The First Book of the
1st Maccabees [Hammers]
Context: Records the first political war for religious freedom. Choosing to honor the traditions of Moses-Judaism based worship of Yah in a political culture that is embracing the Greek way of thinking, called Hellenism. If this revolt did not happen, the national identity of Hebrew, Judea [Praise], and Israel would have extinguished, thus preventing the Messiah from coming thru the line of David. Chanukah [Dedication] celebrates the Maccabee's revolt, Jewish political independence, and the miracle of the Second Temple re-dedication. The Maccabees were the first Levite family to hold a combination Political and Priest office in Israel. This paved the way for the Roman empire and political-religious parties of Pharisee (focusing on how to walk) and Sadducee (focused on temple service). Both are separate from and do not require adherents to be Levites yet have control in Judaism and Temple service.
1st Maccabees History: Crisis and response (1:1-2:70); Leadership of Judas Maccabeus (3:1-9:22); Leadership of Jonathan (9:23-12:53); Leadership of Simon (13:1-16:24).
1 And it came to pass, after that Alexander the Macedonian, the son of Philip [Loves horses], who came out of the land of Chittim, and struck Darius king of the Persians and Medes [Middle-land], it came to pass, after he had struck him, that he reigned in his stead, in former time, over Greece. 2 And he fought many battles, and won many strongholds, and killed the kings of the earth, 3 and went through to the ends of the earth, and took spoils of a multitude of nations. And the earth was quiet before him, and he was exalted, and his heart was lifted up, 4 and he gathered together an exceeding strong host, and ruled over countries and nations and principalities, and they became tributary to him. 5 And after these things he fell sick, and perceived that he should die. 6 And he called his servants, which were honorable, which had been brought up with him from his youth, and he divided to them his kingdom, while he was yet alive. 7 And Alexander reigned twelve years, and he died. 8 And his servants bare rule, each one in his place. 9 And they did all put diadems upon themselves after that he was dead, and so did their sons after them many years: and they multiplied evils in the earth.
10 And there came forth out of them a sinful root, Antiochus Epiphanes, son of Antiochus the king, who had been a hostage at Rome [Town of flowing waters], and he reigned in * circa B.C.E 176 the hundred and thirty and seventh year of the kingdom of the Greeks.
11 In those days came there forth out of Israel [God prevails] transgressors of the law, and persuaded many, saying, let us go and make a covenant ·binding contract between two or more parties· with the Gentiles that are round about us; for since we were parted from them many evils have befallen us. 12 And the saying was good in their eyes. 13 And certain of the people were forward herein and went to the king, and he gave them license to do after the ordinances of the Gentiles. 14 And they built a place of exercise in Jerusalem [City of peace] according to the laws of the Gentiles; 15 and they made themselves uncircumcised, and forsook the holy covenant ·binding contract between two or more parties·, and joined themselves to the Gentiles, and sold themselves to do evil.
16 And the kingdom was well ordered in the sight of Antiochus, and he thought to reign over Egypt [Abode of slavery], that he might reign over the two kingdoms. 17 And he entered into Egypt [Abode of slavery] with a great multitude, with chariots, and with elephants, and with horsemen, and with a great navy; 18 and he made war against Ptolemy king of Egypt [Abode of slavery]; and Ptolemy was put to shame before him, and fled; and many fell wounded to death. 19 And they got possession of the strong cities in the land of Egypt [Abode of slavery]; and he took the spoils of Egypt [Abode of slavery].
20 And Antiochus, after that he had struck Egypt [Abode of slavery], returned in † circa B.C.E 170 the hundred and forty and third year, and went up against Israel [God prevails] and Jerusalem [City of peace] with a great multitude, 21 and entered presumptuously into the sanctuary, and took the golden altar, and the menorah ·lamp· of the light, and all that pertained there, 22 and the table of the show bread, and the cups to pour withal, and the bowls, and the golden censers, and the veil, and the crowns, and the adorning of gold which was on the face of the temple, and he scaled it all off. 23 And he took the silver and the gold and the precious utensils; and he took the hidden treasures which he found. 24 And when he had taken all, he went away into his own land, and he made a great slaughter, and spoke very presumptuously. 25 And there came great mourning upon Israel [God prevails], in every place where they were; 26 and the rulers and elders groaned, the virgins and young men were made feeble, and the beauty of the women was changed. 27 Every bridegroom took up lamentation, she that sat in the marriage chamber was in heaviness. 28 And the land was moved for the inhabitants thereof, and all the house of Jacob [Supplanter] was clothed with shame.
