Intertestament History


The First Book of the Maccabees is recognized as Deuterocanonical Scripture by the Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, and Russian Orthodox Churches.

Chapter 1

1 Maccabees 1:1-64 (WEB Catholic)

It came to pass, after that Alexander the Macedonian, the son of Philip, who came out of the land of Chittim, and struck Darius king of the Persians and Medes, it came to pass, after he had struck him, that he reigned in his stead, in former time, over Greece. 2 And he fought many battles, and won many strongholds, and killed the kings of the earth, 3 and went through to the ends of the earth, and took spoils of a multitude of nations. And the earth was quiet before him, and he was exalted, and his heart was lifted up, 4 and he gathered together an exceedingly strong army, and ruled over countries and nations and principalities, and they became tributary to him. 5 And after these things he fell sick, and perceived that he should die. 6 And he called his servants, which were honorable, which had been brought up with him from his youth, and he divided to them his kingdom, while he was yet alive. 7 And Alexander reigned twelve years, and he died. 8 And his servants bare rule, each one in his place. 9 And they did all put diadems upon themselves after that he was dead, and so did their sons after them many years: and they multiplied evils in the earth.

10 And there came forth out of them a sinful root, Antiochus Epiphanes, son of Antiochus the king, who had been a hostage at Rome, and he reigned in the hundred and thirty and seventh year of the kingdom of the Greeks.

11 In those days came there forth out of Israel transgressors of the law, and persuaded many, saying, let’s go and make a covenant with the Gentiles that are round about us; for since we were parted from them many evils have befallen us. 12 And the saying was good in their eyes. 13 And certain of the people were forward herein and went to the king, and he gave them licence to do after the ordinances of the Gentiles. 14 And they built a place of exercise in Jerusalem according to the laws of the Gentiles; 15 and they made themselves uncircumcised, and forsook the holy covenant, and joined themselves to the Gentiles, and sold themselves to do evil.

16 And the kingdom was well ordered in the sight of Antiochus, and he thought to reign over Egypt, that he might reign over the two kingdoms. 17 And he entered into Egypt with a great multitude, with chariots, and with elephants, and with horsemen, and with a great navy; 18 and he made war against Ptolemy king of Egypt; and Ptolemy was put to shame before him, and fled; and many fell wounded to death. 19 And they got possession of the strong cities in the land of Egypt; and he took the spoils of Egypt.

20 And Antiochus, after he had struck Egypt, returned in the hundred and forty and third year, and went up against Israel and Jerusalem with a great multitude, 21 and entered presumptuously into the sanctuary, and took the golden altar, and the candlestick of the light, and all that pertained thereto, 22 and the table of the show bread, and the cups to pour withal, and the bowls, and the golden censers, and the veil, and the crowns, and the adorning of gold which was on the face of the temple, and he peeled it all off. 23 And he took the silver and the gold and the precious vessels; and he took the hidden treasures which he found. 24 And when he had taken all, he went away into his own land, and he made a great slaughter, and spoke very presumptuously. 25 And there came great mourning upon Israel, in every place where they were; 26 and the rulers and elders groaned, the virgins and young men were made feeble, and the beauty of the women was changed. 27 Every bridegroom took up lamentation, she that sat in the marriage chamber was in heaviness. 28 And the land was moved for the inhabitants thereof, and all the house of Jacob was clothed with shame.

29 And after two full years the king sent a chief collector of tribute to the cities of Judah, and he came to Jerusalem with a great multitude. 30 And he spoke words of peace to them in subtlety, and they gave him credence: and he fell upon the city suddenly, and struck it very sore, and destroyed much people out of Israel. 31 And he took the spoils of the city, and set it on fire, and pulled down the houses thereof and the walls thereof on every side. 32 And they led captive the women and the children, and the cattle they took in possession. 33 And they built the city of David with a great and strong wall, with strong towers, and it became to them a citadel. 34 And they put there a sinful nation, transgressors of the law, and they strengthened themselves therein. 35 And they stored up arms and food, and gathering together the spoils of Jerusalem, they laid them up there, and they became a sore snare: 36 and it became 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 defiled the sanctuary. 38 And the inhabitants of Jerusalem fled because of them; and she became a habitation of strangers, and she became strange to those who were born in her, and her children forsook her. 39 Her sanctuary was laid waste like a wilderness, her feasts were turned into mourning, her Sabbaths into reproach, her honor into contempt. 40 According to her glory, so was her dishonor multiplied, and her high estate was turned into mourning.

41 And king Antiochus wrote to his whole kingdom, that all should be one people, 42 and that each should forsake his own laws. And all the nations agreed according to the word of the king; 43 and many of Israel consented to his worship, and sacrificed to the idols, and profaned the Sabbath. 44 And the king sent letters by the hand of messengers to Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, that they should follow laws strange to the land, 45 and should forbid whole burnt offerings and sacrifice and drink offerings in the sanctuary; and should profane the Sabbaths and feasts, 46 and pollute the sanctuary and those who were holy; 47 that they should build altars, and temples, and shrines for idols, and should sacrifice swine’s flesh and unclean beasts: 48 and that they should leave their sons uncircumcised, that they should make their souls abominable with all manner of uncleanness and profanation; 49 so that they might forget the law, and change all the ordinances. 50 And whoever shall not do according to the word of the king, he shall die. 51 According to all these words wrote he to his whole kingdom; and he appointed overseers over all the people, and he commanded the cities of Judah to sacrifice, city by city. 52 And from the people were gathered together to them many, every one that had forsaken the law; and they did evil things in the land; 53 and they made israel to hide themselves in every place of refuge which they had.

54 And on the fifteenth day of Chislev, in the hundred and forty and fifth year, they built an abomination of desolation upon the altar, and in the cities of Judah on every side they built idol altars. 55 And at the doors of the houses and in the streets they burned incense. 56 And they tore in pieces the books of the law which they found, and set them on fire. 57 And wherever was found with any a book of the covenant, and if any consented to the law, the king’s sentence delivered him to death. 58 Thus did they in their might to Israel, to those that were found month by month in the cities. 59 And on the five and twentieth day of the month they sacrificed upon the idol altar of God. 60 And the women that had circumcised their children they put to death according to the commandment. 61 And they hanged their babes about their necks, and destroyed their houses, and those who had circumcised them. 62 And many in Israel were fully resolved and confirmed in themselves not to eat unclean things. 63 And they chose to die, that they might not be defiled with the meats, and that they might not profane the holy covenant: and they died. 64 And there came exceedingly great wrath upon Israel.

Chapter 2

1 Maccabees 2:1-70 (WEB Catholic)

1 In those days rose up Mattathias the son of John, the son of Simeon, a priest of the sons of Joarib, from Jerusalem; and he lived at Modin. 2 And he had five sons, John, who was surnamed Gaddis; 3 Simon, who was called Thassi; 4 Judas, who was called Maccabaeus; 5 Eleazar, who was called Avaran; Jonathan, who was called Apphus. 6 And he saw the blasphemies that were committed in Judah and in Jerusalem, 7 and he said, Woe is me! wherefore was I born to see the destruction of my people, and the destruction of the holy city, and to dwell there, when it was given into the hand of the enemy, the sanctuary into the hand of aliens? 8 Her temple is become as a man that was glorious: 9 her vessels of glory are carried away into captivity, her infants are slain in her streets, her young men with the sword of the enemy. 10 What nation has not inherited her palaces, and gotten possession of her spoils? 11 her adorning is all taken away; instead of a free woman she is become a bond woman: 12 and, behold, our holy things and our beauty and our glory are laid waste, and the Gentiles have profaned them. 13 Wherefore should we live any longer?

14 And Mattathias and his sons tore their clothes, and put on sackcloth, and mourned exceedingly.

15 And the king’s officers, that were enforcing the apostasy, came into the city Modin to sacrifice. 16 And many of Israel came to them, and Mattathias and his sons were gathered together. 17 And the king’s officers answered and spoke to Mattathias, saying, You are a ruler and an honorable and great man in this city, and strengthened with sons and kindred: 18 now therefore come you first and do the commandment of the king, as all the nations have done, and the men of Judah, and those who remain in Jerusalem: and you and your house shall be in the number of the king’s Friends, and you and your sons shall be honored with silver and gold and many gifts. 19 And Mattathias answered and said with a loud voice, If all the nations that are in the house of the king’s dominion listen to him, to fall away each one from the worship of his fathers, and have made choice to follow his commandments, 20 yet I and my sons and my kindred will walk in the covenant of our fathers. 21 Heaven forbid that we should forsake the law and the ordinances. 22 We will not listen to the king’s words, to go aside from our worship, on the right hand, or on the left. 23 And when he had left speaking these words, there came a Jew in the sight of all to sacrifice on the altar which was at Modin, according to the king’s commandment. 24 And Mattathias saw it, and his zeal was kindled, and his reins trembled, and he showed forth his wrath according to judgement, and ran, and killed him upon the altar. 25 And the king’s officer, who compelled men to sacrifice, he killed at that time, and pulled down the altar. 26 And he was zealous for the law, even as Phinehas did to Zimri the son of Salu. 27 And Mattathias cried out in the city with a loud voice, saying, Whosoever is zealous for the law, and maintains the covenant, let him come forth after me. 28 And he and his sons fled into the mountains, and forsook all that they had in the city.

