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2 Maccabees 12 - 15

2 Maccabees 12 - 15
2Mac 12:1 When these covenants were made, Lysias went unto the king, and the Jews were about their husbandry.

2Mac 12:2 But of the governours of several places, Timotheus, and Apollonius the son of Genneus, also Hieronymus, and Demophon, and beside them Nicanor the governor of Cyprus, would not suffer them to be quiet and live in peace.

2Mac 12:3 The men of Joppa also did such an ungodly deed: they prayed the Jews that dwelt among them to go with their wives and children into the boats which they had prepared, as though they had meant them no hurt.

2Mac 12:4 Who accepted of it according to the common decree of the city, as being desirous to live in peace, and suspecting nothing: but when they were gone forth into the deep, they drowned no less than two hundred of them.

2Mac 12:5 When Judas heard of this cruelty done unto his countrymen, he commanded those that were with him to make them ready.

2Mac 12:6 And calling upon God the righteous Judge, he came against those murderers of his brethren, and burnt the haven by night, and set the boats on fire, and those that fled thither he slew.

2Mac 12:7 And when the town was shut up, he went backward, as if he would return to root out all them of the city of Joppa.

2Mac 12:8 But when he heard that the Jamnites were minded to do in like manner unto the Jews that dwelt among them,

2Mac 12:9 He came upon the Jamnites also by night, and set fire on the haven and the navy, so that the light of the fire was seen at Jerusalem two hundred and forty furlongs off.

2Mac 12:10 Now when they were gone from thence nine furlongs in their journey toward Timotheus, no fewer than five thousand men on foot and five hundred horsemen of the Arabians set upon him.

2Mac 12:11 Whereupon there was a very sore battle; but Judas' side by the help of God got the victory; so that the Nomades of Arabia, being overcome, besought Judas for peace, promising both to give him cattle, and to pleasure him otherwise.

2Mac 12:12 Then Judas, thinking indeed that they would be profitable in many things, granted them peace: whereupon they shook hands, and so they departed to their tents.

2Mac 12:13 He went also about to make a bridge to a certain strong city, which was fenced about with walls, and inhabited by people of divers countries; and the name of it was Caspis.

2Mac 12:14 But they that were within it put such trust in the strength of the walls and provision of victuals, that they behaved themselves rudely toward them that were with Judas, railing and blaspheming, and uttering such words as were not to be spoken.

2Mac 12:15 Wherefore Judas with his company, calling upon the great Lord of the world, who without rams or engines of war did cast down Jericho in the time of Joshua, gave a fierce assault against the walls,

2Mac 12:16 And took the city by the will of God, and made unspeakable slaughters, insomuch that a lake two furlongs broad near adjoining thereunto, being filled full, was seen running with blood.

2Mac 12:17 Then departed they from thence seven hundred and fifty furlongs, and came to Characa unto the Jews that are called Tubieni.

2Mac 12:18 But as for Timotheus, they found him not in the places: for before he had dispatched any thing, he departed from thence, having left a very strong garrison in a certain hold.

2Mac 12:19 Howbeit Dositheus and Sosipater, who were of Maccabeus' captains, went forth, and slew those that Timotheus had left in the fortress, above ten thousand men.

2Mac 12:20 And Maccabeus ranged his army by bands, and set them over the bands, and went against Timotheus, who had about him an hundred and twenty thousand men of foot, and two thousand and five hundred horsemen.

2Mac 12:21 Now when Timotheus had knowledge of Judas' coming, he sent the women and children and the other baggage unto a fortress called Carnion: for the town was hard to besiege, and uneasy to come unto, by reason of the straitness of all the places.

2Mac 12:22 But when Judas his first band came in sight, the enemies, being smitten with fear and terror through the appearing of him who seeth all things, fled amain, one running into this way, another that way, so as that they were often hurt of their own men, and wounded with the points of their own swords.

2Mac 12:23 Judas also was very earnest in pursuing them, killing those wicked wretches, of whom he slew about thirty thousand men.

2Mac 12:24 Moreover Timotheus himself fell into the hands of Dositheus and Sosipater, whom he besought with much craft to let him go with his life, because he had many of the Jews' parents, and the brethren of some of them, who, if they put him to death, should not be regarded.

