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2 Maccabees 4:7-17 Revised Standard Version (RSV)

Jason’s Reforms

When Seleu′cus died and Anti′ochus who was called Epiph′anes succeeded to the kingdom, Jason the brother of Oni′as obtained the high priesthood by corruption, promising the king at an interview[a] three hundred and sixty talents of silver and, from another source of revenue, eighty talents. In addition to this he promised to pay one hundred and fifty more if permission were given to establish by his authority a gymnasium and a body of youth for it, and to enrol the men of Jerusalem as citizens of Antioch. 10 When the king assented and Jason[b] came to office, he at once shifted his countrymen over to the Greek way of life. 11 He set aside the existing royal concessions to the Jews, secured through John the father of Eupolemus, who went on the mission to establish friendship and alliance with the Romans; and he destroyed the lawful ways of living and introduced new customs contrary to the law. 12 For with alacrity he founded a gymnasium right under the citadel, and he induced the noblest of the young men[c] to wear the Greek hat. 13 There was such an extreme of Hellenization and increase in the adoption of foreign ways because of the surpassing wickedness of Jason, who was ungodly and no high priest, 14 that the priests were no longer intent upon their service at the altar. Despising the sanctuary and neglecting the sacrifices, they hastened to take part in the unlawful proceedings in the wrestling arena after the call to the discus, 15 disdaining the honors prized by their fathers and putting the highest value upon Greek forms of prestige. 16 For this reason heavy disaster overtook them, and those whose ways of living they admired and wished to imitate completely became their enemies and punished them. 17 For it is no light thing to show irreverence to the divine laws—a fact which later events will make clear.


  1. 2 Maccabees 4:8 Or by a petition
  2. 2 Maccabees 4:10 Gk he
  3. 2 Maccabees 4:12 Some authorities add subjecting them
Revised Standard Version (RSV)

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 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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