29 Then many that sought after justice and judgement went down into the wilderness, to dwell there, 30 they, and their sons, and their wives, and their cattle; because evils were multiplied upon them. 31 And it was told the king’s officers, and the forces that were in Jerusalem, the city of David, that certain men, who had broken the king’s commandment, were gone down into the secret places in the wilderness; 32 and many pursued after them, and having overtaken them, they encamped against them, and set the battle in array against them on the Sabbath day. 33 And they said to them, Thus far. Come forth, and do according to the word of the king, and you° shall live. 34 And they said, We will not come forth, neither will we do the word of the king, to profane the Sabbath day. 35 And they hurried to give them battle. 36 And they answered them not, neither cast they a stone at them, nor stopped up the secret places, 37 saying, Let us die all in our innocency: heaven and earth witness over us, that you° put us to death without trial. 38 And they rose up against them in battle on the Sabbath, and they died, they and their wives and their children, and their cattle, to the number of a thousand souls.

39 And Mattathias and his friends knew it, and they mourned over them exceedingly. 40 And one said to another, If we all do as our kindred have done, and fight not against the Gentiles for our lives and our ordinances, they will now quickly destroy us from off the earth. 41 And they took counsel on that day, saying, whoever shall come against us to battle on the Sabbath day, let’s fight against him, and we shall in no wise all die, as our kindred died in the secret places. 42 Then were gathered together to them a company of Hasidaeans, mighty men of Israel, every one that offered himself willingly for the law. 43 And all those who fled from the evils were added to them, and became a stay to them. 44 And they mustered an army, and struck sinners in their anger, and lawless men in their wrath: and the rest fled to the Gentiles for safety. 45 And Mattathias and his friends went round about, and pulled down the altars; 46 and they circumcised by force the children that were uncircumcised, as many as they found in the coasts of Israel. 47 And they pursued after the sons of pride, and the work prospered in their hand. 48 And they rescued the law out of the hand of the Gentiles, and out of the hand of the kings, neither suffered they the sinner to triumph.

49 And the days of Mattathias drew near that he should die, and he said to his sons, Now have pride and rebuke gotten strength, and a season of overthrow, and wrath of indignation. 50 And now, my children, be you° zealous for the law, and give your lives for the covenant of your fathers. 51 And call to remembrance the deeds of our fathers which they did in their generations; and receive great glory and an everlasting name. 52 Was not Abraham found faithful in temptation, and it was reckoned to him for righteousness? 53 Joseph in the time of his distress kept the commandment, and became lord of Egypt. 54 Phinehas our father, for that he was zealous exceedingly, obtained the covenant of an everlasting priesthood. 55 Joshua for fulfilling the word became a judge in Israel. 56 Caleb for bearing witness in the congregation obtained a heritage in the land. 57 David for being merciful inherited the throne of a kingdom forever and ever. 58 Elijah, for that he was exceedingly zealous for the law, was taken up into heaven. 59 Hananiah, Azariah, Mishael, believed, and were saved out of the flame. 60 Daniel for his innocency was delivered from the mouth of lions. 61 And thus consider you° from generation to generation, that none that put their trust in him shall lack for strength. 62 And be not afraid of the words of a sinful man; for his glory shall be dung and worms. 63 To-day he shall be lifted up, and tomorrow he shall in no wise be found, because he is returned to his dust, and his thought is perished. 64 And you°, my children, be strong, and show yourselves men in behalf of the law; for therein shall you° obtain glory. 65 And, behold, Simon your brother, I know that he is a man of counsel; give ear to him always: he shall be a father to you. 66 And Judas Maccabaeus, he has been strong and mighty from his youth: he shall be your captain, and shall fight the battle of the people. 67 And take you° to you all the doers of the law, and avenge the wrong of your people. 68 Render a recompense to the Gentiles, and take heed to the commandments of the law. 69 And he blessed them, and was gathered to his fathers. 70 And he died in the hundred and forty and sixth year, and his sons buried him in the sepulchres of his fathers at Modin, and all Israel made great lamentation for him.

Chapter 3

1 Maccabees 3:1-60 (WEB Catholic)

1 And his son Judas, who was called Maccabaeus, rose up in his stead. 2 And all his kindred helped him, and so did all those who clave to his father, and they fought with gladness the battle of Israel. 3 And he got his people great glory, and put on a breastplate as a giant, and girded his warlike harness about him, and set battles in array, protecting the army with his sword. 4 And he was like a lion in his deeds, and as a lion’s whelp roaring for prey. 5 And he pursued the lawless, seeking them out, and he burned up those that troubled his people. 6 And the lawless shrunk for fear of him, and all the workers of lawlessness were sore troubled, and salvation prospered in his hand. 7 And he angered many kings, and made Jacob glad with his acts, and his memorial is blessed forever. 8 And he went about among the cities of Judah, and destroyed the ungodly out of the land, and turned away wrath from Israel: 9 and he was renowned to the utmost part of the earth, and he gathered together such as were ready to perish.

10 And Apollonius gathered the Gentiles together, and a great army from Samaria, to fight against Israel. 11 And Judas perceived it, and he went forth to meet him, and struck him, and killed him: and many fell wounded to death, and the rest fled. 12 And they took their spoils, and Judas took the sword of Apollonius, and therewith he fought all his days.

13 And Seron, the commander of the army of Syria, heard say that Judas had gathered a gathering and a congregation of faithful men with him, and of such as went out to war; 14 And he said, I will make myself a name and get me glory in the kingdom; and I will fight against Judas and those who are with him, that set at nothing the word of the king. 15 And there went up with him also a mighty army of the ungodly to help him, to take vengeance on the children of Israel.

16 And he came near to the going up of Bethhoron, and Judas went forth to meet him with a small company. 17 But when they saw the army coming to meet them, they said to Judas, What? shall we be able, being a small company, to fight against so great and strong 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 with heaven it is all one, to save by many or by few: 19 for victory in battle stands not in the multitude of an army; but strength is from heaven. 20 They come to us in fullness of insolence and lawlessness, to destroy us and our wives and our children, for to plunder us: 21 but we fight for our lives and our laws. 22 And he himself will discomfit them before our face: but as for you, be you° not afraid of them.

23 Now when he had left off speaking, he leapt suddenly upon them, and Seron and his army were discomfited before him. 24 And they pursued them in the going down of Bethhoron to the plain, and there fell of them about eight hundred men; but the residue fled into the land of the Philistines. 25 And the fear of Judas and his kindred, and the dread of them, began to fall upon the nations round about them: 26 and his name came near even to the king, and every nation told of the battles of Judas.

27 But when king Antiochus heard these words, he was full of indignation: and he sent and gathered together all the forces of his realm, an exceedingly strong army. 28 And he opened his treasury, and gave his forces pay for a year, and commanded them to be ready for every need. 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 plague which he had brought upon the land, to the end that he might take away the laws which had been from the first days; 30 and he feared that he should not have enough as at other times for the charges and the gifts which he gave aforetime with a liberal hand, and he abounded above the kings that were before him. 31 And he was exceedingly perplexed in his mind, and he determined to go into Persia, and to take the tributes of the countries, and to gather much money. 32 And he left Lysias, an honorable man, and one of the seed royal, to be over the affairs of the king from the river Euphrates to the borders of Egypt, 33 and to bring up his son Antiochus, until he came again. 34 And he delivered to him the half of his forces, and the elephants, and gave him charge of all the things that he would have done, and concerning those who lived in Judea and in Jerusalem, 35 that he should send an army against them, to root out and destroy the strength of Israel, and the remnant of Jerusalem, and to take away their memorial from the place; 36 And that he should make strangers to dwell on all their coasts, and should divide their land to them by lot. 37 And the king took the half that remained of the forces, and removed from Antioch, from his royal city, the hundred and forty and seventh year; and he passed over the river Euphrates, and went through the upper countries.

38 And Lysias chose Ptolemy the son of Dorymenes, and Nicanor, and Gorgias, mighty men of the king’s Friends; 39 and with them he sent forty thousand footmen, and seven thousand horse, to go into the land of Judah, and to destroy it, according to the word of the king. 40 And they removed with all their army, and came and pitched near to Emmaus in the plain country. 41 And the merchants of the country heard the fame of them, and took silver and gold exceedingly much, with fetters, and came into the camp to take the children of Israel for servants: and there were added to them the forces of Syria and of the land of the Philistines.

