11And it happened, after that Alexander son of Philip, the Macedonian, who came out of the land of Chettiim, had smitten Darius king of the Persians and Medes, that he reigned in his stead, the first over Greece,
2And made many wars, and won many strong holds, and slew the kings of the earth,
3And went through to the ends of the earth, and took spoils of many nations, insomuch that the earth was quiet before him; whereupon he was exalted and his heart was lifted up.
4And he gathered a mighty strong host and ruled over countries, and nations, and kings, who became tributaries unto him.
5And after these things he fell sick, and perceived that he should die.
6Wherefore he called his servants, such as were honourable, and had been brought up with him from his youth, and parted his kingdom among them, while he was yet alive.
7So Alexander reigned twelve years, and then died.
8And his servants bare rule every one in his place.
9And after his death they all put crowns upon themselves; so did their sons after them many years: and evils were multiplied in the earth.
10And there came out of them a wicked root Antiochus surnamed Epiphanes, son of Antiochus the king, who had been an hostage at Rome, and he reigned in the hundred and thirty and seventh year of the kingdom of the Greeks.
11In those days went there out of Israel wicked men, who persuaded many, saying, Let us go and make a covenant with the heathen that are round about us: for since we departed from them we have had much sorrow.
12So this device pleased them well.
13Then certain of the people were so forward herein, that they went to the king, who gave them licence to do after the ordinances of the heathen:
14Whereupon they built a place of exercise at Jerusalem according to the customs of the heathen:
15And made themselves uncircumcised, and forsook the holy covenant, and joined themselves to the heathen, and were sold to do mischief.
16Now when the kingdom was established before Antiochus, he thought to reign over Egypt that he might have the dominion of two realms.
17Wherefore he entered into Egypt with a great multitude, with chariots, and elephants, and horsemen, and a great navy,
18And made war against Ptolemee king of Egypt: but Ptolemee was afraid of him, and fled; and many were wounded to death.
19Thus they got the strong cities in the land of Egypt and he took the spoils thereof.
20And after that Antiochus had smitten Egypt, he returned again in the hundred forty and third year, and went up against Israel and Jerusalem with a great multitude,
21And entered proudly into the sanctuary, and took away the golden altar, and the candlestick of light, and all the vessels thereof,
22And the table of the shewbread, and the pouring vessels, and the vials. and the censers of gold, and the veil, and the crown, and the golden ornaments that were before the temple, all which he pulled off.
23He took also the silver and the gold, and the precious vessels: also he took the hidden treasures which he found.
24And when he had taken all away, he went into his own land, having made a great massacre, and spoken very proudly.
25Therefore there was a great mourning in Israel, in every place where they were;
26So that the princes and elders mourned, the virgins and young men were made feeble, and the beauty of women was changed.
27Every bridegroom took up lamentation, and she that sat in the marriage chamber was in heaviness,
28The land also was moved for the inhabitants thereof, and all the house of Jacob was covered with confusion.
29And after two years fully expired the king sent his chief collector of tribute unto the cities of Juda, who came unto Jerusalem with a great multitude,
30And spake peaceable words unto them, but all was deceit: for when they had given him credence, he fell suddenly upon the city, and smote it very sore, and destroyed much people of Israel.
31And when he had taken the spoils of the city, he set it on fire, and pulled down the houses and walls thereof on every side.
32But the women and children took they captive, and possessed the cattle.
33Then builded they the city of David with a great and strong wall, and with mighty towers, and made it a strong hold for them.
34And they put therein a sinful nation, wicked men, and fortified themselves therein.
35They stored it also with armour and victuals, and when they had gathered together the spoils of Jerusalem, they laid them up there, and so they became a sore snare:
36For it was a place to lie in wait against the sanctuary, and an evil adversary to Israel.
37Thus they shed innocent blood on every side of the sanctuary, and defiled it:
38Insomuch that the inhabitants of Jerusalem fled because of them: whereupon the city was made an habitation of strangers, and became strange to those that were born in her; and her own children left her.
39Her sanctuary was laid waste like a wilderness, her feasts were turned into mourning, her sabbaths into reproach her honour into contempt.
40As had been her glory, so was her dishonour increased, and her excellency was turned into mourning.
41Moreover king Antiochus wrote to his whole kingdom, that all should be one people,
42And every one should leave his laws: so all the heathen agreed according to the commandment of the king.
