1 Maccabees 3

3And his son Judas, lwho was calledl Maccabaeus, rose up in his stead.

And all his brethren helped him,

And all they that clave untom his father,

And they fought with gladness the battle of Israel.

And hen extended the glory oof his peopleo,

And put on a breastplate as a giant,

And girt on his weapons of war.

pHe set battles in array,

He protected qthe army with the swordq p.

And he was like a lion in hisr deeds:

And as a lion’s whelp roaring for prey,

He pursued the lawless, seeking them out,

And burnt up those that troubled shis peoples.

And the lawless lost heart for fear of him,

And all the workers of lawlessness were sore troubled;

tAnd deliverance prospered in his hand.t

And he angered manyu kings,

And made Jacobx glad with his acts.

And his memorial is blessed for ever.

And he went about among the cities of Judah,

And destroyed the ungodlyy thereoutz,

And turned away wrath from Israel.

And he was renowned unto the utmost part of the earth,

And gathered together athose who were perishinga.

3:10–26. Victories of Judas Maccabaeus over Apollonius and Seron.

10 bAnd Apollonius gatheredb the Gentilesc together, andd a great host from Samaria, to fight against Israel. 11 And Judas perceived it, and went forth to meet him, and smote him, and slew him; and many fell wounded to death, and the rest fled. 12 And theye took their spoilsf; and Judas took the sword of Apollonius, and therewith fought he all (his) days.

13 And Seron, the commander of the host of Syria, heard that Judas had gathered ga gathering andg a congregation of faithful men with him, handi of such as went out to warh; and he said: 14 ‘I will make a name for myself, and get me glory in the kingdom; and I will fight against Judask and them that are with him, thatl set at nought the word of the king.’ 15 mAnd he went up againm; and there went up with him a mighty army of the ungodly to help him, to take vengeance on the children of Israel. 16 And hen came near to the ascent of Bethhoron; and Judaso went forth to meet himp with a small company. 17 But qwhen theyr saw the army coming to meet themq s, they said unto Judas: ‘What?t shall we be able, being a small company, to fight against so great uand strongu a multitude? And we, for our part, are faint, having tasted no food this day.’ 18 And Judas said: ‘It is an easy thing for many to be shut up in the hands of a few, and there is no difference vin the sight ofv Heavenw to save by many or by few; 19 for victory in battle standeth not in the multitude of an host, but strength is from Heavenx. 20 They come unto us iny fulness of insolence and lawlessness, zto destroy us and our wives and our children, fora to spoil usz; 21 but we fight for our lives and our laws. 22 And He Himselfb will discomfit them before our face; but as for you, be ye not afraid of them.’ 23 Now when hec had left off speaking, hed leapt suddenly upon them, and Seron and his army were discomfited ebefore hime. 24 And they pursued themf at the descent of Bethhoron unto the plain; and there fell of them about eight hundred men; and the rest fled into gthe land ofg the Philistines.

25 Then began the fear of Judas hand of his brethrenh, and the dread (of them) fell upon the nationsi round about them. 26 And his name came near even unto the king; and kevery nationk told of the battlesl of Judas.

3:27–37. Lysias is commissioned to continue the war against the Jews during the absence of Antiochus in Persiaz.

27 But when Antiochus the kingm heard these words he was full of indignation; and he sent and gathered together all the forces nof his kingdomn, oan exceeding strong armyo. 28 And he opened his treasury and gave his forces pay for ap year, and commanded them to be readyq for every needr. 29 And he saw that the money failed from his treasures, and that the tributes of the country were small, because of the dissension and harm which he had brought upon the land (in seeking) to take away the laws which had been (in vogue) from the earliest times; 30 and he feared (therefore) that he would not have (enough), as (he had had) at other times, for the charges and the gifts which he gave aforetime with a liberal hand,—s and he was more lavish than the kings that were before hims. 31 He was (therefore) exceedingly perplexed in his mind; so het determined to go to Persia, and to take tributes of the countriesu, and (thus) to gather much money. 32 And he leftv Lysias, an honourable man, and wone of the seed royalw, (to be) over the affairs of the king from the river Euphrates unto the borders of Egypt, 33 and to bring up his son Antiochus until he should return. 34 And he delivered unto him the half of the forces, and the elephants, and gave him charge over all the things that he would have done and concerning themx ythat dwell in Judaea and Jerusalem, 35 (namely) that he should send a host zagainst themz to root outa y and destroy the strengthb of Israel andc the remnant of Jerusalem, and dto take awayd theire memorial from the place; 36 and that he should make strangers to dwell in all their borders, and that he should fdivide their land by lotf. 37 And the king took the half that remained of the forces, and removed from Antioch, gfrom hish royal cityg, i(in) the one hundred and forty-seventh yeari; and he passed over the river Euphrates, and went through the upper countries.