42 And Judas and his kindred saw that evils were multiplied, and that the forces were encamping in their borders; and they took knowledge of the king’s words which he had commanded, to destroy the people and make an end of them; 43 and they said each man to his neighbor, Let’s raise up the ruin of our people, and let’s fight for our people and the holy place. 44 And the congregation was gathered together, that they might be ready for battle, and that they might pray, and ask for mercy and compassion. 45 And Jerusalem was without inhabitant as a wilderness, there was none of her offspring that went in or went out; and the sanctuary was trodden down, and the sons of strangers were in the citadel, the Gentiles lodged therein; and joy was taken away from Jacob, and the pipe and the harp ceased. 46 And they gathered themselves together, and came to Mizpeh, near Jerusalem; for in Mizpeh was there a place of prayer aforetime for Israel. 47 And they fasted that day, and put on sackcloth, and put ashes upon their heads, and tore their clothes, 48 and laid open the book of the law, concerning which the Gentiles were wont to inquire, seeking the likenesses of their idols. 49 And they brought the priests’ garments, and the first fruits, and the tithes: and they stirred up the Nazarites, who had accomplished their days. 50 And they cried aloud toward heaven, saying, What shall we do with these men, and where shall we carry them away? 51 And your holy place is trodden down and profaned, and your priests are in heaviness and brought low. 52 And, behold, the Gentiles are assembled together against us to destroy us: you know what things they imagine against us. 53 How shall we be able to stand before them, except you be our help? 54 And they sounded with the trumpets, and cried with a loud voice.

55 And after this Judas appointed leaders of the people, captains of thousands, and captains of hundreds, and captains of fifties, and captains of tens. 56 And he said to those who 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 law. 57 And the army removed, and encamped upon the south side of Emmaus. 58 And Judas said, Gird yourselves, and be valiant men, and be in readiness against the morning, that you° may fight with these Gentiles, that are assembled together against us to destroy us, and our holy place: 59 for it is better for us to die in battle, than to look upon the evils of our nation and the holy place. 60 Nevertheless, as may be the will in heaven, so shall he do.

Chapter 4

1 Maccabees 4:1-61 (WEB Catholic)

1 And Gorgias took five thousand footmen, and a thousand chosen horse, and the army removed by night, 2 that it might fall upon the army of the Jews and strike them suddenly: and the men of the citadel were his guides. 3 And Judas heard thereof, and removed, he and the valiant men, that he might strike the king’s army which was at Emmaus, 4 while as yet the forces were dispersed from the camp. 5 And Gorgias came into the camp of Judas by night, and found no man; and he sought them in the mountains; for he said, These men flee from us. 6 And as soon as it was day, Judas appeared in the plain with three thousand men: however they had not armor nor swords to their minds. 7 And they saw the camp of the Gentiles strong and fortified, and horsemen compassing it round about; and these were expert in war. 8 And Judas said to the men that were with him, Fear you° not their multitude, neither be you° afraid of their onset. 9 Remember how our fathers were saved in the Red sea, when Pharaoh pursued them with an army. 10 And now let’s cry to heaven, if he will have us, and will remember the covenant of our fathers, and destroy this army before our face today: 11 and all the Gentiles shall know that there is one who redeems and saves Israel. 12 And the strangers lifted up their eyes, and saw them coming near them: 13 and they went out of the camp to battle. And those who were with Judas sounded their trumpets, 14 and joined battle, and the Gentiles were discomfited, and fled into the plain. 15 But all the hindmost fell by the sword: and they pursued them to Gazara, and to the plains of Idumaea and Azotus and Jamnia, and there fell of them about three thousand men. 16 And Judas and his army returned from pursuing after them, 17 and he said to the people, Be not greedy of the spoils, inasmuch as there is a battle before us; 18 and Gorgias and his army are near to us in the mountain. But stand you° now against our enemies, and fight against them, and afterwards take the spoils with boldness. 19 While Judas was yet making an end of these words, there appeared a part of them looking out from the mountain: 20 and they saw that their army had been put to flight, and that the Jews were burning the camp; for the smoke that was seen declared what was done. 21 But when they perceived these things, they were sore afraid; and perceiving also the army of Judas in the plain ready for battle, 22 they fled all of them into the land of the Philistines. 23 And Judas returned to plunder the camp, and they got much gold, and silver, and blue, and sea purple, and great riches. 24 And they returned home, and sang a song of thanksgiving, and gave praise to heaven; because his mercy is good, because his mercy endures forever. 25 And Israel had a great deliverance that day.

26 But the strangers, as many as had escaped, came and told Lysias all the things that had happened: 27 but when he heard thereof, he was confounded and discouraged, because neither had such things as he would been done to Israel, nor had such things as the king commanded him come to pass.

28 And in the next year he gathered together threescore thousand chosen footmen, and five thousand horse, that he might subdue them. 29 And they came into Idumaea, and encamped at Bethsura; and Judas met them with ten thousand men. 30 And he saw that the army was strong, and he prayed and said, Blessed are you, O Savior of Israel, who did quell the onset of the mighty man by the hand of your servant David, and did deliver the army of the Philistines into the hands of Jonathan the son of Saul, and of his armor bearer: 31 shut up this army in the hand of your people Israel, and let them be ashamed for their army and their horsemen: 32 give them faintness of heart, and cause the boldness of their strength to melt away, and let them quake at their destruction: 33 cast them down with the sword of those who love you, and let all that know your name praise you with thanksgiving.

34 And they joined battle; and there fell of the army of Lysias about five thousand men, and they fell down near them. 35 But when Lysias saw that his array was put to flight, and the boldness that had come upon those who were with Judas, and how they were ready either to live or to die nobly, he removed to Antioch, and gathered together hired soldiers, that he might come again into Judea with even a greater company. 36 But Judas and his kindred said, Behold, our enemies are discomfited: let’s go up to cleanse the holy place, and to dedicate it afresh. 37 And all the army was gathered together, and they went up to mount Sion. 38 And they saw the sanctuary laid desolate, and the altar profaned, and the gates burned up, and shrubs growing in the courts as in a forest or as on one of the mountains, and the priests’ chambers pulled down; 39 and they tore their clothes, and made great lamentation, and put ashes upon their heads, 40 and fell on their faces to the ground, and blew with the solemn trumpets, and cried toward heaven. 41 Then Judas appointed certain men to fight against those that were in the citadel, until he should have cleansed the holy place.

42 And he chose blameless priests, such as had pleasure in the law: 43 and they cleansed the holy place, and bare out the stones of defilement into an unclean place. 44 And they took counsel concerning the altar of burnt offerings, which had been profaned, what they should do with it: 45 and there came into their mind a good counsel, that they should pull it down, lest it should be a reproach to them, because the Gentiles had defiled it: and they pulled down the altar, 46 and laid up the stones in the mountain of the house in a convenient place, until there should come a prophet to give an answer concerning them. 47 And they took whole stones according to the law, and built a new altar after the fashion of the former; 48 and they built the holy place, and the inner parts of the house; and they hallowed the courts. 49 And they made the holy vessels new, and they brought the candlestick, and the altar of burnt offerings and of incense, and the table, into the temple. 50 And they burned incense upon the altar, and they lighted the lamps that were upon the candlestick, and they gave light in the temple. 51 And they set loaves upon the table, and spread out the veils, and finished all the works which they made.

52 And they rose up early in the morning, on the five and twentieth day of the ninth month, which is the month Chislev, in the hundred and forty and eighth year, 53 and offered sacrifice according to the law upon the new altar of burned offerings which they had made. 54 At what time and on what day the Gentiles had profaned it, even on that day was it dedicated afresh, with songs and harps and lutes, and with cymbals. 55 And all the people fell upon their faces, and worshiped, and gave praise to heaven, which had given them good success. 56 And they kept the dedication of the altar eight days, and offered burned offerings with gladness, and sacrificed a sacrifice of deliverance and praise. 57 And they decked the forefront of the temple with crowns of gold and small shields, and dedicated afresh the gates and the priests’ chambers, and made doors for them. 58 And there was exceedingly great gladness among the people, and the reproach of the Gentiles was turned away. 59 And Judas and his kindred and the whole congregation of Israel ordained, that the days of the dedication of the altar should be kept in their seasons from year to year by the space of eight days, from the five and twentieth day of the month Chislev, with gladness and joy. 60 And at that season they built up the mount Sion with high walls and strong towers round about, lest perhaps the Gentiles should come and tread them down, as they had done aforetime. 61 And he set there a force to keep it, and they fortified Bethsura to keep it; that the people might have a stronghold near Idumaea.

