1 The brethren, the Jews that be at Jerusalem and in the land of
Judea, wish unto the brethren, the Jews that are throughout
Egypt health and peace:
2 God be gracious unto you, and remember his covenant that he
made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, his faithful servants;
3 And give you all an heart to serve him, and to do his will,
with a good courage and a willing mind;
4 And open your hearts in his law and commandments, and send you
5 And hear your prayers, and be at one with you, and never
forsake you in time of trouble.
6 And now we be here praying for you.
7 What time as Demetrius reigned, in the hundred threescore and
ninth year, we the Jews wrote unto you in the extremity of
trouble that came upon us in those years, from the time that
Jason and his company revolted from the holy land and kingdom,
8 And burned the porch, and shed innocent blood then we prayed
unto the Lord, and were heard; we offered also sacrifices and
fine flour, and lighted the lamps, and set forth the loaves.
9 And now see that ye keep the feast of tabernacles in the month
10 In the hundred fourscore and eighth year, the people that
were at Jerusalem and in Judea, and the council, and Judas, sent
greeting and health unto Aristobulus, king Ptolemeus' master,
who was of the stock of the anointed priests, and to the Jews
that were in Egypt:
11 Insomuch as God hath delivered us from great perils, we thank
him highly, as having been in battle against a king.
12 For he cast them out that fought within the holy city.
13 For when the leader was come into Persia, and the army with
him that seemed invincible, they were slain in the temple of
Nanea by the deceit of Nanea's priests.
14 For Antiochus, as though he would marry her, came into the
place, and his friends that were with him, to receive money in
name of a dowry.
15 Which when the priests of Nanea had set forth, and he was
entered with a small company into the compass of the temple,
they shut the temple as soon as Antiochus was come in:
16 And opening a privy door of the roof, they threw stones like
thunderbolts, and struck down the captain, hewed them in pieces,
smote off their heads and cast them to those that were without.
17 Blessed be our God in all things, who hath delivered up the
18 Therefore whereas we are now purposed to keep the
purification of the temple upon the five and twentieth day of
the month Casleu, we thought it necessary to certify you
thereof, that ye also might keep it, as the feast of the
tabernacles, and of the fire, which was given us when Neemias
offered sacrifice, after that he had builded the temple and the
19 For when our fathers were led into Persia, the priests that
were then devout took the fire of the altar privily, and hid it
in an hollow place of a pit without water, where they kept it
sure, so that the place was unknown to all men.
20 Now after many years, when it pleased God, Neemias, being
sent from the king of Persia, did send of the posterity of those
priests that had hid it to the fire but when they told us they
found no fire, but thick water;
21 Then commanded he them to draw it up, and to bring it; and
when the sacrifices were laid on, Neemias commanded the priests
to sprinkle the wood and the things laid thereupon with the
22 When this was done, and the time came that the sun shone,
which afore was hid in the cloud, there was a great fire
kindled, so that every man marvelled.
23 And the priests made a prayer whilst the sacrifice was
consuming, I say, both the priests, and all the rest, Jonathan
beginning, and the rest answering thereunto, as Neemias did.
24 And the prayer was after this manner; O Lord, Lord God,
Creator of all things, who art fearful and strong, and
righteous, and merciful, and the only and gracious King,
25 The only giver of all things, the only just, almighty, and
everlasting, thou that deliverest Israel from all trouble, and
didst choose the fathers, and sanctify them:
26 Receive the sacrifice for thy whole people Israel, and
preserve thine own portion, and sanctify it.
27 Gather those together that are scattered from us, deliver
them that serve among the heathen, look upon them that are
despised and abhorred, and let the heathen know that thou art
28 Punish them that oppress us, and with pride do us wrong.
29 Plant thy people again in thy holy place, as Moses hath
30 And the priests sung psalms of thanksgiving.
31 Now when the sacrifice was consumed, Neemias commanded the
water that was left to be poured on the great stones.
32 When this was done, there was kindled a flame but it was
consumed by the light that shined from the altar.
33 So when this matter was known, it was told the king of
Persia, that in the place, where the priests that were led away
had hid the fire, there appeared water, and that Neemias had
purified the sacrifices therewith.
34 Then the king, inclosing the place, made it holy, after he
had tried the matter.
35 And the king took many gifts, and bestowed thereof on those
whom he would gratify.
36 And Neemias called this thing Naphthar, which is as much as
to say, a cleansing but many men call it Nephi.
1 It is also found in the records, that Jeremy the prophet
commanded them that were carried away to take of the fire, as it
hath been signified:
2 And how that the prophet, having given them the law, charged
them not to forget the commandments of the Lord, and that they
should not err in their minds, when they see images of silver
and gold, with their ornaments.
3 And with other such speeches exhorted he them, that the law
should not depart from their hearts.
4 It was also contained in the same writing, that the prophet,
being warned of God, commanded the tabernacle and the ark to go
with him, as he went forth into the mountain, where Moses
climbed up, and saw the heritage of God.
5 And when Jeremy came thither, he found an hollow cave, wherein
he laid the tabernacle, and the ark, and the altar of incense,
and so stopped the door.
6 And some of those that followed him came to mark the way, but
they could not find it.
7 Which when Jeremy perceived, he blamed them, saying, As for
that place, it shall be unknown until the time that God gather
his people again together, and receive them unto mercy.
8 Then shall the Lord shew them these things, and the glory of
the Lord shall appear, and the cloud also, as it was shewed
under Moses, and as when Solomon desired that the place might be
9 It was also declared, that he being wise offered the sacrifice
of dedication, and of the finishing of the temple.
10 And as when Moses prayed unto the Lord, the fire came down
from heaven, and consumed the sacrifices even so prayed Solomon
also, and the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt
11 And Moses said, Because the sin offering was not to be eaten,
it was consumed.
12 So Solomon kept those eight days.
13 The same things also were reported in the writings and
commentaries of Neemias; and how he founding a library gathered
together the acts of the kings, and the prophets, and of David,
and the epistles of the kings concerning the holy gifts.
14 In like manner also Judas gathered together all those things
that were lost by reason of the war we had, and they remain with
15 Wherefore if ye have need thereof, send some to fetch them
16 Whereas we then are about to celebrate the purification, we
have written unto you, and ye shall do well, if ye keep the same
17 We hope also, that the God, that delivered all his people,
and gave them all an heritage, and the kingdom, and the
priesthood, and the sanctuary,
18 As he promised in the law, will shortly have mercy upon us,
and gather us together out of every land under heaven into the
holy place for he hath delivered us out of great troubles, and
hath purified the place.
19 Now as concerning Judas Maccabeus, and his brethren, and the
purification of the great temple, and the dedication of the
20 And the wars against Antiochus Epiphanes, and Eupator his
21 And the manifest signs that came from heaven unto those that
behaved themselves manfully to their honour for Judaism so that,
being but a few, they overcame the whole country, and chased
22 And recovered again the temple renowned all the world over,
and freed the city, and upheld the laws which were going down,
the Lord being gracious unto them with all favour:
23 All these things, I say, being declared by Jason of Cyrene in
five books, we will assay to abridge in one volume.
24 For considering the infinite number, and the difficulty which
they find that desire to look into the narrations of the story,
for the variety of the matter,
25 We have been careful, that they that will read may have
delight, and that they that are desirous to commit to memory
might have ease, and that all into whose hands it comes might
26 Therefore to us, that have taken upon us this painful labour
of abridging, it was not easy, but a matter of sweat and
27 Even as it is no ease unto him that prepareth a banquet, and
seeketh the benefit of others yet for the pleasuring of many we
will undertake gladly this great pains;
28 Leaving to the author the exact handling of every particular,
and labouring to follow the rules of an abridgement.
29 For as the master builder of a new house must care for the
whole building; but he that undertaketh to set it out, and paint
it, must seek out fit things for the adorning thereof even so I
think it is with us.
30 To stand upon every point, and go over things at large, and
to be curious in particulars, belongeth to the first author of
31 But to use brevity, and avoid much labouring of the work, is
to be granted to him that will make an abridgment.
32 Here then will we begin the story only adding thus much to
that which hath been said, that it is a foolish thing to make a
long prologue, and to be short in the story itself.
1 Now when the holy city was inhabited with all peace, and the
laws were kept very well, because of the godliness of Onias the
high priest, and his hatred of wickedness,
2 It came to pass that even the kings themselves did honour the
place, and magnify the temple with their best gifts;
3 Insomuch that Seleucus of Asia of his own revenues bare all
the costs belonging to the service of the sacrifices.
4 But one Simon of the tribe of Benjamin, who was made governor
of the temple, fell out with the high priest about disorder in
5 And when he could not overcome Onias, he gat him to Apollonius
the son of Thraseas, who then was governor of Celosyria and
6 And told him that the treasury in Jerusalem was full of
infinite sums of money, so that the multitude of their riches,
which did not pertain to the account of the sacrifices, was
innumerable, and that it was possible to bring all into the
7 Now when Apollonius came to the king, and had shewed him of
the money whereof he was told, the king chose out Heliodorus his
treasurer, and sent him with a commandment to bring him the
8 So forthwith Heliodorus took his journey; under a colour of
visiting the cities of Celosyria and Phenice, but indeed to
fulfil the king's purpose.
9 And when he was come to Jerusalem, and had been courteously
received of the high priest of the city, he told him what
intelligence was given of the money, and declared wherefore he
came, and asked if these things were so indeed.
