The First Book of the Maccabees
And 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,
And made many wars, and won many strong holds, and slew the
kings of the earth,
And 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.
And he gathered a mighty strong host and ruled over
countries, and nations, and kings, who became tributaries unto
And after these things he fell sick, and perceived that he
Wherefore 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.
So Alexander reigned twelves years, and then died.
And his servants bare rule every one in his place.
And after his death they all put crowns upon themselves; so
did their sons after them many years: and evils were multiplied
in the earth.
And 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.
In 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.
So this device pleased them well.
Then 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:
Whereupon they built a place of exercise at Jerusalem
according to the customs of the heathen:
And made themselves uncircumcised, and forsook the holy
covenant, and joined themselves to the heathen, and were sold to
Now when the kingdom was established before Antiochus, he
thought to reign over Egypt that he might have the dominion of
Wherefore he entered into Egypt with a great multitude, with
chariots, and elephants, and horsemen, and a great navy,
And made war against Ptolemee king of Egypt: but Ptolemee was
afraid of him, and fled; and many were wounded to death.
Thus they got the strong cities in the land of Egypt and he
took the spoils thereof.
And 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,
And entered proudly into the sanctuary, and took away the
golden altar, and the candlestick of light, and all the vessels
And 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.
He took also the silver and the gold, and the precious
vessels: also he took the hidden treasures which he found.
And when he had taken all away, he went into his own land,
having made a great massacre, and spoken very proudly.
Therefore there was a great mourning in Israel, in every
place where they were;
So that the princes and elders mourned, the virgins and young
men were made feeble, and the beauty of women was changed.
Every bridegroom took up lamentation, and she that sat in the
marriage chamber was in heaviness,
The land also was moved for the inhabitants thereof, and all
the house of Jacob was covered with confusion.
And 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,
And 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
And when he had taken the spoils of the city, he set it on
fire, and pulled down the houses and walls thereof on every
But the women and children took they captive, and possessed
Then builded they the city of David with a great and strong
wall, and with mighty towers, and made it a strong hold for
And they put therein a sinful nation, wicked men, and
fortified themselves therein.
They 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:
For it was a place to lie in wait against the sanctuary, and
an evil adversary to Israel.
Thus they shed innocent blood on every side of the sanctuary,
and defiled it:
Insomuch 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.
Her sanctuary was laid waste like a wilderness, her feasts
were turned into mourning, her sabbaths into reproach her honour
As had been her glory, so was her dishonour increased, and
her excellency was turned into mourning.
Moreover king Antiochus wrote to his whole kingdom, that all
should be one people,
And every one should leave his laws: so all the heathen
agreed according to the commandment of the king.
Yea, many also of the Israelites consented to his religion,
and sacrificed unto idols, and profaned the sabbath.
For the king had sent letters by messengers unto Jerusalem
and the cities of Juda that they should follow the strange laws
of the land,
And forbid burnt offerings, and sacrifice, and drink
offerings, in the temple; and that they should profane the
sabbaths and festival days:
And pollute the sanctuary and holy people:
Set up altars, and groves, and chapels of idols, and
sacrifice swine's flesh, and unclean beasts:
That they should also leave their children uncircumcised, and
make their souls abominable with all manner of uncleanness and
To the end they might forget the law, and change all the
And whosoever would not do according to the commandment of
the king, he said, he should die.
In 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.
Then many of the people were gathered unto them, to wit every
one that forsook the law; and so they committed evils in the
And drove the Israelites into secret places, even wheresoever
they could flee for succour.
Now 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;
And burnt incense at the doors of their houses, and in the
And when they had rent in pieces the books of the law which
they found, they burnt them with fire.
And 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.
Thus did they by their authority unto the Israelites every
month, to as many as were found in the cities.
Now the five and twentieth day of the month they did
sacrifice upon the idol altar, which was upon the altar of God.
At which time according to the commandment they put to death
certain women, that had caused their children to be circumcised.
And they hanged the infants about their necks, and rifled
their houses, and slew them that had circumcised them.
Howbeit many in Israel were fully resolved and confirmed in
themselves not to eat any unclean thing.
Wherefore the rather to die, that they might not be defiled
with meats, and that they might not profane the holy covenant:
so then they died.
And there was very great wrath upon Israel.
In 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.
