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Cleansing and Dedication of the Temple

36 Then Judas and his brothers said, “See, our enemies are crushed; let us go up to cleanse the sanctuary and dedicate it.” 37 So all the army assembled and went up to Mount Zion. 38 There they saw the sanctuary desolate, the altar profaned, and the gates burned. In the courts they saw bushes sprung up as in a thicket, or as on one of the mountains. They saw also the chambers of the priests in ruins. 39 Then they tore their clothes and mourned with great lamentation; they sprinkled themselves with ashes 40 and fell face down on the ground. And when the signal was given with the trumpets, they cried out to Heaven.

41 Then Judas detailed men to fight against those in the citadel until he had cleansed the sanctuary. 42 He chose blameless priests devoted to the law, 43 and they cleansed the sanctuary and removed the defiled stones to an unclean place. 44 They deliberated what to do about the altar of burnt offering, which had been profaned. 45 And they thought it best to tear it down, so that it would not be a lasting shame to them that the Gentiles had defiled it. So they tore down the altar, 46 and stored the stones in a convenient place on the temple hill until a prophet should come to tell what to do with them. 47 Then they took unhewn[a] stones, as the law directs, and built a new altar like the former one. 48 They also rebuilt the sanctuary and the interior of the temple, and consecrated the courts. 49 They made new holy vessels, and brought the lampstand, the altar of incense, and the table into the temple. 50 Then they offered incense on the altar and lit the lamps on the lampstand, and these gave light in the temple. 51 They placed the bread on the table and hung up the curtains. Thus they finished all the work they had undertaken.

52 Early in the morning on the twenty-fifth day of the ninth month, which is the month of Chislev, in the one hundred forty-eighth year,[b] 53 they rose and offered sacrifice, as the law directs, on the new altar of burnt offering that they had built. 54 At the very season and on the very day that the Gentiles had profaned it, it was dedicated with songs and harps and lutes and cymbals. 55 All the people fell on their faces and worshiped and blessed Heaven, who had prospered them. 56 So they celebrated the dedication of the altar for eight days, and joyfully offered burnt offerings; they offered a sacrifice of well-being and a thanksgiving offering. 57 They decorated the front of the temple with golden crowns and small shields; they restored the gates and the chambers for the priests, and fitted them with doors. 58 There was very great joy among the people, and the disgrace brought by the Gentiles was removed.

59 Then Judas and his brothers and all the assembly of Israel determined that every year at that season the days of dedication of the altar should be observed with joy and gladness for eight days, beginning with the twenty-fifth day of the month of Chislev.

60 At that time they fortified Mount Zion with high walls and strong towers all around, to keep the Gentiles from coming and trampling them down as they had done before. 61 Judas[c] stationed a garrison there to guard it; he also fortified Beth-zur to guard it, so that the people might have a stronghold that faced Idumea.

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Footnotes

  1. 1 Maccabees 4:47 Gk whole
  2. 1 Maccabees 4:52 164 b.c.
  3. 1 Maccabees 4:61 Gk He

Cleansing and dedication of the temple

36 At that time Judas and his brothers said, “Look, our enemies have been crushed. Let’s go up to cleanse and rededicate the sanctuary.” 37 All the army gathered together and went up to Mount Zion. 38 They found the sanctuary deserted, the altar treated with disrespect, and the gates burned. In the courts, bushes had sprung up like in an open field or on one of the mountains. They saw that the priests’ chambers were in ruins as well. 39 So they tore their clothes and mourned with great sorrow. They sprinkled their heads with ashes 40 and fell facedown on the ground. When the trumpets sounded a signal, they cried out to heaven.

41 Then Judas chose some soldiers to fight against those stationed in the elevated fortress until he completed cleansing the sanctuary. 42 He selected priests who were blameless and devoted to the Law. 43 They cleansed the sanctuary and took the polluted stones to a ritually unclean place. 44 They discussed what to do about the altar for entirely burned offerings, since it had been polluted. 45 They decided it was best to tear it down so that it wouldn’t be a lasting shameful reminder to them that the Gentiles had defiled it. So they tore down the altar. 46 They stored the stones in a convenient place on the temple mount until a prophet should arise who could say what to do with them. 47 They then took unfinished stones, in keeping with the Law, and built a new altar like the former one.

