Bible Text & Cross-references:
Judas Machabeus gathering an army, gains divers victories.
1 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.
2 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:
3 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:
4 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.
5 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.
6 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:
7 And especially in the nights he went upon these expeditions, and the
fame of his valour was spread abroad every where.
8 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 Celosyria and Phenicia,
to send aid to the king's affairs.
9 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.
10 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:
11 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 Almighty.
12 Now when Judas found that Nicanor was coming, he imparted to the Jews
that were with him, that the enemy was at hand.
13 And some of them being afraid, and distrusting the justice of God,
14 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:
15 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.
16 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:
17 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.
18 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 whole world.
19 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.
20 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.
21 With these words they were greatly encouraged, and disposed even to
die for the laws and their country.
22 So he appointed his brethren captains over each division of his army;
Simon, and Joseph, and Jonathan, giving to each one fifteen hundred men.
23 And after the holy book had been read to them by Esdras, and he had
given them for a watch-word, The help of God: himself leading the first band, he joined battle with Nicanor:
24 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.
25 And they took the money of them that came to buy them, and they pursued
them on every side.
26 But they came back for want of time: for it was the day before the
sabbath: and therefore they did not continue the pursuit.
27 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.
28 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.
29 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.
30 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.
31 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:
32 They slew also Philarches, who was with Timotheus, a wicked man, who
had many ways afflicted the Jews.
33 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:
34 But as for that most wicked man, Nicanor, who had brought a thousand
merchants to the sale of the Jews,
35 Being, through the help of the Lord, brought down by them, of whom
he had made no account, laying aside his apparel of glory, fleeing through the midland country, he came alone to Antioch,
being rendered very unhappy by the destruction of his army.
36 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.
1: Year of the World 3838, Year before Christ 166.
8: Year of the World 3839.
19: 4 Kings xix. 35.; Tobias i. 21.; Ecclesiasticus xlviii. 24.; Isaias
xxxvii. 36.; 1 Machabees vii. 41.