Day 195 – 1 Maccabees 8:1-9:53; Psalm 17:1–17; Proverbs 3:6–10; Acts 18

1 Maccabees 8:1-9:53

1 Then Judas learned of the reputation of the Romans, that they were mighty and behaved well toward all who made a pact with them. They could ensure friendship with as many as came to them, indeed, because they were of great strength. 2 People also told him of their warfare and the courageous works they were doing in Gaul—how they conquered them and imposed taxes on them. 3 They also reported what they had done in the country of Spain, to take control of their silver and gold mines, 4 and how they dominated the entire region by their careful planning and forbearance, although the area was a great distance away. The Romans also defeated kings who challenged them from around the world, until they subdued them and struck a deadly blow against them. But the others paid them taxes each year.
5 They battled and soundly conquered Philip and Perseus, kings of the Macedonians, and others who stood up against them in war. 6 They further conquered Antiochus the great king of Asia, who went to war against them with a hundred and twenty elephants and cavalry and chariots and a massive army. But his troops were destroyed by them. 7 They captured him alive, and ordered that he and those who would rule in the future should pay large taxes along with hostages. 8 They also took from him the countries of India, Media, and Lydia. Then they gave some of the best of all these territories to King Eumenes.
9 The Greeks also plotted to come against them, 10 but this became known to the Romans, and they sent one of their generals against them. He fought with them, and many wounded fell, and the Romans took their wives and children captive. They robbed them, took their land, pulled down their fortresses, and have to this day enslaved them. 11 They crushed and captured the remaining kingdoms and the islands, as many as would oppose them. But they secured a relationship with their friends and those people who relied on them. 12 Thus they conquered rulers far away and nearby; as many as had heard of their reputation feared them. 13 Those the Romans desire to help and to raise up as kings, they establish; and those kings they wish to depose they depose, for they have great power. 14 But despite all this, none of the Romans has donned a crown or vested in purple, so as to be magnified by it. 15 Instead they formed a council for themselves, and three hundred and twenty senators constantly deliberate concerning the people, to help them behave in an orderly fashion. 16 They trust one man to govern them for a year, and to rule over their land. Everyone heeds this one leader, and there is no jealousy or strife among them.
17 Now Judas appointed Eupolemus the son of John, son of Accos, and Jason the son of Eleazar, and dispatched them to Rome to build friendship and an alliance 18 and to free their people from a yoke of bondage, because they realized the Greek kingdom was subjecting Israel to total servitude. 19 So they journeyed to Rome—a very long trip. When they came to the senate chamber, they said the following: 20 “Judas, also named Maccabeus, his brothers, and the Jewish people sent us here to you to build an alliance and have peace with you, that you may enlist us as your friends and allies.”
  Terms of the Alliance
21 The proposal pleased the senate. 22 So this is the copy of the message they issued in reply, inscribed on bronze tablets and sent to Jerusalem, to be kept there as a record of peace and friendship:
23 “May it be well with the Roman people, and the Jewish nation shall respond wholeheartedly as their allies, as the occasion may dictate. 24 If war comes first to Rome or to any of their allies in all their dominion, 25 the Judean nation shall act as their allies, wholeheartedly, as the occasion may dictate to them. 26 As to any enemy who wages war, the Jews shall not donate or supply grain, weapons, money, or ships, as Rome has stated, and they shall honor these commitments without getting anything in return. 27 Similarly, should war break out first against the Jewish nation, the Romans shall freely respond as their allies, as is appropriate for them. 28 Further, no grain, weapons, money, or ships will be given to allies of the enemy, as Rome has decided, and they shall hold to these obligations and do so with no deception. 29 Thus the Romans offer a treaty with the Jews on these terms. 30 If after these agreements take effect, both parties should decide to add or subtract anything, they shall do so by agreement, and whatever they add or subtract shall be binding.
31 “Now regarding the evils Demetrius the king is doing to them, we have sent to him this word: ‘If therefore they appeal to us against you again, we will defend their rights and oppose you, be it on the sea or on land.’ ”
Judas Dies in Battle
1 Now Demetrius got word that Nicanor and his men had fallen in battle, so he authorized Bacchides and Alcimus to go a second time into the land of Judah and take the right-hand flank of the army with them. 2 Thus they traveled the highway into Gilgal and camped at Mesaloth in Arbela. They captured it, and many people died. 3 Then in the first month of the one hundred and fifty-second year, they encamped opposite Jerusalem. 4 But they departed there and went to Berea, twenty thousand foot soldiers and two thousand cavalry with them.
5 Now Judas set up camp in Elasa, and three thousand chosen men accompanied him. 6 When they saw how large the number of the enemy forces was, they were very afraid, and many sneaked out of the camp. Just eight hundred men remained among them.