Chapter 5

1 Maccabees 5:1-68 (WEB Catholic)

1 And it came to pass, when the Gentiles round about heard that the altar was built, and the sanctuary dedicated as aforetime, they were exceedingly angry. 2 And they took counsel to destroy the race of Jacob that was in the midst of them, and they began to kill and destroy among the people. 3 And Judas fought against the children of Esau in Idumaea at Akrabattine, because they besieged Israel: and he struck them with a great slaughter, and brought down their pride, and took their spoils. 4 And he remembered the wickedness of the children of Baean, who were to the people a snare and a stumbling block, lying in wait for them in the ways. 5 And they were shut up by him in the towers; and he encamped against them, and destroyed them utterly, and burned with fire the towers of the place, with all that were therein. 6 And he passed over to the children of Ammon, and found a mighty band, and much people, with Timotheus for their leader. 7 And he fought many battles with them, and they were discomfited before his face; and he struck them, 8 and got possession of Jazer, and the villages thereof, and returned again into Judea.

9 And the Gentiles that were in Gilead gathered themselves together against the Israelites that were on their borders, to destroy them. And they fled to the stronghold of Dathema, 10 and sent letters to Judas and his kindred, saying, The Gentiles that are round about us are gathered together against us to destroy us: 11 and they are preparing to come and get possession of the stronghold whereunto we are fled for refuge, and Timotheus is the leader of their army. 12 Now therefore come and deliver us from their hand, for many of us are fallen. 13 And all our kindred that were in the land of Tubias have been put to death; and they have carried into captivity their wives and their children and their stuff; and they destroyed there about a thousand men. 14 While the letters were yet reading, behold, there came other messengers from Galilee with their clothes tore, bringing a report after this wise, 15 saying, That there were gathered together against them those of Ptolemais, and of Tyre, and of Sidon, and all Galilee of the Gentiles to consume them. 16 Now when Judas and the people heard these words, there assembled together a great congregation, to consult what they should do for their kindred, that were in suffering, and were assaulted of them. 17 And Judas said to Simon his brother, Choose you out men, and go and deliver your kindred that are in Galilee, but I and Jonathan my brother will go into the land of Gilead. 18 And he left Joseph the son of Zacharias, and Azarias, as leaders of the people, with the remnant of the army, in Judea, for to keep it. 19 And he gave commandment to them, saying, Take you° the charge of this people, and fight no battle with the Gentiles until that we come again. 20 And to Simon were divided three thousand men to go into Galilee, but to Judas eight thousand men to go into the land of Gilead.

21 And Simon went into Galilee, and fought many battles with the Gentiles, and the Gentiles were discomfited before him. 22 And he pursued them to the gate of Ptolemais; and there fell of the Gentiles about three thousand men, and he took their spoils. 23 And they took to them those that were in Galilee, and in Arbatta, with their wives and their children, and all that they had, and brought them into Judea with great gladness. 24 And Judas Maccabaeus and his brother Jonathan passed over Jordan, and went three days’ journey in the wilderness; 25 and they met with the Nabathaeans, and these met them in a peaceful manner, and told them all things that had befallen their kindred in the land of Gilead: 26 and how that many of them were shut up in Bosora, and Bosor, and Alema, Casphor, Maked, and Carnaim; all these cities are strong and great: 27 and how that they were shut up in the rest of the cities of the land of Gilead, and that tomorrow they have appointed to encamp against the strongholds, and to take them, and to destroy all these men in one day. 28 And Judas and his army turned suddenly by the way of the wilderness to Bosora; and he took the city, and killed all the males with the edge of the sword, and took all their spoils, and burned the city with fire. 29 And he removed from thence by night, and went till he came to the stronghold. 30 And the morning came, and they lifted up their eyes, and, behold, much people which could not be counted, bearing ladders and engines of war, to take the stronghold; and they were fighting against them. 31 And Judas saw that the battle was begun, and that the cry of the city went up to heaven, with trumpets and a great sound, 32 and he said to the men of his army, Fight this day for your kindred. 33 And he went forth behind them in three companies, and they sounded with their trumpets, and cried out in prayer. 34 And the army of Timotheus perceived that it was Maccabaeus, and they fled from before him: and he struck them with a great slaughter; and there fell of them on that day about eight thousand men. 35 And he turned away to Mizpeh and fought against it, and took it, and killed all the males thereof, and took the spoils thereof, and burned it with fire. 36 From thence he removed, and took Casphor, Maked, Bosor, and the other cities of the land of Gilead.

37 Now after these things Timotheus gathered another army, and encamped near Raphon beyond the brook. 38 And Judas sent men to espy the army; and they brought him word, saying, All the Gentiles that be round about us are gathered together to them, an exceedingly great army. 39 And they have hired Arabians to help them, and are encamping beyond the brook, ready to come against you to battle. And Judas went to meet them. 40 And Timotheus said to the captains of his army, when Judas and his army drew near to the brook of water, If he pass over first to us, we shall not be able to withstand him; for he will mightily prevail against us: 41 but if he be afraid, and encamp beyond the river, we will cross over to him, and prevail against him. 42 Now when Judas came near to the brook of water, he caused the scribes of the people to remain by the brook, and gave commandment to them, saying, Suffer no man to encamp, but let all come to the battle. 43 And he crossed over the first against them, and all the people after him: and all the Gentiles were discomfited before his face, and cast away their arms, and fled to the temple at Carnaim. 44 And they took the city, and burned the temple with fire, together with all that were therein. And Carnaim was subdued, neither could they stand any longer before the face of Judas.

45 And Judas gathered together all Israel, those who were in the land of Gilead, from the least to the greatest, and their wives, and their children, and their stuff, an exceedingly great army, that they might come into the land of Judah. 46 And they came as far as Ephron, and this same city was great, and it was in the way as they should go, exceedingly strong: they could not turn away from it on the right hand or on the left, but must needs pass through the midst of it. 47 And they of the city shut them out, and stopped up the gates with stones. 48 And Judas sent to them with words of peace, saying, We will pass through your land to go into our own land, and none shall do you any hurt, we will only pass by on our feet. And they would not open to him. 49 And Judas commanded proclamation to be made in the army, that each man should encamp in the place where he was. 50 And the men of the army encamped, and fought against the city all that day and all that night, and the city was delivered into his hands; 51 and he destroyed all the males with the edge of the sword, and rased the city, and took the spoils thereof, and passed through the city over those who were slain. 52 And they went over Jordan into the great plain near Bethshan. 53 And Judas gathered together those that lagged behind, and encouraged the people all the way through, until he came into the land of Judah. 54 And they went up to mount Sion with gladness and joy, and offered whole burnt offerings, because not so much as one of them was slain until they returned in peace.

55 And in the days when Judas and Jonathan were in the land of Gilead, and Simon his brother in Galilee before Ptolemais, 56 Joseph the son of Zacharias, and Azarias, rulers of the army, heard of their exploits and of the war, what things they had done; 57 and they said, Let’s also get us a name, and let’s go fight against the Gentiles that are around us. 58 And they gave charge to the men of the army that was with them, and went toward Jamnia. 59 And Gorgias and his men came out of the city to meet them in battle. 60 And Joseph and Azarias were put to flight, and were pursued to the borders of Judea; and there fell on that day of the people of Israel about two thousand men. 61 And there was a great overthrow among the people, because they didn’t listen to Judas and his kindred, thinking to do some exploit. 62 But they were not of the seed of those men, by whose hand deliverance was given to Israel.

63 And the man Judas and his kindred were glorified exceedingly in the sight of all Israel, and of all the Gentiles, wherever their name was heard of; 64 and men gathered together to them, acclaiming them.

65 And Judas and his kindred went forth, and fought against the children of Esau in the land toward the south; and he struck Hebron and the villages thereof, and pulled down the strongholds thereof, and burned the towers thereof round about. 66 And he removed to go into the land of the Philistines, and he went through Samaria. 67 In that day certain priests, desiring to do exploits there, were slain in battle, when as he went out to battle unadvisedly. 68 And Judas turned toward Azotus, to the land of the Philistines, and pulled down their altars, and burned the carved images of their gods with fire, and took the plunder of their cities, and returned into the land of Judah.

Chapter 6

1 Maccabees 6:1-63 (WEB Catholic)

1 And king Antiochus was journeying through the upper countries; and he heard say, that in Elymais in Persia there was a city renowned for riches, for silver and gold; 2 and that the temple which was in it was rich exceedingly, and that therein were golden shields, and breastplates, and arms, which Alexander, son of Philip, the Macedonian king, who reigned first among the Greeks, left behind there. 3 And he came and sought to take the city, and to pillage it; and he was not able, because the thing was known to them of the city, 4 and they rose up against him to battle: and he fled, and removed thence with great heaviness, to return to Babylon.