29 And after two full years the king sent a chief collector of tribute to the cities of Judah [Praised], and he came to Jerusalem [City of peace] with a great multitude. 30 And he spoke words of peace to them in subtelty, and they gave him credence: and he fell upon the city suddenly, and struck it very sore, and destroyed much people out of Israel [God prevails]. 31 And he took the spoils of the city, and set it on fire, and pulled down the houses thereof and the walls thereof on every side. 32 And they led captive the women and the children, and the cattle they took in possession. 33 And they built the city of David [Beloved] with a great and strong wall, with strong towers, and it became to them a citadel. 34 And they put there a sinful nation, transgressors of the law, and they strengthened themselves therein. 35 And they stored up arms and food, and gathering together the spoils of Jerusalem [City of peace], they laid them up there, and they became a sore snare: 36 and it became a place to lie in wait in against the sanctuary, and an evil adversary to Israel [God prevails] continually. 37 And they shed innocent blood on every side of the sanctuary, and defiled the sanctuary. 38 And the inhabitants of Jerusalem [City of peace] fled because of them; and she became a habitation of strangers, and she became strange to them that were born in her, and her children forsook her. 39 Her sanctuary was laid waste like a wilderness, her feasts were turned into mourning, her Sabbaths into reproach, her honor into contempt. 40 According to her glory, so was her dishonor multiplied, and her high estate was turned into mourning.
41 And king Antiochus wrote to his whole kingdom, that all should be one people, 42 and that each should forsake his own laws. And all the nations agreed according to the word of the king; 43 and many of Israel [God prevails] consented to his worship, and sacrificed to the idols, and profaned the Sabbath ·To cease·. 44 And the king sent letters by the hand of messengers to Jerusalem [City of peace] and the cities of Judah [Praised], that they should follow laws strange to the land, 45 and should forbid whole burnt offerings and sacrifice and drink offerings in the sanctuary; and should profane the Sabbaths and feasts, 46 and pollute the sanctuary and them that were holy; 47 that they should build altars, and temples, and shrines for idols, and should sacrifice swine’s flesh and unclean beasts: 48 and that they should leave their sons uncircumcised, that they should make their souls abominable with all manner of uncleanness and profanation; 49 so that they might forget the law, and change all the ordinances. 50 And whoever shall not do according to the word of the king, he shall die. 51 According to all these words wrote he to his whole kingdom; and he appointed overseers over all the people, and he commanded the cities of Judah [Praised] to sacrifice, city by city. 52 And from the people were gathered together to them many, every one that had forsaken the law; and they did evil things in the land; 53 and they made Israel to hide themselves in every place of refuge which they had.
54 And on the fifteenth day of Chislev, in ‡ circa B.C.E 167 or 168 the hundred and forty and fifth year, they built an abomination of desolation upon the altar, and in the cities of Judah [Praised] on every side they built idol altars. 55 And at the doors of the houses and in the streets they burned incense. 56 And they tore in pieces the books of the law which they found, and set them on fire. 57 And wherever was found with any a book of the covenant, and if any consented to the law, the king’s sentence delivered him to death. 58 Thus did they in their might to Israel [God prevails], to those that were found month by month in the cities. 59 And on the five and twentieth day of the month they sacrificed upon the idol altar of God. 60 And the women that had circumcised their children they put to death according to the commandment. 61 And they hanged their babes about their necks, and destroyed their houses, and them that had circumcised them. 62 And many in Israel [God prevails] were fully resolved and confirmed in themselves not to eat unclean things. 63 And they chose to die, that they might not be defiled with the meats, and that they might not profane the holy covenant: and they died. 64 And there came exceeding great wrath upon Israel [God prevails].