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Alexander the Great

After Alexander son of Philip, the Macedonian, who came from the land of Kittim, had defeated[a] King Darius of the Persians and the Medes, he succeeded him as king. (He had previously become king of Greece.) He fought many battles, conquered strongholds, and put to death the kings of the earth. He advanced to the ends of the earth, and plundered many nations. When the earth became quiet before him, he was exalted, and his heart was lifted up. He gathered a very strong army and ruled over countries, nations, and princes, and they became tributary to him.

After this he fell sick and perceived that he was dying. So he summoned his most honored officers, who had been brought up with him from youth, and divided his kingdom among them while he was still alive. And after Alexander had reigned twelve years, he died.

Then his officers began to rule, each in his own place. They all put on crowns after his death, and so did their descendants after them for many years; and they caused many evils on the earth.

Antiochus Epiphanes and Renegade Jews

10 From them came forth a sinful root, Antiochus Epiphanes, son of King Antiochus; he had been a hostage in Rome. He began to reign in the one hundred thirty-seventh year of the kingdom of the Greeks.[b]

11 In those days certain renegades came out from Israel and misled many, saying, “Let us go and make a covenant with the Gentiles around us, for since we separated from them many disasters have come upon us.” 12 This proposal pleased them, 13 and some of the people eagerly went to the king, who authorized them to observe the ordinances of the Gentiles. 14 So they built a gymnasium in Jerusalem, according to Gentile custom, 15 and removed the marks of circumcision, and abandoned the holy covenant. They joined with the Gentiles and sold themselves to do evil.

Antiochus in Egypt

16 When Antiochus saw that his kingdom was established, he determined to become king of the land of Egypt, in order that he might reign over both kingdoms. 17 So he invaded Egypt with a strong force, with chariots and elephants and cavalry and with a large fleet. 18 He engaged King Ptolemy of Egypt in battle, and Ptolemy turned and fled before him, and many were wounded and fell. 19 They captured the fortified cities in the land of Egypt, and he plundered the land of Egypt.

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Footnotes

  1. 1 Maccabees 1:1 Gk adds and he defeated
  2. 1 Maccabees 1:10 175 b.c.

Alexander the Great

Alexander was Philip’s son, a Macedonian, one of the western peoples known as the Kittim. After Alexander became king of Greece, he defeated King Darius, who ruled the Persians and the Medes. By doing so, Alexander greatly enlarged his realm. He successfully fought many battles, conquered fortresses, and put to death many kings. He advanced to the very ends of the known earth, plundering nation after nation. Finally, his battles reached an end, and he was widely recognized as supreme king, which made him proud. He built a very strong army and ruled countries, nations, and princes; and they all owed allegiance to him.

But eventually Alexander fell sick and was confined to bed. He knew that he was dying. He therefore called for his most esteemed officers, those who had been raised with him; and he divided his kingdom among them while he was still alive. Then Alexander died, having ruled for twelve years.[a]

Subsequently, his officers began to rule, each in his own territory. They ruled as kings, and after them their descendants ruled for many years. Together they caused much suffering across the earth.

Antiochus Epiphanes and renegade Jews

10 From these descendants sprouted a sinful root—Antiochus Epiphanes. He was a son of King Antiochus, and he had been brought up in Rome as a hostage. Antiochus Epiphanes began to rule in the year 137[b] according to the calendar of the Greek kingdom.

11 At that time, some renegade Israelites emerged. These people went against their ancestral laws and encouraged many other Jews to join them. They spoke up, saying, “Let’s make an agreement with the Gentiles around us, because many horrible things have happened to us since we separated ourselves from them.” 12 The proposal pleased their fellow Jews. 13 Some of them eagerly went to King Antiochus, who gave them permission to start living by the laws of the Gentiles. 14 Consequently, they built a gymnasium in Jerusalem, following Gentile custom. 15 They even took steps to remove the marks of circumcision, utterly abandoning the holy covenant. They joined with Gentiles and gave themselves over to an evil course.

Antiochus in Egypt

16 When Antiochus felt that his own kingdom was fully established, he determined also to take control of the land of Egypt so that he could rule over both kingdoms. 17 He invaded Egypt with a very strong force, including soldiers in chariots and on elephants, as well as cavalry and a large fleet. 18 When Antiochus met the Egyptian king Ptolemy in battle, Ptolemy and his forces hastily retreated. Many were wounded and killed. 19 Antiochus and his forces were able to capture the fortified cities in Egypt and plunder the land.

