Chapter 1            TO INDEX

     First letter.

1.   We who are at Jerusalem and in all the land of Judea wish our brothers the Jews, which are in Egypt health and peace.

2.   May God be gracious to you and remember His covenant that He made with Abraham Isaac and Jacob His faithful servants, and grant you a heart to serve Him to perform His will with good courage and a willing mind.

3.   That He open your hearts in His law and commandments, and sent you peace hearing your prayers, and be gracious to you and not forsake you in time of trouble, we pray for you continually.

4.   At the time now when Demetrius reigned in the 169th year, we the Jews wrote to you of our need which were most urgent when Jason and his company revolted from the holy land and the kingdom burning our gates and shedding innocent blood.

5.   At that time we prayed and the Lord heard us, and we offered sacrifices with fine flower and lighted lamps and set forth the loaves, and now we desire that you keep the feast of purification with us in the month of Kislev.

    Second letter.

6.   We at Jerusalem and of all Judea with the elders and Judas sent greetings and peace to Aristobulus teacher of King Ptolemy who is of the lineage of the priests, and to all the Jews that are in Egypt.

7.   We thank God greatly that He delivered us from such perils, we who had to defend ourselves against such a mighty king, for He our Lord cast them out of our holy city.

8.   And having come in Persia with his seemingly invincible army, they were slain in the temple of nanea by the deceit of the priests thereof.

9.   For when Antiochus came there with his friends as if he wished to marry her, and as dowry to give her all the moneys of the temple, then the priest did bring them al-right,

10.  But he having gone inside the temple with a small company, the priests shut the doors on him.  And opening the hidden door of the ceiling they cast stones on him and all that were with him killing them, and cutting him in pieces they threw him out to those who were outside.

11.  Blessed be therefore the Lord our God in all things that He so delivers His people from the ungodly.

12.  Since therefore we purpose to celebrate the purification of the temple on the 25th day of the month Kislev, we thought it necessary to notify you thereof that you might also keep it as a feast with us.

13.  And also as the fire which was given us when Nehemiah built the temple and the altar and so again offered sacrifices.

14.  For when our fathers were led into Persia, we the devout priests hid the fire in a deep and dry pit in order to secure it unknown to anyone.

15.  And after some years when Nehemiah was sent home by the king of Persia after the will of God, he instructed the descendants of those priests that had hid the fire, to find it again, but they told us that they found no fire but only murky water.

16.  And he commanded to draw up that water, and the sacrifices being laid up, Nehemiah commanded them to pour that water over the wood and the offerings.

17.  And having done this, and the sun having come out, which until then was hid behind the clouds, a great fire was kindled on it so that every man marveled at it.

18.  Then the priests and the people began to pray until the offering was consumed, and Jonathan began to sing with the others repeating them, and also Nehemiah.

19.  And this was the prayer; O Lord our God, Creator of all things who art fearful strong and righteous, and merciful, and the only, and gracious King, the only giver of all things, the only just Almighty and everlasting.

20.  Thou who delivered Israel from all troubles, and who choose our fathers and hallowed them, receive this offering for Thy whole people Israel and preserve Thy holy heritage.

21.  Gather again those that are scattered from us, deliver them that serve the heathen look on them that are despised and abhorred.  And let the heathen know that Thou art our God, punish them that oppress us and wrong us with much pride, plant again Thy people in Thy holy place as Moses spoke.

22.  And the priests sang psalms of thanksgiving, and when the sacrifice was consumed, Nehemiah commanded the water which was left to be poured on the great stones, and from it also a great flame went up from the flame of the fire of the altar.

23.  This then became known to the king of Persia, how - where in the place where they had hid the fire only water was found, and that it had kindled the fire of the offering.

24.  Then the king searched this matter and preserved the place declaring it holy, and gave much money for it.

25.  Nehemiah then called the place Naphtha, which means, cleansing, while others called it Nephi.

26.  And it is also found in the records that the prophet Jeremiah commanded those who were led away that they should take the fire with them, and giving them the law, he charged them not to forget the commandments of the Lord.

27.  Nor to err in their minds when they would see the images of silver and gold with their ornaments, and with other such speeches he exhorted them that the law should not depart from their heart.

28.  Since we then are about to celebrate the purification, we wished to write you this, for it becomes you that you also keep the same.

29.  We then hope that the Lord God who helps His people and gave them a heritage and a kingdom and priesthood, and a sanctuary as promised in the law, that He will shortly have mercy on us, and gather us out of every land under heaven into the holy place, even as He has now already delivered us out of great troubles and purified this place.


       Chapter 2 

       Introduction to the story of the Maccabees.

1.   The history now of Judas Maccabees and his brothers, and the purification of the great temple, and the dedication of the altar, and the wars against Antiochus Epifanes, and Eupator his son, and the signs that came from heaven to those that behaved themselves manfully to their honor for Judaism, is like this;

2.   For with but a few they overcame the whole country and chased a great multitude of heathen, and recovered again the temple which is renowned the world over, and freed the city, and upheld the laws which had been put down, the Lord being gracious to them.

3.   These things were declared by Jason of Cyrene in five books which we will assay to abridge in one volume, for this greatly detailed work is such that they who look for a narration of the story shall find it difficult reading.

4.   We therefore have taken it on ourselves that it may be read with delight and with ease to memory so that it would be useful to everyone.

5.   We found that such is not easy but a painful matter, for there is much labor and stress involved, just as it is to him who prepares a banquet seeking to please all the guests.

6.   Yet for the pleasure of many we will gladly undertake this and not count the pain, we will not change on the historic account, but recapture it as it was written, except in a abridged form.

7.   For just as a carpenter in building a house - his responsibility is no further than that the framework is built correctly, leaving it to others how it shall he painted or adorned, so also shall we do, and leave it to the first author how he obtained the particulars.

8.   We thus shall do no more than to condense the contents, and thus we shall begin with the story having said this as introduction, that also the introduction may not become greater than the story.


        Chapter 3 

     The defeat of a certain Simon.

1.    When again the holy city was inhabited with all peace, and the law was kept very well for the Godliness of Onias the high priest, and his hatred for wickedness, the kings themselves came to honor the place and magnified the temple with their best gifts so much that Salacious, king of Asia, of his own revenues bore all the cost belonging to the service of the sacrifices.

2.   There was then a certain Simon of the tribe of Benjamin who in that time was governor of the temple, and he was at enmity with Onias because he would not allow him his disorder of the city.

3.   And Onias being mightier than him, he went to Appolonius, son of Thraseas, who at that time was governor of Celosyria and Phenice, and told him that the treasury in Jerusalem was full of money.  And that there was much too much which did not pertain to the account of the sacrifices, and that it was possible to bring it all into the kings hand.

4.   When Apollonius then came to the king, he told him what Simon had said to him of the moneys, and the king charged his servant Heliodorus to go and obtain this money.

5.   And he forthwith took his journey under the disguise of visiting the cities of Celosyria and Phenice, his real intent being to fulfill the command of his king.

6.   And having come to Jerusalem where the high priest courteously received him, he revealed what the king had said and why he was there, and he asked if these things were indeed so.

7.   The high priest then told him that there was a certain part which was put in safe keeping for the widows and orphans, and that some of it belonged to Hircanus, son of Tobias, a man of great dignity, and that it was not at all as Simon had informed them.

8.   And that there was no more than 400 talents of silver and 200 talents of gold, and that it would be very wrong to take such away from those who had entrusted the same to the holy place and the majesty of the temple which is honored the world over.

9.   But Heliodorus, because of the kings command, replied, that it must nevertheless be brought into the kings treasury.  And accordingly on a certain day he entered the temple to attempt it.

10.  Then a great commotion came into the whole city, and the priests in their vestments knelled before the altar calling to God in heaven who had commanded that anything given for safekeeping should be kept, that they should preserve it for those which had committed it to them.

11.  The High priest then was so concerned that anyone looking at him would feel with him, for his countenance was thus changed that it was obvious to anyone who saw him that he was in great agony of heart, and trembled from fear.