7 When Judas realized his troops had run away and the battle was pressing upon him, he was greatly discouraged and had no time to rally them. 8 Though weary, he said to those who remained, “Let us arise and move out against our enemies. We may yet be able to fight them.” 9 But they kept trying to turn him back, saying, “We are not able. Let us rather save our lives now. Let us return with our brothers and fight against them later, for we are too few.” 10 But Judas answered, “May it be far from us to do such a thing, to run away from them. If our time has come to die, then let us die courageously for the sake of our people. We will not leave behind a charge against our honor.”
11 Then the forces of Bacchides moved out from the camp in formation and stood to encounter them. The mounted troops were divided into two parts, and the sling-throwers and the archers advanced before the army, along with all the chief warriors; Bacchides was on the right flank. 12 Then the phalanx drew near between the companies on both sides and sounded their trumpets. The army of Judas also blew its trumpets. 13 The ground shook by the clamor of the troops, and the battle raged on from morning until nightfall.
14 Judas realized that Bacchides had the strength of his forces on the right flank. So all the stouthearted men came together with Judas. 15 They demolished the right flank, and pursued Bacchides’ men all the way to Mount Azotus. 16 When those on the left flank saw that the right flank was broken, they reversed course and followed closely behind the army of Judas. 17 The battle was fierce, and many men on both sides suffered wounds and fell. 18 Judas also fell, and his men fled.
19 Jonathan and Simon took Judas their brother and buried him in the tomb of his fathers in Modein. 20 They wept for him, and all Israel mourned him with great lamentation for many days, saying,
21 “How the mighty is fallen, Israel’s savior.”
22 Now the abundant acts of Judas—his wars, the brave things he did, and his greatness—are not recorded, for there were far too many.
  Jonathan Succeeds His Brother
23 After Judas’s death, the lawless emerged in all the regions of Israel, and all those rose up who worked evil. 24 In those days, there was a very great famine, and the nation deserted with the evildoers to Bacchides, 25 He chose godless men and appointed them lords of the country. 26 These men sought out and searched for the allies of Judas, bringing them to Bacchides. He took vengeance on them and mocked them. 27 There was great perplexity in Israel, such as had not been seen since the days when the prophets ceased to be seen in their midst.
28 Then all of Judas’s friends came together and spoke to Jonathan. 29 “Since your brother Judas died, a man like him has not come out to take on our enemies, namely Bacchides and those from our country who hate us. 30 Therefore, we have now chosen you this day to replace him as our ruler and be our leader in battle.” 31 So Jonathan accepted the command at once and rose up in the place of Judas his brother.
Jonathan Takes on Bacchides
32 When Bacchides heard this, he sought to kill him. 33 But Jonathan, Simon his brother, and everyone with him knew of this, and they escaped to the desert of Tekoa and camped near the waters of the pool of Asphar. 34 Bacchides discovered this on the Sabbath, and he and his army all crossed over the Jordan.
35 So Jonathan sent John his brother as leader of the people, and he begged his Nabatean friends for approval to store their huge amount of baggage with them. 36 But the sons of Jambri from Medeba came out and seized John, and left with everything he had.
37 After these things happened, they told Jonathan and his brother Simon, saying, “The sons of Jambri are holding a great marriage feast, and they are bringing the bride from Nadabath, a daughter of one of the great noblemen of Canaan, with a huge convoy.” 38 They remembered the blood of John their brother, and went up and hid under the cover of the mountain. 39 They raised their eyes and looked, and behold, there was a noisy crowd coming with much baggage. The bridegroom also came forth with his friends and brothers to meet them with tambourines, the musicians—and many weapons. 40 Jonathan’s men rose up against them from an ambush and killed them. Many of the wounded also fell, and the rest fled to the mountain. So they took all their spoils. 41 The wedding was changed to mourning, and the sound of the musicians became like a dirge. 42 Thus they avenged their brother’s blood and returned to the low ground of the Jordan.
43 Bacchides then heard of this and arrived with a large army on the Sabbath at the banks of the Jordan. 44 So Jonathan said to those with him, “Let us stand and fight for our lives, for today is not as yesterday or the day before. 45 Behold, the battle is before us and behind us. The water of the Jordan is on this side and that, and the low ground and thicket is not the place to turn aside. 46 Now therefore, cry out to heaven that you may be saved from the hand of our adversaries.” 47 So the battle was joined, and Jonathan reached out his hand to strike Bacchides, who ducked aside and went behind him. 48 Then Jonathan and his forces jumped into the Jordan River, swimming to the other side. Bacchides and his army did not cross over the Jordan to strike them. 49 About a thousand of Bacchides’ soldiers fell on that day.
50 Bacchides then returned to Jerusalem and built fortified cities in Judea: the fortresses were in Jericho, and in Emmaus, Beth-horon, Bethel, Timnath, Pharathon and Tephon, all with high walls, gates, and bars. 51 He also placed a guard in them, and they were hostile to Israel. 52 Then he strengthened the cities of Beth-zur and Gazara, and the citadel, and placed armies in them with stores of provisions. 53 He also seized the sons of the rulers of the area, holding them hostage under armed guards at the citadel in Jerusalem.
Psalm 17:1–17

1 For the End; by the child of the Lord, David; what things he spoke to the Lord, even the words of this ode, in the day the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul;

2 thus he said:

“I will love You, O Lord, my strength.