43Yea, many also of the Israelites consented to his religion, and sacrificed unto idols, and profaned the sabbath.
44For the king had sent letters by messengers unto Jerusalem and the cities of Juda that they should follow the strange laws of the land,
45And forbid burnt offerings, and sacrifice, and drink offerings, in the temple; and that they should profane the sabbaths and festival days:
46And pollute the sanctuary and holy people:
47Set up altars, and groves, and chapels of idols, and sacrifice swine’s flesh, and unclean beasts:
48That they should also leave their children uncircumcised, and make their souls abominable with all manner of uncleanness and profanation:
49To the end they might forget the law, and change all the ordinances.
50And whosoever would not do according to the commandment of the king, he said, he should die.
51In the selfsame manner wrote he to his whole kingdom, and appointed overseers over all the people, commanding the cities of Juda to sacrifice, city by city.
52Then many of the people were gathered unto them, to wit every one that forsook the law; and so they committed evils in the land;
53And drove the Israelites into secret places, even wheresoever they could flee for succour.
54Now the fifteenth day of the month Casleu, in the hundred forty and fifth year, they set up the abomination of desolation upon the altar, and builded idol altars throughout the cities of Juda on every side;
55And burnt incense at the doors of their houses, and in the streets.
56And when they had rent in pieces the books of the law which they found, they burnt them with fire.
57And whosoever was found with any the book of the testament, or if any committed to the law, the king’s commandment was, that they should put him to death.
58Thus did they by their authority unto the Israelites every month, to as many as were found in the cities.
59Now the five and twentieth day of the month they did sacrifice upon the idol altar, which was upon the altar of God.
60At which time according to the commandment they put to death certain women, that had caused their children to be circumcised.
61And they hanged the infants about their necks, and rifled their houses, and slew them that had circumcised them.
62Howbeit many in Israel were fully resolved and confirmed in themselves not to eat any unclean thing.
63Wherefore they chose rather to die, that they might not be defiled with meats, and that they might not profane the holy covenant: so then they died.
64And there was very great wrath upon Israel.
21In those days arose Mattathias the son of John, the son of Simeon, a priest of the sons of Joarib, from Jerusalem, and dwelt in Modin.
2And he had five sons, Joannan, called Caddis:
3Simon; called Thassi:
4Judas, who was called Maccabeus:
5Eleazar, called Avaran: and Jonathan, whose surname was Apphus.
6And when he saw the blasphemies that were committed in Juda and Jerusalem,
7He said, Woe is me! wherefore was I born to see this misery of my people, and of the holy city, and to dwell there, when it was delivered into the hand of the enemy, and the sanctuary into the hand of strangers?
8Her temple is become as a man without glory.
9Her glorious vessels are carried away into captivity, her infants are slain in the streets, her young men with the sword of the enemy.
10What nation hath not had a part in her kingdom and gotten of her spoils?
11All her ornaments are taken away; of a free woman she is become a bondslave.
12And, behold, our sanctuary, even our beauty and our glory, is laid waste, and the Gentiles have profaned it.
13To what end therefore shall we live any longer?
14Then Mattathias and his sons rent their clothes, and put on sackcloth, and mourned very sore.
15In the mean while the king’s officers, such as compelled the people to revolt, came into the city Modin, to make them sacrifice.
16And when many of Israel came unto them, Mattathias also and his sons came together.
17Then answered the king’s officers, and said to Mattathias on this wise, Thou art a ruler, and an honourable and great man in this city, and strengthened with sons and brethren:
18Now therefore come thou first, and fulfil the king’s commandment, like as all the heathen have done, yea, and the men of Juda also, and such as remain at Jerusalem: so shalt thou and thy house be in the number of the king’s friends, and thou and thy children shall be honoured with silver and gold, and many rewards.
19Then Mattathias answered and spake with a loud voice, Though all the nations that are under the king’s dominion obey him, and fall away every one from the religion of their fathers, and give consent to his commandments:
20Yet will I and my sons and my brethren walk in the covenant of our fathers.
21God forbid that we should forsake the law and the ordinances.
22We will not hearken to the king’s words, to go from our religion, either on the right hand, or the left.
23Now when he had left speaking these words, there came one of the Jews in the sight of all to sacrifice on the altar which was at Modin, according to the king’s commandment.
24Which thing when Mattathias saw, he was inflamed with zeal, and his reins trembled, neither could he forbear to shew his anger according to judgment: wherefore he ran, and slew him upon the altar.
