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1 Maccabees 2:29-43,49-50

29 At that time many who were seeking righteousness and justice went down to the wilderness to live there, 30they, their sons, their wives, and their livestock, because troubles pressed heavily upon them. 31And it was reported to the king’s officers, and to the troops in Jerusalem the city of David, that those who had rejected the king’s command had gone down to the hiding-places in the wilderness. 32Many pursued them, and overtook them; they encamped opposite them and prepared for battle against them on the sabbath day. 33They said to them, ‘Enough of this! Come out and do what the king commands, and you will live.’ 34But they said, ‘We will not come out, nor will we do what the king commands and so profane the sabbath day.’ 35Then the enemy* quickly attacked them. 36But they did not answer them or hurl a stone at them or block up their hiding-places, 37for they said, ‘Let us all die in our innocence; heaven and earth testify for us that you are killing us unjustly.’ 38So they attacked them on the sabbath, and they died, with their wives and children and livestock, to the number of a thousand people.

39 When Mattathias and his friends learned of it, they mourned for them deeply. 40And all said to their neighbours: ‘If we all do as our kindred have done and refuse to fight with the Gentiles for our lives and for our ordinances, they will quickly destroy us from the earth.’ 41So they made this decision that day: ‘Let us fight against anyone who comes to attack us on the sabbath day; let us not all die as our kindred died in their hiding-places.’

Counter-Attack

42 Then there united with them a company of Hasideans, mighty warriors of Israel, all who offered themselves willingly for the law. 43And all who became fugitives to escape their troubles joined them and reinforced them.

The Last Words of Mattathias

49 Now the days drew near for Mattathias to die, and he said to his sons: ‘Arrogance and scorn have now become strong; it is a time of ruin and furious anger. 50Now, my children, show zeal for the law, and give your lives for the covenant of our ancestors.

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oremus Bible Browser
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v 2.2.7
10 February 2011

From the oremus Bible Browser http://bible.oremus.org v2.2.7 10 February 2011.