1 Maccabees Chapter 2

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1: In those days arose Mattathias the son of John, the son of Simeon, a priest of the sons of Joarib, from Jerusalem, and dwelt in Modin. edit

2: And he had five sons, Joannan, called Caddis: edit

3: Simon; called Thassi: edit

4: Judas, who was called Maccabeus: edit

5: Eleazar, called Avaran: and Jonathan, whose surname was Apphus. edit

6: And when he saw the blasphemies that were committed in Juda and Jerusalem, edit

7: He said, Woe is me! wherefore was I born to see this misery of my people, and of the holy city, and to dwell there, when it was delivered into the hand of the enemy, and the sanctuary into the hand of strangers? edit

8: Her temple is become as a man without glory. edit

9: Her glorious vessels are carried away into captivity, her infants are slain in the streets, her young men with the sword of the enemy. edit

10: What nation hath not had a part in her kingdom and gotten of her spoils? edit

11: All her ornaments are taken away; of a free woman she is become a bondslave. edit

12: And, behold, our sanctuary, even our beauty and our glory, is laid waste, and the Gentiles have profaned it. edit

13: To what end therefore shall we live any longer? edit

14: Then Mattathias and his sons rent their clothes, and put on sackcloth, and mourned very sore. edit

15: In the mean while the king's officers, such as compelled the people to revolt, came into the city Modin, to make them sacrifice. edit

16: And when many of Israel came unto them, Mattathias also and his sons came together. edit

17: Then answered the king's officers, and said to Mattathias on this wise, Thou art a ruler, and an honourable and great man in this city, and strengthened with sons and brethren: edit

18: Now therefore come thou first, and fulfil the king's commandment, like as all the heathen have done, yea, and the men of Juda also, and such as remain at Jerusalem: so shalt thou and thy house be in the number of the king's friends, and thou and thy children shall be honoured with silver and gold, and many rewards. edit

19: Then Mattathias answered and spake with a loud voice, Though all the nations that are under the king's dominion obey him, and fall away every one from the religion of their fathers, and give consent to his commandments: edit

20: Yet will I and my sons and my brethren walk in the covenant of our fathers. edit

21: God forbid that we should forsake the law and the ordinances. edit

22: We will not hearken to the king's words, to go from our religion, either on the right hand, or the left. edit

23: Now when he had left speaking these words, there came one of the Jews in the sight of all to sacrifice on the altar which was at Modin, according to the king's commandment. edit

24: Which thing when Mattathias saw, he was inflamed with zeal, and his reins trembled, neither could he forbear to shew his anger according to judgment: wherefore he ran, and slew him upon the altar. edit

25: Also the king's commissioner, who compelled men to sacrifice, he killed at that time, and the altar he pulled down. edit

26: Thus dealt he zealously for the law of God like as Phinees did unto Zambri the son of Salom. edit

27: And Mattathias cried throughout the city with a loud voice, saying, Whosoever is zealous of the law, and maintaineth the covenant, let him follow me. edit

28: So he and his sons fled into the mountains, and left all that ever they had in the city. edit

29: Then many that sought after justice and judgment went down into the wilderness, to dwell there: edit

30: Both they, and their children, and their wives; and their cattle; because afflictions increased sore upon them. edit

31: Now when it was told the king's servants, and the host that was at Jerusalem, in the city of David, that certain men, who had broken the king's commandment, were gone down into the secret places in the wilderness, edit

32: They pursued after them a great number, and having overtaken them, they camped against them, and made war against them on the sabbath day. edit

33: And they said unto them, Let that which ye have done hitherto suffice; come forth, and do according to the commandment of the king, and ye shall live. edit

34: But they said, We will not come forth, neither will we do the king's commandment, to profane the sabbath day. edit

35: So then they gave them the battle with all speed. edit

36: Howbeit they answered them not, neither cast they a stone at them, nor stopped the places where they lay hid; edit

37: But said, Let us die all in our innocency: heaven and earth will testify for us, that ye put us to death wrongfully. edit

38: So they rose up against them in battle on the sabbath, and they slew them, with their wives and children and their cattle, to the number of a thousand people. edit

39: Now when Mattathias and his friends understood hereof, they mourned for them right sore. edit

40: And one of them said to another, If we all do as our brethren have done, and fight not for our lives and laws against the heathen, they will now quickly root us out of the earth. edit

41: At that time therefore they decreed, saying, Whosoever shall come to make battle with us on the sabbath day, we will fight against him; neither will we die all, as our brethren that were murdered in the secret places. edit

42: Then came there unto him a company of Assideans who were mighty men of Israel, even all such as were voluntarily devoted unto the law. edit

43: Also all they that fled for persecution joined themselves unto them, and were a stay unto them. edit

44: So they joined their forces, and smote sinful men in their anger, and wicked men in their wrath: but the rest fled to the heathen for succour. edit

45: Then Mattathias and his friends went round about, and pulled down the altars: edit

46: And what children soever they found within the coast of Israel uncircumcised, those they circumcised valiantly. edit

47: They pursued also after the proud men, and the work prospered in their hand. edit

48: So they recovered the law out of the hand of the Gentiles, and out of the hand of kings, neither suffered they the sinner to triumph. edit

49: Now when the time drew near that Mattathias should die, he said unto his sons, Now hath pride and rebuke gotten strength, and the time of destruction, and the wrath of indignation: edit

50: Now therefore, my sons, be ye zealous for the law, and give your lives for the covenant of your fathers. edit

51: Call to remembrance what acts our fathers did in their time; so shall ye receive great honour and an everlasting name. edit

52: Was not Abraham found faithful in temptation, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness? edit

53: Joseph in the time of his distress kept the commandment and was made lord of Egypt. edit

54: Phinees our father in being zealous and fervent obtained the covenant of an everlasting priesthood. edit

55: Jesus for fulfilling the word was made a judge in Israel. edit

56: Caleb for bearing witness before the congregation received the heritage of the land. edit

57: David for being merciful possessed the throne of an everlasting kingdom. edit

58: Elias for being zealous and fervent for the law was taken up into heaven. edit

59: Ananias, Azarias, and Misael, by believing were saved out of the flame. edit

60: Daniel for his innocency was delivered from the mouth of lions. edit

61: And thus consider ye throughout all ages, that none that put their trust in him shall be overcome. edit

62: Fear not then the words of a sinful man: for his glory shall be dung and worms. edit

63: To day he shall be lifted up and to morrow he shall not be found, because he is returned into his dust, and his thought is come to nothing. edit

64: Wherefore, ye my sons, be valiant and shew yourselves men in the behalf of the law; for by it shall ye obtain glory. edit

65: And behold, I know that your brother Simon is a man of counsel, give ear unto him alway: he shall be a father unto you. edit

66: As for Judas Maccabeus, he hath been mighty and strong, even from his youth up: let him be your captain, and fight the battle of the people. edit

67: Take also unto you all those that observe the law, and avenge ye the wrong of your people. edit

68: Recompense fully the heathen, and take heed to the commandments of the law. edit

69: So he blessed them, and was gathered to his fathers. edit

70: And he died in the hundred forty and sixth year, and his sons buried him in the sepulchres of his fathers at Modin, and all Israel made great lamentation for him. edit

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