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1 Maccabees 3:1-24

The Early Victories of Judas

3Then his son Judas, who was called Maccabeus, took command in his place. 2All his brothers and all who had joined his father helped him; they gladly fought for Israel.
3 He extended the glory of his people.
   Like a giant he put on his breastplate;
he bound on his armour of war and waged battles,
   protecting the camp by his sword.
4 He was like a lion in his deeds,
   like a lion’s cub roaring for prey.
5 He searched out and pursued those who broke the law;
   he burned those who troubled his people.
6 Lawbreakers shrank back for fear of him;
   all the evildoers were confounded;
   and deliverance prospered by his hand.
7 He embittered many kings,
   but he made Jacob glad by his deeds,
   and his memory is blessed for ever.
8 He went through the cities of Judah;
   he destroyed the ungodly out of the land;*
   thus he turned away wrath from Israel.
9 He was renowned to the ends of the earth;
   he gathered in those who were perishing.

10 Apollonius now gathered together Gentiles and a large force from Samaria to fight against Israel. 11When Judas learned of it, he went out to meet him, and he defeated and killed him. Many were wounded and fell, and the rest fled. 12Then they seized their spoils; and Judas took the sword of Apollonius, and used it in battle for the rest of his life.

13 When Seron, the commander of the Syrian army, heard that Judas had gathered a large company, including a body of faithful soldiers who stayed with him and went out to battle, 14he said, ‘I will make a name for myself and win honour in the kingdom. I will make war on Judas and his companions, who scorn the king’s command.’ 15Once again a strong army of godless men went up with him to help him, to take vengeance on the Israelites.

16 When he approached the ascent of Beth-horon, Judas went out to meet him with a small company. 17But when they saw the army coming to meet them, they said to Judas, ‘How can we, few as we are, fight against so great and so strong a multitude? And we are faint, for we have eaten nothing today.’ 18Judas replied, ‘It is easy for many to be hemmed in by few, for in the sight of Heaven there is no difference between saving by many or by few. 19It is not on the size of the army that victory in battle depends, but strength comes from Heaven. 20They come against us in great insolence and lawlessness to destroy us and our wives and our children, and to despoil us; 21but we fight for our lives and our laws. 22He himself will crush them before us; as for you, do not be afraid of them.’

23 When he finished speaking, he rushed suddenly against Seron and his army, and they were crushed before him. 24They pursued them* down the descent of Beth-horon to the plain; eight hundred of them fell, and the rest fled into the land of the Philistines.

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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.