Table of Contents
Second Book of Machabees(Part Two)
The 6th Chapter
Not long after this, sent the king a messenger of Antioche, (kjv of Athens) for to compel the Jews to alter the ordinances of their fathers and the law of God, to defile the temple that was in Jerusalem, and to call it the temple of Jupiter Olympius: and that they should be in Garizim, as those which dwell at the place of Jupiter the *herberous (this is the exact spelling: may be harborous). This wicked sedition of the ungodly was heavy upon all the people: for the temple was full of voluptuousness, bibbing (excessive drinking of alcohol) and boiling (to be stirred up, delirious, wild) of the Heathen, of ribauds (vulgar, lewd humorers) and harlots together. The women went into the holy place, and bare in that was not lawful. The altar also was full of unlawful things, which the law forbids to lay upon it. The Sabbaths were not kept, the other solemn feasts of the land were not regarded. To be plain, there durst no man be a known that he was a Jew. In the day of the kings birth they were compelled parforce (perforce; by force) to offer: and when the feast of Bach was kept, they were constrained to wear garlands of ivy, and so to go about for the honor of Bachus.
Moreover through the counsel of Ptolemy, there went out a commandment in the next cities of the Heathen, that they should entreat the Jews in like manner: namely, to compel them for to do sacrifice after the laws of the Gentiles: and who so would not, to put them to death. A piteous thing was it to see. There were two women accused to have circumcised their sons, whom when they had led round about the city (the babies hanging from their breasts) they cast them down headlong over the walls. Some that were crept in to dens and kept the Sabath, were accused unto Philippe, and burnt in the fire: because that for the fear of God they kept the commandment so stiffly, and would not defend themselves. Now I beseech all those that read this book, that they refuse it not for all these falls of adversity: and judge the things (that are happened) for no destruction, but for a chastening of our people. And why? When God suffers not sinners long to follow their own mind, but shorthly (shorteshly/ surely) , it is a token of his great loving kindness. For this grace have we of God more than other people, that he suffers not us long to sin unpunished like other nations, that when the day of judgement comes, he may punish them in the fullness of their sins. If we sin, he corrects us, but he never withdraws his mercy from us: and though he punish with adversity, yet does he never forsake his people. But let this that we have spoken now with few words, be for a warning and exhortation of the Heathen. Now will we come to the declaring of the matter. Eleazar one of the principal Scribes, an aged man and of a well favored countenance, was constrained to gape with open mouth and to eat swines flesh. But he desiring (kjv=choosing) rather to die gloriously than to live with shame, he offered himself willingly to the martyrdom. Now when he saw that he must needs go to it, he took it patiently: for he was at a point with himself, that he would consent to no unlawful thing for any pleasure of life. They that stood by being moved with pity (but not aright) for the old friendship of the man, took him aside privately, and prayed him that he would let such flesh be brought him as were lawful to eat, and then to make a countenance as though he had eaten the flesh of the sacrifice like as the king commanded, for so he might be delivered from death: and so for the old friendship of the man, they showed him this kindness. But he began to consider his discreet and honorable age, his noble and worshipful *stoke (what he was stirred by), and how that from his youth up he had been of an honest and good conversation: yes and how constantly he had kept the ordinances and laws commanded by God, wherefore he gave them this answer, and said: Yet had I rather first be laid in my grave. For it becomes not my age (says he) in any wise to disassemble, whereby many young persons might think, that Eleazar being ninety years old were now gone to a strange life: and so through mine hippocracy (for a little time of a transitory(short lived) life) they might be deceived: by this means also should I defile mine age, and make it abominable. For though I were now delivered from the torment of men, yet should I not escape the hand of almighty God, neither alive or dead. Wherefore I will die manfully, and do as it becomes my age: Whereby I may peradventure leave an example of steadfastness for such as be young, if I with a ready mind and manfully die an honest death, for the most worthy and holy law.