12.  Others ran flocking out of their houses to the general supplication, for the place was likely to come into contempt.  And women wearing sackcloth came into the streets and virgins that otherwise would not go out, walked in the gate and on the walls, while others looked out of the windows.

13.  And they all held their hands towards heaven and prayed, it was indeed pitiful to see the people so scared, and the high priest so undone.

14.  While they thus called on God to keep the things entrusted to them, Heliodorus though to execute his intentions.  But having come to the treasury with his guard, the Lord caused a great apparition so that everyone was astonished at the power of God, and fell into great fear and fainting.

15.  For there appeared to them a well adorned horse with a terrible rider on it, which ran fiercely to Heliodorus and smote him with his forefeet.

16.  The rider of that horse appeared to have a harness completely made of gold, and they also saw two well dressed youths that were excellent in beauty and in strength, who stood on both sides of Heliodorus scourging him with many sore stripes till he fell blinded to the ground.

17.  They then that were with him, took him up, and carried him out on a litter, so he who came with great luster and with all his guards to the treasury was now shamefully carried out, all his might being of no avail to him.

18.  Herein thus was the power of God acknowledged, for by the hands of God he was cast down, and lay speechless without all hope of life.

19.  But the Jews praised the Lord that He had thus honored His temple, for the temple which just before was full of fear and trouble, was now full of joy and gladness after the sign manifested of the Almighty Lord.

20.  Some of Heliodorus friends then came to Onias praying him that he would pray to the Lord to spare the life of Heliodorus who was near to death.  The high priest then suspecting that the king might misconceive this as if they had mistreated him, he made an offering for the health of the man.

21.  And while he thus prayed, the two youths appeared again in the same clothing and said to Heliodorus.  Give Onias the high priest great thanks because for his sake the Lord has granted you your life, and seeing you were scourged from heaven, declare to all men the power of God.

22.  And having said these words they appeared no more, and Heliodorus, after he had offered sacrifice to the Lord, and made great vows to Him in saving his life.  He saluted Onias and returned with his host to the king, and testified to all men the great works of the Lord, which he had seen with his own eyes.

23.  And when the king asked him who might be a fit man to once again be sent to Jerusalem, he answered.  If you have any enemy or traitor, sent him there, and you shall receive him well scourged if he escapes with his life, for in that place no doubt there is the special power of God.

24.  For He that dwells in heaven has His eye on that place and defends it, and He punishes and destroys them that come to hurt it.  This then is enough of Heliodorus and the treasury.


       Chapter 4 

     Onias deceitfully put out by Jason.

1.   But Simon having betrayed the money and his nation, he slandered Onias as if he had terrified Heliodorus, and accused him of attempting to gain the rule in the land, while in fact Onias did well for the city and was zealous for the law.

2.   But when his hatred went so far that by some of his factions murders were committed, and Appolonius the governor in his rage increased Simon’s malice, Onias recognizing the danger of his contention went to the king.

3.   This was not an accuser of his countryman, but seeking the good of all both public and private, for he saw that was impossible to without the king keep peace within the state, or to bolster Simon’s folly.

4.   But after the death of Seleucius, when Antiochus Epifanes took the kingdom, Jason the brother of Onias labored deceitfully to become high priest promising the king 360 talents of silver and 80 more of other revenues.

5.   Besides this he promised to assign 150 talents more if he were allowed to set up a place of games and training of the youth in the fashion of the heathen, and to write them that were Antiochians in as the citizens of Jerusalem.

6.   Thus the king granted him this, and he immediately brought the nation to the heathen rule of the Greeks, and took away the royal privileges which were granted to the Jews by John the father of Eupolemus, who went to Rome for peace and aid.

7.   And putting down the old honorable laws, he instituted new heathen customs against the law, and it pleased him to built a place of exercise by the tower where he brought the young men under his subjection making them wear a hat.  (an  idolatry continued to this day)

8.   The heathen lifestyle thus took the overhand because of that ungodly Jason so that the priest no longer considered the altar but went to the games to watch them play discus, so they forsook the honor of their fathers keeping the heathen pleasures for glory

9.   But they had to pay dearly for this, for God sent the very same whose customs they followed as avengers against them to punish them, for God's word is not to be mocked, which thing man finds out in the end.

10.  Now when the game, which was done every fifth year (probably like the Olympics) was held at Tyrus, and the king himself was going to be there, the ungracious Jason sent special messengers from Jerusalem who were Antiochians, to bring 300 drachms of silver as sacrifice to hercules.

11.  But even the bearers did not find it fit to bestow this on such an ungodly sacrifice, and were not of mind to use it to that purpose, and so that which was sent for hercules by the sender was instead used for the making of galleys.

Menelaus buys the high priesthood

12.  When Apollonius was sent to Egypt for the coronation of King Ptolemy Philomentor, and learning that he was in dislikes there, he returned and came to Joppe.

13.  And from there came to Jerusalem where Jason and the city received him honorably bringing him in with lights and great shouting's, and afterwards he went to Phenice,

14.  Three years thereafter Jason sent Menelaus, brother of Simon, to the king to bring him money, and to remind him of certain matters.

15.  But coming to the king he flattered him to bring the high priesthood to himself giving the king 300 talents of silver more than Jason, and so he returned with the command of the king.

16.  But he did not conduct himself as a high priest, but as a raging tyrant and a savage beast, so thus was Jason put out of his post by another just as he put out his own brother, and he had to flee to the land of the Ammonites.

17.  So did Menelaus obtain the high priesthood, but he took no care for the money, which he had promised to the king, and was unable to come up with it when Sotratus, the ruler of the fortress, required it, it being his task to gather the duties.

18.  And so the king called both of them to himself, and Menelaus left his brother Lysimechus in his stead while Sotratus deft Crates, was governor of the Cyprians.

      Onias murdered by Andronicus.

19.  When this was going on the people of Tarsus and Mallus made insurrection because the king had awarded them to his concubine called Antiochis

20.  The king then in all haste came to appease matters leaving Andronicus in charge as his deputy.

21.  And Menelaus supposing that he had gotten a convenient time, stole certain vessels of gold out of the temple, and gave some to Andronicus, and some he sold into Tyrus and the cities round about.

22.  And Onias hearing of it reproved him for it and withdrew into a sanctuary at Daphene, that lies by Antiochia, and Menelaus, taking Andronicus aside, asked him to get Onias into his hands.

23.  And being persuaded to do so, he came to Onias in deceit giving him the right hand with an oath in order to get him to come out of his hiding place.  For he knew that Onias did not trust him, and so when he came forth he pierced him without any regard for justice.

24.  This not only caused grief to the Jews but many other nations also took great indignation, and were much grieved for the unjust murder of the man.

25.  And when the king had come again from the place of Cilicia, the Jews of the city, and also certain of the Greeks, that abhorred the fact, complained to him about Onias that he was slain without cause.

26.  Antiochus then was indeed very grieved because of this mild and honorable man so murdered.  And he was angry with Andronicus, and took away his purple robe.  And tearing his clothes, he led him through the city to the very place where he had murdered Onias, and there he slew the murderer.

27.  So the Lord rewarded him, giving him his punishment as he deserved.

      The temple thief finds reward.

28.  When Lysimachus now with the counsel of his brother Menelaus, had stolen many things from the temple, and this had come known to the people, and much of the gold vessels had disappeared, they gathered themselves being angry.

29.  And Lysimachus assembled about 3000 men intending to defend himself with force, and appointed a cunning captain over them.

30.  But the citizens, seeing this, took stones and big sticks, and some cast ashes in their eyes, so that many were wounded, and some wholly defeated.  while others fled, and they caught the temple thief by the, treasury and killed him

31.  After that they brought Menelaus to judgment, and while the king had come to Tyrus, three men of the counsel gave him to know what had happen, so he might pronounce judgment concerning it.

32.  But Menelaus, being convicted, promised Ptolemy, son of Dorymenes, much money if he would pacify the king towards him, and this man took the king aside to a certain gallery to get a breath of fresh air.

