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1 Maccabees 1

Introduction. 1:1–9.

1:1–4. The Victory of Alexander the Great over the Persians, and the founding of his empire.

1And it came to pass after Alexander, the son of Philip the Macedoniana, who came from the land of Chittim, had smitten Darius, king of the Persians and Medesb, that he reigned in his steadc. And he waged many wars, and won strongholdsd, eand slew kingsf, and pressed forward to the ends of the earth, and took spoils from many peoplese. But when the land was silencedg before him, h ihe became exaltedh, and his heart was lifted upi. Then he gathered together ka very mighty armyk, and ruled over lands and peoples and principalitiesl; and they became tributary unto him.

1:5–9. The sickness and death of Alexander; the division of his empire.

And after these things he took to hism bed, and perceived that he was about to die. Then he called his chief ministers, men who had been brought up with him from his youth, and divided his kingdom among them while he was yet alive. And Alexander had reigned twelve years when he died. And his ministers ruled, each in his particular domain. And after he was dead they all assumed the diadem, and their sons after them [did likewise; and this continued for] many years. And these wrought much evil on the earth.

The Cause of the Maccabaean Revolt. 1:10–64.

1:10–15. Antiochus Epiphanes and the Hellenistic party in Judæa.

10 And a sinful shoot came forth from them, Antiochus Epiphanes, the son of Antiochus the king, who had been a hostage in Rome, and had become king in the one hundred and thirty-seventh year of the Greek kingdom. 11 In those days nthere came forth out of Israel lawless menn, and persuaded many, saying: ‘Let us go and make a covenant with the nations that are round about us; for sinceo we separated ourselves from them many evils have come upon us.’ 12 And the saying appeared good in their eyes; and as certain of the people were eager (to carry this out), 13 they went to the king, and hep gave them authority to introduce the customs of the Gentiles. 14 And they built a gymnasiumq in Jerusalem according to the manner of the Gentiles. 15 They also submitted themselves to uncircumcisionr, and repudiated the holy covenant; yea, they joined themselves to the Gentiles, and sold themselvess to do evil.

1:16–19. Antiochus subdues Egypt.

16 And when, in the opinion of Antiochus, the kingdom was (sufficiently) established, he determined to exercise dominion also over the land of Egypt, in order that he might rule over two kingdoms. 17 So he pushed forward into Egypt with an immense force; with chariots, and elephants and horsement, together with a great fleetu. 18 And he waged war against Ptolemy, the king of Egypt. And Ptolemy turned backx from before him, and fled; yand there fell many woundedy z. 19 And theya captured the fortified cities in Egyptb; and he took the spoils from the landc of Egypt.

1:20–28. The Desecration of the Temple; slaughter of the Jews.

20 And Antiochus, after he had smitten Egypt, returned in the one hundred and fifty-third year, and went up against Israel andd Jerusalem with a great army. 21 And in (his) arrogance he entered into the sanctuary, and took the golden altar, eand the candlestick for the lighte, and all its accessories, 22 and the table of the shewbread, and the cups, and the bowls, and the golden censersf, and the veil, and the crowns, and the golden adornment on the façade of the Temple, and he scaled it all off. 23 Moreover, he took the silver, and the gold, and the choice vessels; he also took the hidden treasures which he found. 24 And having taken everything, he returnedg to his own landh.

25 ‘And there was great mourning in Israeli in every place;

26 Andk the rulers and elders groaned;

Virgins and young men languished,

And the beauty of the women faded away;

27 Every bridegroom took up (his) lament,

She that sat in the bridal-chamber mournedl.

28 And the land was moved for her inhabitants,

And all mthe house ofm Jacob was clothed with shame.’

1:29–40. Jerusalem occupied by Apollonius; massacre of the people; desecration of the Sanctuary.

