The Bible in Its Traditions

1 Maccabees 3:46–60

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46  And they gathered together and came to Mizpah, opposite Jerusalem. For a place of prayer was in Mizpah, in the former Israel.

46  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.

47  And they fasted on that day, and they clothed themselves with haircloth, and they placed ashes on their heads, and they tore their garments.

47  Then they fasted that day, and put on sackcloth, and cast ashes upon their heads, and rent their clothes,

48  And they laid open the books of the law, in which the Gentiles searched for the likeness of their idols.

48  And laid open the book of the law, wherein the heathen had sought to paint the likeness of their images.

49  And they brought the priestly ornaments, and the first fruits and tithes, and they roused the Nazirites, who had fulfilled their days.

49  They brought also the priests’ garments, and the firstfruits, and the tithes: and the Nazarites they stirred up, who had accomplished their days.

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50  And they cried out with a loud voice toward heaven, saying: “What shall we do with these, and where shall we take them?

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51  For your holy things have been trampled and defiled, and your priests have been in mourning and in humiliation.

51  For thy sanctuary is trodden down and profaned, and thy priests are in heaviness, and brought low.

52  And behold, the Nations gather together against us, to destroy us. You know what they intend against us.

52  And lo, the heathen are assembled together against us to destroy us: what things they imagine against us, thou knowest.

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53  How shall we be able to stand before their face, unless you, O God, assist us?”

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54  Then they sounded the trumpets with a loud call.

54  Then sounded they with trumpets, and cried with a loud voice.

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55  And after this, Judas appointed commanders over the people: over thousands, and over hundreds, and over fifties, and over tens.

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56  And he said to those who were building houses, or who had betrothed wives, who were planting vineyards, or who were terribly afraid, that they should return, each one to his own house, according to the law.

56  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.

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57  So they moved the camp, and relocated to the south of Emmaus.

58  And Judas said: “Gird yourselves, and be sons of power, and be ready in the morning, so that you may fight against these nations that have assembled against us, so as to destroy us and our sacred things.

59  For it is better for us to die in battle, than to see evils come to our nation and to the sacred places.

60  Nevertheless, as it shall be willed in heaven, so let it be.”