33.  There he changed the king's mind to let the scoundrel, who was the cause of all the trouble, free, the one who caused the poor to be sentenced to death, who even by barbarians would not have been found innocent.

34.  Thus, such as were diligent for the cause of the people, and for the temple, were unjustly condemned to death, this however grieved some that were in Tyrus, and they buried them with honor.

35.  But Menelaus remained in his post with the help of the greedy that were in power, and he increased in malice, a traitor to the citizens.


       Chapter 5

     Jason dies.

1.   About that time Antiochus prepared for a second voyage to Egypt, and it happened in the city for about forty days, there was seen in the air a band of soldiers and troops of horsemen in array, the soldiers running with clothing as of gold and armed with lances.

2.   And they were running against one another with their shields and swords, and casting darts, and their golden armor of various sort glittered, so that everyone in the city prayed that such sight might not mean something bad.

3.   But when a false rumor came that Antiochus was dead Jason took 1000 men and suddenly made an assault on the city, and having climbed the walls, and taken the city, Menelaus fled into the castle.

4.   Jason however slew his own people without mercy, not considering that while he prospered, it was his own defeat and agony, for he vain imagined that he overcame an enemy, instead of his own citizens.

5.   But he was unable to obtain the rule, but received his reward like he deserved.  And he fled again with shame into the land of the Ammonites where he was promptly accused before Aretas, king of Arabia, so that he had to flee from city to city not finding safety anywhere.

6.   For everyone was at enmity with him as one who had departed from his law, and everyone cursed him as a traitor, and enemy of the fatherland, and so he was driven to Egypt.

7.   Thus as he drove many people out of their homeland, so he was driven away and had to die in exile at Lacedeminia where he hoped to have a haven because of family of him which were there.

8.   But just as he cast away many, not bothering to bury them, so he also cried with no-one grieving for him, and not awarded the privilege to be buried in his homeland, he was not even allowed a grave in a strange country.

     Antiochus takes Jerusalem.

9.   When now it came to the ear of king Antiochus that all Judea would fall away from him, he in anger came from Egypt and took Jerusalem with force, and commanded his men not to spare anyone, but to kill anyone they found the streets and in the houses.

10.  So they killed young and old, women and children, and even babies in the cribs, so that in these three days 80.000 died with 40.000 as prisoners, and equally as many were sold.

11.  But Antiochus was not satisfied with this, but thought to take the most holy place on earth, and Menelaus, the traitor, being his guide, he took the holy vessels with his defiled hands together with what other kings had given for decoration and honor with his thieving hands.

12.  And he magnified himself, not considering that the Lord suffered this on the people of the city for their sins.  For had they not sinned, this man would have been scourged as soon is he would have entered, and been defeated in his presumption like as Heliodorus was whom Seleucus sent for the treasury.

13.  For God did not choose the people for the place, but the place for the people’s sake, therefore the temple also had to suffer in the punishment of the people, even as again the Lord rejoiced in the good of the people.

14.  For just as the temple was taken by the enemies when the Lord was angry, so also again it came to glory when the Lord was again gracious to them.

15.  The sum then of what Antiochus stole from the temple was 18.000 talents of silver as he departed for Antioch with great pride as if conceiving to have made the land navigable for ships and the sea passable for men on foot.

16.  And he left some captains to vex the people at Jerusalem, which were Philip, the Phrygian, who in manners was more barbarians than him who left him there, and Garizirn Andronicus, and besides these was Menelaus who was worse than all others to plague his own citizens.

17.  But while Antiochus was thus at enmity with the Jews, he also sent that detestable ringleader Appolonius with an army of 22.000 commanding him to slay all those that were in the prime of their age, and to sell the women and the younger ones.

18.  When therefore he came before Jerusalem, he pretended peace until the day on which the Jews rested, commanding his men to be ready for the day of the Sabbath.

19.  He then slew all that came to the celebration of the Sabbath, and going through the city he slew a great multitude, but Judas Maccabees with about nine others withdrew into the wilderness.

20.  There they lived in the mountains with all that cane to them, living off the herbs of the field, so they might not partake of the pollution of the city. 


       Chapter 6   

     Persecution and the temple defiled.

1.   Not long afterwards the king sent an old man from Athens; to compel the Jews to depart from the law of their fathers, no longer to serve the Lord, and to pollute the temple in Jerusalem, and to call it the temple of jupiter olympius,

2.   And to call the temple at Gerizim - of xenius, even though strangers lived there.  But this foul thing grieved everyone, for the temple was filled with riot and reveling of the heathen many of them bringing in whores with them.

3.   And they offered on the altar what was forbidden, nor did they allow any man to keep the Sabbath, or the feasts, and many dared not to profess himself Jews.

4.   And each day they constrained them to eat of the foul sacrifices, and on the day of the king's birth, when the feast of bacchus was kept, they compelled them to go in procession.

5.   And at the counsel of Ptolemy they had made a command that everywhere in the cities around Jerusalem they should force the Jews to partake of the sacrilege and that anyone who did not confirm - be put to death.

6.   A great misery was then seen, two women, who had circumcised their children, were brought, and binding their children to their breasts, they led them through the city till at last they cast them from the wall.

7.   Some then had hid themselves in the caves so the might keep the Sabbath, and this being brought to the attention of Philip, were burned, for they refused to defend themselves in order not to defile the Sabbath.

8.   But I must caution the reader here, that he does not overly vex himself for this misery, but consider that this punishment was not for destruction, but came to them for a warning.

9.   For it is a token of goodness when sinners are not suffered for any long time, but forthwith punished, for not like with other nations where the Lord forbears to punish until they are come to the fullness of their sins, to punish them afterwards.

10.  But He stops us, so that we should not fill up the measure, after which He would have to pass His wrath on us, therefore also did He never at any time take His compassion from us, and though He chastens us, He has not fully left us.

11.  This I wished to say here as an admonition, and now we shall continue with the history.

       Eleazar martyred.

12.  There was an aged man of the foremost of the scribes named Eleazar, a well looking man whom they constrained to eat the flesh of swine’s.

13.  But he wished rather to die with honor than to live stained with such an abomination, and he spit out the vile meat, and coming to the place of torment, he rebuked those that ate forbidden meats for love of this temporal life.

14.  Those then that were chosen to constrain the people to eat the meat of swine’s, which is against the law, took him whom they had know for such a long time - aside;

15.  And they told him that they would bring him meat which he was allowed to eat, and he needed only to fake as if it were the meat of the swine from the sacrifice so commanded by the king, to save him from death, and to continue to enjoy the old friendship.

16.  But he considered himself according to his age and his gray hair and his upbringing from his youth, and as it becomes the holy Godly law, and said forthwith;

17.  "Tarry no longer to put me to death, for it would be an disgrace to my age that I should thus fake it, that the young men should think that this Eleazar now 80 years old has also become an heathen, and they be misled thereby to live a little longer in hypocrisy, and I should stain my old age making myself abominable.

18.  For though I might be delivered of the punishment of men for the present, yet will I not escape the hand of Almighty God, neither alive nor dead.  Therefore I will die rejoicing, as it becomes me, an old man, and leave an example to the young that they also might die heroic for the holy law.  "

19.  And having spoken these words, those who before were so friendly, now were angry at these words, and brought him to the torments, for they supposed that he had said it out of pride.

20.  But having been beaten, and being about to die, he said; The Lord before whom nothing is hidden knows that I could have escaped from these beatings and pain of my body, but for the sake of my soul I suffer it gladly for the will of God.

21.  And so he died leaving a good example of courage, and a memorial of virtue, which was not only to the young men, but also to the whole nation.


       Chapter 7 

     Victory of the seven sons and their mother.

1.   It also came to pass that seven brothers with their mother were taken and compelled to eat the meat of swine’s as by the order of the king against the law, and they were tormented with scourges and whips.

2.   The eldest of them then first said; what will you ask or learn from us?  We will rather die than to transgress the law of our fathers.

