the feast of the weeks being at hand.
32 After Pentecost they marched against Gorgias the governor of Idumea.
33 He came out with three thousand footmen, and four hundred horsemen.
34 When they joined battle, it happened that a few of the Yahudim were slain.
35 But Dositheus, a horseman, one of Bacenor's band, a valiant man, took hold of Gorgias. When he would have taken him alive, a certain horseman of the Thracians came upon him and cut off his shoulder. So Gorgias escaped to Maresa.
36 When those who were with Esdrin had fought long, and were weary, Yahudah called upon Yahwah to be their helper, and leader of the battle.
37 Then beginning in his own language, and singing hymns with a loud voice, he put Gorgias' soldiers to flight.
38 Yahudah gathered his army together, and came into the city Odollam. When the seventh day came, they purified themselves according to the custom, and kept the sabbath in the place.
39 The following day Yahudah came with his company, to take away the bodies of those who were slain, to bury them with their kinsmen in the sepulchres of their fathers.
40 They found under the coats of the slain some of the donaries of the idols of Jamnia, which the law forbids the Yahudim.
41 They all blessed the just judgment of Yahwah, who discovered the things that were hidden.
42 Betaking themselves to prayers, they besought Him, that the sin which was committed might be forgotten. But the most valiant Yahudah exhorted the people to keep themselves from sin, forasmuch as they saw before their eyes what happened, because of the sins of those that were slain.
43 Making a gathering, he [sent] twelve thousand drachms of silver to Yerusalem for sacrifice to be offered for the sins of the dead, thinking well and religiously concerning the resurrection.
44 If he did not hope those who were slain should rise again, it would seem superfluous and vain to pray for the dead.
45 He considered that they fell asleep with righteousness, and had great grace laid up for them.
46 It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins.

Chapter 13

1 In the year one hundred and forty-nine, Yahudah understood that Antiochus Eupator was coming with a multitude against Yahudah.
2 Lysias the regent was with him, who had charge over the affairs of the realm, having with him a hundred and ten thousand footmen, five thousand horse-men, twenty-two elephants, and three hundred chariots armed with hooks.
3 Menelaus also joined himself with them. He besought Antiochus with great deceitfulness, not for the welfare of his country, but in hopes that he should be appointed chief ruler.
4 But the King of kings stirred up the mind of Antiochus against the sinner, and upon Lysias suggesting that he was the cause of all the evils, he commanded (as the custom is with them) that he should be apprehended and put to death in the same place.
5 Now there was in that place a tower fifty cubits high, having a heap of ashes on every side, this had a prospect steep down.
6 From there he commanded the sacrilegious wretch to be thrown down into the ashes, all men thrusting him forward to death.
7 By such a law it happened that Menelaus the transgressor of the law was put to death, not having so much as burial in the earth.
8 And indeed very justly, insomuch as he committed many sins against the altar of Yahwah, the fire and ashes of which were holy, he was condemned to die in ashes.
9 Now the king, with his mind full of rage, came on to show himself worse to the Yahudim than his father was.
10 When Yahudah understood, he commanded the people to call upon Yahwah day and night, so He would help them as He always did.
11 They were afraid to be deprived of the law, of their country, and of the holy temple. And that He would not suffer the people who had of late taken breath for a little while, to be in subjection to blasphemous nations again.
12 So when they all did this together, and craved mercy of Yahwah with weeping and fasting, lying prostrate on the ground for three days continually, Yahudah exhorted them to make themselves ready.
13 But he determined with the ancients, before the king should bring his army into Yahudah, and make himself master of the city, to go out, and to commit the event of the thing to the judgment of Yahwah.
14 He placed his army about Modin, committed all to Yahwah, the creator of the world, exhorted his people to fight manfully, to stand up even to death for the laws, the temple, the city, their country, and citizens.
15 He gave his company: The Victory of Yahwah; for a watchword. He set upon the king's quarter by night with most valiant chosen young men, slew four thousand men in the camp, and the greatest of the elephants, with those who were upon him.
16 They filled the camp of the enemies with exceeding great fear and tumult, and went off with good success.
17 Now this was done at the break of day, by the protection and help of Yahwah.
18 Having taken a taste of the hardiness of the Yahudim, the king attempted to take the strong places by policy.
19 He marched to Bethsura with his army, which was a stronghold of the Yahudim. But he was repulsed, he failed, he rest his men.
20 Yahudah sent necessaries to those who were within.
21 Rhodocus, one of the Yahudim army, disclosed the secrets to the enemies, so he was sought out, taken up, and put in prison.
22 The king treated with those who were in Bethsura, gave his right hand, took theirs, and went away.
23 He fought with Jucias, and was overcome. When he understood that Philip, who was left over the affairs, had rebelled at Antioch, he was in a consternation of mind. He entreated the Yahudim, yielded to them, swore to all things that seemed reasonable, and, being reconciled, offered sacrifices, honored the temple, and left gifts.
24 He embraced Maccabees, and made him governor and prince from Ptolemais to the Cerrenians.
25 When he came to Ptolemais, the men of that city were much displeased with the conditions of the peace, being angry for fear they should break the covenant.
26 Lysias went up to the judgment seat, set forth the reason, appeased the people, and returned to Antioch. Thus matters went with regard to the king's coming and his return.