10 Then the high priest told him that there was such money laid
up for the relief of widows and fatherless children:
11 And that some of it belonged to Hircanus son of Tobias, a man
of great dignity, and not as that wicked Simon had misinformed
the sum whereof in all was four hundred talents of silver, and
two hundred of gold:
12 And that it was altogether impossible that such wrongs should
be done unto them, that had committed it to the holiness of the
place, and to the majesty and inviolable sanctity of the temple,
honoured over all the world.
13 But Heliodorus, because of the king's commandment given him,
said, That in any wise it must be brought into the king's
14 So at the day which he appointed he entered in to order this
matter wherefore there was no small agony throughout the whole
15 But the priests, prostrating themselves before the altar in
their priests' vestments, called unto heaven upon him that made
a law concerning things given to he kept, that they should
safely be preserved for such as had committed them to be kept.
16 Then whoso had looked the high priest in the face, it would
have wounded his heart for his countenance and the changing of
his colour declared the inward agony of his mind.
17 For the man was so compassed with fear and horror of the
body, that it was manifest to them that looked upon him, what
sorrow he had now in his heart.
18 Others ran flocking out of their houses to the general
supplication, because the place was like to come into contempt.
19 And the women, girt with sackcloth under their breasts,
abounded in the streets, and the virgins that were kept in ran,
some to the gates, and some to the walls, and others looked out
of the windows.
20 And all, holding their hands toward heaven, made
21 Then it would have pitied a man to see the falling down of
the multitude of all sorts, and the fear of the high priest
being in such an agony.
22 They then called upon the Almighty Lord to keep the things
committed of trust safe and sure for those that had committed
23 Nevertheless Heliodorus executed that which was decreed.
24 Now as he was there present himself with his guard about the
treasury, the Lord of spirits, and the Prince of all power,
caused a great apparition, so that all that presumed to come in
with him were astonished at the power of God, and fainted, and
were sore afraid.
25 For there appeared unto them an horse with a terrible rider
upon him, and adorned with a very fair covering, and he ran
fiercely, and smote at Heliodorus with his forefeet, and it
seemed that he that sat upon the horse had complete harness of
26 Moreover two other young men appeared before him, notable in
strength, excellent in beauty, and comely in apparel, who stood
by him on either side; and scourged him continually, and gave
him many sore stripes.
27 And Heliodorus fell suddenly unto the ground, and was
compassed with great darkness but they that were with him took
him up, and put him into a litter.
28 Thus him, that lately came with a great train and with all
his guard into the said treasury, they carried out, being unable
to help himself with his weapons and manifestly they
acknowledged the power of God.
29 For he by the hand of God was cast down, and lay speechless
without all hope of life.
30 But they praised the Lord, that had miraculously honoured his
own place for the temple; which a little afore was full of fear
and trouble, when the Almighty Lord appeared, was filled with
joy and gladness.
31 Then straightways certain of Heliodorus' friends prayed Onias,
that he would call upon the most High to grant him his life, who
lay ready to give up the ghost.
32 So the high priest, suspecting lest the king should
misconceive that some treachery had been done to Heliodorus by
the Jews, offered a sacrifice for the health of the man.
33 Now as the high priest was making an atonement, the same
young men in the same clothing appeared and stood beside
Heliodorus, saying, Give Onias the high priest great thanks,
insomuch as for his sake the Lord hath granted thee life:
34 And seeing that thou hast been scourged from heaven, declare
unto all men the mighty power of God. And when they had spoken
these words, they appeared no more.
35 So Heliodorus, after he had offered sacrifice unto the Lord,
and made great vows unto him that had saved his life, and
saluted Onias, returned with his host to the king.
36 Then testified he to all men the works of the great God,
which he had seen with his eyes.
37 And when the king Heliodorus, who might be a fit man to be
sent yet once again to Jerusalem, he said,
38 If thou hast any enemy or traitor, send him thither, and thou
shalt receive him well scourged, if he escape with his life for
in that place, no doubt; there is an especial power of God.
39 For he that dwelleth in heaven hath his eye on that place,
and defendeth it; and he beateth and destroyeth them that come
to hurt it.
40 And the things concerning Heliodorus, and the keeping of the
treasury, fell out on this sort.
1 This Simon now, of whom we spake afore, having been a betrayer
of the money, and of his country, slandered Onias, as if he ha
terrified Heliodorus, and been the worker of these evils.
2 Thus was he bold to call him a traitor, that had deserved well
of the city, and tendered his own nation, and was so zealous of
3 But when their hatred went so far, that by one of Simon's
faction murders were committed,
4 Onias seeing the danger of this contention, and that
Apollonius, as being the governor of Celosyria and Phenice, did
rage, and increase Simon's malice,
5 He went to the king, not to be an accuser of his countrymen,
but seeking the good of all, both publick and private:
6 For he saw that it was impossible that the state should
continue quiet, and Simon leave his folly, unless the king did
7 But after the death of Seleucus, when Antiochus, called
Epiphanes, took the kingdom, Jason the brother of Onias laboured
underhand to be high priest,
8 Promising unto the king by intercession three hundred and
threescore talents of silver, and of another revenue eighty
9 Beside this, he promised to assign an hundred and fifty more,
if he might have licence to set him up a place for exercise, and
for the training up of youth in the fashions of the heathen, and
to write them of Jerusalem by the name of Antiochians.
10 Which when the king had granted, and he had gotten into his
hand the rule he forthwith brought his own nation to Greekish
11 And the royal privileges granted of special favour to the
Jews by the means of John the father of Eupolemus, who went
ambassador to Rome for amity and aid, he took away; and putting
down the governments which were according to the law, he brought
up new customs against the law:
12 For he built gladly a place of exercise under the tower
itself, and brought the chief young men under his subjection,
and made them wear a hat.
13 Now such was the height of Greek fashions, and increase of
heathenish manners, through the exceeding profaneness of Jason,
that ungodly wretch, and no high priest;
14 That the priests had no courage to serve any more at the
altar, but despising the temple, and neglecting the sacrifices,
hastened to be partakers of the unlawful allowance in the place
of exercise, after the game of Discus called them forth;
15 Not setting by the honours of their fathers, but liking the
glory of the Grecians best of all.
16 By reason whereof sore calamity came upon them for they had
them to be their enemies and avengers, whose custom they
followed so earnestly, and unto whom they desired to be like in
17 For it is not a light thing to do wickedly against the laws
of God but the time following shall declare these things.
18 Now when the game that was used every faith year was kept at
Tyrus, the king being present,
19 This ungracious Jason sent special messengers from Jerusalem,
who were Antiochians, to carry three hundred drachms of silver
to the sacrifice of Hercules, which even the bearers thereof
thought fit not to bestow upon the sacrifice, because it was not
convenient, but to be reserved for other charges.
20 This money then, in regard of the sender, was appointed to
Hercules' sacrifice; but because of the bearers thereof, it was
employed to the making of gallies.
21 Now when Apollonius the son of Menestheus was sent into Egypt
for the coronation of king Ptolemeus Philometor, Antiochus,
understanding him not to be well affected to his affairs,
provided for his own safety whereupon he came to Joppa, and from
thence to Jerusalem:
22 Where he was honourably received of Jason, and of the city,
and was brought in with torch alight, and with great shoutings
and so afterward went with his host unto Phenice.
23 Three years afterward Jason sent Menelans, the aforesaid
Simon's brother, to bear the money unto the king, and to put him
in mind of certain necessary matters.
24 But he being brought to the presence of the king, when he had
magnified him for the glorious appearance of his power, got the
priesthood to himself, offering more than Jason by three hundred
talents of silver.
25 So he came with the king's mandate, bringing nothing worthy
the high priesthood, but having the fury of a cruel tyrant, and
the rage of a savage beast.
26 Then Jason, who had undermined his own brother, being
undermined by another, was compelled to flee into the country of
27 So Menelans got the principality but as for the money that he
had promised unto the king, he took no good order for it, albeit
Sostratis the ruler of the castle required it:
28 For unto him appertained the gathering of the customs.
Wherefore they were both called before the king.
29 Now Menelans left his brother Lysimachus in his stead in the
priesthood; and Sostratus left Crates, who was governor of the
30 While those things were in doing, they of Tarsus and Mallos
made insurrection, because they were given to the king's
concubine, called Antiochus.
31 Then came the king in all haste to appease matters, leaving
Andronicus, a man in authority, for his deputy.
32 Now Menelans, supposing that he had gotten a convenient time,
stole certain vessels of gold out of the temple, and gave some
of them to Andronicus, and some he sold into Tyrus and the
cities round about.
33 Which when Onias knew of a surety, he reproved him, and
withdrew himself into a sanctuary at Daphne, that lieth by
34 Wherefore Menelans, taking Andronicus apart, prayed, him to
get Onias into his hands; who being persuaded thereunto, and
coming to Onias in deceit, gave him his right hand with oaths;
and though he were suspected by him, yet persuaded he him to
come forth of the sanctuary whom forthwith he shut up without
regard of justice.
35 For the which cause not only the Jews, but many also of other
nations, took great indignation, and were much grieved for the
unjust murder of the man.
36 And when the king was come again from the places about
Cilicia, the Jews that were in the city, and certain of the
Greeks that abhorred the fact also, complained because Onias was
slain without cause.
