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1 Maccabees 7:1-20 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Expedition of Bacchides and Alcimus

In the one hundred fifty-first year[a] Demetrius son of Seleucus set out from Rome, sailed with a few men to a town by the sea, and there began to reign. As he was entering the royal palace of his ancestors, the army seized Antiochus and Lysias to bring them to him. But when this act became known to him, he said, “Do not let me see their faces!” So the army killed them, and Demetrius took his seat on the throne of his kingdom.

Then there came to him all the renegade and godless men of Israel; they were led by Alcimus, who wanted to be high priest. They brought to the king this accusation against the people: “Judas and his brothers have destroyed all your Friends, and have driven us out of our land. Now then send a man whom you trust; let him go and see all the ruin that Judas[b] has brought on us and on the land of the king, and let him punish them and all who help them.”

So the king chose Bacchides, one of the king’s Friends, governor of the province Beyond the River; he was a great man in the kingdom and was faithful to the king. He sent him, and with him he sent the ungodly Alcimus, whom he made high priest; and he commanded him to take vengeance on the Israelites. 10 So they marched away and came with a large force into the land of Judah; and he sent messengers to Judas and his brothers with peaceable but treacherous words. 11 But they paid no attention to their words, for they saw that they had come with a large force.

12 Then a group of scribes appeared in a body before Alcimus and Bacchides to ask for just terms. 13 The Hasideans were first among the Israelites to seek peace from them, 14 for they said, “A priest of the line of Aaron has come with the army, and he will not harm us.” 15 Alcimus[c] spoke peaceable words to them and swore this oath to them, “We will not seek to injure you or your friends.” 16 So they trusted him; but he seized sixty of them and killed them in one day, in accordance with the word that was written,

17 “The flesh of your faithful ones and their blood
    they poured out all around Jerusalem,
    and there was no one to bury them.”

18 Then the fear and dread of them fell on all the people, for they said, “There is no truth or justice in them, for they have violated the agreement and the oath that they swore.”

19 Then Bacchides withdrew from Jerusalem and encamped in Beth-zaith. And he sent and seized many of the men who had deserted to him,[d] and some of the people, and killed them and threw them into a great pit. 20 He placed Alcimus in charge of the country and left with him a force to help him; then Bacchides went back to the king.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Maccabees 7:1 161 b.c.
  2. 1 Maccabees 7:7 Gk he
  3. 1 Maccabees 7:15 Gk He
  4. 1 Maccabees 7:19 Or many of his men who had deserted
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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