verses 1-36 have been
omitted from the Mass readings.
 To the brethren the Jews that are
throughout Egypt, the brethren,
the Jews that are in Jerusalem, and in the land of Judea, send health,
and good peace.
 May God be gracious to you, and remember his covenant that he made
with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, his faithful servants:  And give
you all a heart to worship him, and to do his will with a great heart,
and a willing mind.  May he open your heart in his law, and in his
commandments, and send you peace.  May he hear your prayers, and be
reconciled unto you, and never forsake you in the evil time.
 And now here we are praying for you.
 When Demetrius reigned, in the year one hundred and sixty-nine, we
Jews wrote to you, in the trouble, and violence, that came upon us in
those years, after Jason withdrew himself from the holy land, and from
the kingdom.  They burnt the gate, and shed innocent blood: then we
prayed to the Lord, and were heard, and we offered sacrifices, and fine
flour, and lighted the lamps, and set forth the loaves.
 And now celebrate ye the days of Scenopegia in the month of Casleu.
 In the year one hundred and eighty-eight, the people that is at
Jerusalem, and in Judea, and the senate, and Judas, to Aristobolus, the
preceptor of king Ptolemee, who is of the stock of the anointed
priests, and to the Jews that are in Egypt, health and welfare.
 Having been delivered by God out of great dangers, we give him
great thanks, forasmuch as we have been in war with such a king. 
For he made numbers of men swarm out of Persia that have fought against
us, and the holy city.  For when the leader himself was in Persia,
and with him a very great army, he fell in the temple of Nanea, being
deceived by the counsel of the priests of Nanea.
 For Antiochus, with his friends, came to the place as though he
would marry her, and that he might receive great sums of money under
the title of a dowry.  And when the priests of Nanea had set it
forth, and he with a small company had entered into the compass of the
temple, they shut the temple,  When Antiochus was come in: and
opening a secret entrance of the temple, they cast stones and slew the
leader, and them that were with him, and hewed them in pieces, and
cutting off their heads they threw them forth.
 Blessed be God in all things, who hath delivered up the wicked.
 Therefore whereas we purpose to keep the purification of the
temple on the five and twentieth day of the month of Casleu, we thought
it necessary to signify it to you: that you also may keep the day of
Scenopegia, and the day of the fire, that was given when Nehemias
offered sacrifice, after the temple and the altar was built.  For
when our fathers were led into Persia, the priests that then were
worshippers of God took privately the fire from the altar, and hid it
in a valley where there was a deep pit without water, and there they
kept it safe, so that the place was unknown to all men.
 But when many years had passed, and it pleased God that Nehemias
should be sent by the king of Persia, he sent some of the posterity of
those priests that had hid it, to seek for the fire: and as they told
us, they found no fire, but thick water.  Then he bade them draw it
up, and bring it to him: and the priest Nehemias commanded the
sacrifices that were laid on, to be sprinkled with the same water, both
the wood, and the things that were laid upon it.  And when this was
done, and the time came that the sun shone out, which before was in a
cloud, there was a great fire kindled, so that all wondered.  And
all the priests made prayer, while the sacrifice was consuming,
Jonathan beginning, and the rest answering.  And the prayer of
Nehemias was after this manner: O Lord God, Creator of all things,
dreadful and strong, just and merciful, who alone art the good king,
 Who alone art gracious, who alone art just, and almighty, and
eternal, who deliverest Israel from all evil, who didst choose the
fathers and didst sanctify them:  Receive the sacrifice for all thy
people Israel, and preserve thy own portion, and sanctify it. 
Gather together our scattered people, deliver them that are slaves to
the Gentiles, and look upon them that are despised and abhorred: that
the Gentiles may know that thou art our God.  Punish them that
oppress us, and that treat us injuriously with pride.  Establish
thy people in thy holy place, as Moses hath spoken.
 And the priests sung hymns till the sacrifice was consumed. 
And when the sacrifice was consumed, Nehemias commanded the water that
was left to be poured out upon the great stones.  Which being done,
there was kindled a flame from them: but it was consumed by the light
that shined from the altar.
 And when this matter became public, it was told to the king of
Persia, that in the place where the priests that were led away, had hid
the fire, there appeared water, with which Nehemias and they that were
with him had purified the sacrifices.  And the king considering,
and diligently examining the matter, made a temple for it, that he
might prove what had happened.
 And when he had proved it, he gave the priests many goods, and
divers presents, and he took and distributed them to them with his own
 And Nehemias called this place Nephthar, which is interpreted
purification. But many call it Nephi.
verses 1-33 have been
omitted from the Mass readings.
 Now it is found in the descriptions
of Jeremias the prophet, that
he commanded them that went into captivity, to take the fire, as it
hath been signified, and how he gave charge to them that were carried
away into captivity.  And how he gave them the law that they should
not forget the commandments of the Lord, and that they should not err
in their minds, seeing the idols of gold, and silver, and the ornaments
of them.  And with other such like speeches, he exhorted them that
they would not remove the law from their heart.
 It was also contained in the same writing, how the prophet, being
warned by God, commanded that the tabernacle and the ark should
accompany him, till he came forth to the mountain where Moses went up,
and saw the inheritance of God.  And when Jeremias came thither he
found a hollow cave: and he carried in thither the tabernacle, and the
ark, and the altar of incense, and so stopped the door.  Then some
of them that followed him, came up to mark the place: but they could
not find it.  And when Jeremias perceived it, he blamed them,
saying: The place shall be unknown, till God gather together the
congregation of the people, and receive them to mercy.  And then the
Lord will shew these things, and the majesty of the Lord shall appear,
and there shall be a cloud as it was also shewed to Moses, and he
shewed it when Solomon prayed that the place might be sanctified to the
 For he treated wisdom in a magnificent manner: and like a wise man,
he offered the sacrifice of the dedication, and of the finishing of the
temple.  And as Moses prayed to the Lord and fire came down from
heaven, and consumed the holocaust: so Solomon also prayed, and fire
came down from heaven and consumed the holocaust.  And Moses said:
Because the sin offering was not eaten, it was consumed.  So
Solomon also celebrated the dedication eight days.
 And these same things were set down in the memoirs and
commentaries of Nehemias: and how he made a library, and gathered
together out of the countries, the books both of the prophets, and of
David, and the epistles of the kings. and concerning the holy gifts.
 And in like manner Judas also gathered together all such things as
were lost by the war we had, and they are in our possession. 
Wherefore if you want these things, send some that may fetch them to
 As we are then about to celebrate the purification, we have
written unto you: and you shall do well, if you keep the same days.
 And we hope that God who hath delivered his people, and hath
rendered to all the inheritance, and the kingdom, and the priesthood,
and the sanctuary,  As he promised in the law, will shortly have
mercy upon us, and will gather us together from every land under heaven
into the holy place.  For he hath delivered us out of great perils,
and hath cleansed the place.
 Now as concerning Judas Machabeus. and his brethren, and the
purification of the great temple, and the dedication of the altar: 
As also the wars against Antiochus the Illustrious, and his son
Eupator:  And the manifestations that came from heaven to them,
that behaved themselves manfully on the behalf of the Jews, so that,
being but a few, they made themselves masters of the whole country, and
put to flight; the barbarous multitude:  And recovered again the
most renowned temple in all the world, and delivered the city, and
restored the laws that were abolished, the Lord with all clemency
shewing mercy to them.
 And all such things as have been comprised in five books by Jason
of Cyrene, we have attempted to abridge in one book.  For
considering the multitude of books, and the difficulty that they find
that desire to undertake the narrations of histories, because of the
multitude of the matter,  We have taken care for those indeed that
are willing to read, that it might be a pleasure of mind: and for the
studious, that they may more easily commit to memory: and that all that
read might receive profit.
 And as to ourselves indeed, in undertaking this work of abridging,
we have taken in hand no easy task, yea rather a business full of
watching and sweat.  But as they that prepare a feast, and seek to
satisfy the will of others: for the sake of many, we willingly undergo
the labour.  Leaving to the authors the exact handling of every
particular, and as for ourselves, according to the plan proposed,
studying to be brief.  For as the master builder of a new house
must have care of the whole building: but he that taketh care to paint
it, must seek out fit things for the adorning of it: so must it be
judged for us.
 For to collect all that is to be known, to put the discourse in
order, and curiously to discuss every particular point, is the duty of
the author of a history:  But to pursue brevity of speech, and to
avoid nice declarations of things, is to be granted to him that maketh
 Here then we will begin the narration: let this be enough by way
of a preface: for it is a foolish thing to make a long prologue, and to
be short in the story itself.
verses 1-40 have been
omitted from the Mass readings.