5 And there came one bringing him tidings into Persia, that the armies, which went against the land of Judah, had been put to flight; 6 and that Lysias went first with a strong army, and was put to shame before them; and that they had waxed strong by reason of arms and power, and with store of spoils, which they took from the armies that they had cut off; 7 and that they had pulled down the abomination which he had built upon the altar that was in Jerusalem; and that they had compassed about the sanctuary with high walls, as before, and Bethsura, his city. 8 And it came to pass, when the king heard these words, he was astonished and moved exceedingly: and he laid him down upon his bed, and fell sick for grief, because it had not befallen him as he looked for. 9 And he was there many days, because great grief was renewed upon him, and he made account that he should die. 10 And he called for all his Friends, and said to them, Sleep departs from my eyes, and my heart fails for care. 11 And I said in my heart, To what suffering am I come, and how great a flood is it, wherein I now am! for I was gracious and beloved in my power. 12 But now I remember the evils which I did at Jerusalem, and that I took all the vessels of silver and gold that were therein, and sent forth to destroy the inhabitants of Judah without a cause. 13 I perceive that on this account these evils are come upon me, and, behold, I perish through great grief in a strange land. 14 And he called for Philip, one of his Friends, and set him over all his kingdom, 15 and gave him his diadem, and his robe, and his signet ring, to the end he should bring Antiochus his son, and nourish him up that he might be king. 16 And king Antiochus died there in the hundred and forty and ninth year. 17 And Lysias knew that the king was dead, and he set up Antiochus his son to reign, whom he had nourished up being young, and he called his name Eupator.

18 And those who were in the citadel shut up Israel round about the sanctuary, and sought always their hurt, and the strengthening of the Gentiles. 19 And Judas thought to destroy them, and called all the people together to besiege them. 20 And they were gathered together, and besieged them in the hundred and fifties year, and he made mounds to shoot from, and engines of war. 21 And there came forth some of those who were shut up, and there were joined to them certain ungodly men of Israel. 22 And they went to the king, and said, How long will you not execute judgement, and avenge our kindred? 23 We were willing to serve your father, and to walk after his words, and to follow his commandments; 24 and for this cause the children of our people besieged the citadel, and were alienated from us; but as many of us as they could light on they killed, and plundered our inheritances. 25 And not against us only did they stretch out their hand, but also against all their borders. 26 And, behold, they are encamped this day against the citadel at Jerusalem, to take it: and the sanctuary and Bethsura have they fortified. 27 And if you° are not beforehand with them quickly, they will do greater things than these, and you shall not be able to control them.

28 And when the king heard this, he was angry, and gathered together all his Friends, even the rulers of his army, and those who were over the horse. 29 And there came to him from other kingdoms, and from isles of the sea, bands of hired soldiers. 30 And the number of his forces was a hundred thousand footmen, and twenty thousand horsemen, and two and thirty elephants trained for war. 31 And they went through Idumaea, and encamped against Bethsura, and fought against it many days, and made engines of war; and they of Bethsura came out, and burned them with fire, and fought valiantly. 32 And Judas removed from the citadel, and encamped at Bethzacharias, near the king’s camp. 33 And the king rose early in the morning, and removed his army at full speed along the road to Bethzacharias, and his forces made them ready to battle, and sounded with the trumpets. 34 And they showed the elephants the blood of grapes and mulberries, that they might prepare them for the battle. 35 And they divided the beasts among the phalanxes, and they set by each elephant a thousand men armed with coats of mail, and helmets of brass on their heads; and for each beast were appointed five hundred chosen horsemen. 36 These were ready beforehand, wherever the beast was; and wherever the beast went, they went with him; they departed not from him. 37 And towers of wood were upon them, strong and covered, one upon each beast, girded fast upon him with cunning contrivances; and upon each beast were two and thirty valiant men that fought upon them, beside his Indian 38 (and the residue of the horsemen he set on this side and that side at the two parts of the army), striking terror into the enemy, and protected by the phalanxes. 39 Now when the sun shone upon the shields of gold and brass, the mountains shone therewith, and blazed like torches of fire. 40 And a part of the king’s army was spread upon the high mountains, and some on the low ground, and they went on firmly and in order. 41 And all that heard the noise of their multitude, and the marching of the multitude, and the rattling of the arms, did quake: for the army was exceedingly great and strong. 42 And Judas and his army drew near for battle, and there fell of the king’s army six hundred men. 43 And Eleazar, who was called Avaran, saw one of the beasts armed with royal breastplates, and he was higher than all the beasts, and the king seemed to be upon him; 44 and he gave himself to deliver his people, and to get him an everlasting name; 45 and he ran upon him courageously into the midst of the phalanx, and killed on the right hand and on the left, and they parted asunder from him on this side and on that. 46 And he crept under the elephant, and thrust him from beneath, and killed him; and the elephant fell to the earth upon him, and he died there. 47 And they saw the strength of the kingdom, and the fierce onset of the army, and turned away from them.

48 But they of the king’s army went up to Jerusalem to meet them, and the king encamped toward Judea, and toward mount Sion. 49 And he made peace with them of Bethsura; and he came out of the city, because they had no food there to endure the siege, because it was a Sabbath to the land. 50 And the king took Bethsura, and appointed a garrison there to keep it. 51 And he encamped against the sanctuary many days; and set there mounds to shoot from, and engines of war, and instruments for casting fire and stones, and pieces to cast darts, and slings. 52 And they also made engines against their engines, and fought for many days. 53 But there were no food in the sanctuary, because it was the seventh year, and those who fled for safety into Judea from among the Gentiles had eaten up the residue of the store; 54 and there were but a few left in the sanctuary, because the famine prevailed against them, and they were scattered, each man to his own place.

55 And Lysias heard say, that Philip, whom Antiochus the king, whiles he was yet alive, appointed to nourish up his son Antiochus, that he might be king, 56 was returned from Persia and Media, and with him the forces that went with the king, and that he was seeking to take to him the government. 57 And he made haste, and gave consent to depart; and he said to the king and the leaders of the army and to the men, We decay daily, and our food is scant, and the place where we encamp is strong, and the affairs of the kingdom lie upon us: 58 now therefore let’s give the right hand to these men, and make peace with them and with all their nation, 59 and covenant with them, that they shall walk after their own laws, as aforetime: for because of their laws which we abolished they were angered, and did all these things. 60 And the saying pleased the king and the princes, and he sent to them to make peace; and they accepted thereof. 61 And the king and the princes sware to them: thereupon they came forth from the stronghold. 62 And the king entered into mount Sion; and he saw the strength of the place, and set at nothing the oath which he had sworn, and gave commandment to pull down the wall round about. 63 And he removed in haste, and returned to Antioch, and found Philip master of the city; and he fought against him, and took the city by force.

Chapter 7

1 Maccabees 7:1-50 (WEB Catholic)

1 In the hundred and one and fifties year Demetrius the son of Seleucus came forth from Rome, and went up with a few men to a city by the sea, and reigned there. 2 And it came to pass, when he would go into the house of the kingdom of his fathers, that the army laid hands on Antiochus and Lysias, to bring them to him. 3 And the thing was known to him, and he said, show me not their faces. 4 And the army killed them. And Demetrius sat upon the throne of his kingdom. 5 And there came to him all the lawless and ungodly men of Israel; and Alcimus was their leader, desiring to be high priest; 6 and they accused the people to the king, saying, Judas and his kindred have destroyed all your friends, and have scattered us from our own land. 7 Now therefore send a man whom you trust, and let him go and see all the havock which he has made of us, and of the king’s country, and how he has punished them and all that helped them. 8 And the king chose Bacchides, one of the king’s Friends, who was ruler in the country beyond the river, and was a great man in the kingdom, and faithful to the king. 9 And he sent him, and that ungodly Alcimus, and made sure to him the high priesthood, and he commanded him to take vengeance upon the children of Israel.

10 And they removed, and came with a great army into the land of Judah, and he sent messengers to Judas and his kindred with words of peace deceitfully. 11 And they gave no heed to their words; for they saw that they were come with a great army. 12 And there were gathered together to Alcimus and Bacchides a company of scribes, to seek for justice. 13 And the Hasidaeans were the first among the children of Israel that sought peace of them; 14 for they said, One that is a priest of the seed of Aaron is come with the forces, and he will do us no wrong. 15 And he spoke with them words of peace, and sware to them, saying, We will seek the hurt neither of you nor your friends. 16 And they gave him credence: and he laid hands on threescore men of them, and killed them in one day, according to the word which the psalmist wrote,

17 The flesh of your saints did they cast out,
And their blood did they shed round about Jerusalem;
And there was no man to bury them.

