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2 Maccabees 13 Good News Translation (GNT)

Menelaus Is Put to Death

13 In the year 149[a] Judas Maccabeus and his followers found out that Antiochus Eupator was marching against Judea with a large army and that Lysias, the young king's guardian and the head of his government, was with him. They[b] had a force of Greek troops consisting of 110,000 infantry, 5,300 cavalry, 22 elephants, and 300 chariots with sharp blades attached to their wheels.

Menelaus, trying to take advantage of the situation, went over to their side and urged them on, not because he was concerned for the country, but because he hoped to be confirmed as High Priest. But God, the King of kings, made Antiochus furious with Menelaus. Lysias proved to Antiochus that this criminal had been the source of all his troubles, so Antiochus ordered him to be taken to the city of Berea and put to death in the way that it was done there. In that city there is a tower about 75 feet high. It is filled with ashes, and all around the inside of the tower is a platform sloping down into the ashes. People accused of crimes against the gods or of any other serious crime are taken there and thrown down to their death. Menelaus was put to death in that way, without even having the privilege of a burial, and that was just what he deserved. He had often profaned the sacred ashes of the altar fire in the Temple, and now he met his death in ashes.

A Battle Near the City of Modein

King Antiochus arrogantly continued his barbaric invasion of Judah, intending to deal with the Jews more harshly than his father had ever done. 10 When Judas learned of this, he told the people to pray to the Lord day and night, because they were in danger of losing their Law, their country, and their holy Temple. As never before, they needed his help and protection 11 to keep their newly restored country from falling into the hands of godless Gentiles. 12 For three days the people did nothing but lie face down on the ground, fasting and crying, begging the merciful Lord for his help. Then Judas spoke words of encouragement to the people, urging them to get ready for action.

13 Afterward, Judas met privately with the Jewish leaders and decided to march out with God's help to battle against the king, rather than to wait for Antiochus to invade Judea and besiege Jerusalem. 14 Then, leaving the outcome of the battle to the Creator of the world, Judas encouraged his men to fight bravely and to be willing to die for their laws, the Temple, Jerusalem, their country, and their whole way of life. They set up camp near the city of Modein. 15 Judas gave his men the battle cry,

Victory comes from God, and that night, with a picked force of his bravest young men, he attacked the area near the king's tent and killed as many as 2,000 men. They also stabbed to death[c] the lead elephant and its keeper. 16 Everyone in camp was terrified and in panic when Judas and his men finally left victoriously 17 just before dawn. The help and protection of the Lord had made all this possible.

Antiochus the Fifth Makes a Treaty with the Jews

18 This taste of Jewish daring was enough to convince King Antiochus that he had to find some better way of capturing the Jewish positions. 19 He attacked the strong Jewish fort of Bethzur, but was repeatedly beaten back and finally defeated. 20 Judas sent supplies to the men who were defending the fort, 21 but a Jewish soldier by the name of Rhodocus gave some secret information to the enemy. He was found out, however, caught, and put to death. 22 The king made a second attempt to come to terms with the people of Bethzur, and when he had reached an agreement with them, he withdrew his forces. Then he went to attack Judas, but again he was defeated. 23 Meanwhile, Philip had been left at Antioch in charge of the government, but King Antiochus learned that he had revolted. The king did not know what to do, so he initiated peace talks with the Jews, agreed to their terms, and promised to be just in his treatment of them. To put the treaty into effect, he offered a sacrifice, gave a generous gift to show his respect for the Temple, 24 and graciously received Judas Maccabeus. After that, the king appointed Hegemonides to be governor of the territory between the cities of Ptolemais and Gerar, 25 and then he himself went on to Ptolemais. The people there were angry because of the treaty he had made with the Jews—so angry, in fact, that they wanted the treaty canceled. 26 But Lysias made a public speech, defending the treaty as well as he could. After he had calmed the people down and convinced them that he was right, he returned to Antioch.

In this way King Antiochus' invasion was turned into a retreat.