Chapter 14

1 After the space of three years Yahudah, and those who were with him, understood that Demetrius the son of Seleucus was come up with a great power, and a navy by the haven of Tripolis to places proper for his purpose.
2 He made himself master of the countries against Antiochus, and his general Lysias.
3 Alcimus, who was chief priest, but wilfully defiled himself in the time of mingling with the heathens, saw there was no safety for him, nor access to the altar.
4 He came to king Demetrius in the year one hundred and fifty, presented a crown of gold to him, and a palm, and besides these, some boughs which seemed to belong to the temple. And that day indeed he held his peace.
5 He got a convenient time to further his madness, when called to counsel by Demetrius, and asked what the Yahudim relied upon, and what were their counsels.
6 He answered: They among the Yahudim that are called Assideans, of whom Yahudah Maccabees is captain, nourish wars, raise seditions, and will not suffer the realm to be in peace.
7 Being deprived of my ancestors' glory (I mean of the high priesthood) I am now come here.
8 Principally indeed out of fidelity to the king's interests, but in the next place also to provide for the good of my countrymen, all our nation suffers much from the evil proceedings of those men.
9 Wherefore, O king, seeing you know all these things, take care, I beseech you, both of the country, and of our nation, according to your humanity which is known to all men.
10 As long as Yahudah lives, it is not possible that the state should be quiet.
11 When this man spoke to this effect, the rest of the king's friends, who were enemies of Yahudah, also incensed Demetrius against him.
12 He sent Nicanor forthwith, the commander over the elephants, governor into Yahudah.
13 He gave him in charge to take Yahudah himself, disperse all those who were with him, and make Alcimus the high priest of the great temple.
14 The Gentiles who fled out of Yahudah [the nation] from Yahudah [the man], came to Nicanor by docks, thinking the miseries and calamities of the Yahudim to be the welfare of their affairs.
15 When the Yahudim heard of Nicanor's coming, and that the nations were assembled against them, they cast earth upon their heads, and made supplication to Him, who chose His people to keep them forever, and who protected His portion by evident signs.
16 Then at the commandment of their captain, they forthwith removed from the place where they were, and went to the town of Dessau to meet them.
17 Simon the brother of Yahudah joined battle with Nicanor, but was frightened with the sudden coming of the adversaries.
18 Hearing of the valor of Yahudah's companions, and the greatness of courage with which they fought for their country, Nicanor was afraid to try the matter by the sword.
19 Therefore he sent Posidonius, Theodotius, and Matthias before to present and receive the right hands.
20 When there was a consultation thereupon, and the captain acquainted the multitude with it, they were all of one mind to consent to covenants.
21 So they appointed a day upon which they might commune together by themselves, seats were brought out, and set for each one.
22 Yahudah ordered men to be ready in convenient places, lest some mischief might suddenly be practised by the enemies, so they made an agreeable conference.
23 Nicanor abode in Yerusalem, and did no wrong, but sent away the flocks of the multitudes that were gathered together.
24 Yahudah was always dear to him from the heart, and he was well affected to the man.
