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1 Maccabees 3:25-41 Revised Standard Version (RSV)

25 Then Judas and his brothers began to be feared, and terror fell upon the Gentiles round about them. 26 His fame reached the king, and the Gentiles talked of the battles of Judas.

The Policy of Antiochus

27 When King Anti′ochus heard these reports, he was greatly angered; and he sent and gathered all the forces of his kingdom, a very strong army. 28 And he opened his coffers and gave a year’s pay to his forces, and ordered them to be ready for any need. 29 Then he saw that the money in the treasury was exhausted, and that the revenues from the country were small because of the dissension and disaster which he had caused in the land by abolishing the laws that had existed from the earliest days. 30 He feared that he might not have such funds as he had before for his expenses and for the gifts which he used to give more lavishly than preceding kings. 31 He was greatly perplexed in mind, and determined to go to Persia and collect the revenues from those regions and raise a large fund.

32 He left Lys′ias, a distinguished man of royal lineage, in charge of the king’s affairs from the river Euphra′tes to the borders of Egypt. 33 Lys′ias was also to take care of Anti′ochus his son until he returned. 34 And he turned over to Lys′ias[a] half of his troops and the elephants, and gave him orders about all that he wanted done. As for the residents of Judea and Jerusalem, 35 Lys′ias was to send a force against them to wipe out and destroy the strength of Israel and the remnant of Jerusalem; he was to banish the memory of them from the place, 36 settle aliens in all their territory, and distribute their land. 37 Then the king took the remaining half of his troops and departed from Antioch his capital in the one hundred and forty-seventh year.[b] He crossed the Euphra′tes river and went through the upper provinces.

Preparations for Battle

38 Lys′ias chose Ptol′emy the son of Dorym′enes, and Nica′nor and Gor′gias, mighty men among the friends of the king, 39 and sent with them forty thousand infantry and seven thousand cavalry to go into the land of Judah and destroy it, as the king had commanded. 40 So they departed with their entire force, and when they arrived they encamped near Emma′us in the plain. 41 When the traders of the region heard what was said of them, they took silver and gold in immense amounts, and fetters,[c] and went to the camp to get the sons of Israel for slaves. And forces from Syria and the land of the Philistines joined with them.


  1. 1 Maccabees 3:34 Gk him
  2. 1 Maccabees 3:37 165 b.c.
  3. 1 Maccabees 3:41 Syr: Gk slaves
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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