When he had said these words, immediately he was drawn to the torment. Now they that led him and were mild alittle before, began to take displeasure because of the words that he said: for they thought he had spoken them of a high mind. But when he was in his martyrdom, he mourned and said : You (O' Lord) which have the holy knowledge, know openly: that where as I might be delivered from death, I suffer these sore pains of my body: but in my mind I am well content to suffer them, because I fear you. Thus this man died, leaving the memorial of his death for an example, not only to young men, but unto all people, to be steadfast and manly.
The 7th Chapter
It happened also that were seven brethren (with their mother) taken and compelled by the king against the law, to eat swines flesh: namely with scourges and leather whips. And one of them which was the chief, and said: What seek you, and what require you of us? As for us we are ready rather to suffer death, than to offend the laws of God and the fathers. (kjv leaves out of God) Then was the king angry, and bad heat caldrons and brazen pots. Which when they were hot, immediately he commanded the tongue of him that spoke first to be cut out, to pull the skin over his head, to pare the edges of his hands and feet: yes and that in the sight of his mother and the other of his brethren. Now when he was clean marred, he commanded a fire to be made, and so (while there was any breath in him) to be fried in the cauldron, In the which when he was well pained, the other brethren with their mother exhorted him to die manfully, saying: The Lord God shall regard the truth, and comfort us, like as Moses testifies and declares in his song, saying: and he will have compassion on his servants.
So when the first was dead after this manner (jkv=number), they brought the second to have him in derision (ridicule, mockery) pulled the skin with the hair over his head, and asked him, if he would eat swines flesh, or he were pained in other members also through out his body. But he answered boldly, and said: I will not do it. And so he was tormented like the first, and when he was even giving up the ghost he said: You most ungracious person put us now to death, but the king of this world shall raise us up (which die for his laws) in the resurrection of everlasting life.
After him, was the third had in derision: and when he was required, he put out his tongue, and that right soon, holding forth his hands manfully, and spoke with steadfast faith: These have I of heaven, but now for the law of God I despise them, for my trust is, that I shall receive them of him again. In so much that the king and they which were with him, marvelled at the young mans boldness, that he nothing
regarded the pains.
Now when he was dead also, they vexed the fourth with torments in like manner. So when he was now at his death, he said: It is better that we being put to death of men, have our hope and trust in God, for he shall raise us up again. As for you, you shall have no resurrection to life.
And when they had spoken to the fifth, they tormented him. Then looked he unto the king, and said: You have power among (kjv=over) men, for you are a mortal man also your self, to do what you will, but think not that God has forsaken our generation. Abide you, tarry still a while, and you shall see the great power of God, how he will punish (kjv=torment) you and your seed. After him they brought the sixth, which being at the point of death, said: Be not deceived (O king) for this we suffer for our own sakes, because we have offended our God, and therefore marvelous things are showed upon us. But think not you, which take in hand to strive against
God, that you shall escape unpunished.
This excellent mother (worthy to be well reported of, and had in remembrance) saw her seven sons die in one day, and suffered it patiently, because of the hope that she had in God: Yes she exhorted every one of them in especial,(to treat each one significant) and that boldly and steadfastly with *parfite (perfect?) wisdom, making up her wivish (wifesh?) (kjv=womanish) thoughts with a manly stomach, and she said unto them: I cannot tell how you came in my womb, for I gave you neither breath nor soul, no nor life. It is not I that joined the members of your bodies together, but the maker of the world, which fashioned the breath of man, and began all things. Even he also of his own mercy shall give you breath and life again like as you now regard not our own selves for his laws sake.
Now thought Antiochus that she had despised him, therefore he let her go with her reproves, and began to exhort the youngest son (which was yet left) not only with words but swore unto him with an oath, that he should make him a rich and wealthy man (if he would forsake the laws of his fathers) yes and that he should give him, whatsoever, were necessary for him. But when the young man would not be moved, for all these things, he called his mother, and counseled her to save her sons life. And when he had exhorted her with many words, she promised him that she should speak unto her son. So she turned her unto him (laughing the cruel tyrant to scorn) and spoke with a bold voice: O' my son, have pity upon me, that bare you nine months in my womb, and gave you suck, and brought you up unto this age.
