1 Maccabees 7

1 In the hundred and one and fiftieth year Demetrius the son of Seleucus came forth from Rome, and went up with a few men unto a city by the sea, and reigned there.

2 And it came to pass, when he would go into the house of the kingdom of his fathers, that the army laid hands on Antiochus and Lysias, to bring them unto him.

3 And the thing was known to him, and he said, shew me not their faces.

4 And the army slew them. And Demetrius sat upon the throne of his kingdom.

5 And there came unto him all the lawless and ungodly men of Israel; and Alcimus was their leader, desiring to be high priest;

6 and they accused the people to the king, saying, Judas and his brethren have destroyed all thy friends, and have scattered us from our own land.

7 Now therefore send a man whom thou trustest, and let him go and see all the havock which he hath made of us, and of the king’s country, and how he hath punished them and all that helped them.

8 And the king chose Bacchides, one of the king’s Friends, who was ruler in the country beyond the river, and was a great man in the kingdom, and faithful to the king.

9 And he sent him, and that ungodly Alcimus, and made sure to him the high priesthood, and he commanded him to take vengeance upon the children of Israel.

10 And they removed, and came with a great host into the land of Judah, and he sent messengers to Judas and his brethren with words of peace deceitfully.

11 And they gave no heed to their words; for they saw that they were come with a great host.

12 And there were gathered together unto Alcimus and Bacchides a company of scribes, to seek for justice.

13 And the Hasidaeans were the first among the children of Israel that sought peace of them;

14 for they said, One that is a priest of the seed of Aaron is come with the forces, and he will do us no wrong.

15 And he spake with them words of peace, and sware unto them, saying, We will seek the hurt neither of you nor your friends.

16 And they gave him credence: and he laid hands on threescore men of them, and slew them in one day, according to the word which the psalmist wrote,

17 The flesh of thy saints did they cast out, And their blood did they shed round about Jerusalem; And there was no man to bury them.

18 And the fear and the dread of them fell upon all the people, for they said, There is neither truth nor judgement in them; for they have broken the covenant and the oath which they sware.

19 And Bacchides removed from Jerusalem, and encamped in Bezeth; and he sent and took away many of the deserters that were with him, and certain of the people, and he slew them, and cast them into the great pit.

20 And he made sure the country to Alcimus, and left with him a force to aid him; and Bacchides went away unto the king.

21 And Alcimus strove for his high priesthood.

22 And there were gathered unto him all they that troubled their people, and they got the mastery of the land of Judah, and did great hurt in Israel.

23 And Judas saw all the mischief that Alcimus and his company had done among the children of Israel, even above the Gentiles,

24 and he went out into all the coasts of Judaea round about, and took vengeance on the men that had deserted from him, and they were restrained from going forth into the country.

25 But when Alcimus saw that Judas and his company waxed strong, and knew that he was not able to withstand them, he returned to the king, and brought evil accusations against them.

26 And the king sent Nicanor, one of his honourable princes, a man that hated Israel and was their enemy, and commanded him to destroy the people.

27 And Nicanor came to Jerusalem with a great host; and he sent unto Judas and his brethren deceitfully with words of peace, saying,

28 Let there be no battle between me and you; I will come with a few men, that I may see your faces in peace.

29 And he came to Judas, and they saluted one another peaceably. And the enemies were ready to take away Judas by violence.

30 And the thing was known to Judas, to wit, that he came unto him with deceit, and he was sore afraid of him, and would see his face no more.

31 And Nicanor knew that his counsel was discovered; and he went out to meet Judas in battle beside Capharsalama;

32 and there fell of Nicanor’s side about five hundred men, and they fled into the city of David.

33 And after these things Nicanor went up to mount Sion: and there came some of the priests out of the sanctuary, and some of the elders of the people, to salute him peaceably, and to shew him the whole burnt sacrifice that was being offered for the king.

34 And he mocked them, and laughed at them, and entreated them shamefully, and spake haughtily,

35 and sware in a rage, saying, Unless Judas and his army be now delivered into my hands, it shall be that, if I come again in peace, I will burn up this house: and he went out in a great rage.

36 And the priests entered in, and stood before the altar and the temple; and they wept, and said,

37 Thou didst choose this house to be called by thy name, to be a house of prayer and supplication for thy people:

38 take vengeance on this man and his army, and let them fall by the sword: remember their blasphemies, and suffer them not to live any longer.

39 And Nicanor went forth from Jerusalem, and encamped in Bethhoron, and there met him the host of Syria.

40 And Judas encamped in Adasa with three thousand men: and Judas prayed and said,

41 When they that came from the king blasphemed, thine angel went out, and smote among them a hundred and fourscore and five thousand.

42 Even so discomfit thou this army before us to-day, and let all the rest know that he hath spoken wickedly against thy sanctuary, and judge thou him according to his wickedness.

43 And on the thirteenth day of the month Adar the armies joined battle: and Nicanor’s army was discomfited, and he himself was the first to fall in the battle.

44 Now when his army saw that Nicanor was fallen, they cast away their arms, and fled.

45 And they pursued after them a day’s journey from Adasa until thou comest to Gazara, and they sounded an alarm after them with the solemn trumpets.

46 And they came forth out of all the villages of Judaea round about, and closed them in; and these turned them back on those, and they all fell by the sword, and there was not one of them left.

47 And they took the spoils, and the booty, and they smote off Nicanor’s head, and his right hand, which he stretched out so haughtily, and brought them, and hanged them up beside Jerusalem.

48 And the people were exceeding glad, and they kept that day as a day of great gladness.

49 And they ordained to keep this day year by year, to wit, the thirteenth day of Adar.

50 And the land of Judah had rest a little while.

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