1 Maccabees 5:1-6:17
1 When the surrounding nations heard the altar was repaired and the sanctuary renewed as before, they were extremely angry. 2 So they resolved to kill the race of Jacob who lived among them, and they began to kill and destroy the people. 3 Thus Judas waged war on the sons of Esau in Idumea at Acrabattene, for they were besieging Israel. He struck them a great blow, humbled them, and took spoils from them. 4 He also recalled the evil acts by the sons of Baean, who trapped and snared the people in ambush out on the roads. 5 He shut them up in their towers and encamped around them, vowing to destroy them. So he set their towers on fire with everyone inside. 6 Then he crossed over against the sons of Ammon, and found a strong army and many people, with Timothy as their leader. 7 He fought many battles against them until he struck them down, and they were crushed before him. 8 Then he overpowered Jazer and its villages and came back to Judea.
9 Now the foreigners in Gilead assembled against the Israelites living within their borders, to destroy them. But they fled into the fortress of Dathema 10 and sent letters to Judas and his brothers, saying, “The Gentiles have gathered against us and surrounded us to destroy us. 11 They have made ready to come here and overpower the fortress where we have taken refuge, and Timothy is in charge of their army. 12 Now therefore, come and deliver us from their hand, for many of our men have perished. 13 All our brothers in the region of Tob have been put to death, and they took their wives and children captive, along with their possessions; and they destroyed about a thousand men there.”
14 While their letters were being read, behold, other envoys arrived from Galilee with torn garments and reported similar words, 15 saying that those from Ptolemais, Tyre, Sidon, and all Galilee of the Gentiles had assembled themselves together, “to destroy us.” 16 So when Judas and the people heard these words, a great assembly was gathered to decide what to do for their brothers who were in trouble and were being attacked by adversaries. 17 So Judas told Simon his brother, “Choose men for yourself and go and save your brothers in Galilee, while my brother Jonathan and I go to Gilead.” 18 He left Joseph, the son of Zachariah, and Azariah, a leader of the people, with the rest of the army in Judea, to guard it. 19 He ordered them, saying, “Take charge of this people, but do not go into battle against the Gentiles until we return.” 20 Then three thousand troops were chosen for Simon to go to Galilee, and eight thousand men for Judas to take to Gilead.
Victories in Galilee and Gilead
21 Thus Simon went into Galilee and fought many battles with the Gentiles, and crushed the Gentiles before him. 22 He chased them to the gates of Ptolemais, and three thousand Gentiles perished, and he took their spoils. 23 So he took the Israelites of Galilee and Arbatta, along with their wives and children and everything they possessed, and brought them with great joy to Judea.
24 Meanwhile, Judas Maccabeus and Jonathan his brother crossed over the Jordan and journeyed three full days into the desert. 25 They came upon the Nabateans, who met them peacefully and told them everything that had happened to their brothers in Gilead: 26 “Many have been imprisoned in Bozrah and Bosor in Alema, Chaspho, Maked, and Carnaim (all these cities were fortified and strong), 27 and some have been imprisoned in the remaining cities of Gilead. Tomorrow your foes will attack the strongholds to destroy and capture all of them in one day.”
28 Judas and his forces returned at once to Bozrah by the desert road; and he captured the city, killed all the males by the edge of the sword, took all the spoils, and set the city on fire. 29 He marched from there by night, and they kept going until they reached the fortress of Dathema. 30 Then at daybreak they looked up and beheld many people, too many to count, carrying ladders and engines of war to take the fortress and strike the Israelites inside. 31 When Judas saw the battle had started, an outcry went up from the city to heaven with trumpets and loud shouts. 32 So he said to his army of men, “Fight today for the sake of our brothers!” 33 Then he came up behind them in three companies, and they sounded the trumpets and cried aloud in prayer. 34 When Timothy’s army saw that they faced Maccabeus, they fled before him. He struck them a great blow, and on that day eight thousand of them perished.
35 Judas then made his way to Alema. He waged war and captured it, taking its spoils and setting the city on fire. 36 He marched on from there and captured Chaspho, Maked, and Bosor, and the remaining cities of Gilead.
37 Timothy, however, called together more troops and set up camp opposite Raphon across the stream. 38 Judas dispatched soldiers to scout the camp, and they returned to him, saying, “All the foreigners have gathered around us, and a very large army is with him. 39 Further, they have hired Arab mercenaries to help, and they are also camped on the other side of the stream, prepared to come against you in battle.” So Judas went out to face them.
