Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary, 1859 edition.

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2 MACHABEES - Introduction

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This Second Book of Machabees is not a continuation of the history contained in the First; nor does it come down so low as the First does, but relates many of the same facts more at large, and adds other remarkable particulars, omitted in the First Book, relating to the state of the Jews as well before as under the persecution of Antiochus. The author, who is not the same with that of the First Book, has given (as we learn from chap. ii. 20., &c.) a short abstract of what Jason, of Cyrene, had written in the five volumes, concerning Judas and his brethren. He wrote in Greek, and begins with two letters, sent by the Jews of Jerusalem to their brethren in Egypt. (Challoner) --- Hence the whole book has been considered by some as an epistle. (Cotelier, Can. Ap. p. 338.) --- But it is easy to distinguish the letter from the history, (Calmet) to which a preface is prefixed, chap. ii. 20. Yet the Alexandrian copy has at the end, "A letter concerning the acts of Judas Mach.[Machabeus.]" (Haydock) --- The appendix of two epistles was added to the First Book by him who wrote the second, (Worthington) abridging the work of Jason. (Haydock)