 Therefore when the holy city was
inhabited with all peace, and the
laws as yet were very well kept, because of the godliness of Onias the
high priest, and the hatred his soul had of evil,  It came to pass
that even the kings themselves, and the princes esteemed the place
worthy of the highest honour, and glorified the temple with very great
gifts:  So that Seleucus king of Asia allowed out of his revenues
all the charges belonging to the ministry of the sacrifices.
 But one Simon of the tribe of Benjamin, who was appointed overseer
of the temple, strove in opposition to the high priest, to bring about
some unjust thing in the city.  And when he could not overcome Onias
he went to Apollonius the son of Tharseas, who at that time was
governor of Celesyria and Phenicia:  And told him, that the treasury
in Jerusalem was full of immense sums of money, and the common store
was infinite, which did not belong to the account of the sacrifices:
and that it was possible to bring all into the king's hands.
 Now when Apollonius had given the king notice concerning the money
that he was told of, he called for Heliodorus, who had the charge over
his affairs, and sent him with commission to bring him the foresaid
 So Heliodorus forthwith began his journey, under a colour of
visiting the cities of Celesyria and Phenicia, but indeed to fulfill
the king's purpose.  And when he was come to Jerusalem, and had been
courteously received in the city by the high priest, he told him what
information had been given concerning the money: and declared the cause
for which he was come: and asked if these things were so indeed.
 Then the high priest told him that these were sums deposited, and
provisions for the subsistence of the widows and the fatherless. 
And that some part of that which wicked Simon had given intelligence
of, belonged to Hircanus son of Tobias, a man of great dignity: and
that the whole was four hundred talents of silver, and two hundred of
gold:  But that to deceive them who had trusted to the place and
temple which is honoured throughout the whole world, for the reverence
and holiness of it, was a thing which could not by any means be done.
 But he, by reason of the orders he had received from the king,
said that by all means the money must be carried to the king.  So
on the day he had appointed, Heliodorus entered in to order this
matter. But there was no small terror throughout the whole city. 
And the priests prostrated themselves before the altar in their
priests' vestments, and called upon him from heaven, who made the law
concerning things given to be kept, that he would preserve them safe,
for them that had deposited them.  Now whosoever saw the
countenance of the high priest, was wounded in heart: for his face, and
the changing of his colour declared the inward sorrow of his mind. 
For the man was so compassed with sadness and horror of the body, that
it was manifest to them that beheld him, what sorrow he had in his
 Others also came flocking together out of their houses, praying
and making public supplication, because the place was like to come into
contempt.  And the women, girded with haircloth about their
breasts, came together in the streets. And the virgins also that were
shut up, came forth, some to Onias, and some to the walls, and others
looked out of the windows.  And all holding up their hands towards
heaven, made supplication.  For the expectation of the mixed
multitude, and of the high priest who was in an agony, would have moved
any one to pity.
 And these indeed called upon almighty God, to preserve the things
that had been committed to them, safe and sure for those that had
committed them.  But Heliodorus executed that which he had resolved
on, himself being present in the same place with his guard about the
 But the spirit of the almighty God gave a great evidence of his
presence, so that all that had presumed to obey him, falling down by
the power of God, were struck with fainting and dread.  For there
appeared to them a horse with a terrible rider upon him, adorned with a
very rich covering: and he ran fiercely and struck Heliodorus with his
fore feet, and he that sat upon him seemed to have armour of gold. 
Moreover there appeared two other young men beautiful and strong,
bright and glorious, and in comely apparel: who stood by him, on either
side, and scourged him without ceasing with many stripes.
 And Heliodorus suddenly fell to the ground, and they took him up
covered with great darkness, and having put him into a litter they
carried him out.  So he that came with many servants, and all his
guard into the aforesaid treasury, was carried out, no one being able
to help him, the manifest power of God being known.  And he indeed
by the power of God lay speechless, and without all hope of recovery.
 But they praised the Lord because he had glorified his place: and
the temple, that a little before was full of fear and trouble, when the
almighty Lord appeared, was filled with joy and gladness.
 Then some of the friends of Heliodorus forthwith begged of Onias,
that he would call upon the most High to grant him his life, who was
ready to give up the ghost.  So the high priest considering that
the king might perhaps suspect that some mischief had been done to
Heliodorus by the Jews, offered a sacrifice of health for the recovery
of the man.  And when the high priest was praying, the same young
men in the same clothing stood by Heliodorus, and said to him:
Give thanks to Onias the priest: because for his sake the Lord hath
granted thee life.  And thou having been scourged by God, declare
unto all men the great works and the power of God.
And having spoken thus, they appeared no more.
 So Heliodorus after he had offered a sacrifice to God, and made
great vows to him, that had granted him life, and given thanks to
Onias, taking his troops with him, returned to the king.  And he
testified to all men the works of the great God, which he had seen with
his own eyes.  And when the king asked Heliodorus, who might be a
fit man to be sent yet once more to Jerusalem, he said:
 If thou hast any enemy or traitor to thy kingdom, send him
thither, and thou shalt receive him again scourged, if so be he escape:
for there is undoubtedly in that place a certain power of God.  For
he that hath his dwelling in the heavens, is the visitor, and protector
of that place, and he striketh and destroyeth them that come to do evil
 And the things concerning Heliodorus, and the keeping of the
treasury fell out in this manner.
verses 1-50 have been
omitted from the Mass readings.
 But Simon, of whom we spoke before,
and of his country, spoke ill
of Onias, as though he had incited Heliodorus to do these things, and
had been the promoter of evils:  And he presumed to call him a
traitor to the kingdom, who provided for the city, and defended his
nation, and was zealous for the law of God.
 But when the enmities proceeded so far, that murders also were
committed by some of Simon's friends:  Onias considering the danger
of this contention, and that Apollonius, who was the governor of
Celesyria and Phenicia, was outrageous, which increased the malice of
Simon, went to the king,  Not to be an accuser of his countrymen,
but with a view to the common good of all the people.  For he saw
that, except the king took care, it was impossible that matters should
be settled in peace, or that Simon would cease from his folly.
 But after the death of Seleucus, when Antiochus, who was called the
Illustrious, had taken possession of the kingdom, Jason the brother of
Onias ambitiously sought the high priesthood:  And went to the king,
promising him three hundred and sixty talents of silver, and out of
other revenues fourscore talents.  Besides this he promised also a
hundred and fifty more, if he might have license to set him up a place
for exercise, and a place for youth, and to entitle them, that were at
 Which when the king had granted, and he had gotten the rule into
his hands, forthwith he began to bring over his countrymen to the
fashion of the heathens.  And abolishing those things, which had
been decreed of special favour by the kings in behalf of the Jews, by
the means of John the father of that Eupolemus, who went ambassador to
Rome to make amity and alliance, he disannulled the lawful ordinances
of the citizens, and brought in fashions that were perverse.  For
he had the boldness to set up, under the very castle, a place of
exercise, and to put all the choicest youths in brothel houses.
 Now this was not the beginning, but an increase, and progress of
heathenish and foreign manners, through the abominable and unheard of
wickedness of Jason, that impious wretch and no priest.  Insomuch
that the priests were not now occupied about the offices of the altar,
but despising the temple and neglecting the sacrifices, hastened to be
partakers of the games, and of the unlawful allowance thereof, and of
the exercise of the discus.  And setting nought by the honours of
their fathers, they esteemed the Grecian glories for the best:
 For the sake of which they incurred a dangerous contention, and
followed earnestly their ordinances, and in all things they coveted to
be like them, who were their enemies and murderers.  For acting
wickedly against the laws of God doth not pass unpunished: but this the
time following will declare.
 Now when the game that was used every fifth year was kept at Tyre,
the king being present,  The wicked Jason sent from Jerusalem
sinful men to carry three hundred didrachmas of silver for the
sacrifice of Hercules; but the bearers thereof desired it might not be
bestowed on the sacrifices, because it was not necessary, but might be
deputed for other charges.  So the money was appointed by him that
sent it to the sacrifice of Hercules: but because of them that carried
it was employed for the making of galleys.
 Now when Apollonius the son of Mnestheus was sent into Egypt to
treat with the nobles of king Philometor, and Antiochus understood that
he was wholly excluded from the affairs of the kingdom, consulting his
own interest, he departed thence and came to Joppe, and from thence to
Jerusalem:  Where he was received in a, magnificent manner by
Jason, and the city, and came in with torch lights, and with praises,
and from thence he returned with his army into Phenicia.