And he had five sons, Joannan, called Caddis:
Simon; called Thassi:
Judas, who was called Maccabeus:
Eleazar, called Avaran: and Jonathan, whose surname was
And when he saw the blasphemies that were committed in Juda
He 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?
Her temple is become as a man without glory.
Her glorious vessels are carried away into captivity, her
infants are slain in the streets, her young men with the sword
of the enemy.
What nation hath not had a part in her kingdom and gotten of
All her ornaments are taken away; of a free woman she is
become a bondslave.
And, behold, our sanctuary, even our beauty and our glory, is
laid waste, and the Gentiles have profaned it.
To what end therefore shall we live any longer?
Then Mattathias and his sons rent their clothes, and put on
sackcloth, and mourned very sore.
In the mean while the king's officers, such as compelled the
people to revolt, came into the city Modin, to make them
And when many of Israel came unto them, Mattathias also and
his sons came together.
Then 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:
Now 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
Then 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:
Yet will I and my sons and my brethren walk in the covenant
of our fathers.
God forbid that we should forsake the law and the ordinances.
We will not hearken to the king's words, to go from our
religion, either on the right hand, or the left.
Now 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.
Which 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
Also the king's commissioner, who compelled men to sacrifice,
he killed at that time, and the altar he pulled down.
Thus dealt he zealously for the law of God like as Phinees
did unto Zambri the son of Salom.
And Mattathias cried throughout the city with a loud voice,
saying, Whosoever is zealous of the law, and maintaineth the
covenant, let him follow me.
So he and his sons fled into the mountains, and left all that
ever they had in the city.
Then many that sought after justice and judgment went down
into the wilderness, to dwell there:
Both they, and their children, and their wives; and their
cattle; because afflictions increased sore upon them.
Now 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,
They pursued after them a great number, and having overtaken
them, they camped against them, and made war against them on the
And 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.
But they said, We will not come forth, neither will we do the
king's commandment, to profane the sabbath day.
So then they gave them the battle with all speed.
Howbeit they answered them not, neither cast they a stone at
them, nor stopped the places where they lay hid;
But said, Let us die all in our innocency: heaven and earth
will testify for us, that ye put us to death wrongfully.
So 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.
Now when Mattathias and his friends understood hereof, they
mourned for them right sore.
And 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.
At 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 im the secret places.
Then came there unto him a company of Assideans who were
mighty men of Israel, even all such as were voluntarily devoted
unto the law.
Also all they that fled for persecution joined themselves
unto them, and were a stay unto them.
So 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.
Then Mattathias and his friends went round about, and pulled
down the altars:
And what children soever they found within the coast of
Israel uncircumcised, those they circumcised valiantly.
They pursued also after the proud men, and the work prospered
in their hand.
So they recovered the law out of the hand of the Gentiles,
and out of the hand of kings, neither suffered they the sinner
Now 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:
Now therefore, my sons, be ye zealous for the law, and give
your lives for the covenant of your fathers.
Call to remembrance what acts our fathers did in their time;
so shall ye receive great honour and an everlasting name.
Was not Abraham found faithful in temptation, and it was
imputed unto him for righteousness?
Joseph in the time of his distress kept the commandment and
was made lord of Egypt.
Phinees our father in being zealous and fervent obtained the
covenant of an everlasting priesthood.
Jesus for fulfilling the word was made a judge in Israel.
Caleb for bearing witness before the congregation received
the heritage of the land.
David for being merciful possessed the throne of an
Elias for being zealous and fervent for the law was taken up
Ananias, Azarias, and Misael, by believing were saved out of
Daniel for his innocency was delivered from the mouth of
And thus consider ye throughout all ages, that none that put
their trust in him shall be overcome.
Fear not then the words of a sinful man: for his glory shall
be dung and worms.
To 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.
Wherefore, ye my sons, be valiant and shew yourselves men in
the behalf of the law; for by it shall ye obtain glory.
And behold, I know that your brother Simon is a man of
counsel, give ear unto him alway: he shall be a father unto you.
As 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.
Take also unto you all those that observe the law, and avenge
ye the wrong of your people.
Recompense fully the heathen, and take heed to the
commandments of the law.
So he blessed them, and was gathered to his fathers.
And 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.
Then his son Judas, called Maccabeus, rose up in his stead.