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Maccabees 13:1 the year 149: This corresponds to 163 B.C.
  2. 2 Maccabees 13:2 They; Greek unclear.
  3. 2 Maccabees 13:15 Probable text stabbed to death; Greek unclear.
Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

2 Maccabees 13 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Menelaus Is Put to Death

13 In the one hundred forty-ninth year[a] word came to Judas and his men that Antiochus Eupator was coming with a great army against Judea, and with him Lysias, his guardian, who had charge of the government. Each of them had a Greek force of one hundred ten thousand infantry, five thousand three hundred cavalry, twenty-two elephants, and three hundred chariots armed with scythes.

Menelaus also joined them and with utter hypocrisy urged Antiochus on, not for the sake of his country’s welfare, but because he thought that he would be established in office. But the King of kings aroused the anger of Antiochus against the scoundrel; and when Lysias informed him that this man was to blame for all the trouble, he ordered them to take him to Beroea and to put him to death by the method that is customary in that place. For there is a tower there, fifty cubits high, full of ashes, and it has a rim running around it that on all sides inclines precipitously into the ashes. There they all push to destruction anyone guilty of sacrilege or notorious for other crimes. By such a fate it came about that Menelaus the lawbreaker died, without even burial in the earth. And this was eminently just; because he had committed many sins against the altar whose fire and ashes were holy, he met his death in ashes.

A Battle Near the City of Modein

The king with barbarous arrogance was coming to show the Jews things far worse than those that had been done[b] in his father’s time. 10 But when Judas heard of this, he ordered the people to call upon the Lord day and night, now if ever to help those who were on the point of being deprived of the law and their country and the holy temple, 11 and not to let the people who had just begun to revive fall into the hands of the blasphemous Gentiles. 12 When they had all joined in the same petition and had implored the merciful Lord with weeping and fasting and lying prostrate for three days without ceasing, Judas exhorted them and ordered them to stand ready.

13 After consulting privately with the elders, he determined to march out and decide the matter by the help of God before the king’s army could enter Judea and get possession of the city. 14 So, committing the decision to the Creator of the world and exhorting his troops to fight bravely to the death for the laws, temple, city, country, and commonwealth, he pitched his camp near Modein. 15 He gave his troops the watchword, “God’s victory,” and with a picked force of the bravest young men, he attacked the king’s pavilion at night and killed as many as two thousand men in the camp. He stabbed[c] the leading elephant and its rider. 16 In the end they filled the camp with terror and confusion and withdrew in triumph. 17 This happened, just as day was dawning, because the Lord’s help protected him.

Antiochus Makes a Treaty with the Jews

18 The king, having had a taste of the daring of the Jews, tried strategy in attacking their positions. 19 He advanced against Beth-zur, a strong fortress of the Jews, was turned back, attacked again,[d] and was defeated. 20 Judas sent in to the garrison whatever was necessary. 21 But Rhodocus, a man from the ranks of the Jews, gave secret information to the enemy; he was sought for, caught, and put in prison. 22 The king negotiated a second time with the people in Beth-zur, gave pledges, received theirs, withdrew, attacked Judas and his men, was defeated; 23 he got word that Philip, who had been left in charge of the government, had revolted in Antioch; he was dismayed, called in the Jews, yielded and swore to observe all their rights, settled with them and offered sacrifice, honored the sanctuary and showed generosity to the holy place. 24 He received Maccabeus, left Hegemonides as governor from Ptolemais to Gerar, 25 and went to Ptolemais. The people of Ptolemais were indignant over the treaty; in fact they were so angry that they wanted to annul its terms.[e] 26 Lysias took the public platform, made the best possible defense, convinced them, appeased them, gained their goodwill, and set out for Antioch. This is how the king’s attack and withdrawal turned out.

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Maccabees 13:1 163 b.c.
  2. 2 Maccabees 13:9 Or the worst of the things that had been done
  3. 2 Maccabees 13:15 Meaning of Gk uncertain
  4. 2 Maccabees 13:19 Or faltered
  5. 2 Maccabees 13:25 Meaning of Gk uncertain
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.