3.   The king then in rage commanded the pans and cauldrons to be made hot, and this being done, he commanded that the tongue be cut off of the eldest, and also his hand and feet in full view of his mother and brothers.

4.   When he was thus maimed, he let him he brought to the fire to roast in the pot, and when the flame began to burn there in, they exhorted one another and the mother to die manfully.

5.   For they said; The Lord God shall behold justice and grant us mercy as Moses testified in his song saying; and He shall comfort His servants.

6.   The first one then having died, they brought the second to take their pleasure on him, and having pulled off the skin of his head with the hair, they asked; Will you eat before you are tormented in all your members?

7.   But he answered in his language saying; no I will not.  Then they took him and tormented him as the first, and being at his last breath he said; You accursed men, you take from me my mortal life, but the God of the whole world shall raise us, who died for His law, to life everlasting.

8.   After that they took the third son doing their pleasure on him, and being asked of them to eat, he of himself put forth his tongue and put out his arms and said;

9.   These members were given me of God, and for His law I will gladly give them, for I know that He will again return them to me.

10.  The king then and his servants were very astonished that the young man spoke so boldly not regarding the torment, and having died they took the fourth and whipped him.

11.  But as he was near to dying he said; this is a great comfort on which we hope, that when men kill us, God shall again raise us, but you shall not be raised to life.

12.  After that they took the fifth son and mangled him, but this one looked at Antiochus and said to him.  You are a man, and must die, and while you have power on earth, you do as you please, but do not think that the Lord has left us, wait only a little while and you shall find out how mighty God is, who shall plague you and your congregations.

13.  After him they brought also the sixth, and this one also said when he was about to die.  / Be not deceived, for we suffer these things for our sins which we have committed against God, and He dealt marvelously with us, but you will not remain unpunished to so rage against God.

14.  But the mother was wondrous above all, and worthy of an honorable memory, for she saw her seven sons die in one day one after the other in torments, and bore it with great courage for the hope, which she had in God.

15.  And therein she was so courageous that she admonished one after the other in her own language with a manly spirit saying;

16.  I am your mother and bore you, but your life and breath you have not of me, nor have I made your members as they are.  He therefore that created the world and all men, shall give you again in mercy your breath and your life which you now forfeit, and grant for sake of His law.

17.  And Antiochus hearing this, thought that she despised him and was scorning him in her language.  And he called the youngest before him admonishing him with friendly words that if he would depart from the law of his fathers, he would be merciful to him, and swore it with an oath.

18.  But the young man would in no way listen to him, and the king called his mother to counsel the young man to save his life, and having exhorted her with many words, she promised that she would counsel her son.

19.  But she only mocked with the tyrant, for she went to her son and spoke to him in her language saying.  O my son have pity on me who bore you for nine months in my womb, and suckled you and brought you up to this age enduring the troubles of education.

20.  I ask you my son, look on heaven and earth and all that is therein, and consider that God made them of things that were not, and mankind was likewise made.  Fear therefore not this tormentor, but be worthy of your brothers and take your death that I may receive you again in mercy with your brothers.

21.  And while she was yet speaking these words, the young man said; What are you waiting for, do not think that I will obey the king's command, but I will obey the commandment of the law that was given of our father by Moses.

22.  And you O king who has been the author of mischief against the Hebrews, you shall not escape the hand of God.  We indeed suffer for our sins, and though the living Lord be angry with us for a while, chastening us to correction, He will nonetheless again be merciful with His servants.

23.  But you O you godless and accursed man, do not lift yourself up for your power, nor be puffed up for a vain hope persecuting the children of God, for you have not escaped the wrath of God who sees all things.

24.  My brothers, who let themselves be tortured for a small moment, are now awaiting everlasting life, but you in the judgment of God shall receive just punishment for your pride.

25.  My brothers and I offer our lives for the laws of our fathers, praying God that He will speedily be merciful to our nation, and that you by torments and plagues may confess that He alone is God.  And that in me and my brothers the wrath of the Almighty, which is justly brought on our nation, may cease.

26.  Then the king in rage handled him worse than all the rest, taking it grievously that he was mocked, and so this man died undefiled putting his whole trust in the Lord.

27.  Last of all the mother died, and let this be enough to have said of the idolous feasts and the extreme tortures.


       Chapter 8

     Judas takes the lead.

1.   Judas Maccabees then, and they that were with him, went privately into the towns calling together their kinfolk’s such as kept the Jewish law, and so assembled about 6000 men

2.   And they called on the Lord that He would look on the people that were downtrodden and to pity the temple that was profaned with ungodly men, and to have compassion on the city, which was become a desolation.

3.   And that He would remember the wicked slaughter of the harmless infants, and the blasphemies committed against His name, and to show His hatred against the wicked. 

4.   And Judas with his men plagued the heathens greatly, for the Lord's anger ceased, and He being merciful with them.  These then came unaware into the cities and towns, and burned them, and took the foremost places doing much harm to the enemy, this was done mostly by night, and from far and wide his deeds were spoken of.

5.   And Philip, seeing that he became stronger and stronger prospering, he wrote to Ptolemy, governor of Celosyria, to yield more aid to the king.

6.   Ptolemy then send one of his special friends named Nicanor, son of Parelus, with 20,000 men on foot out to the Jews, and with him he sent one named Gorgias, well experienced in warfare.

7.   Nicanor then undertook to make profit of the Jews, to capture them in order to defray a tribute of 2000 talents, which the king owed to the Romans.

8.   Immediately thereafter he sent to the cities by the sea proclaiming a sale of the Jews to sell 90 of them for a talent, not surmising that the wrath of God was near to come on him.

9.   When Judas then heard that Nicanor was coming, he told the Jews that an army was coming, and that he would punish them who had not the faith and trust in God, these then walked off and fled.

10.  But the others sold all they had and prayed the Lord that He would deliver them (noting that Nicanor had already sold them before he had captured them).

11.  And that if not for their sakes, that He would deliver them for the sake of the covenant which He had made with their fathers for His glorious name after which they were called.

12.  When Maccabees therefore had brought his men together, about 6000, he exhorted them with care that they be not afraid of the enemy nor fear for their multitude that wrongfully was coming against them.

13.  But to fight bravely, and to think of the scorn they had done to the holy places, and how they had mocked and plagued the city and done away with the ancestral law.

14.  "They trust in their weapons and pride, so he said, but we trust in Almighty God who not only in one moment can put them that are come against us down, but the whole world. "

15.  And he also related to them the stories of how the Lord mercifully had helped their fathers, how Sannecherib with 185.000 men had perished in one night.

16.  And of the battle they had in Babylon with the Galatians, how they came with 80.000 men and 10.000 Macedonians and how the Macedonians lost heart, and the Jews with the help of God and only 8000 men defeated 120.000 men, and obtained great spoils.

17.  When therefore he had put zeal into them with these words, so that they would gladly die for their nation and the law, he set them into four troops, and put his brothers up front in the battle to lead them on.  These were Simon, Joseph, and Jonathan, and he placed 1500 with each.

18.  After this he let Eleazar read from the holy book, and gave them a watchword, saying, our help is our God.  And so he went foremost in the order, and took on Nicanor.

      Defeat of Nicanor.

19.  And the Lord Almighty was with them so that they put the whole army in flight, and wounding many, they killed about 9000, and they took their money, which had come to purchase them.

20.  And they pursued them, but lacking the time, they returned, for it was the day before the sabhath for which reason they no longer pursued them.

21.  And taking their weapons and the spoils, they kept the Sabbath and honored and praised the Lord who had saved them this day to begin again to show His mercy.

22.  And after the Sabbath they gave of the spoil to widows and orphans, With the rest among themselves and their own children, and together they asked of the compassionate Lord that His anger might depart from them fully.

23.  After this, they had many battles with Timotheus, and Bacchides, and slew in excess of 20.000 men and took the strongholds and divided much spoil among themselves and with the widows and orphans, and with the aged equally as much. 

