The Bible in Its Traditions

2 Maccabees 13:1–26

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In the one hundred and forty-ninth year, Judas realized that Antiochus Eupator was coming with a multitude against Judea.

2Mc13:1  In the hundred forty and ninth year it was told Judas, that Antiochus Eupator was coming with a great power into Judea,

And with him was Lysias, the procurator, who was in charge of the government, having with him one hundred and ten thousand foot soldiers, five thousand horsemen, and twenty-two elephants, and three hundred swift chariots with curved blades.

2Mc13:2  And with him Lysias his protector, and ruler of his affairs, having either of them a Grecian power of footmen, an hundred and ten thousand, and horsemen five thousand and three hundred, and elephants two and twenty, and three hundred chariots armed with hooks.

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Menelaus also joined himself to them, and with many lies he pleaded with Antiochus, not for the welfare of his country, but hoping that he would be appointed as first ruler.

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But the King of kings awakened the mind of Antiochus against the sinner. And when Lysias was suggesting this to be the cause of all the evils, he ordered (as is the custom with them) that he should be apprehended and killed in the same place.

2Mc13:4  But the King of kings moved Antiochus’ mind against this wicked wretch, and Lysias informed the king that this man was the cause of all mischief, so that the king commanded to bring him unto Berea, and to put him to death, as the manner is in that place.

Now there was, in the same place, a tower of fifty cubits, having a pile of ashes on every side. This had a lookout over a precipice.

2Mc13:5  Now there was in that place a tower of fifty cubits high, full of ashes, and it had a round instrument which on every side hanged down into the ashes.

From there, he ordered this sacrilegious one to be thrown down into the ashes, with all propelling him into the afterlife.

2Mc13:6  And whosoever was condemned of sacrilege, or had committed any other grievous crime, there did all men thrust him unto death.

And by such a law, it turned out that the betrayer of the law, Menelaus, died, not having so much as a burial in the earth.

2Mc13:7  Such a death it happened that wicked man to die, not having so much as burial in the earth; and that most justly

And indeed, this satisfied justice, for just as he had committed many offenses toward the altar of God, the fire and ashes of which are holy, so was he condemned to die in ashes.

2Mc13:8  For inasmuch as he had committed many sins about the altar, whose fire and ashes were holy, he received his death in ashes.

But the king, with his mind being unbridled, came to reveal himself as more wicked to the Jews than his father was.

2Mc13:9  Now the king came with a barbarous and haughty mind to do far worse to the Jews, than had been done in his father’s time.

10  When Judas understood this, he instructed the people to call upon the Lord day and night, so that, just as always, now also he would help them.

2Mc13:10  Which things when Judas perceived, he commanded the multitude to call upon the Lord night and day, that if ever at any other time, he would now also help them, being at the point to be put from their law, from their country, and from the holy temple

11  Of course, they were afraid to be deprived of their law and their country, and of the holy temple, and also that he might allow the people, who had recently taken a breath for a little while, to be again subdued by blasphemous nations.

2Mc13:11  And that he would not suffer the people, that had even now been but a little refreshed, to be in subjection to the blasphemous nations.

12  And so, having together done all these things, and having sought mercy from the Lord with weeping and fasting, lying prostrate on the ground continually for three days, Judas exhorted them to prepare themselves.

2Mc13:12  So when they had all done this together, and besought the merciful Lord with weeping and fasting, and lying flat upon the ground three days long, Judas, having exhorted them, commanded they should be in a readiness.

13  In truth, with the elders he decided that, before the king could move his army into Judea and obtain the city, they would go out and commit the outcome of the event to the judgment of the Lord.

2Mc13:13  And Judas, being apart with the elders, determined, before the king’s host should enter into Judea, and get the city, to go forth and try the matter in fight by the help of the Lord.

14  And so, giving everything to God, the Creator of the world, and having exhorted his own to contend with fortitude and to stand up, even unto death, for the laws, the temple, the city, their country and the citizens: he positioned his army around Modin.

2Mc13:14  So when he had committed all to the Creator of the world, and exhorted his soldiers to fight manfully, even unto death, for the laws, the temple, the city, the country, and the commonwealth, he camped by Modin

15  And having given his own a sign of the victory of God, he attacked the quarters of the king by night, with the strongest chosen young men, and he slew four thousand men in the camp, and the greatest of the elephants, along with those who would have been positioned on them.

2Mc13:15  And having given the watchword to them that were about him, Victory is of God; with the most valiant and choice young men he went in into the king’s tent by night, and slew in the camp about four thousand men, and the chiefest of the elephants, with all that were upon him.

16  And so, having filled the camp of their enemies with the greatest fear and disturbance, they went away with good success.

2Mc13:16  And at last they filled the camp with fear and tumult, and departed with good success.

17  Now this was done at the first light of day, with the Lord assisting and protecting them.

2Mc13:17  This was done in the break of the day, because the protection of the Lord did help him.

18  But the king, having received a taste of the audacity of the Jews, attempted to take the difficult places by craftiness.

2Mc13:18  Now when the king had taken a taste of the manliness of the Jews, he went about to take the holds by policy,

19  And so, he moved his camp to Bethzur, which was a fortified garrison of the Jews. But as he struck, he was put to flight and reduced in number.

2Mc13:19  And marched toward Bethsura, which was a strong hold of the Jews: but he was put to flight, failed, and lost of his men

20  Then Judas sent necessities to those who were inside.

2Mc13:20  For Judas had conveyed unto them that were in it such things as were necessary.

21  But Rhodocus, a certain one from the Jewish army, reported the secrets to the enemies, so he was sought out, apprehended, and imprisoned.

2Mc13:21  But Rhodocus, who was in the Jews’ host, disclosed the secrets to the enemies; therefore he was sought out, and when they had gotten him, they put him in prison.

22  Again, the king held talks with those who were in Bethzur. He gave his right hand as a pledge, and accepted theirs, and he went away.

2Mc13:22  The king treated with them in Bethsura the second time, gave his hand, took their’s, departed, fought with Judas, was overcome;

23  He joined battle with Judas; he was overcome. But when he realized that Philip, who had been left out of these events, had rebelled at Antioch, he was in a consternation of mind, and, begging the Jews, and being submissive to them, he swore to all things that seemed just. And, being reconciled, he offered sacrifice, honored the temple, and left gifts.

2Mc13:23  Heard that Philip, who was left over the affairs in Antioch, was desperately bent, confounded, intreated the Jews, submitted himself, and sware to all equal conditions, agreed with them, and offered sacrifice, honoured the temple, and dealt kindly with the place,

24  He embraced Maccabeus, and he made him commander and leader from Ptolemais all the way to the Gerrenians.

2Mc13:24  And accepted well of Maccabeus, made him principal governor from Ptolemais unto the Gerrhenians;

25  But when he arrived at Ptolemais, the Ptolemaians considered the conditions of the alliance burdensome, being indignant lest perhaps they might break the pact.

2Mc13:25  Came to Ptolemais: the people there were grieved for the covenants; for they stormed, because they would make their covenants void

26  Then Lysias went up to the tribunal, and explained the reasons, and calmed the people, and so he returned to Antioch. And this is the way things went concerning the journey and return of the king.

2Mc13:26  Lysias went up to the judgement seat, said as much as could be in defence of the cause, persuaded, pacified, made them well affected, returned to Antioch. Thus it went touching the king’s coming and departing.