1 Maccabees 1:41-64
New American Bible (Revised Edition)
Religious Persecution. 41 (A)Then the king wrote to his whole kingdom that all should be one people, 42 and abandon their particular customs. All the Gentiles conformed to the command of the king, 43 and many Israelites delighted in his religion; they sacrificed to idols and profaned the sabbath.
44 The king sent letters by messenger to Jerusalem and to the cities of Judah, ordering them to follow customs foreign to their land; 45 to prohibit burnt offerings, sacrifices, and libations in the sanctuary, to profane the sabbaths and feast days, 46 to desecrate the sanctuary and the sacred ministers, 47 to build pagan altars and temples and shrines, to sacrifice swine and unclean animals, 48 to leave their sons uncircumcised, and to defile themselves with every kind of impurity and abomination; 49 so that they might forget the law and change all its ordinances. 50 Whoever refused to act according to the command of the king was to be put to death.(B)
51 In words such as these he wrote to his whole kingdom. He appointed inspectors over all the people, and he ordered the cities of Judah to offer sacrifices, each city in turn. 52 Many of the people, those who abandoned the law, joined them and committed evil in the land. 53 They drove Israel into hiding, wherever places of refuge could be found.
54 On the fifteenth day of the month Kislev, in the year one hundred and forty-five,[a] the king erected the desolating abomination upon the altar of burnt offerings, and in the surrounding cities of Judah they built pagan altars.(C) 55 They also burned incense at the doors of houses and in the streets. 56 Any scrolls of the law[b] that they found they tore up and burned. 57 Whoever was found with a scroll of the covenant, and whoever observed the law, was condemned to death by royal decree. 58 So they used their power against Israel, against those who were caught, each month, in the cities. 59 On the twenty-fifth day of each month they sacrificed on the pagan altar that was over the altar of burnt offerings. 60 In keeping with the decree, they put to death women who had their children circumcised, 61 and they hung their babies from their necks; their families also and those who had circumcised them were killed.
62 But many in Israel were determined and resolved in their hearts not to eat anything unclean; 63 they preferred to die rather than to be defiled with food or to profane the holy covenant; and they did die. 64 And very great wrath came upon Israel.Read full chapter
- 1:54 Fifteenth day of the month Kislev, in the year one hundred and forty-five: December 6, 167 B.C. Desolating abomination: in the original Hebrew, a contemptuous pun on the title “Lord of heaven” given to the god to whom an image or perhaps an altar was erected upon the altar of burnt offerings in the Temple of Jerusalem; cf. Dn 9:27; 11:31.
- 1:56 Scrolls of the law: one or more of the first five books of the Old Testament, the traditional law of Israel.
2 Maccabees 10:1-9
New American Bible (Revised Edition)
Purification of the Temple. 1 (A)When Maccabeus and his companions, under the Lord’s leadership, had recovered the temple and the city, 2 they destroyed the altars erected by the foreigners in the marketplace and the sacred shrines. 3 After purifying the temple, they made another altar. Then, with fire struck from flint, they offered sacrifice for the first time in two years,[a] burned incense, and lighted lamps. They also set out the showbread. 4 When they had done this, they prostrated themselves and begged the Lord that they might never again fall into such misfortunes, and that if they should sin at any time, he might chastise them with moderation and not hand them over to blasphemous and barbarous Gentiles. 5 On the anniversary of the day on which the temple had been profaned by the foreigners, that is, the twenty-fifth of the same month Kislev, the purification of the temple took place. 6 The Jews celebrated joyfully for eight days as on the feast of Booths, remembering how, a little while before, they had spent the feast of Booths living like wild animals in the mountains and in caves. 7 Carrying rods entwined with leaves,[b] beautiful branches and palms, they sang hymns of grateful praise to him who had successfully brought about the purification of his own place. 8 By public decree and vote they prescribed that the whole Jewish nation should celebrate these days every year. 9 Such was the end of Antiochus surnamed Epiphanes.Read full chapter