oremus Bible Browser




1 Maccabees 7:8–9:8

8 So the king chose Bacchides, one of the king’s Friends, governor of the province Beyond the River; he was a great man in the kingdom and was faithful to the king. 9He sent him, and with him he sent the ungodly Alcimus, whom he made high priest; and he commanded him to take vengeance on the Israelites. 10So they marched away and came with a large force into the land of Judah; and he sent messengers to Judas and his brothers with peaceable but treacherous words. 11But they paid no attention to their words, for they saw that they had come with a large force.

12 Then a group of scribes appeared in a body before Alcimus and Bacchides to ask for just terms. 13The Hasideans were first among the Israelites to seek peace from them, 14for they said, ‘A priest of the line of Aaron has come with the army, and he will not harm us.’ 15Alcimus* spoke peaceable words to them and swore this oath to them, ‘We will not seek to injure you or your friends.’ 16So they trusted him; but he seized sixty of them and killed them in one day, in accordance with the word that was written,
17 ‘The flesh of your faithful ones and their blood
   they poured out all around Jerusalem,
   and there was no one to bury them.’
18Then the fear and dread of them fell on all the people, for they said, ‘There is no truth or justice in them, for they have violated the agreement and the oath that they swore.’

19 Then Bacchides withdrew from Jerusalem and encamped in Beth-zaith. And he sent and seized many of the men who had deserted to him,* and some of the people, and killed them and threw them into a great pit. 20He placed Alcimus in charge of the country and left with him a force to help him; then Bacchides went back to the king.

21 Alcimus struggled to maintain his high-priesthood, 22and all who were troubling their people joined him. They gained control of the land of Judah and did great damage in Israel. 23And Judas saw all the wrongs that Alcimus and those with him had done among the Israelites; it was more than the Gentiles had done. 24So Judas* went out into all the surrounding parts of Judea, taking vengeance on those who had deserted and preventing those in the city* from going out into the country. 25When Alcimus saw that Judas and those with him had grown strong, and realized that he could not withstand them, he returned to the king and brought malicious charges against them.

Nicanor in Judea

26 Then the king sent Nicanor, one of his honoured princes, who hated and detested Israel, and he commanded him to destroy the people. 27So Nicanor came to Jerusalem with a large force, and treacherously sent to Judas and his brothers this peaceable message, 28‘Let there be no fighting between you and me; I shall come with a few men to see you face to face in peace.’

29 So he came to Judas, and they greeted one another peaceably; but the enemy were preparing to kidnap Judas. 30It became known to Judas that Nicanor* had come to him with treacherous intent, and he was afraid of him and would not meet him again. 31When Nicanor learned that his plan had been disclosed, he went out to meet Judas in battle near Caphar-salama. 32About five hundred of the army of Nicanor fell, and the rest* fled into the city of David.

Nicanor Threatens the Temple

33 After these events Nicanor went up to Mount Zion. Some of the priests from the sanctuary and some of the elders of the people came out to greet him peaceably and to show him the burnt-offering that was being offered for the king. 34But he mocked them and derided them and defiled them and spoke arrogantly, 35and in anger he swore this oath, ‘Unless Judas and his army are delivered into my hands this time, then if I return safely I will burn up this house.’ And he went out in great anger. 36At this the priests went in and stood before the altar and the temple; they wept and said,
37 ‘You chose this house to be called by your name,
   and to be for your people a house of prayer and supplication.
38 Take vengeance on this man and on his army,
   and let them fall by the sword;
remember their blasphemies,
   and let them live no longer.’

The Death of Nicanor

39 Now Nicanor went out from Jerusalem and encamped in Beth-horon, and the Syrian army joined him. 40Judas encamped in Adasa with three thousand men. Then Judas prayed and said, 41‘When the messengers from the king spoke blasphemy, your angel went out and struck down one hundred and eighty-five thousand of the Assyrians.* 42So also crush this army before us today; let the rest learn that Nicanor* has spoken wickedly against the sanctuary, and judge him according to this wickedness.’

43 So the armies met in battle on the thirteenth day of the month of Adar. The army of Nicanor was crushed, and he himself was the first to fall in the battle. 44When his army saw that Nicanor had fallen, they threw down their arms and fled. 45The Jews* pursued them a day’s journey, from Adasa as far as Gazara, and as they followed they kept sounding the battle-call on the trumpets. 46People came out of all the surrounding villages of Judea, and they outflanked the enemy* and drove them back to their pursuers,* so that they all fell by the sword; not even one of them was left. 47Then the Jews* seized the spoils and the plunder; they cut off Nicanor’s head and the right hand that he had so arrogantly stretched out, and brought them and displayed them just outside Jerusalem. 48The people rejoiced greatly and celebrated that day as a day of great gladness. 49They decreed that this day should be celebrated each year on the thirteenth day of Adar. 50So the land of Judah had rest for a few days.