37 Therefore Antiochus was heartily sorry, and moved to pity,
and wept, because of the sober and modest behaviour of him that
38 And being kindled with anger, forthwith he took away
Andronicus his purple, and rent off his clothes, and leading him
through the whole city unto that very place, where he had
committed impiety against Onias, there slew he the cursed
murderer. Thus the Lord rewarded him his punishment, as he had
39 Now when many sacrileges had been committed in the city by
Lysimachus with the consent of Menelans, and the fruit thereof
was spread abroad, the multitude gathered themselves together
against Lysimachus, many vessels of gold being already carried
40 Whereupon the common people rising, and being filled with
rage, Lysimachus armed about three thousand men, and began first
to offer violence; one Auranus being the leader, a man far gone
in years, and no less in folly.
41 They then seeing the attempt of Lysimachus, some of them
caught stones, some clubs, others taking handfuls of dust, that
was next at hand, cast them all together upon Lysimachus, and
those that set upon them.
42 Thus many of them they wounded, and some they struck to the
ground, and all of them they forced to flee but as for the
churchrobber himself, him they killed beside the treasury.
43 Of these matters therefore there was an accusation laid
44 Now when the king came to Tyrus, three men that were sent
from the senate pleaded the cause before him:
45 But Menelans, being now convicted, promised Ptolemee the son
of Dorymenes to give him much money, if he would pacify the king
46 Whereupon Ptolemee taking the king aside into a certain
gallery, as it were to take the air, brought him to be of
47 Insomuch that he discharged Menelans from the accusations,
who notwithstanding was cause of all the mischief and those poor
men, who, if they had told their cause, yea, before the
Scythians, should have been judged innocent, them he condemned
48 Thus they that followed the matter for the city, and for the
people, and for the holy vessels, did soon suffer unjust
49 Wherefore even they of Tyrus, moved with hatred of that
wicked deed, caused them to be honourably buried.
50 And so through the covetousness of them that were of power
Menelans remained still in authority, increasing in malice, and
being a great traitor to the citizens.
1 About the same time Antiochus prepared his second voyage into
2 And then it happened, that through all the city, for the space
almost of forty days, there were seen horsemen running in the
air, in cloth of gold, and armed with lances, like a band of
3 And troops of horsemen in array, encountering and running one
against another, with shaking of shields, and multitude of
pikes, and drawing of swords, and casting of darts, and
glittering of golden ornaments, and harness of all sorts.
4 Wherefore every man prayed that that apparition might turn to
5 Now when there was gone forth a false rumour, as though
Antiochus had been dead, Jason took at the least a thousand men,
and suddenly made an assault upon the city; and they that were
upon the walls being put back, and the city at length taken,
Menelans fled into the castle:
6 But Jason slew his own citizens without mercy, not considering
that to get the day of them of his own nation would be a most
unhappy day for him; but thinking they had been his enemies, and
not his countrymen, whom he conquered.
7 Howbeit for all this he obtained not the principality, but at
the last received shame for the reward of his treason, and fled
again into the country of the Ammonites.
8 In the end therefore he had an unhappy return, being accused
before Aretas the king of the Arabians, fleeing from city to
city, pursued of all men, hated as a forsaker of the laws, and
being had in abomination as an open enemy of his country and
countrymen, he was cast out into Egypt.
9 Thus he that had driven many out of their country perished in
a strange land, retiring to the Lacedemonians, and thinking
there to find succour by reason of his kindred:
10 And he that had cast out many unburied had none to mourn for
him, nor any solemn funerals at all, nor sepulchre with his
11 Now when this that was done came to the king's car, he
thought that Judea had revolted whereupon removing out of Egypt
in a furious mind, he took the city by force of arms,
12 And commanded his men of war not to spare such as they met,
and to slay such as went up upon the houses.
13 Thus there was killing of young and old, making away of men,
women, and children, slaying of virgins and infants.
14 And there were destroyed within the space of three whole days
fourscore thousand, whereof forty thousand were slain in the
conflict; and no fewer sold than slain.
15 Yet was he not content with this, but presumed to go into the
most holy temple of all the world; Menelans, that traitor to the
laws, and to his own country, being his guide:
16 And taking the holy vessels with polluted hands, and with
profane hands pulling down the things that were dedicated by
other kings to the augmentation and glory and honour of the
place, he gave them away.
17 And so haughty was Antiochus in mind, that he considered not
that the Lord was angry for a while for the sins of them that
dwelt in the city, and therefore his eye was not upon the place.
18 For had they not been formerly wrapped in many sins, this
man, as soon as he had come, had forthwith been scourged, and
put back from his presumption, as Heliodorus was, whom Seleucus
the king sent to view the treasury.
19 Nevertheless God did not choose the people for the place's
sake, but the place far the people's sake.
20 And therefore the place itself, that was partaker with them
of the adversity that happened to the nation, did afterward
communicate in the benefits sent from the Lord and as it was
forsaken in the wrath of the Almighty, so again, the great Lord
being reconciled, it was set up with all glory.
21 So when Antiochus had carried out of the temple a thousand
and eight hundred talents, he departed in all haste unto
Antiochia, weening in his pride to make the land navigable, and
the sea passable by foot such was the haughtiness of his mind.
22 And he left governors to vex the nation at Jerusalem, Philip,
for his country a Phrygian, and for manners more barbarous than
he that set him there;
23 And at Garizim, Andronicus; and besides, Menelans, who worse
than all the rest bare an heavy hand over the citizens, having a
malicious mind against his countrymen the Jews.
24 He sent also that detestable ringleader Apollonius with an
army of two and twenty thousand, commanding him to slay all
those that were in their best age, and to sell the women and the
25 Who coming to Jerusalem, and pretending peace, did forbear
till the holy day of the sabbath, when taking the Jews keeping
holy day, he commanded his men to arm themselves.
26 And so he slew all them that were gone to the celebrating of
the sabbath, and running through the city with weapons slew
27 But Judas Maccabeus with nine others, or thereabout, withdrew
himself into the wilderness, and lived in the mountains after
the manner of beasts, with his company, who fed on herbs
continually, lest they should be partakers of the pollution.
1 Not long after this the king sent an old man of Athens to
compel the Jews to depart from the laws of their fathers, and
not to live after the laws of God:
2 And to pollute also the temple in Jerusalem, and to call it
the temple of Jupiter Olympius; and that in Garizim, of Jupiter
the Defender of strangers, as they did desire that dwelt in the
3 The coming in of this mischief was sore and grievous to the
4 For the temple was filled with riot and revelling by the
Gentiles, who dallied with harlots, and had to do with women
within the circuit of the holy places, and besides that brought
in things that were not lawful.
5 The altar also was filled with profane things, which the law
6 Neither was it lawful for a man to keep sabbath days or
ancient fasts, or to profess himself at all to be a Jew.
7 And in the day of the king's birth every month they were
brought by bitter constraint to eat of the sacrifices; and when
the fast of Bacchus was kept, the Jews were compelled to go in
procession to Bacchus, carrying ivy.
8 Moreover there went out a decree to the neighbour cities of
the heathen, by the suggestion of Ptolemee, against the Jews,
that they should observe the same fashions, and be partakers of
9 And whoso would not conform themselves to the manners of the
Gentiles should be put to death. Then might a man have seen the
10 For there were two women brought, who had circumcised their
children; whom when they had openly led round about the city,
the babes handing at their breasts, they cast them down headlong
from the wall.
11 And others, that had run together into caves near by, to keep
the sabbath day secretly, being discovered by Philip, were all
burnt together, because they made a conscience to help
themselves for the honour of the most sacred day.
12 Now I beseech those that read this book, that they be not
discouraged for these calamities, but that they judge those
punishments not to be for destruction, but for a chastening of
13 For it is a token of his great goodness, when wicked doers
are not suffered any long time, but forthwith punished.
14 For not as with other nations, whom the Lord patiently
forbeareth to punish, till they be come to the fulness of their
sins, so dealeth he with us,
15 Lest that, being come to the height of sin, afterwards he
should take vengeance of us.
16 And therefore he never withdraweth his mercy from us and
though he punish with adversity, yet doth he never forsake his
17 But let this that we at spoken be for a warning unto us. And
now will we come to the declaring of the matter in a few words.
18 Eleazar, one of the principal scribes, an aged man, and of a
well favoured countenance, was constrained to open his mouth,
and to eat swine's flesh.
19 But he, choosing rather to die gloriously, than to live
stained with such an abomination, spit it forth, and came of his
own accord to the torment,
20 As it behoved them to come, that are resolute to stand out
against such things, as are not lawful for love of life to be
21 But they that had the charge of that wicked feast, for the
old acquaintance they had with the man, taking him aside,
besought him to bring flesh of his own provision, such as was
lawful for him to use, and make as if he did eat of the flesh
taken from the sacrifice commanded by the king;
22 That in so doing he might be delivered from death, and for
the old friendship with them find favour.
23 But he began to consider discreetly, and as became his age,
and the excellency of his ancient years, and the honour of his
gray head, whereon was come, and his most honest education from
a child, or rather the holy law made and given by God therefore
he answered accordingly, and willed them straightways to send
him to the grave.
24 For it becometh not our age, said he, in any wise to
dissemble, whereby many young persons might think that Eleazar,
being fourscore years old and ten, were now gone to a strange
25 And so they through mine hypocrisy, and desire to live a
little time and a moment longer, should be deceived by me, and I
get a stain to mine old age, and make it abominable.
26 For though for the present time I should be delivered from
the punishment of men yet should I not escape the hand of the
Almighty, neither alive, nor dead.