18 And the fear and the dread of them fell upon all the people, for they said, There is neither truth nor judgement in them; for they have broken the covenant and the oath which they sware. 19 And Bacchides removed from Jerusalem, and encamped in Bezeth; and he sent and took away many of the deserters that were with him, and certain of the people, and he killed them, and cast them into the great pit. 20 And he made sure the country to Alcimus, and left with him a force to aid him; and Bacchides went away to the king.

21 And Alcimus strove for his high priesthood. 22 And there were gathered to him all those who troubled their people, and they got the mastery of the land of Judah, and did great hurt in Israel. 23 And Judas saw all the mischief that Alcimus and his company had done among the children of Israel, even above the Gentiles, 24 and he went out into all the coasts of Judea round about, and took vengeance on the men that had deserted from him, and they were restrained from going forth into the country. 25 But when Alcimus saw that Judas and his company waxed strong, and knew that he was not able to withstand them, he returned to the king, and brought evil accusations against them. 26 And the king sent Nicanor, one of his honorable princes, a man that hated Israel and was their enemy, and commanded him to destroy the people. 27 And Nicanor came to Jerusalem with a great army; and he sent to Judas and his kindred deceitfully with words of peace, saying, 28 Let there be no battle between me and you; I will come with a few men, that I may see your faces in peace. 29 And he came to Judas, and they saluted one another peaceably. And the enemies were ready to take away Judas by violence. 30 And the thing was known to Judas, to wit, that he came to him with deceit, and he was sore afraid of him, and would see his face no more. 31 And Nicanor knew that his counsel was discovered; and he went out to meet Judas in battle beside Capharsalama; 32 and there fell of Nicanor’s side about five hundred men, and they fled into the city of David.

33 And after these things 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 burned sacrifice that was being offered for the king. 34 And he mocked them, and laughed at them, and entreated them shamefully, and spoke haughtily, 35 and sware in a rage, saying, Unless Judas and his army be now delivered into my hands, it shall be that, if I come again in peace, I will burn up this house: and he went out in a great rage. 36 And the priests entered in, and stood before the altar and the temple; and they wept, and said, 37 You did choose this house to be called by your name, to be a house of prayer and supplication for your people: 38 take vengeance on this man and his army, and let them fall by the sword: 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 army of Syria. 40 And Judas encamped in Adasa with three thousand men: and Judas prayed and said, 41 When those who came from the king blasphemed, your angel went out, and struck among them a hundred and fourscore and five thousand. 42 Even so discomfit you this army before us today, and let all the rest know that he has spoken wickedly against your sanctuary, and judge you him according to his wickedness. 43 And on the thirteenth day of the month Adar the armies joined battle: and Nicanor’s army was discomfited, and he himself was the first to fall in the battle. 44 Now when his army saw that Nicanor was fallen, they cast away their arms, and fled. 45 And they pursued after them a day’s journey from Adasa until you come to Gazara, and they sounded an alarm after them with the solemn trumpets. 46 And they came forth out of all the villages of Judea round about, and closed them in; and these turned them back on those, 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 struck off Nicanor’s head, and his right hand, which he stretched out so haughtily, and brought them, and hanged them up beside Jerusalem. 48 And the people were exceedingly glad, and they kept that day as a day of great gladness. 49 And they ordained to keep this day year by year, to wit, the thirteenth day of Adar. 50 And the land of Judah had rest a little while.

Chapter 8

1 Maccabees 8:1-32 (WEB Catholic)

1 And Judas heard of the fame of the Romans, that they are valiant men, and have pleasure in all that join themselves to them, and make friends with all such as come to them, 2 and that they are valiant men. And they told him of their wars and exploits which they do among the Gauls, and how that they conquered them, and brought them under tribute; 3 and what things they did in the land of Spain, that they might become masters of the mines of silver and gold which were there; 4 and how that by their policy and persistence they conquered all the place (and the place was exceedingly far from them), and the kings that came against them from the uttermost part of the earth, until they had discomfited them, and struck them very sore; and how the rest give them tribute year by year: 5 and Philip, and Perseus, king of Chittim, and those who lifted up themselves against them, did they discomfit in battle, and conquered them: 6 Antiochus also, the great king of Asia, who came against them to battle, having a hundred and twenty elephants, with horse, and chariots, and an exceedingly great army, and he was discomfited by them, 7 and they took him alive, and appointed that both he and such as reigned after him should give them a great tribute, and should give hostages, and a parcel of land, to wit, 8 the country of India, and Media, and Lydia, and of the goodliest of their countries; and they took them from him, and gave them to king Eumenes: 9 and how they of Greece took counsel to come and destroy them; 10 and the thing was known to them, and they sent against them a captain, and fought against them, and many of them fell down wounded to death, and they made captive their wives and their children, and plundered them, and conquered their land, and pulled down their strongholds, and plundered them, and brought them into bondage to this day: 11 and the residue of the kingdoms and of the isles, as many as rose up against them at any time, they destroyed and made them to be their servants; 12 but with their friends and such as relied upon them they stayed friends; and they conquered the kingdoms that were near and those that were far off, and all that heard of their fame were afraid of them: 13 moreover, whoever they will to help and to make kings, these do they make kings; and whoever they will, do they depose; and they are exalted exceedingly: 14 and for all this none of them did ever put on a diadem, neither did they clothe themselves with purple, to be magnified by it: 15 and how they had made for themselves a senate house, and day by day three hundred and twenty men sat in council, consulting always for the people, to the end they might be well ordered: 16 and how they commit their government to one man year by year, that he should rule over them, and be lord over all their country, and all are obedient to that one, and there is neither envy nor emulation among them.

17 And Judas chose Eupolemus the son of John, the son of Accos, and Jason the son of Eleazar, and sent them to Rome, to establish friendship and alliance with them, 18 and that they should take the yoke from them; for they saw that the kingdom of the Greeks did keep Israel in bondage. 19 And they went to Rome (and the way was exceedingly long), and they entered into the senate house, and answered and said, 20 Judas, who is also called Maccabaeus, and his kindred, and the people of the Jews, have sent us to you, to make a confederacy and peace with you, and that we might be registered your allies and friends.

21 And the thing was well-pleasing in their sight. 22 And this is the copy of the writing which they wrote back again on tables of brass, and sent to Jerusalem, that it might be with them there for a memorial of peace and confederacy:

23 Good success be to the Romans, and to the nation of the Jews, by sea and by land forever: the sword also and the enemy be far from them. 24 But if war arise for Rome first, or any of their allies in all their dominion, 25 the nation of the Jews shall help them as allies, as the occasion shall prescribe to them, with all their heart: 26 and to those who make war upon them they shall not give, neither supply, food, arms, money, or ships, as it has seemed good to Rome, and they shall keep their ordinances without taking anything therefore. 27 In the same manner, moreover, if war come first upon the nation of the Jews, the Romans shall help them as allies with all their soul, as the occasion shall prescribe to them: 28 and to those who are allies with their foes there shall not be given food, arms, money, or ships, as it has seemed good to Rome; and they shall keep these ordinances, and that without deceit. 29 According to these words have the Romans made a covenant thus with the people of the Jews. 30 But if hereafter the one party and the other shall take counsel to add or diminish anything, they shall do it at their pleasure, and whatever they shall add or take away shall be established. 31 And as touching the evils which king Demetrius does to them, we have written to him, saying, Wherefore have you made your yoke heavy upon our friends and allies the Jews? 32 If therefore they plead any more against you, we will do them justice, and fight with you by sea and by land.

