The enemy invades Judah, and Judas Maccabees is killed. Afterwards, the forces of evil grow stronger. Jonathan Maccabees becomes the new rebel leader.
THE ENEMY INVADES JUDAH
VERSE 1. And Demetrius heard that Nicanor was fallen with his forces in battle, and he sent Bacchides and Alcimus again into the land of Judah a second time, and the right wing of his army with them:
VERSE 2. and they went by the way that leads to Gilgal, and encamped against Mesaloth, which is in Arbela, and got possession of it, and destroyed much people.
VERSE 3. And the first month of the hundred and fifty and second year they encamped against Jerusalem:
VERSE 4. and they removed, and went to Berea, with twenty thousand footmen and two thousand horse.
twenty thousand footmen. The army of the enemy has 20,000 soldiers.
VERSE 5. And Judas was encamped at Elasa, and three thousand chosen men with him:
three thousand chosen men. The army of Judas Maccabees has a mere 3,000 soldiers.
VERSE 6. and they saw the multitude of the forces, that they were many, and they feared exceedingly: and many slipped away out of the army; there were not left of them more than eight hundred men.
eight hundred men. His men slip away, until only 800 remain.
VERSE 7. And Judas saw that his army slipped away, and that the battle pressed upon him, and he was sore troubled in heart, for that he had no time to gather them together, and he waxed faint.
he waxed faint. Even Judas Maccabees felt fear. Everyone does.
VERSE 8. And he said to those who were left, Let’s arise and go up against our adversaries, if perhaps we may be able to fight with them.
perhaps we may be able to fight with them. Judas Maccabees decides to attack the enemy, even though his army only has 800 soldiers while his enemy has 20,000 soldiers.
VERSE 9. And they would have dissuaded him, saying, We shall in no wise be able: but let’s rather save our lives now: let’s return again, we and our kindred, and fight against them: but we are few.
VERSE 10. And Judas said, let it not be so that I should do this thing, to flee from them: and if our time is come, let’s die in a manly way for our kindred’s sake, and not leave a cause of reproach against our glory.
THE DEATH OF JUDAS MACCABEES
VERSE 11. And the army removed from the camp, and stood to encounter them, and the horse was parted into two companies, and the slingers and the archers went before the army, and all the mighty men that fought in the front of the battle.
VERSE 12. But Bacchides was in the right wing; and the phalanx drew near on the two parts, and they blew with their trumpets.
VERSE 13. And the men of Judas’ side, even they sounded with their trumpets, and the earth shook with the shout of the armies, and the battle was joined, and continued from morning until evening.
VERSE 14. And Judas saw that Bacchides and the strength of his army were on the right side, and there went with him all that were brave in heart,
VERSE 15. and the right wing was discomfited by them, and he pursued after them to the mount Azotus.
VERSE 16. And those who were on the left wing saw that the right wing was discomfited, and they turned and followed upon the footsteps of Judas and of those that were with him:
VERSE 17. and the battle waxed sore, and many on both parts fell wounded to death.
VERSE 18. And Judas fell, and the rest fled.
VERSE 19. And Jonathan and Simon took Judas their brother, and buried him in the sepulchre of his fathers at Modin.
VERSE 20. And they bewailed him, and all Israel made great lamentation for him, and mourned many days, and said,
VERSE 21. How is the mighty fallen, the savior of Israel!
VERSE 22. And the rest of the acts of Judas, and his wars, and the valiant deeds which he did, and his greatness, they are not written; for they were exceedingly many.
THE FORCES OF EVIL GROW STRONGER
VERSE 23. And it came to pass after the death of Judas, that the lawless put forth their heads in all the coasts of Israel, and all those who wrought iniquity rose up
VERSE 24. (in those days there was an exceedingly great famine), and the country went over with them.
VERSE 25. And Bacchides chose out the ungodly men, and made them lords of the country.
VERSE 26. And they sought out and searched for the friends of Judas, and brought them to Bacchides, and he took vengeance on them, and used them despitefully.
VERSE 27. And there was great tribulation in Israel, such as was not since the time that no prophet appeared to them.
JONATHAN MACCABEES BECOMES THE NEW LEADER
VERSE 28. And all the friends of Judas were gathered together, and they said to Jonathan,
VERSE 29. Since your brother Judas has died, we have no man like him to go forth against our enemies and Bacchides, and among them of our nation that hate us.
VERSE 30. Now therefore we have chosen you this day to be our prince and leader in his stead, that you may fight our battles.
VERSE 31. And Jonathan took the governance upon him at that time, and rose up in the stead of his brother Judas.
VERSE 32. And Bacchides knew it, and he sought to kill him.
VERSE 33. And Jonathan, and Simon his brother, and all that were with him, knew it; and they fled into the wilderness of Tekoah, and encamped by the water of the pool Asphar.
VERSE 34. And Bacchides knew it on the Sabbath day, and came, he and all his army, over Jordan.
VERSE 35. And Jonathan sent his brother, a leader of the multitude, and implored his friends the Nabathaeans, that they might leave with them their baggage, which was much.
