It came to pass also, that seven brethren with their mother
were taken, and compelled by the king against the law to taste
swine's flesh, and were tormented with scourges and whips.
But one of them that spake first said thus, What wouldest
thou ask or learn of us? we are ready to die, rather than to
transgress the laws of our fathers.
Then the king, being in a rage, commanded pans and caldrons
to be made hot:
Which forthwith being heated, he commanded to cut out the
tongue of him that spake first, and to cut off the utmost parts
of his body, the rest of his brethren and his mother looking on.
Now when he was thus maimed in all his members, he commanded
him being yet alive to be brought to the fire, and to be fried
in the pan: and as the vapour of the pan was for a good space
dispersed, they exhorted one another with the mother to die
manfully, saying thus,
The Lord God looketh upon us, and in truth hath comfort in
us, as Moses in his song, which witnessed to their faces,
declared, saying, And he shall be comforted in his servants.
So when the first was dead after this number, they brought
the second to make him a mocking stock: and when they had pulled
off the skin of his head with the hair, they asked him, Wilt
thou eat, before thou be punished throughout every member of thy
But he answered in his own language, and said, No. Wherefore
he also received the next torment in order, as the former did.
And when he was at the last gasp, he said, Thou like a fury
takest us out of this present life, but the King of the world
shall raise us up, who have died for his laws, unto everlasting
After him was the third made a mocking stock: and when he was
required, he put out his tongue, and that right soon, holding
forth his hands manfully.
And said courageously, These I had from heaven; and for his
laws I despise them; and from him I hope to receive them again.
Insomuch that the king, and they that were with him,
marvelled at the young man's courage, for that he nothing
regarded the pains.
Now when this man was dead also, they tormented and mangled
the fourth in like manner.
So when he was ready to die he said thus, It is good, being
put to death by men, to look for hope from God to be raised up
again by him: as for thee, thou shalt have no resurrection to
Afterward they brought the fifth also, and mangled him.
Then looked he unto the king, and said, Thou hast power over
men, thou art corruptible, thou doest what thou wilt; yet think
not that our nation is forsaken of God;
But abide a while, and behold his great power, how he will
torment thee and thy seed.
After him also they brought the sixth, who being ready to die
said, Be not deceived without cause: for we suffer these things
for ourselves, having sinned against our God: therefore
marvellous things are done unto us.
But think not thou, that takest in hand to strive against
God, that thou shalt escape unpunished.
But the mother was marvellous above all, and worthy of
honourable memory: for when she saw her seven sons slain within
the space of one day, she bare it with a good courage, because
of the hope that she had in the Lord.
Yea, she exhorted every one of them in her own language,
filled with courageous spirits; and stirring up her womanish
thoughts with a manly stomach, she said unto them,
I cannot tell how ye came into my womb: for I neither gave
you breath nor life, neither was it I that formed the members of
every one of you;
But doubtless the Creator of the world, who formed the
generation of man, and found out the beginning of all things,
will also of his own mercy give you breath and life again, as ye
now regard not your own selves for his laws' sake.
Now Antiochus, thinking himself despised, and suspecting it
to be a reproachful speech, whilst the youngest was yet alive,
did not only exhort him by words, but also assured him with
oaths, that he would make him both a rich and a happy man, if he
would turn from the laws of his fathers; and that also he would
take him for his friend, and trust him with affairs.
But when the young man would in no case hearken unto him, the
king called his mother, and exhorted her that she would counsel
the young man to save his life.
And when he had exhorted her with many words, she promised
him that she would counsel her son.
But she bowing herself toward him, laughing the cruel tyrant
to scorn, spake in her country language on this manner; O my
son, have pity upon me that bare thee nine months in my womb,
and gave thee such three years, and nourished thee, and brought
thee up unto this age, and endured the troubles of education.
I beseech thee, my son, look upon the heaven and the earth,
and all that is therein, and consider that God made them of
things that were not; and so was mankind made likewise.