27 Wherefore now, manfully changing this life, I will shew
myself such an one as mine age requireth,
28 And leave a notable example to such as be young to die
willingly and courageously for the honourable and holy laws. And
when he had said these words, immediately he went to the
29 They that led him changing the good will they bare him a
little before into hatred, because the foresaid speeches
proceeded, as they thought, from a desperate mind.
30 But when he was ready to die with stripes, he groaned, and
said, It is manifest unto the Lord, that hath the holy
knowledge, that whereas I might have been delivered from death,
I now endure sore pains in body by being beaten but in soul am
well content to suffer these things, because I fear him.
31 And thus this man died, leaving his death for an example of a
noble courage, and a memorial of virtue, not only unto young
men, but unto all his nation.
1 It came to pass also, that seven brethren with their mother
were taken, and compelled by the king against the law to taste
swine's flesh, and were tormented with scourges and whips.
2 But one of them that spake first said thus, What wouldest thou
ask or learn of us? we are ready to die, rather than to
transgress the laws of our fathers.
3 Then the king, being in a rage, commanded pans and caldrons to
be made hot:
4 Which forthwith being heated, he commanded to cut out the
tongue of him that spake first, and to cut off the utmost parts
of his body, the rest of his brethren and his mother looking on.
5 Now when he was thus maimed in all his members, he commanded
him being yet alive to be brought to the fire, and to be fried
in the pan and as the vapour of the pan was for a good space
dispersed, they exhorted one another with the mother to die
manfully, saying thus,
6 The Lord God looketh upon us, and in truth hath comfort in us,
as Moses in his song, which witnessed to their faces, declared,
saying, And he shall be comforted in his servants.
7 So when the first was dead after this number, they brought the
second to make him a mocking stock and when they had pulled off
the skin of his head with the hair, they asked him, Wilt thou
eat, before thou be punished throughout every member of thy
8 But he answered in his own language, and said, No. Wherefore
he also received the next torment in order, as the former did.
9 And when he was at the last gasp, he said, Thou like a fury
takest us out of this present life, but the King of the world
shall raise us up, who have died for his laws, unto everlasting
10 After him was the third made a mocking stock and when he was
required, he put out his tongue, and that right soon, holding
forth his hands manfully.
11 And said courageously, These I had from heaven; and for his
laws I despise them; and from him I hope to receive them again.
12 Insomuch that the king, and they that were with him,
marvelled at the young man's courage, for that he nothing
regarded the pains.
13 Now when this man was dead also, they tormented and mangled
the fourth in like manner.
14 So when he was ready to die he said thus, It is good, being
put to death by men, to look for hope from God to be raised up
again by him as for thee, thou shalt have no resurrection to
15 Afterward they brought the fifth also, and mangled him.
16 Then looked he unto the king, and said, Thou hast power over
men, thou art corruptible, thou doest what thou wilt; yet think
not that our nation is forsaken of God;
17 But abide a while, and behold his great power, how he will
torment thee and thy seed.
18 After him also they brought the sixth, who being ready to die
said, Be not deceived without cause for we suffer these things
for ourselves, having sinned against our God therefore
marvellous things are done unto us.
19 But think not thou, that takest in hand to strive against
God, that thou shalt escape unpunished.
20 But the mother was marvellous above all, and worthy of
honourable memory for when she saw her seven sons slain within
the space of one day, she bare it with a good courage, because
of the hope that she had in the Lord.
21 Yea, she exhorted every one of them in her own language,
filled with courageous spirits; and stirring up her womanish
thoughts with a manly stomach, she said unto them,
22 I cannot tell how ye came into my womb for I neither gave you
breath nor life, neither was it I that formed the members of
every one of you;
23 But doubtless the Creator of the world, who formed the
generation of man, and found out the beginning of all things,
will also of his own mercy give you breath and life again, as ye
now regard not your own selves for his laws' sake.
24 Now Antiochus, thinking himself despised, and suspecting it
to be a reproachful speech, whilst the youngest was yet alive,
did not only exhort him by words, but also assured him with
oaths, that he would make him both a rich and a happy man, if he
would turn from the laws of his fathers; and that also he would
take him for his friend, and trust him with affairs.
25 But when the young man would in no case hearken unto him, the
king called his mother, and exhorted her that she would counsel
the young man to save his life.
26 And when he had exhorted her with many words, she promised
him that she would counsel her son.
27 But she bowing herself toward him, laughing the cruel tyrant
to scorn, spake in her country language on this manner; O my
son, have pity upon me that bare thee nine months in my womb,
and gave thee such three years, and nourished thee, and brought
thee up unto this age, and endured the troubles of education.
28 I beseech thee, my son, look upon the heaven and the earth,
and all that is therein, and consider that God made them of
things that were not; and so was mankind made likewise.
29 Fear not this tormentor, but, being worthy of thy brethren,
take thy death that I may receive thee again in mercy with thy
30 Whiles she was yet speaking these words, the young man said,
Whom wait ye for? I will not obey the king's commandment but I
will obey the commandment of the law that was given unto our
fathers by Moses.
31 And thou, that hast been the author of all mischief against
the Hebrews, shalt not escape the hands of God.
32 For we suffer because of our sins.
33 And though the living Lord be angry with us a little while
for our chastening and correction, yet shall he be at one again
with his servants.
34 But thou, O godless man, and of all other most wicked, be not
lifted up without a cause, nor puffed up with uncertain hopes,
lifting up thy hand against the servants of God:
35 For thou hast not yet escaped the judgment of Almighty God,
who seeth all things.
36 For our brethren, who now have suffered a short pain, are
dead under God's covenant of everlasting life but thou, through
the judgment of God, shalt receive just punishment for thy
37 But I, as my brethren, offer up my body and life for the laws
of our fathers, beseeching God that he would speedily be
merciful unto our nation; and that thou by torments and plagues
mayest confess, that he alone is God;
38 And that in me and my brethren the wrath of the Almighty,
which is justly brought upon our nation, may cease.
39 Than the king' being in a rage, handed him worse than all the
rest, and took it grievously that he was mocked.
40 So this man died undefiled, and put his whole trust in the
41 Last of all after the sons the mother died.
42 Let this be enough now to have spoken concerning the
idolatrous feasts, and the extreme tortures.
1 Then Judas Maccabeus, and they that were with him, went
privily into the towns, and called their kinsfolks together, and
took unto them all such as continued in the Jews' religion, and
assembled about six thousand men.
2 And they called upon the Lord, that he would look upon the
people that was trodden down of all; and also pity the temple
profaned of ungodly men;
3 And that he would have compassion upon the city, sore defaced,
and ready to be made even with the ground; and hear the blood
that cried unto him,
4 And remember the wicked slaughter of harmless infants, and the
blasphemies committed against his name; and that he would shew
his hatred against the wicked.
5 Now when Maccabeis had his company about him, he could not be
withstood by the heathen for the wrath of the Lord was turned
6 Therefore he came at unawares, and burnt up towns and cities,
and got into his hands the most commodious places, and overcame
and put to flight no small number of his enemies.
7 But specially took he advantage of the night for such privy
attempts, insomuch that the fruit of his holiness was spread
8 So when Philip saw that this man increased by little and
little, and that things prospered with him still more and more,
he wrote unto Ptolemeus, the governor of Celosyria and Phenice,
to yield more aid to the king's affairs.
9 Then forthwith choosing Nicanor the son of Patroclus, one of
his special friends, he sent him with no fewer than twenty
thousand of all nations under him, to root out the whole
generation of the Jews; and with him he joined also Gorgias a
captain, who in matters of war had great experience.
10 So Nicanor undertook to make so much money of the captive
Jews, as should defray the tribute of two thousand talents,
which the king was to pay to the Romans.
11 Wherefore immediately he sent to the cities upon the sea
coast, proclaiming a sale of the captive Jews, and promising
that they should have fourscore and ten bodies for one talent,
not expecting the vengeance that was to follow upon him from the
12 Now when word was brought unto Judas of Nicanor's coming, and
he had imparted unto those that were with him that the army was
13 They that were fearful, and distrusted the justice of God,
fled, and conveyed themselves away.
14 Others sold all that they had left, and withal besought the
Lord to deliver them, sold by the wicked Nicanor before they met
15 And if not for their own sakes, yet for the covenants he had
made with their fathers, and for his holy and glorious name's
sake, by which they were called.
16 So Maccabeus called his men together unto the number of six
thousand, and exhorted them not to be stricken with terror of
the enemy, nor to fear the great multitude of the heathen, who
came wrongly against them; but to fight manfully,
17 And to set before their eyes the injury that they had
unjustly done to the holy place, and the cruel handling of the
city, whereof they made a mockery, and also the taking away of
the government of their forefathers:
18 For they, said he, trust in their weapons and boldness; but
our confidence is in the Almighty who at a beck can cast down
both them that come against us, and also all the world.
19 Moreover, he recounted unto them what helps their forefathers
had found, and how they were delivered, when under Sennacherib
an hundred fourscore and five thousand perished.
20 And he told them of the battle that they had in Babylon with
the Galatians, how they came but eight thousand in all to the
business, with four thousand Macedonians, and that the
Macedonians being perplexed, the eight thousand destroyed an
hundred and twenty thousand because of the help that they had
from heaven, and so received a great booty.
21 Thus when he had made them bold with these words, and ready
to die for the law and the country, he divided his army into
22 And joined with himself his own brethren, leaders of each
band, to wit Simon, and Joseph, and Jonathan, giving each one
fifteen hundred men.