Chapter 9

1 Maccabees 9:1-73 (WEB Catholic)

1 And Demetrius heard that Nicanor was fallen with his forces in battle, and he sent Bacchides and Alcimus again into the land of Judah a second time, and the right wing of his army with them: 2 and they went by the way that leads to Gilgal, and encamped against Mesaloth, which is in Arbela, and got possession of it, and destroyed much people. 3 And the first month of the hundred and fifty and second year they encamped against Jerusalem: 4 and they removed, and went to Berea, with twenty thousand footmen and two thousand horse. 5 And Judas was encamped at Elasa, and three thousand chosen men with him: 6 and they saw the multitude of the forces, that they were many, and they feared exceedingly: and many slipped away out of the army; there were not left of them more than eight hundred men. 7 And Judas saw that his army slipped away, and that the battle pressed upon him, and he was sore troubled in heart, for that he had no time to gather them together, and he waxed faint. 8 And he said to those who were left, Let’s arise and go up against our adversaries, if perhaps we may be able to fight with them. 9 And they would have dissuaded him, saying, We shall in no wise be able: but let’s rather save our lives now: let’s return again, we and our kindred, and fight against them: but we are few. 10 And Judas said, let it not be so that I should do this thing, to flee from them: and if our time is come, let’s die in a manly way for our kindred’s sake, and not leave a cause of reproach against our glory. 11 And the army removed from the camp, and stood to encounter them, and the horse was parted into two companies, and the slingers and the archers went before the army, and all the mighty men that fought in the front of the battle. 12 But Bacchides was in the right wing; and the phalanx drew near on the two parts, and they blew with their trumpets. 13 And the men of Judas’ side, even they sounded with their trumpets, and the earth shook with the shout of the armies, and the battle was joined, and continued from morning until evening. 14 And Judas saw that Bacchides and the strength of his army were on the right side, and there went with him all that were brave in heart, 15 and the right wing was discomfited by them, and he pursued after them to the mount Azotus. 16 And those who were on the left wing saw that the right wing was discomfited, and they turned and followed upon the footsteps of Judas and of those that were with him: 17 and the battle waxed sore, and many on both parts fell wounded to death. 18 And Judas fell, and the rest fled. 19 And Jonathan and Simon took Judas their brother, and buried him in the sepulchre of his fathers at Modin. 20 And they bewailed him, and all Israel made great lamentation for him, and mourned many days, and said, 21 How is the mighty fallen, the savior of Israel! 22 And the rest of the acts of Judas, and his wars, and the valiant deeds which he did, and his greatness, they are not written; for they were exceedingly many.

23 And it came to pass after the death of Judas, that the lawless put forth their heads in all the coasts of Israel, and all those who did iniquity rose up 24 (in those days there was an exceedingly great famine), and the country went over with them. 25 And Bacchides chose out the ungodly men, and made them lords of the country. 26 And they sought out and searched for the friends of Judas, and brought them to Bacchides, and he took vengeance on them, and used them despitefully. 27 And there was great suffering in Israel, such as was not since the time that no prophet appeared to them. 28 And all the friends of Judas were gathered together, and they said to Jonathan, 29 Since your brother Judas has died, we have no man like him to go forth against our enemies and Bacchides, and among them of our nation that hate us. 30 Now therefore we have chosen you this day to be our prince and leader in his stead, that you may fight our battles. 31 And Jonathan took the governance upon him at that time, and rose up in the stead of his brother Judas.

32 And Bacchides knew it, and he sought to kill him. 33 And Jonathan, and Simon his brother, and all that were with him, knew it; and they fled into the wilderness of Tekoah, and encamped by the water of the pool Asphar. 34 And Bacchides knew it on the Sabbath day, and came, he and all his army, over Jordan. 35 And Jonathan sent his brother, a leader of the multitude, and implored his friends the Nabathaeans, that they might leave with them their baggage, which was much. 36 And the children of Jambri came out of Medaba, and took John, and all that he had, and went their way with it. 37 But after these things they brought word to Jonathan and Simon his brother, that the children of Jambri were making a great marriage, and were bringing the bride from Nadabath with a great train, a daughter of one of the great nobles of Canaan. 38 And they remembered John their brother, and went up, and hid themselves under the covert of the mountain: 39 and they lifted up their eyes, and saw, and, behold, a great ado and much baggage: and the bridegroom came forth, and his friends and his kindred, to meet them with timbrels, and minstrels, and many weapons. 40 And they rose up against them from their ambush, and killed them, and many fell wounded to death, and the remnant fled into the mountain, and they took all their spoils. 41 And the marriage was turned into mourning, and the voice of their minstrels into lamentation. 42 And they avenged fully the blood of their brother, and turned back to the marsh of Jordan.

43 And Bacchides heard it, and he came on the Sabbath day to the banks of Jordan with a great army. 44 And Jonathan said to his company, Let’s stand up now and fight for our lives, for it is not with us today, as yesterday and the day before. 45 For, behold, the battle is before us and behind us; moreover the water of the Jordan is on this side and on that side, and marsh and wood; and there is no place to escape. 46 Now therefore cry to heaven, that you° may be delivered out of the hand of your enemies. 47 And the battle was joined, and Jonathan stretched forth his hand to strike Bacchides, and he turned away back from him. 48 And Jonathan and those who were with him leapt into the Jordan, and swam over to the other side: and they didn’t pass over Jordan against them. 49 And there fell of Bacchides’ company that day about a thousand men; 50 and he returned to Jerusalem. And they built strong cities in Judea, the stronghold that was in Jericho, and Emmaus, and Bethhoron, and Bethel, and Timnath, Pharathon, and Tephon, with high walls and gates and bars. 51 And in them he set a garrison, to vex Israel. 52 And he fortified the city Bethsura, and Gazara, and the citadel, and put forces in them, and store of food. 53 And he took the sons of the chief men of the country for hostages, and put them in ward in the citadel at Jerusalem.

54 And in the hundred and fifty and third year, in the second month, Alcimus commanded to pull down the wall of the inner court of the sanctuary; he pulled down also the works of the prophets; 55 and he began to pull down. At that time was Alcimus stricken, and his works were hindered; and his mouth was stopped, and he was taken with a palsy, and he could no more speak anything and give order concerning his house. 56 And Alcimus died at that time with great torment. 57 And Bacchides saw that Alcimus was dead, and he returned to the king: and the land of Judah had rest two years.

58 And all the lawless men took counsel, saying, Behold, Jonathan and they of his part are dwelling at ease, and in security: now therefore we will bring Bacchides, and he shall lay hands on them all in one night. 59 And they went and consulted with him. 60 And he removed, and came with a great army, and sent letters privily to all his allies that were in Judea, that they should lay hands on Jonathan and those that were with him: and they could not, because their counsel was known to them. 61 And those who were of Jonathan’s part laid hands on about fifty of the men of the country, that were authors of the wickedness, and he killed them. 62 And Jonathan, and Simon, and those who were with him, got them away to Bethbasi, which is in the wilderness, and he built up that which had been pulled down thereof, and they made it strong. 63 And Bacchides knew it, and he gathered together all his multitude, and sent word to those who were of Judea. 64 And he went and encamped against Bethbasi, and fought against it many days, and made engines of war. 65 And Jonathan left his brother Simon in the city, and went forth into the country, and he went with a few men. 66 And he struck Odomera and his kindred, and the children of Phasiron in their tent. 67 And they began to strike them, and to go up with their forces. And Simon and those who were with him went out of the city, and set on fire the engines of war, 68 and fought against Bacchides, and he was discomfited by them, and they afflicted him sore; for his counsel was in vain, and his inroad. 69 And they were very angry with the lawless men that gave him counsel to come into the country, and they killed many of them. And he took counsel to depart into his own land. 70 And Jonathan had knowledge thereof, and sent ambassadors to him, to the end that they should make peace with him, and that he should restore to them the captives. 71 And he accepted the thing, and did according to his words, and sware to him that he would not seek his hurt all the days of his life. 72 And he restored to him the captives which he had taken aforetime out of the land of Judah, and he returned and departed into his own land, and came not any more into their borders. 73 And the sword ceased from Israel. And Jonathan lived at Michmash; and Jonathan began to judge the people; and he destroyed the ungodly out of Israel.

Chapter 10

1 Maccabees 10:1-88 (WEB Catholic)

1 And in the hundred and sixties year Alexander Epiphanes, the son of Antiochus, went up and took possession of Ptolemais: and they received him, and he reigned there. 2 And king Demetrius heard thereof, and he gathered together exceedingly great forces, and went forth to meet him in battle.

3 And Demetrius sent letters to Jonathan with words of peace, so as to magnify him. 4 For he said, let’s go beforehand to make peace with them, before he makes peace with Alexander against us: 5 for he will remember all the evils that we have done against him, and to his kindred and to his nation. 6 And he gave him authority to gather together forces, and to provide arms, and that he should be his ally: and he commanded that they should deliver up to him the hostages that were in the citadel.

7 And Jonathan came to Jerusalem, and read the letters in the audience of all the people, and of those who were in the citadel: 8 and they were sore afraid, when they heard that the king had given him authority to gather together an army. 9 And they of the citadel delivered up the hostages to Jonathan, and he restored them to their parents. 10 And Jonathan lived in Jerusalem, and began to build and renew the city. 11 And he commanded those who did the work to build the walls and the mount Sion round about with square stones for defense; and they did so. 12 And the strangers, that were in the strongholds which Bacchides had built, fled away; 13 and each man left his place, and departed into his own land. 14 Only at Bethsura were there left certain of those that had forsaken the law and the commandments; for it was a place of refuge to them.