Fear not this tormentor, but, being worthy of thy brethren,
take thy death that I may receive thee again in mercy with thy
Whiles she was yet speaking these words, the young man said,
Whom wait ye for? I will not obey the king's commandment: but I
will obey the commandment of the law that was given unto our
fathers by Moses.
And thou, that hast been the author of all mischief against
the Hebrews, shalt not escape the hands of God.
For we suffer because of our sins.
And though the living Lord be angry with us a little while
for our chastening and correction, yet shall he be at one again
with his servants.
But thou, O godless man, and of all other most wicked, be not
lifted up without a cause, nor puffed up with uncertain hopes,
lifting up thy hand against the servants of God:
For thou hast not yet escaped the judgment of Almighty God,
who seeth all things.
For our brethren, who now have suffered a short pain, are
dead under God's covenant of everlasting life: but thou, through
the judgment of God, shalt receive just punishment for thy
But I, as my brethren, offer up my body and life for the laws
of our fathers, beseeching God that he would speedily be
merciful unto our nation; and that thou by torments and plagues
mayest confess, that he alone is God;
And that in me and my brethren the wrath of the Almighty,
which is justly brought upon our nation, may cease.
Than the king' being in a rage, handed him worse than all the
rest, and took it grievously that he was mocked.
So this man died undefiled, and put his whole trust in the
Last of all after the sons the mother died.
Let this be enough now to have spoken concerning the
idolatrous feasts, and the extreme tortures.
Then Judas Maccabeus, and they that were with him, went
privily into the towns, and called their kinsfolks together, and
took unto them all such as continued in the Jews' religion, and
assembled about six thousand men.
And they called upon the Lord, that he would look upon the
people that was trodden down of all; and also pity the temple
profaned of ungodly men;
And that he would have compassion upon the city, sore
defaced, and ready to be made even with the ground; and hear the
blood that cried unto him,
And remember the wicked slaughter of harmless infants, and
the blasphemies committed against his name; and that he would
shew his hatred against the wicked.
Now when Maccabeus had his company about him, he could not be
withstood by the heathen: for the wrath of the Lord was turned
Therefore he came at unawares, and burnt up towns and cities,
and got into his hands the most commodious places, and overcame
and put to flight no small number of his enemies.
But specially took he advantage of the night for such privy
attempts, insomuch that the fruit of his holiness was spread
So when Philip saw that this man increased by little and
little, and that things prospered with him still more and more,
he wrote unto Ptolemeus, the governor of Celosyria and Phenice,
to yield more aid to the king's affairs.
Then forthwith choosing Nicanor the son of Patroclus, one of
his special friends, he sent him with no fewer than twenty
thousand of all nations under him, to root out the whole
generation of the Jews; and with him he joined also Gorgias a
captain, who in matters of war had great experience.
So Nicanor undertook to make so much money of the captive
Jews, as should defray the tribute of two thousand talents,
which the king was to pay to the Romans.
Wherefore immediately he sent to the cities upon the sea
coast, proclaiming a sale of the captive Jews, and promising
that they should have fourscore and ten bodies for one talent,
not expecting the vengeance that was to follow upon him from the
Now when word was brought unto Judas of Nicanor's coming, and
he had imparted unto those that were with him that the army was
They that were fearful, and distrusted the justice of God,
fled, and conveyed themselves away.
Others sold all that they had left, and withal besought the
Lord to deliver them, sold by the wicked Nicanor before they met
And if not for their own sakes, yet for the covenants he had
made with their fathers, and for his holy and glorious name's
sake, by which they were called.
So Maccabeus called his men together unto the number of six
thousand, and exhorted them not to be stricken with terror of
the enemy, nor to fear the great multitude of the heathen, who
came wrongly against them; but to fight manfully,
And to set before their eyes the injury that they had
unjustly done to the holy place, and the cruel handling of the
city, whereof they made a mockery, and also the taking away of
the government of their forefathers:
For they, said he, trust in their weapons and boldness; but
our confidence is in the Almighty who at a beck can cast down
both them that come against us, and also all the world.
Moreover, he recounted unto them what helps their forefathers
had found, and how they were delivered, when under Sennacherib
an hundred fourscore and five thousand perished.