2Mac 12:25 So when he had assured them with many words that he would restore them without hurt, according to the agreement, they let him go for the saving of their brethren.

2Mac 12:26 Then Maccabeus marched forth to Carnion, and to the temple of Atargatis, and there he slew five and twenty thousand persons.

2Mac 12:27 And after he had put to flight and destroyed them, Judas removed the host toward Ephron, a strong city, wherein Lysias abode, and a great multitude of divers nations, and the strong young men kept the walls, and defended them mightily: wherein also was great provision of engines and darts.

2Mac 12:28 But when Judas and his company had called upon Almighty God, who with his power breaketh the strength of his enemies, they won the city, and slew twenty and five thousand of them that were within,

2Mac 12:29 From thence they departed to Scythopolis, which lieth six hundred furlongs from Jerusalem,

2Mac 12:30 But when the Jews that dwelt there had testified that the Scythopolitans dealt lovingly with them, and entreated them kindly in the time of their adversity;

2Mac 12:31 They gave them thanks, desiring them to be friendly still unto them: and so they came to Jerusalem, the feast of the weeks approaching.

2Mac 12:32 And after the feast, called Pentecost, they went forth against Gorgias the governor of Idumea,

2Mac 12:33 Who came out with three thousand men of foot and four hundred horsemen.

2Mac 12:34 And it happened that in their fighting together a few of the Jews were slain.

2Mac 12:35 At which time Dositheus, one of Bacenor's company, who was on horseback, and a strong man, was still upon Gorgias, and taking hold of his coat drew him by force; and when he would have taken that cursed man alive, a horseman of Thracia coming upon him smote off his shoulder, so that Gorgias fled unto Marisa.

2Mac 12:36 Now when they that were with Gorgias had fought long, and were weary, Judas called upon the Lord, that he would shew himself to be their helper and leader of the battle.

2Mac 12:37 And with that he began in his own language, and sung psalms with a loud voice, and rushing unawares upon Gorgias' men, he put them to flight.

2Mac 12:38 So Judas gathered his host, and came into the city of Odollam, And when the seventh day came, they purified themselves, as the custom was, and kept the sabbath in the same place.

2Mac 12:39 And upon the day following, as the use had been, Judas and his company came to take up the bodies of them that were slain, and to bury them with their kinsmen in their fathers' graves.

2Mac 12:40 Now under the coats of every one that was slain they found things consecrated to the idols of the Jamnites, which is forbidden the Jews by the law. Then every man saw that this was the cause wherefore they were slain.

2Mac 12:41 All men therefore praising the Lord, the righteous Judge, who had opened the things that were hid,

2Mac 12:42 Betook themselves unto prayer, and besought him that the sin committed might wholly be put out of remembrance. Besides, that noble Judas exhorted the people to keep themselves from sin, forsomuch as they saw before their eyes the things that came to pass for the sins of those that were slain.

2Mac 12:43 And when he had made a gathering throughout the company to the sum of two thousand drachms of silver, he sent it to Jerusalem to offer a sin offering, doing therein very well and honestly, in that he was mindful of the resurrection:

2Mac 12:44 For if he had not hoped that they that were slain should have risen again, it had been superfluous and vain to pray for the dead.

2Mac 12:45 And also in that he perceived that there was great favour laid up for those that died godly, it was an holy and good thought. Whereupon he made a reconciliation for the dead, that they might be delivered from sin.

2Mac 13:1 In the hundred forty and ninth year it was told Judas, that Antiochus Eupator was coming with a great power into Judea,

2Mac 13:2 And with him Lysias his protector, and ruler of his affairs, having either of them a Grecian power of footmen, an hundred and ten thousand, and horsemen five thousand and three hundred, and elephants two and twenty, and three hundred chariots armed with hooks.

2Mac 13:3 Menelaus also joined himself with them, and with great dissimulation encouraged Antiochus, not for the safeguard of the country, but because he thought to have been made governor.