 Three years afterwards Jason sent Menelaus, brother of the
aforesaid Simon, to carry money to the king, and to bring answers from
him concerning certain necessary affairs.  But he being recommended
to the king, when he had magnified the appearance of his power, got the
high priesthood for himself, by offering more than Jason by three
hundred talents of silver.  So having received the king's mandate,
he returned bringing nothing worthy of the high priesthood: but having
the mind of a cruel tyrant, and the rage of a savage beast.  Then
Jason, who had undermined his own brother, being himself undermined,
was driven out a fugitive into the country of the Ammonites.
 So Menelaus got the principality: but as for the money he had
promised to the king he took no care, when Sostratus the governor of
the castle called for it.  For to him appertained the gathering of
the taxes: wherefore they were both called before the king.  And
Menelaus was removed from the priesthood, Lysimachus his brother
succeeding: and Sostratus was made governor of the Cyprians.
 When these things were in doing, it fell out that they of Tharsus
and Mallos raised a sedition, because they were given for a gift to
Antiochis, the king's concubine.  The king therefore went in all
haste to appease them, leaving Andronicus, one of his nobles, for his
 Then Menelaus supposing that he had found a convenient time,
having stolen certain vessels of gold out of the temple, gave them to
Andronicus, and others he had sold at Tyre, and in the neighbouring
cities.  Which when Onias understood most certainly, he reproved
him, keeping himself in a safe place at Antioch beside Daphne. 
Whereupon Menelaus coming to Andronicus, desired him to kill Onias. And
he went to Onias, and gave him his right hand with an oath, and (though
he were suspected by him) persuaded him to come forth out of the
sanctuary, and immediately slew him, without any regard to justice.
 For which cause not only the Jews, but also the other nations,
conceived indignation, and were much grieved for the unjust murder of
so great a man.  And when the king was come back from the places of
Cilicia, the Jews that were at Antioch, and also the Greeks went to
him: complaining of the unjust murder of Onias.
 Antiochus therefore was grieved in his mind for Onias, and being
moved to pity, shed tears, remembering the sobriety and modesty of the
deceased.  And being inflamed to anger, he commanded Andronicus to
be stripped of his purple, and to be led about through all the city:
and that in the same place wherein he had committed the impiety against
Onias, the sacrilegious wretch should be put to death, the Lord
repaying him his deserved punishment.
 Now when many sacrileges had been committed by Lysimachus in the
temple by the counsel of Menelaus, and the rumour of it was spread
abroad, the multitude gathered themselves together against Lysimachus,
a great quantity of gold being already carried away.  Wherefore the
multitude making an insurrection, and their minds being filled with
anger, Lysimachus armed about three thousand men, and began to use
violence, one Tyrannus being captain, a man far gone both in age, and
 But when they perceived the attempt of Lysimachus, some caught up
stones, some strong clubs: and some threw ashes upon Lysimachus, 
And many of them were wounded, and some struck down to the ground, but
all were put to flight: and as for the sacrilegious fellow himself,
they slew him beside the treasury.
 Now concerning these matters, an accusation was laid against
Menelaus.  And when the king was come to Tyre, three men were sent
from the ancients to plead the cause before him.  But Menelaus
being convicted, promised Ptolemee to give him much money to persuade
the king to favour him.  So Ptolemee went to the king in a certain
court where he was, as it were to cool himself, and brought him to be
of another mind:  So Menelaus who was guilty of all the evil, was
acquitted by him of the accusations: and those poor men, who, if they
had pleaded their cause even before Scythians, should have been judged
innocent, were condemned to death.  Thus they that prosecuted the
cause for the city, and for the people, and the sacred vessels, did
soon suffer unjust punishment.  Wherefore even the Tyrians being
moved with indignation, were liberal towards their burial.  And so
through the covetousness of them that were in power, Menelaus continued
in authority, increasing in malice to the betraying of the citizens.
verses 1-27 have been
omitted from the Mass readings.
 At the same time Antiochus prepared
for a second journey into Egypt.
 And it came to pass that through the whole city of Jerusalem for
the space of forty days there were seen horsemen running in the air, in
gilded raiment, and armed with spears, like bands of soldiers.  And
horses set in order by ranks, running one against another, with the
shakings of shields, and a multitude of men in helmets, with drawn
swords, and casting of darts, and glittering of golden armour, and of
harnesses of all sorts.  Wherefore all men prayed that these
prodigies might turn to good.
 Now when there was gone forth a false rumour, as though Antiochus
had been dead, Jason taking with him no fewer than a thousand men,
suddenly assaulted the city: and though the citizens ran together to
the wall, the city at length was taken, and Menelaus fled into the
castle.  But Jason slew his countrymen without mercy, not
considering that prosperity against one's own kindred is a very great
evil, thinking they had been enemies, and not citizens, whom he
conquered.  Yet he did not get the principality, but received
confusion at the end, for the reward of his treachery, and fled again
into the country of the Ammonites.  At the last having been shut up
by Aretas the king of the Arabians, in order for his destruction,
flying from city to city, hated by all men, as a forsaker of the laws,
and execrable, as an enemy of his country and countrymen, he was thrust
out into Egypt:  And he that had driven many out of their country,
perished in a strange land, going to Lacedemon, as if for kindred sake
he should have refuge there:  But he that had cast out many
unburied, was himself cast forth both unlamented and unburied, neither
having foreign burial, nor being partaker of the sepulchre of his
 Now when these things were done, the king suspected that the Jews
would forsake the alliance: whereupon departing out of Egypt with a
furious mind, he took the city by force of arms.  And commanded the
soldiers to kill, and not to spare any that came in their way, and to
go up into the houses to slay.  Thus there was a slaughter of young
and old, a destruction of women and children, and killing of virgins
and infants.  And there were slain in the space of three whole days
fourscore thousand, forty thousand were made prisoners, and as many
sold.  But this was not enough; he presumed also to enter into the
temple, the most holy in all the world, Menelaus, that traitor to the
laws, and to his country, being his guide.  And taking in his
wicked hands the holy vessels, which were given by other kings and
cities, for the ornament and the glory of the place, he unworthily
handled and profaned them.
 Thus Antiochus going astray in mind, did not consider that God was
angry for a while, because of the sins of the inhabitants of the city:
and therefore this contempt had happened to the place:  Otherwise
had they not been involved in many sins, as Heliodorus, who was sent by
king Seleucus to rob the treasury, so this man also, as soon as he had
come, had been forthwith scourged, and put back from his presumption.
 But God did not choose the people for the place's sake, but the
place for the people's sake.  And therefore the place also itself
was made partaker of the evils of the people: but afterward shall
communicate in the good things thereof, and as it was forsaken in the
wrath of almighty God, shall be exalted again with great glory, when
the great Lord shall be reconciled.
 So when Antiochus had taken away out of the temple a thousand and
eight hundred talents, he went back in all haste to Antioch, thinking
through pride, that he might now make the land navigable, and the sea
passable on foot: such was the haughtiness of his mind.  He left
also governors to afflict the people: at Jerusalem, Philip, a Phrygian
by birth, but in manners more barbarous than he that set him there:
 And in Gazarim, Andronicus and Menelaus, who bore a more heavy
hand upon the citizens than the rest.
 And whereas he was set against the Jews, he sent that hateful
prince Apollonius with an army of two and twenty thousand men,
commanding him to kill all that were of perfect age, and to sell the
women and the younger sort.  Who when he was come to Jerusalem,
pretending peace, rested till the holy day of the sabbath: and then the
Jews keeping holiday, he commanded his men to take arms.  And he
slew all that were come forth to see: and running through the city with
armed men, he destroyed a very great multitude.
 But Judas Machabeus, who was the tenth, had withdrawn himself into
a desert place, and there lived amongst wild beasts in the mountains
with his company: and they continued feeding on herbs, that they might
not be partakers of the pollution.
verses 1-17 have been
omitted from the Mass readings.
 But not long after the king sent a
certain old man of Antioch, to
compel the Jews to depart from the laws of their fathers and of God:
 And to defile the temple that was in Jerusalem, and to call it the
temple of Jupiter Olympius: and that in Gazarim of Jupiter Hospitalis,
according as they were that inhabited the place.
 And very bad was this invasion of evils and grievous to all. 
For the temple was full of the riot and revellings of the Gentiles: and
of men lying with lewd women. And women thrust themselves of their
accord into the holy places, and brought in things that were not
lawful.  The altar also was filled with unlawful things, which were
forbidden by the laws.  And neither were the sabbaths kept, nor the
solemn days of the fathers observed, neither did any man plainly
profess himself to be a Jew.  But they were led by bitter constraint
on the king's birthday to the sacrifices: and when the feast of Bacchus
was kept, they were compelled to go about crowned with ivy in honour of
Bacchus.  And there went out a decree into the neighbouring cities
of the Gentiles, by the suggestion of the Ptolemeans, that they also
should act in like manner against the Jews, to oblige them to
sacrifice:  And whosoever would not conform themselves to the ways
of the Gentiles, should be put to death: then was misery to be seen.
