The Bible in Its Traditions

1 Maccabees 4:1–61

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Then Gorgias took five thousand men and a thousand chosen horsemen, and they moved out of the camp by night,

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so that they might set upon the camp of the Jews and strike them suddenly. And the sons who were from the stronghold were their guides.

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 guides.

And Judas heard of it, and he rose up, with his powerful men, to strike the force from the king’s army that was in Emmaus.

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,

For the army was still dispersed from the camp.

While as yet the forces were dispersed from the camp.

And Gorgias came by night, into the camp of Judas, and found no one, and he sought them in the mountains. For he said, “These men flee from us.”

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

And when it had become day, Judas appeared in the plain with only three thousand men, who had neither armor nor swords.

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 strength of the camp of the Gentiles, and the men in armor, and the horsemen surrounding them, and that these were trained to fight.

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.

And Judas said to the men who were with him: “Do not be afraid of their multitude, and do not dread their attack.

Then said Judas to the men that were with him, Fear ye not their multitude, neither be ye afraid of their assault.

Remember in what way salvation came to our fathers in the Red Sea, when Pharaoh pursued them with a great army.

Remember how our fathers were delivered in the Red sea, when Pharaoh pursued them with an army.

10  And now, let us cry out to heaven, and the Lord will have mercy on us, and he will remember the covenant of our fathers, and he will crush this army before our face this day.

10  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

11  And all nations shall know that there is One who redeems and frees Israel.”

11  That so all the heathen may know that there is one who delivereth and saveth Israel.

12  And the foreigners lifted up their eyes, and they saw them coming against them.

12  Then the strangers lifted up their eyes, and saw them coming over against them.

13  And they went out of the camp into battle, and those who were with Judas sounded the trumpet.

13  Wherefore they went out of the camp to battle; but they that were with Judas sounded their trumpets.

14  And they came together. And the Gentiles were crushed, and they fled into the plains.

14  So they joined battle, and the heathen being discomfited fled into the plain.

15  But the last of them all fell by the sword, and they pursued them even to Gazara, and even to the plains of Idumea, and Azotus, and Jamnia. And there fell from them as many as three thousand men.

15  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.

16  And Judas returned, with his army following him.

16  This done, Judas returned again with his host from pursuing them,

17  And he said to the people: “Do not desire the spoils; for there is war before us.

17  And said to the people, Be not greedy of the spoil inasmuch as there is a battle before us,

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18  And Gorgias and his army are near us on the mountain. But stand firm now against our enemies, and fight against them, and you shall take the spoils afterwards, securely.”

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19  And while Judas was speaking these words, behold, a certain part of them appeared, looking out from the mountain.

19  As Judas was yet speaking these words, there appeared a part of them looking out of the mountain

20  And Gorgias saw that his men were put to flight, and that they had set fire to the camp. For the smoke that he saw declared what had happened.

20  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

21  When they had seen this, they became very afraid, seeing at the same time both Judas and his army in the plains prepared to do battle.

21  When therefore they perceived these things, they were sore afraid, and seeing also the host of Judas in the plain ready to fight,

22  So they all fled away into the encampment of the foreigners.

22  They fled every one into the land of strangers.

23  And Judas returned to take the spoils of the camp, and they obtained much gold and silver, and hyacinth, and purple of the sea, and great riches.

23  Then Judas returned to spoil the tents, where they got much gold, and silver, and blue silk, and purple of the sea, and great riches.

24  And returning, they sang a canticle, and they blessed God in heaven, because he is good, because his mercy is with every generation.

24  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.

25  And so, a great salvation occurred in Israel in that day.

25  Thus Israel had a great deliverance that day.

26  But those among the foreigners who escaped went and reported to Lysias all that had happened.

26  Now all the strangers that had escaped came and told Lysias what had happened

27  And when he heard these things, he was discouraged, being alarmed to his very soul. For things had not occurred in Israel according to his wishes, nor as the king had commanded.

27  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.

28  And, in the following year, Lysias gathered together sixty thousand chosen men and five thousand horsemen, so that he might defeat them in warfare.

28  The next year therefore following Lysias gathered together threescore thousand choice men of foot, and five thousand horsemen, that he might subdue them.

29  And they came into Judea, and they positioned their camp in Bethzur, and Judas met them with ten thousand men.

29  So they came into Idumea, and pitched their tents at Bethsura, and Judas met them with ten thousand men.

30  And they saw the strength of the army, and so he prayed, and he said: “Blessed are you, Savior of Israel, who crushed the assault of the powerful by the hand of your servant David, and who delivered up the camp of the foreigners into the hand of Jonathan, the son of Saul, and his armor bearer.

30  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;

31  Enclose this army in the hand of your people Israel, and let them be confounded in their soldiers and their horsemen.