2 Maccabees 13 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 13

Death of Menelaus. In the one hundred and forty-ninth year,[a] Judas and his men learned that Antiochus Eupator was invading Judea with a large force, and that with him was Lysias, his guardian, who was in charge of the government. They led[b] a Greek army of one hundred and ten thousand foot soldiers, fifty-three hundred cavalry, twenty-two elephants, and three hundred chariots armed with scythes.

Menelaus also joined them, and with great duplicity kept urging Antiochus on, not for the welfare of his country, but in the hope of being established in office. But the King of kings aroused the anger of Antiochus against the scoundrel. When the king was shown by Lysias that Menelaus was to blame for all the trouble, he ordered him to be taken to Beroea[c] and executed there in the customary local method. There is at that place a tower seventy-five feet high, full of ashes,[d] with a circular rim sloping down steeply on all sides toward the ashes. Anyone guilty of sacrilege or notorious for certain other crimes is brought up there and then hurled down to destruction. In such a manner was Menelaus, that transgressor of the law, fated to die, deprived even of burial. It was altogether just that he who had committed so many sins against the altar with its pure fire and ashes, in ashes should meet his death.

Battle near Modein. The king was advancing, his mind full of savage plans for inflicting on the Jews things worse than those they suffered in his father’s time. 10 When Judas learned of this, he urged the people to call upon the Lord day and night, now more than ever, to help them when they were about to be deprived of their law, their country, and their holy temple; 11 and not to allow this people, which had just begun to revive, to be subjected again to blasphemous Gentiles. 12 When they had all joined in doing this, and had implored the merciful Lord continuously with weeping and fasting and prostrations for three days, Judas encouraged them and told them to stand ready.

13 After a private meeting with the elders, he decided that, before the king’s army could invade Judea and take possession of the city, the Jews should march out and settle the matter with God’s help. 14 Leaving the outcome to the Creator of the world, and exhorting his followers to fight nobly to death for the laws, the temple, the city, the country, and the government, he encamped near Modein. 15 Giving his troops the battle cry “God’s Victory,” he made a night attack on the king’s pavilion with a picked force of the bravest young men and killed about two thousand in the camp. He also stabbed the lead elephant and its rider. 16 Finally they withdrew in triumph,[e] having filled the camp with terror and confusion. 17 Day was just breaking when this was accomplished with the help and protection of the Lord.

Treaty with Antiochus V. 18 The king, having had a taste of the Jews’ boldness, tried to take their positions by a stratagem. 19 So he marched against Beth-zur, a strong fortress of the Jews; but he was driven back, checked, and defeated. 20 Judas sent supplies to the men inside, 21 but Rhodocus, of the Jewish army, betrayed military secrets[f] to the enemy. He was found out, arrested, and imprisoned. 22 The king made a second attempt by negotiating with the people of Beth-zur. After giving them his pledge and receiving theirs, he withdrew 23 and attacked Judas’ men. But he was defeated. Next he heard that Philip, who was left in charge of the government in Antioch, had rebelled. Dismayed, he negotiated with the Jews, submitted to their terms, and swore to observe all their rights. Having come to this agreement, he offered a sacrifice, and honored the sanctuary and the place with a generous donation. 24 He received Maccabeus, and left Hegemonides as governor of the territory from Ptolemais to the region of the Gerrhenes.[g] 25 When he came to Ptolemais, the people of Ptolemais were angered by the peace treaty; in fact they were so indignant that they wanted to annul its provisions. 26 But Lysias took the platform, defended the treaty as well as he could and won them over by persuasion. After calming them and gaining their goodwill, he returned to Antioch. That is the story of the king’s attack and withdrawal.

Footnotes:

  1. 13:1 In the one hundred and forty-ninth year: 163/162 B.C.
  2. 13:2 They led: the Greek means literally “each (of them) led,” but it is unlikely that the author meant the already immense numbers to be doubled; the numbers are similar to those in 1 Mc 6:30.
  3. 13:4 Beroea: the Greek name of Aleppo in Syria.
  4. 13:5 Ashes: probably smoldering ashes; the tower resembles the ancient Persian fire towers.
  5. 13:16 They withdrew in triumph: according to 1 Mc 6:47 they fled.
  6. 13:21 Military secrets: probably about the lack of provisions in the besieged city; cf. 1 Mc 6:49.
  7. 13:24 Gerrhenes: probably the inhabitants of Gerar, southeast of Gaza.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

2 Maccabees 13 New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition (NRSVACE)

Menelaus Is Put to Death

13 In the one hundred and forty-ninth year[a] word came to Judas and his men that Antiochus Eupator was coming with a great army against Judea, and with him Lysias, his guardian, who had charge of the government. Each of them had a Greek force of one hundred and ten thousand infantry, five thousand three hundred cavalry, twenty-two elephants, and three hundred chariots armed with scythes.