 For two women were accused to have circumcised their children:
whom, when they had openly led about through the city with the infants
hanging at their breasts, they threw down headlong from the walls. 
And others that had met together in caves that were near, and were
keeping the sabbath day privately, being discovered by Philip, were
burnt with fire, because they made a conscience to help themselves with
their hands, by reason of the religious observance of the day.
 Now I beseech those that shall read this book, that they be not
shocked at these calamities, but that they consider the things that
happened, not as being for the destruction, but for the correction of
our nation.  For it is a token of great goodness when sinners are
not suffered to go on in their ways for a long time, but are presently
punished.  For, not as with other nations (whom the Lord patiently
expecteth, that when the day of judgment shall come, he may punish them
in the fulness of their sins:)  Doth he also deal with us, so as to
suffer our sins to come to their height, and then take vengeance on us.
 And therefore he never withdraweth his mercy from us: but though
he chastise his people with adversity, he forsaketh them not.  But
let this suffice in a few words for a warning to the readers. And now
we must come to the narration.
verses 3-8, 15-19,
32-42 have been omitted from the Mass
 Then the king being angry commanded
fryingpans, and brazen caldrons
to be made hot: which forthwith being heated,  He commanded to cut
out the tongue of him that had spoken first: and the skin of his head
being drawn off, to chop off also the extremities of his hands and
feet, the rest of his brethren, and his mother, looking on.
 And when he was now maimed in all parts, he commanded him, being
yet alive, to be brought to the fire, and to be fried in the fryingpan:
and while he was suffering therein long torments, the rest, together
with the mother, exhorted one another to die manfully,
 Saying: The Lord God will look upon the truth, and will take
pleasure in us, as Moses declared in the profession of the canticle:
And In his servants he will take pleasure.
 So when the first was dead after this manner, they brought the next
to make him a, mocking stock: and when they had pulled off the skin of
his head with the hair, they asked him if he would eat, before he were
punished throughout the whole body in every limb.  But he answered
in his own language, and said:
I will not do it.
Wherefore he also in the next place, received the torments of the first:
 And when they had brought the fifth, they tormented him. But he
looking upon the king,  Said:
Whereas thou hast power among men, though thou art corruptible, thou
dost what thou wilt: but think not that our nation is forsaken by God.
 But stay patiently a while, and thou shalt see his great power, in
what manner he will torment thee and thy seed.
 After him they brought the sixth, and he being ready to die, spoke
Be not deceived without cause: for we suffer these things for
ourselves, having sinned against our God, and things worthy of
admiration are done to us:  But do not think that thou shalt escape
unpunished, for that thou attempted to fight against God.
 For we suffer thus for our sins.  And though the Lord our God
is angry with us a little while for our chastisement and correction:
yet he will be reconciled again to his servants.  But thou, O
wicked and of all men most flagitious, be not lifted up without cause
with vain hopes, whilst thou art raging against his servants.  For
thou hast not yet escaped the judgment of the almighty God, who
beholdeth all things.  For my brethren, having now undergone a
short pain, are under the covenant of eternal life: but thou by the
judgment of God shalt receive just punishment for thy pride.  But
I, like my brethren, offer up my life and my body for the laws of our
fathers: calling upon God to be speedily merciful to our nation, and
that thou by torments and stripes mayst confess that he alone is God.
 But in me and in my brethren the wrath of the Almighty, which hath
justly been brought upon all our nation, shall cease.
 Then the king being incensed with anger, raged against him more
cruelly than all the rest, taking it grievously that he was mocked.
 So this man also died undefiled, wholly trusting in the Lord.
 And last of all after the sons the mother also was consumed.
 But now there is enough said of the sacrifices, and of the
verses 1-36 have been
omitted from the Mass readings.
 But Judas Machabeus, and they that
were with him, went privately
into the towns: and calling together their kinsmen and friends, and
taking unto them such as continued in the Jews' religion, they
assembled six thousand men.
 And they called upon the Lord that he would look upon his people
that was trodden down by all, and would have pity on the temple, that
was defiled by the wicked:  That he would have pity also upon the
city that was destroyed, that was ready to be made even with the
ground, and would hear the voice of the blood that cried to him: 
That he would remember also the most unjust deaths of innocent
children, and the blasphemies offered to his name, and would shew his
indignation on this occasion.
 Now when Machabeus had gathered a multitude, he could not be
withstood by the heathens: for the wrath of the Lord was turned into
mercy.  So coming unawares upon the towns and cities, he set them on
fire, and taking possession of the most commodious places, he made no
small slaughter of the enemies,  And especially in the nights he
went upon these expeditions, and the fame of his valour was spread
 Then Philip, seeing that the man gained ground by little and
little, and that things for the most part succeeded prosperously with
him, wrote to Ptolemee the governor of Celesyria and Phenicia, to send
aid to the king's affairs.  And he with all speed sent Nicanor the
son of Patroclus, one of his special friends, giving him no fewer than
twenty thousand armed men of different nations, to root out the whole
race of the Jews, joining also with him Gorgias, a good soldier, and of
great experience in matters of war.
 And Nicanor purposed to raise for the king the tribute of two
thousand talents, that was to be given to the Romans, by making so much
money of the captive Jews:  Wherefore he sent immediately to the
cities upon the sea coast, to invite men together to buy up the Jewish
slaves, promising that they should have ninety slaves for one talent,
not reflecting on the vengeance, which was to follow him from the
 Now when Judas found that Nicanor was coming, he imparted to the
Jews that were with him, that the enemy was at hand.  And some of
them being afraid, and distrusting the justice of God, fled away: 
Others sold all that they had left, and withal besought the Lord, that
he would deliver them from the wicked Nicanor, who had sold them before
he came near them:  And if not for their sakes, yet for the
covenant that he had made with their fathers, and for the sake of his
holy and glorious name that was invoked upon them.
 But Machabeus calling together seven thousand that were with him,
exhorted them not to be reconciled to the enemies, nor to fear the
multitude of the enemies who came wrongfully against them, but to fight
manfully:  Setting before their eyes the injury they had unjustly
done the holy place, and also the injury they had done to the city,
which had been shamefully abused, besides their destroying the
ordinances of the fathers.  For, said he, they trust in their
weapons, and in their boldness: but we trust in the Almighty Lord, who
at a beck can utterly destroy both them that come against us, and the
 Moreover he put them in mind also of the helps their fathers had
received from God: and how under Sennacherib a hundred and eighty-five
thousand had been destroyed.  And of the battle that they had
fought against the Galatians in Babylonia, how they, being in all but
six thousand, when it came to the point, and the Macedonians their
companions were a stand, slew a hundred and twenty thousand, because of
the help they had from heaven, and for this they received many favours.
 With these words they were greatly encouraged, and disposed even
to die for the laws and their country.  So he appointed his
brethren captains over each division of his army, Simon, and Joseph,
and Jonathan, giving to each one fifteen hundred men.  And after
the holy Book had been read to them by Esdras, and he had given them
for a watchword, The help of God: himself leading the first band, he
joined battle with Nicanor:
 And the Almighty being their helper, they slew above nine thousand
men: and having wounded and disabled the greater part of Nicanor's
army, they obliged them to fly.  And they took the money of them
that came to buy them, and they pursued them on every side.  But
they came back for want of time: for it was the day before the sabbath:
and therefore they did not continue the pursuit.  But when they had
gathered together their arms and their spoils, they kept the sabbath:
blessing the Lord who had delivered them that day, distilling the
beginning of mercy upon them.
 Then after the sabbath they divided the spoils to the feeble and
the orphans, and the widows: and the rest they took for themselves and
their servants.  When this was done, and they had all made a common
supplication, they besought the merciful Lord to be reconciled to his
servants unto the end.
 Moreover they slew above twenty thousand of them that were with
Timotheus and Bacchides who fought them, and they made themselves
masters of the high strong holds: and they divided amongst them many
spoils, giving equal portions to the feeble, the fatherless and the
widows, yea and the aged also.  And when they had carefully
gathered together their arms, they laid them all up in convenient
places, and the residue of their spoils they carried to Jerusalem: 
They slew also Philarches who was with Timotheus, a wicked man, who had
many ways afflicted the Jews.  And when they kept the feast of the
victory at Jerusalem, they burnt Callisthenes, that had set fire to the
holy gates, who had taken refuge in a certain house, rendering to him a
worthy reward for his impieties:
 But as for that most wicked man Nicanor, who had brought a
thousand merchants to the sale of the Jews,  Being through the help
of the Lord brought down by them, of whom he had made no account,
laying; aside his garment of glory, fleeing through the midland
country, he came alone to Antioch, being rendered very unhappy by the
destruction of his army.  And he that had promised to levy the
tribute for the Romans by the means of the captives of Jerusalem, now
professed that the Jews had God for their protector, and therefore they
could not be hurt, because they followed the laws appointed by him.
verses 1-29 have been
omitted from the Mass readings.
