1 Maccabees 7

7In the one hundred and fifty-firsta year Demetrius the son of Seleucus came forth from Rome, and went up with a few men bunto a cityc by the seab, and reigned there. And dit came to passd, when he had formed the purpose of entering into the house of the kingdom of his fathers, that the soldierye laid hands on Antiochus and Lysias, to bring them unto him. fAnd when the thing was made known to himg, hef said: ‘Show me not their faces.’ And the soldiery slew them. And Demetrius sat upon the throne of his kingdom. And there came unto him all the lawless and ungodly men of Israel; and Alcimush led them, desiring to be (high)i priest. And they accused the people unto the king, saying: ‘Judas and his brethren have destroyed all thy Friends, and have scattered us from ourk landl. Now therefore send a man whom thou trustest, and let him go and see mall the havock which he hath made of us and of the king’s countrym, and nlet him punishn them and all thato helped them.’ And the king chose Bacchides, (one) of the king’s friendsp, who was ruler in the country beyond the river, qand was a great man in the kingdom, and faithful to the king. And he sent himq, and the ungodly Alcimus, and mader sure to him the (high-) priesthoods; and he commanded him to take vengeance upon the children of Israel.

10 And theyt removed, uand cameu with a great host into vthe land of Judahw v; and hex sent messengers to Judas and his brethren with words of peace, deceitfully. 11 But they gave noy heed to their words; for they saw that they were comez with a great host. 12 And there was gathered together unto Alcimus and Bacchides a company of scribes, to seek for justice. 13 And the Chassidim were the first among athe children ofa Israel that sought peace of them; for they said: 14 ‘One that is a priest of the seed of Aaron is come bwith the forces, and hec will do us no wrongb. 15 And he spake with them words of peace, and sware unto them, saying.: ‘We will seek the hurt neither of you nor of your friends.’ 16 And they believed him; and he laid hands on threescore men of them, and slew them in one day, according to the dwords which (the psalmist)e wroted:

17 The flesh of thy saints and their blood

They poured out around Jerusalem;

And there was no man to bury them.

18 And the fear fand the dreadf of them fell upon all the people, for they said: ‘There is neither truth nor judgement in them; for they have brokeng the covenant and the oath which they sware.’ 19 And Bacchides removed from Jerusalem, and encamped in Bezeth; and he senth and took manyi of the deserters that were withk him, and certain of the people, and slew them, (and cast them) into the great pit. 20 And he delivered the land to Alcimus, and left with him a force to aid him; and Bacchides went away unto the king.

7:21–50. Judas takes vengeance on the deserters; his victories over Nicanor.

21 And Alcimus strove for the high-priesthoodl. 22 And there were gathered unto him all they that troubled their people, and they got the mastery of the land of Judah, and didm great hurt in Israel. 23 And Judas saw all the mischief that Alcimus and his company had wrought among the children of Israel, worse than (that of) the Gentiles; 24 and he went out into all the coasts of Judaean round about, and took vengeance on othe menp that had deserted from himo, and they were restrained from going forth into theq country. 25 But when Alcimus sawr that Judas and his company waxed strong, and knew that he was nots able to withstand themt, he returned to the kingu, and brought evil accusations against themv.

26 And the kingw sent Nicanor, xone of his honourable princes, a man that hated Israel and was their enemyx, and commanded him to destroy the people. 27 And Nicanor came to Jerusalem with a great host; and he sent unto Judas and his brethren deceitfullyy with words of peace, saying: 28 ‘Let there be no battle between me and youz; Ia will come with a few men, that I may see byour facesb in peace.’ 29 And hec dcame to Judasd, and they saluted one another peaceablye. But the enemies were ready to take away Judas by violence. 30 And the thing became known to Judas, (namely) that he came unto him with deceit; and he was sore afraid of him, and would see his face no more. 31 And (when) Nicanor knew that his purpose was discovered, he went out to meet Judas fin battlef beside Capharsalama; 32 and there fell of those (that were) with Nicanor about five hundredg men, and they fled into the city of Davidh.

33 And iafter these thingsi Nicanor went up to mount Sion; and there came some of the priests out of the sanctuary, and some of the elders of the people, to salute him peaceably, and to show him the whole burnt sacrifice that was being offered for the king; 34 but he mocked them, and laughed at them, and polluted them, and spake haughtily, and sware in a rage, saying: 35 ‘Unless Judas and his army be now delivered into my hands, it shall be that, if I come again in safety, I will burn up this house.’ 36 And he went forth with greatk wrath. And the priests entered in, and stood before the altar and the templel, and wept and said: 37 ‘Thoum didst choose this house to be called by thy name, to be a house of prayer nand supplicationn for thy people; 38 take vengeance on this man and his army, and let them ofall by the swordo; remember their blasphemies, and suffer them not to live any longer.’

39 And Nicanor went forth from Jerusalem, and encamped in Bethhoron, and there met him the host of Syria. 40 And Judas encamped in Adasa with three thousand men; and Judas prayed, and said: 41 ‘When they that came from the king blasphemed, thine angel went out and smote among them one hundred and eighty-five thousand. 42 Even so crushp this army before us to-day; and let all the rest know that he hath spoken wickedly against thy sanctuary; and judge himq according to his wickedness.’ 43 And the armies joined battle ron the thirteenth (day) of the month Adarr; and Nicanor’s army was discomfited, sand he himself was the first to fall in the battles. 44 Now when his army saw that Nicanor was fallen, they cast away their arms, and fled. 45 And theyt pursued after them a day’s journey from Adasa until thou comest to Gazara, and they sounded an alarm after them uwith the solemn trumpetsu. 46 And they came forth out of all the villages of Judaea round aboutv, wand closed them inw; and these turned back on those (behind), and they all fell by the sword, and there was not one of them left. 47 And they took the spoils and the booty, and they smote off Nicanor’s head, xand his right hand, which he stretched out so haughtily, and brought themx, and hanged them upy near Jerusalem. 48 And the people was exceeding glad, zand they kept that day as a day of great gladnessz. 49 And they ordained that this day should be observed year by year (on) the thirteenth (day) of Adar. 50 And aathe land ofaa Judah had rest bba little whilebb.

8:1–32. Judas concludes a treaty with the Romans, after having heard of their power and rule.

Read more