And he told them of the battle that they had in Babylon with
the Galatians, how they came but eight thousand in all to the
business, with four thousand Macedonians, and that the
Macedonians being perplexed, the eight thousand destroyed an
hundred and twenty thousand because of the help that they had
from heaven, and so received a great booty.
Thus when he had made them bold with these words, and ready
to die for the law and the country, he divided his army into
And joined with himself his own brethren, leaders of each
band, to wit Simon, and Joseph, and Jonathan, giving each one
fifteen hundred men.
Also he appointed Eleazar to read the holy book: and when he
had given them this watchword, The help of God; himself leading
the first band,
And by the help of the Almighty they slew above nine thousand
of their enemies, and wounded and maimed the most part of
Nicanor's host, and so put all to flight;
And took their money that came to buy them, and pursued them
far: but lacking time they returned:
For it was the day before the sabbath, and therefore they
would no longer pursue them.
So when they had gathered their armour together, and spoiled
their enemies, they occupied themselves about the sabbath,
yielding exceeding praise and thanks to the Lord, who had
preserved them unto that day, which was the beginning of mercy
distilling upon them.
And after the sabbath, when they had given part of the spoils
to the maimed, and the widows, and orphans, the residue they
divided among themselves and their servants.
When this was done, and they had made a common supplication,
they besought the merciful Lord to be reconciled with his
servants for ever.
Moreover of those that were with Timotheus and Bacchides, who
fought against them, they slew above twenty thousand, and very
easily got high and strong holds, and divided among themselves
many spoils more, and made the maimed, orphans, widows, yea, and
the aged also, equal in spoils with themselves.
And when they had gathered their armour together, they laid
them up all carefully in convenient places, and the remnant of
the spoils they brought to Jerusalem.
They slew also Philarches, that wicked person, who was with
Timotheus, and had annoyed the Jews many ways.
Furthermore at such time as they kept the feast for the
victory in their country they burnt Callisthenes, that had set
fire upon the holy gates, who had fled into a little house; and
so he received a reward meet for his wickedness.
As for that most ungracious Nicanor, who had brought a
thousand merchants to buy the Jews,
He was through the help of the Lord brought down by them, of
whom he made least account; and putting off his glorious
apparel, and discharging his company, he came like a fugitive
servant through the midland unto Antioch having very great
dishonour, for that his host was destroyed.
Thus he, that took upon him to make good to the Romans their
tribute by means of captives in Jerusalem, told abroad, that the
Jews had God to fight for them, and therefore they could not be
hurt, because they followed the laws that he gave them.
About that time came Antiochus with dishonour out of the
country of Persia
For he had entered the city called Persepolis, and went about
to rob the temple, and to hold the city; whereupon the multitude
running to defend themselves with their weapons put them to
flight; and so it happened, that Antiochus being put to flight
of the inhabitants returned with shame.
Now when he came to Ecbatane, news was brought him what had
happened unto Nicanor and Timotheus.
Then swelling with anger. he thought to avenge upon the Jews
the disgrace done unto him by those that made him flee.
Therefore commanded he his chariotman to drive without ceasing,
and to dispatch the journey, the judgment of GOd now following
him. For he had spoken proudly in this sort, That he would come
to Jerusalem and make it a common burying place of the Jew
But the Lord Almighty, the God of Isreal, smote him with an
incurable and invisible plague: or as soon as he had spoken
these words, a pain of the bowels that was remediless came upon
him, and sore torments of the inner parts;
And that most justly: for he had tormented other men's bowels
with many and strange torments.
Howbeit he nothing at all ceased from his bragging, but still
was filled with pride, breathing out fire in his rage against
the Jews, and commanding to haste the journey: but it came to
pass that he fell down from his chariot, carried violently; so
that having a sore fall, all the members of his body were much
And thus he that a little afore thought he might command the
waves of the sea, (so proud was he beyond the condition of man)
and weigh the high mountains in a balance, was now cast on the
ground, and carried in an horselitter, shewing forth unto all
the manifest power of God.