And all his brethren helped him, and so did all they that
held with his father, and they fought with cheerfulness the
battle of Israel.
So he gat his people great honour, and put on a breastplate
as a giant, and girt his warlike harness about him, and he made
battles, protecting the host with his sword.
In his acts he was like a lion, and like a lion's whelp
roaring for his prey.
For He pursued the wicked, and sought them out, and burnt up
those that vexed his people.
Wherefore the wicked shrunk for fear of him, and all the
workers of iniquity were troubled, because salvation prospered
in his hand.
He grieved also many kings, and made Jacob glad with his
acts, and his memorial is blessed for ever.
Moreover he went through the cities of Juda, destroying the
ungodly out of them, and turning away wrath from Israel:
So that he was renowned unto the utmost part of the earth,
and he received unto him such as were ready to perish.
Then Apollonius gathered the Gentiles together, and a great
host out of Samaria, to fight against Israel.
Which thing when Judas perceived, he went forth to meet him,
and so he smote him, and slew him: many also fell down slain,
but the rest fled.
Wherefore Judas took their spoils, and Apollonius' sword
also, and therewith he fought all his life long.
Now when Seron, a prince of the army of Syria, heard say that
Judas had gathered unto him a multitude and company of the
faithful to go out with him to war;
He said, I will get me a name and honour in the kingdom; for
I will go fight with Judas and them that are with him, who
despise the king's commandment.
So he made him ready to go up, and there went with him a
mighty host of the ungodly to help him, and to be avenged of the
children of Israel.
And when he came near to the going up of Bethhoron, Judas
went forth to meet him with a small company:
Who, when they saw the host coming to meet them, said unto
Judas, How shall we be able, being so few, to fight against so
great a multitude and so strong, seeing we are ready to faint
with fasting all this day?
Unto whom Judas answered, It is no hard matter for many to be
shut up in the hands of a few; and with the God of heaven it is
all one, to deliver with a great multitude, or a small company:
For the victory of battle standeth not in the multitude of an
host; but strength cometh from heaven.
They come against us in much pride and iniquity to destroy
us, and our wives and children, and to spoil us:
But we fight for our lives and our laws.
Wherefore the Lord himself will overthrow them before our
face: and as for you, be ye not afraid of them.
Now as soon as he had left off speaking, he leapt suddenly
upon them, and so Seron and his host was overthrown before him.
And they pursued them from the going down of Bethhoron unto
the plain, where were slain about eight hundred men of them; and
the residue fled into the land of the Philistines.
Then began the fear of Judas and his brethren, and an
exceeding great dread, to fall upon the nations round about
Insomuch as his fame came unto the king, and all nations
talked of the battles of Judas.
Now when king Antiochus heard these things, he was full of
indignation: wherefore he sent and gathered together all the
forces of his realm, even a very strong army.
He opened also his treasure, and gave his soldiers pay for a
year, commanding them to be ready whensoever he should need
Nevertheless, when he saw that the money of his treasures
failed and that the tributes in the country were small, because
of the dissension and plague, which he had brought upon the land
in taking away the laws which had been of old time;
He feared that he should not be able to bear the charges any
longer, nor to have such gifts to give so liberally as he did
before: for he had abounded above the kings that were before
Wherefore, being greatly perplexed in his mind, he determined
to go into Persia, there to take the tributes of the countries,
and to gather much money.
So he left Lysias, a nobleman, and one of the blood royal, to
oversee the affairs of the king from the river Euphrates unto
the borders of Egypt:
And to bring up his son Antiochus, until he came again.
Moreover he delivered unto him the half of his forces, and
the elephants, and gave him charge of all things that he would
have done, as also concerning them that dwelt in Juda and
To wit, that he should send an army against them, to destroy
and root out the strength of Israel, and the remnant of
Jerusalem, and to take away their memorial from that place;
And that he should place strangers in all their quarters, and
divide their land by lot.
So the king took the half of the forces that remained, and
departed from Antioch, his royal city, the hundred forty and
seventh year; and having passed the river Euphrates, he went
through the high countries.
Then Lysias chose Ptolemee the son of Dorymenes, Nicanor, and
Gorgias, mighty men of the king's friends:
And with them he sent forty thousand footmen, and seven
thousand horsemen, to go into the land of Juda, and to destroy
it, as the king commanded.