31  Shut up this army in the hand of thy people Israel, and let them be confounded in their power and horsemen

32  Strike them with dread, and melt away the boldness of their strength, and let them shudder in their grief.

32  Make them to be of no courage, and cause the boldness of their strength to fall away, and let them quake at their destruction

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33  Cast them down with the sword of those who love you, and let all who know your name praise you with hymns.”

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34  And they went forth to battle, and there fell from the army of Lysias five thousand men.

34  So they joined battle; and there were slain of the host of Lysias about five thousand men, even before them were they slain.

35  But Lysias, seeing their flight and the boldness of the Jews, and that they were prepared either to live or to die with fortitude, went to Antioch and chose soldiers, so that they might come back to Judea with greater numbers.

35  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.

36  Then Judas and his brothers said: “Behold, our enemies have been crushed. Let us go up now to cleanse and renew the holy places.”

36  Then said Judas and his brethren, Behold, our enemies are discomfited: let us go up to cleanse and dedicate the sanctuary.

37  And all the army gathered together, and they ascended to Mount Zion.

37  Upon this all the host assembled themselves together, and went up into mount Sion.

38  And they saw the sanctuary deserted, and the altar profaned, and the gates burned, and weeds growing up in the courts, as in a forest or as on the mountains, and the adjoining chambers demolished.

38  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;

39  And they rent their garments, and they made a great wailing, and they placed ashes on their heads.

39  They rent their clothes, and made great lamentation, and cast ashes upon their heads,

40  And they fell to the ground on their faces, and they sounded the trumpets of alarm, and they cried out toward heaven.

40  And fell down flat to the ground upon their faces, and blew an alarm with the trumpets, and cried toward heaven.

41  Then Judas numbered men to fight against those who were in the stronghold, until they had cleansed the holy places.

41  Then Judas appointed certain men to fight against those that were in the fortress, until he had cleansed the sanctuary.

42  And he chose priests without blemish, whose will held to the law of God.

42  So he chose priests of blameless conversation, such as had pleasure in the law

43  And they cleansed the holy places, and they took away the stones of defilement to an unclean place.

43  Who cleansed the sanctuary, and bare out the defiled stones into an unclean place.

44  And he considered the altar of holocausts, which had been profaned, as to what he should do with it.

44  And when as they consulted what to do with the altar of burnt offerings, which was profaned;

45  And a good counsel fell upon them, to destroy it, lest it might become a reproach to them, because the Gentiles had defiled it; so they demolished it.

45  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,

46  And they stored the stones in the mountain house, in a fitting place, until there should come a prophet, who would provide an answer about these.

46  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.

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47  Then they took whole stones, according to the law, and they built a new altar, according to that which was before.

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48  And they rebuilt the holy places and the things that were in the inner parts of the temple, and they sanctified the temple and the courts.

48  And made up the sanctuary, and the things that were within the temple, and hallowed the courts.

49  And they made new holy vessels, and they brought the lampstand, and the altar of incense, and the table into the temple.

49  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.

50  And they placed incense on the altar, and they lit the lamps, which were on the lampstand, and they gave light in the temple.

50  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.

51  And they placed the bread on the table, and they hung up the veils, and they completed all the works which they had begun.

51  Furthermore they set the loaves upon the table, and spread out the veils, and finished all the works which they had begun to make.

52  And they arose before the morning, on the twenty-fifth day of the ninth month, (which is the month of Kislev) in the one hundred and forty-eighth year.

52  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,

53  And they offered sacrifice, according to the law, on the new altar of holocausts that they made.

53  And offered sacrifice according to the law upon the new altar of burnt offerings, which they had made.

54  According to the time and according to the day, on which the Gentiles had contaminated it, on the same day, it was renewed with canticles, and lutes, and lyres, and cymbals.

54  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.

55  And all the people fell upon their faces, and they adored, and they blessed, toward heaven, him that had prospered them.

55  Then all the people fell upon their faces, worshipping and praising the God of heaven, who had given them good success.

56  And they kept the dedication of the altar for eight days, and they offered holocausts with joy, and sacrifices of salvation and praise.

56  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.

57  And they adorned the face of the temple with crowns of gold and small shields. And they dedicated the gates and the adjoining chambers, and they set up doors on them.

57  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.

58  And there was very great rejoicing among the people, and the disgrace of the Gentiles was averted.

58  Thus was there very great gladness among the people, for that the reproach of the heathen was put away.

59  And Judas, and his brothers, and all the assembly of Israel decreed that the day of the dedication of the altar must be kept in its time, from year to year, for eight days, from the twenty-fifth day of the month of Kislev, with joy and gladness.

59  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.

60  And they built up, at that time, Mount Zion, with high walls and strong towers all around, lest the Gentiles should at any time come and trample upon it, as they did before.

60  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.

61  And he stationed a garrison there, to keep it, and he fortified it, in order to guard Bethzur, so that the people might have a fortification opposite the face of Idumea.

61  And they set there a garrison to keep it, and fortified Bethsura to preserve it; that the people might have a defence against Idumea.