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2 Maccabees 4:1-17

Simon Accuses Onias

4The previously mentioned Simon, who had informed about the money against* his own country, slandered Onias, saying that it was he who had incited Heliodorus and had been the real cause of the misfortune. 2He dared to designate as a plotter against the government the man who was the benefactor of the city, the protector of his compatriots, and a zealot for the laws. 3When his hatred progressed to such a degree that even murders were committed by one of Simon’s approved agents, 4Onias recognized that the rivalry was serious and that Apollonius son of Menestheus,* and governor of Coelesyria and Phoenicia, was intensifying the malice of Simon. 5So he appealed to the king, not accusing his compatriots but having in view the welfare, both public and private, of all the people. 6For he saw that without the king’s attention public affairs could not again reach a peaceful settlement, and that Simon would not stop his folly.

Jason’s Reforms

When Seleucus died and Antiochus, who was called Epiphanes, succeeded to the kingdom, Jason the brother of Onias obtained the high-priesthood by corruption, 8promising the king at an interview* three hundred and sixty talents of silver, and from another source of revenue eighty talents. 9In addition to this he promised to pay one hundred and fifty more if permission were given to establish by his authority a gymnasium and a body of youth for it, and to enrol the people of Jerusalem as citizens of Antioch. 10When the king assented and Jason* came to office, he at once shifted his compatriots over to the Greek way of life.

11 He set aside the existing royal concessions to the Jews, secured through John the father of Eupolemus, who went on the mission to establish friendship and alliance with the Romans; and he destroyed the lawful ways of living and introduced new customs contrary to the law. 12He took delight in establishing a gymnasium right under the citadel, and he induced the noblest of the young men to wear the Greek hat. 13There was such an extreme of Hellenization and increase in the adoption of foreign ways because of the surpassing wickedness of Jason, who was ungodly and no true* high priest, 14that the priests were no longer intent upon their service at the altar. Despising the sanctuary and neglecting the sacrifices, they hurried to take part in the unlawful proceedings in the wrestling arena after the signal for the discus-throwing, 15disdaining the honours prized by their ancestors and putting the highest value upon Greek forms of prestige. 16For this reason heavy disaster overtook them, and those whose ways of living they admired and wished to imitate completely became their enemies and punished them. 17It is no light thing to show irreverence to the divine laws—a fact that later events will make clear.


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29 April 2019

From the oremus Bible Browser v2.5.1 29 April 2019.