23 Also he appointed Eleazar to read the holy book and when he
had given them this watchword, The help of God; himself leading
the first band,
24 And by the help of the Almighty they slew above nine thousand
of their enemies, and wounded and maimed the most part of
Nicanor's host, and so put all to flight;
25 And took their money that came to buy them, and pursued them
far but lacking time they returned:
26 For it was the day before the sabbath, and therefore they
would no longer pursue them.
27 So when they had gathered their armour together, and spoiled
their enemies, they occupied themselves about the sabbath,
yielding exceeding praise and thanks to the Lord, who had
preserved them unto that day, which was the beginning of mercy
distilling upon them.
28 And after the sabbath, when they had given part of the spoils
to the maimed, and the widows, and orphans, the residue they
divided among themselves and their servants.
29 When this was done, and they had made a common supplication,
they besought the merciful Lord to be reconciled with his
servants for ever.
30 Moreover of those that were with Timotheus and Bacchides, who
fought against them, they slew above twenty thousand, and very
easily got high and strong holds, and divided among themselves
many spoils more, and made the maimed, orphans, widows, yea, and
the aged also, equal in spoils with themselves.
31 And when they had gathered their armour together, they laid
them up all carefully in convenient places, and the remnant of
the spoils they brought to Jerusalem.
32 They slew also Philarches, that wicked person, who was with
Timotheus, and had annoyed the Jews many ways.
33 Furthermore at such time as they kept the feast for the
victory in their country they burnt Callisthenes, that had set
fire upon the holy gates, who had fled into a little house; and
so he received a reward meet for his wickedness.
34 As for that most ungracious Nicanor, who had brought a
thousand merchants to buy the Jews,
35 He was through the help of the Lord brought down by them, of
whom he made least account; and putting off his glorious
apparel, and discharging his company, he came like a fugitive
servant through the midland unto Antioch having very great
dishonour, for that his host was destroyed.
36 Thus he, that took upon him to make good to the Romans their
tribute by means of captives in Jerusalem, told abroad, that the
Jews had God to fight for them, and therefore they could not be
hurt, because they followed the laws that he gave them.
1 About that time came Antiochus with dishonour out of the
country of Persia
2 For he had entered the city called Persepolis, and went about
to rob the temple, and to hold the city; whereupon the multitude
running to defend themselves with their weapons put them to
flight; and so it happened, that Antiochus being put to flight
of the inhabitants returned with shame.
3 Now when he came to Ecbatane, news was brought him what had
happened unto Nicanor and Timotheus.
4 Then swelling with anger. he thought to avenge upon the Jews
the disgrace done unto him by those that made him flee.
Therefore commanded he his chariotman to drive without ceasing,
and to dispatch the journey, the judgment of God now following
him. For he had spoken proudly in this sort, That he would come
to Jerusalem and make it a common burying place of the Jews.
5 But the Lord Almighty, the God of Isreal, smote him with an
incurable and invisible plague or as soon as he had spoken these
words, a pain of the bowels that was remediless came upon him,
and sore torments of the inner parts;
6 And that most justly for he had tormented other men's bowels
with many and strange torments.
7 Howbeit he nothing at all ceased from his bragging, but still
was filled with pride, breathing out fire in his rage against
the Jews, and commanding to haste the journey but it came to
pass that he fell down from his chariot, carried violently; so
that having a sore fall, all the members of his body were much
8 And thus he that a little afore thought he might command the
waves of the sea, (so proud was he beyond the condition of man)
and weigh the high mountains in a balance, was now cast on the
ground, and carried in an horselitter, shewing forth unto all
the manifest power of God.
9 So that the worms rose up out of the body of this wicked man,
and whiles he lived in sorrow and pain, his flesh fell away, and
the filthiness of his smell was noisome to all his army.
10 And the man, that thought a little afore he could reach to
the stars of heaven, no man could endure to carry for his
11 Here therefore, being plagued, he began to leave off his
great pride, and to come to the knowledge of himself by the
scourge of God, his pain increasing every moment.
12 And when he himself could not abide his own smell, he said
these words, It is meet to be subject unto God, and that a man
that is mortal should not proudly think of himself if he were
13 This wicked person vowed also unto the Lord, who now no more
would have mercy upon him, saying thus,
14 That the holy city (to the which he was going in haste to lay
it even with the ground, and to make it a common buryingplace,)
he would set at liberty:
15 And as touching the Jews, whom he had judged not worthy so
much as to be buried, but to be cast out with their children to
be devoured of the fowls and wild beasts, he would make them all
equals to the citizens of Athens:
16 And the holy temple, which before he had spoiled, he would
garnish with goodly gifts, and restore all the holy vessels with
many more, and out of his own revenue defray the charges
belonging to the sacrifices:
17 Yea, and that also he would become a Jew himself, and go
through all the world that was inhabited, and declare the power
18 But for all this his pains would not cease for the just
judgment of God was come upon him therefore despairing of his
health, he wrote unto the Jews the letter underwritten,
containing the form of a supplication, after this manner:
19 Antiochus, king and governor, to the good Jews his citizens
wisheth much joy, health, and prosperity:
20 If ye and your children fare well, and your affairs be to
your contentment, I give very great thanks to God, having my
hope in heaven.
21 As for me, I was weak, or else I would have remembered kindly
your honour and good will returning out of Persia, and being
taken with a grievous disease, I thought it necessary to care
for the common safety of all:
22 Not distrusting mine health, but having great hope to escape
23 But considering that even my father, at what time he led an
army into the high countries. appointed a successor,
24 To the end that, if any thing fell out contrary to
expectation, or if any tidings were brought that were grievous,
they of the land, knowing to whom the state was left, might not
25 Again, considering how that the princes that are borderers
and neighbours unto my kingdom wait for opportunities, and
expect what shall be the event. I have appointed my son
Antiochus king, whom I often committed and commended unto many
of you, when I went up into the high provinces; to whom I have
written as followeth:
26 Therefore I pray and request you to remember the benefits
that I have done unto you generally, and in special, and that
every man will be still faithful to me and my son.
27 For I am persuaded that he understanding my mind will
favourably and graciously yield to your desires.
28 Thus the murderer and blasphemer having suffered most
grievously, as he entreated other men, so died he a miserable
death in a strange country in the mountains.
29 And Philip, that was brought up with him, carried away his
body, who also fearing the son of Antiochus went into Egypt to
1 Now Maccabeus and his company, the Lord guiding them,
recovered the temple and the city:
2 But the altars which the heathen had built in the open street,
and also the chapels, they pulled down.
3 And having cleansed the temple they made another altar, and
striking stones they took fire out of them, and offered a
sacrifice after two years, and set forth incense, and lights,
4 When that was done, they fell flat down, and besought the Lord
that they might come no more into such troubles; but if they
sinned any more against him, that he himself would chasten them
with mercy, and that they might not be delivered unto the
blasphemous and barbarous nations.
5 Now upon the same day that the strangers profaned the temple,
on the very same day it was cleansed again, even the five and
twentieth day of the same month, which is Casleu.
6 And they kept the eight days with gladness, as in the feast of
the tabernacles, remembering that not long afore they had held
the feast of the tabernacles, when as they wandered in the
mountains and dens like beasts.
7 Therefore they bare branches, and fair boughs, and palms also,
and sang psalms unto him that had given them good success in
cleansing his place.
8 They ordained also by a common statute and decree, That every
year those days should be kept of the whole nation of the Jews.
9 And this was the end of Antiochus, called Epiphanes.
10 Now will we declare the acts of Antiochus Eupator, who was
the son of this wicked man, gathering briefly the calamities of
11 So when he was come to the crown, he set one Lysias over the
affairs of his realm, and appointed him his chief governor of
Celosyria and Phenice.
12 For Ptolemeus, that was called Macron, choosing rather to do
justice unto the Jews for the wrong that had been done unto
them, endeavoured to continue peace with them.
13 Whereupon being accused of the king's friends before Eupator,
and called traitor at every word because he had left Cyprus,
that Philometor had committed unto him, and departed to
Antiochus Epiphanes, and seeing that he was in no honourable
place, he was so discouraged, that he poisoned himself and died.
14 But when Gorgias was governor of the holds, he hired
soldiers, and nourished war continually with the Jews:
15 And therewithall the Idumeans, having gotten into their hands
the most commodious holds, kept the Jews occupied, and receiving
those that were banished from Jerusalem, they went about to
16 Then they that were with Maccabeus made supplication, and
besought God that he would be their helper; and so they ran with
violence upon the strong holds of the Idumeans,
17 And assaulting them strongly, they won the holds, and kept
off all that fought upon the wall, and slew all that fell into
their hands, and killed no fewer than twenty thousand.
18 And because certain, who were no less than nine thousand,
were fled together into two very strong castles, having all
manner of things convenient to sustain the siege,
19 Maccabeus left Simon and Joseph, and Zaccheus also, and them
that were with him, who were enough to besiege them, and
departed himself unto those places which more needed his help.
20 Now they that were with Simon, being led with covetousness,
were persuaded for money through certain of those that were in
the castle, and took seventy thousand drachms, and let some of
21 But when it was told Maccabeus what was done, he called the
governors of the people together, and accused those men, that
they had sold their brethren for money, and set their enemies
free to fight against them.
22 So he slew those that were found traitors, and immediately
took the two castles.
