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2 Maccabees 13

Menelaus Is Put to Death

13In the one hundred and forty-ninth year* word came to Judas and his men that Antiochus Eupator was coming with a great army against Judea, 2and with him Lysias, his guardian, who had charge of the government. Each of them had a Greek force of one hundred and ten thousand infantry, five thousand three hundred cavalry, twenty-two elephants, and three hundred chariots armed with scythes.

3 Menelaus also joined them and with utter hypocrisy urged Antiochus on, not for the sake of his country’s welfare, but because he thought that he would be established in office. 4But the King of kings aroused the anger of Antiochus against the scoundrel; and when Lysias informed him that this man was to blame for all the trouble, he ordered them to take him to Beroea and to put him to death by the method that is customary in that place. 5For there is a tower there, fifty cubits high, full of ashes, and it has a rim running round it that on all sides inclines precipitously into the ashes. 6There they all push to destruction anyone guilty of sacrilege or notorious for other crimes. 7By such a fate it came about that Menelaus the lawbreaker died, without even burial in the earth. 8And this was eminently just; because he had committed many sins against the altar whose fire and ashes were holy, he met his death in ashes.

A Battle Near the City of Modein

9 The king with barbarous arrogance was coming to show the Jews things far worse than those that had been done* in his father’s time. 10But when Judas heard of this, he ordered the people to call upon the Lord day and night, now more than ever to help those who were on the point of being deprived of the law and their country and the holy temple, 11and not to let the people who had just begun to revive fall into the hands of the blasphemous Gentiles. 12When they had all joined in the same petition and had implored the merciful Lord with weeping and fasting and lying prostrate for three days without ceasing, Judas exhorted them and ordered them to stand ready.

13 After consulting privately with the elders, he determined to march out and decide the matter by the help of God before the king’s army could enter Judea and get possession of the city. 14So, committing the decision to the Creator of the world and exhorting his troops to fight bravely to the death for the laws, temple, city, country, and commonwealth, he pitched his camp near Modein. 15He gave his troops the watchword, ‘God’s victory’, and with a picked force of the bravest young men, he attacked the king’s pavilion at night and killed as many as two thousand men in the camp. He stabbed* the leading elephant and its rider. 16In the end they filled the camp with terror and confusion and withdrew in triumph. 17This happened, just as day was dawning, because the Lord’s help protected him.

Antiochus Makes a Treaty with the Jews

18 The king, having had a taste of the daring of the Jews, tried strategy in attacking their positions. 19He advanced against Beth-zur, a strong fortress of the Jews, was turned back, attacked again,* and was defeated. 20Judas sent in to the garrison whatever was necessary. 21But Rhodocus, a man from the ranks of the Jews, gave secret information to the enemy; he was sought for, caught, and put in prison. 22The king negotiated a second time with the people in Beth-zur, gave pledges, received theirs, withdrew, attacked Judas and his men, and was defeated; 23he got word that Philip, who had been left in charge of the government, had revolted in Antioch; he was dismayed, called in the Jews, yielded and swore to observe all their rights, settled with them and offered sacrifice, honoured the sanctuary, and showed generosity to the holy place. 24He received Maccabeus, left Hegemonides as governor from Ptolemais to Gerar, 25and went to Ptolemais. The people of Ptolemais were indignant over the treaty; in fact they were so angry that they wanted to annul its terms.* 26Lysias took the public platform, made the best possible defence, convinced them, appeased them, gained their goodwill, and set out for Antioch. This is how the king’s attack and withdrawal turned out.

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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.