16:5. And they arose in the morning, and went into the plain: and behold a very great army of footmen and horsemen came against them, and there was a running river between them.
16:6. And he and his people pitched their camp over against them, and he saw that the people were afraid to go over the river, so he went over first: then the men seeing him, passed over after him.
He... Viz., John.
16:7. And he divided the people, and set the horsemen in the midst of the footmen: but the horsemen of the enemies were very numerous.
16:8. And they sounded the holy trumpets: and Cendebeus and his army were put to flight: and there fell many of them wounded, and the rest fled into the strong hold.
16:9. At that time, Judas, John's brother, was wounded: but John pursued after them, till he came to Cedron, which he had built:
Cedron... Otherwise called Gedon, the city that Cendebeus was fortifying.
16:10. And they fled even to the towers that were in the fields of Azotus, and he burnt them with fire. And there fell of them two thousand men, and he returned into Judea in peace.
16:11. Now Ptolemee, the son of Abobus, was appointed captain in the plain of Jericho, and he had abundance of silver and gold.
16:12. For he was son in law of the high priest.
16:13. And his heart was lifted up, and he designed to make himself master of the country, and he purposed treachery against Simon and his sons, to destroy them.
16:14. Now Simon, as he was going through the cities that were in the country of Judea, and taking care for the good ordering of them, went down to Jericho, he and Mathathias and Judas, his sons, in the year one hundred and seventy-seven, the eleventh month: the same is the month Sabath.
16:15. And the son of Abobus received them deceitfully into a little fortress, that is called Doch, which he had built: and he made them a great feast, and hid men there.
16:16. And when Simon and his sons had drunk plentifully, Ptolemee and his men rose up, and took their weapons, and entered into the banqueting place, and slew him, and his two sons, and some of his servants.
16:17. And he committed a great treachery in Israel, and rendered evil for good.
16:18. And Ptolemee wrote these things, and sent to the king that he should send him an army to aid him, and he would deliver him the country, and their cities, and tributes.
16:19. And he sent others to Gazara to kill John: and to the tribunes he sent letters to come to him, and that he would give them silver, and gold, and gifts.
16:20. And he sent others to take Jerusalem, and the mountain of the temple.
16:21. Now one running before, told John in Gazara, that his father and his brethren were slain, and that he hath sent men to kill thee also.
16:22. But when he heard it, he was exceedingly afraid: and he apprehended the men that came to kill him, and he put them to death: for he knew that they sought to make him away.
16:23. And as concerning the rest of the acts of John, and his wars, and the worthy deeds, which he bravely achieved, and the building of the walls, which he made, and the things that he did:
16:24. Behold, these are written in the book of the days of his priesthood, from the time that he was made high priest after his father.
THE SECOND BOOK OF MACHABEES
This second book of MACHABEES is not a continuation of the history contained in the first: nor does is come down so low as the first does: but relates many of the same facts more at large, and adds other remarkable particulars, omitted in the first book, relating to the state of the Jews, as well before as under the persecution of ANTIOCHUS. The author, who is not the same with that of the first book, has given (as we learn from chap. 2.20, etc.) a short abstract of what JASON of Cyrene had written in the five volumes, concerning JUDAS and his brethren. He wrote in Greek, and begins with two letters, sent by the Jews of Jerusalem to their brethren in Egypt.
2 Machabees Chapter 1
Letters of the Jews of Jerusalem to them that were in Egypt. They give thanks for their delivery from Antiochus: and exhort their brethren to keep the feast of the dedication of the altar, and of the miraculous fire.
1:1. To the brethren, the Jews that are throughout Egypt; the brethren, the Jews that are in Jerusalem, and in the land of Judea, send health and good peace.
1:2. May God be gracious to you, and remember his covenant that he made with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, his faithful servants:
1:3. And give you all a heart to worship him, and to do his will with a great heart, and a willing mind.
1:4. May he open your heart in his law, and in his commandments, and send you peace.
1:5. May he hear your prayers, and be reconciled unto you, and never forsake you in the evil time.
1:6. And now here we are praying for you.
1:7. When Demetrius reigned, in the year one hundred and sixty-nine, we Jews wrote to you in the trouble and violence that came upon us in those years, after Jason withdrew himself from the holy land, and from the kingdom.
1:8. They burnt the gate, and shed innocent blood: then we prayed to the Lord, and were heard, and we offered sacrifices, and fine flour, and lighted the lamps, and set forth the loaves.
1:9. And now celebrate ye the days of Scenopegia in the month of Casleu.
Scenopegia... Viz., the Encenia, or feast of the dedication of the altar, called here Scenopegia, or feast of tabernacles, from being celebrated with the like solemnity.
1:10. In the year one hundred and eighty-eight, the people that is at Jerusalem, and in Judea, and the senate, and Judas, to Aristobolus, the preceptor of king Ptolemee, who is of the stock of the anointed priests, and to the Jews that are in Egypt, health and welfare.
1:11. Having been delivered by God out of great dangers, we give him great thanks, forasmuch as we have been in war with such a king.
Such a king... Viz., Antiochus Sidetes, who began to make war upon the Jews, whilst Simon was yet alive. 1 Mac. 15.39. And afterwards besieged Jerusalem under John Hircanus. So that the Judas here mentioned, ver.
10, is not Judas Machabeus, who was dead long before the year 188 of the kingdom of the Greeks, for he died in the year 146 of that epoch, (see above 1 Mac. chap. 2., ver. 70, also the note on chap. 1, ver. 2,) but either Judas the eldest son of John Hircanus, or Judas the Essene, renowned for the gift of prophecy, who flourished about that time.
1:12. For he made numbers of men swarm out of Persia, that have fought against us, and the holy city.
1:13. For when the leader himself was in Persia, and with him a very great army, he fell in the temple of Nanea, being deceived by the counsel of the priests of Nanea.
Nanea... A Persian goddess, which some have taken for Diana, others for Venus.
1:14. For Antiochus, with his friends, came to the place as though he would marry her, and that he might receive great sums of money under the title of a dowry.
1:15. And when the priests of Nanea had set it forth, and he with a small company had entered into the compass of the temple, they shut the temple,
1:16. When Antiochus was come in: and opening a secret entrance of the temple, they cast stones and slew the leader, and them that were with him, and hewed them in pieces; and cutting off their heads, they threw them forth.
1:17. Blessed be God in all things, who hath delivered up the wicked.