The Second Book of Maccabees

Edits, corrections and cross references by The Firmament

First and second Maccabees are contained in a group of books called Apocrypha (hidden or secret), which were once in the canonical Bible between the old and new testaments. This book, like First Maccabees, details the history of the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire as well as the founding and earliest history of the independent Hasmonean kingdom. The work is not a sequel to First Maccabees but rather its own independent rendition of the historical events of the Maccabean Revolt. It starts with an incident with the Seleucid official Heliodorus attempting to tax the Second Temple in 178 BC, and ends with the Battle of Adasa in 161 BC.

Chapter 1

2 Mac 1:1 “To the Jewish brothers in Egypt, the Jewish brothers in Jerusalem and the land of Judea send greetings and wish you perfect peace.”
2 Mac 1:2 “May God bless you, and remember his agreement with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, his faithful slaves,”
2 Mac 1:3 “And give you all a mind to worship him and do his will with a stout heart and a willing spirit.”
2 Mac 1:4 “May he open your mind with his Law and his statutes, and make peace,”
2 Mac 1:5 “And listen to your prayers and be reconciled to you, and not forsake you in adversity.”
2 Mac 1:6 “This is our prayer for you here.”
2 Mac 1:7 “In the reign of Demetrius, in the one hundred and sixty ninth year, we Jews wrote you in the extreme distress that overtook us in those years, from the time that Jason and his men revolted from the holy land and the kingdom,”
2 Mac 1:8 “And set fire to the gateway and shed innocent blood. And we besought the Lord, and were heard, and we offered sacrifice and the meal offering, and we lighted the lamps, and set out the Presentation Loaves.”
2 Mac 1:9 “And you must keep the Camping Out festival1The feast of the Dedication of the Temple, Hanukkah (2 Mac 10:1–8), celebrated on the twenty-fifth of Kislev (Nov.–Dec.). New feast day that resembles the feast of Booths (Lv 23:33–43), celebrated on the fifteenth of Tishri (Sept.–Oct.). in the month of Chislev.”
2 Mac 1:10 “The one hundred and eighty-eighth year. Those who are in Jerusalem and those in Judea and the senate and Judas send greetings and good wishes to Aristobulus, the teacher of King Ptolemy, who is of the stock of the anointed priests, and to the Jews in Egypt.”
2 Mac 1:11 “As we have been saved by God from great dangers, we offer devout thanks to him as men who array themselves against a king;”
2 Mac 1:12 “For he drove out those who arrayed themselves against him in the holy city.”
2 Mac 1:13 “For when their leader reached Persia, with an army about him that seemed irresistible, they were cut down in the temple of Nanaea, through treachery on the part of the priests of Nanaea.”
2 Mac 1:14 “For Antiochus with his friends came to the place on the pretext of marrying her, in order to get a large sum of money by way of dowry.”
2 Mac 1:15 “And when the priests of the temple of Nanaea had brought out the money, and he had come with a few followers inside the wall of the temple inclosure, they shut the temple when Antiochus had gone in,”
2 Mac 1:16 “And opened the secret door in the ceiling, and threw stones and struck down the leader, and dismembered him and threw their heads to the people who were outside.”
2 Mac 1:17 “(Blessed in every way be our God who brought the impious to justice!)”
2 Mac 1:18 “As we are about to celebrate the purification of the temple, on the twenty-fifth day of the month of Chislev, we think it necessary to inform you, so that you too may observe the Camping Out festival2The feast of the Dedication of the Temple, Hanukkah (2 Mac 10:1–8), celebrated on the twenty-fifth of Kislev (Nov.–Dec.). New feast day that resembles the feast of Booths (Lv 23:33–43), celebrated on the fifteenth of Tishri (Sept.–Oct.). and the kindling of the fire, when Nehemiah, who built the temple and the altar, offered sacrifices.”
2 Mac 1:19 “For when our forefathers were being taken to Persia, the pious priests of that day took some of the fire on the altar and hid it secretly in the hollow of an empty cistern, where they made it secure, so that the place was unknown to anyone.”
2 Mac 1:20 “Many years after, when it pleased God, Nehemiah was commissioned by the king of Persia, and sent the descendants of the priests who had hidden the fire to get it. But when they reported to us that they could not find any fire but only muddy water,”
2 Mac 1:21 “He ordered them to dip some out and bring it to him. And when the things to be sacrificed had been put in place, Nehemiah ordered the priests to sprinkle the water on the wood and the things that were laid on it.”
2 Mac 1:22 “And when this was done and some time had passed, and the sun, which had been clouded over, shone out, a great blaze was kindled, so that they all wondered.”
2 Mac 1:22 (Grk) “When this was done, and the time came that the sun shone, which before was hid in the cloud, there was a great fire kindled, so that every man marveled.”
2 Mac 1:23 “And the priests uttered a prayer while the sacrifice was being consumed – the priests and all present, Jonathan leading and the rest responding, as Nehemiah did.”
2 Mac 1:24 “And this was the prayer: “O Lord, Lord God, creator of all things, who are terrible and strong and upright and merciful, who alone are king and good,”
2 Mac 1:25 “The only patron, who alone are upright and almighty and eternal, who save Israel from every evil, who chose our forefathers and sanctified them,”
2 Mac 1:26 “Accept this sacrifice on behalf of all your people Israel, and watch over your allotment, and make it holy.”
2 Mac 1:27 “Gather together our scattered people, set at liberty those who are in slavery among the heathen, look upon those who are despised and abhorred, and let the heathen know that you are our God.”
2 Mac 1:28 “Afflict our oppressors and those who are violent in their arrogance.”
2 Mac 1:29 “Plant your people in your holy place, as Moses said.”
2 Mac 1:30 “Then the priests struck up the hymns.”
2 Mac 1:31 “And when the things that were sacrificed were consumed, Nehemiah ordered them to pour the water that was left on large stones.”
2 Mac 1:32 “And when this was done, a flame was kindled, but when the light shone back from the altar, it went out.”
2 Mac 1:33 “And when the thing became known, and the king of Persia was told that in the place where the priests that were deported had hidden the fire, water had appeared, and with it Nehemiah’s people had burned up the things they sacrificed,”
2 Mac 1:34 “The king, after investigating the matter, made the place a sacred inclosure,”
2 Mac 1:35 “And the king exchanged many different gifts with his favorites.”
2 Mac 1:36 “Nehemiah’s people called this Nephthar, which is translated “Purification,” but most people call it Nephthai.”

Chapter 2

2 Mac 2:1 “It is also found in the records that the prophet Jeremiah ordered those who were carried away to take some of the fire, as has been described,”
2 Mac 2:2 “And that after giving them the Law, the prophet charged those who were carried away not to forget the Lord’s commands, and not to be led astray in their minds when they saw gold and silver idols and their ornamentation.”
2 Mac 2:3 “And with other similar exhortations he told them that the Law should not pass from their hearts.”
2 Mac 2:4 “It was also in the writing that the prophet, in obedience to a revelation, gave orders that the tent and the ark should accompany him, and that he went away to the mountain where Moses went up and beheld God’s inheritance.”
2 Mac 2:5 “And Jeremiah came and found a cave-dwelling, and he took the tent and the ark and the incense altar into it, and he blocked up the door.”
2 Mac 2:6 “And some of those who followed him came up to mark the road, and they could not find it.”
2 Mac 2:7 “But when Jeremiah found it out, he blamed them and said, “The place shall be unknown until God gathers the congregation of his people together and shows his mercy.”
2 Mac 2:8 “Then shall the Lord show them these things, and the glory of the Lord shall appear, and the cloud also, as it was shown under Moses, and as when Solomon desired that the place might be honorably sanctified.”
2 Mac 2:8 (Grk) “Then the Lord will show where they are, and the glory of the Lord will appear, as they were shown in the days of Moses, and when Solomon asked that the place might be made very sacred.”
2 Mac 2:9 “It was also stated that he, in his wisdom, offered a dedicatory sacrifice at the completion of the temple,”
2 Mac 2:10 “And just as Moses prayed to the Lord, and fire came down from heaven and consumed the offerings, so Solomon also prayed, and the fire came down and burned up the whole burnt offerings.”
2 Mac 2:11 “And Moses said, “Because the sin offering had not been eaten, it was consumed.”
2 Mac 2:12 “In like manner Solomon also kept the eight days.”
2 Mac 2:13 “The same thing was related also in the records and memoirs about Nehemiah, and that he founded a library and collected the books about the kings and the prophets, and the works of David, and royal letters about sacred gifts.”
2 Mac 2:14 “In like manner Judas also collected for us all the books that had been scattered because of the outbreak of war, and they are in our hands.”
2 Mac 2:15 “So, if you want them, send men to get them for you.”
2 Mac 2:16 “So as we are about to celebrate the Purification, we write to you. Please observe these days.”
2 Mac 2:17 “It is God that has saved all his people and given them back their heritage and kingdom and priesthood and consecration,”
2 Mac 2:18 “As he promised through the Law; for in God we have hope that he will speedily have mercy on us, and gather us together from under heaven to the holy place, for he has delivered us from great misfortunes and has purified the place.”
2 Mac 2:19 “Now the story of Judas Maccabeus and his brothers, and the purification of the great temple, and the rededication of the altar,”
2 Mac 2:20 “And also of the wars with Antiochus Epiphanes and his son Eupator,”
2 Mac 2:21 “And the heavenly manifestations shown to those who zealously championed the Jewish religion, so that few as they were, they plundered the whole country and drove out the barbarian hordes;”
2 Mac 2:22 “And recovered the world-renowned temple, and freed the city, and restored the laws which were on the point of being destroyed, since the Lord, with great forbearance had shown mercy to them,”
2 Mac 2:23 “All this, as related by Jason of Cyrene in five books, we will try to condense into one volume.”
2 Mac 2:24 “For in view of the flood of statistics and the difficulty created by the abundance of the material, for those who wish to plunge into the historical narratives,”
2 Mac 2:25 “We have aimed at attracting those who like to read, and at making it easy for those who are disposed to memorize, and at being of use to all our readers.”
2 Mac 2:26 “For us, who have taken upon ourselves the painful task of abridgment, the thing is not easy, and takes sweat and midnight oil,”
2 Mac 2:27 “Just as it is no easy matter for a man who prepares a banquet and strives to benefit others. Still, to win the gratitude of so many, we will gladly endure the painful task,”
2 Mac 2:28 “Leaving to the historian the investigation of details, but taking pains to follow the lines of an epitome.”
2 Mac 2:29 “For as the builder of a new house must have the whole structure in mind, while the man who undertakes to decorate and paint it has only to seek out what is suitable for its adornment, so I think it is with us.”
2 Mac 2:30 “To enter upon the subject and discuss matters fully and elaborate the details is the task of the original historian,”
2 Mac 2:31 “But one who rewrites it must be permitted to seek brevity of expression, and to forego the labored treatment of the matter.”
2 Mac 2:32 “Here then let us begin the story, without adding more to what has already been said; for it is foolish to write a long preface to the history and then abbreviate the history itself.”