I beseech you (my son) look upon the heaven and the earth, and all that is therein, and consider, that God made them and mans generation of nought: so shall you not fear this hangman, but suffer death steadfastly, like as your brethren have done: that I may receive you again in the same mercy with your brethren.
While she was yet speaking these words, the young man said: Whom look you for ? (kjv = wait you for?) Wherefore do you tarry? I will not obey the kings commandment, but the law that God gave us by Moses. (kjv leaves out God) As for you that imagines all mischief against the Jews, shall not escape the hand of God, for we suffer these things, because of our sins.
And though God be angry with us a little while (for our chastening and reformation) yet shall he be at one again with his servants. But you, (O shameful and most abominable person). Pride not your self through vain hope, in being so malicious upon the servants of God: For you have not yet escaped the judgment of the God which is almighty, you shall be punished righteously for your pride.
As for me (like as my brethren have done) I offer my soul and my body for the laws of our fathers, calling upon God, that he will soon be merciful unto our people: yes and with pain and punishment to make the *graunte, (grant: to consent to the fulfillment of / grantee; one to whom the grant is made) that he only is God. In me now and in my brethren the wrath of almighty God is at an end, which righteously is fallen upon our people.
Then the king being kindled in anger was more cruel upon him than upon all the other, and took indignation, that he was so lightly regarded. So this young man died undefiled, and put his trust still in the Lord. Last of all after the sons, was the mother put to death also. Let this now be enough spoken, concerning the offerings and extreme cruelness.
The 8th Chapter
Then Judas Maccabeus and they that were with him, went privily (secretly) into the towns, and called their kinsfolks and friends together, and took unto them all such as continued yet in the faith and law of the Jews, (kjv =Jews religion) and brought forth six thousand men.
So they called upon the Lord, that he would have an eye unto his people, which was trodden down of every man: to be gracious unto the temple, that was defiled of the ungodly: to have compassion upon the destruction of the city, which was shortly like to be layed waste, to hear the voice of the blood that cried unto him:
to remember the most unrighteous deaths of young innocent children, the blasphemes also done unto his name, and to punish them.
Now when Maccabeus had gathered his multitude together, he was to mighty for the Heathen (for the wrath of the Lord was turned into mercy) he fell upon the towns and cities unawares, burnt them took the most commodious (abundant, plenteous) places, and slew many of the enemies. But specially he made such chases by night, in so much that his manliness was spoken of everywhere.
So when Philip saw that the man increased by little and little, and that the matter prospered with him for the most part: he wrote unto Ptolemy (which was a captain in Celosyria and Phenices) to help him in the kings business. Then sent he Nicanor Patrocly (a special friend of his) in all haste, and gave him of the common sort of Heathen no less than twenty thousand harnessed men, to root out the whole generation of the Jews, having to help him one Gorgias a man of war, which in matters concerning battles had great experience. Nicanor ordered also that tribute (which the Romans should have had) to be given unto the king, out of the captivity of the Jews, namely two thousand talents. And immediately he sent to the cities of the sea coast, requiring them for to buy Jews to be their servants and bondmen, promising to sell them ninety for one talent: but he considered not the wrath of almighty God, that was to come upon him.
When Judas knew of this, he told the Jews that were with him of Nicanors coming. Now were there some of them fearful, not trusting unto the righteousness of God and fled their way. But the other remained, came together and besought the Lord, to deliver them from that wicked Nicanor, which had sold or ever he came near them: and thought he would not do it for their sakes, yet for the covenant that he made with their fathers, and because they called upon his holy and glorious name. And so Machabeus called his men together, namely about six thousand, exhorting them not to agree unto their enemies neither to be afraid for the multitude of their adversaries coming against them unrighteously: but to fight manfully, considering the reproof that they had done to the holy place without cause. how they had despised and oppressed the city, yes and destroyed the laws of the fathers. For they (said he) trust in their weapons and boldness, but our confidence is in the almighty Lord, which in a twinkling of an eye may both destroy them that come against us, and all the world.