So they went forth with all their power, and came and pitched
by Emmaus in the plain country.
And the merchants of the country, hearing the fame of them,
took silver and gold very much, with servants, and came into the
camp to buy the children of Israel for slaves: a power also of
Syria and of the land of the Philistines joined themselves unto
Now when Judas and his brethren saw that miseries were
multiplied, and that the forces did encamp themselves in their
borders: for they knew how the king had given commandment to
destroy the people, and utterly abolish them;
They said one to another, Let us restore the decayed fortune
of our people, and let us fight for our people and the
Then was the congregation gathered together, that they might
be ready for battle, and that they might pray, and ask mercy and
Now Jerusalem lay void as a wilderness, there was none of her
children that went in or out: the sanctuary also was trodden
down, and aliens kept the strong hold; the heathen had their
habitation in that place; and joy was taken from Jacob, and the
pipe with the harp ceased.
Wherefore the Israelites assembled themselves together, and
came to Maspha, over against Jerusalem; for in Maspha was the
place where they prayed aforetime in Israel.
Then they fasted that day, and put on sackcloth, and cast
ashes upon their heads, and rent their clothes,
And laid open the book of the law, wherein the heathen had
sought to paint the likeness of their images.
They brought also the priests' garments, and the firstfruits,
and the tithes: and the Nazarites they stirred up, who had
accomplished their days.
Then cried they with a loud voice toward heaven, saying, What
shall we do with these, and whither shall we carry them away?
For thy sanctuary is trodden down and profaned, and thy
priests are in heaviness, and brought low.
And lo, the heathen are assembled together against us to
destroy us: what things they imagine against us, thou knowest.
How shall we be able to stand against them, except thou, O
God, be our help?
Then sounded they with trumpets, and cried with a loud voice.
And after this Judas ordained captains over the people, even
captains over thousands, and over hundreds, and over fifties,
and over tens.
But as for such as were building houses, or had betrothed
wives, or were planting vineyards, or were fearful, those he
commanded that they should return, every man to his own house,
according to the law.
So the camp removed, and pitched upon the south side of
And Judas said, arm yourselves, and be valiant men, and see
that ye be in readiness against the morning, that ye may fight
with these nations, that are assembled together against us to
destroy us and our sanctuary:
For it is better for us to die in battle, than to behold the
calamities of our people and our sanctuary.
Nevertheless, as the will of God is in heaven, so let him do.
Then took Gorgias five thousand footmen, and a thousand of
the best horsemen, and removed out of the camp by night;
To the end he might rush in upon the camp of the Jews, and
smite them suddenly. And the men of the fortress were his
Now when Judas heard thereof he himself removed, and the
valiant men with him, that he might smite the king's army which
was at Emmaus,
While as yet the forces were dispersed from the camp.
In the mean season came Gorgias by night into the camp of
Judas: and when he found no man there, he sought them in the
mountains: for said he, These fellows flee from us
But as soon as it was day, Judas shewed himself in the plain
with three thousand men, who nevertheless had neither armour nor
swords to their minds.
And they saw the camp of the heathen, that it was strong and
well harnessed, and compassed round about with horsemen; and
these were expert of war.
Then said Judas to the men that were with him, Fear ye not
their multitude, neither be ye afraid of their assault.
Remember how our fathers were delivered in the Red sea, when
Pharaoh pursued them with an army.
Now therefore let us cry unto heaven, if peradventure the
Lord will have mercy upon us, and remember the covenant of our
fathers, and destroy this host before our face this day:
That so all the heathen may know that there is one who
delivereth and saveth Israel.
Then the strangers lifted up their eyes, and saw them coming
over against them.
Wherefore they went out of the camp to battle; but they that
were with Judas sounded their trumpets.
So they joined battle, and the heathen being discomfited fled
into the plain.
Howbeit all the hindmost of them were slain with the sword:
for they pursued them unto Gazera, and unto the plains of
Idumea, and Azotus, and Jamnia, so that there were slain of them
upon a three thousand men.
This done, Judas returned again with his host from pursuing
And said to the people, Be not greedy of the spoil inasmuch
as there is a battle before us,
And Gorgias and his host are here by us in the mountain: but
stand ye now against our enemies, and overcome them, and after
this ye may boldly take the spoils.
