1 It is also found in the records that Jeremiah the prophet commanded those who were carried away to take some of the fire, as has been mentioned, 2 and how that the prophet charged those who were carried away, having given them the law, that they should not forget the statutes of the Lord or be led astray in their minds when they saw images of gold and silver, and their adornment. 3 With other such words exhorted he them, that the law should not depart from their hearts.
4 It was in the writing that the prophet, being warned by God, commanded that the tabernacle and the ark should follow with him,* Gr. and when. The Greek text here is probably corrupt. when he went out to the mountain where Moses had gone up and saw God’s inheritance. 5 Jeremiah came and found a cave, he brought the tabernacle, the ark, and the altar of incense into it; then he sealed the entrance. 6 Some of those who followed with him came there that they might mark the way, and could not find it. 7 But when Jeremiah learnt about that, he rebuked them, saying, “The place shall be unknown until God gathers the people together again and shows mercy. 8 Then the Lord will disclose these things, and the glory of the Lord shall be seen with the cloud, as it was also shown to Moses, also as Solomon implored that the place might be consecrated greatly, 9 and it was also declared that he, having wisdom, offered a sacrifice of dedication, and of the finishing of the temple. 10 As Moses prayed to the Lord and fire came down out of heaven and consumed the sacrifice, even so Solomon also prayed, and the fire came down and consumed the burnt offerings. 11 † See Leviticus 10:16 and 9:24. Moses said, ‘Because the sin offering had not been eaten, it was consumed in like manner.’ 12 Likewise Solomon kept the eight days.”
13 The same things were reported both in the public archives and in Nehemiah’s records, and also how he, founding a library, gathered together the books about the kings and prophets, and the writings of David, and letters of kings about sacred gifts. 14 In like manner Judas also gathered together for us all those books that had been scattered by reason of the war, and they are still with us. 15 If therefore you have need of them, send some people to bring them to you.
16 Seeing then that we are about to celebrate the purification, we write to you. You will therefore do well if you celebrate the days. 17 Now God, who saved all his people, and restored the heritage to all, with the kingdom, the priesthood, and the consecration, 18 even as he promised through the law— in God have we hope, that he will soon have mercy upon us, and gather us together out of everywhere under heaven into his holy place; for he delivered us out of great evils, and purified the place.
19 Now the things concerning Judas Maccabaeus and his brothers, the purification of the greatest temple, the dedication of the altar, 20 and further the wars against Antiochus Epiphanes and Eupator his son, 21 and the manifestations that came from heaven to those who fought with one another in brave deeds for the religion of the Jews; so that, being but a few, they seized the whole country, chased the barbarous multitudes, 22 recovered again the temple renowned all the world over, freed the city, and restored the laws which were about to be overthrown, seeing the Lord became gracious to them with all kindness. 23 These things which have been declared by Jason of Cyrene in five books, we will attempt to abridge in one book. 24 For having in view the confused mass of the numbers, and the‡ Or, weariness difficulty which awaits those who would enter into the narratives of the history, by reason of the abundance of the matter, 25 we were careful that those who choose to read may be attracted, and that those who wish us well may find it easy to recall, and that all readers may benefit. 26 Although to us, who have taken upon ourselves the painful labour of the abridgement, the task is not easy, but a matter of sweat and sleeplessness, 27 even as it is no light thing to him who prepares a banquet, and seeks the benefit of others. Nevertheless, for the sake of the gratitude of the many we will gladly endure the painful labour, 28 leaving to the historian the exact handling of every particular, and again having no strength to fill in the outlines of our abridgement. 29 For as the masterbuilder of a new house must care for the whole structure, and again he who undertakes to decorate and paint it must seek out the things fit for its adorning; even so I think it is also with us. 30 To occupy the ground, and to indulge in long discussions, and to be curious in particulars, is fitting for the first author of the history; 31 but to strive after brevity of expression, and to avoid a laboured fullness in the treatment, is to be granted to him who would bring a writing into a new form. 32 Here then let’s begin the narration, only adding this much to that which has already been said; for it is a foolish thing to make a long prologue to the history, and to abridge the history itself.
*2:4 Gr. and when. The Greek text here is probably corrupt.
‡2:24 Or, weariness