A Eulogy of the Romans

8Now Judas heard of the fame of the Romans, that they were very strong and were well disposed towards all who made an alliance with them, that they pledged friendship to those who came to them, 2and that they were very strong. He had been told of their wars and of the brave deeds that they were doing among the Gauls, how they had defeated them and forced them to pay tribute, 3and what they had done in the land of Spain to get control of the silver and gold mines there, 4and how they had gained control of the whole region by their planning and patience, even though the place was far distant from them. They also subdued the kings who came against them from the ends of the earth, until they crushed them and inflicted great disaster on them; the rest paid them tribute every year. 5They had crushed in battle and conquered Philip, and King Perseus of the Macedonians,* and the others who rose up against them. 6They also had defeated Antiochus the Great, king of Asia, who went to fight against them with one hundred and twenty elephants and with cavalry and chariots and a very large army. He was crushed by them; 7they took him alive and decreed that he and those who would reign after him should pay a heavy tribute and give hostages and surrender some of their best provinces, 8the countries of India, Media, and Lydia. These they took from him and gave to King Eumenes. 9The Greeks planned to come and destroy them, 10but this became known to them, and they sent a general against the Greeks* and attacked them. Many of them were wounded and fell, and the Romans* took captive their wives and children; they plundered them, conquered the land, tore down their strongholds, and enslaved them to this day. 11The remaining kingdoms and islands, as many as ever opposed them, they destroyed and enslaved; 12but with their friends and those who rely on them they have kept friendship. They have subdued kings far and near, and as many as have heard of their fame have feared them. 13Those whom they wish to help and to make kings, they make kings, and those whom they wish they depose; and they have been greatly exalted. 14Yet for all this not one of them has put on a crown or worn purple as a mark of pride, 15but they have built for themselves a senate chamber, and every day three hundred and twenty senators constantly deliberate concerning the people, to govern them well. 16They trust one man each year to rule over them and to control all their land; they all heed the one man, and there is no envy or jealousy among them.

An Alliance with Rome

17 So Judas chose Eupolemus son of John son of Accos, and Jason son of Eleazar, and sent them to Rome to establish friendship and alliance, 18and to free themselves from the yoke; for they saw that the kingdom of the Greeks was enslaving Israel completely. 19They went to Rome, a very long journey; and they entered the senate chamber and spoke as follows: 20‘Judas, who is also called Maccabeus, and his brothers and the people of the Jews have sent us to you to establish alliance and peace with you, so that we may be enrolled as your allies and friends.’ 21The proposal pleased them, 22and this is a copy of the letter that they wrote in reply, on bronze tablets, and sent to Jerusalem to remain with them there as a memorial of peace and alliance:

23 ‘May all go well with the Romans and with the nation of the Jews at sea and on land for ever, and may sword and enemy be far from them. 24If war comes first to Rome or to any of their allies in all their dominion, 25the nation of the Jews shall act as their allies wholeheartedly, as the occasion may indicate to them. 26To the enemy that makes war they shall not give or supply grain, arms, money, or ships, just as Rome has decided; and they shall keep their obligations without receiving any return. 27In the same way, if war comes first to the nation of the Jews, the Romans shall willingly act as their allies, as the occasion may indicate to them. 28And to their enemies there shall not be given grain, arms, money, or ships, just as Rome has decided; and they shall keep these obligations and do so without deceit. 29Thus on these terms the Romans make a treaty with the Jewish people. 30If after these terms are in effect both parties shall determine to add or delete anything, they shall do so at their discretion, and any addition or deletion that they may make shall be valid.

31 ‘Concerning the wrongs that King Demetrius is doing to them, we have written to him as follows, “Why have you made your yoke heavy on our friends and allies the Jews? 32If now they appeal again for help against you, we will defend their rights and fight you on sea and on land.”

Bacchides Returns to Judea

9When Demetrius heard that Nicanor and his army had fallen in battle, he sent Bacchides and Alcimus into the land of Judah a second time, and with them the right wing of the army. 2They went by the road that leads to Gilgal and encamped against Mesaloth in Arbela, and they took it and killed many people. 3In the first month of the one hundred and fifty-second year* they encamped against Jerusalem; 4then they marched off and went to Berea with twenty thousand foot-soldiers and two thousand cavalry.

5 Now Judas was encamped in Elasa, and with him were three thousand picked men. 6When they saw the huge number of the enemy forces, they were greatly frightened, and many slipped away from the camp, until no more than eight hundred of them were left.

7 When Judas saw that his army had slipped away and the battle was imminent, he was crushed in spirit, for he had no time to assemble them. 8He became faint, but he said to those who were left, ‘Let us get up and go against our enemies. We may have the strength to fight them.’

<<
>>

Enter another bible reference:


obb
bible browser

biblemail@oremus.org
v 2.2.8
14 July 2018

From the oremus Bible Browser http://bible.oremus.org v2.2.8 14 July 2018.