24.  And gathering the weapons they laid them up in the strongholds, bringing the great spoil to Jerusalem, and they killed Philarches, captain of Timothius, who had sorely vexed Israel.

25.  And they celebrated the victory at home in Jerusalem, and burned Calisthenes, and yet others who had put fire to the holy gates and had fled into a small house, he therefore received the just reward for his wickedness.

26.  As for that unsavory Nicanor, who had brought a thousand merchants to purchase the Jews, was by the help of the Lord defeated before them, which he considered as being least.

27.  And having put off his glorious apparel and discharging his company, he became like a fugitive through the midst of the land up to Antioch, being greatly grieved that his host was destroyed.

28.  He therefore that had thought to gain the tribute due to the Romans, by selling the Jews, had to confess that it was God who fought for the Jews, for which reason they were invincible.  For they walked in the law that He had given them.


       Chapter 9 

      Antiochus humbled.

1.   About that time, Antiochus had to retreat with dishonor out of Persia, for having come to Persepolis, he undertook to plunder the temple, and to take the city, but the citizens stood up and drove him back so that he had to flee with shame.

2.   And coming to Ecabane, he learned what had befallen Nicanor and Timotheus, and this made him angry, and he thought to avenge on the Jews the disgrace done to him by those that made him flee.

3.   He then drove his chariots night and day, for the anger of God drove him, because he had spoken so proudly saying; that as soon as he would come to Jerusalem, to make a grave out of her. 

4.   Therefore did the Lord punish him with a hidden plague which no-one could heal, for no sooner had he spoken it or he got such a pain in his body and cramp in his insides, which was most just because he had tormented other man's bowels with torments.

5.   He however did not at all cease from bragging, but still filled with pride, and in rage against the Jews, he hasted, but it came to pass as he was running his chariot so hard, that he fell from it, and he had much pain in all his members.

6.   He thus that had just thought he could command the waves of the sea, and to weigh the heights of the mountains in a balance, such a man now by the simple fall had to be carried off on a litter, which to all showed the manifest power of God.

7.   And worms also carne out of the body of this wicked man, and living in sorrow and pain, whole pieces of his rotten flesh fell away, and the stench was such that no one could stand it.

8.   The man had just before thought to reach the stars of heaven, and now no man could endure to carry him for the stench that was intolerable.

9.   He then had to come down from his pride to come to himself, being thus plagued by God, his pains increasing moment by moment, nor could he abide his own smell, and spoke at last;

10.  It is right that a man humbles himself before God, that a mortal man shall not be so proud to imagine that he is like God.

11.  And so the wicked man began to pray to God who now would no longer have mercy on him, and he promised that he would free the holy city, which before he had thought to destroy and make into a grave.

12.  And that the Jews whom just previously he had not thought worthy to be buried, but to give them as food for the birds and wild beasts, he would now set free?  and make them like the citizens of Athens.

13.  And the holy temple that he previously had plundered, that now he would adorn it with all sorts of goodly things, and to restore the holy vessels with many more from his own revenue.

14.  And to give of his own income that which was yearly required for the sacrifices, and on top of that, he wanted himself to become a Jew, and to praise God in all places, declaring His power, of Antiochus to the Jews.

15.  But for all this his pains would not cease, for the just judgment of God was come on him, and despairing of his life, he wrote the following supplicating letter to the Jews;

16.  Antiochus, king and governor to the good Jews, greetings. If you and your children fare well and all is to your contentment I give great thanks to God having my hope in heaven.

17.  As for me, I am ill and weak; or else I would have remembered you kindly to have general peace with you, which is quite needful now that I have come from Syria having become ill.  And I recall your trust and friendship, and having great hope that I shall be well again.

18.  But considering my father, when he led an army into the high country, he appointed a successor so that if things did not go as expected that the people of the land might know to whom the state was left, and not to be troubled.

19.  And again considering how the princes that border my realm wait on an opportunity to try for my kingdom in the event it went amiss with me, I have appointed my son Antiochus, whom I often commended unto you when I was in the high country, as king.

20.  Him now I again commend to you and I also pray and request of you to remember the benefits that I have done to you in general, and in special.  And that every man will be faithful to my son and me for I am persuaded that, understanding my mind, he will yield favorably and graciously to your desires.

End letter.

21.  Thus the murderer and blasphemer having suffered grievously as he had done to other men, so he died a miserable death in a strange country in the mountains.

22.  And Philip that was brought up with him carried his body away, and fearing the son of Antiochus, he went to Egypt, to Ptolemy Philomentor.


        Chapter 10

      The cleansing of the temple.

1.   And thus the Lord gave to the Maccabees and them that were with them the city and the temple, and they destroyed the altars, which the heathen had put in the streets.

2.   And having cleansed the temple they made another altar, and taking flint-stones, they made fire, and again made offerings which had not happen in two years, and incense was again offered, the lamps lit, and the showbread laid down.

3.   And this all being done, they bowed on their faces before the Lord, and asked of Him that they might not again come into such troubles.  But if they sinned anymore, that He Himself would chasten them with mercy, and not to be delivered in the hands of blasphemers and barbarians.

4.   On that day then, on the 25th of Kislev the offerings again being made, they kept it eight days with gladness, as in the feast of tabernacles.

5.   And they carried palm branches and boughs and sang psalms to Him that had given them victory, and that the temple was again cleansed.

6.   And they ordained that the whole nation of the Jews would keep this year by year, and thus Antiochus Epifanes came to his end.

      Judas defeats the Edomites.

7.   And now we will declare the acts of Antiochus Eupator, who was the son of this wicked man.

8.   When he had become king, he appointed one named Lysias over the affairs of his realm, making him governor of Celosyria and Phenice, since Ptolemy, surnamed Macron, chose rather to do justice to the Jews for the wrong that had been done to them.

9.   This man was accused by the king's friends before Eupator, being called a traitor and every other word, for he had left Cyprus, which Philomentor had committed to him, and had come to Antiochus Epifanes.

10.  And so, seeing that his honor was taken from him, and no place was left him, he was so discouraged that he killed himself with poison.

11.  But when Gorgias was governor of the holds, he hired soldiers, and continually made war with the Jews, and also the Edomites, since they had well located strongholds, and did much to harm the Jews, and they took to themselves every deserter of Jerusalem.

12.  Then those that were with the Maccabees prayed to the Lord that He would help them, and they fell on the Edomites in their strongholds with much courage, and slew all that came into their hands killing no less than 20.000.

13.  And about 9000 fled to two strong towers which were well fortified having all manner of things to sustain a siege.  Simon and Joseph then were left with Zacheus, and such as were with them counting these sufficient for the siege and Maccabees himself departed for such places that were in more need of his help.

14.     But the men that were with Simon allowed themselves to be bribed by those that were in the towers, and taking 70.000 drachms, they let some escape.

15.     And when Maccabees was told of this, he called the captains of captains of these people together accusing them that they had sold their brothers for money and allowed the enemies to escape, and he caused them to be slain as traitors.

16.     He then went forthwith up against the two towers, and having good success, he slew more than 20.000 men of these two strongholds.

       Defeat and death of Timotheus.

17.     Timotheus now, whom the Jews had overcome before, gathered much foreign forces and cavalry from Asia thinking with much force to fully destroy the Jews.

18.     But as he drew near, the men with Maccabees prayed to the Lord humbling themselves putting ashes on their heads, and girded with sackcloth, they knelled at the foot of the altar entreating God to be merciful to them, and to be at enmity with their enemies, to set Himself against them that set themselves against Him as declared in the law.

19.     And after the prayer they took their weapons, and going on out of the city, drew near to their enemies, and at dawn they joined battle, the Jews trusting on the Lord - which is a sure sign of victory, while the others had their foolish pride for leader.

20.     And in the heat of the battle there appeared to the enemies five glorious men on horses with bridles of gold, and two of them sided with the Jews keeping Maccabees between them safeguarding him.

21.     But they shot arrows and lightning against the enemies confounding and blinding them, thus there were slain 20500 footmen, and 600 of the cavalry.