Chapter 3

2 Mac 3:1 “When the holy city was inhabited in perfect peace, and the laws were strictly observed, because of the piety of Onias, the high priest, and his hatred of wickedness,
2 Mac 3:2 “It came to pass that even the kings themselves did honor to the place, and glorified the temple with most noble gifts,”
2 Mac 3:3 “So that even Seleucus, king of Asia, from his own revenues provided all the expense of the sacrificial service.”
2 Mac 3:4 “But a man named Simon, of the tribe of Benjamin, who had been appointed governor of the temple, had a difference with the high priest about the conduct of the city market.”
2 Mac 3:5 “When he failed to carry his point against Onias, he went to Apollonius of Tarsus, who was at that time governor of Coelesyria and Phoenicia,”
2 Mac 3:6 “And reported to him that the treasury in Jerusalem was full of such untold quantities of money that the amount of the funds was beyond computation; and that they did not belong to the account of the sacrifices and they might fall under the control of the king.”
2 Mac 3:7 “When Apollonius met the king, he informed him of the money that had been pointed out to him. And he appointed Heliodorus, who was his chancellor, and sent him with instructions to effect the removal of this money.”
2 Mac 3:8 “Heliodorus immediately set out on his journey, under the guise of visiting the towns of Coelesyria and Phoenicia, but in reality to carry out the king’s design.”
2 Mac 3:9 “When he reached Jerusalem, and had been cordially welcomed by the high priest and the city, he laid before them the disclosure that had been made to him, and explained why he had come, and inquired whether this was really true.”
2 Mac 3:10 “The high priest pointed out that some deposits belonged to widows and orphans,”
2 Mac 3:11 “And one belonged to Hyrcanus, son of Tobias, a man of very high position – so falsely had the impious Simon spoken; that it all amounted to four hundred talents of silver and two hundred of gold,”
2 Mac 3:12 “And that it was absolutely impossible that those who were relying on the sacredness of the place and on the sanctity and inviolability of the temple, which was respected all over the world, should be wronged.”
2 Mac 3:13 “But Heliodorus, because of the royal orders he had received, said that anyway this must be confiscated for the royal treasury.”
2 Mac 3:14 “So he set a day, and went in to conduct an inspection of these funds; and there was no little distress all over the city.”
2 Mac 3:15 “The priests in their priestly robes threw themselves down before the altar, and called to heaven on him who had given the law about deposits to keep these safe for those who had deposited them.”
2 Mac 3:16 “One could not observe the appearance of the high priest without being pierced to the heart, for his expression and his change of color revealed the anguish of his soul.”
2 Mac 3:17 “For terror and bodily shuddering had come over the man, which plainly showed to those who looked at him the pain that was in his heart.”
2 Mac 3:18 “Moreover the people in the houses came flocking out to make a general supplication because the place was on the point of being treated with contempt.”
2 Mac 3:19 “The women, with sackcloth girt under their breasts, thronged the streets, while maidens who were kept indoors ran together, some to the gateways, some to the walls, and some looked out from the windows;”
2 Mac 3:20 “And all raised their hands to heaven and uttered their supplication.”
2 Mac 3:21 “One could not help pitying the multitude, all prostrating themselves in a body, and the anxiety of the high priest in his great anguish.”
2 Mac 3:22 “While they therefore called upon the Almighty Lord to keep the things that had been intrusted to him in perfect security for those who had intrusted them to him,”
2 Mac 3:23 “Heliodorus was carrying out what had been decided upon.”
2 Mac 3:24 “But no sooner had he and his guards arrived before the treasury than the Sovereign of spirits and of all authority caused a great manifestation so that all who had been daring enough to come with him were appalled at the power of God and fainted with terror.”
2 Mac 3:25 “For there appeared to them a horse with a dreadful rider, adorned with magnificent trappings, and rushing swiftly at Heliodorus it struck at him with its forefeet. His rider seemed clad in golden armor.”
2 Mac 3:26 “Two young men also appeared to him, remarkably strong and gloriously beautiful and splendidly dressed, who stood on each side of him and flogged him continually, inflicting many stripes on him.”
2 Mac 3:27 “He fell suddenly to the ground and was enveloped in deep darkness, and men picked him up and put him on a stretcher and carried him off;”
2 Mac 3:28 “The man that had just entered that treasury with a great retinue and his whole guard but was now rendered helpless – and they clearly recognized the sovereign power of God.”
2 Mac 3:29 “So through the divine intervention he lay prostrate, bereft of all hope of deliverance,”
2 Mac 3:30 “While they blessed the Lord who had marvelously honored his own place; and the temple, which a little while before had been full of fear and commotion, now that the Almighty Lord had manifested himself was filled with joy and gladness.”
2 Mac 3:31 “Some of the intimate friends of Heliodorus soon asked Onias to call upon the Most High and grant him his life, as he lay at his very last gasp.”
2 Mac 3:32 “The high priest suspected that the king might form the opinion that some villainy had been practiced upon Heliodorus by the Jews, and offered a sacrifice for the man’s recovery.”
2 Mac 3:33 “But as the high priest was offering the sacrifice of propitiation, the same young men again appeared to Heliodorus, clad in the same clothes, and they stood beside him and said, “Be very grateful to Onias the high priest, for the Lord has spared your life for his sake;”
2 Mac 3:34 “And since you have been flogged from heaven, proclaim to all men the sovereign power of God.” When they had said this, they vanished.”
2 Mac 3:35 “So Heliodorus offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made very great vows to him who had saved his life, and after a friendly meeting with Onias marched back to the king.”
2 Mac 3:36 “And he bore witness before all men to the deeds of the supreme God which he had seen.”
2 Mac 3:37 “When the king asked Heliodorus what kind of man was suitable to be sent once more to Jerusalem, he said,”
2 Mac 3:38 “If you have an enemy or a conspirator against the government, send him there, and you will get him back soundly flogged, if he escapes with his life, for there is certainly some divine power about the place.”
2 Mac 3:39 “For he whose dwelling is in heaven watches over that place and helps it, and strikes down and destroys those who come to injure it.”
2 Mac 3:40 “This was the way the matter of Heliodorus and the protection of the treasury turned out.”

Chapter 4

2 Mac 4:1 “But this Simon who had informed about the money and against his country, made accusations against Onias, saying that he had incited Heliodorus and had been the actual author of these troubles.”
2 Mac 4:2 “He dared to charge with conspiracy against the government the benefactor of the city, the protector of his countrymen, and the champion of the laws!”
2 Mac 4:3 “But when his enmity reached such a point that murders were committed by one of Simon’s trusted men,
2 Mac 4:4 “Onias, becoming aware of the danger of their contention, and that Apollonius, the son of Menestheus, the governor of Coelesyria and Phoenicia, was increasing Simon’s malice,”
2 Mac 4:5 “Resorted to the king, not to be an accuser of his fellow-citizens, but as looking after the welfare, public and private, of all the people;”
2 Mac 4:6 “For he saw that without the king’s interest it was impossible for the government to secure peace again, and that Simon would not abandon his folly.”
2 Mac 4:7 “But when Seleucus departed this life and Antiochus, who was called Epiphanes, succeeded to the kingdom, Onias’ brother Jason obtained the high priesthood by corruption,”
2 Mac 4:8 “Promising the king in his petition three hundred and sixty talents of silver, and eighty talents from other revenues.”
2 Mac 4:9 “Besides this he promised to pay a hundred and fifty more, if he was given authority to set up a gymnasium and a training place for youth there and to enroll the people of Jerusalem as citizens of Antioch.”
2 Mac 4:10 “When the king had consented, and he had taken office, he immediately brought his countrymen over to the Greek way of living.”
2 Mac 4:11 “He set aside the royal ordinances especially favoring the Jews, secured through John, the father of Eupolemus, who went on the mission to the Romans to establish friendly relations and an alliance with them, and abrogating the lawful ways of living he introduced new customs contrary to the Law.”
2 Mac 4:12 “For he willingly established a gymnasium right under the citadel, and he made the finest of the young men wear the Greek hat.”
2 Mac 4:13 “And to such a pitch did the cultivation of Greek fashions and the coming in of foreign customs rise, because of the excessive wickedness of this godless Jason, who was no high priest at all,”
2 Mac 4:14 “That the priests were no longer earnest about the services of the altar, but disdaining the sanctuary and neglecting the sacrifices, they hurried to take part in the unlawful exercises in the wrestling school, after the summons to the discus-throwing,”
2 Mac 4:15 “Regarding as worthless the things their forefathers valued, and thinking Greek standards the finest.”
2 Mac 4:16 “As a result, they found themselves in a trying situation, for those whose mode of life they cultivated, and whom they wished to imitate exactly, became their enemies and punished them.”
2 Mac 4:17 “For it is no small matter to sin against the laws of God, as the period that followed will show.”
2 Mac 4:18 “Now when the quinquennial (every fifth year) games were being held at Tyre, and the king was present,”
2 Mac 4:19 “The vile Jason sent envoys who were citizens of Antioch to represent Jerusalem, to carry three hundred silver drachmas for the sacrifice to Hercules. But even those who carried it thought it should not be used for a sacrifice, as that was not fitting, but should be spent in some other way.”
2 Mac 4:20 “So this money intended by its sender for the sacrifice to Hercules, was applied because of those who carried it to the fitting out of triremes.”
2 Mac 4:21 “When Apollonius, the son of Menestheus, was sent into Egypt to attend the coronation of King Philometor, Antiochus, learning that the latter was disaffected toward his government, took measures for his own security, so he came to Joppa and visited Jerusalem.”
2 Mac 4:22 “He was magnificently welcomed by Jason and received with torches and acclamations. Then he marched into Phoenicia.”
2 Mac 4:23 “After the lapse of three years, Jason sent Menelaus, the brother of this Simon, to take the money to the king and to present papers relating to necessary business.”
2 Mac 4:24 “But he, on being presented to the king, extolled him with such apparent authority that he obtained the high priesthood for himself, outbidding Jason by three hundred talents of silver.”
2 Mac 4:25 “Upon receiving the royal commission, he came back, possessing nothing that qualified him for the high priesthood, but with the passions of a savage tyrant and the rage of a wild beast.”
2 Mac 4:26 “So Jason, who had supplanted his own brother, was supplanted by another, and driven as a fugitive into the country of the Ammonites.”
2 Mac 4:27 “So Menelaus held the office, but he did not pay any of the money he had promised to the king, and when Sostratus, the governor of the citadel, demanded it,”
2 Mac 4:28 “For it was his duty to collect the revenues, the two men were summoned by the king to appear before him on account of it.
2 Mac 4:29 “Menelaus left his brother Lysimachus to act in his place in the high priesthood, and Sostratus left Crates, the viceroy of Cyprus, to act in his.”
2 Mac 4:30 “In this state of things, the people of Tarsus and Mallus made an insurrection because they had been given as a present to Antiochis, the king’s mistress.”
2 Mac 4:31 “So the king went in haste to Cilicia to adjust matters there, leaving a man of high rank named Andronicus to act in his place.”
2 Mac 4:32 “Then Menelaus, thinking he had found a favorable opening, presented Andronicus with some gold dishes from the temple, which he had appropriated; he had already sold others at Tyre and the neighboring towns.”
2 Mac 4:33 “When Onias was certain of this, he sternly rebuked him, after retiring to a place of sanctuary at Daphne, near Antioch.”
2 Mac 4:34 “So Menelaus took Andronicus aside and urged him to arrest Onias. And he went to Onias, and having been persuaded to use treachery, offered him sworn pledges and gave him his right hand, and persuaded him, notwithstanding his suspicions, to leave his sanctuary, and immediately without regard to justice put him in prison.”
2 Mac 4:35 “This made not only Jews but many people of other nationalities indignant and angry over the wicked murder of the man.”
2 Mac 4:36 “And when the king came back from Cilicia, the Jews in the city, with the support of the Greeks who abhorred the crime, appealed to him about the unjustifiable killing of Onias.”
2 Mac 4:37 “So Antiochus, as he was sincerely sorry, and moved to pity, and shed tears over the sober and well-ordered life of the departed,”
2 Mac 4:38 “In a fiery passion stripped the purple robe from Andronicus and tore off his underclothes and led him about through the whole city to the very place where he had sinned against Onias, and there he dispatched the murderer, and the Lord rendered him the punishment he deserved.”
2 Mac 4:39 “When many thefts from the temple had been committed in the city by Lysimachus with the connivance of Menelaus, and the report of them spread abroad, the people gathered against Lysimachus, as a great deal of gold plate had already been scattered.”
2 Mac 4:40 “But when the people made an uprising and were inflamed with anger, Lysimachus armed about three thousand men, and commenced hostilities with a man named Avaranus, who was as foolish as he was aged, in command.”
2 Mac 4:41 “And when they were aware of Lysimachus’ attack, some picked up stones and others sticks of wood and others caught up handfuls of the ashes that were lying about, and flung them pell-mell at Lysimachus and his men.”
2 Mac 4:42 “As a result, they wounded many of them, and felled many, and put them all to flight, and the temple-robber himself they killed beside the treasury.”
2 Mac 4:43 “Charges were made against Menelaus about this affair,”
2 Mac 4:44 “And when the king visited Tyre, the three men sent by the senate presented the case before him.”
2 Mac 4:45 “Menelaus was now facing defeat, but he promised a large sum of money to Ptolemy, son of Dorymenes, to prevail upon the king.”
2 Mac 4:46 “So Ptolemy took the king aside into a colonnade, as if to take the air, and persuaded him to change his mind,”
2 Mac 4:47 “And he acquitted Menelaus, who was to blame for all the trouble, of the charges against him, and condemned to death the wretched men who would have been dismissed as innocent if they had pleaded even before Scythians.”
2 Mac 4:48 “So the advocates of the city and the people and the sacred plate promptly suffered this unjust punishment.”
2 Mac 4:49 “This caused some Tyrians, in their detestation of the crime, to provide magnificently for their burial.”
2 Mac 4:50 “But Menelaus, because of the covetousness of the authorities, remained in power, increasing in wickedness and persistently plotting against his fellow-citizens.”

