2 Maccabees chapter 10

They offer sacrifices. The reign of Antiochus Eupator. Victory over the Idumaeans.





VERSE 1. Then Maccabaeus and those who were with him, the Lord leading them on, recovered the temple and the city.


VERSE 2. They pulled down the altars that had been built in the marketplace by the foreigners, and also the sacred enclosures.

They pulled down the altars. They destroyed the foreign altars.


VERSE 3. Having cleansed the sanctuary, they made another altar of sacrifice. Striking flint and starting a fire, they offered sacrifices after they had ceased for two years, burned incense, lit lamps, and set out the show bread.

they made another altar of sacrifice. The old one had been destroyed.

Striking. In Greek, “firing.”

they offered sacrifices. This was the first sacrifice in two years


VERSE 4. When they had done these things, they fell prostrate and implored the Lord that they might fall no more into such evils; but that, if they ever did sin, they might be chastened by him with forbearance, and not be delivered to blaspheming and barbarous heathen.

chastened by him with forbearance. The NAB translation says “chasten them with moderation.”


VERSE 5. Now on the same day that the sanctuary was profaned by foreigners, upon that very day it came to pass that the sanctuary was cleansed, even on the twenty-fifth day of the same month, which is Chislev.


VERSE 6. They observed eight days with gladness in the manner of the feast of tabernacles, remembering how not long before, during the feast of tabernacles, they were wandering in the mountains and in the caves like wild animals.

not long before, during the feast of tabernacles, they were wandering. Or “not long before they kept the feast of tabernacles by wandering.”

Wandering as a spiritual practice.


VERSE 7. Therefore carrying wands wreathed with leaves, and beautiful branches, and palm fronds also, they offered up hymns of thanksgiving to him who had successfully brought to pass the cleansing of his own place.


VERSE 8. They ordained also with a public statute and decree, for all the nation of the Jews, that they should observe these days every year.




VERSE 9. Such were the events of the end of Antiochus, who was called Epiphanes.


VERSE 10. Now we will declare what came to pass under Antiochus Eupator, who proved himself a son of that ungodly man, and will summarize the main evils of the wars.

Antiochus Eupator. This  is Antiochus V Eupator. He reigned from 164–162 BC.


VERSE 11. For this man, when he succeeded to the kingdom, appointed one Lysias to be chancellor and supreme governor of Coelesyria and Phoenicia.


VERSE 12. For Ptolemy who was called Macron, setting an example of observing justice toward the Jews because of the wrong that had been done to them, endeavored to deal with them on peaceful terms.


VERSE 13. Whereupon being accused by the king’s friends before Eupator, and hearing himself called traitor at every turn because he had abandoned Cyprus which Philometor had entrusted to him, and had withdrawn himself to Antiochus Epiphanes, and failing to uphold the honor of his office, he took poison and did away with himself.

failing to uphold the honor of his office. The Greek text here is corrupt.

he took poison and did away with himself. That is, he committed suicide.




VERSE 14. But when Gorgias was made governor of the district, he maintained a force of mercenaries, and at every turn kept up war with the Jews.

at every turn kept up war with the Jews. In the course of world history, an evil antisemitic agenda repeats over and over again. In our day, professing Christians are often the worst of the worst when it comes to Antisemitism. Read more »


VERSE 15. Together with him the Idumaeans also, being masters of important strongholds, harassed the Jews; and received those who had taken refuge from Jerusalem, they endeavored to keep up the war.

harassed the Jews. In the course of world history, this evil antisemitic agenda repeats over and over again.

In our day, professing Christians are often the worst of the worst when it comes to Antisemitism.


VERSE 16. But Maccabaeus and his men, having made solemn supplication and having implored God to fight on their side, rushed upon the strongholds of the Idumaeans.

having made solemn supplication. Judas Maccabaeus and his army pray before going into battle.

rushed upon the strongholds of the Idumaeans. They run toward the enemy stronghold.


VERSE 17. Assaulting them vigorously, they took control of the positions, and kept off all who fought upon the wall, and killed those who they encountered, killing no fewer than twenty thousand.

Assaulting them vigorously. Their military incursion is “vigorous.”


VERSE 18. Because no fewer than nine thousand had fled into two very strong towers having everything needed for a seige,


VERSE 19. Maccabaeus, having left Simon and Joseph, and also Zacchaeus and those who were with him, a force sufficient to besiege them, departed himself to places where he was most needed.


VERSE 20. But Simon and those who were with him, yielding to covetousness, were bribed by some of those who were in the towers, and receiving seventy thousand drachmas, let some of them slip away.