25 He desired him to marry a wife, and to have children. So he married, he lived quietly, and they lived in common.
26 Alcimus saw the love they had one to another, and the covenants, came to Demetrius, and told him that Nicanor assented to the foreign interest, for he meant to make Yahudah (who was a traitor to the kingdom) his successor.
27 The king went in a rage, provoked with this man's wicked accusations, wrote to Nicanor, signifying that he was greatly displeased with the covenant of friendship, and that he commanded him nevertheless to send Maccabees prisoner in all haste to Antioch.
28 When this was known, Nicanor was in a consternation, and took it grievously that he should make void the articles that were agreed upon, having received no injury from the man.
29 Because he could not oppose the king, he watched an opportunity to comply with the orders.
30 Maccabees perceived that Nicanor was more stern to him, that when they met together as usual he behaved himself in a rough manner, and was sensible that this rough behavior did not come of good, so he gathered together a few of his men, and hid himself from Nicanor.
31 Finding himself notably prevented by the man, he came to the great and holy temple, and commanded the priests that were offering the accustomed sacrifices to deliver him the man.
32 They swore to him, they did not know where the man was whom he sought. He stretched out his hand to the temple,
33 and swore, saying: Unless you deliver Yahudah prisoner to me, I will lay this temple of Yahwah even with the ground, I will beat down the altar, and I will dedicate this temple to Bacchus.
34 When he spoke thus he departed. The priests stretched forth their hands to heaven, called upon Him that was ever the defender of their nation, saying in this manner:
35 You, O Master of all things, who wants nothing, were pleased that the temple of your habitation should be among us.
36 Therefore now, O Yahwah the holy of all holies, keep this house which was lately cleansed undefiled forever.
37 Now Razias, one of the ancients of Yerusalem, was accused to Nicanor, a man that was a lover of the city, and of good report, who for his affection was called the father of the Yahudim.
38 For a long time, this man held fast his purpose of keeping himself pure in the Yahudim religion, and was ready to expose his body and life, that he might persevere therein.
39 Nicanor, willing to declare the hatred he bore the Yahudim, sent five hundred soldiers to take him.
40 He thought by ensnaring him to hurt the Yahudim very much.
41 As the multitude sought to rush into his house, to break open the door, to set fire to it, when he was ready to be taken, he struck himself with his sword.
42 He chose to die nobly rather than fall into the hands of the wicked, and to suffer abuses unbecoming his noble birth.
43 But through haste he missed giving himself a sure wound, and the crowd was breaking into the doors, he ran boldly to the wall, and manfully threw himself down to the crowd.
44 They quickly made room for his fall, he came upon the midst of the neck.
45 As he had breath in him yet, he arose being inflamed in mind, while his blood ran down with a great stream, he was grievously wounded, he ran through the crowd.
46 He stood upon a steep rock, when he was now almost without blood, grasped his bowels with both hands, and cast them upon the throng, calling upon Yahwah of life and spirit to restore these to him again. So he departed this life.