Chapter 5

2 Mac 5:1 “About that time Antiochus made his second attack upon Egypt.”
2 Mac 5:2 “And it happened that all over the city for about forty days, there appeared horsemen charging in mid-air, in robes inwrought with gold, fully armed, in companies, with spears and drawn swords;”
2 Mac 5:3 “Squadrons of cavalry drawn up, charges and countercharges taking place on this side and on that, with brandishing of shields, forests of spears, showers of missiles, the flash of gold trappings, and armor of every kind.”
2 Mac 5:4 “Therefore all men prayed that the manifestation betokened good.”
2 Mac 5:5 “There arose a false rumor that Antiochus had departed this life, and Jason took fully a thousand men and made a sudden attack upon the city. As the troops upon the walls gave way, and the city was already virtually captured, Menelaus took refuge in the citadel.”
2 Mac 5:6 Then Jason unsparingly slaughtered his fellow-citizens, regardless of the fact that success gained over one’s kindred is the greatest failure, and fancying that he was winning trophies from his enemies, not from his countrymen.
2 Mac 5:7 “He did not get control of the government, however, and in the end got only shame from his conspiracy, and had to take refuge again as a fugitive in the country of the Ammonites.”
2 Mac 5:8 “So finally he met a miserable end; accused before Aretas, the sovereign of Arabians, fleeing from city to city, pursued by all men, hated as an apostate from the laws, and abhorred as the butcher of his country and his fellow-citizens, he was driven into Egypt,”
2 Mac 5:9 “And he who had sent many from their own country into exile died in a strange land, crossing the sea to the Lacedaemonians hoping to find protection there because of his relationship to them.”
2 Mac 5:10 “So he who had thrown many out to lie unburied had none to mourn for him, and had no funeral at all and no place in the tomb of his forefathers.”
2 Mac 5:11 “When news of what had happened reached the king, he thought that Judea was in revolt; so he set out from Egypt Iike a wild beast and took the city by storm.”
2 Mac 5:12 “And he ordered his soldiers to cut down without distinction anyone they met and to slay those who took refuge in their houses.”
2 Mac 5:13 “Then there was a massacre of young and old, an annihilation of boys, women and children, a slaughter of girls and babies.”
2 Mac 5:14 “In no more than three days eighty thousand people were destroyed, forty thousand of them in hand-to-hand encounter, and as many were sold into slavery as were slain.”
2 Mac 5:15 “Not content with this, he dared to go into the most holy temple in all the world, guided by Menelaus who had betrayed both the laws and his country;”
2 Mac 5:16 “And took the sacred plate in his polluted hands, and with his profane hands he swept away what had been dedicated by other kings to enhance the glory and honor of the place.”
2 Mac 5:17 “In the elation of his spirit, Antiochus did not realize that it was because of the sins of the inhabitants of the city that the Lord was angered for a little, so that he had not had regard for the place.”
2 Mac 5:18 “But if they had not happened to be entangled in so many sins this man, like Heliodorus, who was sent by King Seleucus to inspect the treasury, would have been flogged and turned back from his presumptuous purpose as soon as he approached.”
2 Mac 5:19 “But the Lord did not select the nation for the sake of the place, but the place for the sake of the nation.”
2 Mac 5:20 “Therefore the place itself, after sharing in the misfortunes that overtook the nation, participated afterward in its benefits; and what was forsaken by the Almighty in his wrath was restored in all its glory when its great Master became reconciled to it.”
2 Mac 5:21 “So Antiochus carried away eighteen hundred talents from the temple, and hurried off to Antioch, thinking in his arrogance that he would make the land navigable and the sea traversable on foot, he was so intoxicated in mind.”
2 Mac 5:22 “And to harass the people he left governors in Jerusalem, Philip, a Phrygian by nationality, but in character more barbarous than the man who appointed him;”
2 Mac 5:23 “In Gerizim, Andronicus, and besides these, Menelaus, who was worse than the others in his overbearing treatment of his townsmen. In his hostile attitude to the Jewish citizens,”
2 Mac 5:24 “He sent Apollonius, the Mysian captain, with a force of twenty-two thousand, with orders to slay all the grown men, and to sell the women and younger men as slaves.”
2 Mac 5:25 “When this man arrived at Jerusalem, he pretended to be peacefully disposed, and waited till the holy sabbath day; then finding the Jews refraining from work, he ordered his men to parade under arms;”
2 Mac 5:26 “And so he slew all them that were gone to the celebrating of the sabbath, and running through the city with weapons slew great multitudes.”
2 Mac 5:26 (Grk) “And put to the sword all those who came out to see them, and rushing into the city with his armed men he destroyed them in great multitudes.”
2 Mac 5:27 “But Judas Maccabeus with some nine others got away to the wild country and kept himself alive with his comrades in the mountains as wild animals do, and they lived on what grew wild rather than suffer pollution with the rest.”

Chapter 6

2 Mac 6:1 “Not long after, the king sent an old Athenian to force the Jews to forsake the laws of their forefathers and cease to live according to the laws of God,”
2 Mac 6:2 “But to pollute the temple in Jerusalem and to call it that of the Olympian Zeus, and to call the one in Gerizim that of Zeus the Hospitable, in keeping with the character of those who lived there.”
2 Mac 6:3 “This harshly and most grievously intensified the evil.”
2 Mac 6:4 “For the heathen filled the temple with profligacy and revelry, amusing themselves with prostitutes and lying with women within the sacred precincts, and bringing into it things that were forbidden.”
2 Mac 6:5 “The altar was covered with abominable offerings, which the laws forbade.”
2 Mac 6:6 “A man could not keep the sabbath or celebrate the festivals of his forefathers, or admit he was a Jew at all.”
2 Mac 6:7 “On the monthly celebration of the king’s birthday, they were taken by bitter necessity to taste the sacrifices, and when the festival of Dionysus was celebrated, they were compelled to wear wreaths of ivy and march in procession in his honor.”
2 Mac 6:8 “At Ptolemy’s suggestion a decree was issued to the neighboring Greek towns, that they should adopt the same policy toward the Jews and make them taste the sacrifices,”
2 Mac 6:9 “And that they should slay any who would not agree to adopt Greek customs. So anyone could see how their misery was intensified.”
2 Mac 6:10 “For two women were brought in for circumcising their children, and they led them publicly about the city with their babies hanging at their breasts, and then threw them down from the top of the wall.”
2 Mac 6:11 “Others who had gathered in caves near by, to keep the seventh day in secret, were betrayed to Philip and all burned together, because they had scruples about defending themselves, in their respect for the dignity of that most holy day.”
2 Mac 6:12 “So I beseech those who read this book not to be cast down by such misfortunes but to consider that these punishments were meant not for the destruction of our people but for their correction.”
2 Mac 6:13 “For it is a mark of great benevolence not to let the impious alone for a long time but to punish them promptly.”
2 Mac 6:14 “For in the case of other nations, the Master is long suffering and waits before he punishes them until they have reached the full measure of their sins; but in our case he has decided differently,”
2 Mac 6:15 “So that he may not take vengeance on us afterward when our sins have reached their height.
2 Mac 6:16 “So he never withdraws his mercy from us, and although he disciplines us with misfortune, he does not abandon his own people.”
2 Mac 6:17 “This much let us say by way of reminder; after these few words we must resume our story.”
2 Mac 6:18 “Eleazar, one of the leading scribes, a man of advanced age and fine appearance, was being forced to open his mouth and eat pork.” (4 Mac 5:4-6:30)
2 Mac 6:19 “But he, welcoming a glorious death in preference to a life of pollution went up of his own accord to the torture wheel,”
2 Mac 6:20 “Setting an example of how those should come forward who are steadfast enough to refuse food which it is wrong to taste even for the natural love of life.”
2 Mac 6:21 “Those who were in charge of that unlawful sacrificial meal, because of their long-standing acquaintance with the man, took him aside, and privately urged him to bring meat provided by himself, which he could properly make use of, and pretend that he was eating the meat of the sacrifice, as the king had ordered,”
2 Mac 6:22 “So that by doing this he might escape the death penalty, and on account of his lifelong friendship with them be kindly treated.”
2 Mac 6:23 “But he, making a high resolve, worthy of his years and the dignity of his age and the hoary hair which he reached with such distinction, and his admirable life even from his childhood, and still more of the holy and divine legislation, declared himself in accord with these, telling them to send him down to Hades at once.”
2 Mac 6:24 “For,” said he, “it does not become our time of life to pretend, and so lead many young people to suppose that Eleazar when ninety years old has gone over to heathenism,”
2 Mac 6:25 “And to be led astray through me, because of my pretense for the sake of this short and insignificant life, while I defile and disgrace my old age.”
2 Mac 6:26 “For even if for the present I escape the punishment of men, yet whether I live or die I shall not escape the hands of the Almighty.”
2 Mac 6:27 “Therefore by manfully giving up my life now, I will prove myself worthy of my great age,”
2 Mac 6:28 “And leave to the young a noble example of how to die willingly and nobly for the sacred and holy laws.” With these words he went straight to the torture wheel,”
2 Mac 6:29 “While those who so shortly before had felt kindly toward him became hostile to him, because the words he had uttered were in their opinion mere madness.”
2 Mac 6:30 “As he was about to die under the strokes, he said with a groan, “The Lord, in his holy knowledge, knows that, though I might have escaped death, I endure dreadful pains in my body from being flogged; but in my heart I am glad to suffer this, because I fear him.”
2 Mac 6:31 “And so he died, leaving in his death a pattern of nobility and a memorial of virtue not only to the young but to the mass of his nation.”