 At that time Antiochus returned
with dishonour out of Persia. 
For he had entered into the city called Persepolis, and attempted to
rob the temple, and to oppress the city: but the multitude running
together to arms, put them to flight: and so it fell out that Antiochus
being put to flight returned with disgrace.
 Now when he was come about Ecbatana, he received the news of what
had happened to Nicanor and Timotheus.  And swelling with anger he
thought to revenge upon the Jews the injury done by them that had put
him to flight. And therefore he commanded his chariot to be driven,
without stopping in his journey, the judgment of heaven urging him
forward, because he had spoken so proudly, that he would come to
Jerusalem, and make it a common burying place of the Jews.
 But the Lord the God of Israel, that seeth all things, struck him
with an incurable and an invisible plague. For as soon as he had ended
these words, a dreadful pain in his bowels came upon him, and bitter
torments of the inner parts.  And indeed very justly, seeing he had
tormented the bowels of others with many and new torments, albeit he by
no means ceased from his malice.  Moreover being filled with pride,
breathing out fire in his rage against the Jews, and commanding the
matter to be hastened, it happened as he was going with violence that
he fell from the chariot, so that his limbs were much pained by a
grievous bruising of the body.
 Thus he that seemed to himself to command even the waves of the
sea, being proud above the condition of man, and to weigh the heights
of the mountains in a balance, now being cast down to the ground, was
carried in a litter, bearing witness to the manifest power of God in
himself:  So that worms swarmed out of the body of this man, and
whilst he lived in sorrow and pain, his flesh fell off, and the
filthiness of his smell was noisome to the army.  And the man that
thought a little before he could reach to the stars of heaven, no man
could endure to carry, for the intolerable stench.
 And by this means, being brought from his great pride, he began to
come to the knowledge of himself, being admonished by the scourge of
God, his pains increasing every moment.  And when he himself could
not now abide his own stench, he spoke thus:
It is just to be subject to God, and that a mortal man should not equal
himself to God.
 Then this wicked man prayed to the Lord, of whom he was not like
to obtain mercy.  And the city to which he was going in haste to
lay it even with the ground, and to make it a, common buryingplace, he
now desireth to make free.  And the Jews whom he said he would not
account worthy to be so much as buried, but would give them up to be
devoured by the birds and wild beasts, and would utterly destroy them
with their children, he now promiseth to make equal with the Athenians.
 The holy temple also which before he had spoiled, he promiseth to
adorn with goodly gifts, and to multiply the holy vessels, and to allow
out of his revenues the charges pertaining to the sacrifices.  Yea
also, that he would become a Jew himself, and would go through every
place of the earth, and declare the power of God.
 But his pains not ceasing (for the just judgment of God was come
upon him) despairing of life he wrote to the Jews in the manner of a
supplication, a letter in these words:
 To his very good subjects the Jews, Antiochus king and ruler
wisheth much health and welfare, and happiness.
 If you and your children are well, and if all matters go with you
to your mind, we give very great thanks.
 As for me, being infirm, but yet kindly remembering you, returning
out of the places of Persia, and being taken with a grievous disease, I
thought it necessary to take care for the common good:  Not
distrusting my life, but having great hope to escape the sickness. 
But considering that my father also, at what time he led an army into
the higher countries, appointed who should reign after him:  To the
end that if any thing contrary to expectation should fall out, or any
bad tidings should be brought, they that were in the countries, knowing
to whom the whole government was left, might not be troubled. 
Moreover, considering that neighbouring princes and borderers wait for
opportunities, and expect what shall be the event, I have appointed my
son Antiochus king, whom I often recommended to many of you, when I
went into the higher provinces: and I have written to him what I have
joined here below.
 I pray you therefore, and request of you, that remembering favours
both public and private, you will every man of you continue to be
faithful to me and to my son.  For I trust that he will behave with
moderation and humanity, and following my intentions, will be gracious
 Thus the murderer and blasphemer, being grievously struck, as
himself had treated others, died a miserable death in a strange country
among the mountains.  But Philip that was brought up with him,
carried away his body: and out of fear of the son of Antiochus, went
into Egypt to Ptolemee Philometor.
verses 1-38 have
been omitted from the Mass readings.
 But Machabeus, and they that were
with him, by the protection of
the Lord, recovered the temple and the city again.  But he threw
down the altars, which the heathens had set up in the streets, as also
the temples of the idols.
 And having purified the temple, they made another altar: and taking
fire out of the fiery stones, they offered sacrifices after two years,
and set forth incense, and lamps, and the loaves of proposition.
 And when they had done these things, they besought the Lord, lying
prostrate on the ground, that they might no more fall into such evils;
but if they should at any time sin, that they might be chastised by him
more gently, and not be delivered up to barbarians and blasphemous men.
 Now upon the same day that the temple had been polluted by the
strangers, on the very same day it was cleansed again, to wit, on the
five and twentieth day of the month of Casleu.  And they kept eight
days with joy, after the manner of the feast of the tabernacles,
remembering that not long before they had kept the feast of the
tabernacles when they were in the mountains, and in dens like wild
beasts.  Therefore they now, carried boughs, and green branches, and
palms for Him that had given them good success in cleansing his place.
 And they ordained by a common statute, and decree, that all the
nation of the Jews should keep those days every year.
 And this was the end of Antiochus that was called the Illustrious.
 But now we will relate the acts of Eupator the son of that wicked
Antiochus, abridging the account of the evils that happened in the wars.
 For when he was come to the crown, he appointed over the affairs
of his realm one Lysias, general of the army of Phenicia and Syria.
 For Ptolemee that was called Macer, was determined to be strictly
just to the Jews, and especially by reason of the wrong that had been
done them, and to deal peaceably with them.  But being accused for
this to Eupator by his friends, and being oftentimes called traitor,
because he had left Cyprus which Philometor had committed to him, and
coming over to Antiochus the Illustrious, had revolted also from him,
he put an end to his life by poison.
 But Gorgias, who was governor of the holds, taking with him the
strangers, often fought against the Jews.  And the Jews that
occupied the most commodious hold, received those that were driven out
of Jerusalem, and attempted to make war.  Then they that were with
Machabeus, beseeching the Lord by prayers to be their helper, made a
strong attack upon the strong holds of the Idumeans:  And
assaulting them with great force, won the holds, killed them that came
in the way, and slew altogether no fewer than twenty thousand.
 And whereas some were fled into very strong towers, having all
manner of provision to sustain a siege,  Machabeus left Simon and
Joseph, and Zacheus, and them that were with them in sufficient number
to besiege them, and departed to those expeditions which urged more.
 Now they that were with Simon, being led with covetousness, were
persuaded for the sake of money by some that were in the towers: and
taking seventy thousand didrachmas, let some of them escape.  But
when it was told Machabeus what was done, he assembled the rulers of
the people, and accused those men that they had sold their brethren for
money, having let their adversaries escape.  So he put these
traitors to death, and forthwith took the two towers.  And having
good success in arms and in all things he took in hand, he slew more
than twenty thousand in the two holds.
 But Timotheus who before had been overcome by the Jews, having
called together a multitude of foreign troops, and assembled horsemen
out of Asia, came as though he would take Judea by force of arms. 
But Machabeus and they that were with him, when he drew near, prayed to
the Lord, sprinkling earth upon their heads and girding their loins
with haircloth,  And lying prostrate at the foot of the altar,
besought him to be merciful to them, and to be an enemy to their
enemies, and an adversary to their adversaries, as the law saith. 
And so after prayer taking their arms, they went forth further from the
city, and when they were come very near the enemies they rested.
 But as soon as the sun was risen both sides joined battle: the one
part having with their valour the Lord for a surety of victory and
success: but the other side making their rage their leader in battle.
 But when they were in the heat of the engagement there appeared to
the enemies from heaven five men upon horses, comely with golden
bridles, conducting the Jews:  Two of whom took Machabeus between
them, and covered him on every side with their arms, and kept him safe:
but cast darts and fireballs against the enemy, so that they fell down,
being both confounded with blindness, and filled with trouble.  And
there were slain twenty thousand five hundred, and six hundred
horsemen.  But Timotheus fled into Gazara a strong hold, where
Chereas was governor.  Then Machabeus, and they that were with him,
cheerfully laid siege to the fortress four days.  But they that
were within, trusting to the strength of the place, blasphemed
exceedingly, and cast forth abominable words.