He exhorted them also to call to remembrance the help, that God showed unto their fathers: as when there perished an hundred and eighty five thousand of Sennacheribs people: and of the battle that they had in Babylon against the Galatians: how that all the Macedonians that came to help them, stood in fear: and how they being but only six thousand, slew an hundred and twenty thousand through the help that was given them from heaven, whereby they also had received many benefits.
Through these words the men took good hearts unto them, ready to die for the law and the country. So he set upon every company a captain, one of his own brethren: Simon, Joseph and Jonathas: giving each one fifteen hundred men. He caused Esdras (kjv =Eleazar) also to read the holy book unto them, and to give them a token of the help of God.
Then he himself being captain in the forefront of the battle, buckled with Nicanor. And God was their help, in so much that they slew about nine thousand men and compelled the more part of Nicanors host to flee, they were so wounded and feeble. Thus took the money from those that came to buy them, and followed upon them on every side. But when the time came upon them, they returned, for it was the Sabbath, and therefore they followed no more upon them. So they had took their weapons and spoils and kept the Sabbath, giving thanks unto the Lord, which had delivered them that day, and showed them his mercy. After the Sabbath they distributed the spoils to the sick, the fatherless and to the widows, and the residue had they themselves and with theirs. When this was done, and they all had made a general prayer: they besought the merciful Lord to be at one with his servants. Of those also that were with Timotheus and Bachides, which fought against them, they slew twenty thousand, won high and strong holds, and divided more spoils: ever giving an equal portion unto the sick, to the fatherless to widows and to the aged persons. And when they had diligently gathered their weapons together, they laid them all in convenient places, and the remnant of the spoils brought they to Jerusalem. They slew Philarches that wicked person, which was with Timotheus, and had vexed many Jews. And when they held the thanksgiving feast at Jerusalem for the victory, they burnt those that had set fire on the ports of the temple: namely Calisthenes, (kjv leaves out this line), which was fled into an house: and so they got a worthy reward for their wickedness. As for that most ungracious Nicanor, which had brought a thousand merchants, to buy the Jews, he was through the help of the Lord brought down even of them he regarded not: in so much that he put off his glorious raiment, fled by sea, and came alone to Antioch, with great shame and dishonor, which he got through the destruction of his host. Thus he that promised the Romans to pay them their tribute, when he took Jerusalem: began now to say plainly , that God was the defender of the Jews, and therefore not possible to wound them, because they followed the laws that God had made.
The 9th Chapter
At the same time came Antiochus again with dishonor out of Persis. For he when he came to Persepolis, and undertook to rob the temple and to subdue the city, the people ran together and defended themselves, in so much that he and his were faine (obligated/ willing) to flee with shame. And so after that flight, it happened, that Antiochus came again with dishonor. But when he came to Egbathana, he got knowledge what was happened unto Nicanor and Timotheus. Now as he was avenging himself in his wrath, he thought he was able to avenge the injury that was done unto them, upon the Jews: and therefore commanded to make ready his chariot, hastening on his journey without ceasing, the judgment of God provoking him, because he had spoken so proudly, that he would come to Jerusalem, and make it a grave of the Jews. But the Lord God of Israel, that sees all things, smote him with an invisible plague, which no man could heal.
For as soon as he had spoken these words, there came upon him an horrible pain of his bowels, and a sore grief of tharmes (the arms). And that was but right: for he had martyred other mens bowels with diverse and strange torments, how be it he would no wise cease from his malice. Yes he was yet the prouder and more malicious against the Jews: But while he was commanding to make haste in the matter, it happened that he fell down violently from the chariot, so that it bruised his body, and did him great pain.
And so he thought he might command the floods of the sea, (so proud was he beyond the condition of man) and to weigh the high mountains in a pyre of coals, was now brought down to the ground, and carried upon an horselitter, knowledging the manifest power of God upon him: so that the wicked body of his was full of worms, which in his pain fell quick out of his flesh: In so much that his host was grieved with the smell and stink of him. Thus he that a little before thought he might reach to the stars of heaven, him might no man now abide nor bear, for the vehemence of stink.