Chapter 7

2 Mac 7:1 “It happened that seven brothers were also arrested with their mother, and were tortured with whips and thongs by the king, to force them to taste of the unlawful swine’s meat.”
2 Mac 7:2 “One of them made himself their advocate and said, “What do you expect to ask and learn from us? For we are ready to die, rather than transgress the laws of our fore-fathers.”
2 Mac 7:3 “The king was infuriated and gave orders that pans and caldrons should be heated.”
2 Mac 7:4 “And when they were immediately heated, he commanded that the tongue of the one who had been their advocate should be cut out, and that they should scalp him and cut off his extremities, while his brothers and his mother looked on.”
2 Mac 7:5 “And when he was utterly crippled, he ordered them to bring him to the fire and fry him. And as the vapor from the pan spread thickly, they with their mother encouraged one another to die nobly, saying,”
2 Mac 7:6 “The Lord God is looking on, and he truly relents toward us, as Moses declared in his Song, which bore witness against them face to face, when he said, ‘And he will relent toward his slaves.”’
2 Mac 7:7 “When the first one had departed in this manner, they brought the second one to be mocked, and they tore off the skin of his head with the hair, and asked him, “Will you eat, or have your body punished limb by limb?”
2 Mac 7:8 “But he replied in the language of his forefathers and answered, “No.” So he also underwent the same series of tortures as the first suffered.”
2 Mac 7:9 “But when he was at his last gasp, he said, “You wretch, you release us from this present life, but the king of the world will raise us up, because we have died for his laws, to an everlasting renewal of life.”
2 Mac 7:10 “After him, the third was mocked, and when he was told to put out his tongue, he did so quickly, and courageously stretched out his hands,”
2 Mac 7:11 “And said nobly, “I got these from heaven, and for the sake of its laws I disregard them, and from it I hope to receive them back again,”
2 Mac 7:12 “So that the king himself and those who were with him were amazed at the young man’s spirit, because he made light of his sufferings.”
2 Mac 7:13 “And when he had departed, they tortured and maltreated the fourth in the same way.”
2 Mac 7:14 “And when he was near his end, he spoke thus: “It is better to die by men’s hands and look for the hopes God gives of being raised again by him; for you will have no resurrection to life.”
2 Mac 7:15 “Next they brought up the fifth and maltreated him.”
2 Mac 7:16 “But he looked at him and said, “Since you have authority among men, though you are mortal, you do what you please; but do not suppose that our race has been abandoned by God.”
2 Mac 7:17 “But follow your course and see how his mighty power will torment you and your posterity.”
2 Mac 7:18 “After him they brought the sixth. And when he was at the point of death, he said, “Do not be falsely deceived; for we suffer these things because of ourselves, for we sin against our own God, so these amazing things have happened.”
2 Mac 7:19 “But you must not suppose that you will go unpunished for having attempted to fight against God.”
2 Mac 7:20 “But their mother was surpassingly wonderful, and deserves a blessed memory, for though she saw her seven sons perish within a single day, she bore it with good courage, because of her hope in the Lord.”
2 Mac 7:21 “And she encouraged each of them in the language of their forefathers, for she was filled with a noble spirit and stirred her woman’s heart with manly courage, and said to them,”
2 Mac 7:22 “I do not know how you appeared in my womb, for it was not I that gave you life and breath, and it was not I that brought into harmony the elements of each.”
2 Mac 7:23 “Therefore the creator of the world, who formed the human race and arranged the generation of all things, will give you back again life and breath in his mercy, as you now are regardless of yourselves for the sake of his laws.”
2 Mac 7:24 “Now Antiochus, thinking that he was being treated with contempt, and suspecting her reproachful cry, as the youngest still survived, not only appealed to him in words but also promised him with oaths that he would make him rich and envied, if he would give up the ways of his forefathers, and would make him his Friend and intrust him with office.”
2 Mac 7:25 “But when the young man paid no attention to him, the king called the mother to him and urged her to advise the boy to save himself.”
2 Mac 7:26 “After he had labored with her a long time, she undertook to persuade her son.”
2 Mac 7:27 “She bent over him, and mocking the cruel tyrant, she spoke thus, in the language of her forefathers: “My son, have pity on me, who carried you nine months in the womb, and nursed you for three years, and brought you up and brought you to your present age, and supported you.”
2 Mac 7:28 “I beseech you, my child, to look up at the heaven and the earth, and see all that is in them, and perceive that God did not make them out of the things that existed, and in that way the human race came into existence.”
2 Mac 7:29 “Do not be afraid of this butcher, but show yourself worthy of your brothers, and accept death, so that by God’s mercy I may get you back again with your brothers.”
2 Mac 7:30 “Before she could finish, the young man said, “What are you waiting for? I will not obey the command of the king, but I obey the command of the Law that was given to our forefathers through Moses.”
2 Mac 7:31 “But you, who have designed every kind of evil against the Hebrews, will not escape the hands of God.”
2 Mac 7:32 “For we are suffering because of our own sins.”
2 Mac 7:33 “And though our living Lord is angry for a little while, to rebuke and discipline us, he will be reconciled with his own slaves again.”
2 Mac 7:34 “But you, impious man, the vilest of all men, do not foolishly buoy yourself up in your insolence with uncertain hopes, when you raise your hand against the children of heaven;”
2 Mac 7:35 “For you have not yet escaped the judgment of the Almighty all-seeing God.”
2 Mac 7:36 “For our brethren, who now have suffered a short pain, are dead under God’s covenant of everlasting life; but thou, through the judgment of God, shall receive just punishment for thy pride.”
2 Mac 7:36 (Grk) “For our brothers after enduring a brief suffering have drunk everlasting life, under the agreement of God. But you, by the judgment of God, will receive the rightful penalty of your arrogance.”
2 Mac 7:37 “I, like my brothers, give up body and soul for the laws of my forefathers, calling upon God speedily to show mercy to our nation, and to lead you to confess, in trials and plagues, that he alone is God;”
2 Mac 7:38 “And to stay through me and my brothers the wrath of the Almighty, which has justly fallen on our whole nation.”
2 Mac 7:39 “But the king was infuriated and treated him worse than the others, being embittered at his mockery.”
2 Mac 7:40 “So he passed away unpolluted, trusting firmly in the Lord.”
2 Mac 7:41 “Last of all, the mother met her end, after her sons.”
2 Mac 7:42 “So much then for the eating of sacrifices and excessive barbarities.”