 But when the fifth day appeared, twenty young men of them that
were with Machabeus, inflamed in their minds because of the blasphemy,
approached manfully to the wall, and pushing forward with fierce
courage got up upon it.  Moreover others also getting up after
them, went to set fire to the towers and the gates, and to burn the
blasphemers alive.  And having for two days together pillaged and
sacked the fortress, they killed Timotheus, who was found hid in a
certain place: they slew also his brother Chereas, and Apollophanes.
 And when this was done, they blessed the Lord with hymns and
thanksgiving, who had done great things in Israel, and given them the
verses 1-38 have
been omitted from the Mass readings.
 A short time after this Lysias the
king's lieutenant, and cousin,
and who had chief charge over all the affairs, being greatly displeased
with what had happened,  Gathered together fourscore thousand men,
and all the horsemen, and came against the Jews, thinking to take the
city, and make it a habitation of the Gentiles:  And to make a gain
of the temple, as of the other temples of the Gentiles, and to set the
high priesthood to sale every year:  Never considering the power of
God, but puffed up in mind, and trusting in the multitude of his foot
soldiers, and the thousands of his horsemen, and his fourscore
 So he came into Judea, and approaching to Bethsura, which was in a
narrow place, the space of five furlongs from Jerusalem, he laid siege
to that fortress.
 But when Machabeus and they that were with him, understood that the
strong holds were besieged, they and all the people besought the Lord
with lamentations and tears, that he would send a good angel to save
Israel.  Then Machabeus himself, first taking his arms, exhorted the
rest to expose themselves together with him, to the danger, and to
succour their brethren.  And when they were going forth together
with a willing mind, there appeared at Jerusalem a horseman going
before them in white clothing, with golden armour, shaking a spear.
 Then they all together blessed the merciful Lord, and took great
courage, being ready to break through not only men, but also the
fiercest beasts, and walls of iron.  So they went on courageously,
having a helper from Heaven, and the who shewed mercy to them.  And
rushing violently upon the enemy, like lions, they slew of them eleven
thousand footmen, and one thousand six hundred horsemen:  And put
all the rest to flight: many of them being wounded, escaped naked: yea
and Lysias himself fled away shamefully, and escaped.
 And as he was a man of understanding considering with himself, the
loss he had suffered, and perceiving that the Hebrews could not be
overcome, because they relied upon the help of the Almighty God, he
sent to them:  And promised that he would agree to all things that
are just, and that he would persuade the king to be their friend.
 Then Machabeus consented to the request of Lysias, providing for
the common good in all things, and whatsoever Machabeus wrote to Lysias
concerning the Jews, the king allowed of.  For there were letters
written to the Jews from Lysias, to this effect:
Lysias to the people of the Jews, greeting.
 John and Abesalom who were sent from you, delivering your
writings, requested that I would accomplish those things which were
signified by them.  Therefore whatsoever things could be reported
to the king I have represented to him: and he hath granted as much as
the matter permitted.
 If therefore you will keep yourselves loyal in affairs, hereafter
also I will endeavour to be a means of your good.
 But as concerning other particulars, I have given orders by word
both to these, and to them that are sent by me, to commune with you.
 Fare ye well. In the year one hundred and forty-eight, the four
and twentieth day of the month of Dioscorus.
 But the king's letter contained these words: King Antiochus to
Lysias his brother, greeting.
 Our father being translated amongst the gods, we are desirous that
they that are in our realm should live quietly, and apply themselves
diligently to their own concerns,  And we have heard that the Jews
would not consent to my father to turn to the rites of the Greeks, but
that they would keep to their own manner of living, and therefore that
they request us to allow them to live after their own laws. 
Wherefore being desirous that this nation also should be at rest, we
have ordained and decreed, that the temple should be restored to them,
and that they may live according to the custom of their ancestors.
 Thou shalt do well therefore to send to them, and grant them
peace, that our pleasure being known, they may be of good comfort, and
look to their own affairs.
 But the king's letter to the Jews was in this manner:
King Antiochus to the senate of the Jews, and to the rest of the Jews,
 If you are well, you are as we desire, we ourselves also are well.
 Menelaus came to us, saying that you desired to come down to your
countrymen, that are with us.  We grant therefore a safe conduct to
all that come and go, until the thirtieth day of the month of Xanthicus,
 That the Jews may use their own kind of meats, and their own laws
as before, and that none of them any manner of ways be molested for
things which have been done by ignorance.  And we have sent also
Menelaus to speak to you.
 Fare ye well. In the year one hundred and forty-eight, the
fifteenth day of the month of Xanthicus.
 The Romans also sent them a letter, to this effect.
Quintus Memmius, and Titus Manilius, ambassadors of the Romans, to the
people of the Jews, greeting.
 Whatsoever Lysias the king's cousin hath granted you, we also have
granted.  But touching such things as he thought should be referred
to the king, after you have diligently conferred among yourselves, send
some one forthwith, that we may decree as it is convenient for you: for
we are going to Antioch.  And therefore make haste to write back,
that we may know of what mind you are.
 Fare ye well. In the year one hundred and forty-eight, the
fifteenth day of the month of Xanthicus.
verses 1-42 have
been omitted from the Mass readings.
 When these covenants were made,
Lysias went to the king, and the
Jews gave themselves to husbandry.
 But they that were behind, namely, Timotheus and Apollonius the son
of Genneus, also Hieronymus, and Demophon, and besides them Nicanor the
governor of Cyprus, would not suffer them to live in peace, and to be
 The men of Joppe also were guilty of this kind of wickedness: they
desired the Jews who dwelt among them to go with their wives and
children into the boats, which they had prepared, as though they had no
enmity to them.  Which when they had consented to, according to the
common decree of the city, suspecting nothing, because of the peace:
when they were gone forth into the deep, they drowned no fewer than two
hundred of them.
 But as soon as Judas heard of this cruelty done to his countrymen,
he commanded the men that were with him: and after having called upon
God the just judge,  He came against those murderers of his
brethren, and set the haven on fire in the night, burnt the boats, and
slew with the sword them that escaped from the fire.
 And when he had done these things in this manner, he departed as if
he would return again, and root out all the Joppites.  But when he
understood that the men of Jamnia also designed to do in like manner to
the Jews that dwelt among them,  He came upon the Jamnites also by
night, and set the haven on fire with the ships, so that the light of
the fire was seen at Jerusalem two hundred and forty furlongs off.
 And when they were now gone from thence nine furlongs, and were
marching towards Timotheus, five thousand footmen and five hundred
horsemen of the Arabians set upon them.  And after a hard fight, in
which by the help of God they got the victory, the rest of the Arabians
being overcome, besought Judas for peace, promising to give him
pastures, and to assist him in other things.  And Judas thinking
that they might be profitable indeed in many things, promised them
peace, and after having joined hands, they departed to their tents.
 He also laid siege to a certain strong city, encompassed with
bridges and walls, and inhabited by multitudes of different nations,
the name of which is Casphin.  But they that were within it,
trusting in the strength of the walls, and the provision of victuals,
behaved in a more negligent manner, and provoked Judas with railing and
blaspheming, and uttering such words as were not to be spoken.  But
Machabeus calling upon the great Lord of the world, who without any
rams or engines of war threw down the walls of Jericho in the time of
Josue, fiercely assaulted the walls.  And having taken the city by
the will of the Lord, he made an unspeakable slaughter, so that a pool
adjoining of two furlongs broad seemed to run with the blood of the
 From thence they departed seven hundred and fifty furlongs, and
came to Characa to the Jews that are called Tubianites.  But as for
Timotheus, they found him not in those places, for before he had
dispatched any thing he went back, having left a very strong garrison
in a certain hold:  But Dositheus, and Sosipater, who were captains
with Machabeus, slew them that were left by Timotheus in the hold, to
the number of ten thousand men.
 And Machabeus having set in order about him six thousand men, and
divided them by bands, went forth against Timotheus, who had with him a
hundred and twenty thousand footmen, and two thousand five hundred
 Now when Timotheus had knowledge of the coming of Judas, he sent
the women and children, and the other baggage before him into a
fortress, called Carnion: for it was impregnable and hard to come at,
by reason of the straitness of the places.
 But when the first band of Judas came in sight, the enemies were
struck with fear, by the presence of God, who seeth all things, and
they were put to flight one from another, so that they were often
thrown down by their own companions, and wounded with the strokes of
their own swords.  But Judas was vehemently earnest in punishing
the profane, of whom he slew thirty thousand men.  And Timotheus
himself fell into the hands of the band of Dositheus and Sosipater, and
with many prayers he besought them to let him go with his life, because
he had the parents and brethren of many of the Jews, who, by his death,
might happen to be deceived.  And when he had given his faith that
he would restore them according to the agreement, they let him go
without hurt, for the saving of their brethren.
