2 Maccabees 14

1 {\cf2 After three yeeres was Iudas enformed that Demetrius the sonne of Seleucus was come vp with a great power and nauie by the hauen of Tripolis,}

2 {\cf2 When he had wonne the countrey, and slaine Antiochus and his Lieutenant Lysias.}

3 {\cf2 Now Alcunus, which had bene the high Priest, and wilfully defiled himselfe in the time that all thinges were confounded, seeing that by no meanes he could saue himselfe, nor haue any more entrance to the holie Altar,}

4 {\cf2 He came to King Demetrius in the hundreth, fiftie and one yeere, presenting vnto him a crowne of golde, and a palme, and of the boughes, which were vsed solemnly in the Temple, and that day he held his tongue.}

5 {\cf2 But when hee had gotten opportunitie, and occasion for his rage, Demetrius called him to cousell, and asked him what deuises or counsels the Iewes leaned vnto.}

6 {\cf2 To the which hee answered, The Iewes that be called Asideans, whose captaine is Iudas Maccabeus, maintaine warres, and make insurrections, and will not let the Realme be in peace.}

7 {\cf2 Therefore I, being depriued of my fathers honour (I meane the high Priesthode) am nowe come hether,}

8 {\cf2 Partly, because I was well affectioned vnto the kings affaires, and secodly, because I sought the profit of mine owne citizens: for all our people, thorow their rashnes, are not a little troubled.}

9 {\cf2 Wherefore, O King, seeing thou knowest all these things, make prouision for the countrey, and our nation which is abused, according to thine own humanitie, that is readie to helpe all men.}

10 {\cf2 For as long as Iudas liueth, it is not possible that the matter should be well.}

11 {\cf2 When hee had spoken these wordes, other friendes also hauing euil will at Iudas, set Demetrius on fire.}

12 {\cf2 Who immediatly called for Nicanor, the ruler of the Elephants, and made him captaine ouer Iudea,}

13 {\cf2 And sent him forth, commanding him to slay Iudas, and to scatter them that were with him, & to make Alcimus high Priest of the great Temple.}

14 {\cf2 Then the heathen which fled out of Iudea from Iudas, came to Nicanor by flocks, thinking the harme and calamities of the Iewes to bee their welfare.}

15 {\cf2 Now when ye Iewes heard of Nicanors comming, and the gathering together of the heathen, they sprinkled themselues with earth, and prayed vnto him which had appoynted himselfe a people for euer, and did alwayes defende his owne portion with euident tokens.}

16 {\cf2 So at the commandement of the captaine, they remooued straightwayes from thence, and came to the towne of Dessan,}

17 {\cf2 Where Simon Iudas brother had ioyned battel with Nicanor, and was somewhat astonished through the sudden silence of the enemies.}

18 {\cf2 Neuerthelesse Nicanor hearing the manlines of them that were with Iudas, and the bolde stomackes that they had for their countrey, durst notproue the matter with bloudsheading.}

19 {\cf2 Wherefore, he sent Posidonius, Theodocius, and Matthias before, to make peace.}

20 {\cf2 So when they had taken long aduisement thereupon, & the captaine shewed it vnto the multitude, they were agreed in one minde, and consented to the couenants.}

21 {\cf2 And they appointed a day when they should particularly come together: so when the day was come, they set for euery man his stoole.}

22 {\cf2 Neuerthelesse Iudas commaunded certeine men of armes to waite in conuenient places, least there should suddenly arise any euil through the enemies: and so they communed together of the things whereupon they had agreed.}

23 {\cf2 Nicanor, while hee abode at Ierusalem, did none hurt, but sent away the people that were gathered together.}

24 {\cf2 Hee loued Iudas, and fauoured him in his heart.}

25 {\cf2 He prayed him also to take a wife, & to beget children: so he maried, and they liued together.}

26 {\cf2 But Alcimus perceiuing the loue that was betweene them, and vnderstanding the couenants that were made, came to Demetrius, and told him that Nicanor had taken strange matters in hande, and ordeined Iudas a traytour to the Realme, to be his successour.}

27 {\cf2 Then the King was displeased, and by the reportes of this wicked man, hee wrote to Nicanor, saying, that hee was very angry for the couenants, commanding him that hee should send Maccabeus in all haste prisoner vnto Antiochia.}

28 {\cf2 When these things came to Nicanor, he was astonished and sore grieued, that hee should breake the things wherein they had agreed, seeing that that man had committed no wickednesse.}

29 {\cf2 But because it was not commodious to him to withstand the King, hee sought craftily to accomplish it.}

30 {\cf2 Notwithstanding when Maccabeus perceiued that Nicanor began to be rough vnto him, and that he intreated him more rudely then hee was wont, he perceiued that such rigour came not of good, & therefore he gathered a fewe of his men, and withdrewe himselfe from Nicanor.}

31 {\cf2 But the other perceiuing that he was preuented by Maccabeus worthy pollicie, came into the great and holy Temple, and commaunded the Priests, which were offering their vsuall sacrifices, to deliuer him the man.}

32 {\cf2 And when they sware that they could not tell where the man was, whome he sought,}

33 {\cf2 He stretched out his right hand towarde the Temple, and made an othe in this maner, If ye will not deliuer me Iudas as a prisoner, I will make this Temple of God a plaine fielde, and will breake downe the altar, and will erect a notable Temple vnto Bacchus.}

34 {\cf2 After these wordes he departed: then the Priestes lift vp their handes towarde heauen, and besought him that was euer the defender of their nation, saying in this maner,}

35 {\cf2 Thou, O Lord of all things, which hast need of nothing, wouldest that the Teple of thine habitation shoulde be among vs.}

36 {\cf2 Therefore nowe, O most holy Lord, keepe this house euer vndefiled, which lately was clensed, and stoppe all the mouthes of the vnrighteous.}

37 {\cf2 Nowe was there accused vnto Nicanor, Razis one of the Elders of Ierusalem, a louer of the citie, and a man of very good report, which for his loue was called a father of the Iewes.}

38 {\cf2 For this man aforetimes when the Iewes were minded to keepe them selues vndefiled and pure, being accused to be of the religion of the Iewes, did offer to spende his body and life, with all constancie for the religion of the Iewes.}

39 {\cf2 So Nicanor willing to declare the hatred that he bare to the Iewes, sent about fiue hundreth men of warre to take him.}

40 {\cf2 For he thought by taking him to doe the Iewes much hurt.}

41 {\cf2 But when this companie would haue taken his castle, and woulde haue broken the gates by violence, and commaunded to bring fire to burne the gates, so that he was ready to be taken on euery side, he fell on his sworde,}

42 {\cf2 Willing rather to dye manfully, then to giue him selfe into the handes of wicked men, and to suffer reproch vnworthy for his noble stocke.}

43 {\cf2 Notwithstanding what time as he missed of his stroke for haste, and the multitude russhed in violently betweene the doores, he ranne boldly to the wall, and cast him selfe downe manfully among the multitude.}

44 {\cf2 Which conueyed them selues lightly away, and gaue place, so that he fell vpon his bellie.}

45 {\cf2 Neuerthelesse while there was yet breath in him, being kindled in his minde, he rose vp, and though his blood gushed out like a fountaine, and he was very sore wounded, yet he ran thorowe the middest of the people,}

46 {\cf2 And gate him to the toppe of an high rock: so when his blood was vtterly gone, he tooke out his owne bowels with both his handes, and threwe them vpon the people, calling vpon the Lorde of life and spirit, that he woulde restore them againe vnto him, and thus he dyed.}