Chapter 8

2 Mac 8:1 “But Judas, who was called Maccabeus, and his followers secretly entered the villages and called on their kinsmen to join them, and by enlisting those who had clung to the Jewish religion, they mustered as many as six thousand.”
2 Mac 8:2 “And they called upon the Lord to look upon the people who were oppressed by all men and to have pity on the sanctuary which had been profaned by the godless,”
2 Mac 8:3 “And to have mercy on the city which was being ruined and would soon be leveled with the ground, and to hearken to the blood that cried to them,”
2 Mac 8:4 “And to remember the lawless destruction of the innocent babies and the blasphemies uttered against his name, and to hate their wickedness.”
2 Mac 8:5 “And as soon as Maccabeus got them organized, the heathen found him irresistible, for the wrath of the Lord now turned to mercy.”
2 Mac 8:6 “He would go unexpectedly to towns and villages and set fire to them, and in recovering advantageous positions and putting to flight not a few of the enemy,”
2 Mac 8:7 “He found the nights especially favorable for such attacks. And the country rang with talk of his valor.”
2 Mac 8:8 “When Philip saw that the man was gaining ground little by little, and that his successful advances were becoming more frequent, he wrote to Ptolemy, the governor of Coelesyria and Phoenicia, to support the king’s side.”
2 Mac 8:9 “And he promptly selected Nicanor, the son of Patroclus, one of the king’s chief friends and sent him, putting him in command of not less than twenty thousand heathen of various nationalities, to wipe out the whole race of Judea. And he associated with him Gorgias, a general and a man of experience in military service.”
2 Mac 8:10 “But Nicanor resolved by taking the Jews captive to make up for the king the tribute which he owed to the Romans, which amounted to two thousand talents.”
2 Mac 8:11 “And he immediately sent to the coast towns, inviting them to buy Jewish slaves, and promising to deliver them at ninety for a talent, little expecting the judgment from the Almighty that was to overtake him.”
2 Mac 8:12 “When news of Nicanor’s advance reached Judas, and when he informed his followers of the arrival of the army,”
2 Mac 8:13 “Those who were cowardly and doubtful about the judgment of God ran away and took themselves off.”
2 Mac 8:14 “And others sold everything they had left and besought the Lord together to deliver those who had been sold in advance by the impious Nicanor;”
2 Mac 8:15 “If not for their own sakes, for the sake of the agreements made with their forefathers, and because they had been called by his revered and glorious name.”
2 Mac 8:16 “And Maccabeus gathered his men together, to the number of six thousand, and exhorted them not to be panic-stricken at the enemy, or to fear the vast multitude of the heathen who were coming against them wrongfully, but to fight nobly,”
2 Mac 8:17 “Keeping before their eyes the lawless outrage they had committed against the holy place, and the tormenting of the derided city, and besides, the destruction of their ancestral mode of life.”
2 Mac 8:18 “For they,” he said, “trust in arms and daring, but we trust in the Almighty God, for he is able with a mere nod to strike down not only our enemies but the whole world.”
2 Mac 8:19 “And he told them besides of the times when help had been given them in the days of their forefathers, and how in the time of Sennacherib a hundred and eighty-five thousand had perished,”
2 Mac 8:20 “And the help that came in Babylonia, in the battle with the Galatians, when they went into the affair eight thousand in all, with four thousand Macedonians, and when the Macedonians were hard pressed, the eight thousand destroyed the hundred and twenty thousand, because of the help that came to them from heaven, and took a great quantity of booty.”
2 Mac 8:21 “When he had revived their courage with these words, and made them ready to die for their laws and their country, he divided his army into four parts.
2 Mac 8:22 “He put his brothers Simon and Joseph and Jonathan each in command of a division, putting fifteen hundred men under each,”
2 Mac 8:23 “Besides Eleazar also, and he read aloud from the holy book, and gave “the Help of God” as the watchword, and taking command of the first division himself, he joined battle with Nicanor.”
2 Mac 8:24 “And the Almighty was their ally, and they slaughtered more than nine thousand of the enemy, and wounded and disabled most of Nicanor’s army, and forced them all to flee.”
2 Mac 8:25 “And they captured the money of those who had come to buy them. And after pursuing them for a considerable distance, they were obliged to turn back because of the time of day;”
2 Mac 8:26 “For it was the day before the sabbath, and for that reason they could not prolong their pursuit of them.”
2 Mac 8:27 “But after collecting the enemy’s arms and stripping them of their spoils, they busied themselves about the sabbath, fervently blessing and thanking the Lord who had preserved them to see that day, because he had begun to show them mercy.”
2 Mac 8:28 “After the sabbath, they gave some of the spoils to the wounded and to the widows and orphans and divided the rest with their children.”
2 Mac 8:29 “When they had accomplished this, they made a common supplication, and besought the merciful Lord to be wholly reconciled to his slaves.
2 Mac 8:30 “When they encountered the forces of Timotheus and Bacchides, they killed more than twenty thousand of them, and obtained possession of some exceedingly high strong holds, and they divided a great amount of plunder, giving shares equal to their own to the wounded and orphans and widows, and also to the older people as well.”
2 Mac 8:31 “And they carefully collected all their own arms and deposited them in the advantageous places, and the rest of the spoils they carried to Jerusalem.”
2 Mac 8:32 “And they killed the cavalry commander of Timotheus’ forces, a most impious man, who had greatly injured the Jews.”
2 Mac 8:33 “And in celebrating their victory in the city of their forefathers, they burned those who had set fire to the sacred gates, and Callisthenes, who had taken refuge in a cottage; so he received the proper reward for his impious conduct.”
2 Mac 8:34 “But the thrice-accursed Nicanor, who had brought the thousand slave-dealers to buy the Jews,”
2 Mac 8:35 “After being humbled through the Lord’s help by those whom he had thought of no account, took off his fine clothes and going alone like a runaway across country reached Antioch, having been supremely successful in destroying his army!”
2 Mac 8:36 “So the man who had undertaken to secure tribute for the Romans by the capture of the people of Jerusalem proclaimed that the Jews had a champion, and that the Jews were invulnerable because of their way of life, because they followed the laws laid down by him.”

Chapter 9

2 Mac 9:1 “Now about that time it happened that Antiochus returned in disorder from the region of Persia.”
2 Mac 9:2 “For he had entered the city called Persepolis, and tried to rob the temples and get control of the city. At this the people naturally had swift recourse to arms, and they were routed, and the result was that Antiochus was put to flight by the people of the country and left in disgrace.”
2 Mac 9:3 “And while he was at Ecbatana, news came to him of what had happened to Nicanor and the forces of Timotheus.”
2 Mac 9:4 “And excited by anger, he thought he would fasten upon the Jews the injury done him by those who had put him to flight, so he ordered his charioteer to drive without stopping until he finished the journey, although the judgment of heaven accompanied him. For in his arrogance he said, “I will make Jerusalem the common graveyard of the Jews, when I get there.”
2 Mac 9:5 “But the All-seeing Lord, the God of Israel, struck him down with an incurable but unseen blow, for he had hardly uttered the words when he was seized with an incurable pain in his bowels and sharp internal pains,”
2 Mac 9:6 “Very justly, for he had tormented the bowels of others with many unusual miseries.”
2 Mac 9:7 “He did not desist at all from his insolence, but was more and more filled with arrogance, breathing fire in his fury against the Jews, and giving orders to hasten the journey. But it happened that he fell out of his chariot as it was rushing along, and was racked in every part of his body from the fall.”
2 Mac 9:8 “And the man who just now presumed to command the waves of the sea, in his superhuman boastfulness and thought he could weigh the mountain heights in his scales, was flat on the ground and had to be carried in a horse litter – making the power of God manifest to all men,”
2 Mac 9:9 “So that worms swarmed from the impious creature’s body, and while he was still alive in anguish and pain, his flesh fell off, and because of the stench the whole army turned from his corruption in disgust.”
2 Mac 9:10 “The man who shortly before thought he could touch the stars of heaven, no one could now bear to carry, because of his intolerable stench.”
2 Mac 9:11 “So it was then that, broken in spirit, he began for the most part to give up his arrogance, and under the scourge of God to attain some knowledge, for he was tortured with pain every instant.”
2 Mac 9:12 “And when he could not even endure his own stench, he said this: “It is right to submit to God and, since man is mortal, not to think he is God’s equal.”
2 Mac 9:13 “And the vile fellow made a vow to the Lord who would no longer have mercy on him, stating:”
2 Mac 9:14 “That he declared the holy city, which he was hastening to level with the ground and to make a common graveyard, free;”
2 Mac 9:15 “And as for the Jews, who he had decided were unworthy of burial, but should be thrown out with their children to the wild animals, for the birds to pick, that he would make them all equal to citizens of Athens;”
2 Mac 9:16 “And the holy sanctuary, which before he had plundered, he would adorn with the finest offerings, and he would give back all the sacred dishes many times over, and the expenses incident to the sacrifices he would supply from his own revenues;”
2 Mac 9:17 “And in addition to this, he would become a Jew and visit every inhabited place to proclaim the power of God.”
2 Mac 9:18 “But when his suffering by no means ceased, for God’s judgment had come justly upon him, in despair about himself he wrote the Jews the following letter, assuming the attitude of a suppliant.”
2 Mac 9:19 “It ran thus: “To the esteemed Jewish citizens, Antiochus, the king and general, sends hearty greetings and wishes for their health and prosperity.”
2 Mac 9:20 “If you and your children are well and your affairs are going as you wish, I am glad. As my hope is in heaven,”
2 Mac 9:21 “I remember with affection your esteem and good will. On my way back from the regions of Persia, I have been taken seriously ill, so I have thought it necessary to plan for the general welfare of all.”
2 Mac 9:22 “Not that I despair of myself, for I have strong hopes of recovering from my sickness.”
2 Mac 9:23 “But observing that my father, on the occasions when he campaigned in the upper country, appointed his successor,”
2 Mac 9:24 “So that, if anything unexpected happened, or any disturbing news came, the people at home, knowing to whom the government was left, should not be disturbed;”
2 Mac 9:25 “And in addition to this, perceiving that the adjacent princes, who are neighbors to the kingdom, watch for opportunities and are expectant of what may turn up, I have appointed my son Antiochus king, whom I have often committed and commended to most of you, when I hurried off to the upper provinces; and I have written him what is written below.”
2 Mac 9:26 “I beg and beseech you to remember the public and private services rendered you and to continue your good will to me and my son.”
2 Mac 9:27 “For I am convinced that he will follow my policy with mildness and kindness, in his relations with you.”
2 Mac 9:28 “So the murderer and blasphemer, after the most intense sufferings, such as he had inflicted on other people, ended his life most pitiably, among the mountains, in a foreign land.”
2 Mac 9:29 “And his foster-brother Philip took his body home, and then, as he feared the son of Antiochus, he went over to Ptolemy Philometor in Egypt.”

