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Purification of the Temple

10 Now Maccabeus and his followers, the Lord leading them on, recovered the temple and the city;(A) they tore down the altars that had been built in the public square by the foreigners and also destroyed the sacred precincts.(B) 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.(C) 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.(D) 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.(E) They celebrated it for eight days with rejoicing, in the manner of the Festival of Booths,[a] remembering how not long before, during the Festival of Booths,[b] they had been wandering in the mountains and caves like wild animals.(F) Therefore, carrying ivy-wreathed wands and beautiful branches and also palm fronds, they offered hymns of thanksgiving to him who had given success to the purifying of his own holy place.(G) 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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  1. 10.6 Or Tabernacles
  2. 10.6 Or Tabernacles

Judas Defeats Timothy

24 Now Timothy, who had been defeated by the Jews before, gathered a tremendous force of mercenaries and collected the cavalry from Asia in no small number. He came on, intending to take Judea by storm.(A) 25 As he drew near, Maccabeus and his men sprinkled dust on their heads and girded their loins with sackcloth, in supplication to God.(B) 26 Falling upon the steps before the altar, they implored him to be gracious to them and to be an enemy to their enemies and an adversary to their adversaries, as the law declares.(C) 27 And rising from their prayer they took up their arms and advanced a considerable distance from the city, and when they came near the enemy they halted. 28 Just as dawn was breaking, the two armies joined battle, the one having as pledge of success and victory not only their valor but also their reliance on the Lord, while the other made rage their leader in the fight.

29 When the battle became fierce, there appeared to the enemy from heaven five resplendent men on horses with golden bridles, and they were leading the Jews.(D) 30 Two of them took Maccabeus between them and, shielding him with their own armor and weapons, they kept him from being wounded. They showered arrows and thunderbolts on the enemy so that, confused and blinded, they were thrown into disorder and cut to pieces. 31 Twenty thousand five hundred were slaughtered, besides six hundred cavalry.

32 Timothy himself fled to a stronghold called Gazara, especially well garrisoned, where Chaereas was commander.(E) 33 Then Maccabeus and his men were glad, and they besieged the fort for four days. 34 The men within, relying on the strength of the place, kept blaspheming terribly and uttering wicked words. 35 But at dawn of the fifth day, twenty young men in the army of Maccabeus, fired with anger because of the blasphemies, bravely stormed the wall and with savage fury cut down everyone they met. 36 During the distraction, others came up in the same way, wheeled around against the defenders, and set fire to the towers; they kindled fires and burned the blasphemers alive. Others broke open the gates and let in the rest of the force, and they occupied the city.(F) 37 They killed Timothy, who was hiding in a cistern, and his brother Chaereas, and Apollophanes.(G) 38 When they had accomplished these things, with hymns and thanksgivings they blessed the Lord, who shows great kindness to Israel and gives them the victory.(H)

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