2Mac 13:4 But the King of kings moved Antiochus' mind against this wicked wretch, and Lysias informed the king that this man was the cause of all mischief, so that the king commanded to bring him unto Berea, and to put him to death, as the manner is in that place.

2Mac 13:5 Now there was in that place a tower of fifty cubits high, full of ashes, and it had a round instrument which on every side hanged down into the ashes.

2Mac 13:6 And whosoever was condemned of sacrilege, or had committed any other grievous crime, there did all men thrust him unto death.

2Mac 13:7 Such a death it happened that wicked man to die, not having so much as burial in the earth; and that most justly:

2Mac 13:8 For inasmuch as he had committed many sins about the altar, whose fire and ashes were holy, he received his death in ashes.

2Mac 13:9 Now the king came with a barbarous and haughty mind to do far worse to the Jews, than had been done in his father's time.

2Mac 13:10 Which things when Judas perceived, he commanded the multitude to call upon the Lord night and day, that if ever at any other time, he would now also help them, being at the point to be put from their law, from their country, and from the holy temple:

2Mac 13:11 And that he would not suffer the people, that had even now been but a little refreshed, to be in subjection to the blasphemous nations.

2Mac 13:12 So when they had all done this together, and besought the merciful Lord with weeping and fasting, and lying flat upon the ground three days long, Judas, having exhorted them, commanded they should be in a readiness.

2Mac 13:13 And Judas, being apart with the elders, determined, before the king's host should enter into Judea, and get the city, to go forth and try the matter in fight by the help of the Lord.

2Mac 13:14 So when he had committed all to the Creator of the world, and exhorted his soldiers to fight manfully, even unto death, for the laws, the temple, the city, the country, and the commonwealth, he camped by Modin:

2Mac 13:15 And having given the watchword to them that were about him, Victory is of God; with the most valiant and choice young men he went in into the king's tent by night, and slew in the camp about four thousand men, and the chiefest of the elephants, with all that were upon him.

2Mac 13:16 And at last they filled the camp with fear and tumult, and departed with good success.

2Mac 13:17 This was done in the break of the day, because the protection of the Lord did help him.

2Mac 13:18 Now when the king had taken a taste of the manliness of the Jews, he went about to take the holds by policy,

2Mac 13:19 And marched toward Bethsura, which was a strong hold of the Jews: but he was put to flight, failed, and lost of his men:

2Mac 13:20 For Judas had conveyed unto them that were in it such things as were necessary.

2Mac 13:21 But Rhodocus, who was in the Jews' host, disclosed the secrets to the enemies; therefore he was sought out, and when they had gotten him, they put him in prison.

2Mac 13:22 The king treated with them in Bethsum the second time, gave his hand, took their's, departed, fought with Judas, was overcome;

2Mac 13:23 Heard that Philip, who was left over the affairs in Antioch, was desperately bent, confounded, intreated the Jews, submitted himself, and sware to all equal conditions, agreed with them, and offered sacrifice, honoured the temple, and dealt kindly with the place,

2Mac 13:24 And accepted well of Maccabeus, made him principal governor from Ptolemais unto the Gerrhenians;

2Mac 13:25 Came to Ptolemais: the people there were grieved for the covenants; for they stormed, because they would make their covenants void:

2Mac 13:26 Lysias went up to the judgment seat, said as much as could be in defence of the cause, persuaded, pacified, made them well affected, returned to Antioch. Thus it went touching the king's coming and departing.

2Mac 14:1 After three years was Judas informed, that Demetrius the son of Seleucus, having entered by the haven of Tripolis with a great power and navy,

2Mac 14:2 Had taken the country, and killed Antiochus, and Lysias his protector.

2Mac 14:3 Now one Alcimus, who had been high priest, and had defiled himself wilfully in the times of their mingling with the Gentiles, seeing that by no means he could save himself, nor have any more access to the holy altar,

2Mac 14:4 Came to king Demetrius in the hundred and one and fiftieth year, presenting unto him a crown of gold, and a palm, and also of the boughs which were used solemnly in the temple: and so that day he held his peace.