22.     Timotheus however fled to the stronghold at Gazara where Chereas was captain, and Maccabees laid siege against it for four days.

23.     The men then that were in that stronghold trusting in the strength thereof spoke very blasphemous with very wicked words.  And on the fifth day 20 of the young men of Maccabees inflamed with anger because of the blasphemies, courageously assaulted the wall, and in their anger killed all that were, within their reach.

24.     Then others followed and climbed the wall on the other side and burned the towers with the blasphemers inside it, and still others broke open the gates so that the whole company could enter, and thus they took the city and killed Timotheus who had hid himself in a pit.

25.     And they also killed his brother Chereas, arid Apollophanes, and they praised the Lord with palms and thanksgiving who had done such great things for Israel giving them the victory.


      Chapter 11

     Judas defeats Lysias.

1.  Not long after this, Lysias, the king's protector and cousin, who also managed the affairs, took sore displeasure for the things that were done, and having gathered about 80.000 men and all the cavalry, he came up against the Jews.

2.  Thinking as he did, to make the city a habitation of Gentiles, and to use the temple to his gain, like as he did with the heathen temples setting up the yearly priesthood for sale.

3.  He did of course not consider that God was mightier, for he was proud in his great troops, those that he had on horseback and on foot, and on 80 elephants. 

4.  And so he came to Judea drawing near to Bethsura, which was a strong fortress, but some distance from Jerusalem, about five furlongs, and he laid siege against it.

5.  The Maccabees then on hearing this, they and all the people sought the Lord with lamentations and tears that He would sent a good angel to deliver Israel

6.  And Maccabees himself first took up his weapons imploring the others that they would come with them to help their brothers, and so they went together.

7.  And as they were going and yet at Jerusalem, there appeared to them a rider on horseback in white clothing and a golden harness that went before them.

8.  Then they praised the merciful Lord, and took heart, ready to fight, even if it had been with wild beast or if the wall had been of steel.

9.  And so they marched forth in their armor with their helper of heaven whom the Lord in His mercy had sent to them, and they attacked their enemies as lions, and slew 11.000 footmen, 1600 horsemen and put all the others to flight.

10.  And many of them that fled were wounded, and Lysias himself fled away shamefully, and so escaped. 

       Antiochus and Lysias bid peace with Israel.

11.  Lysias however was an understanding man, and seeing what he had lost, and how the Hebrews were not to be overcome because the Lord Almighty helped them, he sent to them for peace under conditions.

12.  He promised them that he would persuade the king to be their friend, and Maccabees consented, for he considered the common good, and also the king consented to the decree of Lysias with the Jews.

13.  The letter then that Lysias wrote to the Jews read as follows; Lysias to the people of the Jews, greetings.  Your ambassadors, John and Absolon, brought the letter for which they were sent.

14.  And that which was to be made known to the king I have done, and the king has agreed to all that is beneficial, if therefore you shall keep trust and faith, it will also be diligent to in the future care for whatsoever is best towards you.

15.  Both my and your ambassadors then are charged to define to you each of the articles.  Farewell, signed in the year 146, the 24th day of the month Dioskorus.

16.  The king's letter then contained these words, King Antiochus to his brother Lysias, greetings.

17.  After our father died and became a god, there is nothing better for us but that there be peace in our realm so that everyone may attend to his own affairs.

18.  We have understood that the Jews have not been willing to change their worship to do after the manner of the Gentiles, but they are firmly set to remain with their own service, and they require of us that we suffer them to live after their own laws.

19.  Since therefore we deem it right that this nation also live in peace, we determined to restore them their temple, that they may live according to the customs of their forefathers.

20.  You shall do well therefore to send representatives to them granting peace, and giving them to understand our meaning to he of good comfort, and to perform their own affairs without any fear.

End letter.

21.  And the letter of the king to the Jews was as follows, Kin Antiochus to the counsel of the Jews, greetings.

22.  If you fare well, we have our desire, and we also are in good health.  Menelaus declared to us that it was your desire to return home, to follow your own affairs.

23.  All the Jews therefore that will so travel between now and the 30th day of Xanthicus will have safe conduct, so that in what they eat, and in all other things they may conduct themselves according to the law as they did before.

24.  And no one shall be done any harm for anything that has been done before, and as evidence I have sent Menelaus that he may comfort you, Fare well, signed in the 148th year, the 15th of the month Xanthicus.

End letter.

25.  The Romans also sent them a letter containing these words, Quintus Memius, and Titus Manlius, ambassadors of the Romans, to the people of the Jews.

26.  Whatsoever Lysias, the king's cousin, has granted with that we also are well pleased, but concerning the things which he judged to be referred to the king, consult with one another, and sent someone forthwith so that we may redress our confederacy, for we are now going to Antioch.

27.  With haste therefore send one so we may know what is on your mind.  Farewell, this 148th year the 15th day of Xanthicus. 


     Chapter 12 

     Judas punishes Joppe and Jamnia.

1.  When these covenants were made, Lysias went to the king, and the Jews went about their husbandry.

2.  But the governors Timotheus, and Apollonius son of Genneus, also Heironymus, and Demophon, and Nicanor governor of Cyprus, suffered them not to live in peace.

3.  The men of Joppe then did an ungodly deed, they convinced the Jews that dwelt among them to with their wives and children enter into the boats which they had prepared as though they meant them no harm.

4.  And the Jews accepted it, it being decreed in the city, and suspecting no evil - they came at sea, and there they drowned them no less than two hundred of them.

5.  And Judas hearing of this cruelty to his countrymen, commanded those that were with him to get ready.  And calling on God the righteous Judge, he came against those murderers of his brothers and burned the haven by night setting also the boats on fire, and slew them that were in the harbor.

6.  And the city itself being shut-up, he acted as if he left with the intend to return and root them all out of the city of Joppe.

7.  But hearing that the Jamites were like minded to do to the Jews that were among them, he came on them in the night and set fire to the harbor and the navy, so that the light of the fire was seen at Jerusalem 240 furlongs off.

8.  And having gone from there some 9 furlongs going towards Timotheus, no fewer than 5000 men on foot and a cavalry of 500 of the Arabians met them.

9.  And a sore battle ensued, but Judas with the help of God got the victory so that the Nomads of Arabia were overcome and asked Judas for peace promising him cattle and other help.

10.  And Judas thinking that they indeed could be profitable granted them peace, and they shook hands and departed to their towns. 

       Judas takes Kaspin and defeats Timotheus.

11.  He also went to a city named Kaspin, which was well fortified with bridges and walls in which people of various countries lived.  And they were confident in their strong wails and the great store of food, wherefore they behaved rude towards Judas and his men blaspheming them with words such as are not to be spoken.

12.  Judas and his company then called on the great Lord of the world who without any rams or engines of war cast Jericho down in the time of Joshua, and they made a fierce assault on the walls and took the city.

13.  And they killed a great many so that the nearby lake, which was two furlongs broad, looked as though it was filled with blood.

14.  From there they departed some 740 furlongs and came to Caraca to the Jews which were called Tobieni, but they did not find Timotheus, for he had left there already before he was able to do anything, and left only a garrison in a stronghold.

15.  Dositheus, and Sosipater, two of the captains of Maccabees, however, went and slew those that Timotheus had left in the stronghold, which were more than 10.000 men

16.  Maccabees then arranged his army by bands, and they went up against Timotheus who had 12.000 men on foot, and a cavalry of 500 men.

17.  When Timotheus then got knowledge of it that Judas was coming up against him, he sent the women the children and baggage to a fortress called Carnion, which was among steep rocks in the mountains, hard to lay any siege against.

18.  But as soon as the enemy saw the first band of Judas, they were smitten with fear and terror in the appearance of Him who sees all things, and they fled one way and another so that in the tumult they hurt and wounded each other.

19.  Yet Judas pursued them killing the wicked wretches of whom he slew 30.000 men, and Timotheus himself fell into the hands of Dositheus and Sosipater.

