The Bible in Its Traditions

2 Maccabees 12:1–9


After these pacts were made, Lysias proceeded on to the king, but the Jews undertook the work of agriculture.

2Mc12:1  When these covenants were made, Lysias went unto the king, and the Jews were about their husbandry.

However, those who had withdrawn: Timothy, and Apollonius, the son of Gennaeus, along with Hieronymus, and Demophon, and, in addition to these, Nicanor, the governor of Cyprus, would not permit them to live in peace and quiet.

2Mc12:2  But of the governors 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.

Truly, those of Joppa were also perpetrators of very shameful acts. They asked the Jews, who lived among them, to go up into small boats, which they had prepared, with their wives and sons, as if no underlying hostility was between them.

2Mc12:3  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.

And so, according to the common decree of the city, they acquiesced to them, having no suspicions and because there was peace. When they had proceeded out into deep water, they drowned no less than two hundred of them.

2Mc12:4  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.

When Judas learned of the cruelty done to the men of his nation, he informed the men who were with him, and, having called upon God, the Just Judge,

2Mc12:5  When Judas heard of this cruelty done unto his countrymen, he commanded those that were with him to make them ready.

he went against the executors of his brothers, and he even set the port on fire in the night; he burned the boats, but those who took refuge from the fire, he destroyed with the sword.

2Mc12:6  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.

And when he had done these things in this way, he departed, as if he would return again to eradicate all those of Joppa.

2Mc12:7  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.

But when he also realized those who were of Jamnia wanted to act in a similar way to the Jews living among them,

2Mc12:8  But when he heard that the Jamnites were minded to do in like manner unto the Jews that dwelt among them,

he went against those of Jamnia also by night, and he set the port on fire, along with the ships, so much so that the light of the fire was seen at Jerusalem, two hundred and forty stadia away.

2Mc12:9  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.