2Mac 14:5 Howbeit having gotten opportunity to further his foolish enterprize, and being called into counsel by Demetrius, and asked how the Jews stood affected, and what they intended, he answered thereunto:

2Mac 14:6 Those of the Jews that he called Assideans, whose captain is Judas Maccabeus, nourish war and are seditious, and will not let the rest be in peace.

2Mac 14:7 Therefore I, being deprived of mine ancestors' honour, I mean the high priesthood, am now come hither:

2Mac 14:8 First, verily for the unfeigned care I have of things pertaining to the king; and secondly, even for that I intend the good of mine own countrymen: for all our nation is in no small misery through the unadvised dealing of them aforersaid.

2Mac 14:9 Wherefore, O king, seeing knowest all these things, be careful for the country, and our nation, which is pressed on every side, according to the clemency that thou readily shewest unto all.

2Mac 14:10 For as long as Judas liveth, it is not possible that the state should be quiet.

2Mac 14:11 This was no sooner spoken of him, but others of the king's friends, being maliciously set against Judas, did more incense Demetrius.

2Mac 14:12 And forthwith calling Nicanor, who had been master of the elephants, and making him governor over Judea, he sent him forth,

2Mac 14:13 Commanding him to slay Judas, and to scatter them that were with him, and to make Alcimus high priest of the great temple.

2Mac 14:14 Then the heathen, that had fled out of Judea from Judas, came to Nicanor by flocks, thinking the harm and calamities ot the Jews to be their welfare.

2Mac 14:15 Now when the Jews heard of Nicanor's coming, and that the heathen were up against them, they cast earth upon their heads, and made supplication to him that had established his people for ever, and who always helpeth his portion with manifestation of his presence.

2Mac 14:16 So at the commandment of the captain they removed straightways from thence, and came near unto them at the town of Dessau.

2Mac 14:17 Now Simon, Judas' brother, had joined battle with Nicanor, but was somewhat discomfited through the sudden silence of his enemies.

2Mac 14:18 Nevertheless Nicanor, hearing of the manliness of them that were with Judas, and the courageousness that they had to fight for their country, durst not try the matter by the sword.

2Mac 14:19 Wherefore he sent Posidonius, and Theodotus, and Mattathias, to make peace.

2Mac 14:20 So when they had taken long advisement thereupon, and the captain had made the multitude acquainted therewith, and it appeared that they were all of one mind, they consented to the covenants,

2Mac 14:21 And appointed a day to meet in together by themselves: and when the day came, and stools were set for either of them,

2Mac 14:22 Ludas placed armed men ready in convenient places, lest some treachery should be suddenly practised by the enemies: so they made a peaceable conference.

2Mac 14:23 Now Nicanor abode in Jerusalem, and did no hurt, but sent away the people that came flocking unto him.

2Mac 14:24 And he would not willingly have Judas out of his sight: for he love the man from his heart

2Mac 14:25 He prayed him also to take a wife, and to beget children: so he married, was quiet, and took part of this life.

2Mac 14:26 But Alcimus, perceiving the love that was betwixt them, and considering the covenants that were made, came to Demetrius, and told him that Nicanor was not well affected toward the state; for that he had ordained Judas, a traitor to his realm, to be the king's successor.

2Mac 14:27 Then the king being in a rage, and provoked with the accusations of the most wicked man, wrote to Nicanor, signifying that he was much displeased with the covenants, and commanding him that he should send Maccabeus prisoner in all haste unto Antioch.

2Mac 14:28 When this came to Nicanor's hearing, he was much confounded in himself, and took it grievously that he should make void the articles which were agreed upon, the man being in no fault.

2Mac 14:29 But because there was no dealing against the king, he watched his time to accomplish this thing by policy.

2Mac 14:30 Notwithstanding, when Maccabeus saw that Nicanor began to be churlish unto him, and that he entreated him more roughly than he was wont, perceiving that such sour behaviour came not of good, he gathered together not a few of his men, and withdrew himself from Nicanor.

2Mac 14:31 But the other, knowing that he was notably prevented by Judas' policy, came into the great and holy temple, and commanded the priests, that were offering their usual sacrifices, to deliver him the man.