Chapter 10

2 Mac 10:1 “Now Maccabeus and his followers under the Lord’s leadership regained the temple and the city,”
2 Mac 10:2 “And tore down the altars that had been built by the aliens in the public square, and also the sacred inclosures.”
2 Mac 10:3 “And when they had purified the sanctuary, they built another altar of sacrifice, and striking flints and getting fire from them, they offered sacrifices, after an interval of two years, and they burned incense and lighted lamps and set out the Presentation Loaves. (shewbread)”
2 Mac 10:4 “And when they had done this, they fell on their faces and besought the Lord that they might never again encounter such misfortune, but that, if they should ever sin, he would discipline them with forbearance, and not hand them over to blasphemous and barbarous heathen.
2 Mac 10:5 “And it came about that on the very same day on which the sanctuary had been profaned by aliens, the purification of the sanctuary took place, that is, on the twenty-fifth day of the same month, which was Chislev.”
2 Mac 10:6 “And they celebrated it for eight days with gladness, like the Camping Out festival3The feast of the Dedication of the Temple, Hanukkah, celebrated on the twenty-fifth of Kislev (Nov.–Dec.). New feast day that resembles the feast of Booths (Lv 23:33–43), celebrated on the fifteenth of Tishri (Sept.–Oct.)., and recalled how, a little while before, during the Camping Out festival they had been wandering in the mountains and caverns like wild animals.”
2 Mac 10:7 “So carrying wands wreathed with leaves and beautiful branches and palm leaves too they offered hymns of praise to him who had brought to pass the purifying of his own place.”
2 Mac 10:8 “And they passed a public ordinance and decree that the whole Jewish nation should observe these days every year.”
2 Mac 10:9 “Such was the end of Antiochus, who was called Epiphanes.”
2 Mac 10:10 “We will now set forth what took place under Antiochus Eupator, who was the son of that godless man, summarizing the principal disasters of the wars.”
2 Mac 10:11 “For this man, upon succeeding to the kingdom, appointed one Lysias to have charge of the government, and to be governor-in-chief of Coelesyria and Phoenicia.”
2 Mac 10:12 “For Ptolemy who was called Macron instituted the practice of showing justice to the Jews because of the wrong that had been done them, and attempted to carry on his dealings with them amicably.”
2 Mac 10:13 “As a result, he was accused before Eupator by the king’s friends, and on all sides heard himself called a traitor, because he had abandoned Cyprus which Philometor had intrusted to him, and gone over to Antiochus Epiphanes, and, as he could not maintain the dignity of his office, he took poison and ended his life.”
2 Mac 10:14 “But Gorgias, when he became governor of the region, maintained mercenaries and kept on warring against the Jews at every turn.”
2 Mac 10:15 “In addition to that, the Idumeans, who held important forts, were harassing the Jews, and enlisting those from Jerusalem who took refuge there, they sought to continue the war.”
2 Mac 10:16 “But Maccabeus and his men made a supplication and besought God to be their ally, and then threw themselves upon the forts of the Idumeans,”
2 Mac 10:17 “And attacking them vigorously they made themselves masters of the positions, and fought off those who manned the wall, and slaughtered those whom they encountered, killing not less than twenty thousand.”
2 Mac 10:18 “As fully nine thousand had taken refuge in two very strong towers well supplied for a siege,”
2 Mac 10:19 “Maccabeus left Simon and Joseph and in addition Zaccheus and his men, making a force strong enough to besiege them, and set off for places that were more urgent.”
2 Mac 10:20 “But the men with Simon were covetous and were bribed by some of the men in the towers, and on receiving seventy thousand drachmas let some of them escape.”
2 Mac 10:21 “But when news of what had happened reached Maccabeus, he gathered the leaders of the people together, and charged them with having sold their brothers for money, by freeing their enemies to fight them.”
2 Mac 10:22 “So he killed those men for having proved traitors, and immediately captured the towers.”
2 Mac 10:23 “And as he was successful in arms in everything he undertook, he destroyed more than twenty thousand men in the two forts.”
2 Mac 10:24 “But Timotheus, who had been defeated by the Jews before, gathered enormous mercenary forces, and mustering no small number of Asiatic cavalry, came as though he would take Judea by storm.”
2 Mac 10:25 “But when he approached, Maccabeus and his men sprinkled earth on their heads and put sackcloth on their loins,”
2 Mac 10:26 “And falling down upon the step before the altar begged him to favor them and be the enemy of their enemies, and oppose their adversaries, as the Law declares.
2 Mac 10:27 “And when they had ended their prayer, they took their arms, and advanced a considerable distance from the city, and when they got near the enemy, they halted.”
2 Mac 10:28 “And just as the dawn was breaking, the two armies joined battle, those on one side having besides their valor their assurance of success and victory in having taken refuge with the Lord, while those on the other followed their passions as leader in the contest.
2 Mac 10:29 “And when the fighting had become fierce, there appeared to the enemy from heaven five splendid figures on horses with gold bridles, leading the Jews,”
2 Mac 10:30 “And they surrounded Maccabeus and protected him with their armor and kept him unhurt, while they shot arrows and hurled thunderbolts at the enemy, so that, confused and blinded, they were thrown into disorder and cut to pieces.”
2 Mac 10:31 “Twenty thousand five hundred were slaughtered, and six hundred horsemen.”
2 Mac 10:32 “Timotheus himself took refuge in a stronghold called Gazara, which was strongly garrisoned and under the command of Chaereas.”
2 Mac 10:33 “Then Maccabeus and his men were glad, and they besieged the fort for four days.”
2 Mac 10:34 “And those who were inside, relying on the strength of the place, blasphemed dreadfully and uttered impious speeches.”
2 Mac 10:35 “But at dawn the fifth day, twenty young men in the army of Maccabeus, fired with anger by these blasphemies, manfully assaulted the wall and in savage fury cut down everyone they met.”
2 Mac 10:36 “Others who had climbed up in the same way, in the confusion over those who had gotten in, set the towers on fire and starting fires burned the blasphemers alive. Still others broke open the gates, and let in the rest of the force, capturing the city.”
2 Mac 10:37 “They killed Timotheus, who was hidden in a cistern, and his brother Chaereas and Apollophanes.”
2 Mac 10:38 “When they had accomplished this, with hymns and thanksgivings they blessed the Lord who does great services to Israel, and gives them victory.”

Chapter 11

2 Mac 11:1 “A very short time after, Lysias, the guardian and relative of the king, who was in charge of the government, being greatly annoyed at what had happened,
2 Mac 11:2 “Mustered about eighty thousand men and all his cavalry, and came against the Jews, with the intention of making the city a place for Greeks to live in,”
2 Mac 11:3 “And of imposing tribute on the temple, as they did on the other sacred places of the heathen, and of offering the high priesthood for sale every year,”
2 Mac 11:4 “Taking no account at all of the power of God, but uplifted by his tens of thousands of infantry, and his thousands of cavalry, and his eighty elephants.”
2 Mac 11:5 “And he entered Judea, and approached Bethsura, a fortified place about five-eighths of a mile from Jerusalem, and pressed it hard.”
2 Mac 11:6 “But when Maccabeus and his men got news that he was besieging the strongholds, with lamentations and tears they and the people besought the Lord to send some valiant angel to save Israel.”
2 Mac 11:7 “Maccabeus himself was the first to take up arms and called on the others to risk their lives with him and go to the aid of their brothers. So they hurried off eagerly together.”
2 Mac 11:8 “But there, while they were still near Jerusalem, one on horseback, clothed in white, appeared at their head, brandishing gold weapons.”
2 Mac 11:9 “And they all blessed the merciful God together, and their hearts were strengthened, and they felt equal to overcoming not only men but the fiercest animals and iron walls.”
2 Mac 11:10 “So they advanced in good order with their heavenly ally, for the Lord had had mercy on them.”
2 Mac 11:11 “And flying at the enemy like lions they killed eleven thousand of them and sixteen hundred horsemen, and forced all the rest to flee.”
2 Mac 11:12 “The most of them got away stripped and wounded, and Lysias himself escaped only by a disgraceful flight.”
2 Mac 11:13 “But as he was not without understanding, he thought over the defeat he had met with, and perceived that the Hebrews were invincible, because the mighty God was their ally, so he sent to them,”
2 Mac 11:14 “And persuaded them to come to a general settlement on just terms, because he would persuade the king and prevail upon him to become their friend.”
2 Mac 11:15 “And Maccabeus agreed to all that Lysias proposed, thus looking out for the common good, for the king granted all the demands that Maccabeus made in writing to Lysias for the Jews.”
2 Mac 11:16 “For the letter written to the Jews by Lysias was as follows: “Lysias sends greeting to the Jewish people.
2 Mac 11:17 “Your emissaries John and Absalom have presented the accompanying petition and asked about the matters set forth in it.”
2 Mac 11:18 “So I informed the king of the matters that needed to be laid before him, and he has agreed to all that was possible.”
2 Mac 11:19 “If then you will continue your loyalty to the government, I will endeavor to further your interests in the future.”
2 Mac 11:20 “But about the details of these matters, I have ordered these men and my representatives to confer with you.”
2 Mac 11:21 “Goodbye. The hundred and forty-eighth year, Dioscorinthius twenty-fourth.”
2 Mac 11:22 “The king’s letter ran thus: “King Antiochus sends greeting to his brother Lysias.”
2 Mac 11:23 “Now that our father has departed to the gods, we desire the subjects of the kingdom to be unmolested and to busy themselves with the care of their own affairs,”
2 Mac 11:24 “And as we have heard that the Jews will not agree to our father’s policy of making them adopt Greek practices, but prefer their own way of living, and ask to be allowed to follow their own customs,”
2 Mac 11:25 “We wish this nation also to be undisturbed, and our decision is that their temple be returned to them, and that they follow their ancestral customs.”
2 Mac 11:26 “Please send messengers to them therefore, and give them assurances, so that they may know our purpose and be of good cheer, and contentedly go about the conduct of their affairs.”
2 Mac 11:27 “The king’s letter to the nation ran as follows: “King Antiochus sends greeting to the Jewish senate and to the rest of the Jews.”
2 Mac 11:28 “If you are well, it is what we desire; we too are well.”
2 Mac 11:29 “Menelaus has informed us that you want to go home and look after your own affairs.”
2 Mac 11:30 “Therefore, those who go home by the thirtieth of Xanthicus will have our assurance:”
2 Mac 11:31 “That the Jews can fearlessly enjoy their own food and laws, as before; and none of them shall be molested in any way for what he may have ignorantly done.”
2 Mac 11:32 “I have sent Menelaus also to cheer you.”
2 Mac 11:33 “Goodbye. The hundred and forty-eighth year, Xanthicus fifteenth.”
2 Mac 11:34 “The Romans also sent them a letter to this effect: “Quintus Memmius and Titus Manius, envoys of the Romans, send greeting to the Jewish people.”
2 Mac 11:35 “With regard to what Lysias, the king’s relative, has granted you, we also give our approval.”
2 Mac 11:36 “But as to the matters which he decided should be referred to the king, as soon as you have considered the matter, send us word, so that we may take proper action. For we are going to Antioch;”
2 Mac 11:37 “So make haste and send men to us, so that we also may know what your intentions are.”
2 Mac 11:38 “Goodbye. The hundred and forty-eighth year, Xanthicus fifteenth.”