So that the worms rose up out of the body of this wicked man,
and whiles he lived in sorrow and pain, his flesh fell away, and
the filthiness of his smell was noisome to all his army.
And the man, that thought a little afore he could reach to
the stars of heaven, no man could endure to carry for his
Here therefore, being plagued, he began to leave off his
great pride, and to come to the knowledge of himself by the
scourge of God, his pain increasing every moment.
And when he himself could not abide his own smell, he said
these words, It is meet to be subject unto God, and that a man
that is mortal should not proudly think of himself if he were
This wicked person vowed also unto the Lord, who now no more
would have mercy upon him, saying thus,
That the holy city (to the which he was going in haste to lay
it even with the ground, and to make it a common buryingplace,)
he would set at liberty:
And as touching the Jews, whom he had judged not worthy so
much as to be buried, but to be cast out with their children to
be devoured of the fowls and wild beasts, he would make them all
equals to the citizens of Athens:
And the holy temple, which before he had spoiled, he would
garnish with goodly gifts, and restore all the holy vessels with
many more, and out of his own revenue defray the charges
belonging to the sacrifices:
Yea, and that also he would become a Jew himself, and go
through all the world that was inhabited, and declare the power
But for all this his pains would not cease: for the just
judgment of God was come upon him: therefore despairing of his
health, he wrote unto the Jews the letter underwritten,
containing the form of a supplication, after this manner:
Antiochus, king and governor, to the good Jews his citizens
wisheth much joy, health, and prosperity:
If ye and your children fare well, and your affairs be to
your contentment, I give very great thanks to God, having my
hope in heaven.
As for me, I was weak, or else I would have remembered kindly
your honour and good will returning out of Persia, and being
taken with a grievous disease, I thought it necessary to care
for the common safety of all:
Not distrusting mine health, but having great hope to escape
But considering that even my father, at what time he led an
army into the high countries. appointed a successor,
To the end that, if any thing fell out contrary to
expectation, or if any tidings were brought that were grievous,
they of the land, knowing to whom the state was left, might not
Again, considering how that the princes that are borderers
and neighbours unto my kingdom wait for opportunities, and
expect what shall be the event. I have appointed my son
Antiochus king, whom I often committed and commended unto many
of you, when I went up into the high provinces; to whom I have
written as followeth:
Therefore I pray and request you to remember the benefits
that I have done unto you generally, and in special, and that
every man will be still faithful to me and my son.
For I am persuaded that he understanding my mind will
favourably and graciously yield to your desires.
Thus the murderer and blasphemer having suffered most
grievously, as he entreated other men, so died he a miserable
death in a strange country in the mountains.
And Philip, that was brought up with him, carried away his
body, who also fearing the son of Antiochus went into Egypt to
Now Maccabeus and his company, the Lord guiding them,
recovered the temple and the city:
But the altars which the heathen had built in the open
street, and also the chapels, they pulled down.
And having cleansed the temple they made another altar, and
striking stones they took fire out of them, and offered a
sacrifice after two years, and set forth incense, and lights,
When that was done, they fell flat down, and besought the
Lord that they might come no more into such troubles; but if
they sinned any more against him, that he himself would chasten
them with mercy, and that they might not be delivered unto the
blasphemous and barbarous nations.
Now upon the same day that the strangers profaned the temple,
on the very same day it was cleansed again, even the five and
twentieth day of the same month, which is Casleu.
And they kept the eight days with gladness, as in the feast
of the tabernacles, remembering that not long afore they had
held the feast of the tabernacles, when as they wandered in the
mountains and dens like beasts.
Therefore they bare branches, and fair boughs, and palms
also, and sang psalms unto him that had given them good success
in cleansing his place.
They ordained also by a common statute and decree, That every
year those days should be kept of the whole nation of the Jews.
And this was the end of Antiochus, called Epiphanes.
Now will we declare the acts of Antiochus Eupator, who was
the son of this wicked man, gathering briefly the calamities of
So when he was come to the crown, he set one Lysias over the
affairs of his realm, and appointed him his chief governor of
Celosyria and Phenice.