40 Timothy told the officers of his army while Judas and his camp drew near the stream, “If he crosses the stream against us first, we will be unable to withstand him, for he is strong enough to defeat us. 41 But if he is frightened and sets up camp across the stream, we will pass over against him and crush him.”
42 But as Judas approached the water, he stationed the scribes of the troops near the stream and ordered them, “Do not allow anyone to stay in camp, but make all of them join the battle.” 43 So Judas crossed over to meet them first, with all the men behind him. Then all the Gentiles were crushed by them. They dropped their weapons and fled into the sacred regions of Carnain. 44 So Judas captured the city and set the sacred precinct on fire, along with all those residing there. Thus Carnain was defeated, for they were not able to stand against Judas.
45 After this, Judas assembled all the Jews living in Gilead, from small to great, along with their wives and children and their possessions, a great entourage, to return to the land of Judah. 46 They came as far as Ephron, an expansive and fortified city on the highway. They could not pass through, either to the right or the left. The only way to go was through the middle of town. 47 But the men of the city closed it off and barricaded the gates with stones. 48 So Judas sent them a peaceful word, saying, “Let us pass through your land to go to our land. No one will harm you. Merely we will come through on foot.” But they refused to open to him. 49 So Judas gave orders to proclaim to the troops that each man make camp where he was. 50 Then the soldiers in the army made camp, and he fought the men of Ephron all day and all night, and the city was given over into his hand. 51 He killed every male with the edge of the sword, destroyed the city completely, and took its spoils. So he passed through the city, stepping over those who were killed.
52 Then they came to the Jordan, crossing over into the great plain facing Beth-shan; 53 and Judas gathered the stragglers and encouraged the men along the way until they entered Judah. 54 They marched up to Mount Zion and sacrificed whole burnt offerings, and offered whole burnt offerings with joy and gladness of heart, because not one of them was lost before they returned home in peace.
55 While Judas and Jonathan had been in Gilead, and Simon his brother was in Galilee facing Ptolemais, 56 Joseph the son of Zacharias, and Azariah, officers of the army, got word of their courageous acts and the victorious battles they fought. 57 They spoke, saying, “Let us make a name for ourselves as well and take on the Gentiles who live around us.” 58 Thus they gave a command to those from the army with them, and they marched to Jamnia. 59 But Gorgias and his army went out from the city to face them in battle, 60 and Joseph and Azariah were routed and chased as far as the boundaries of Judea. That day about two thousand men of Israel perished. 61 It was a great defeat for the people; for expecting to act heroically, they did not follow the orders of Judas and his brothers. 62 And they did not belong to the seed of those men through whom Israel received the gift of deliverance.
63 So Judas and his brothers were honored greatly throughout all Israel and even by the Gentiles, where their name was being heard. 64 People assembled around them and gave them praise.
65 Then Judas went out with his brothers and fought the sons of Esau in the land to the south, and attacked Hebron and its towns, and pulled down its many fortresses and set on fire its towers round about. 66 He also marched into the country of the Philistines, and then on to Marisa. 67 Some priests that day who wanted to show their courage perished in battle, for they went out to fight recklessly. 68 But Judas turned aside to Azotus, the country of the Philistines. He destroyed their altars, set the carved idols of their gods on fire, and took spoils in the cities. Then he came back to the land of Judah.
Last Days of King Antiochus IV
1 Now King Antiochus passed through the upper countries and heard that Elymais in Persia was a splendid city for its wealth in silver and gold. 2 Its temple contained great wealth, with shields of gold, breastplates, and weaponry left there by Alexander, the son of Philip, the Macedonian king who first ruled over the Greeks. 3 So he came and sought to defeat the city and take spoils, but he failed because his plot was uncovered by the men of the city. 4 They confronted and fought against him, and he fled and retreated from there very discouraged, and went back to Babylon.
5 Then a man came and told him while he was still in Persia that his army which had invaded the land of Judah was put to flight; 6 that Lysias had gone first with a strong army, but had been put to shame before Israel; that Israel was growing strong by the weapons, supplies, and abundant spoils they had taken from the armies they had conquered. 7 Moreover, they had pulled down the abomination he built on top of the altar in Jerusalem; and they had encircled the sanctuary with high walls as it had before, as well as Beth-zur, his hometown.