48 They also restored the sanctuary and the temple interior, and dedicated the courtyards. 49 They fashioned new holy equipment and brought the lampstand, the incense altar, and the table into the temple. 50 Then they offered incense on the altar and lit the lamps on the lampstand, which illuminated the temple. 51 They placed bread on the table and hung curtains. Finally, they completed all the work that they had started.

52 They rose early in the morning of the twenty-fifth day of the ninth month, the month of Kislev.[a] It was the year 148. 53 They offered sacrifice, following the Law, on the new altar for entirely burned offerings that they had made. 54 In the very season, on the exact day that the Gentiles had polluted it, it was dedicated with songs, harps, lutes, and cymbals. 55 All the people bowed to the ground and worshipped and blessed heaven, which had given them success.

56 So they celebrated the rededication of the altar for eight days and joyfully made entirely burned offerings. They offered a sacrifice of deliverance and praise. 57 They decorated the front of the temple with gold crowns and small shields. They restored the gates and the priests’ chambers, furnishing them with doors. 58 The people were extremely glad, and the disgrace the Gentiles brought was lifted.

59 Then Judas, with his brothers and all the assembly of Israel, laid down a law that every year at that season the dedication of the altar should be observed with joy and happiness for eight days, beginning with the twenty-fifth day of Kislev.[b]

60 At that same time the Israelites built high walls and strong towers all around Mount Zion so that the Gentiles did not come and trample them as they had done previously. 61 Judas stationed an occupying force there as guards. He also built up Beth-zur to protect it so that the people might have a fortress that faced in the direction of Idumea.

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Footnotes

  1. 1 Maccabees 4:52 November–December, 164 BCE
  2. 1 Maccabees 4:59 November–December

Purification of the Temple

10 Now Maccabeus and his followers, the Lord leading them on, recovered the temple and the city; they tore down the altars that had been built in the public square by the foreigners, and also destroyed the sacred precincts. They purified the sanctuary, and made another altar of sacrifice; then, striking fire out of flint, they offered sacrifices, after a lapse of two years, and they offered incense and lighted lamps and set out the bread of the Presence. When they had done this, they fell prostrate and implored the Lord that they might never again fall into such misfortunes, but that, if they should ever sin, they might be disciplined by him with forbearance and not be handed over to blasphemous and barbarous nations. It happened that on the same day on which the sanctuary had been profaned by the foreigners, the purification of the sanctuary took place, that is, on the twenty-fifth day of the same month, which was Chislev. They celebrated it for eight days with rejoicing, in the manner of the festival of booths, remembering how not long before, during the festival of booths, they had been wandering in the mountains and caves like wild animals. Therefore, carrying ivy-wreathed wands and beautiful branches and also fronds of palm, they offered hymns of thanksgiving to him who had given success to the purifying of his own holy place. They decreed by public edict, ratified by vote, that the whole nation of the Jews should observe these days every year.

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10 The Maccabee and his companions, with the Lord leading them, recovered the temple and the city. They demolished the altars that the foreigners built near the marketplace, as well as the sacred precincts. They cleansed the temple and made another altar. Then they struck flints to make fire and they offered up sacrifices after a lapse of two years, and they prepared incense, lamps, and the sacred loaves. After they had done these things, they bowed to the ground and pleaded with the Lord that they would not experience such misfortunes again, but if they should ever sin, they would be disciplined by him with fairness and not turned over to slanderous and barbaric nations. On the anniversary of the temple’s defilement by foreigners, on that very day, the sanctuary was purified, on the twenty-fifth of the month, which is Kislev.[a] They celebrated eight days with cheer in a manner like the Festival of Booths, remembering how during the previous Festival of Booths they had been roaming about in mountains and caverns like animals. So they held ivy wands, beautiful branches, and also palm leaves, and offered hymns to the one who had made the purification of his own temple[b] possible. They voted and issued a public decree that all Jews should celebrate these days each year.

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Footnotes

  1. 2 Maccabees 10:5 November–December
  2. 2 Maccabees 10:7 Or place

19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple[a] of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20 For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body.

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Footnotes

  1. 1 Corinthians 6:19 Or sanctuary

19 Or don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you? Don’t you know that you have the Holy Spirit from God, and you don’t belong to yourselves? 20 You have been bought and paid for, so honor God with your body.

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