For Ptolemeus, that was called Macron, choosing rather to do
justice unto the Jews for the wrong that had been done unto
them, endeavoured to continue peace with them.
Whereupon being accused of the king's friends before Eupator,
and called traitor at every word because he had left Cyprus,
that Philometor had committed unto him, and departed to
Antiochus Epiphanes, and seeing that he was in no honourable
place, he was so discouraged, that he poisoned himself and died.
But when Gorgias was governor of the holds, he hired
soldiers, and nourished war continually with the Jews:
And therewithall the Idumeans, having gotten into their hands
the most commodious holds, kept the Jews occupied, and receiving
those that were banished from Jerusalem, they went about to
Then they that were with Maccabeus made supplication, and
besought God that he would be their helper; and so they ran with
violence upon the strong holds of the Idumeans,
And assaulting them strongly, they won the holds, and kept
off all that fought upon the wall, and slew all that fell into
their hands, and killed no fewer than twenty thousand.
And because certain, who were no less than nine thousand,
were fled together into two very strong castles, having all
manner of things convenient to sustain the siege,
Maccabeus left Simon and Joseph, and Zaccheus also, and them
that were with him, who were enough to besiege them, and
departed himself unto those places which more needed his help.
Now they that were with Simon, being led with covetousness,
were persuaded for money through certain of those that were in
the castle, and took seventy thousand drachms, and let some of
But when it was told Maccabeus what was done, he called the
governors of the people together, and accused those men, that
they had sold their brethren for money, and set their enemies
free to fight against them.
So he slew those that were found traitors, and immediately
took the two castles.
And having good success with his weapons in all things he
took in hand, he slew in the two holds more than twenty
Now Timotheus, whom the Jews had overcome before, when he had
gathered a great multitude of foreign forces, and horses out of
Asia not a few, came as though he would take Jewry by force of
But when he drew near, they that were with Maccabeus turned
themselves to pray unto God, and sprinkled earth upon their
heads, and girded their loins with sackcloth,
And fell down at the foot of the altar, and besought him to
be merciful to them, and to be an enemy to their enemies, and an
adversary to their adversaries, as the law declareth.
So after the prayer they took their weapons, and went on
further from the city: and when they drew near to their enemies,
they kept by themselves.
Now the sun being newly risen, they joined both together; the
one part having together with their virtue their refuge also
unto the Lord for a pledge of their success and victory: the
other side making their rage leader of their battle
But when the battle waxed strong, there appeared unto the
enemies from heaven five comely men upon horses, with bridles of
gold, and two of them led the Jews,
And took Maccabeus betwixt them, and covered him on every
side weapons, and kept him safe, but shot arrows and lightnings
against the enemies: so that being confounded with blindness,
and full of trouble, they were killed.
And there were slain of footmen twenty thousand and five
hundred, and six hundred horsemen.
As for Timotheus himself, he fled into a very strong hold,
called Gawra, where Chereas was governor.
But they that were with Maccabeus laid siege against the
fortress courageously four days.
And they that were within, trusting to the strength of the
place, blasphemed exceedingly, and uttered wicked words.
Nevertheless upon the fifth day early twenty young men of
Maccabeus' company, inflamed with anger because of the
blasphemies, assaulted the wall manly, and with a fierce courage
killed all that they met withal.
Others likewise ascending after them, whiles they were busied
with them that were within, burnt the towers, and kindling fires
burnt the blasphemers alive; and others broke open the gates,
and, having received in the rest of the army, took the city,
And killed Timotheus, that was hid in a certain pit, and
Chereas his brother, with Apollophanes.
When this was done, they praised the Lord with psalms and
thanksgiving, who had done so great things for Israel, and given
them the victory.
Not long after the, Lysias the king's protector and cousin,
who also managed the affairs, took sore displeasure for the
things that were done.
And when he had gathered about fourscore thousand with all
the horsemen, he came against the Jews, thinking to make the
city an habitation of the Gentiles,
And to make a gain of the temple, as of the other chapels of
the heathen, and to set the high priesthood to sale every year:
Not at all considering the power of God but puffed up with
his ten thousands of footmen, and his thousands of horsemen, and
his fourscore elephants.