23 And having good success with his weapons in all things he
took in hand, he slew in the two holds more than twenty
24 Now Timotheus, whom the Jews had overcome before, when he had
gathered a great multitude of foreign forces, and horses out of
Asia not a few, came as though he would take Jewry by force of
25 But when he drew near, they that were with Maccabeus turned
themselves to pray unto God, and sprinkled earth upon their
heads, and girded their loins with sackcloth,
26 And fell down at the foot of the altar, and besought him to
be merciful to them, and to be an enemy to their enemies, and an
adversary to their adversaries, as the law declareth.
27 So after the prayer they took their weapons, and went on
further from the city and when they drew near to their enemies,
they kept by themselves.
28 Now the sun being newly risen, they joined both together; the
one part having together with their virtue their refuge also
unto the Lord for a pledge of their success and victory the
other side making their rage leader of their battle
29 But when the battle waxed strong, there appeared unto the
enemies from heaven five comely men upon horses, with bridles of
gold, and two of them led the Jews,
30 And took Maccabeus betwixt them, and covered him on every
side weapons, and kept him safe, but shot arrows and lightnings
against the enemies so that being confounded with blindness, and
full of trouble, they were killed.
31 And there were slain of footmen twenty thousand and five
hundred, and six hundred horsemen.
32 As for Timotheus himself, he fled into a very strong hold,
called Gawra, where Chereas was governor.
33 But they that were with Maccabeus laid siege against the
fortress courageously four days.
34 And they that were within, trusting to the strength of the
place, blasphemed exceedingly, and uttered wicked words.
35 Nevertheless upon the fifth day early twenty young men of
Maccabeus' company, inflamed with anger because of the
blasphemies, assaulted the wall manly, and with a fierce courage
killed all that they met withal.
36 Others likewise ascending after them, whiles they were busied
with them that were within, burnt the towers, and kindling fires
burnt the blasphemers alive; and others broke open the gates,
and, having received in the rest of the army, took the city,
37 And killed Timotheus, that was hid in a certain pit, and
Chereas his brother, with Apollophanes.
38 When this was done, they praised the Lord with psalms and
thanksgiving, who had done so great things for Israel, and given
them the victory.
1 Not long after the, Lysias the king's protector and cousin,
who also managed the affairs, took sore displeasure for the
things that were done.
2 And when he had gathered about fourscore thousand with all the
horsemen, he came against the Jews, thinking to make the city an
habitation of the Gentiles,
3 And to make a gain of the temple, as of the other chapels of
the heathen, and to set the high priesthood to sale every year:
4 Not at all considering the power of God but puffed up with his
ten thousands of footmen, and his thousands of horsemen, and his
5 So he came to Judea, and drew near to Bethsura, which was a
strong town, but distant from Jerusalem about five furlongs, and
he laid sore siege unto it.
6 Now when they that were with Maccabeus heard that he besieged
the holds, they and all the people with lamentation and tears
besought the Lord that he would send a good angel to deliver
7 Then Maccabeus himself first of all took weapons, exhorting
the other that they would jeopard themselves together with him
to help their brethren so they went forth together with a
8 And as they were at Jerusalem, there appeared before them on
horseback one in white clothing, shaking his armour of gold.
9 Then they praised the merciful God all together, and took
heart, insomuch that they were ready not only to fight with men,
but with most cruel beasts, and to pierce through walls of iron.
10 Thus they marched forward in their armour, having an helper
from heaven for the Lord was merciful unto them
11 And giving a charge upon their enemies like lions, they slew
eleven thousand footmen, and sixteen hundred horsemen, and put
all the other to flight.
12 Many of them also being wounded escaped naked; and Lysias
himself fled away shamefully, and so escaped.
13 Who, as he was a man of understanding, casting with himself
what loss he had had, and considering that the Hebrews could not
be overcome, because the Almighty God helped them, he sent unto
14 And persuaded them to agree to all reasonable conditions, and
promised that he would persuade the king that he must needs be a
friend unto them.
15 Then Maccabeus consented to all that Lysias desired, being
careful of the common good; and whatsoever Maccabeus wrote unto
Lysias concerning the Jews, the king granted it.
16 For there were letters written unto the Jews from Lysias to
this effect Lysias unto the people of the Jews sendeth greeting:
17 John and Absolom, who were sent from you, delivered me the
petition subscribed, and made request for the performance of the
18 Therefore what things soever were meet to be reported to the
king, I have declared them, and he hath granted as much as might
19 And if then ye will keep yourselves loyal to the state,
hereafter also will I endeavour to be a means of your good.
20 But of the particulars I have given order both to these and
the other that came from me, to commune with you.
21 Fare ye well. The hundred and eight and fortieth year, the
four and twentieth day of the month Dioscorinthius.
22 Now the king's letter contained these words King Antiochus
unto his brother Lysias sendeth greeting:
23 Since our father is translated unto the gods, our will is,
that they that are in our realm live quietly, that every one may
attend upon his own affairs.
24 We understand also that the Jews would not consent to our
father, for to be brought unto the custom of the Gentiles, but
had rather keep their own manner of living for the which cause
they require of us, that we should suffer them to live after
their own laws.
25 Wherefore our mind is, that this nation shall be in rest, and
we have determined to restore them their temple, that they may
live according to the customs of their forefathers.
26 Thou shalt do well therefore to send unto them, and grant
them peace, that when they are certified of our mind, they may
be of good comfort, and ever go cheerfully about their own
27 And the letter of the king unto the nation of the Jews was
after this manner King Antiochus sendeth greeting unto the
council, and the rest of the Jews:
28 If ye fare well, we have our desire; we are also in good
29 Menelans declared unto us, that your desire was to return
home, and to follow your own business:
30 Wherefore they that will depart shall have safe conduct till
the thirtieth day of Xanthicus with security.
31 And the Jews shall use their own kind of meats and laws, as
before; and none of them any manner of ways shall be molested
for things ignorantly done.
32 I have sent also Menelans, that he may comfort you.
33 Fare ye well. In the hundred forty and eighth year, and the
fifteenth day of the month Xanthicus.
34 The Romans also sent unto them a letter containing these
words Quintus Memmius and Titus Manlius, ambassadors of the
Romans, send greeting unto the people of the Jews.
35 Whatsoever Lysias the king's cousin hath granted, therewith
we also are well pleased.
36 But touching such things as he judged to be referred to the
king, after ye have advised thereof, send one forthwith, that we
may declare as it is convenient for you for we are now going to
37 Therefore send some with speed, that we may know what is your
38 Farewell. This hundred and eight and fortieth year, the
fifteenth day of the month Xanthicus.
1 When these covenants were made, Lysias went unto the king, and
the Jews were about their husbandry.
2 But of the governours of several places, Timotheus, and
Apollonius the son of Genneus, also Hieronymus, and Demophon,
and beside them Nicanor the governor of Cyprus, would not suffer
them to be quiet and live in peace.
3 The men of Joppa also did such an ungodly deed they prayed the
Jews that dwelt among them to go with their wives and children
into the boats which they had prepared, as though they had meant
them no hurt.
4 Who accepted of it according to the common decree of the city,
as being desirous to live in peace, and suspecting nothing but
when they were gone forth into the deep, they drowned no less
than two hundred of them.
5 When Judas heard of this cruelty done unto his countrymen, he
commanded those that were with him to make them ready.
6 And calling upon God the righteous Judge, he came against
those murderers of his brethren, and burnt the haven by night,
and set the boats on fire, and those that fled thither he slew.
7 And when the town was shut up, he went backward, as if he
would return to root out all them of the city of Joppa.
8 But when he heard that the Jamnites were minded to do in like
manner unto the Jews that dwelt among them,
9 He came upon the Jamnites also by night, and set fire on the
haven and the navy, so that the light of the fire was seen at
Jerusalem two hundred and forty furlongs off.
10 Now when they were gone from thence nine furlongs in their
journey toward Timotheus, no fewer than five thousand men on
foot and five hundred horsemen of the Arabians set upon him.
11 Whereupon there was a very sore battle; but Judas' side by
the help of God got the victory; so that the Nomades of Arabia,
being overcome, besought Judas for peace, promising both to give
him cattle, and to pleasure him otherwise.
12 Then Judas, thinking indeed that they would be profitable in
many things, granted them peace whereupon they shook hands, and
so they departed to their tents.
13 He went also about to make a bridge to a certain strong city,
which was fenced about with walls, and inhabited by people of
divers countries; and the name of it was Caspis.
14 But they that were within it put such trust in the strength
of the walls and provision of victuals, that they behaved
themselves rudely toward them that were with Judas, railing and
blaspheming, and uttering such words as were not to be spoken.
15 Wherefore Judas with his company, calling upon the great Lord
of the world, who without rams or engines of war did cast down
Jericho in the time of Joshua, gave a fierce assault against the
16 And took the city by the will of God, and made unspeakable
slaughters, insomuch that a lake two furlongs broad near
adjoining thereunto, being filled full, was seen running with
17 Then departed they from thence seven hundred and fifty
furlongs, and came to Characa unto the Jews that are called
18 But as for Timotheus, they found him not in the places for
before he had dispatched any thing, he departed from thence,
having left a very strong garrison in a certain hold.
19 Howbeit Dositheus and Sosipater, who were of Maccabeus'
captains, went forth, and slew those that Timotheus had left in
the fortress, above ten thousand men.