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Footnotes

  1. 1 Maccabees 1:7 323 BCE
  2. 1 Maccabees 1:10 175 BCE

When a false rumor arose that Antiochus was dead, Jason took no fewer than a thousand men and suddenly made an assault on the city. When the troops on the wall had been forced back and at last the city was being taken, Menelaus took refuge in the citadel.

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When a false rumor spread that Antiochus had died, Jason took no fewer than a thousand soldiers and made an unexpected assault on the city. When the troops on the wall had been defeated, and the city had been seized at last, Menelaus fled into the elevated fortress.[a]

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Footnotes

  1. 2 Maccabees 5:5 Gk acropolis

11 When news of what had happened reached the king, he took it to mean that Judea was in revolt. So, raging inwardly, he left Egypt and took the city by storm. 12 He commanded his soldiers to cut down relentlessly everyone they met and to kill those who went into their houses. 13 Then there was massacre of young and old, destruction of boys, women, and children, and slaughter of young girls and infants. 14 Within the total of three days eighty thousand were destroyed, forty thousand in hand-to-hand fighting, and as many were sold into slavery as were killed.

Pillage of the Temple

15 Not content with this, Antiochus[a] dared to enter the most holy temple in all the world, guided by Menelaus, who had become a traitor both to the laws and to his country. 16 He took the holy vessels with his polluted hands, and swept away with profane hands the votive offerings that other kings had made to enhance the glory and honor of the place.

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Footnotes

  1. 2 Maccabees 5:15 Gk he

11 When the news of these events reached the king, he thought Judea was in revolt. So he broke camp and marched from Egypt while wild with emotion, and took the city by force. 12 He commanded his soldiers to cut down without mercy anyone they met and to slaughter those fleeing into their houses. 13 They killed young and old, murdered adolescents, women and children, and slaughtered virgins and infants. 14 Over a three-day period, eighty thousand people’s lives were ruined. Forty thousand were killed in hand-to-hand fighting, and no fewer than those slaughtered were sold as slaves. 15 Not content with these measures, he dared to enter into the holiest temple of all the earth, guided by Menelaus, who had become a traitor to the laws and to his native land. 16 Clutching the holy equipment with polluted and unclean hands, Antiochus made off with them and the things donated by other kings to increase the prestige, glory, and honor of the holy place.

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Persecution of the Jews

20 After subduing Egypt, Antiochus returned in the one hundred forty-third year.[a] He went up against Israel and came to Jerusalem with a strong force. 21 He arrogantly entered the sanctuary and took the golden altar, the lampstand for the light, and all its utensils. 22 He took also the table for the bread of the Presence, the cups for drink offerings, the bowls, the golden censers, the curtain, the crowns, and the gold decoration on the front of the temple; he stripped it all off. 23 He took the silver and the gold, and the costly vessels; he took also the hidden treasures that he found. 24 Taking them all, he went into his own land.

He shed much blood,
    and spoke with great arrogance.
25 Israel mourned deeply in every community,
26     rulers and elders groaned,
young women and young men became faint,
    the beauty of the women faded.
27 Every bridegroom took up the lament;
    she who sat in the bridal chamber was mourning.
28 Even the land trembled for its inhabitants,
    and all the house of Jacob was clothed with shame.

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Footnotes

  1. 1 Maccabees 1:20 169 b.c.

Oppression of the Jews

20 After he conquered Egypt, Antiochus returned in the year 143.[a] He went up to Israel and entered Jerusalem with a strong force. 21 With arrogance he went into the sanctuary. He took the gold altar, the lampstand for the light, and all its equipment. 22 He also took the table that was used for the sacred bread, drink-offering cups, bowls, gold censers, a curtain, crowns, and the gold decoration on the front of the temple. He stripped it all. 23 He took silver, gold, and costly equipment. He took every hidden treasure he could find. 24 Taking it all, he went back to his own land. He committed murder and spoke very arrogantly.

25 Every community in Israel
grieved deeply.
26     Rulers and elders groaned;
    young women and men became faint.
        The women’s beauty faded.
27     Every bridegroom was saddened,
        and intended brides sat
        mourning in their chambers.
28 Even the land shook for its people,
    and all of Jacob’s house
    was clothed with shame.

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Footnotes

  1. 1 Maccabees 1:20 169 BCE