1In the hundred forty and ninth year it was told Judas, that Antiochus Eupator was coming with a great power into Judea,
2And with him Lysias his protector, and ruler of his affairs, having either of them a Grecian power of footmen, an hundred and ten thousand, and horsemen five thousand and three hundred, and elephants two and twenty, and three hundred chariots armed with hooks.
3Menelaus also joined himself with them, and with great dissimulation encouraged Antiochus, not for the safeguard of the country, but because he thought to have been made governor.
4But the King of kings moved Antiochus' mind against this wicked wretch, and Lysias informed the king that this man was the cause of all mischief, so that the king commanded to bring him to Berea, and to put him to death, as the manner is in that place.
5Now there was in that place a tower of fifty cubits high, full of ashes, and it had a round instrument which on every side hanged down into the ashes.
6And whoever was condemned of sacrilege, or had committed any other grievous crime, there did all men thrust him to death.
7Such a death it happened that wicked man to die, not having so much as burial in the earth; and that most justly:
8For inasmuch as he had committed many sins about the altar, whose fire and ashes were holy, he received his death in ashes.
9Now the king came with a barbarous and haughty mind to do far worse to the Jews, than had been done in his father's time.
10Which things when Judas perceived, he commanded the multitude to call upon the Lord night and day, that if ever at any other time, he would now also help them, being at the point to be put from their law, from their country, and from the holy temple:
11And that he would not suffer the people, that had even now been but a little refreshed, to be in subjection to the blasphemous nations.
12So when they had all done this together, and implored the merciful Lord with weeping and fasting, and lying flat upon the ground three days long, Judas, having exhorted them, commanded they should be in a readiness.
13And Judas, being apart with the elders, determined, before the king's host should enter into Judea, and get the city, to go forth and try the matter in fight by the help of the Lord.
14So when he had committed all to the Creator of the world, and exhorted his soldiers to fight manfully, even to death, for the laws, the temple, the city, the country, and the commonwealth, he camped by Modin:
15And having given the watchword to them that were about him, Victory is of God; with the most valiant and choice young men he went in into the king's tent by night, and killed in the camp about four thousand men, and the chiefest of the elephants, with all that were upon him.
16And at last they filled the camp with fear and tumult, and departed with good success.
17This was done in the break of the day, because the protection of the Lord did help him.
18Now when the king had taken a taste of the manliness of the Jews, he went about to take the holds by policy,
19And marched toward Bethsura, which was a strong hold of the Jews: but he was put to flight, failed, and lost of his men:
20For Judas had conveyed to them that were in it such things as were necessary.
21But Rhodocus, who was in the Jews' host, disclosed the secrets to the enemies; therefore he was sought out, and when they had gotten him, they put him in prison.
22The king treated with them in Bethsura the second time, gave his hand, took their's, departed, fought with Judas, was overcome;
23Heard that Philip, who was left over the affairs in Antioch, was desperately bent, confounded, entreated the Jews, submitted himself, and sware to all equal conditions, agreed with them, and offered sacrifice, honored the temple, and dealt kindly with the place,
24And accepted well of Maccabeus, made him principal governor from Ptolemais to the Gerrhenians;
25Came to Ptolemais: the people there were grieved for the covenants; for they stormed, because they would make their covenants void:
26Lysias went up to the judgment seat, said as much as could be in defence of the cause, persuaded, pacified, made them well affected, returned to Antioch. Thus it went touching the king's coming and departing.
Commentaries for Maccabees 2 13:0