1:6. And after these things, he fell down upon his bed, and knew that he should die.
1:7. And he called his servants, the nobles that were brought up with him from his youth: and he divided his kingdom among them, while he was yet alive.
Divided his kingdom, etc... This is otherwise related by Q. Curtius; though he acknowledges that divers were of that opinion, and that it had been delivered by some authors, lib. 10. But here we find from the sacred text, that he was in error.
1:8. And Alexander reigned twelve years, and he died.
1:9. And his servants made themselves kings, every one in his place:
1:10. And they all put crowns upon themselves after his death, and their sons after them, many years; and evils were multiplied in the earth.
1:11. And there came out of them a wicked root, Antiochus the Illustrious, the son of king Antiochus, who had been a hostage at Rome: and he reigned in the hundred and thirty-seventh year of the kingdom of the Greeks.
Antiochus the Illustrius... Epiphanes, the younger son of Antiochus the Great, who usurped the kingdom, to the prejudice of his nephew Demetrius, son of his elder brother Seleucus Philopater.-Ibid. Of the kingdom of the Greeks... Counting, not from the beginning of the reign of Alexander, but from the first year of Seleucus Nicator.
1:12. In those days there went out of Israel wicked men, and they persuaded many, saying: Let us go and make a covenant with the heathens that are round about us: for since we departed from them, many evils have befallen us.
1:13. And the word seemed good in their eyes.
1:14. And some of the people determined to do this, and went to the king: and he gave them license to do after the ordinances of the heathens.
1:15. And they built a place of excercise in Jerusalem, according to the laws of the nations:
1:16. And they made themselves prepuces, and departed from the holy covenant, and joined themselves to the heathens, and were sold to do evil:
1:17. And the kingdom was established before Antiochus, and he had a mind to reign over the land of Egypt, that he might reign over two kingdoms.
1:18. And he entered into Egypt with a great multitude, with chariots, and elephants, and horsemen, and a great number of ships:
1:19. And he made war against Ptolemee king of Egypt; but Ptolemee was afraid at his presence and fled, and many were wounded unto death.
1:20. And he took the strong cities in the land of Egypt: and he took the spoils of the land of Egypt.
1:21. And after Antiochus had ravaged Egypt, in the hundred and forty- third year, he returned and went up against Israel.
1:22. And he went up to Jerusalem, with a great multitude.
1:23. And he proudly entered into the sanctuary, and took away the golden altar, and the candlestick of light, and all the vessels thereof, and the table of proposition, and the pouring vessels, and the vials, and the little mortars of gold, and the veil, and the crowns, and the golden ornament that was before the temple: and he broke them all in pieces.
1:24. And he took the silver and gold, and the precious vessels: and he took the hidden treasures, which he found: and when he had taken all away, he departed into his own country.
1:25. And he made a great slaughter of men, and spoke very proudly.
1:26. And there was great mourning in Israel, and in every place where they were:
1:27. And the princes, and the ancients mourned, and the virgins and the young men were made feeble, and the beauty of the women was changed.
1:28. Every bridegroom took up lamentation: and the bride that sat in the marriage bed, mourned:
1:29. And the land was moved for the inhabitants thereof, and all the house of Jacob was covered with confusion.
1:30. And after two full years, the king sent the chief collector of his tributes to the cities of Juda, and he came to Jerusalem with a great multitude.
The chief collector, etc... Apollonius.
1:31. And he spoke to them peaceable words in deceit; and they believed him.
1:32. And he fell upon the city suddenly, and struck it with a great slaughter, and destroyed much people in Israel.
1:33. And he took the spoils of the city, and burnt it with fire, and threw down the houses thereof, and the walls thereof round about:
1:34. And they took the women captive, and the children, and the cattle they possessed.
1:35. And they built the city of David with a great and strong wall, and with strong towers, and made it a fortress for them:
The city of David... That is, the castle of Sion.
1:36. And they placed there a sinful nation, wicked men, and they fortified themselves therein: and they stored up armour and victuals, and gathered together the spoils of Jerusalem;
1:37. And laid them up there: and they became a great snare.
1:38. And this was a place to lie in wait against the sanctuary, and an evil devil in Israel.
An evil devil... That is, an adversary watching constantly to do harm, as the evil spirit is always watching and seeking whom he may devour.
1:39. And they shed innocent blood round about the sanctuary, and defiled the holy place.
1:40. And the inhabitants of Jerusalem fled away by reason of them and the city was made the habitation of strangers, and she became a stranger to her own seed, and her children forsook her.
1:41. Her sanctuary was desolate like a wilderness, her festival days were turned into mourning, her sabbaths into reproach, her honours were brought to nothing.
1:42. Her dishonour was increased according to her glory, and her excellency was turned into mourning.
1:43. And king Antiochus wrote to all his kingdom, that all the people should be one: and every one should leave his own law.
1:44. And all nations consented, according to the word of king Antiochus.
1:45 And many of Israel consented to his service, and they sacrificed to idols, and profaned the sabbath.
1:46. And the king sent letters by the hands of messengers to Jerusalem, and to all the cities of Juda; that they should follow the law of the nations of the earth.
1:47. And should forbid holocausts and sacrifices, and atonements to be made in the temple of God.
1:48. And should prohibit the sabbath, and the festival days to be celebrated.
1:49. And he commanded the holy places to be profaned, and the holy people of Israel.
1:50. And he commanded altars to be built, and temples, and idols, and swine's flesh to be immolated, and unclean beasts,