Chapter 12

2 Mac 12:1 “After this agreement was reached, Lysias went back to the king, and the Jews went about their farming.
2 Mac 12:2 “But some of the local governors, Timotheus and Apollonius, the son of Gennaeus, besides Hieronymus and Demophon, as well as Nicanor, the governor of Cyprus, would not leave them alone and let them live in peace.”
2 Mac 12:3 “Some people of Joppa also perpetrated the following outrage. They invited the Jews who lived among them to embark with their wives and children on boats they had provided, with no hint of any ill will toward them,”
2 Mac 12:4 “But in accordance with the public regulations of the town. And when they accepted, as they wished to live peaceably and had no suspicion, they took them out to sea and drowned fully two hundred of them.”
2 Mac 12:5 “When Judas got news of the cruelty that had been practiced on his countrymen, he called his men together,”
2 Mac 12:6 “And calling on God, the righteous judge, he attacked the murderers of his brothers, and one night set the harbor on fire and burned the boats, and put those who had taken refuge there to the sword.”
2 Mac 12:7 “But as the town shut its gates against him, he retired, meaning to come back and exterminate the whole community of Joppa.”
2 Mac 12:8 “But learning that the people of Jamnia meant to treat the Jews there in the same way,”
2 Mac 12:9 “He attacked the people of Jamnia in the night, and set fire to the harbor as well as the fleet, so that the glow of the fire was visible in Jerusalem, thirty miles away.”
2 Mac 12:10 “When they had gone more than a mile from there, on their march against Timotheus, fully five thousand Arabs with five hundred horsemen attacked them.”
2 Mac 12:11 “After a hard fight, by the help of God Judas and his men were victorious, and the nomads, being worsted, besought Judas to make friends with them, promising to give him cattle and to help them in other ways.”
2 Mac 12:12 “Judas thought they would really be useful in many ways, and agreed to make peace with them, so after receiving his assurances, they left for their camp.”
2 Mac 12:13 “He also attacked a town strengthened with earthworks and encircled with walls, inhabited by heathen of all sorts, and named Caspin.”
2 Mac 12:14 “Its occupants, relying on the strength of their walls and their stores of provisions, scoffed madly at Judas and his men, and went so far as to blaspheme and makes impious speeches.”
2 Mac 12:15 “But Judas and his men called upon the great Sovereign of the world, who without rams or war engines threw down the walls of Jericho in the days of Joshua, and rushed furiously upon the walls.”
2 Mac 12:16 “And by the will of God they took the city, and slaughtered untold numbers, so that the neighboring lake, a quarter of a mile wide, seemed to be filled with running blood.”
2 Mac 12:17 “When they had gone ninety-five miles from there, they reached Charax, and the Jews who are called Tybiani.”
2 Mac 12:18 “They could not find Timotheus in those regions, for he had gone away unsuccessful, but leaving behind him in one place a very strong garrison.”
2 Mac 12:19 “But Dositheus and Sosipater who were captains under Maccabeus, marched out and destroyed the force Timotheus had left in the stronghold, more than ten thousand men.
2 Mac 12:20 “Maccabeus however arranged his army in divisions and put them in command of the divisions and hurried after Timotheus, who had with him a hundred and twenty thousand infantry and two thousand, five hundred cavalry.”
2 Mac 12:21 “But when Timotheus learned of the advance of Judas, he sent the women and children and the rest of the baggage train ahead to a place called Carnaim, for that stronghold was hard to besiege or to reach, because of the difficulty of all that region.”
2 Mac 12:22 “But when Judas’ first division appeared and terror came over the enemy and fear came upon them at the manifestation of him who beholds all things, they hastily fled in all directions, so that in many cases they were hurt by their own men and wounded by the points of their swords.”
2 Mac 12:23 “But Judas pressed the pursuit increasingly, putting the wretches to the sword, and destroyed fully thirty thousand men.”
2 Mac 12:24 “But Timotheus himself, falling into the hands of Dositheus and Sosipater and their men, besought them with much guile to spare his life and let him go, because he had the parents of many of them and the brothers of some in his power, and it would go hard with these.”
2 Mac 12:25 “So when he had most fully guaranteed to restore them unharmed, to save their brothers they let him go.”
2 Mac 12:26 “Then Judas marched against Carnaim and the temple of Atargatis, and slaughtered twenty-five thousand people.”
2 Mac 12:27 “After the rout and destruction of these, he marched against Ephron, a fortified town, where Lysias lived and multitudes of all nationalities. Hardy young men posted before the walls vigorously defended it, and large quantities of war engines and missiles were kept there.”
2 Mac 12:28 “But they called upon the Sovereign who forcibly shatters the might of his enemies, and took the town, and slew fully twenty-five thousand of those who were in it.”
2 Mac 12:29 “Then they set out from there and marched rapidly to Scythopolis, which is seventy-five miles from Jerusalem.”
2 Mac 12:30 “But when the Jews there bore witness to the good will shown them by the people of Scythopolis, and their kind treatment of them in times of misfortune,”
2 Mac 12:31 “They thanked them and exhorted them to be well disposed to their race in the future also. Then, as the festival of Weeks was close at hand, they went up to Jerusalem.”
2 Mac 12:32 “After the festival called Pentecost4The term Pentecost comes from the Greek Πεντηκοστή (Pentēkostē), meaning “fiftieth”. It refers to the Hebrew festival of Shavuot celebrated on the fiftieth day after Passover. they marched hurriedly against Gorgias, the governor of Idumea.”
2 Mac 12:33 “And he came out with three thousand infantry and four hundred cavalry.”
2 Mac 12:34 “And when they joined battle, it happened that a few of the Jews fell.”
2 Mac 12:35 “But a man named Dositheus, one of Bacenor’s men, a mounted man of great strength, caught hold of Gorgias and grasping his cloak was dragging him off by main strength, meaning to take the accursed rascal alive, when one of the Thracian horsemen bore down upon him and disabled his shoulder, so that Gorgias escaped and reached Mareshah.”
2 Mac 12:36 “But as Esdris and his men had been fighting a long time and were tired out, Judas called upon the Lord to show himself their ally and leader in the fight;”
2 Mac 12:37 “Then raising the war cry and war songs in their ancestral language, he charged Gorgias’ men unexpectedly and put them to flight.”
2 Mac 12:38 “Then Judas assembled his army and went to the town of Adullam. And as the next day was the seventh day, they purified themselves as they were accustomed to do, and kept the sabbath.”
2 Mac 12:39 “On the following day, as by that time it had become necessary, Judas’ men went to gather up the bodies of the fallen, and bring them back to lie with their relatives in the graves of their forefathers.”
2 Mac 12:40 “But on every one of the dead, under the shirt, they found amulets of the idols of Jamnia, which the Law forbids the Jews to wear; and it became clear to all that this was why they had fallen.”
2 Mac 12:41 “So they all blessed the ways of the Lord, the righteous Judge, who reveals the things that are hidden,
2 Mac 12:42 “And fell to supplication, begging that the sin that had been committed should be wholly blotted out. And the noble Judas exhorted the people to keep themselves free from sin, after having seen with their own eyes what had happened because of the sin of those who had fallen.”
2 Mac 12:43 “He also took a collection, amounting to two thousand silver drachmas, each man contributing, and sent it to Jerusalem, to provide a sin offering,5This offering was being cited in the 1400s and 1500s as a defense of Catholic doctrine on purgatory and indulgences. acting very finely and properly in taking account of the resurrection.”
2 Mac 12:44 “For if he had not expected that those who had fallen would rise again, it would have been superfluous and foolish to pray for the dead;”
2 Mac 12:45 “Or if it was through regard for the splendid reward destined for those who fall asleep in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought. Therefore he made atonement for the dead, so that they might be set free from their sin.”

Chapter 13

2 Mac 13:1 “In the hundred and forty-ninth year, news reached Judas and his men that Antiochus Eupator had come with great hosts against Judea,”
2 Mac 13:2 “Bringing with him Lysias, his guardian, who had charge of the government, each with a Greek force of a hundred and ten thousand infantry, and five thousand three hundred cavalry, and twenty-two elephants and three hundred chariots armed with scythes.”
2 Mac 13:3 “Menelaus also joined them, and with loud pretenses encouraged Antiochus, not to save his country, but because he thought he would be put in charge of the government.”
2 Mac 13:4 “But the King of kings aroused the anger of Antiochus against the rascal, and when Lysias informed him that this man was to blame for all the trouble, he ordered them to take him to Berea and to put him to death in the way that is customary there.
2 Mac 13:5 “For there is a tower there fifty cubits high, filled with ashes, and it had an arrangement running all around it dropping straight into the ashes.”
2 Mac 13:6 “There they all push a man guilty of sacrilege or notorious for other crimes to destruction.”
2 Mac 13:7 “By such a fate it came to pass that Menelaus the transgressor died, not even getting burial in the ground. And very justly,”
2 Mac 13:8 “For as he had committed many sins against the altar, the fire and ashes of which were holy, through ashes he came by his death.”
2 Mac 13:9 “But the king, enraged in mind, was coming to inflict on the Jews the worst of the things they had suffered in his father’s time.”
2 Mac 13:10 “And when Judas got news of it, he ordered the people to call on the Lord all day and all night now if ever to help those who were on the point of losing their Law and their country and the holy temple,”
2 Mac 13:11 “And not to let the people who had just begun to revive fall into the hands of profane heathen.”
2 Mac 13:12 “And when they had all done this together and besought the merciful Lord for three days without ceasing, with weeping and fasting and prostrations, Judas encouraged them and ordered them to rally to him.”
2 Mac 13:13 “After a private meeting with the elders, he decided that they should march out and decide the matter by the help of God before the king could get his army into Judea and get possession of the city.”
2 Mac 13:14 “So committing the decision to the creator of the world and encouraging his men to fight nobly to the death for laws, temple, city, country, and government, he pitched his camp at Modin.”
2 Mac 13:15 “And giving his men “God’s Victory,” for the watchword, he threw himself upon the camp in the night and reached the royal tent, and killed fully two thousand men, and stabbed the leading elephant and his driver,”
2 Mac 13:16 “And finally filled the camp with terror and confusion, and got away successfully.”
2 Mac 13:17 “This happened by the Lord’s help and protection, just as day was dawning.”
2 Mac 13:18 “After this taste of the Jews’ hardihood, the king resorted to stratagem in attempting their positions.”
2 Mac 13:19 “He advanced against Bethsura, a strong Jewish fort; he was turned back, stumbled, failed.”
2 Mac 13:20 “Judas sent what was necessary in to the garrison.”
2 Mac 13:21 “But Rhodocus, a man of the Jewish force, gave secret information to the enemy; he was found out, arrested, and put in prison.”
2 Mac 13:22 “The king again approached the people in Bethsura, gave assurances, received them, withdrew, attacked Judas and his men, was worsted,”
2 Mac 13:23 “Got news that Philip, who had been left in charge of the government at Antioch, had gotten desperate, was dismayed, conciliated the Jews, yielded, and swore to all that was just, settled with them and offered sacrifice, honored the sanctuary and respected the holy place,”
2 Mac 13:24 “Received Maccabeus, left Hegemonides as governor in control from Ptolemais to Gerar.”
2 Mac 13:25 “He went to Ptolemais; the people of Ptolemais were angry about the treaty, for they were so indignant that they wanted to annul the agreements.”
2 Mac 13:26 “Lysias appeared to speak publicly, made as good a defense as was possible, convinced them, appeased them, won them over, and set out for Antioch. This was the course of the king’s attack and withdrawal.”