2Mac 14:32 And when they sware that they could not tell where the man was whom he sought,

2Mac 14:33 He stretched out his right hand toward the temple, and made an oath in this manner: If ye will not deliver me Judas as a prisoner, I will lay this temple of God even with the ground, and I will break down the altar, and erect a notable temple unto Bacchus.

2Mac 14:34 After these words he departed. Then the priests lifted up their hands toward heaven, and besought him that was ever a defender of their nation, saying in this manner;

2Mac 14:35 Thou, O Lord of all things, who hast need of nothing, wast pleased that the temple of thine habitation should be among us:

2Mac 14:36 Therefore now, O holy Lord of all holiness, keep this house ever undefiled, which lately was cleansed, and stop every unrighteous mouth.

2Mac 14:37 Now was there accused unto Nicanor one Razis, one of the elders of Jerusalem, a lover of his countrymen, and a man of very good report, who for his kindness was called a father of the Jews.

2Mac 14:38 For in the former times, when they mingled not themselves with the Gentiles, he had been accused of Judaism, and did boldly jeopard his body and life with all vehemency for the religion of the Jews.

2Mac 14:39 So Nicanor, willing to declare the hate that he bare unto the Jews, sent above five hundred men of war to take him:

2Mac 14:40 For he thought by taking him to do the Jews much hurt.

2Mac 14:41 Now when the multitude would have taken the tower, and violently broken into the outer door, and bade that fire should be brought to burn it, he being ready to be taken on every side fell upon his sword;

2Mac 14:42 Choosing rather to die manfully, than to come into the hands of the wicked, to be abused otherwise than beseemed his noble birth:

2Mac 14:43 But missing his stroke through haste, the multitude also rushing within the doors, he ran boldly up to the wall, and cast himself down manfully among the thickest of them.

2Mac 14:44 But they quickly giving back, and a space being made, he fell down into the midst of the void place.

2Mac 14:45 Nevertheless, while there was yet breath within him, being inflamed with anger, he rose up; and though his blood gushed out like spouts of water, and his wounds were grievous, yet he ran through the midst of the throng; and standing upon a steep rock,

2Mac 14:46 When as his blood was now quite gone, he plucked out his bowels, and taking them in both his hands, he cast them upon the throng, and calling upon the Lord of life and spirit to restore him those again, he thus died.

2Mac 15:1 But Nicanor, hearing that Judas and his company were in the strong places about Samaria, resolved without any danger to set upon them on the sabbath day.

2Mac 15:2 Nevertheless the Jews that were compelled to go with him said, O destroy not so cruelly and barbarously, but give honour to that day, which he, that seeth all things, hath honoured with holiness above all other days.

2Mac 15:3 Then the most ungracious wretch demanded, if there were a Mighty one in heaven, that had commanded the sabbath day to be kept.

2Mac 15:4 And when they said, There is in heaven a living Lord, and mighty, who commanded the seventh day to be kept:

2Mac 15:5 Then said the other, And I also am mighty upon earth, and I command to take arms, and to do the king's business. Yet he obtained not to have his wicked will done.

2Mac 15:6 So Nicanor in exceeding pride and haughtiness determined to set up a publick monument of his victory over Judas and them that were with him.

2Mac 15:7 But Maccabeus had ever sure confidence that the Lord would help him:

2Mac 15:8 Wherefore he exhorted his people not to fear the coming of the heathen against them, but to remember the help which in former times they had received from heaven, and now to expect the victory and aid, which should come unto them from the Almighty.

2Mac 15:9 And so comforting them out of the law and the prophets, and withal putting them in mind of the battles that they won afore, he made them more cheerful.

2Mac 15:10 And when he had stirred up their minds, he gave them their charge, shewing them therewithall the falsehood of the heathen, and the breach of oaths.

2Mac 15:11 Thus he armed every one of them, not so much with defence of shields and spears, as with comfortable and good words: and beside that, he told them a dream worthy to be believed, as if it had been so indeed, which did not a little rejoice them.

2Mac 15:12 And this was his vision: That Onias, who had been high priest, a virtuous and a good man, reverend in conversation, gentle in condition, well spoken also, and exercised from a child in all points of virtue, holding up his hands prayed for the whole body of the Jews.