20.  And he prayed them earnestly not to kill him, for he held many of their fathers and brothers hostage, which if they killed him, they also would die.

21.  And having assured him with many words that he would restore them without any harm according to an agreement for his life, they let him go for the sake of their brothers. 

       Judas takes Carnion and defeats Gorgias.

22.  Then Maccabees marched forth against Carnion and the temple of atargatis, where he slew 20.000 persons, and having put them to flight and destruction, he went on to Ephron.

23.  In that strong city was Lysias with a great many of divers nations, but the young men in front of the city defended themselves bravely having ample arrows and other weaponry.

24.  But when Judas and his company called on the Almighty Lord who with His strength breaks the power of His enemies, they won the city and 25.000 of: them that were within.

25.  From there they departed to Scytopolis which is 600 furlongs from Jerusalem, but when the Jews that dwelt there testified that the citizens dealt lovingly with them at any time during their adversity, they thanked them.

26.  And they bade them to continue to be favorable to their people, and so they came to Jerusalem at a time when the feast of weeks was near.

27.  But after the feast of Pentecost they went forth against Gorgias governor of Idumean, who came out with 3000 footmen and 400 men on horses, and the battle being fought, a few of the Jews were killed.

28.  And Dositheus who was on horseback, took Gorgias by his coat drawing him by force, for he wanted him alive, but a horseman from Thracian coming on him cut off his arm so that Gorgias fled to Marisa.

29.  When then the battle with Gorgias continued long, and they were weary, Judas called on the Lord that He would show Himself to be their helper and leader of the battle.

30.  And he called to the people in the Hebrew tongue singing a psalm with a loud voice, and the men of Gorgias of a sudden took to flight.

31.  And Judas gathered his host and came to the city of Odullam, and on the seventh day they purified themselves as was the custom, and kept the Sabbath there.

32.  The following day Judas and his company, as was their habit, took up the bodies of the men that were slain to bury them, and under the coats of everyone of these they found images of the idols of the Jaminite which is forbidden in the law of the Jews.

33.  Every man therefore saw that for that reason they were slain, and they praised the Lord the righteous Judge who had shown them the things that were hid, and prayed to Him that He would not for this sin destroy them altogether.

34.  And Judas exhorted the people to keep themselves from sin, for as much as they saw before them the destruction which had come to pass on them that were slain for their sins.

35.  And having gathered from his company the sum of 2000 drachms of silver, he sent it to Jerusalem for a sin offering, doing very well therein, being mindful of the resurrection.

36.  For if he had not hoped that those who were slain would rise again, it would have been vain and foolish to pray for the dead.

37.  For he also considered that those who die in faith have joy and salvation to hope for, thus it was a holy and good thought; therefore did he pray for the dead, that they might be delivered from sin.


     Chapter 13

     Judas defeats Antiochus.

1.  In the 149th year it was told Judas that Antiochus Eupator was coming with a great power into Judea, and with him Lysias his protector and ruler of his affairs.  And with him were 110.000 Grecian men on foot, and a cavalry of 5000, with 300 elephants and 2300 chariots with hooks.

2.  And joined with him was Menelaus who deceitfully encouraged Antiochus to destroy his  nation, for he thought to be made high priest and governor

3.  But the King of all kings, the Lord moved Antiochus mind against this wicketd wretch, and Lysias informed the king that this man was the cause of all mischief, so that the king commanded him to be brought to Berea to be put to death according to the manner of that place.

4.  In that place then there was a tower 50 cubits high, full of ashes, and it had a round instrument which on every side hanged down into the ashes, and whoever was condemned for sacrilege or had committed any other grievous crime, they were put to death on that instrument.

5.  Such a death thus came to that wicked man, for in as much as he had committed any sins about the altar, the fire and ashes of which were holy, he received his death in ashes.

6.  But the king was very angry with the Jews, and in pride thought to bring harm to them more than his father had done.

7.  And Judas, coming to know this, commanded his multitude to call on the Lord night and day, that if at any time He would help, now was the time, since they were about to be severed from their law and their country and from the temple.

8.  That He would not suffer the people, who at last had some refreshing, to be in subjection to blasphemous nations, and doing so altogether, they entreated the Lord with weeping and fasting, and prostrated themselves for three days.

9.  Then Judas comforted them, and commanded them to be ready, and consulting with the elders, they determined to go forth against him before he would enter Judea or the city, to so bring the matter to an end with the help of God.

10.  And having committed all things to the Creator of the world, he admonished his men to fight manfully even to death for the law, for the temple, the city, the country, and for the people, and he encamped by Modin, and gave them a lore saying; Victory is of God.

11.  He then went up in the night with his best warriors into the king's camp and slew 4000 men together with the forefront of the elephants, and everyone that was in the stronghold.

12.  This brought great fear and confusion to the whole army, and so by daybreak they departed having had good success because of the help of the Lord with

13.  The king then, having had a taste of the manliness of the Jews, turned to take the stronghold by deceit, and marched towards Bethsura, which was a stronghold of the Jews.  But failing, he was put to flight suffering loss, for Judas had seen to it that they were well equipped and ready.

14.  But there was one among the Jews, a certain Rhoducus, who disclosed the secret to the enemies wherefore they searched for him, and when they had gotten him, they put him in prison.

15.  After that the king made peace with Bethsura and departing from there he fought with Judas, but lost.

       Peace made with the Jews.

16.  And being told that Philip, whom he had left over his affairs in Antioch, was become a traitor against him, he sent to make a treaty with the Jews, and swore to keep it, so becoming a friend.

17.  And he offered to, and honored the temple, being friendly with the city, and he accepted Maccabees as friend, and made him principal governor of Ptolemais unto Gerrhenian.

18.  But when the king came to Ptolemais, the people there did not like the agreement, and they assembled in order to void it, Lysias then stood up and defended the king pacifying them to be content, and to be at ease, for they expected good things from him.

19.  After that he returned to Antioch.  So then it went with the coming and the return of the king.


      Chapter 14

      Alcimus betrays his people.

1.  Three years thereafter, Judas was informed that Demetrius, son of Seleucus, had entered the haven of Tripolis with a great power, and had taken that countryside as well as killing Antiochus, and Lysias.

2.  Then one named Alcimus, who had been a high priest, who had defiled himself with the filth of the heathen, seeing that he could no longer save himself, nor be made high priest, fled to Demetrius in the year 151.

3.  And he brought him a golden crown and palm and olive branches that belonged to the temple, and the first day he held his peace awaiting his opportunity to further his foul enterprise.

4.  And being called to the counsel by Demetrius who asked how it was with the Jews and what their intend was, he answered; The Jews that call themselves pious, whose captain is Judas Maccabees, are seditious continually making war, and they will not let your realm in peace.

5.  They have robbed me of my ancestral honor, namely, the high priesthood, wherefore I am come here, in the first place for the good of the king for the unfeigned care that I have.

6.  And in the second place, I intend to bring help to my nation, for with such disorder our whole nation will go under, wherefore I am come that the king may pay attention to it.

7.  And that he according to his mercy may counsel and help our land and our people, for as long as Judas is alive, it is not possible that there shall be peace.

       Nicanor sent against the Jews.

8.  When he had thus spoken, the others also became angry with Judas and angered Demetrius up against him.  And forthwith calling Nicanor, who was master over the elephants, and making him governor of Judea, he sent him forth commanding him to slay Judas and to scatter them that were with him, and to make Alcimus high priest of the great temple.

9.  Then all the heathens that had fled Judea from Judas came by troops to Nicanor thinking that the calamity of the Jews would be to their welfare.

10.  When Judas there fore heard that Nicanor was coming up against him with the heathen that had joined with him, they cast ashes on their heads and prayed to Him that had established His people forever, and who had helped them with manifestations of His presence.

11.  At the command of the captain then they went up and met the enemy at Dessau, and Simon, the brother of Judas, took Nicanor on, but was somewhat discomfited since the enemy overcame him before he was aware of it.