20 And Maccabeus ranged his army by bands, and set them over the
bands, and went against Timotheus, who had about him an hundred
and twenty thousand men of foot, and two thousand and five
21 Now when Timotheus had knowledge of Judas' coming, he sent
the women and children and the other baggage unto a fortress
called Carnion for the town was hard to besiege, and uneasy to
come unto, by reason of the straitness of all the places.
22 But when Judas his first band came in sight, the enemies,
being smitten with fear and terror through the appearing of him
who seeth all things, fled amain, one running into this way,
another that way, so as that they were often hurt of their own
men, and wounded with the points of their own swords.
23 Judas also was very earnest in pursuing them, killing those
wicked wretches, of whom he slew about thirty thousand men.
24 Moreover Timotheus himself fell into the hands of Dositheus
and Sosipater, whom he besought with much craft to let him go
with his life, because he had many of the Jews' parents, and the
brethren of some of them, who, if they put him to death, should
not be regarded.
25 So when he had assured them with many words that he would
restore them without hurt, according to the agreement, they let
him go for the saving of their brethren.
26 Then Maccabeus marched forth to Carnion, and to the temple of
Atargatis, and there he slew five and twenty thousand persons.
27 And after he had put to flight and destroyed them, Judas
removed the host toward Ephron, a strong city, wherein Lysias
abode, and a great multitude of divers nations, and the strong
young men kept the walls, and defended them mightily wherein
also was great provision of engines and darts.
28 But when Judas and his company had called upon Almighty God,
who with his power breaketh the strength of his enemies, they
won the city, and slew twenty and five thousand of them that
29 From thence they departed to Scythopolis, which lieth six
hundred furlongs from Jerusalem,
30 But when the Jews that dwelt there had testified that the
Scythopolitans dealt lovingly with them, and entreated them
kindly in the time of their adversity;
31 They gave them thanks, desiring them to be friendly still
unto them and so they came to Jerusalem, the feast of the weeks
32 And after the feast, called Pentecost, they went forth
against Gorgias the governor of Idumea,
33 Who came out with three thousand men of foot and four hundred
34 And it happened that in their fighting together a few of the
Jews were slain.
35 At which time Dositheus, one of Bacenor's company, who was on
horseback, and a strong man, was still upon Gorgias, and taking
hold of his coat drew him by force; and when he would have taken
that cursed man alive, a horseman of Thracia coming upon him
smote off his shoulder, so that Gorgias fled unto Marisa.
36 Now when they that were with Gorgias had fought long, and
were weary, Judas called upon the Lord, that he would shew
himself to be their helper and leader of the battle.
37 And with that he began in his own language, and sung psalms
with a loud voice, and rushing unawares upon Gorgias' men, he
put them to flight.
38 So Judas gathered his host, and came into the city of
Odollam, And when the seventh day came, they purified
themselves, as the custom was, and kept the sabbath in the same
39 And upon the day following, as the use had been, Judas and
his company came to take up the bodies of them that were slain,
and to bury them with their kinsmen in their fathers' graves.
40 Now under the coats of every one that was slain they found
things consecrated to the idols of the Jamnites, which is
forbidden the Jews by the law. Then every man saw that this was
the cause wherefore they were slain.
41 All men therefore praising the Lord, the righteous Judge, who
had opened the things that were hid,
42 Betook themselves unto prayer, and besought him that the sin
committed might wholly be put out of remembrance. Besides, that
noble Judas exhorted the people to keep themselves from sin,
forsomuch as they saw before their eyes the things that came to
pass for the sins of those that were slain.
43 And when he had made a gathering throughout the company to
the sum of two thousand drachms of silver, he sent it to
Jerusalem to offer a sin offering, doing therein very well and
honestly, in that he was mindful of the resurrection:
44 For if he had not hoped that they that were slain should have
risen again, it had been superfluous and vain to pray for the
45 And also in that he perceived that there was great favour
laid up for those that died godly, it was an holy and good
thought. Whereupon he made a reconciliation for the dead, that
they might be delivered from sin.
1 In the hundred forty and ninth year it was told Judas, that
Antiochus Eupator was coming with a great power into Judea,
2 And with him Lysias his protector, and ruler of his affairs,
having either of them a Grecian power of footmen, an hundred and
ten thousand, and horsemen five thousand and three hundred, and
elephants two and twenty, and three hundred chariots armed with
3 Menelans also joined himself with them, and with great
dissimulation encouraged Antiochus, not for the safeguard of the
country, but because he thought to have been made governor.
4 But the King of kings moved Antiochus' mind against this
wicked wretch, and Lysias informed the king that this man was
the cause of all mischief, so that the king commanded to bring
him unto Berea, and to put him to death, as the manner is in
5 Now there was in that place a tower of fifty cubits high, full
of ashes, and it had a round instrument which on every side
hanged down into the ashes.
6 And whosoever was condemned of sacrilege, or had committed any
other grievous crime, there did all men thrust him unto death.
7 Such a death it happened that wicked man to die, not having so
much as burial in the earth; and that most justly:
8 For inasmuch as he had committed many sins about the altar,
whose fire and ashes were holy, he received his death in ashes.
9 Now the king came with a barbarous and haughty mind to do far
worse to the Jews, than had been done in his father's time.
10 Which things when Judas perceived, he commanded the multitude
to call upon the Lord night and day, that if ever at any other
time, he would now also help them, being at the point to be put
from their law, from their country, and from the holy temple:
11 And that he would not suffer the people, that had even now
been but a little refreshed, to be in subjection to the
12 So when they had all done this together, and besought the
merciful Lord with weeping and fasting, and lying flat upon the
ground three days long, Judas, having exhorted them, commanded
they should be in a readiness.
13 And Judas, being apart with the elders, determined, before
the king's host should enter into Judea, and get the city, to go
forth and try the matter in fight by the help of the Lord.
14 So when he had committed all to the Creator of the world, and
exhorted his soldiers to fight manfully, even unto death, for
the laws, the temple, the city, the country, and the
commonwealth, he camped by Modin:
15 And having given the watchword to them that were about him,
Victory is of God; with the most valiant and choice young men he
went in into the king's tent by night, and slew in the camp
about four thousand men, and the chiefest of the elephants, with
all that were upon him.
16 And at last they filled the camp with fear and tumult, and
departed with good success.
17 This was done in the break of the day, because the protection
of the Lord did help him.
18 Now when the king had taken a taste of the manliness of the
Jews, he went about to take the holds by policy,
19 And marched toward Bethsura, which was a strong hold of the
Jews but he was put to flight, failed, and lost of his men:
20 For Judas had conveyed unto them that were in it such things
as were necessary.
21 But Rhodocus, who was in the Jews' host, disclosed the
secrets to the enemies; therefore he was sought out, and when
they had gotten him, they put him in prison.
22 The king treated with them in Bethsum the second time, gave
his hand, took their's, departed, fought with Judas, was
23 Heard that Philip, who was left over the affairs in Antioch,
was desperately bent, confounded, intreated the Jews, submitted
himself, and sware to all equal conditions, agreed with them,
and offered sacrifice, honoured the temple, and dealt kindly
with the place,
24 And accepted well of Maccabeus, made him principal governor
from Ptolemais unto the Gerrhenians;
25 Came to Ptolemais the people there were grieved for the
covenants; for they stormed, because they would make their
26 Lysias went up to the judgment seat, said as much as could be
in defence of the cause, persuaded, pacified, made them well
affected, returned to Antioch. Thus it went touching the king's
coming and departing.
1 After three years was Judas informed, that Demetrius the son
of Seleucus, having entered by the haven of Tripolis with a
great power and navy,
2 Had taken the country, and killed Antiochus, and Lysias his
3 Now one Alcimus, who had been high priest, and had defiled
himself wilfully in the times of their mingling with the
Gentiles, seeing that by no means he could save himself, nor
have any more access to the holy altar,
4 Came to king Demetrius in the hundred and one and fiftieth
year, presenting unto him a crown of gold, and a palm, and also
of the boughs which were used solemnly in the temple and so that
day he held his peace.
5 Howbeit having gotten opportunity to further his foolish
enterprize, and being called into counsel by Demetrius, and
asked how the Jews stood affected, and what they intended, he
6 Those of the Jews that he called Assideans, whose captain is
Judas Maccabeus, nourish war and are seditious, and will not let
the rest be in peace.
7 Therefore I, being deprived of mine ancestors' honour, I mean
the high priesthood, am now come hither:
8 First, verily for the unfeigned care I have of things
pertaining to the king; and secondly, even for that I intend the
good of mine own countrymen for all our nation is in no small
misery through the unadvised dealing of them aforersaid.
9 Wherefore, O king, seeing knowest all these things, be careful
for the country, and our nation, which is pressed on every side,
according to the clemency that thou readily shewest unto all.
10 For as long as Judas liveth, it is not possible that the
state should be quiet.
11 This was no sooner spoken of him, but others of the king's
friends, being maliciously set against Judas, did more incense
12 And forthwith calling Nicanor, who had been master of the
elephants, and making him governor over Judea, he sent him
13 Commanding him to slay Judas, and to scatter them that were
with him, and to make Alcimus high priest of the great temple.
14 Then the heathen, that had fled out of Judea from Judas, came
to Nicanor by flocks, thinking the harm and calamities of the
Jews to be their welfare.
15 Now when the Jews heard of Nicanor's coming, and that the
heathen were up against them, they cast earth upon their heads,
and made supplication to him that had established his people for
ever, and who always helpeth his portion with manifestation of
16 So at the commandment of the captain they removed
straightways from thence, and came near unto them at the town of
17 Now Simon, Judas' brother, had joined battle with Nicanor,
but was somewhat discomfited through the sudden silence of his
18 Nevertheless Nicanor, hearing of the manliness of them that
were with Judas, and the courageousness that they had to fight
for their country, durst not try the matter by the sword.