Therefore he being brought from his great pride, began for to come to the knowledge of himself: for the punishment of God warned him, and his pain increased ever more and more. And when he himself could not abide his own stink, he said these words: It is reason to be obedient (kjv=subject) unto God and that a man desire not to be like unto him. This wicked person prayed also unto the Lord, of whom he should have obtained mercy. And as for the city that he came unto so hastily, to bring it down to the ground, and to make it a grave for dead men: now he desire to deliver it free.
And as touching the Jews, whom he had judged not worthy to be buried, but would have cast them out for to be devoured of the fowls and wild beasts, saying, that he would have destroyed both old and young: Now he promises, to make them like the citizens of Athens. And where as he had spoiled the holy temple before, now he makes promise to garnish it with great gifts, to increase the holy ornaments, and of his own rents to bear the costs, and charges belonging to the offerings: yes and that he would also become a Jew him self, to go through every place of the world, and to preach the power of God.
But when his pains would not cease, (for the righteous (kjv=just) judgment of God was come upon him) out of a very despair he wrote unto the Jews a letter of intersession, containing these words: The king and prince Antiochus wishes unto the virtuous citizens of the Jews, much health and good prosperity.
If you and your children fare well, and if all things go after your mind: we give great thanks. (kjv= thanks to God) In my sickness also do I remember you lovingly: for as I came out of Persia, and was taken with sore disease: I thought it necessary to care for the common wealth. (kjv=safety) Neither despair I in myself, but have a good hope to escape this sickness.
But considering that my father led an host sometime in the higher places, and showed who should reign after him, that (if there happened any controversy, or any hard thing were declared) they in the land might know their chief Lord, that their should be no insurrection: Again, when I ponder by myself, how that all the mighty men and neighbors round about, are laying wait, and look but for an opportunity to do harm: I have ordained that my son Antiochus shall reign after me, whom I often commended to many of you, when I was in the higher kingdoms, and have written unto him as it follows hereafter. Therefore I pray you and require you, to remember the benefits that I have done unto you generally and in especial. For I hope that he shall be of sober and loving behavior, and if he follow my devise, he shall be indifferent unto you.
Thus that murderer and blasphemer of God (kjv leaves out; of God) was sore smitten: and like as he had entreated other men, so he died a miserable death in a strange country upon a mountain. And his body did Phillip (that went with him) carry away: which fearing the son of Antiochus, went into Egypt to Ptolomy Philometor.
The 10th Chapter
Maccabeus now and his company (through the help of the Lord) won the temple and the city again, destroyed the altars and chapels that the Heathen had builded through the streets: cleansed the temple, made another altar of brick stone, and after two years they offered sacrifices, set forth the incense, the lights and show bread. When that was done, they fell down flat upon the ground, and besought the
Lord, that they might come no more into such trouble: but if they sinned any more against him, he himself to chasten them with mercy, and not to come in the hands of those aliens and blasphemous men.
Now upon the same day that the strangers polluted (kjv=profaned) the temple, it happened that on the very same day it was cleansed again: namely, the twenty second day of the month called Casleu. (kjv= five and twentieth day) They kept the eight days in gladness, like as in the feast of the tabernacles: remembering that not long before, they held the feast of the tabernacles upon the mountains and in dens like beasts. And to the same token they bare green bows, branches and palms before him that had given them good fortune to clean his place. They agreed also together, and made a statute, that every year those days should be solemnly kept of all the people of the Jews.
Now Antiochus then, (that was called the noble) died, it is sufficiently told. Now will we speak of Nicanor the son of that wicked Antiochus, how it happened with him: and with few words to comprehend the adversity that chanced in the wars. When he had taken the kingdom, he made one Lysias (which had been captain of the host in Phenice and Syria) ruler over the matters of the realm. For Ptolomy that was called Macron, being ruler for the Jews (and specially, to sit in judgement for such wrong as was done unto them) under took to deal peaceably with them. For the which cause he was accused of the friends before Eupator: and when he was suspect to be a traitor (because he had left Cyprus that Philometor had committed unto him: and because he departed from noble Antiochus, that he was come unto) he poisoned himself and died.