       Peace between Judas and Nicanor

12.  When Nicanor heard of the manliness of them that were with Judas, how courageously they fought for their country, he feared them and dared not to battle wherefore he sent Posidinius, Theodorus, and Matthathias to make peace.

13.  When therefore they had debated it long, their captain in inquired into every matter so that they were in agreement; they consented in the pack, and determined a day on which both would come together.

14.  When that day then came, a chair was set for each of them, and Judas positioned some with their armor not far from him so that the enemy might not play a trick on him unaware, and so they made a peaceable conference.

15.  Nicanor then abode in Jerusalem and did not hurt any, but sent away the people that came flocking to him, and he showed great honor for Judas conducting himself friendly.

16.  He also counseled Judas to take a wife and beget children, and Judas took a wife, and having peace, he lived quietly

17.  But Alcimus perceiving the love that was between them, and considering the covenants that were made, he went to Demetrius telling him that Nicanor was not well effected towards the state, for he ordained Judas (so he said,) a traitor to his realm) to be the king's successor.

18.  Then the king in rage and provoked by the accusation of that most wicked man, wrote to Nicanor signifying that he was much displeased with the covenants, and commanded him that he should sent Maccabees as prisoner in all haste to Antioch.

19.  When Nicanor now received this command, he was grieved, it going against him that he should void the articles, which were agreed upon, the man Judas being in no fault.

20.  But since he dared not go against the king, he thought to take him by deceit, but Maccabees noticing that he was less friendly than otherwise, and that this was not a good sign, he took some men with him and hid himself.

21.  And Nicanor finding that Judas was him the head in his cunning, he went into the great and holy temple, and demanded of the priests that were offering their usual sacrifices, to deliver this man.

22.  And swearing they knew not where the man was whom he sought, he stretched forth his right hand towards the temple, and made an oath in this manner;

23.  If you will not deliver Judas to me as prisoner, I will flatten this temple of God to the ground, and I will break down the altar and instead erect a temple of backhus.

24.  And so he departed, but the priests lifted up their hands to heaven calling on Him who was always a defender of our nation and said;

25.  Thou O Lord of all things, who has need of nothing, Thou were pleased that the temple of Thy habitation should be among us, therefore O Holy Lord of all holiness keep this house ever undefiled which just lately was cleansed and stop every unrighteous mouth.

      Bravery of Razis.

26.  But it was told Nicanor that one of the elders of Jerusalem, one named Razis, a lover of his people, and a man of good report, who for his kindred was called a father of the Jews.

27.  Who in former times, when they would not mingle with the Gentiles, had been accused of Judaism, and bodily had jeopardized his body and life with all diligence for the law,

28.  And Nicanor wanting to show his hatred for the Jews, sent more than 500 men to take him prisoner, for he thought that if he took him prisoner, he could do great harm to them.

29.  When they then stormed the doors of the tower wherein he was, and commanded fire to be brought to burn the doors down, and Razis conceiving that he would be taken, he wished to pierce himself.

30.  For he would rather die with honor than fall into the hands of the ungodly and to he shamefully mocked of them, but in his fear he did not pierce himself correctly.

31.  And while many rushed in by the doors, he escaped on the wall, and cast himself boldly down upon the people that were below, but they stepped aside to make room for him, and he fell face down on the hard ground.

32.  But he was still alive, and rose in anger although he was bleeding much, and his wounds pained him, so he walked through the people and went up on a high rock.

33.  And his blood gone, he pulled yet his guts from him and cast it among the warriors, and called to God who rules over life and spirit to grant him this once again, and so he died. 


     Chapter 15 

     Nicanor comes to battle with Judas.

1.  Nicanor now hearing that Judas and his company were in the strong places around Samnia he thought to attack them safely on a Sabbath.

2.  But the Jews, which he compelled to go along, exhorted him not to deal with such cruelty and barbarism, but to give honor to the day, which God had honored and made holy.

3.  Then the wicked man asked them; "Is He who commanded the Sabbath a Lord in heaven?"  And when they answered him; "Yes it is the living Lord, it is the Lord in heaven who commanded to hallow the seventh day." he then said;

4.  "Then I am lord on earth and command you to prepare yourself to fulfill the command of the king."

5.  He thus who was not able to fulfill his intend yet boasted in pride that he would have victory against Judas.

6.  But Maccabees had sure confidence that the Lord would help him, wherefore he exhorted his people not to fear the heathens, but to remember the help, which they had received in former times, and to expect aid and victory from the Lord Almighty.

7.  And so comforting them from the law and the prophets, putting them in mind of the battles that they won previously, he made them more cheerful.

8.  And having thus encouraged them, he also reminded them that the heathen had sinned against their oath, and were acting against their duty, he thus did not arm them with pride on spears or shields, but with comfort on the word of God.

9.  And he also related to them a vision that was faith-worthy which he had seen by which they all took courage, and this was the vision.

10.  That Onias, who had been high priest, a virtues and good man, honored in conversation, gentle, and well spoken of, who from his youth had given himself to all virtue he holding out his hands prayed for the whole body of the Jews.

11.  Thereafter appeared to him an old honorable man in glorious royal appearance, excellent in majesty, and Onias spoke to Judas saying; This is Jeremiah the prophet of the Lord who loves your brothers very much, and who continually prays for the people and the holy city.

12.  After that Jeremiah gave to Judas a golden sword, and said to him: Take this holy sword which God gives you, with this you shall slay the enemies.

13.  When Judas so comforted the people with these beautiful words which put courage in them, they determined not to pitch camp but manfully put the matter to an end by conflict.

14.  For the city and the sanctuary and the temple were in danger, while the danger on their wives and children they did not consider as great, their greatest care being for the temple.

15.  And those that remained in the city were in great care for their warriors in the field, and when it had come to conflict, and the enemies had organized themselves, the elephants also being at their places with the cavalry set on both sides.

16.  Maccabees then seeing the multitude and all their weaponry and the terrible beasts, he put his hands out to heaven and prayed to the marvelous Lord who sees all things, for he knew that victory would not be by armor, but that God gives that to whosoever He will.

17.  And he prayed as follows, O Lord Thou did sent Thy angel in the time of Hezekiah king of Judea slaying the host of Sennacherib a 185.000 men.  Now then O Lord sent a good angel before us for fear and dread on them, and by the might of Thy arm let them who have come against Thy holy temple be stricken with terror.

18.  Then Nicanor and them that were with him came forward with trumpets and songs, but Judas and his company encountered the enemy with invocations and prayer so that fighting with their hands and praying to God with their heart, they slew no less than 35.000 men.

19.  And they rejoiced that the Lord had shown Himself so mercifully, and the battle being ended, they found, as they were returning, Nicanor slain and on his harness.

20.  And they made a great shout praising the Lord Almighty in their own language.  And Judas who was ever the chief defender of his people both in body and mind, and who in love continued towards his countrymen all his life, commanded to cut off the head of Nicanor, and also his arm with the shoulder, and to bring them, to Jerusalem.

21.  And coming there he called the people together, and setting the priest before the altar, and sending for the enemies at the tower, he showed them the head of the blasphemer and the hand which he had stretched out against the holy house of the Lord in blatant pride.

22.  And he also cut out the tongue of the ungodly Nicanor and commanded it to be cut in pieces for the birds, and to hang up the hand, which he had used for his madness against the temple.

23.  And all the people praised the Lord in heaven and said; praised is He who has saved this city that it not be defiled.

24.  He also hung up the head of Nicanor on the tower as an evident sign to all of the manifested help of God.

25.  And they ordained with a common decree to not let this day pass, but to remember it on the 13th of the 12th month, in the Syrian tongue called Adar, the day before Mordecai day.

       Ending words.

26.  Thus it went with Nicanor, and from that time forth the Hebrews had the city in their power, and here I will make an end

27.  And if I have done well, and it fits the story, then I have done as I desired, but if it is too little or lean, I have nonetheless done as much as I could.

28.  For to always drink only wine or only water is not pleasing, but sometimes wine and other times water is pleasing, so also with reading, it is a pleasure to read various sorts.

The end.