VERSE 21. But when word was brought to Maccabaeus of what was done, he gathered the leaders of the people together, and accused those men of having sold their kindred for money by setting their enemies free to fight against them.


VERSE 22. So he killed these men for having turned traitors, and immediately took possession of the two towers.


VERSE 23. Prospering with his weapons in everything he undertook, he destroyed more than twenty thousand in the two strongholds.


VERSE 24. Now Timotheus, who had been defeated by the Jews before, having gathered together foreign forces in great multitudes, and having collected the cavalry which belonged to Asia, not a few, came as though he would take Judea by force of weapons.


VERSE 25. But as he drew near, Maccabaeus and his men sprinkled dirt on their heads and girded their loins with sackcloth, in supplication to God,


VERSE 26. and falling down upon the step in front of the altar, implored him to become gracious to them, and be an enemy to their enemies and an adversary to their adversaries, as the law declares.

gracious. In Greek, “propitious.”

be an enemy to their enemies. See Exodus chapter 23:

Exodus 23:22. But if you indeed listen to his voice, and do all that I speak, then I will be an enemy to your enemies, and an adversary to your adversaries.


VERSE 27. Rising from their prayer they took up their weapons, and advanced some distance from the city. When they had come near to their enemies, they halted.

they halted. In Greek, “were by themselves.”


VERSE 28. When the dawn was now breaking, the two armies joined in battle, the one part having this, beside virtue, for a pledge of success and victory, that they had fled to the Lord for refuge, the others making their passion their leader in the fight.


VERSE 29. When the battle became strong, there appeared out of heaven to their adversaries five splendid men on horses with bridles of gold, and two of them, leading on the Jews,

NAB translation. In the midst of the fierce battle, there appeared to the enemy from the heavens five majestic men riding on golden-bridled horses, who led the Jews on.

there appeared out of heaven to their adversaries five splendid men on horses. Five angels suddenly make themselves visible on the fierce battlefront.

Horses and chariots appear in the Old Testament. They are not a natural phenomenon of the time-space continuum. What are they? Read more »

leading on the Jews. Some authorities read “and leading on the Jews; who also, taking.”


VERSE 30. and taking Maccabaeus in the midst of them, and covering him with their own armor, guarded him from wounds, while they shot arrows and thunderbolts at the enemies. For this reason, they were blinded and thrown into confusion, and were cut to pieces, filled with bewilderment.

NAB translation. They surrounded Maccabeus, and shielding him with their own armor, kept him from being wounded. They shot arrows and hurled thunderbolts at the enemy, who were bewildered and blinded, thrown into confusion and routed.

These five angels shield Maccabeus, then launch a staggering assault against those trying to destroy the Jewish people.

The enemy becomes confused and flees for their lives.

Horses and chariots appear in the Old Testament. They are not a natural phenomenon of the time-space continuum. What are they? Read more »


VERSE 31. Twenty thousand five hundred were slain, beside six hundred cavalry.


VERSE 32. Timotheus himself fled into a stronghold called Gazara, a fortress of great strength, where Chaereas was in command.

Chaereas. See verse 37 below.


VERSE 33. Then Maccabaeus and his men were glad and laid siege to the fortress for four days.


VERSE 34. Those who were within, trusting in the strength of the place, blasphemed exceedingly, and hurled out impious words.

NAB translation. Those inside, relying on the strength of the place, kept repeating outrageous blasphemies and uttering abominable words.

This war is not mainly about politics or territory. It’s about those who oppose the LORD God and blaspheme him, versus those who stand for him.


VERSE 35. But at dawn of the fifth day, certain young men of Maccabaeus’ company, inflamed with anger because of the blasphemies, assaulted the wall with masculine force and with furious anger, and cut down whoever came in their way.

furious anger. In Greek, “passion as of wild animals.”


VERSE 36. Others climbing up in the same way, while the enemies were distracted with those who had made their way within, set fire to the towers, and kindled fires that burned the blasphemers alive, while others broke open the gates, and, having given entrance to the rest of the band, occupied the city.


VERSE 37. They killed Timotheus, who was hidden in a cistern, and his brother Chaereas, and Apollophanes.

Chaereas. See verse 32 above.


VERSE 38. When they had accomplished these things, they blessed the Lord with hymns and thanksgiving, blessing him who provides great benefits to Israel and gives them the victory.


next chapter »

« previous chapter


CHAPTERS: 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15

RESOURCES: Summary, Outline, Memorize

Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.


Author: todd

At Explore the Faith, I share insights into the Bible and theological writings. If you like what I write, become my partner by donating. Help me reach the world for the Lord Jesus Christ.