Now when Gorgias was governor of the same places, he took strangers and undertook of times to war with the Jews. Moreover the Idumeans that held the strongholds, received those that were driven from Jerusalem, and took in hand to war also. But they that were with Maccabeus besought and prayed unto the Lord, that he would be our helper: and so they fell in to the strong holds of the Idumeans, and won many places of strength: Such as came against them they slew, and killed no less (of all together) then twenty thousand. Nevertheless some, no less then nine thousand, were fled into two strong holds, having all manner of ordinance to with stand them.
Then Maccabeus leaving Simon, Josephus, Zachaus and those that were with them (which were very many) went to besiege them, and to fight where most need was. Now they that were with Simon being led with covetousness, were increased for money, through certain of those that lay in the towns: took seventy thousand Drachmas, and let some of them escape. But when it was told Maccabeus what had happened, he called the captains of the people together, accusing those persons, that
they had sold their brethren for money, and let their enemies go. So he slew those traitors, and immediately went in hand with the two towers. And when they had ordered themselves manly with their weapons and hands, they slew in the two castles more than twenty thousand.
Now Timotheus whom the Jews had overcome before, gathered a multitude of strange people, brought an host also of horsemen of the Asias, to win Jewry by strength. But when he drew near, Maccabeus and they that were with him fell to their prayer, sprinkled with ashes upon their heads, being girded with hair cloth about their loins, fell down before the altar, and besought the Lord that he would be merciful unto them, but an enemy unto their enemies, and to take part against their adversaries, according as it is promised in the law. So after the prayer, they went on further from the city: and when they came near the enemies, they prepared themselves against them.
And by times in the morning at the break of day, both the hosts buckled together. The one part had *the Lord for their refuge, (kjv= with their virtue their refuge) which is the giver of prosperity, strength, and victory. The other had a manly stomach, which is a captain of war.
The battle now being great, there appeared unto the enemies from heaven five men upon horsebacks, with bridles of gold, leading the Jews, and two of them having Maccabeus between them, that kept him safe on every side with their weapons (kjv =and covered him on every side weapons) but shot darts and lightnings upon the enemies: where through they were confounded with blindness and so sore afraid, that they fell down. There were slain of footmen twenty thousand and five hundred, and six hundred horsemen. As for Timotheus himself, he fled into Gaza a very strong hold, wherein Cereas was captain. But Maccabeus and his company laid siege to it cheerfully four days.
Now they that were within trusting to the strength of the place, cursed and *banned (condemned and/ or called to arms) exceedingly, and made great *craking (trouble) with wicked words. Nevertheless upon the fifth day in the morning twenty young men of Maccabeus company, being, set on fire in their minds because of the blasphemy: came manfully to the wall, and with bold stomachs they and their other companions climbed up upon the towers, undertaking to set fire upon the ports, and to burn those blasphemous persons quick. Two days were they destroying the castle, which when they found Timotheus,(that was crept into a corner) they killed him, and slew Cereas his brother in like manner with Apollophanes. When this was done, they sung psalms, with praises and thanksgivings unto the Lord, (kjv leaves out unto the Lord) which had done so great things for Israel, and given them the victory.
The 11th Chapter
Not long after this, Lysias the kings steward and a kinsman of his, which had the governance of his matters took sore displeasure for the things that had happened: and when he had gathered eighty thousand men of foot with all the host of horsemen, he came against the Jews, thinking to win the city to make it an habitation for the Heathen, and the temple would he have to be an house of *lucre (Heb: covetousness, gain, profit, greed, to break off, cut off) , like as the other goddes houses of the Heathen are, and to sell the priests office every year: Not considering the power of God, but was wild in his mind, trusting in the multitude of footmen, in thousands of horsemen, and in his eighty Elephants.