25Also the king’s commissioner, who compelled men to sacrifice, he killed at that time, and the altar he pulled down.
26Thus dealt he zealously for the law of God like as Phinees did unto Zambri the son of Salom.
27And Mattathias cried throughout the city with a loud voice, saying, Whosoever is zealous of the law, and maintaineth the covenant, let him follow me.
28So he and his sons fled into the mountains, and left all that ever they had in the city.
29Then many that sought after justice and judgment went down into the wilderness, to dwell there:
30Both they, and their children, and their wives; and their cattle; because afflictions increased sore upon them.
31Now when it was told the king’s servants, and the host that was at Jerusalem, in the city of David, that certain men, who had broken the king’s commandment, were gone down into the secret places in the wilderness,
32They pursued after them a great number, and having overtaken them, they camped against them, and made war against them on the sabbath day.
33And they said unto them, Let that which ye have done hitherto suffice; come forth, and do according to the commandment of the king, and ye shall live.
34But they said, We will not come forth, neither will we do the king’s commandment, to profane the sabbath day.
35So then they gave them the battle with all speed.
36Howbeit they answered them not, neither cast they a stone at them, nor stopped the places where they lay hid;
37But said, Let us die all in our innocency: heaven and earth will testify for us, that ye put us to death wrongfully.
38So they rose up against them in battle on the sabbath, and they slew them, with their wives and children and their cattle, to the number of a thousand people.
39Now when Mattathias and his friends understood hereof, they mourned for them right sore.
40And one of them said to another, If we all do as our brethren have done, and fight not for our lives and laws against the heathen, they will now quickly root us out of the earth.
41At that time therefore they decreed, saying, Whosoever shall come to make battle with us on the sabbath day, we will fight against him; neither will we die all, as our brethren that were murdered in the secret places.
42Then came there unto him a company of Assideans who were mighty men of Israel, even all such as were voluntarily devoted unto the law.
43Also all they that fled for persecution joined themselves unto them, and were a stay unto them.
44So they joined their forces, and smote sinful men in their anger, and wicked men in their wrath: but the rest fled to the heathen for succour.
45Then Mattathias and his friends went round about, and pulled down the altars:
46And what children soever they found within the coast of Israel uncircumcised, those they circumcised valiantly.
47They pursued also after the proud men, and the work prospered in their hand.
48So they recovered the law out of the hand of the Gentiles, and out of the hand of kings, neither suffered they the sinner to triumph.
49Now when the time drew near that Mattathias should die, he said unto his sons, Now hath pride and rebuke gotten strength, and the time of destruction, and the wrath of indignation:
50Now therefore, my sons, be ye zealous for the law, and give your lives for the covenant of your fathers.
51Call to remembrance what acts our fathers did in their time; so shall ye receive great honour and an everlasting name.
52Was not Abraham found faithful in temptation, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness?
53Joseph in the time of his distress kept the commandment and was made lord of Egypt.
54Phinees our father in being zealous and fervent obtained the covenant of an everlasting priesthood.
55Jesus for fulfilling the word was made a judge in Israel.
56Caleb for bearing witness before the congregation received the heritage of the land.
57David for being merciful possessed the throne of an everlasting kingdom.
58Elias for being zealous and fervent for the law was taken up into heaven.
59Ananias, Azarias, and Misael, by believing were saved out of the flame.
60Daniel for his innocency was delivered from the mouth of lions.
61And thus consider ye throughout all ages, that none that put their trust in him shall be overcome.
62Fear not then the words of a sinful man: for his glory shall be dung and worms.
63To day he shall be lifted up and to morrow he shall not be found, because he is returned into his dust, and his thought is come to nothing.
64Wherefore, ye my sons, be valiant and shew yourselves men in the behalf of the law; for by it shall ye obtain glory.
65And behold, I know that your brother Simon is a man of counsel, give ear unto him alway: he shall be a father unto you.
66As for Judas Maccabeus, he hath been mighty and strong, even from his youth up: let him be your captain, and fight the battle of the people.
67Take also unto you all those that observe the law, and avenge ye the wrong of your people.
68Recompense fully the heathen, and take heed to the commandments of the law.
69So he blessed them, and was gathered to his fathers.
70And he died in the hundred forty and sixth year, and his sons buried him in the sepulchres of his fathers at Modin, and all Israel made great lamentation for him.