As Judas was yet speaking these words, there appeared a part
of them looking out of the mountain:
Who when they perceived that the Jews had put their host to
flight and were burning the tents; for the smoke that was seen
declared what was done:
When therefore they perceived these things, they were sore
afraid, and seeing also the host of Judas in the plain ready to
They fled every one into the land of strangers.
Then Judas returned to spoil the tents, where they got much
gold, and silver, and blue silk, and purple of the sea, and
After this they went home, and sung a song of thanksgiving,
and praised the Lord in heaven: because it is good, because his
mercy endureth forever.
Thus Israel had a great deliverance that day.
Now all the strangers that had escaped came and told Lysias
what had happened:
Who, when he heard thereof, was confounded and discouraged,
because neither such things as he would were done unto Israel,
nor such things as the king commanded him were come to pass.
The next year therefore following Lysias gathered together
threescore thousand choice men of foot, and five thousand
horsemen, that he might subdue them.
So they came into Idumea, and pitched their tents at
Bethsura, and Judas met them with ten thousand men.
And when he saw that mighty army, he prayed and said, Blessed
art thou, O Saviour of Israel, who didst quell the violence of
the mighty man by the hand of thy servant David, and gavest the
host of strangers into the hands of Jonathan the son of Saul,
and his armourbearer;
Shut up this army in the hand of thy people Israel, and let
them be confounded in their power and horsemen:
Make them to be of no courage, and cause the boldness of
their strength to fall away, and let them quake at their
Cast them down with the sword of them that love thee, and let
all those that know thy name praise thee with thanksgiving.
So they joined battle; and there were slain of the host of
Lysias about five thousand men, even before them were they
Now when Lysias saw his army put to flight, and the manliness
of Judas' soldiers, and how they were ready either to live or
die valiantly, he went into Antiochia, and gathered together a
company of strangers, and having made his army greater than it
was, he purposed to come again into Judea.
Then said Judas and his brethren, Behold, our enemies are
discomfited: let us go up to cleanse and dedicate the sanctuary.
Upon this all the host assembled themselves together, and
went up into mount Sion.
And when they saw the sanctuary desolate, and the altar
profaned, and the gates burned up, and shrubs growing in the
courts as in a forest, or in one of the mountains, yea, and the
priests' chambers pulled down;
They rent their clothes, and made great lamentation, and cast
ashes upon their heads,
And fell down flat to the ground upon their faces, and blew
an alarm with the trumpets, and cried toward heaven.
Then Judas appointed certain men to fight against those that
were in the fortress, until he had cleansed the sanctuary.
So he chose priests of blameless conversation, such as had
pleasure in the law:
Who cleansed the sanctuary, and bare out the defiled stones
into an unclean place.
And when as they consulted what to do with the altar of burnt
offerings, which was profaned;
They thought it best to pull it down, lest it should be a
reproach to them, because the heathen had defiled it: wherefore
they pulled it down,
And laid up the stones in the mountain of the temple in a
convenient place, until there should come a prophet to shew what
should be done with them.
Then they took whole stones according to the law, and built a
new altar according to the former;
And made up the sanctuary, and the things that were within
the temple, and hallowed the courts.
They made also new holy vessels, and into the temple they
brought the candlestick, and the altar of burnt offerings, and
of incense, and the table.
And upon the altar they burned incense, and the lamps that
were upon the candlestick they lighted, that they might give
light in the temple.
Furthermore they set the loaves upon the table, and spread
out the veils, and finished all the works which they had begun
Now on the five and twentieth day of the ninth month, which
is called the month Casleu, in the hundred forty and eighth
year, they rose up betimes in the morning,
And offered sacrifice according to the law upon the new altar
of burnt offerings, which they had made.
Look, at what time and what day the heathen had profaned it,
even in that was it dedicated with songs, and citherns, and
harps, and cymbals.
Then all the people fell upon their faces, worshipping and
praising the God of heaven, who had given them good success.
And so they kept the dedication of the altar eight days and
offered burnt offerings with gladness, and sacrificed the
sacrifice of deliverance and praise.
They decked also the forefront of the temple with crowns of
gold, and with shields; and the gates and the chambers they
renewed, and hanged doors upon them.