3:38–60. Lysias dispatches an army into the land of Judah under Ptolemy, Nicanor, and Gorgias. Judas Maccabaeus prepares for the coming struggle.

38 And Lysias chose kPtolemy the son ofk Dorymenes, and Nicanor, and Gorgias, mighty men of the king’s friends; 39 and with them he sent fortyl thousand footmen, and seven thousand horse, to go into the land of Judah, and to destroy it, according to the king’s command. 40 And theym removed with all their host, and came and pitched near Emmaus in the plain country. 41 And the merchants of the country heard tell of them, and took silver and gold exceeding much, together with fettersn, and came into the camp, to take the children of Israel as slaves. And there were added unto them troops from Syria and from the land of the Philistineso.

42 And Judas and his brethren saw that evils were multiplied, and that the forces (of the enemy) were encampingp in their borders; and theyq took knowledge of the king’sr commands which he had put forth (with a view) to bring about the destruction and annihilation of the people. 43 So they said, each man to his neighbour: ‘Let us raise up the ruins of our people, tand let us fight for our peoplet and the Holy Place.’ 44 And theu congregation was gathered together, so as to be ready for battle, andto pray and to ask for mercy and compassion.

45 And Jerusalem was uninhabited like a wilderness,

There was none of her offspring that went in vor went outv.

And the Sanctuary was trodden down,

And the sons of strangers (dwelt) in the citadel,

A lodging-place for Gentiles (it became);

And joy wwas taken awayw from Jacob,

And the pipe and the harp ceased.

46 And they gathered themselves together, and came to Mizpehx, over against Jerusalem; for in Mizpeh there had been aforetime a place of prayer for Israel. 47 And they fasted that day, and put on 48 sackcloth, and puty ashes upon their headsz, and rent their clothes. And they spread out the roll of the Law, (one of those) concerning which the Gentiles were wont to make search a bin order to depict upon thema likenesses of their idolsb. 49 And they brought the priestly garments, and the firstfruits, and the tithes; and they shavedc the Nazirites who had accomplished their days. 50 And they cried aloudd toward heaven, saying: ‘What shall we do with these men, and whither shall we carry them away? 51 Fore thy Holy Place is trodden down and defiled, and thy priests are in heaviness and brought low. 52 And, behold, the Gentiles are gathered together against us to destroy us; thou knowest what things they imagine against us. 53 How shall we be able to stand before them unless thou help us?’ 54 And they sounded with the trumpetsf, gand cried with a loud voiceg.

55 And after this Judas appointed leaders of the people, captains of thousands, and captains of hundreds, hand captains of fiftiesh, and captains of tens. 56 And he said to them that were building houses, and were betrothing wives, and were planting vineyards, and were fearful, that they should return, each man to his own house, according to the Lawi. 57 And the army removed, and encampedk on the south of Emmaus. 58 And Judas said: ‘Gird yourselves, land bel valiant men; and be ready on the morrow to fight against these Gentiles that are assembled together against us to destroy us, and our Holy Place; 59 for it is better for us to die min battlem than to look upon the evils (that have come) upon our nation and the Holy Place. 60 Nevertheless, as may be the will in heaven, nso shall he don.’

4:1–25. Victory of Judas over Gorgias.

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