2Mac 15:13 This done, in like manner there appeared a man with gray hairs, and exceeding glorious, who was of a wonderful and excellent majesty.

2Mac 15:14 Then Onias answered, saying, This is a lover of the brethren, who prayeth much for the people, and for the holy city, to wit, Jeremias the prophet of God.

2Mac 15:15 Whereupon Jeremias holding forth his right hand gave to Judas a sword of gold, and in giving it spake thus,

2Mac 15:16 Take this holy sword, a gift from God, with the which thou shalt wound the adversaries.

2Mac 15:17 Thus being well comforted by the words of Judas, which were very good, and able to stir them up to valour, and to encourage the hearts of the young men, they determined not to pitch camp, but courageously to set upon them, and manfully to try the matter by conflict, because the city and the sanctuary and the temple were in danger.

2Mac 15:18 For the care that they took for their wives, and their children, their brethren, and folks, was in least account with them: but the greatest and principal fear was for the holy temple.

2Mac 15:19 Also they that were in the city took not the least care, being troubled for the conflict abroad.

2Mac 15:20 And now, when as all looked what should be the trial, and the enemies were already come near, and the army was set in array, and the beasts conveniently placed, and the horsemen set in wings,

2Mac 15:21 Maccabeus seeing the coming of the multitude, and the divers preparations of armour, and the fierceness of the beasts, stretched out his hands toward heaven, and called upon the Lord that worketh wonders, knowing that victory cometh not by arms, but even as it seemeth good to him, he giveth it to such as are worthy:

2Mac 15:22 Therefore in his prayer he said after this manner; O Lord, thou didst send thine angel in the time of Ezekias king of Judea, and didst slay in the host of Sennacherib an hundred fourscore and five thousand:

2Mac 15:23 Wherefore now also, O Lord of heaven, send a good angel before us for a fear and dread unto them;

2Mac 15:24 And through the might of thine arm let those be stricken with terror, that come against thy holy people to blaspheme. And he ended thus.

2Mac 15:25 Then Nicanor and they that were with him came forward with trumpets and songs.

2Mac 15:26 But Judas and his company encountered the enemies with invocation and prayer.

2Mac 15:27 So that fighting with their hands, and praying unto God with their hearts, they slew no less than thirty and five thousand men: for through the appearance of God they were greatly cheered.

2Mac 15:28 Now when the battle was done, returning again with joy, they knew that Nicanor lay dead in his harness.

2Mac 15:29 Then they made a great shout and a noise, praising the Almighty in their own language.

2Mac 15:30 And Judas, who was ever the chief defender of the citizens both in body and mind, and who continued his love toward his countrymen all his life, commanded to strike off Nicanor's head, and his hand with his shoulder, and bring them to Jerusalem.

2Mac 15:31 So when he was there, and called them of his nation together, and set the priests before the altar, he sent for them that were of the tower,

2Mac 15:32 And shewed them vile Nicanor's head, and the hand of that blasphemer, which with proud brags he had stretched out against the holy temple of the Almighty.

2Mac 15:33 And when he had cut out the tongue of that ungodly Nicanor, he commanded that they should give it by pieces unto the fowls, and hang up the reward of his madness before the temple.

2Mac 15:34 So every man praised toward the heaven the glorious Lord, saying, Blessed be he that hath kept his own place undefiled.

2Mac 15:35 He hanged also Nicanor's head upon the tower, an evident and manifest sign unto all of the help of the Lord.

2Mac 15:36 And they ordained all with a common decree in no case to let that day pass without solemnity, but to celebrate the thirtieth day of the twelfth month, which in the Syrian tongue is called Adar, the day before Mardocheus' day.

2Mac 15:37 Thus went it with Nicanor: and from that time forth the Hebrews had the city in their power. And here will I make an end.

2Mac 15:38 And if I have done well, and as is fitting the story, it is that which I desired: but if slenderly and meanly, it is that which I could attain unto.

2Mac 15:39 For as it is hurtful to drink wine or water alone; and as wine mingled with water is pleasant, and delighteth the taste: even so speech finely framed delighteth the ears of them that read the story. And here shall be an end.

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