1 Maccabees, Chapter 2

2:1 In those days arose Mathathias the son of John, the [son] of Simeon, a priest of the sons of Joarib, from Jerusalem, and he abode in the mountain of Modin.
2:2 And he had five sons: John who was surnamed Gaddis:
2:3 And Simon, who was surnamed Thasi:
2:4 And Judas, who was called Maccabeus:
2:5 And Eleazar, who was surnamed Abaron: and Jonathan, who was surnamed Apphus.
2:6 These saw the evils that were done in the people of Judah, and in Jerusalem.
2:7 And Mathathias said: Woe is me! Why was I born to see the ruin of my people, And the ruin of the holy city, And to live there, When it is given into the hands of the enemies?
2:8 The holy places have come into the hands of strangers: Her temple has become as a man without honor.
2:9 The vessels of her glory are carried away captive: Her old men are murdered in the streets, And her young men have fallen by the sword of the enemies.
2:10 What nation has not inherited her kingdom, and gotten of her spoils?
2:11 All her ornaments are taken away. She who was free is made a slave.
2:12 And look, our sanctuary, and our beauty, and our glory is laid waste, And the nations have defiled them.
2:13 To what end then should we live any longer?
2:14 And Mathathias and his sons rent their garments, and they covered themselves with sackcloth, and made great lamentation.
2:15 And those who were sent from King Antiochus came there, to compel those who had fled into the city of Modin, to sacrifice, and to burn incense, and to depart from the law of God.
2:16 And many of the people of Israel consented, and came to them: but Mathathias and his sons stood firm.
2:17 And those who were sent from Antiochus, answering, said to Mathathias: You are a ruler, and an honorable, and great man in this city, and adorned with sons, and brothers.
2:18 Therefore you come first, and obey the king's commandment, as all nations have done, and the men of Judah, and those who remain in Jerusalem: and you, and your sons, will be in the number of the king's friends, and enriched with gold, and silver, and many presents.
2:19 Then Mathathias answered, and said with a loud voice: Although all nations obey King Antiochus, so as to depart every man from the service of the law of his fathers, and consent to his commandments:
2:20 I and my sons, and my brothers will obey the covenant of our fathers.
2:21 God be merciful to us: it is not profitable for us to forsake the law, and the ordinances of God:
2:22 We will not listen to the words of King Antiochus, neither will we sacrifice, and turn aside from the commandments of our law, either to the right hand or to the left.
2:23 Now as he left off speaking these words, there came a certain Jew in the sight of all to sacrifice to the idols on the altar in the city of Modin, according to the king's commandment.
2:24 And Mathathias saw and was grieved, and his reins trembled, and his wrath was kindled according to the judgment of the law, and running on him he slew him on the altar.
2:25 Moreover the man whom King Antiochus had sent, who compelled them to sacrifice, he slew at the same time, and pulled down the altar,
2:26 And showed zeal for the law, as Phinehas did by Zimri the son of Salu.
2:27 And Mathathias cried out in the city with a loud voice, saying: Every one who has zeal for the law, and maintains the covenant, let him follow me.
2:28 So he, and his sons fled into the mountains, and left all that they had in the city.
2:29 Then many who sought after righteousness and justice went down into the desert.
2:30 And they abode there, they and their sons, and their wives, and their cattle: because afflictions increased on them.
2:31 And it was told to the king's men, and to the army that was in Jerusalem in the city of David, that certain men who had broken the king's commandment, had gone away into the secret places in the wilderness, and that many had gone after them.
2:32 And forthwith they went out toward them, and made war against them on the Sabbath day,
2:33 And they said to them: Do you+ still resist? Come forth, and do according to the edict of King Antiochus, and you+ will live.
2:34 And they said: We will not come forth, neither will we obey the king's edict, to profane the Sabbath day.
2:35 And they made haste to give them battle.
2:36 But they did not answer them, neither did they cast a stone at them, nor stop up the secret places,
2:37 saying: Let us all die in our innocency: and heaven and earth will be witnesses for us, that you+ put us to death wrongfully.
2:38 So they gave them battle on the Sabbath: and they were slain with their wives, and their children, and their cattle, to the number of a thousand souls.
2:39 And Mathathias and his friends heard of it, and they mourned for them exceedingly.
2:40 And every man said to his fellow man: If we will all do as our brothers have done, and not fight against the nations for our souls, and our ordinances: they will now quickly root us out of the earth.
2:41 And they determined in that day, saying: Whoever will come up against us to fight on the Sabbath day, we will fight against him: and we will not all die, as our brothers who were slain in the secret places.
2:42 Then was assembled to them the congregation of the Assideans, the stoutest of Israel, every one who had a good will for the law.
2:43 And all those who fled from the evils, joined themselves to them, and were a support to them.
2:44 And they gathered an army, And slew the sinners in their wrath, And the wicked men in their indignation: And the rest fled to the nations for safety.
2:45 And Mathathias and his friends went round about, and they threw down the altars:
2:46 And they circumcised all the children whom they found in the confines of Israel who were uncircumcised: and they did valiantly.
2:47 And they pursued after the sons of pride, and the work prospered in their hands:
2:48 And they recovered the law out of the hands of the nations, and out of the hands of the kings: and they did not yield the horn to the sinner.
2:49 Now the days drew near that Mathathias should die, and he said to his sons: Now has pride and chastisement gotten strength, And the time of destruction, and the wrath of indignation:
2:50 Now therefore, O my sons, be+ zealous for the law, And give your+ souls for the covenant of your+ fathers.
2:51 And call to remembrance the works of the fathers, Which they have done in their generations: And you+ will receive great glory, And an everlasting name.
2:52 Was not Abraham found faithful in trial, And it was reckoned to him for righteousness?
2:53 Joseph in the time of his distress kept the commandment, And he was made lord of Egypt.
2:54 Phinehas our father, by being fervent in the zeal of God, Received the covenant of an everlasting priesthood.
2:55 Joshua, while he fulfilled the word, Was made ruler in Israel.
2:56 Caleb, for bearing witness before the congregation, Received an inheritance.
2:57 David, by his mercy, Obtained the throne of an everlasting kingdom.
2:58 Elijah, while he was full of zeal for the law, Was taken up into heaven.
2:59 Hananiah and Azariah and Mishael by believing, Were delivered out of the flame.
2:60 Daniel in his innocency Was delivered out of the mouth of the lions.
2:61 And thus consider through all generations: That none who trust in him fail in strength.
2:62 And do not fear the words of a sinful man, For his glory is dung, and worms:
2:63 Today he is lifted up, And tomorrow he will not be found, Because he has returned into his earth; And his thought has come to nothing.
2:64 You+ therefore, my sons, be manly, be strong in the law: For by it you+ will be glorious.
2:65 And look, I know that your+ brother Simon Is a man of counsel. Give ear to him always, And he will be a father to you+.
2:66 And Judas Maccabeus Who is valiant and strong from his youth up, Let him be the leader of your+ army, And he will manage the war of the people.
2:67 And you+ will take to you+ all who observe the law: And take+ vengeance for the wrong of your+ people.
2:68 Render to the nations their reward, And take heed to the precepts of the law.
2:69 And he blessed them, and was gathered to his fathers.
2:70 And he died in the hundred and forty-sixth year: and he was buried by his sons in the sepulchres of his fathers in Modin, and all Israel mourned for him with great mourning.

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Text from UPDV Updated Bible Version 2.17 plus Pending Changes.
Copyright © 2003-2023 by Greg Abrams.