VERSE 36. And the children of Jambri came out of Medaba, and took John, and all that he had, and went their way with it.
VERSE 37. But after these things they brought word to Jonathan and Simon his brother, that the children of Jambri were making a great marriage, and were bringing the bride from Nadabath with a great train, a daughter of one of the great nobles of Canaan.
VERSE 38. And they remembered John their brother, and went up, and hid themselves under the covert of the mountain:
VERSE 39. and they lifted up their eyes, and saw, and, behold, a great ado and much baggage: and the bridegroom came forth, and his friends and his kindred, to meet them with timbrels, and minstrels, and many weapons.
a remnant. The Bible describes a uniquely faithful group of believers called “the remnant.” Are they Jewish or Christians? Now or in the future? Who are they really? Read more »
VERSE 41. And the marriage was turned into mourning, and the voice of their minstrels into lamentation.
VERSE 42. And they avenged fully the blood of their brother, and turned back to the marsh of Jordan.
VERSE 43. And Bacchides heard it, and he came on the Sabbath day to the banks of Jordan with a great army.
VERSE 44. And Jonathan said to his company, Let’s stand up now and fight for our lives, for it is not with us today, as yesterday and the day before.
VERSE 45. For, behold, the battle is before us and behind us; moreover the water of the Jordan is on this side and on that side, and marsh and wood; and there is no place to escape.
VERSE 46. Now therefore cry to heaven, that you may be delivered out of the hand of your enemies.
VERSE 47. And the battle was joined, and Jonathan stretched forth his hand to strike Bacchides, and he turned away back from him.
VERSE 48. And Jonathan and those who were with him leapt into the Jordan, and swam over to the other side: and they didn’t pass over Jordan against them.
VERSE 49. And there fell of Bacchides’ company that day about a thousand men;
VERSE 50. and he returned to Jerusalem. And they built strong cities in Judea, the stronghold that was in Jericho, and Emmaus, and Bethhoron, and Bethel, and Timnath, Pharathon, and Tephon, with high walls and gates and bars.
VERSE 51. And in them he set a garrison, to vex Israel.
VERSE 52. And he fortified the city Bethsura, and Gazara, and the citadel, and put forces in them, and store of food.
VERSE 53. And he took the sons of the chief men of the country for hostages, and put them in ward in the citadel at Jerusalem.
VERSE 54. And in the hundred and fifty and third year, in the second month, Alcimus commanded to pull down the wall of the inner court of the sanctuary; he pulled down also the works of the prophets;
VERSE 55. and he began to pull down. At that time was Alcimus stricken, and his works were hindered; and his mouth was stopped, and he was taken with a palsy, and he could no more speak anything and give order concerning his house.
VERSE 56. And Alcimus died at that time with great torment.
VERSE 57. And Bacchides saw that Alcimus was dead, and he returned to the king: and the land of Judah had rest two years.
VERSE 58. And all the lawless men took counsel, saying, Behold, Jonathan and they of his part are dwelling at ease, and in security: now therefore we will bring Bacchides, and he shall lay hands on them all in one night.
VERSE 59. And they went and consulted with him.
VERSE 60. And he removed, and came with a great army, and sent letters privily to all his confederates that were in Judea, that they should lay hands on Jonathan and those that were with him: and they could not, because their counsel was known to them.
VERSE 61. And those who were of Jonathan’s part laid hands on about fifty of the men of the country, that were authors of the wickedness, and he killed them.
VERSE 62. And Jonathan, and Simon, and those who were with him, got them away to Bethbasi, which is in the wilderness, and he built up that which had been pulled down thereof, and they made it strong.
VERSE 63. And Bacchides knew it, and he gathered together all his multitude, and sent word to those who were of Judea.
VERSE 64. And he went and encamped against Bethbasi, and fought against it many days, and made engines of war.
VERSE 65. And Jonathan left his brother Simon in the city, and went forth into the country, and he went with a few men.
VERSE 66. And he struck Odomera and his kindred, and the children of Phasiron in their tent.
VERSE 67. And they began to strike them, and to go up with their forces. And Simon and those who were with him went out of the city, and set on fire the engines of war,
VERSE 68. and fought against Bacchides, and he was discomfited by them, and they afflicted him sore; for his counsel was in vain, and his inroad.
VERSE 69. And they were very angry with the lawless men that gave him counsel to come into the country, and they killed many of them. And he took counsel to depart into his own land.
VERSE 70. And Jonathan had knowledge thereof, and sent ambassadors to him, to the end that they should make peace with him, and that he should restore to them the captives.
VERSE 71. And he accepted the thing, and did according to his words, and sware to him that he would not seek his hurt all the days of his life.
VERSE 72. And he restored to him the captives which he had taken aforetime out of the land of Judah, and he returned and departed into his own land, and came not any more into their borders.
VERSE 73. And the sword ceased from Israel. And Jonathan lived at Michmash; and Jonathan began to judge the people; and he destroyed the ungodly out of Israel.
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