Chapter 15

1 When Nicanor understood that Yahudah was in the places of Samaria, he purposed to set upon him with all violence on the sabbath day.
2 The Yahudim that were constrained to follow him said: Do not act so fiercely and barbarously, but give honor to the day that is sanctified, and reverence Him that beholds all things.
3 That unhappy man asked: If there were a Mighty One in heaven that commanded the sabbath day to be kept.
4 They answered: There is the living Yahwah Himself in heaven, the Mighty One, that commanded the seventh day to be kept.
5 He said: And I am mighty upon the earth. I command to take arms, and to do the king's business. Nevertheless he did not prevail to accomplish his design.
6 Being puffed up with exceeding great pride, Nicanor thought to set up a public monument of his victory over Yahudah.
7 Maccabees ever trusted with all hope that Yahwah would help them.
8 He exhorted his people to not fear the coming of the nations, to remember the help they received before from heaven, and to hope for victory from the Almighty now.
9 Speaking to them out of the law, and the prophets, and withal putting them in mind of the battles they fought before, he made them more cheerful.
10 After he encouraged them, he showed withal the falsehood of the Gentiles, and their breach of oaths.
11 So he armed every one of them, not with defence of shield and spear, but with very good speeches and exhortations, and told them a dream worthy to be believed, whereby he rejoiced them all.
12 Now the vision was in this manner: Onias the high priest, a good and virtuous man, modest in his looks, gentle in his manners, and graceful in his speech, who was exercised in virtues from a child, held up his hands, and prayed for all the people of the Yahudim.
13 After this there appeared another man also, admirable for age, glory, and environed with great beauty and majesty.
14 Onias said: This is a lover of his brethren, and of the people of Yisrayah. This is he that prays much for the people, and for all the holy city, Yeremyah the prophet of Yahwah.
15 Whereupon Yeremyah stretched forth his right hand, and gave to Yahudah a sword of gold, saying:
16 Take this holy sword a gift from Yahwah, wherewith you shall overthrow the adversaries of my people Yisrayah.
17 Being exhorted with the words of Yahudah, which were very good and proper to stir up the courage, and strengthen the hearts of the young men, they resolved to fight, to set upon them manfully, that valor might decide the matter, because the holy city and the temple were in danger.
18 Their concern was less for their wives, children, brethren, and kinsfolks, their greatest and principal fear was for the holiness of the temple.
19 They also that were in the city, had no little concern for those who were to be engaged in battle.
20 All expected what judgment would be given, the enemies were at hand, the army was set in array, the beasts and the horsemen ranged in convenient places.
21 Maccabees considered the coming of the multitude, the diverse preparations of armor, the fierceness of the beasts, stretched out his hands to heaven, called upon Yahwah, who works wonders, who gives victory to those who are worthy, not according to the power of their arms, but according as it seems good to Him.
22 In his prayer he said after this manner: You, O Yahwah, sent your malak in the time of Ezechias king of Yahudah, and did kill a hundred and eighty-five thousand of the army of Sennacherib.
23 Send now also, O Yahwah of heaven, your good malak before us, the fear and dread of the greatness of your arm.
24 That they may be afraid, who come with blasphemy against your holy people. And thus he concluded his prayer.
25 Nicanor and those who were with him came forward, with trumpets and songs.
26 Yahudah and those who were with him encountered them, calling upon Yahwah by prayers.
27 Fighting with their hands, but praying to Yahwah with their hearts, they slew no less than five and thirty thousand, being greatly cheered with the presence of Yahwah.
28 When the battle was over, and they were returning with joy, they understood that Nicanor was slain in his armor.
29 Making a shout, and a great noise, they blessed the Almighty Yahwah in their own language.
30 Yahudah, who was altogether ready in body and mind to die for his countrymen, commanded that Nicanor's head, and his hand with the shoulder, should be cut off and carried to Yerusalem.
31 When he came there, he called together his countrymen and the priests to the altar, he sent also for those who were in the castle.
32 He showed them the head of Nicenor, and the wicked hand, which he stretched out with proud boasts against the holy house of the Almighty Yahwah.
33 He commanded that the tongue of the wicked Nicanor should be cut out and given by pieces to birds, and the hand of the furious man to be hanged up over against the temple.
34 Then all blessed Yahwah of heaven, saying: Blessed is He who kept His own place undefiled.
35 He hung up Nicanor's head in the top of the castle, that it might be an evident and manifest sign of the help of Yahwah.
36 They all ordained by a common decree, by no means to let this day pass without solemnity,
37 but to celebrate the thirteenth day of the month of Adar, called, in the Syrian language: the day before Mardochias' day.
38 These things were done with relation to Nicanor, and from that time the city is possessed by the Hebrews. I also will make an end of my narration here.
39 Which if I did well, and as it becomes the history, it is what I desired. But if not so perfectly, it must be pardoned me.
40 For as it is hurtful to drink always wine, or always water, but pleasant to use sometimes the one, and sometimes the other; so if the speech is always nicely framed, it will not be grateful to the readers. But here it shall end.

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