1 Maccabees, Chapter 4

4:1 Then Gorgias took five thousand men, and a thousand of the best horsemen: and they removed out of the camp by night.
4:2 That they might come upon the camp of the Jews, and strike them suddenly: and the men who were of the castle were their guides.
4:3 And Judas heard of it, and rose up, he and the valiant men, to attack the king's forces that were in Emmaus.
4:4 For as yet the army was dispersed from the camp.
4:5 And Gorgias came by night into the camp of Judas, and found no man, and he sought them in the mountains: for he said: These men flee from us.
4:6 And when it was day, Judas showed himself in the plain with three thousand men only, who neither had armor nor swords.
4:7 And they saw the camp of the nations that it was strong, and the men in breastplates, and the horsemen round about them, and these were trained up to war.
4:8 And Judas said to the men who were with him: Don't fear+ their multitude, neither be+ afraid of their assault.
4:9 Remember in what manner our fathers were saved in the Red Sea, when Pharaoh pursued them with a great army.
4:10 And now let us cry to heaven: and the Lord will have mercy on us, and will remember the covenant of our fathers, and will destroy this army before our face this day:
4:11 And all nations will know that there is one who redeems and delivers Israel.
4:12 And the strangers lifted up their eyes, and saw them coming against them.
4:13 And they went out of the camp to battle, and those who were with Judas sounded the trumpet.
4:14 And they joined battle: and the nations were routed, and fled into the plain.
4:15 But all the hindmost of them fell by the sword, and they pursued them as far as Gezeron, and even to the plains of Idumea, and of Azotus, and of Jamnia: and there fell of them to the number of three thousand men.
4:16 And Judas returned again with his army that followed him,
4:17 And he said to the people: Don't be greedy of the spoils: for there is war before us.
4:18 And Gorgias and his army are near us in the mountain; but, stand+ now against our enemies, and overthrow them, and you+ will take the spoils afterward with safety.
4:19 And as Judas was speaking these words, look, part of them appeared looking forth from the mountain.
4:20 And Gorgias saw that his men were put to flight, and that they had set fire to the camp: for the smoke that was seen declared what was done.
4:21 And when they had seen this, they were seized with great fear, seeing at the same time Judas and his army in the plain ready to fight.
4:22 So they all fled away into the land of the strangers.
4:23 And Judas returned to take the spoils of the camp, and they got much gold, and silver, and blue silk, and purple of the sea, and great riches.
4:24 And returning home they sung a hymn, And blessed God in heaven, Because he is good, Because his mercy endures forever.
4:25 So Israel had a great deliverance that day.
4:26 And such of the strangers as escaped, went and told Lysias all that had happened.
4:27 And when he heard these things, he was amazed and discouraged: because things had not succeeded in Israel according to his mind, and as the king had commanded.
4:28 So the year following Lysias gathered together sixty thousand chosen men, and five thousand horsemen, that he might subdue them.
4:29 And they came into Judea, and pitched their tents in Beth-horon, and Judas met them with ten thousand men.
4:30 And they saw that the army was strong, and he prayed, and said: Blessed are you, O Savior of Israel, Who broke the violence of the mighty by the hand of your servant David, And delivered up the camp of the strangers into the hands of Jonathan the son of Saul and of his armorbearer.
4:31 Shut up this army in the hands of your people Israel, And let them be confounded in their host and their horsemen.
4:32 Strike them with fear, and cause the boldness of their strength to languish, And let them quake at their own destruction.
4:33 Cast them down with the sword of those who love you: And let all who know your name, praise you with hymns.
4:34 And they joined battle: and there fell of the army of Lysias five thousand men.
4:35 And when Lysias saw that his men were put to flight, and how bold the Jews were, and that they were ready either to live, or to die manfully, he went to Antioch, and chose soldiers, that they might come again into Judea with greater numbers.
4:36 Then Judas, and his brothers said: Look our enemies are discomfited: let us go up now to cleanse the holy places and to repair them.
4:37 And all the army assembled together, and they went up into Mount Zion.
4:38 And they saw the sanctuary desolate, and the altar profaned, and the gates burned, and shrubs growing up in the courts as in a forest, or on the mountains, and the chambers joining to the temple thrown down.
4:39 And they rent their garments, and made great lamentation, and put ashes on their heads:
4:40 And they fell down to the ground on their faces, and they sounded with the trumpets of alarm, and they cried toward heaven.
4:41 Then Judas appointed men to fight against those who were in the castle, until they had cleansed the holy places.
4:42 And he chose priests without blemish, whose will was set on the law of God:
4:43 And they cleansed the holy places, and took away the stones that had been defiled into an unclean place.
4:44 And he considered about the altar of burnt-offerings that had been profaned, what he should do with it.
4:45 And a good counsel came into their minds, to pull it down: otherwise it should be a reproach to them, because the nations had defiled it; so they threw it down.
4:46 And they laid up the stones in the mountain of the temple in a convenient place, until there should come a prophet, and give answer concerning them.
4:47 Then they took whole stones according to the law, and built a new altar according to the former:
4:48 And they built up the holy places, and the things that were within the temple: and they sanctified the temple, and the courts.
4:49 And they made new holy vessels, and brought in the lampstand, and the altar of incense, and the table into the temple.
4:50 And they put incense on the altar, and lit up the lamps that were on the lampstand, and they gave light in the temple.
4:51 And they set the loaves on the table, and hung up the veils, and finished all the works that they had begun to make.
4:52 And they arose before the morning on the five and twentieth day of the ninth month (which is the month of Kislev) in the hundred and forty-eighth year.
4:53 And they offered sacrifice according to the law on the new altar of burnt-offerings which they had made.
4:54 According to the time, and according to the day in which the nations had defiled it, in the same it was dedicated anew with canticles, and harps, and lutes, and cymbals.
4:55 And all the people fell on their faces, and adored, and blessed up to heaven, him who had prospered them.
4:56 And they kept the dedication of the altar eight days, and they offered burnt-offerings with joy, and sacrifices of salvation, and of praise.
4:57 And they adorned the front of the temple with crowns of gold, and settings, and they renewed the gates, and the chambers, and hanged doors on them.
4:58 And there was exceedingly great joy among the people, and the reproach of the nations was turned away.
4:59 And Judas, and his brothers, and all the congregation of Israel decreed, that the day of the dedication of the altar should be kept in its season from year to year for eight days, from the five and twentieth day of the month of Kislev, with joy and gladness.
4:60 They built up also at that time Mount Zion, with high walls, and strong towers round about, otherwise the nations should at any time come, and tread it down as they did before.
4:61 And he placed a garrison there to keep it, and he fortified it to secure Bethsura, that the people might have a defense against Idumea.

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Copyright © 2003-2023 by Greg Abrams.