The Third and Fourth Books of Machabees

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III Mach. is the story of a persecution of the Jews in Egypt under Ptolemy IV Philopator (222-205 B. C.), and therefore has no right to its title. Though the work contains much that is historical, the story is a fiction. IV Mach. is a Jewish-Stoic philosophical treatise on the supremacy of pious reason, that is religious principles, over the passions. The martyrdorm of Eleazar and of the seven brothers (II Mach., vi, 18-vii) is introduced to illustrate the author's thesis. Neither book has any claim to canonicity, though the first for a while received favourable consideration in some Churches.

Portions of this entry are taken from The Catholic Encyclopedia, 1907.
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