Thus was there very great gladness among the people, for that
the reproach of the heathen was put away.
Moreover Judas and his brethren with the whole congregation
of Israel ordained, that the days of the dedication of the altar
should be kept in their season from year to year by the space of
eight days, from the five and twentieth day of the month Casleu,
with mirth and gladness.
At that time also they builded up the mount Sion with high
walls and strong towers round about, lest the Gentiles should
come and tread it down as they had done before.
And they set there a garrison to keep it, and fortified
Bethsura to preserve it; that the people might have a defence
Now when the nations round about heard that the altar was
built and the sanctuary renewed as before, it displeased them
Wherefore they thought to destroy the generation of Jacob
that was among them, and thereupon they began to slay and
destroy the people.
Then Judas fought against the children of Esau in Idumea at
Arabattine, because they besieged Gael: and he gave them a great
overthrow, and abated their courage, and took their spoils.
Also he remembered the injury of the children of Bean, who
had been a snare and an offence unto the people, in that they
lay in wait for them in the ways.
He shut them up therefore in the towers, and encamped against
them, and destroyed them utterly, and burned the towers of that
place with fire, and all that were therein.
Afterward he passed over to the children of Ammon, where he
found a mighty power, and much people, with Timotheus their
So he fought many battles with them, till at length they were
discomfited before him; and he smote them.
And when he had taken Jazar, with the towns belonging
thereto, he returned into Judea.
Then the heathen that were at Galaad assembled themselves
together against the Israelites that were in their quarters, to
destroy them; but they fled to the fortress of Dathema.
And sent letters unto Judas and his brethren, The heathen
that are round about us are assembled together against us to
And they are preparing to come and take the fortress
whereunto we are fled, Timotheus being captain of their host.
Come now therefore, and deliver us from their hands, for many
of us are slain:
Yea, all our brethren that were in the places of Tobie are
put to death: their wives and their children also they have
carried away captives, and borne away their stuff; and they have
destroyed there about a thousand men.
While these letters were yet reading, behold, there came
other messengers from Galilee with their clothes rent, who
reported on this wise,
And said, They of Ptolemais, and of Tyrus, and Sidon, and all
Galilee of the Gentiles, are assembled together against us to
Now when Judas and the people heard these words, there
assembled a great congregation together, to consult what they
should do for their brethren, that were in trouble, and
assaulted of them.
Then said Judas unto Simon his brother, Choose thee out men,
and go and deliver thy brethren that are in Galilee, for I and
Jonathan my brother will go into the country of Galaad.
So he left Joseph the son of Zacharias, and Azarias, captains
of the people, with the remnant of the host in Judea to keep it.
Unto whom he gave commandment, saying, Take ye the charge of
this people, and see that ye make not war against the heathen
until the time that we come again.
Now unto Simon were given three thousand men to go into
Galilee, and unto Judas eight thousand men for the country of
Then went Simon into Galilee, where he fought many battles
with the heathen, so that the heathen were discomfited by him.
And he pursued them unto the gate of Ptolemais; and there
were slain of the heathen about three thousand men, whose spoils
And those that were in Galilee, and in Arbattis, with their
wives and their children, and all that they had, took he away
with him, and brought them into Judea with great joy.
Judas Maccabeus also and his brother Jonathan went over
Jordan, and travelled three days' journey in the wilderness,
Where they met with the Nabathites, who came unto them in a
peaceable manner, and told them every thing that had happened to
their brethren in the land of Galaad:
And how that many of them were shut up in Bosora, and Bosor,
and Alema, Casphor, Maked, and Carnaim; all these cities are
strong and great:
And that they were shut up in the rest of the cities of the
country of Galaad, and that against to morrow they had appointed
to bring their host against the forts, and to take them, and to
destroy them all in one day.
Hereupon Judas and his host turned suddenly by the way of the
wilderness unto Bosora; and when he had won the city, he slew
all the males with the edge of the sword, and took all their
spoils, and burned the city with fire,
From whence he removed by night, and went till he came to the
And betimes in the morning they looked up, and, behold, there
was an innumerable people bearing ladders and other engines of
war, to take the fortress: for they assaulted them.
When Judas therefore saw that the battle was begun, and that
the cry of the city went up to heaven, with trumpets, and a
He said unto his host, Fight this day for your brethren.