29 After the lapse of two years the kingn sent a chief collector of tribute to the cities of Judah; and he came to Jerusalem with a great host. 30 And he spoke unto them peaceful words in subtilty, so that they had confidence in him; but he fell upon the city suddenly, and smote it with a grievous stroke, and destroyed much people in Israel. 31 And he took othe spoils of the cityo, and burned it with fire, and pulled down the houses thereof and the walls thereofp round about. 32 And they led captive the women and the children, and qtook possession ofq the cattle. 33 And they fortified the city of David with a great and strong wall with strong towers, so that it was made into a citadel for them. 34 And they placed there a sinful nation, lawless men; and they strengthened themselves therein. 35 And they stored up (there) arms and provisions, and collecting together the spoils of Jerusalem, they laid them up there. 36 And it became a sore menace, for it was a place to lie in wait in against the sanctuary, and an evil adversary to Israel continually.

37 And they shed innocent blood on every side of the sanctuary,

And they defiled the sanctuaryr.

38 And because of them the inhabitants of Jerusalem fled,

And she became a dwelling for strangers,

Being herself estranged to her offspring,

And her children forsook her.

39 Her sanctuary became desolate as a wilderness,

sHer feasts were turned into mournings,

Her sabbaths tinto shameu,

Her honourt x into contempt.

40 According as her gloryy (had been) zso was (now) her dishonour increasedz,

And her high estate was turned to mourninga.

1:41–53. Edict of Antiochus, forbidding Jewish Worship.

41 And the kingb wrote unto his whole kingdom, 42 that all should be one people, and that every one should give up his [religious] usages. And all cthe nationsc acquiescedd in accordance with the command of the king. 43 And many in Israel took delight in ehis (form of) worshipe, and they began sacrificing to idols, and profaned the sabbathf. 44 Furthermore, the king sent lettersg by the hand of messengers to Jerusalem and to the cities of Judah (to the effect that) they should practise customs hforeigni to (the traditions of) the landh, 45 and that they should cease the (sacrificing of) whole burnt offerings, and sacrifices, and drink offerings in the sanctuary, and that they should profane the sabbaths and feasts, 46 and pollute the sanctuary and kthose who had been sanctifiedk; 47 that they should (moreover) build high places, and sacred groves, and lshrines for idolsl, and that they should sacrifice swine and (other) uncleanm animals; 48 and that they should leave their sons uncircumcized, and make themselves abominable by means of (practising) everything that was unclean and profane, 49 so that they might forget the Law, and change all the (traditional) ordinances. 50 And whosoever should not act according to the word of the king, should die. 51 In this manner did he write unto the wholen of his kingdom; and he appointed overseerso over all the people; and he commanded the cities of Judah to sacrifice, every one of them. 52 And many of the people joined themselves unto them, allp those [namely] who had forsaken the Law; 53 these did evilq in the land, and caused Israel to hide in all manner of hiding-places.

1:54–64. Idolatry forced upon the people of Judah; destruction of copies of the Scriptures; massacre of Israelites.

54 And on the fifteenthr days of Chislev in the one hundred and forty-fiftht year they set up upon the altar an ‘abomination of desolation’, and in the cities of Judah on every side they established high-places; 55 and uthey offered sacrificeu at the doors of the houses and in the streets. 56 And the books of the Law which they found they xrent in pieces, andx burned them in the fire. 57 And with whomsoever was found a book of the covenant, and if he was (found) consenting unto the Law, such an one was, according to the king’s sentencey, condemned to death. 58 Thus did they in their might to the Israelites who were foundz month by month in theira cities. 59 And on the twenty-fifth day of the month they sacrificed upon the altar which was upon the altar of burnt-offering. 60 And, according to the decreeb, 61 they put to death the women who had circumcised their children, hanging their babes round their (mothers’) necks, and they put to death their (entire) familiesc, together with those who had circumcised them. 62 Nevertheless many in Israel stood firmd and determined in their heartse that they would not eat unclean things, 63 and chose rather to die so that they might not be defiled with meats, thereby profaning the holy covenantf; and they did die. 64 And exceeding great wrath came upon Israel.

Mattathias. 2:1–70.

2:1–5. The Genealogy of the Maccabees.

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