15 And king Alexander heard all the promises which Demetrius had sent to Jonathan: and they told him of the battles and the valiant deeds which he and his kindred had done, and of the toils which they had endured; 16 And he said, Shall we find such another man? and now we will make him our Friend and ally. 17 And he wrote letters, and sent them to him, according to these words, saying, 18 King Alexander to his brother Jonathan, greeting: 19 We have heard of you, that you are a mighty man of valour, and meet to be our Friend. 20 And now we have appointed you this day to be high priest of your nation, and to be called the king’s Friend (and he sent to him a purple robe and a crown of gold), and to take our part, and to keep friendship with us.

21 And Jonathan put on the holy garments in the seventh month of the hundred and sixties year, at the feast of tabernacles, and he gathered together forces, and provided arms in abundance.

22 And Demetrius heard these things, and he was grieved, and said, 23 What is this that we have done, that Alexander has been beforehand with us in establishing friendship with the Jews, to strengthen himself? 24 I also will write to them words of encouragement and of honor and of gifts, that they may be with me to aid me. 25 And he sent to them according to these words:

King Demetrius to the nation of the Jews, greeting: 26 Forasmuch as you° have kept your covenants with us, and continued in our friendship, and have not joined yourselves to our enemies, we have heard of this, and are glad. 27 And now continue you° still to keep faith with us, and we will recompense to you good things in return for your dealings with us, 28 and will grant you many immunities, and give you gifts. 29 And now do I free you, and release all the Jews, from the tributes, and from the customs of salt, and from the crowns. 30 And instead of the third part of the seed, and instead of the half of the fruit of the trees, which falls to me to receive, I release it from this day and henceforth, so that I will not take it from the land of Judah, and from the three governments which are added thereto from the country of Samaria and Galilee, from this day forth and for all time. 31 And let Jerusalem be holy and free, and her borders; the tenths and the tolls also. 32 I yield up also my authority over the citadel which is at Jerusalem, and give it to the high priest, that he may appoint in it such men as he shall choose to keep it. 33 And every soul of the Jews, that has been carried captive from the land of Judah into any part of my kingdom, I set at liberty without price; and let all remit the tributes of their cattle also. 34 And all the feasts, and the Sabbaths, and new moons, and appointed days, and three days before a feast, and three days after a feast, let them all be days of immunity and release for all the Jews that are in my kingdom. 35 And no man shall have authority to exact from any of them, or to trouble them concerning any matter. 36 And let there be enrolled among the king’s forces about thirty thousand men of the Jews, and pay shall be given to them, as belongs to all the king’s forces. 37 And of them some shall be placed in the king’s great strongholds, and some of them shall be placed over the affairs of the kingdom, which are of trust: and let those that are over them, and their rulers, be of themselves, and let them walk after their own laws, even as the king has commanded in the land of Judah. 38 And the three governments that have been added to Judea from the country of Samaria, let them be added to Judea, that they may be reckoned to be under one, that they may not obey other authority than the high priest’s. 39 As for Ptolemais, and the land pertaining thereto, I have given it as a gift to the sanctuary that is at Jerusalem, for the expenses that befit the sanctuary. 40 And I give every year fifteen thousand shekels of silver from the king’s revenues from the places that are convenient. 41 And all the overplus, which those who manage the king’s affairs paid not in as in the first years, they shall give from henceforth toward the works of the house. 42 And beside this, the five thousand shekels of silver, which they received from the uses of the sanctuary from the revenue year by year, this also is released, because it appertains to the priests that minister. 43 And whoever shall flee to the temple that is at Jerusalem, and be found within all the borders thereof, whether one owe moneys to the king, or any other matter, let them go free, and all that they have in my kingdom. 44 And for the building and renewing of the works of the sanctuary the expense shall be given also out of the king’s revenue. 45 And for the building of the walls of Jerusalem, and the fortifying thereof round about, shall the expense be given also out of the king’s revenue, and for the building of the walls in Judea.

46 Now when Jonathan and the people heard these words, they gave no credence to them, nor received them, because they remembered the great evil which he had done in Israel, and that he had afflicted them very sore. 47 And they were well pleased with Alexander, because he was the first that spoke words of peace to them, and they were allies with him always. 48 And king Alexander gathered together great forces, and encamped near Demetrius. 49 And the two kings joined battle, and the army of Alexander fled; and Demetrius followed after him, and prevailed against them. 50 And he strengthened the battle exceedingly until the sun went down: and Demetrius fell that day.

51 And Alexander sent ambassadors to Ptolemy king of Egypt according to these words, saying, 52 Forasmuch as I am returned to my kingdom, and am set on the throne of my fathers, and have gotten the dominion, and have overthrown Demetrius, and have gotten possession of our country; 53 yes, I joined the battle with him, and he and his army were discomfited by us, and we sat upon the throne of his kingdom: 54 now also let’s make friends with one another, and give me now your daughter to wife: and I will be joined with you, and will give both you and her gifts worthy of you. 55 And Ptolemy the king answered, saying, Happy is the day wherein you did return into the land of your fathers, and did sit on the throne of their kingdom. 56 And now I will do to you, as you have written: but meet me at Ptolemais, that we may see one another; and I will join with you, even as you have said. 57 And Ptolemy went out of Egypt, himself and Cleopatra his daughter, and came to Ptolemais in the hundred and threescore and second year: 58 and king Alexander met him, and he bestowed on him his daughter Cleopatra, and celebrated her wedding at Ptolemais with great pomp, as the manner of kings is.

59 And king Alexander wrote to Jonathan, that he should come to meet him. 60 And he went with pomp to Ptolemais, and met the two kings, and gave them and their Friends silver and gold, and many gifts, and found favor in their sight. 61 And there were gathered together against him certain pestilent fellows out of Israel, men that were transgressors of the law, to complain against him: and the king gave no heed to them. 62 And the king commanded, and they took off Jonathan’s garments, and clothed him in purple: and thus they did. 63 And the king made him sit with him, and said to his princes, Go forth with him into the midst of the city, and make proclamation, that no man complain against him of any matter, and let no man trouble him for any manner of cause. 64 And it came to pass, when those who complained against him saw his glory according as the herald made proclamation, and saw him clothed in purple, they all fled away. 65 And the king gave him honor, and wrote him among his Chief Friends, and made him a captain, and governor of a province. 66 And Jonathan returned to Jerusalem with peace and gladness.

67 And in the hundred and threescore and fifth year came Demetrius, son of Demetrius, out of Crete into the land of his fathers: 68 and king Alexander heard thereof, and he grieved exceedingly, and returned to Antioch. 69 And Demetrius appointed Apollonius, who was over Coelesyria, and he gathered together a great army, and encamped in Jamnia, and sent to Jonathan the high priest, saying,

70 You alone lift up yourself against us, but I am had in derision and in reproach because of you. And why do you vaunt your power against us in the mountains? 71 Now therefore, if you trust in your forces, come down to us into the plain, and there let’s try the matter together; for with me is the power of the cities. 72 Ask and learn who I am, and the rest that help us; and they say, Your foot can’t stand before our face; for your fathers have been twice put to flight in their own land. 73 And now you shall not be able to withstand the horse and such an army as this in the plain, where is neither stone nor flint, nor place to flee to.

74 Now when Jonathan heard the words of Apollonius, he was moved in his mind, and he chose out ten thousand men, and went forth from Jerusalem, and Simon his brother met him for to help him. 75 And he encamped against Joppa: and they of the city shut him out, because Apollonius had a garrison in Joppa: 76 and they fought against it. And they of the city were afraid, and opened to him: and Jonathan became master of Joppa. 77 And Apollonius heard, and he gathered an army of three thousand horse, and a great army, and went to Azotus as though he were on a journey, and therewithal drew onward into the plain, because he had a multitude of horse, and trusted therein. 78 And he pursued after him to Azotus, and the armies joined battle . 79 And Apollonius had left a thousand horse behind them privily. 80 And Jonathan knew that there was an ambushment behind him. And they compassed round his army, and cast their darts at the people, from morning until evening: 81 but the people stood still, as Jonathan commanded them: and their horses were wearied. 82 And Simon drew forth his army, and joined battle with the phalanx (for the horsemen were spent), and they were discomfited by him, and fled. 83 And the horsemen were scattered in the plain, and they fled to Azotus, and entered into Beth-dagon, their idol’s temple, to save themselves. 84 And Jonathan burned Azotus, and the cities round about it, and took their spoils; and the temple of Dagon, and those who fled into it, he burned with fire. 85 And those who had fallen by the sword, with those who were burned, were about eight thousand men. 86 And from thence Jonathan removed, and encamped against Ascalon, and they of the city came forth to meet him with great pomp. 87 And Jonathan, with those who were on his side, returned to Jerusalem, having many spoils. 88 And it came to pass, when king Alexander heard these things, he honored Jonathan yet more; 89 and he sent to him a buckle of gold, as the use is to give to such as are of the kindred of the kings: and he gave him Ekron and all the coasts thereof for a possession.