But Judas, who is also called Maccabaeus, and those who were with him, making their way secretly into the villages, called to them their kindred. Taking to them those who had continued in the Jews’ religion, gathered together about six thousand. They called upon the Lord to look at the people who were oppressed by all, and to have compassion on the sanctuary that had been profaned by the ungodly men, and to have pity on the city that was suffering ruin and ready to be leveled to the ground, and to listen to the blood that cried out to him, and to remember the lawless destruction of the innocent infants, and concerning the blasphemies that had been committed against his name, and to show his hatred of wickedness.
When Maccabaeus had trained his men for service, the heathen at once found him irresistible, for the wrath of the Lord was turned into mercy. *Coming without warning, he set fire to cities and villages. And in winning back the most important positions, putting to flight no small number of the enemies, he especially took advantage of the nights for such assaults. His courage was loudly talked of everywhere.
But when Philip saw the man gaining ground little by little, and increasing more and more in his success, he wrote to Ptolemy, the governor of Coelesyria and Phoenicia, that he should support the king’s cause. Ptolemy quickly appointed Nicanor the son of Patroclus, one of the king’s chief friends, and sent him, in command of no fewer than twenty thousand of all nations, to destroy the whole race of Judea. With him he joined Gorgias also, a captain and one who had experience in matters of war. 10 Nicanor resolved by the sale of the captive Jews to make up for the king the tribute of two thousand talents which he was to pay to the Romans. 11 Immediately he sent to the cities upon the sea coast, inviting them to buy Jewish slaves, promising to deliver seventy §slaves for a talent, not expecting the judgment that was to overtake him from the Almighty.
12 News came to Judas concerning Nicanor’s invasion. When he communicated to those who were with him the presence of the army, 13 those who were cowardly and distrustful of God’s judgment *ran away and left the country. 14 Others sold all that they had left, and at the same time implored the Lord to deliver those who had been sold as slaves by the impious Nicanor before he ever met them, 15 if not for their own sakes, then for the covenants made with their ancestors, and because he had called them by his holy and glorious name. 16 So Maccabaeus gathered his men together, six thousand in number, and exhorted them not to be frightened by the enemy, nor to fear the great multitude of the heathen who came wrongfully against them, but to fight nobly, 17 setting before their eyes the outrage that had been lawlessly perpetrated upon the holy place, and the torture of the city that had been turned to mockery, and further the overthrow of the way of life received from their ancestors. 18 “For they,” he said, “trust their weapons and daring deeds, but we trust in the almighty God, since he is able at a nod to cast down those who are coming against us, and even the whole world.” 19 Moreover, he recounted to them the help given from time to time in the days of their ancestors, both in the days of Sennacherib, when one hundred eighty-five thousand perished, 20 and in the land of Babylon, in the battle that was fought against the Gauls, how they came to the battle with eight thousand in all, with four thousand Macedonians, and how, the Macedonians being hard pressed, the six thousand destroyed the hundred and twenty thousand because of the help which they had from heaven, and took a great deal of plunder.
21 And when he had with these words filled them with courage and made them ready to die for the laws and their country, he divided his army into four parts. 22 He appointed his brothers, Simon, Joseph, and Jonathan, to be leaders of the divisions with him, giving each the command of one thousand five hundred men. 23 Moreover Eleazer also, having read aloud the sacred book, and having given as watchword, “THE HELP OF GOD”, leading the first band himself, joined battle with Nicanor.
24 Since the Almighty fought on their side, they killed more than nine thousand of the enemy, and wounded and§ disabled most of Nicanor’s army, and compelled them all to flee. 25 They took the money of those who had come there to buy them as slaves. After they had pursued them for some *distance, they returned, being constrained by the time of the day; 26 for it was the day before the Sabbath, and for this reason they made no effort to chase them far. 27  When they had gathered the weapons of the enemy together, and had stripped off their spoils, they kept the Sabbath, greatly blessing and thanking the Lord who had saved them to this day, because he had begun to show mercy to them. 28 After the Sabbath, when they had given some of the spoils to the § maimed, and to the widows and orphans, they distributed the rest among themselves and their children. 29 When they had accomplished these things and had made a common supplication, they implored the merciful Lord to be wholly reconciled with his servants.
30 Having had an encounter with the forces of Timotheus and Bacchides, they killed more than twenty thousand of them, and made themselves masters of exceedingly high strongholds, and divided very much plunder, giving the *maimed, orphans, widows, and the aged an equal share with themselves. 31  When they had gathered the weapons of the enemy together, they stored them all up carefully in the most strategic positions, and they carried the rest of the spoils to Jerusalem. 32 They killed the §phylarch of Timotheus’s forces, a most unholy man, and one who had done the Jews much harm. 33  * As they celebrated the feast of victory in the city of their fathers, they burned those who had set the sacred gates on fire, including Callisthenes, who had fled into §a little house. So they received the proper reward for their impiety.
34 The thrice-accursed Nicanor, who had brought the thousand merchants to buy the Jews as slaves, 35 being through the help of the Lord humbled by them who in his eyes were held to be of least account, took off his glorious apparel, and passing through the country, *shunning all company like a fugitive slave, arrived at Antioch, having, as he thought, had the greatest possible good fortune, though his army was destroyed. 36 He who had taken upon himself to make tribute sure for the Romans by the captivity of the men of Jerusalem published abroad that the Jews had One who fought for them, and that because this was so, the Jews were invulnerable, because they followed the laws ordained by him.
* 8:6 The Greek text of verses 6 and 7 is uncertain. 8:9 See 1 Maccabees 10:65. Compare 2 Maccabees 1:14; 7:24; 10:13; 14:11; 1 Maccabees 2:18. 8:11 Gr. bodies. § 8:11 Gr. bodies. * 8:13 The Greek text here is uncertain. 8:20 Gr. Galatians. 8:20 Some authorities read eight. § 8:24 Gr. disabled in their limbs. * 8:25 Or, while 8:27 The exact meaning of this clause is uncertain. 8:27 Gr. their weapons...the spoils of the enemy. § 8:28 Or, wounded Gr. shamefully handled. * 8:30 Or, wounded Gr. shamefully handled. 8:31 The exact meaning of this clause is uncertain. 8:31 Gr. of them. § 8:32 That is, probably, the captain of an irregular auxiliary force. Some write Phylarches, as a proper name. * 8:33 The Greek text here is perhaps corrupt. 8:33 Or, country 8:33 Or, porches § 8:33 Or, a solitary hut * 8:35 Gr. having made himself solitary. 8:35 Or, having won the greatest possible favor by reason of the destruction of his army 8:36 Or, because of this their way of life Gr. because of this manner.