 Then Judas went away to Carnion, where he slew five and twenty
thousand persons.  And after he had put to flight and destroyed
these, he removed his army to Ephron, a strong city, wherein there
dwelt a multitude of divers nations: and stout young men standing upon
the walls made a vigorous resistance: and in this place there were many
engines of war, and a provision of darts.  But when they had
invocated the Almighty, who with his power breaketh the strength of the
enemies, they took the city; and slew five and twenty thousand of them
that were within.
 From thence they departed to Scythopolis, which lieth six hundred
furlongs from Jerusalem.  But the Jews that were among the
Scythopolitans testifying that they were used kindly by them, and that
even in the times of their adversity they had treated them with
humanity:  They gave them thanks exhorting them to be still
friendly to their nation, and so they came to Jerusalem, the feast of
the weeks being at hand.  And after Pentecost they marched against
Gorgias the governor of Idumea.  And he came out with three
thousand footmen, and four hundred horsemen.  And when they had
joined battle, it happened that a few of the Jews were slain.  But
Dositheus, a horseman, one of Bacenor's band, a valiant man, took hold
of Gorgias: and when he would have taken him alive, a certain horseman
of the Thracians came upon him, and cut off his shoulder: and so
Gorgias escaped to Maresa.
 But when they that were with Esdrin had fought long, and were
weary, Judas called upon the Lord to be their helper, and leader of the
battle:  Then beginning in his own language, and singing hymns with
a loud voice, he put Gorgias' soldiers to flight.
 So Judas having gathered together his army, came into the city
Odollam: and when the seventh day came, they purified themselves
according to the custom, and kept the sabbath in the place.  And
the day following Judas came with his company, to take away the bodies
of them that were slain, and to bury them with their kinsmen, in the
sepulchres of their fathers.  And they found under the coats of the
slain some of the donaries of the idols of Jamnia, which the law
forbiddeth to the Jews: so that all plainly saw, that for this cause
they were slain.  Then they all blessed the just judgment of the
Lord, who had discovered the things that were hidden.  And so
betaking themselves to prayers, they besought him, that the sin which
had been committed might be forgotten.
But the most valiant Judas exhorted the people to keep themselves from
sin, forasmuch as they saw before their eyes what had happened, because
of the sins of those that were slain.
verses 1-26 have
been omitted from the Mass readings.
 In the year one hundred and
forty-nine, Judas understood that
Antiochus Eupator was coming with a multitude against Judea,  And
with him Lysias the regent, who had charge over the affairs of the
realm, having with him a hundred and ten thousand footmen, five
thousand horsemen, twenty-two elephants, and three hundred chariots
armed with hooks.
 Menelaus also joined himself with them: and with great
deceitfulness besought Antiochus, not for the welfare of his country,
but in hopes that he should be appointed chief ruler.  But the King
of kings stirred up the mind of Antiochus against the sinner, and upon
Lysias suggesting that he was the cause of all the evils, he commanded
(as the custom is with them) that he should be apprehended and put to
death in the same place.  Now there was in that place a tower fifty
cubits high, having a heap of ashes on every side: this had a prospect
steep down.  From thence he commanded the sacrilegious wretch to be
thrown down into the ashes, all men thrusting him forward unto death.
 And by such a law it happened that Menelaus the transgressor of the
law was put to death: not having so much as burial in the earth. 
And indeed very justly, for insomuch as he had committed many sins
against the altar of God, the fire and ashes of which were holy: he was
condemned to die in ashes.
 But the king, with his mind full of rage, came on to shew himself
worse to the Jews than his father was.
 Which, when Judas understood, he commanded the people to call upon
the Lord day and night, that as he had always done, so now also he
would help them:  Because they were afraid to be deprived of the
law, and of their country, and of the holy temple: and that he would
not suffer the people, that had of late taken breath for a little
while, to be again in subjection to blasphemous nations.
 So when they had all done this together, and had craved mercy of
the Lord with weeping and fasting, lying prostrate on the ground for
three days continually, Judas exhorted them to make themselves ready.
 But he with the ancients determined, before the king should bring
his army into Judea, and make himself master of the city, to go out,
and to commit the event of the thing to the judgment of the Lord. 
So committing all to God, the creator of the world, and having exhorted
his people to fight manfully, and to stand up even to death for the
laws, the temple, the city, their country, and citizens: he placed his
army about Modin.
 And having given his company for a watchword, The victory of God,
with most valiant chosen young men, he set upon the king's quarter by
night, and slew four thousand men in the camp, and the greatest of the
elephants, with them that had been upon him,  And having filled the
camp of the enemies with exceeding great fear and tumult, they went off
with good success.  Now this was done at the break of day, by the
protection and help of the Lord.
 But the king having taken a taste of the hardiness of the Jews,
attempted to take the strong places by policy:  And he marched with
his army to Bethsura, which was a strong hold of the Jews: but he was
repulsed, he failed, he lost his men.
 Now Judas sent necessaries to them that were within.  But
Rhodocus, one of the Jews' army, disclosed the secrets to the enemies,
so he was sought out, and taken up, and put in prison.
 Again the king treated with them that were in Bethsura: gave his
right hand: took theirs: and went away.  He fought with Judas: and
was overcome. And when he understood that Philip, who had been left
over the affairs, had rebelled at Antioch, he was in a consternation of
mind, and entreating the Jews, and yielding to them, he swore to all
things that seemed reasonable, and, being reconciled, offered
sacrifices, honoured the temple, and left gifts.  He embraced
Machabeus, and made him governor and prince from Ptolemais unto the
 But when he was come to Ptolemais, the men of that city were much
displeased with the conditions of the peace, being angry for fear they
should break the covenant.  Then Lysias went up to the judgment
seat, and set forth the reason, and appeased the people, and returned
to Antioch: and thus matters went with regard to the king's coming and
verses 1-46 have
been omitted from the Mass readings.
 But after the space of three years
Judas, and they that were with
him, understood that Demetrius the son of Seleucus was come up with a
great power, and a navy by the haven of Tripolis to places proper for
his purpose.  And had made himself master of the countries against
Antiochus, and his general Lysias.
 Now one Alcimus, who had been chief priest, but had wilfully
defiled himself in the time of mingling with the heathens, seeing that
there was no safety for him, nor access to the altar,  Came to king
Demetrius in the year one hundred and fifty, presenting unto him a
crown of gold, and a palm, and besides these, some boughs which seemed
to belong to the temple. And that day indeed he held his peace.  But
having gotten a convenient time to further his madness, being called to
counsel by Demetrius, and asked what the Jews relied upon, and what
were their counsels,  He answered thereunto:
They among the Jews that are called Assideans, of whom Judas Machabeus
is captain, nourish wars, and raise seditions, and will not suffer the
realm to be in peace.  For I also being deprived of my ancestors'
glory (I mean of the high priesthood) am now come hither: 
Principally indeed out of fidelity to the king's interests, but in the
next place also to provide for the good of my countrymen: for all our
nation suffereth much from the evil proceedings of those men. 
Wherefore, O king, seeing thou knowest all these things, take care, I
beseech thee, both of the country, and of our nation, according to thy
humanity which is known to all men,  For as long as Judas liveth,
it is not possible that the state should be quiet.
 Now when this man had spoken to this effect, the rest also of the
king's friends, who were enemies of Judas, incensed Demetrius against
him.  And forthwith he sent Nicanor, the commander over the
elephants, governor into Judea:  Giving him in charge, to take
Judas himself: and disperse all them that were with him, and to make
Alcimus the high priest of the great temple.
 Then the Gentiles who had fled out of Judea from Judas, came to
Nicanor by flocks, thinking the miseries and calamities of the Jews to
be the welfare of their affairs.
 Now when the Jews heard of Nicanor's coming, and that the nations
were assembled against them, they cast earth upon their heads, and made
supplication to him, who chose his people to keep them for ever, and
who protected his portion by evident signs.
 Then at the commandment of their captain, they forthwith removed
from the place where they were, and went to the town of Dessau, to meet
them.  Now Simon the brother of Judas had joined battle with
Nicanor, but was frightened with the sudden coming of the adversaries.
 Nevertheless Nicanor hearing of the valour of Judas' companions,
and the greatness of courage with which they fought for their country,
was afraid to try the matter by the sword.  Wherefore he sent
Posidonius, and Theodotius, and Matthias before to present and receive
the right hands.
