תמונות בעמוד

many 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 0. spectators, that he became the laughing-stock of them all.. .'-iki 1,44; Birinc i



;; alii itawa" : The books of the Maccabees inform us, that as soon 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 fa. ther; 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 trou. bled, 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. So that he was renowned unto the utmost part

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1 Macc. jii.

of the earth, and he received unto him such as 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 not 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.

Intthis emergency, Antiochus resolved to go him. self 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 Ptolemy Macron, 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 Macc. Di. 27. : : t i Macc. iii. 31.

Jewish prisoners for slaves. Judas and his brethren rosolved 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 readiness 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 + 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 cavenant 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 rieh spoil. The next day, which was the sabbath, they poured forth their gratitude to the Lord in humble praises and thanksgivings. 1 Macc. iji. 58, to the end. f 1 Macc. iv. 8—11. Q 3


„Judas and his followers, encouraged by their late success, and much increased in strength by the num bers who now joined them, resolved to oppose all who combined against them, and soon obtained a memorable victory over Timotheus and Bacchides, two of Antiochus's generals, who, brought a great army against them, of which were slain twepty thousand men; and the Jews gained great riches, besides, arms, and many necessaries for carrying on the war*. ,.; .

Lysias, 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, bęnt to destroy the Jews, he made great preparations for another expedition against them, and marched into Judea with an army of sixty thousand foot, and five thousand horse, resolving to extirpate all the in. habitants of the country. “ When + Judas saw this miglity'army encamped at. Bethsura, he prayed, and sajd, Blessed art thou, O SAVIOUR of Israel, who didst quell the violence of the mighty, man by the hand of thy seryant David, and gavest the host of strangers into the hands of Jonathan the son of Saul, and his armourbearer, shut up this army in ther 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 whole 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 * ? Mace, viii.-30.: + 1 Macc. iv. 30-34.


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to return with a still greater force. Judas and his company went to mount Sion. “ And* when they saw the Sanctuary desolate, and the altar profaned, and the gates burnt up, and shrubs growing in the courts, as in a forest, or in one of the mountains, yea, and the priests' chambers pulled down, they then rent their clothes, and made great lamentation, and cast ashes upon their heads, and 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 sacrificee according to the law. Thus was the Temple-worship restored exactly that day three years, on which it had been profaned. by the heathens."

But though the Jews had recovered the Temple, they were greatly annoyed as they went thither to worship, by a garrison which Apolloniųs had built on mount Acra; Judas therefore fortified a part of mount Sion, to secure the priests and people from the frequent ate tacks of their enemies to visit 1'14 . · Whilst these things were transacting, Antiochus was in Persia, levying the tribute ; but he fled out of that country with dishonour’; for, attempting to plunder a heathen temple, in which there were great riches, the people of the country assembled and drove him away: he was therefore ill-disposed to receive the news of the defeat of his generals in Judea. The author of the Bóbk of Maccabees informs us, thiarinis account made him in a manner frantíc with rage and disappointment; but he resolved to hasten to Jerusalem, and threatened to make that city'a grave for the Jews, where he would bury the whole nation." Whilst' he was preparing to

* 1 Macc. iv, 38-41,

+ lbid. 60, 61.

Q. 4

2 Macc. ix.


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