So he came to Judea, and drew near to Bethsura, which was a
strong town, but distant from Jerusalem about five furlongs, and
he laid sore siege unto it.
Now when they that were with Maccabeus heard that he besieged
the holds, they and all the people with lamentation and tears
besought the Lord that he would send a good angel to deliver
Then Maccabeus himself first of all took weapons, exhorting
the other that they would jeopard themselves together with him
to help their brethren: so they went forth together with a
And as they were at Jerusalem, there appeared before them on
horseback one in white clothing, shaking his armour of gold.
Then they praised the merciful God all together, and took
heart, insomuch that they were ready not only to fight with men,
but with most cruel beasts, and to pierce through walls of iron.
Thus they marched forward in their armour, having an helper
from heaven: for the Lord was merciful unto them
And giving a charge upon their enemies like lions, they slew
eleven thousand footmen, and sixteen hundred horsemen, and put
all the other to flight.
Many of them also being wounded escaped naked; and Lysias
himself fled away shamefully, and so escaped.
Who, as he was a man of understanding, casting with himself
what loss he had had, and considering that the Hebrews could not
be overcome, because the Almighty God helped them, he sent unto
And persuaded them to agree to all reasonable conditions, and
promised that he would persuade the king that he must needs be a
friend unto them.
Then Maccabeus consented to all that Lysias desired, being
careful of the common good; and whatsoever Maccabeus wrote unto
Lysias concerning the Jews, the king granted it.
For there were letters written unto the Jews from Lysias to
this effect: Lysias unto the people of the Jews sendeth
John and Absolom, who were sent from you, delivered me the
petition subscribed, and made request for the performance of the
Therefore what things soever were meet to be reported to the
king, I have declared them, and he hath granted as much as might
And if then ye will keep yourselves loyal to the state,
hereafter also will I endeavour to be a means of your good.
But of the particulars I have given order both to these and
the other that came from me, to commune with you.
Fare ye well. The hundred and eight and fortieth year, the
four and twentieth day of the month Dioscorinthius.
Now the king's letter contained these words: King Antiochus
unto his brother Lysias sendeth greeting:
Since our father is translated unto the gods, our will is,
that they that are in our realm live quietly, that every one may
attend upon his own affairs.
We understand also that the Jews would not consent to our
father, for to be brought unto the custom of the Gentiles, but
had rather keep their own manner of living: for the which cause
they require of us, that we should suffer them to live after
their own laws.
Wherefore our mind is, that this nation shall be in rest, and
we have determined to restore them their temple, that they may
live according to the customs of their forefathers.
Thou shalt do well therefore to send unto them, and grant
them peace, that when they are certified of our mind, they may
be of good comfort, and ever go cheerfully about their own
And the letter of the king unto the nation of the Jews was
after this manner: King Antiochus sendeth greeting unto the
council, and the rest of the Jews:
If ye fare well, we have our desire; we are also in good
Menelaus declared unto us, that your desire was to return
home, and to follow your own business:
Wherefore they that will depart shall have safe conduct till
the thirtieth day of Xanthicus with security.
And the Jews shall use their own kind of meats and laws, as
before; and none of them any manner of ways shall be molested
for things ignorantly done.
I have sent also Menelaus, that he may comfort you.
Fare ye well. In the hundred forty and eighth year, and the
fifteenth day of the month Xanthicus.
The Romans also sent unto them a letter containing these
words: Quintus Memmius and Titus Manlius, ambassadors of the
Romans, send greeting unto the people of the Jews.
Whatsoever Lysias the king's cousin hath granted, therewith
we also are well pleased.
But touching such things as he judged to be referred to the
king, after ye have advised thereof, send one forthwith, that we
may declare as it is convenient for you: for we are now going to
Therefore send some with speed, that we may know what is your
Farewell. This hundred and eight and fortieth year, the
fifteenth day of the month Xanthicus.