The Bible in Its Traditions

1 Maccabees 3:38–45

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38  Then Lysias chose Ptolemy, the son of Dorymenes, and Nicanor and Gorgias, powerful men from among the king’s friends.

39  And he sent them with forty thousand men, and seven thousand horsemen, to enter into the land of Judah, and to destroy it, according to the word of the king.

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40  And so, they proceeded with all their power, and they arrived and took a position near Emmaus, in the land of the plains.

40  So they went forth with all their power, and came and pitched by Emmaus in the plain country.

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41  And the merchants of the regions heard of their name. And they took very much silver, and gold, and servants, and they came into the camp to take the sons of Israel into servitude. And armies from Syria and from the lands of foreigners were added to them.

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42  And Judas and his brothers saw that evils were being multiplied, and that armies had been positioned near their borders. And they knew the words of the king, which ordered the people to be put to death and to be utterly consumed.

42  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;

43  And they said, each one to his neighbor, “Let us relieve the dejection of our people, and let us fight on behalf of our people and our sacred places.”

43  They said one to another, Let us restore the decayed fortune of our people, and let us fight for our people and the sanctuary.

44  And an assembly was gathered together, so that they would be prepared for battle, and so that they could pray and ask for mercy and compassion.

44  Then was the congregation gathered together, 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 no one who entered or exited from among her children. And the sanctuary was trampled upon, and the sons of foreigners were in the stronghold. This place was the habitation of the Gentiles. And delight was taken away from Jacob, and the music of flute and harp ceased in that place.

45  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.