Chapter 14

2 Mac 14:1 “Three years later, news reached Judas and his men that Demetrius, the son of Seleucus, had sailed into the harbor of Tripolis with a strong force and a fleet,”
2 Mac 14:2 “And had made away with Antiochus and his guardian Lysias and taken possession of the country.”
2 Mac 14:3 “But Alcimus, who had formerly been high priest, but had polluted himself of his own accord in the days when there was no communication with the heathen, considering that there was no way for him to save himself or to obtain access to the holy altar,”
2 Mac 14:4 “Went to King Demetrius in the hundred and fifty-first year, and presented him with a gold crown and palm, and in addition to them some of the customary olive branches from the temple and he kept silence that day.”
2 Mac 14:5 “But when he found an opportunity favorable to his mad purpose, being invited by Demetrius to a council, and asked about the temper and intentions of the Jews, he answered,”
2 Mac 14:6 “It is the Jews who are called Hasidaeans, under the leadership of Judas Maccabeus, that keep the war alive, and stir up sedition, and will not let the kingdom enjoy tranquillity.”
2 Mac 14:7 “That is why, renouncing my ancestral glory (I mean the high priesthood), I have now come here,”
2 Mac 14:8 “First, because I am genuinely concerned for the king’s interests, and secondly out of regard for my fellow-citizens; for through the inconsiderate behavior of those whom I have mentioned, our whole nation is in no small misfortune.”
2 Mac 14:9 “Inform yourself, O king, about these things in detail, and act in the interests of our country and our hard-pressed nation, with the courteous consideration that you show to all.”
2 Mac 14:10 “For as long as Judas lives, it is impossible for the government to find peace.”
2 Mac 14:11 “When he said this, the rest of the Friends, who were hostile to Judas, immediately inflamed Demetrius further against him.”
2 Mac 14:12 “He immediately chose Nicanor, who had been master of the elephants, and appointed him governor of Judea, and sent him out,”
2 Mac 14:13 “With orders to make away with Judas himself, and scatter his men, and install Alcimus as high priest of the sublime temple.”
2 Mac 14:14 “And all the heathen in Judea who had driven Judas into exile flocked to join Nicanor, thinking that the reverses and disasters of the Jews would be to their advantage.”
2 Mac 14:15 “But when they heard of Nicanor’s expedition and the attack of the heathen, they sprinkled themselves with earth and intreated him who had established his own people forever, and always upholds his own portion by manifesting himself.”
2 Mac 14:16 “Then, when the leader gave the order, he set forth at once from there and joined battle with them at the village of Adasa.”
2 Mac 14:17 “Simon, Judas’ brother, had encountered Nicanor, and had recently been checked because of the consternation his antagonists inspired.”
2 Mac 14:18 “Still Nicanor, hearing of the valor of Judas and his men, and their courage in their battles for their country, hesitated to decide the matter by the sword.”
2 Mac 14:19 “So he sent Posidonius and Theodotus and Mattathias to propose terms.”
2 Mac 14:20 “After full consideration of these, when each leader had communicated them to his people, and their judgment proved favorable, they agree to the treaty.”
2 Mac 14:21 “So they fixed a day on which to meet by themselves, a chariot advanced from each side, couches were placed in position;”
2 Mac 14:22 “Judas posted armed men in readiness at suitable points, through fear that some treachery might suddenly develop on the part of the enemy; they held the appropriate conference.
2 Mac 14:23 “Nicanor stayed in Jerusalem, and did nothing improper, but sent home the thronging crowds that had gathered.”
2 Mac 14:24 “He kept Judas constantly in his company; he had become warmly attached to the man;”
2 Mac 14:25 “He urged him to marry and have children. He did marry, settled down, took part in life.”
2 Mac 14:26 “But when Alclmus realized their good understanding with each other, and got hold of the treaty they had made, he went to Demetrius and told him that Nicanor was disloyal to the government, for he had appointed Judas, the conspirator against the kingdom, as his successor.”
2 Mac 14:27 “The king was excited and incensed by the rascal’s accusations, and wrote Nicanor stating that he was dissatisfied with the treaty, and ordering him to send Maccabeus as a prisoner to Antioch without delay.”
2 Mac 14:28 “ When Nicanor received the message, he was troubled and annoyed at having to cancel the agreement when the man had done no wrong.”
2 Mac 14:29 “But as it was not possible to oppose the king, he watched for an opportunity to accomplish this by strategy.”
2 Mac 14:30 “But Maccabeus observed that Nicanor began to treat him more stiffly and was acting more rudely than usual, and concluding that this stiffness was not a very good sign, he mustered no small number of his men and went into hiding from Nicanor.”
2 Mac 14:31 “When the latter realized that he had been splendidly out-maneuvered by the man, he went to the great and holy temple as the priests were offering the customary sacrifices, and ordered them to deliver the man up.”
2 Mac 14:32 “And when they protested with oaths that they did not know where the man he sought was,”
2 Mac 14:33 “He stretched out his right hand toward the sanctuary and uttered this oath: “If you do not hand Judas over to me as a prisoner, I will level this sacred precinct of God with the ground and tear down the altar, and build here a splendid temple to Dionysus.”
2 Mac 14:34 “With these words he left. But the priests stretched out their hands to heaven and called upon him who always fights for our nation, and said,”
2 Mac 14:35 “Lord of all, who are self-sufficient, you consented to have a temple for your habitation among us;”
2 Mac 14:36 “Now therefore, holy Lord of all consecration, keep undefiled forever this house that has been so lately purified.”
2 Mac 14:37 “Now one of the elders of Jerusalem named Razis was reported to Nicanor as a man who loved his countrymen and was very well thought of, and was called father of the Jews for his benevolence.”
2 Mac 14:38 “For in former times, when there was no communication with the Gentiles, he had been accused of Judaism, and had most zealously risked soul and body for it.”
2 Mac 14:39 “And Nicanor, wishing to manifest the enmity he felt for the Jews, sent more than five hundred soldiers to arrest him;
2 Mac 14:40 “For he thought that in arresting him he would be doing them an injury.”
2 Mac 14:41 “But when this force was on the point of capturing the tower and was forcing the courtyard door and demanding that fire be brought and the doors set on fire, as he was surrounded he fell upon his sword,”
2 Mac 14:42 “Preferring to die nobly rather than to fall into the wretches’ hands and suffer outrages unworthy of his rank.”
2 Mac 14:43 “But he missed his stroke in the haste of the struggle, and with the crowd streaming in through the doors, he ran gallantly up on the wall and bravely threw himself down into the crowd.”
2 Mac 14:44 “But as they quickly drew back, and a space opened, he fell in the middle of the open space.”
2 Mac 14:45 “But being still alive and fired with anger he got up and with his blood gushing out, though severely wounded, he ran through the crowd and standing on a steep rock,”
2 Mac 14:46 “As he was losing the last of his blood, he pulled out his bowels with both hands and hurled them at the crowd, and so expired, calling upon him who is lord of life and spirit, to give these back to him again.”

Chapter 15

2 Mac 15:1 “But Nicanor, getting word that Judas and his men were in the region of Samaria, resolved to attack them in perfect safety, on the day of rest. (the sabbath day)
2 Mac 15:2 “And when the Jews who were forced to follow him said, “Do not destroy them savagely and barbarously like this, but show respect for the day which has been pre-eminently honored with holiness by him who beholds all things,”
2 Mac 15:3 “The thrice-accursed wretch asked if there was a sovereign in heaven who had commanded them to keep the sabbath day;”
2 Mac 15:4 “And when they declared, “It is the living Lord himself, the Sovereign in heaven, who bade us observe the seventh day,”
2 Mac 15:5 “He said, “I am a sovereign too, on earth, and I command you to take up arms and finish the king’s business.” Nevertheless, he did not succeed in carrying out his cruel purpose.”
2 Mac 15:6 “And Nicanor in his utter haughtiness and pretense had determined to erect a public monument of victory over Judas and his men.”
2 Mac 15:7 “But Maccabeus did not cease to trust with perfect confidence that he would get help from the Lord,”
2 Mac 15:8 “And he exhorted his men not to fear the attack of the heathen but to keep in mind all the help that had come to them before from heaven, and to look now for the victory which would come to them from the Almighty.”
2 Mac 15:9 “And encouraging them from the Law and the prophets and reminding them of the battles they had fought, he made them more eager.”
2 Mac 15:10 “And when he had aroused their courage, he gave his orders, and at the same time pointed out the perfidy of the heathen and their breaking of their oaths.”
2 Mac 15:11 “Then he armed each one, not so much with the security of shields and spears as with the encouragement of brave words, and cheered them all by telling a dream that was worthy of belief, a kind of vision.”
2 Mac 15:12 “The sight he saw was this: Onias, the former high priest, a fine, good man, of dignified appearance, but mild in manner and one who spoke fittingly, and trained from childhood in all that belongs to character, with outstretched hands praying for the whole Jewish community;”
2 Mac 15:13 “Then in the same fashion another man appeared, distinguished by his gray hair and dignity, and wrapped in marvelous, most majestic sublimity;”
2 Mac 15:14 “And Onias answered and said, “This is Jeremiah, the prophet of God, who loves the brothers, and prays fervently for the people and the holy city.”
2 Mac 15:15 “And Jeremiah stretched out his right hand and delivered to Judas a gold sword, and as he gave it to him, he addressed him thus:”
2 Mac 15:16 “Take this holy sword as a gift from God, with which you will strike down your adversaries.”
2 Mac 15:17 “Encouraged by Judas’ words, which were so fine, and so fitted to rouse men to valor and to stir the souls of the young to manliness, they determined not to carry on a campaign but to charge gallantly and engaging them hand to hand with the utmost manfulness to decide the matter, because the city and the sanctuary and the temple were in peril.”
2 Mac 15:18 “For they were not so much alarmed about wives and children, or about brothers and relatives, but first and foremost about the consecrated sanctuary.”
2 Mac 15:19 “And those who were left in the city felt no slight distress, for they were anxious about the encounter in the open.”
2 Mac 15:20 “When they were all now awaiting the decisive moment and the enemy had already joined battle, and the army was drawn up and the animals had been posted in a convenient position, and the cavalry stationed on the wings,”
2 Mac 15:21 “Maccabeus, realizing the hosts before him, and the elaborate supply of arms, and the fierceness of the animals, stretched out his hands to heaven and called upon the Lord who works wonders, for he knew that it is not won by arms but that as he decides he gains the victory for those who deserve it.”
2 Mac 15:22 “And he called upon him in these words, “It was you, Lord, who sent your angel in the time of Hezekiah, king of Judah, and he destroyed fully a hundred and eighty-five thousand in the camp of Sennacherib.”
2 Mac 15:23 “So now also, Sovereign of the heavens, send forth a brave angel to carry fear and terror before us.”
2 Mac 15:24 “By the might of your arm may those who blasphemously come against your holy people be struck down.” With these words he ended.”
2 Mac 15:25 “But Nicanor and his men advanced with trumpets and battle songs.”
2 Mac 15:26 “And Judas and his men met the enemy with entreaties and prayers.”
2 Mac 15:27 “So fighting with their hands and praying to God with their hearts, they laid low no less than thirty-five thousand, being greatly cheered by God’s manifest aid.”
2 Mac 15:28 “When the business was over, and they were joyfully returning, they recognized Nicanor, lying dead, in his armor.”
2 Mac 15:29 “And there was shouting and tumult, and they blessed the Sovereign in the language of their forefathers.”
2 Mac 15:30 “Then the man who was in body and soul the perfect champion of his fellow-citizens, who maintained the good will of his youth toward his fellow-citizens, ordered them to cut off Nicanor’s head and arm and carry them to Jerusalem.”
2 Mac 15:31 “And when he arrived there, and had called his countrymen together, and stationed the priests before the altar, he sent for those who were in the citadel.”
2 Mac 15:32 “And he showed them the vile Nicanor’s head and the wretch’s hand, which he had boastfully stretched forth against the holy house of the Almighty,”
2 Mac 15:33 “And he cut out the impious Nicanor’s tongue, and said he would give it piecemeal to the birds, and hang up the reward of his folly in front of the sanctuary.”
2 Mac 15:34 “And they all looked up to heaven and blessed the Lord who had so manifested himself, and said, “Blessed be he who has kept his own place from being defiled.”
2 Mac 15:35 “And he hung Nicanor’s head from the citadel, a clear and conspicuous proof to all of the Lord’s help.”
2 Mac 15:36 “And they all decreed by popular vote of the people never to let this day go by without observing it, but to celebrate the thirteenth day of the twelfth month – which is called Adar in Aramaic- the day before Mordecai’s day.”
2 Mac 15:37 “So this was the way Nicanor’s efforts turned out; and as the city was held by the Hebrews from that time, I too will here conclude my account.”
2 Mac 15:38 “If it has been well and pointedly written, that is what I wanted; but if it is poor, mediocre work, that was all I could do.”
2 Mac 15:39 “For just as it is harmful to drink wine by itself, or again to drink water by itself, while wine mixed with water is delicious and enhances one’s enjoyment, so the style in which an account is composed delights the ears of those who read the work. So this will be the end.”

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