Menelaus also joined them and with utter hypocrisy urged Antiochus on, not for the sake of his country’s welfare, but because he thought that he would be established in office. But the King of kings aroused the anger of Antiochus against the scoundrel; and when Lysias informed him that this man was to blame for all the trouble, he ordered them to take him to Beroea and to put him to death by the method that is customary in that place. For there is a tower there, fifty cubits high, full of ashes, and it has a rim running round it that on all sides inclines precipitously into the ashes. There they all push to destruction anyone guilty of sacrilege or notorious for other crimes. By such a fate it came about that Menelaus the lawbreaker died, without even burial in the earth. And this was eminently just; because he had committed many sins against the altar whose fire and ashes were holy, he met his death in ashes.

A Battle Near the City of Modein

The king with barbarous arrogance was coming to show the Jews things far worse than those that had been done[b] in his father’s time. 10 But when Judas heard of this, he ordered the people to call upon the Lord day and night, now more than ever to help those who were on the point of being deprived of the law and their country and the holy temple, 11 and not to let the people who had just begun to revive fall into the hands of the blasphemous Gentiles. 12 When they had all joined in the same petition and had implored the merciful Lord with weeping and fasting and lying prostrate for three days without ceasing, Judas exhorted them and ordered them to stand ready.

13 After consulting privately with the elders, he determined to march out and decide the matter by the help of God before the king’s army could enter Judea and get possession of the city. 14 So, committing the decision to the Creator of the world and exhorting his troops to fight bravely to the death for the laws, temple, city, country, and commonwealth, he pitched his camp near Modein. 15 He gave his troops the watchword, ‘God’s victory’, and with a picked force of the bravest young men, he attacked the king’s pavilion at night and killed as many as two thousand men in the camp. He stabbed[c] the leading elephant and its rider. 16 In the end they filled the camp with terror and confusion and withdrew in triumph. 17 This happened, just as day was dawning, because the Lord’s help protected him.

Antiochus Makes a Treaty with the Jews

18 The king, having had a taste of the daring of the Jews, tried strategy in attacking their positions. 19 He advanced against Beth-zur, a strong fortress of the Jews, was turned back, attacked again,[d] and was defeated. 20 Judas sent in to the garrison whatever was necessary. 21 But Rhodocus, a man from the ranks of the Jews, gave secret information to the enemy; he was sought for, caught, and put in prison. 22 The king negotiated a second time with the people in Beth-zur, gave pledges, received theirs, withdrew, attacked Judas and his men, and was defeated; 23 he got word that Philip, who had been left in charge of the government, had revolted in Antioch; he was dismayed, called in the Jews, yielded and swore to observe all their rights, settled with them and offered sacrifice, honoured the sanctuary, and showed generosity to the holy place. 24 He received Maccabeus, left Hegemonides as governor from Ptolemais to Gerar, 25 and went to Ptolemais. The people of Ptolemais were indignant over the treaty; in fact they were so angry that they wanted to annul its terms.[e] 26 Lysias took the public platform, made the best possible defence, convinced them, appeased them, gained their goodwill, and set out for Antioch. This is how the king’s attack and withdrawal turned out.

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Maccabees 13:1 163 bc
  2. 2 Maccabees 13:9 Or the worst of the things that had been done
  3. 2 Maccabees 13:15 Meaning of Gk uncertain
  4. 2 Maccabees 13:19 Or faltered
  5. 2 Maccabees 13:25 Meaning of Gk uncertain
New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition (NRSVACE)

New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicised Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993, 1995 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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