The Bible in Its Traditions

2 Maccabees 14:1–14

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But after a time of three years, Judas and those who were with him realized that Demetrius of Seleucus had gone up to strategic places with a very strong multitude and a navy at the port of Tripoli,

2Mc14:1  After three years was Judas informed, that Demetrius the son of Seleucus, having entered by the haven of Tripolis with a great power and navy,

and had taken hold of the regions opposite Antiochus, and his commander, Lysias.

2Mc14:2  Had taken the country, and killed Antiochus, and Lysias his protector.

Now a certain Alcimus, who had been high priest, but who had willfully defiled himself in the time of the co-mingling, considering there to be no means for his safety, nor access to the altar,

2Mc14:3  Now one Alcimus, who had been high priest, and had defiled himself wilfully in the times of their mingling with the Gentiles, seeing that by no means he could save himself, nor have any more access to the holy altar,

went to king Demetrius in the one hundred and fiftieth year, offering to him a crown of gold, and a palm, and beyond these, some branches that seemed to belong to the temple. And, indeed, on that day, he was silent.

2Mc14:4  Came to king Demetrius in the hundred and one and fiftieth year, presenting unto him a crown of gold, and a palm, and also of the boughs which were used solemnly in the temple: and so that day he held his peace.

But, having met with an opportune time for his madness, he was called to a counsel by Demetrius and asked what things the Jews relied upon and what were their counsels.

2Mc14:5  Howbeit having gotten opportunity to further his foolish enterprise, and being called into counsel by Demetrius, and asked how the Jews stood affected, and what they intended, he answered thereunto

He responded: “Those among the Jews who are called Hasideans, of whom Judas Maccabeus is foremost, nourish wars, and raise seditions, and will not permit the kingdom to be at peace.

2Mc14:6  Those of the Jews that he called Assideans, whose captain is Judas Maccabeus, nourish war and are seditious, and will not let the rest be in peace.

For I also, being cheated out of the glory of my ancestors (but I speak of the high priesthood), have come here,

2Mc14:7  Therefore I, being deprived of mine ancestors’ honour, I mean the high priesthood, am now come hither

first, indeed, in faithful service to the king’s interests, but also as an advisor of the citizens. For our entire nation is no less afflicted by their depravity.

2Mc14:8  First, verily for the unfeigned care I have of things pertaining to the king; and secondly, even for that I intend the good of mine own countrymen: for all our nation is in no small misery through the unadvised dealing of them aforesaid.

But I beg you, O king, knowing each of these things, look after both the region and our people, according to your humanity, which is publicly known to all.

2Mc14:9  Wherefore, O king, seeing knowest all these things, be careful for the country, and our nation, which is pressed on every side, according to the clemency that thou readily shewest unto all.

10  For, as long as Judas survives, it is impossible for the matter to be at peace.”

2Mc14:10  For as long as Judas liveth, it is not possible that the state should be quiet.

11  Then, having spoken such things before them, the rest of the allies, who held themselves to be enemies against Judas, further inflamed Demetrius.

2Mc14:11  This was no sooner spoken of him, but others of the king’s friends, being maliciously set against Judas, did more incense Demetrius.

12  And immediately he sent Nicanor, the commander over the elephants, into the first position against Judea,

2Mc14:12  And forthwith calling Nicanor, who had been master of the elephants, and making him governor over Judea, he sent him forth,

13  giving him orders to be certain to capture Judas himself, and, truly, to scatter all those who were with him, and to appoint Alcimus as the high priest of the great temple.

2Mc14:13  Commanding him to slay Judas, and to scatter them that were with him, and to make Alcimus high priest of the great temple.

14  Then the Gentiles, who had fled from Judas away from Judea, mingled themselves in flocks with Nicanor, thinking that the miseries and calamities of the Jews would become the cause of their prosperity.

2Mc14:14  Then the heathen, that had fled out of Judea from Judas, came to Nicanor by flocks, thinking the harm and calamities of the Jews to be their welfare.