So he came to Jewry and then to Bethsura, (a castle of defense laying in a narrow place five furlongs from Jerusalem) Now when Maccabeus and his company knew that the strongholds were taken, they fell to their prayers with weeping and tears before the Lord: and all the people in like manner besought him, that he would send a good angel to deliver Israel. Maccabeus himself was the first that made him ready to the battle, exhorting the other that were with him, to jeopard themselves and to help their brethren. And when they were going forth of Jerusalem together with a ready and willing mind, there appeared before them upon horse back a man in white clothing with harness of gold, shaking his spear. Then they praised the Lord all together, which had showed them mercy, and were comforted in their minds: in so much that they were ready, not only to fight with men, but with the most cruel beasts, yes and to run through the walls of iron.
Thus they went on willing having an helper from heaven, and the Lord merciful unto them. They fell mightily upon their enemies like lions, brought down eleven thousand footmen, sixteen hundred horsemen, put all the other to flight, many of them also being wounded, and some got away naked. Yes Lysias himself was faine to flee shamefully, and so to escaped. Nevertheless the man was not without understanding, but considered by himself that his power was minished and pondered how the Jews being defended by the help of Almighty God, were not able to be overcome: wherefore he sent them word, and promised, that he would consent unto all things which were reasonable, and to make the king their friend. To the which prayer of Lysias Maccabeus agreed seeking in all things the common wealth: and whatsoever Maccabeus wrote unto Lysias concerning the Jews, the king granted it. For there were letters written unto the Jews from Lysias containing these words.
Lysias sends greeting to the people of the Jews. Jhon and Absolom which were sent from you, delivered me writings, and required me to fulfill the things concerning their errand. Therefore look what might be granted, I certified the king thereof: and whatsoever was convenient. I agreed thereto. If you will now be faithful in the matters, I shall endeavor to myself hereafter also to do you good. As concerning other things by every article thereof: I have committed them to your messengers, and to those whom I have sent you, to commune with you of the same, fare you well, In the hundred and forty eighth year, the twenty fourth day of the month *Dioscorinthius.(unknown)
Now the kings letter contained these words. King Antiochus sends greeting unto his brother Lysias. For so much as our father is now dead, (kjv= is translated unto the gods) our will is, that they which are in our realm, live without any insurrection, and that every man to be diligent in his own matters. We understand also, that the Jews would not consent to our father, for to be brought unto the custom of the Gentiles, but stiffly to keep their own statutes: for the which cause they require of us also, to let them remain still by their own laws.
Wherefore our mind is, that this people shall be in rest: we have concluded and determined also, to restore them their temple again: that they may live according to the use and custom of their forefathers. You shall do us a pleasure therefore, if you send unto them and agree with them: that when they are certified of our mind, they may be of good cheer, and look to their own wealth.
And this was the letter, that the king wrote unto the Jews: King Antiochus sends greeting unto the council and the other people of the Jews. If you fare well, we have our desire: as for us, we are in good health. Menelaus came and told us, how that your desire was to come down to your people, which are with us.
Wherefore those that well come, we gave them free liberty, unto the thirtieth day of the month of April (kjv = Xanthicus) , that they may use the meats of the Jews and their own laws, like as before: and none of them by any manner of ways to have harm, for things done in ignorance. Menelaus whom we have sent unto you, shall commune with you at large, fare you well. In the hundred and forty eighth year, the fifteenth day of the month of April (kjv = Xanthicus).
The Romans also sent a letter, containing these words: Quintus Mennius and Titus Manilius ambassadors of the Romans, send greeting unto the people of the Jews. Look what Lysias the kings kinsmen has granted you, we grant you the same also. But as concerning the things which he referred unto the king, sent hither some with speed: and ponder the matter diligently among yourselves, that we may cast the best to your profit, for we must depart now unto Antioche. And therefore write shortly again, that we may know your mind Fair well. In the hundred forty eighth year, the fifteenth day of the month of *April. (kjv= Xanthicus)
Table of Contents