19 Wherefore he sent Posidonius, and Theodotus, and Mattathias,
to make peace.
20 So when they had taken long advisement thereupon, and the
captain had made the multitude acquainted therewith, and it
appeared that they were all of one mind, they consented to the
21 And appointed a day to meet in together by themselves and
when the day came, and stools were set for either of them,
22 Ludas placed armed men ready in convenient places, lest some
treachery should be suddenly practised by the enemies so they
made a peaceable conference.
23 Now Nicanor abode in Jerusalem, and did no hurt, but sent
away the people that came flocking unto him.
24 And he would not willingly have Judas out of his sight for he
love the man from his heart
25 He prayed him also to take a wife, and to beget children so
he married, was quiet, and took part of this life.
26 But Alcimus, perceiving the love that was betwixt them, and
considering the covenants that were made, came to Demetrius, and
told him that Nicanor was not well affected toward the state;
for that he had ordained Judas, a traitor to his realm, to be
the king's successor.
27 Then the king being in a rage, and provoked with the
accusations of the most wicked man, wrote to Nicanor, signifying
that he was much displeased with the covenants, and commanding
him that he should send Maccabeus prisoner in all haste unto
28 When this came to Nicanor's hearing, he was much confounded
in himself, and took it grievously that he should make void the
articles which were agreed upon, the man being in no fault.
29 But because there was no dealing against the king, he watched
his time to accomplish this thing by policy.
30 Notwithstanding, when Maccabeus saw that Nicanor began to be
churlish unto him, and that he entreated him more roughly than
he was wont, perceiving that such sour behaviour came not of
good, he gathered together not a few of his men, and withdrew
himself from Nicanor.
31 But the other, knowing that he was notably prevented by
Judas' policy, came into the great and holy temple, and
commanded the priests, that were offering their usual
sacrifices, to deliver him the man.
32 And when they sware that they could not tell where the man
was whom he sought,
33 He stretched out his right hand toward the temple, and made
an oath in this manner If ye will not deliver me Judas as a
prisoner, I will lay this temple of God even with the ground,
and I will break down the altar, and erect a notable temple unto
34 After these words he departed. Then the priests lifted up
their hands toward heaven, and besought him that was ever a
defender of their nation, saying in this manner;
35 Thou, O Lord of all things, who hast need of nothing, wast
pleased that the temple of thine habitation should be among us:
36 Therefore now, O holy Lord of all holiness, keep this house
ever undefiled, which lately was cleansed, and stop every
37 Now was there accused unto Nicanor one Razis, one of the
elders of Jerusalem, a lover of his countrymen, and a man of
very good report, who for his kindness was called a father of
38 For in the former times, when they mingled not themselves
with the Gentiles, he had been accused of Judaism, and did
boldly jeopard his body and life with all vehemency for the
religion of the Jews.
39 So Nicanor, willing to declare the hate that he bare unto the
Jews, sent above five hundred men of war to take him:
40 For he thought by taking him to do the Jews much hurt.
41 Now when the multitude would have taken the tower, and
violently broken into the outer door, and bade that fire should
be brought to burn it, he being ready to be taken on every side
fell upon his sword;
42 Choosing rather to die manfully, than to come into the hands
of the wicked, to be abused otherwise than beseemed his noble
43 But missing his stroke through haste, the multitude also
rushing within the doors, he ran boldly up to the wall, and cast
himself down manfully among the thickest of them.
44 But they quickly giving back, and a space being made, he fell
down into the midst of the void place.
45 Nevertheless, while there was yet breath within him, being
inflamed with anger, he rose up; and though his blood gushed out
like spouts of water, and his wounds were grievous, yet he ran
through the midst of the throng; and standing upon a steep rock,
46 When as his blood was now quite gone, he plucked out his
bowels, and taking them in both his hands, he cast them upon the
throng, and calling upon the Lord of life and spirit to restore
him those again, he thus died.
1 But Nicanor, hearing that Judas and his company were in the
strong places about Samaria, resolved without any danger to set
upon them on the sabbath day.
2 Nevertheless the Jews that were compelled to go with him said,
O destroy not so cruelly and barbarously, but give honour to
that day, which he, that seeth all things, hath honoured with
holiness above all other days.
3 Then the most ungracious wretch demanded, if there were a
Mighty one in heaven, that had commanded the sabbath day to be
4 And when they said, There is in heaven a living Lord, and
mighty, who commanded the seventh day to be kept:
5 Then said the other, And I also am mighty upon earth, and I
command to take arms, and to do the king's business. Yet he
obtained not to have his wicked will done.
6 So Nicanor in exceeding pride and haughtiness determined to
set up a publick monument of his victory over Judas and them
that were with him.
7 But Maccabeus had ever sure confidence that the Lord would
8 Wherefore he exhorted his people not to fear the coming of the
heathen against them, but to remember the help which in former
times they had received from heaven, and now to expect the
victory and aid, which should come unto them from the Almighty.
9 And so comforting them out of the law and the prophets, and
withal putting them in mind of the battles that they won afore,
he made them more cheerful.
10 And when he had stirred up their minds, he gave them their
charge, shewing them therewithall the falsehood of the heathen,
and the breach of oaths.
11 Thus he armed every one of them, not so much with defence of
shields and spears, as with comfortable and good words and
beside that, he told them a dream worthy to be believed, as if
it had been so indeed, which did not a little rejoice them.
12 And this was his vision That Onias, who had been high priest,
a virtuous and a good man, reverend in conversation, gentle in
condition, well spoken also, and exercised from a child in all
points of virtue, holding up his hands prayed for the whole body
of the Jews.
13 This done, in like manner there appeared a man with gray
hairs, and exceeding glorious, who was of a wonderful and
14 Then Onias answered, saying, This is a lover of the brethren,
who prayeth much for the people, and for the holy city, to wit,
Jeremias the prophet of God.
15 Whereupon Jeremias holding forth his right hand gave to Judas
a sword of gold, and in giving it spake thus,
16 Take this holy sword, a gift from God, with the which thou
shalt wound the adversaries.
17 Thus being well comforted by the words of Judas, which were
very good, and able to stir them up to valour, and to encourage
the hearts of the young men, they determined not to pitch camp,
but courageously to set upon them, and manfully to try the
matter by conflict, because the city and the sanctuary and the
temple were in danger.
18 For the care that they took for their wives, and their
children, their brethren, and folks, was in least account with
them but the greatest and principal fear was for the holy
19 Also they that were in the city took not the least care,
being troubled for the conflict abroad.
20 And now, when as all looked what should be the trial, and the
enemies were already come near, and the army was set in array,
and the beasts conveniently placed, and the horsemen set in
21 Maccabeus seeing the coming of the multitude, and the divers
preparations of armour, and the fierceness of the beasts,
stretched out his hands toward heaven, and called upon the Lord
that worketh wonders, knowing that victory cometh not by arms,
but even as it seemeth good to him, he giveth it to such as are
22 Therefore in his prayer he said after this manner; O Lord,
thou didst send thine angel in the time of Ezekias king of
Judea, and didst slay in the host of Sennacherib an hundred
fourscore and five thousand:
23 Wherefore now also, O Lord of heaven, send a good angel
before us for a fear and dread unto them;
24 And through the might of thine arm let those be stricken with
terror, that come against thy holy people to blaspheme. And he
25 Then Nicanor and they that were with him came forward with
trumpets and songs.
26 But Judas and his company encountered the enemies with
invocation and prayer.
27 So that fighting with their hands, and praying unto God with
their hearts, they slew no less than thirty and five thousand
men for through the appearance of God they were greatly cheered.
28 Now when the battle was done, returning again with joy, they
knew that Nicanor lay dead in his harness.
29 Then they made a great shout and a noise, praising the
Almighty in their own language.
30 And Judas, who was ever the chief defender of the citizens
both in body and mind, and who continued his love toward his
countrymen all his life, commanded to strike off Nicanor's head,
and his hand with his shoulder, and bring them to Jerusalem.
31 So when he was there, and called them of his nation together,
and set the priests before the altar, he sent for them that were
of the tower,
32 And shewed them vile Nicanor's head, and the hand of that
blasphemer, which with proud brags he had stretched out against
the holy temple of the Almighty.
33 And when he had cut out the tongue of that ungodly Nicanor,
he commanded that they should give it by pieces unto the fowls,
and hang up the reward of his madness before the temple.
34 So every man praised toward the heaven the glorious Lord,
saying, Blessed be he that hath kept his own place undefiled.
35 He hanged also Nicanor's head upon the tower, an evident and
manifest sign unto all of the help of the Lord.
36 And they ordained all with a common decree in no case to let
that day pass without solemnity, but to celebrate the thirtieth
day of the twelfth month, which in the Syrian tongue is called
Adar, the day before Mardocheus' day.
37 Thus went it with Nicanor and from that time forth the
Hebrews had the city in their power. And here will I make an
38 And if I have done well, and as is fitting the story, it is
that which I desired but if slenderly and meanly, it is that
which I could attain unto.
39 For as it is hurtful to drink wine or water alone; and as
wine mingled with water is pleasant, and delighteth the taste
even so speech finely framed delighteth the ears of them that
read the story. And here shall be an end.