 And when there had been a consultation thereupon, and the captain
had acquainted the multitude with it, they) were all of one mind to
consent to covenants.  So they appointed a day upon which they
might commune together by themselves: and seats were brought out, and
set for each one.
 But Judas ordered men to be ready in convenient places, lest some
mischief might be suddenly practiced by the enemies: so they made an
 And Nicanor abode in Jerusalem, and did no wrong, but sent away
the flocks of the multitudes that had been gathered together.  And
Judas was always dear to him from the heart, and he was well affected
to the man.  And he desired him to marry a wife, and to have
children. So he married: he lived quietly, and they lived in common.
 But Alcimus seeing the love they had one to another, and the
covenants, came to Demetrius, and told him that Nicanor assented to the
foreign interest, for that he meant to make Judas, who was a traitor to
the kingdom, his successor.
 Then the king being in a rage and provoked with this man's wicked
accusations, wrote to Nicanor, signifying, that he was greatly
displeased with the covenant of friendship: and that he commanded him
nevertheless to send Machabeus prisoner in all haste to Antioch.
 When this was known, Nicanor was in a consternation, and took it
grievously that he should make void the articles that were agreed upon,
having received no injury from the man.  But because he could not
oppose the king, he watched an opportunity to comply with the orders.
 But when Machabeus perceived that Nicanor was more stern to him,
and that when they met together as usual he behaved himself in a rough
manner: and was sensible that this rough behaviour came not of good, he
gathered together a few of his men, and hid himself from Nicanor.
 But he finding himself notably prevented by the man, came to the
great and holy temple: and commanded the priests that were offering the
accustomed sacrifices, to deliver him the man.  And when they swore
unto him, that they knew not where the man was whom he sought, he
stretched out his hand to the temple,  And swore, saying:
Unless you deliver Judas prisoner to me, I will lay this temple of God
even with the ground, and will beat down the altar, and I will dedicate
this temple to Bacchus.
 And when he had spoken thus he departed. But the priests
stretching forth their hands to heaven, called upon him that was ever
the defender of their nation, saying in this manner:
 Thou, O Lord of all things, who wantest nothing, wast pleased that
the temple of thy habitation should be amongst us.  Therefore now,
O Lord the holy of all holies, keep this house for ever undefiled which
was lately cleansed.
 Now Razias, one of the ancients of Jerusalem, was accused to
Nicanor, a man that was a lover of the city, and of good report, who
for his affection was called the father of the Jews.  This man, for
a long time, had held fast his purpose of keeping himself pure in the
Jews' religion, and was ready to expose his body and life, that he
might persevere therein.
 So Nicanor being willing to declare the hatred that he bore the
Jews, sent five hundred soldiers to take him.  For he thought by
insnaring him to hurt the Jews very much.
 Now as the multitude sought to rush into his house, and to break
open the door, and to set fire to it, when he was ready to be taken, he
struck himself with his sword:  Choosing to die nobly rather than
to fall into the hands of the wicked, and to suffer abuses unbecoming
his noble birth.  But whereas through haste he missed of giving
himself a sure wound, and the crowd was breaking into the doors, he ran
boldly to the wall, and manfully threw himself down to the crowd: 
But they quickly making room for his fall, he came upon the midst of
the neck.  And as he had yet breath in him, being inflamed in mind
he arose: and while his blood ran down with a great stream, and he was
grievously wounded, he ran through the crowd:  And standing upon a
steep rock, when he was now almost without blood, grasping his bowels
with both hands, he cast them upon the throng, calling upon the Lord of
life and spirit, to restore these to him again: and so he departed this
verses 1-40 have
been omitted from the Mass readings.
 But when Nicanor understood that
Judas was in the places of
Samaria, he purposed to set upon him with all violence on the sabbath
day.  And when the Jews that were constrained to follow him, said:
Do not act so fiercely and barbarously, but give honour to the day that
is sanctified: and reverence him that beholdeth all things:
 That unhappy man asked, if there were a mighty One in heaven, that
had commanded the sabbath day to be kept.  And when they answered:
There is the living Lord himself in heaven, the mighty One, that
commanded the seventh day to be kept,
 Then he said:
And I am mighty upon the earth, and I command to take arms, and to do
the king's business.
Nevertheless he prevailed not to accomplish his design.
 So Nicanor being puffed up with exceeding great pride, thought to
set up a public monument of his victory over Judas.  But Machabeus
ever trusted with all hope that God would help them.  And he
exhorted his people not to fear the coming of the nations, but to
remember the help they had before received from heaven, and now to hope
for victory from the Almighty.  And speaking to them out of the law,
and the prophets, and withal putting them in mind of the battles they
had fought before, he made them more cheerful:  Then after he had
encouraged them, he shewed withal the falsehood of the Gentiles, and
their breach of oaths.
 So he armed every one of them, not with defence of shield and
spear, but with very good speeches and exhortations, and told them a
dream worthy to be believed, whereby he rejoiced them all.  Now the
vision was in this manner: Onias who had been high priest, a good and
virtuous man, modest in his looks, gentle in his manners, and graceful
in his speech, and who from a child was exercised in virtues, holding
up his hands, prayed for all the people of the Jews:  After this
there appeared also another man, admirable for age, and glory, and
environed with great beauty and majesty:  Then Onias answering,
This is a lover of his brethren, and of the people of Israel: this is
he that prayeth much for the people, and for all the holy city,
Jeremias the prophet of God.
 Whereupon Jeremias stretched forth his right hand, and gave to
Judas a sword of gold, saying:
 Take this holy sword a gift from God, wherewith thou shalt
overthrow the adversaries of my people Israel.
 Thus being exhorted with the words of Judas, which were very good,
and proper to stir up the courage, and strengthen the hearts of the
young men, they resolved to fight, and to set upon them manfully: that
valour might decide the matter, because the holy city and the temple
were in danger.  For their concern was less for their wives, and
children, and for their brethren, and kinsfolks: but their greatest and
principal fear was for the holiness of the temple.
 And they also that were in the city, had no little concern for
them that were to be engaged in battle.
 And now when all expected what judgment would be given, and the
enemies were at hand, and the army was set in array, the beasts and the
horsemen ranged in convenient places,
 Machabeus considering the coming of the multitude, and the divers
preparations of armour, and the fierceness of the beasts, stretching
out his hands to heaven, called upon the Lord, that worketh wonders,
who giveth victory to them that are worthy, not according to the power
of their arms, but according as it seemeth good to him.  And in his
prayer he said after this manner:
Thou, O Lord, who didst send thy angel in the time of Ezechias king of
Juda, and didst kill a hundred and eighty-five thousand of the army of
Sennacherib:  Send now also, O Lord of heaven, thy good angel
before us, for the fear and dread of the greatness of thy arm, 
That they may be afraid, who come with blasphemy against thy holy
And thus he concluded his prayer.
 But Nicanor, and they that were with him came forward, with
trumpets and songs.  But Judas, and they that were with him,
encountered them, calling upon God by prayers:  So fighting with
their hands, but praying to the Lord with their hearts, they slew no
less than five and thirty thousand, being greatly cheered with the
presence of God.
 And when the battle was over, and they were returning with joy,
they understood that Nicanor was slain in his armour.  Then making
a shout, and a great noise, they blessed the Almighty Lord in their own
language.  And Judas, who was altogether ready, in body and mind,
to die for his countrymen, commanded that Nicanor's head, and his hand
with the shoulder should be cut off, and carried to Jerusalem.
 And when he was come thither, having called together his
countrymen, and the priests to the altar, he sent also for them that
were in the castle,  And shewing them the head of Nicanor, and the
wicked hand, which he had stretched out, with proud boasts, against the
holy house of the Almighty God,  He commanded also, that the tongue
of the wicked Nicanor, should be cut out and given by pieces to birds,
and the hand of the furious man to be hanged up over against the temple.
 Then all blessed the Lord of heaven, saying:
Blessed be he that hath kept his own place undefiled.
 And he hung up Nicanor's head in the top of the castle, that it
might be an evident and manifest sign of the help of God.  And they
all ordained by a common decree, by no means to let this day pass
 But to celebrate the thirteenth day of the month of Adar, called,
in the Syrian language, the day before Mardochias' day.
 So these things being done with relation to Nicanor, and from that
time the city being possessed by the Hebrews, I also will here make an
end of my narration.
 Which if I have done well, and as it becometh the history, it is
what I desired: but if not so perfectly, it must be pardoned me. 
For as it is hurtful to drink always wine, or always water, but
pleasant to use sometimes the one, and sometimes the other: so if the
speech be always nicely framed, it will not be grateful to the readers.
But here it shall be ended.