8 When the king received this report, he was shocked and greatly shaken. He fell upon his bed and was sick with grief, because matters had not gone for him as he hoped. 9 King Antiochus lay there several days, for deepening grief worsened his condition. He concluded he was about to die. 10 Thus he called together his friends, saying, “Sleep has eluded my eyes, and anxiety has devastated my heart. 11 I ask myself, ‘What is this stress I have come to, and into what sea of troubles am I immersed? For I was kind and loved as a ruler.’ 12 But now I recall the evils I did in Jerusalem; for I took all the silver and gold vessels, and sent to destroy those who lived in Judah for no good reason. 13 I know that because of these things, evils have found me; and behold, I am perishing with deep grief in a foreign land.”
Succession of Antiochus V
14 He then summoned Philip, one of his friends, and set him over his entire kingdom. 15 He gave him his crown and his robe and ring, that he could take charge of his son Antiochus and raise him to rule. 16 Thus Antiochus the king died in the one hundred and forty-ninth year. 17 When Lysias found out the king had reposed, he established Antiochus his son to reign. Lysias had raised him from youth and called him Eupator.
1 A psalm by David.
O Lord, who shall dwell in Your tabernacle?
Who shall live in Your holy mountain?
2 He who walks blamelessly, and works righteousness,
And speaks truth in his heart,
3 Who does not deceive with his tongue,
Neither does evil to his neighbor;
And does not find fault with those nearest him.
4 He disdains those who do evil in his presence,
But he holds in honor those who fear the Lord;
He swears an oath to his neighbor and does not set it aside.
5 He does not lend his money at interest,
And he does not take a bribe against the innocent.
6 He who does these things shall never be shaken.
1 A pillar inscription; by David.
Preserve me, O Lord, because I hope in You.
2 I said to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
You have no need of my good things.”
3 To the saints on His earth,
In them He magnified all His will.
4 Their diseases were multiplied;
They hastened after these things;
I will not join in their assemblies of blood,
Nor will I remember their names with my lips.
5 The Lord is the portion of my inheritance and my cup;
You are He who restores my inheritance to me.
6 Portions fell to me among the best,
And my inheritance is the very finest.
7 I will bless the Lord who caused me to understand;
Moreover, until night my reins also instructed me.
8 I saw the Lord always before me;
Because He is at my right hand, that I may not be shaken.
9 Therefore my heart was glad,
And my tongue rejoiced exceedingly;
My flesh also shall dwell in hope.
10 For You will not abandon my soul to Hades
Nor allow Your Holy One to see corruption.
11 You made known to me the ways of life;
You will fill me with gladness in Your presence;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
17 My son, do not lay hold of evil counsel,
Nor forsake the teaching of your youth
And forget the divine covenant;
18 For it establishes its house with death,
And its paths beside Hades with the dead;
19 All who journey there do not return,
Nor do they lay hold of straight paths;
For they do not comprehend the years of life.
20 For if they walked in good paths,
They would find the smooth paths of righteousness.
21 The inhabitants of the land will be good,
And the simple will be left in it;
22 For the upright will dwell in the land,
And the holy will be left in it.
23 The ways of the ungodly shall perish from the land,
And the lawless shall be banished from it.
17 Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. 2 Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus whom I preach to you is the Christ.” 4 And some of them were persuaded; and a great multitude of the devout Greeks, and not a few of the leading women, joined Paul and Silas.
5 But the Jews [a]who were not persuaded, [b]becoming envious, took some of the evil men from the marketplace, and gathering a mob, set all the city in an uproar and attacked the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people. 6 But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some brethren to the rulers of the city, crying out, “These who have turned the world upside down have come here too. 7 Jason has [c]harbored them, and these are all acting contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying there is another king—Jesus.” 8 And they troubled the crowd and the rulers of the city when they heard these things. 9 So when they had taken security from Jason and the rest, they let them go.
10 Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 These were more [d]fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. 12 Therefore many of them believed, and also not a few of the Greeks, prominent women as well as men. 13 But when the Jews from Thessalonica learned that the word of God was preached by Paul at Berea, they came there also and stirred up the crowds. 14 Then immediately the brethren sent Paul away, to go to the sea; but both Silas and Timothy remained there. 15 So those who conducted Paul brought him to Athens; and receiving a command for Silas and Timothy to come to him with all speed, they departed.