So he went forth behind them in three companies, who sounded
their trumpets, and cried with prayer.
Then the host of Timotheus, knowing that it was Maccabeus,
fled from him: wherefore he smote them with a great slaughter;
so that there were killed of them that day about eight thousand
This done, Judas turned aside to Maspha; and after he had
assaulted it he took and slew all the males therein, and
received the spoils thereof and and burnt it with fire.
From thence went he, and took Casphon, Maged, Bosor, and the
other cities of the country of Galaad.
After these things gathered Timotheus another host and
encamped against Raphon beyond the brook.
So Judas sent men to espy the host, who brought him word,
saying, All the heathen that be round about us are assembled
unto them, even a very great host.
He hath also hired the Arabians to help them and they have
pitched their tents beyond the brook, ready to come and fight
against thee. Upon this Judas went to meet them.
Then Timotheus said unto the captains of his host, When Judas
and his host come near the brook, if he pass over first unto us,
we shall not be able to withstand him; for he will mightily
prevail against us:
But if he be afraid, and camp beyond the river, we shall go
over unto him, and prevail against him.
Now when Judas came near the brook, he caused the scribes of
the people to remain by the brook: unto whom he gave
commandment, saying, Suffer no man to remain in the camp, but
let all come to the battle.
So he went first over unto them, and all the people after
him: then all the heathen, being discomfited before him, cast
away their weapons, and fled unto the temple that was at
But they took the city, and burned the temple with all that
were therein. Thus was Carnaim subdued, neither could they stand
any longer before Judas.
Then Judas gathered together all the Israelites that were in
the country of Galaad, from the least unto the greatest, even
their wives, and their children, and their stuff, a very great
host, to the end they might come into the land of Judea.
Now when they came unto Ephron, (this was a great city in the
way as they should go, very well fortified) they could not turn
from it, either on the right hand or the left, but must needs
pass through the midst of it.
Then they of the city shut them out, and stopped up the gates
Whereupon Judas sent unto them in peaceable manner, saying,
Let us pass through your land to go into our own country, and
none shall do you any hurt; we will only pass through on foot:
howbeit they would not open unto him.
Wherefore Judas commanded a proclamation to be made
throughout the host, that every man should pitch his tent in the
place where he was.
So the soldiers pitched, and assaulted the city all that day
and all that night, till at the length the city was delivered
into his hands:
Who then slew all the males with the edge of the sword, and
rased the city, and took the spoils thereof, and passed through
the city over them that were slain.
After this went they over Jordan into the great plain before
And Judas gathered together those that came behind, and
exhorted the people all the way through, till they came into the
land of Judea.
So they went up to mount Sion with joy and gladness, where
they offered burnt offerings, because not one of them were slain
until they had returned in peace.
Now what time as Judas and Jonathan were in the land of
Galaad, and Simon his brother in Galilee before Ptolemais,
Joseph the son of Zacharias, and Azarias, captains of the
garrisons, heard of the valiant acts and warlike deeds which
they had done.
Wherefore they said, Let us also get us a name, and go fight
against the heathen that are round about us.
So when they had given charge unto the garrison that was with
them, they went toward Jamnia.
Then came Gorgias and his men out of the city to fight
And so it was, that Joseph and Azaras were put to flight, and
pursued unto the borders of Judea: and there were slain that day
of the people of Israel about two thousand men.
Thus was there a great overthrow among the children of
Israel, because they were not obedient unto Judas and his
brethren, but thought to do some valiant act.
Moreover these men came not of the seed of those, by whose
hand deliverance was given unto Israel.
Howbeit the man Judas and his brethren were greatly renowned
in the sight of all Israel, and of all the heathen, wheresoever
their name was heard of;
Insomuch as the the people assembled unto them with joyful
Afterward went Judas forth with his brethren, and fought
against the children of Esau in the land toward the south, where
he smote Hebron, and the towns thereof, and pulled down the
fortress of it, and burned the towers thereof round about.
From thence he removed to go into the land of the
Philistines, and passed through Samaria.
At that time certain priests, desirous to shew their valour,
were slain in battle, for that they went out to fight
So Judas turned to Azotus in the land of the Philistines, and
when he had pulled down their altars, and burned their carved
images with fire, and spoiled their cities, he returned into the
land of Judea.