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manj noble exploits,some of which we shall relate; but must first observe, that Antiochus went to a place called Daphne, in order to be present at the celebration of some games which he had instituted; during the whole time he behaved agreeably to the character given of him by Daniel, of' a vile-or contemptible-person; and did so many mad actions, before an infinite number Oi spectators, that he became the laughing-stock of them
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Section vi. .
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THE HISTORY OF JUDAS MACCABEUS AND HIS
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. The books of the Maccabees inform us, that as sboa as Mattathias was buried; Judas, his son (called Maccabeus), rose up in his stead. "And* all his brethren helped him, and so did all they that held with his father; and they fought with cheerfulness the battle of Israel. So he gat his people great honour,- and put on a breast-plate as a giant, and girt his warlike harness. about him, and he made battles, protecting the host with his sword. In his acts he was like a lion, and like a lion's whelp roaring for his prey. For he pursued the .wicked, and sought them out, and burnt up those that vexed his people. Wherefore the wicked shrunk for fear of him, and all the workers of iniquity were troubled,. because salvation prospered in his hand. He grieved also many kings, and made Jacob glad with his acts, and his memorial is blessed for ever. Moreover, he went through the cities of Judah destroying the ungodly out of them, and turning away wrath from Israel §0 that he was renowned unto the utmost part
'i ... . [ * i Mace. iij.
•f the earth, and lie received onto him such aa were
ready to perish." .
Antiochus*being exceedingly enraged at the success of Judas against his generals, assembled all the forces of the kingdom, commanding them to be in constant readiness, and promised each of them a year's pay in advance; but this he could hot perform, though he had acquired great wealth, for he had exhausted his treasures by foolish expences and profuse presents to particular persons; in which-he verified the prophet's prediction, that he should scatter the prey and spoil of riches. Besides the difficulties to which the want of money reduced him, others arose, according to Daniel's prophecy, from the tidings which came to him out of the east and north : for northward the king of Armenia rebelled against him; and Persia, which lay eastward, dicontinued to pay him tribute. In every part of his dominions all was confusion, owing to his new edict; by which the ancient customs of so many nations were abolished, and those of the Greeks established in their room.
Infthis emergency, Antiochus resolved to go himself into Persia; and leave the care of his kingdom and infant son to Lysias, a nobleman of the royal family; to whom he gave particular orders to root the Jews out of their land, and settle strangers in every quarter. As soon as Antiochus was gone, Lysias, with cruel dili^ gence, endeavoured to execute the king's orders: he called to his assistance PtolemyMacrOn, Nicanor, and Gorgias, three mighty generals, whose forces, united to his own, composed an army of forty thousand foot and seven thousand horse, besides one thousand merchants, who attended with the expectation of buying
* 1 Mace. iit. 27. t 1 Mace. iii. 31.
Jewish Jewish prisoners for slaves. Judas and his brethren resolved to make a vigorous defence, but their first care was to secure the aid of the Lord; they therefore assembled the whole congregation, and devoted the day to fasting and prayer. After this solemnity was ended, Judas marshalled them for battle, saying, "*Arm yourselves, and be valiant men, and see that ye be in Teadiness against the morning, that ye may fight with these nations that are assembled together against us, to destroy us and our sanctuary. For it is better for us to die in battle than to behold the calamities of our people, and our sanctuary. Nevertheless, as the will of God is in heaven, so let him do." On which they resolved to keep themselves in readiness. Judas hearing that Gorgias intended to attack them in the night, removed, and came with three thousand men, poorly armed, to the camp of the enemy, which was strong and well guarded. Then said Judas to his men, " Fear f ye not the multitude, neither be ye afraid of their assault. Remember how our fathers were delivered in the Red Sea when Pharaoh pursued them with an army. Now therefore let us cry unto heaven, if peradventure the Lord will have mercy upon us, and remember the covenant of our fathers, and destroy this host before our face this day: that so all the heathen may know that there is one who delivereth and saveth Israel." Animated by this pious speech, the men of Israel followed their valiant leader; and, falling upon the heathens, made a great slaughter: and threw the camp into the utmost confusion; they afterwards put Gorgias and his party to flight, and then plundered the camp, and returned laden with rich spoil. The next day, which was the sabbath, they poured forth their gratitude to the Lord in humble praises and thanksgivings.
. Judas and his followers, encouraged by their lata success, and much increased in strength by the numbers who now joined them, resolved to oppose all who combined against them, and soon obtained a memorable victory .over Tiraotbeiis and Bacchjdes, two of Antiochus's generals, who brought, a great army against them, of which were slain twenty thousand men; and the; Jews gained great,riches,.besides arms, and many necessaries for carrying on the war*. ; . '• -;'
Ljsias, hearing of the bad success of the king's army in Judea, and of the losses they had sustained; was much embarrassed; but, knowing that Antiochus was resolutely, bent to destroy the Jews, he made greatpreparations for another expedition against them, and marched ipfp Judea with an army of sixty thousand foot, and five.thousand horse, resolving to extirpate all the inhabitants of the country* "When f Judas saw this mighty army encamped at Bethsura, he prayed, and said, BlesSed art thou, Q Saviobr of Israel, who didst quell the violence of the mighty man by the hand of thy servant David, and gavest the host of strangers into the hands of Jonathan the son of Saul, and his armourbearer, shut up this army in the: hand of thy people Israel, and let them be confounded in their, power and horsemen. Make them to be of no courage, and cause the.boldness of their strength to fall away, and let them quake at their destruction. Cast them down with the., sword of them that love thee, and let all those that know thy name praise thee with thanksgiving." After this'pious prayer they engaged with the enemy, though the.whple army amounted to no more than ten thousand: men; by the aid of the Lord they gained the victory, slew five thousand of the".adversary^ and put the rest, to flight. Lysias retired to Antioch, purposing * 2 Macu. vlii. 30. + 1 Mace. iv. 30—34.
-i 'ii.: i. . -..-if: m . - - p - ' '. >'"'-"".:, to return with a still greater force. Judasandhis company went to mount Sion.. ** And* when they saw; the Sanctuary desolate, and the altar profaned, and the gates burnt up; and shrubs gsowing in the courts, as in a forest, or in one of the mountains, yea, and the priests' chambers pulled down, they then rent their: clothe*, and made great lamentation, and cast ashes upon their headsrand fell down flat to the ground upon 'their faces, and blew an alarm with the trumpets, and cried towards heaven." Judas then appointed persons to cleanse the sanctuary ; they set all parts of divine worship in order, and offered sacrifices according to the law. Thus was the Temple-worship restored exactly that day-three"yeans, on which it had been profaned.fty the heathens.
But though the Jews had recovered the Temple, they were greatly annoyed as they went thither to worship, by a garrison which Apollonius had built on mount Acra; Judas therefore fortified a part of mount Sion, to secure the priests' and people from the frequent attacks of their enemies f. ; x. n /. . , .fin
Whilst these things were transacting, Antiochus was in' Persia, levying the tribute j but he fled out of that country with dishonour; for, attempting to plunder a heathen temple, in which there were great riches, the people Ofthe country assembled and drove him away: hw was^Berefore^ili-dispbsed 'to receive the news of th& aeteat of^kiJefe^rais in' jU(jea. The. nuthV Bobk'bf Maccabees f intoTmsus,tnaviiii'a account made him in a manner frantic with rage and disappointment; but he' resolved to hasten to Jerusalem, and threatened6 to make that city a grave for the Jews, where he would' bury the whole nation. Whilst'he was preparing to'
. * ~lMacc. i.-. 38-41. f Ibid. 60, 61. + '2 Mace. ix.
Q * execute