First Book of Machabees
1 Then his
son Judas, called Machabeus, rose up in his stead.
2 And all his
brethren helped him, and all they that had joined themselves to
his father, and they fought with cheerfulness the battle of Israel.
3 And he got
his people great honour, and put on a breastplate as a giant, and
girt his warlike armour about him in battles, and protected the
camp with his sword.
4 In his acts
he was like a lion, and like a lion's whelp roaring for his prey.
5 And he pursued
the wicked and sought them out, and them that troubled his people
he burnt with fire:
6 And his enemies
were driven away for fear of him, and all the workers of iniquity
were troubled: and salvation prospered in his hand.
7 And he grieved
many kings, and made Jacob glad with his works, and his memory is
blessed for ever.
8 And he went
through the cities of Juda, and destroyed the wicked out of them,
and turned away wrath from Israel.
9 And he was
renowned even to the utmost part of the earth, and he gathered them
that were perishing.
10 And Apollonius
gathered together the Gentiles, and a numerous and great army from
Samaria, to make war against Israel.
11 And Judas
understood it, and went forth to meet him: and he overthrew him,
and killed him: and many fell down slain, the rest fled away.
12 And he took
their spoils, and Judas took the sword of Apollonius, and fought
with it all his lifetime.
13 And Seron
captain of the army of Syria heard that Judas had assembled a company
of the faithful, and a congregation with him,
14 And he said:
I will get me a name, and will be glorified in the kingdom, and
will overthrow Judas, and those that are with him, that have despised
the edict of the king.
15 And he made
himself ready: and the host of the wicked went up with him, strong
succours, to be revenged of the children of Israel.
16 And they
approached even as far as Bethoron: and Judas went forth to meet
him, with a small company.
17 But when
they saw the army coming to meet them, they said to Judas: How shall
we, being few, be able to fight against so great a multitude and
so strong, and we are ready to faint with fasting today?
18 And Judas
said: It is an easy matter for many to be shut up in the hands of
a few: and there is no difference in the sight of the God of heaven
to deliver with a great multitude, or with a small company:
19 For the
success of war is not in the multitude of the army, but strength
cometh from heaven.
20 They come
against us with an insolent multitude, and with pride, to destroy
us, and our wives, and our children, and to take our spoils.
21 But we will
fight for our lives and our laws:
22 And the
Lord himself will overthrow them before our face: but as for you,
fear them not.
23 And as soon
as he had made an end of speaking, he rushed suddenly upon them:
and Seron and his host were overthrown before him:
24 And he pursued
him by the descent of Bethoron even to the plain, and there fell
of them eight hundred men, and the rest fled into the land of the
25 And the
fear of Judas and of his brethren, and the dread of them fell upon
all the nations round about them.
26 And his
fame came to the king, and all nations told of the battles of Judas.
27 Now when
king Antiochus heard these words, he was angry in his mind: and
he sent and gathered the forces of all his kingdom, an exceeding
28 And he opened
his treasury, and gave out pay to the army for a year: and he commanded
them, that they should be ready for all things.
29 And he perceived
that the money of his treasures failed, and that the tributes of
the country were small because of the dissension, and the evil that
he had brought upon the land, that he might take away the laws of
30 And he feared
that he should not have as formerly enough, for charges and gifts,
which he had given before with a liberal hand: for he had abounded
more than the kings that had been before him.
31 And he was
greatly perplexed in mind, and purposed to go into Persia, and to
take tributes of the countries, and to gather much money.
32 And he left
Lysias, a nobleman of the blood royal, to oversee the affairs of
the kingdom, from the river Euphrates even to the river of Egypt:
33 And to bring
up his son Antiochus, till he came again.
34 And he delivered
to him half the army, and the elephants: and he gave him charge
concerning all that he would have done, and concerning the inhabitants
of Judea, and Jerusalem:
35 And 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
the memory of them from that place:
36 And that
he should settle strangers to dwell in all their coasts, and divide
their land by lot.
37 So the king
took the half of the army that remained, and went forth from Antioch
the chief city of his kingdom, in the hundred and forty-seventh
year: and he passed over the river Euphrates, and went through the
38 Then Lysias
chose Ptolemee the son of Dorymenus, and Nicanor, and Gorgias, mighty
men of the king's friends.
39 And he sent
with them forty thousand men, and seven thousand horsemen: to go
into the land of Juda, and to destroy it according to the king's
40 So they
went forth with all their power, and came, and pitched near Emmaus
in the plain country.
41 And the
merchants of the countries heard the fame of them: and they took
silver and gold in abundance, and servants: and they came into the
camp, to buy the children of Israel for slaves: and there were joined
to them the forces of Syria, and of the land of the strangers.
42 And Judas
and his brethren saw that evils were multiplied, and that the armies
approached to their borders: and they knew the orders the king had
given to destroy the people and utterly abolish them.
43 And they
said every man to his neighbour: Let us raise up the low condition
of our people, and let us fight for our people, and our sanctuary.
44 And the
assembly was gathered that they might be ready for battle: and that
they might pray, and ask mercy and compassion.
45 Now Jerusalem
was not inhabited, but was like a desert: there was none of her
children that went in or out: and the sanctuary was trodden down:
and the children of strangers were in the castle, there was the
habitation of the Gentiles: and joy was taken away from Jacob, and
the pipe and harp ceased there.
46 And they
assembled together, and came to Maspha over against Jerusalem: for
in Maspha was a place of prayer heretofore in Israel.
47 And they
fasted that day, and put on haircloth, and put ashes upon their
heads: and they rent their garments:
48 And they
laid open the books of the law, in which the Gentiles searched for
the likeness of their idols:
49 And they
brought the priestly ornaments, and the firstfruits and tithes,
and stirred up the Nazarites that had fulfilled their days:
50 And they
cried with a loud voice toward heaven, saying: What shall we do
with these, and whither shall we carry them?
51 For thy
holies are trodden down, and are profaned, and thy priests are in
mourning, and are brought low.
52 And behold
the nations are come together against us to destroy us: thou knowest
what they intend against us.
53 How shall
we be able to stand before their face, unless thou, O God, help
54 Then they
sounded with trumpets, and cried out with a loud voice.
55 And after
this Judas appointed captains over the people, over thousands, and
over hundreds, and over fifties, and over tens.
56 And he said
to them that were building houses, or had betrothed wives, or were
planting vineyards, or were fearful, that they should return every
man to his house, according to the law.
57 So they
removed the camp, and pitched on the south side of Emmaus.
58 And Judas
said: Gird yourselves, and be valiant men, and be ready against
the morning, that you may fight with these nations that are assembled
against us to destroy us and our sanctuary.
59 For it is
better for us to die in battle, than to see the evils of our nation,
and of the holies:
as it shall be the will of God in heaven so be it done.