3 The Lord is my foundation, my refuge, my deliverer;

My God is my helper, on Him I will hope,

My champion, the horn of my salvation, and my protector.

4 I will call upon the Lord and praise Him,

And I shall be saved from my enemies.

  5 The anguish of death surrounded me;

The floods of the lawless troubled me greatly;

6 The anguish of Hades encircled me;

The snares of death ran me down.

7 In my affliction I called upon the Lord,

And I cried out to my God;

He heard my voice from His holy temple,

And my cry shall come before Him, into His ears.

8 Then the earth was shaken and was trembling;

And the foundations of mountains were stirred up,

And they were shaken, because God was angry with them.

9 Smoke ascended in His wrath,

And burst into flame from His face;

Coals were kindled by Him.

10 He bowed heaven and descended,

And darkness was under His feet.

11 And He rode upon the cherubim, and flew;

He flew upon the wings of the wind.

12 He made darkness His hiding place;

His tabernacle was around Him,

Dark water in the clouds of the sky.

13 Because of the brightness before Him, the clouds,

The hail and the fiery coals passed through.

14 The Lord thundered from heaven,

The Most High gave forth His voice;

15 And He sent forth His arrows, and scattered them;

And He multiplied lightning, and threw them into utter confusion.

16 Then the springs of the waters were seen,

And the foundations of the world were uncovered

By Your rebuke, O Lord,

By the breathing of the breath of Your wrath.

17 He sent from on high, and He took me;

He drew me out of many waters.

Proverbs 3:6–10

6 In all your ways know wisdom,

That she may cut a straight path for you;

And your foot will not stumble.

7 Do not rely on your own discernment,

But fear God, and turn away from every evil.

8 Then there shall be healing for your body

And care for your bones.

9 Honor the Lord from your righteous labors,

And offer Him the firstfruits from the fruits of your righteousness,

10 That your storehouses may be filled with abundance of grain,

And your winepresses may gush with wine.

Acts 18

18 After these things Paul departed from Athens and went to Corinth. And he found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla (because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to depart from Rome); and he came to them. So, because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and worked; for by occupation they were tentmakers. And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded both Jews and Greeks.

When Silas and Timothy had come from Macedonia, Paul was compelled [a]by the Spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus is the Christ. But when they opposed him and blasphemed, he shook his garments and said to them, “Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.” And he departed from there and entered the house of a certain man named [b]Justus, one who worshiped God, whose house was next door to the synagogue. Then Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his household. And many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed and were baptized.

Now the Lord spoke to Paul in the night by a vision, “Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent; 10 for I am with you, and no one will attack you to hurt you; for I have many people in this city.” 11 And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.

12 When Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews with one accord rose up against Paul and brought him to the [c]judgment seat, 13 saying, “This fellow persuades men to worship God contrary to the law.”

14 And when Paul was about to open his mouth, Gallio said to the Jews, “If it were a matter of wrongdoing or wicked crimes, O Jews, there would be reason why I should bear with you. 15 But if it is a question of words and names and your own law, look to it yourselves; for I do not want to be a judge of such matters.” 16 And he drove them from the judgment seat. 17 Then [d]all the Greeks took Sosthenes, the ruler of the synagogue, and beat him before the judgment seat. But Gallio took no notice of these things.

18 So Paul still remained [e]a good while. Then he took leave of the brethren and sailed for Syria, and Priscilla and Aquila were with him. He had his hair cut off at Cenchrea, for he had taken a vow. 19 And he came to Ephesus, and left them there; but he himself entered the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews. 20 When they asked him to stay a longer time with them, he did not consent, 21 but took leave of them, saying, “I[f] must by all means keep this coming feast in Jerusalem; but I will return again to you, God willing.” And he sailed from Ephesus.

22 And when he had landed at Caesarea, and [g]gone up and greeted the church, he went down to Antioch. 23 After he had spent some time there, he departed and went over the region of Galatia and Phrygia [h]in order, strengthening all the disciples.

24 Now a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures, came to Ephesus. 25 This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord, though he knew only the baptism of John. 26 So he began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately. 27 And when he desired to cross to Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him; and when he arrived, he greatly helped those who had believed through grace; 28 for he vigorously refuted the Jews publicly, showing from the Scriptures that Jesus is the Christ.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: