2 Maccabees 15

1 {\cf2 Nowe when Nicanor knewe that Iudas and his companie were in the countrey of Samaria, he thought with all assurance to come vpon them, vpon the Sabbath day.}

2 {\cf2 Neuerthelesse, the Iewes that were compelled to goe with him, said, O kill not so cruelly and barbarously, but honour and sanctifie the day, that is appointed by him that seeth all things.}

3 {\cf2 But this most wicked person demaunded, Is there a Lorde in heauen, that commaunded the Sabbath day to be kept?}

4 {\cf2 And when they said, There is a liuing Lorde, which ruleth in the heauen, who commanded the seuenth day to be kept,}

5 {\cf2 Then he saide, And I am mightie vpon earth to commande them for to arme them selues, and to perfourme the kings businesse. Notwithstanding, he could not accoplish his wicked enterprise.}

6 {\cf2 For Nicanor lifted vp with great pride, purposed to set vp a memorial of the victorie obteined of all them that were with Iudas.}

7 {\cf2 But Maccabeus had euer sure confidence & a perfite hope that the Lorde would helpe him,}

8 {\cf2 And exhorted his people not to be afraid at the coming of the heathen, but always to remember the helpe that had bene shewed vnto them from heauen, & to trust nowe also, that they should haue the victorie by the Almightie.}

9 {\cf2 Thus he incouraged them by the Lawe and Prophets, putting them in remembrance of the battels that they had wonne afore, and so made them more willing,}

10 {\cf2 And stirred vp their heartes, & shewed them also the deceitfulnesse of the heathen, & how they had broken their othes.}

11 {\cf2 Thus he armed euery one of them, not with the assurance of shieldes & speares, but with wholesome wordes and exhortations, and shewed them a dreame worthie to be beleeued, and reioyced them greatly.}

12 {\cf2 And this was his vision, He thought that he sawe Onias (which had bene the high Priest, a vertuous and a good man, reuerent in behauiour, and of sober conuersation, well spoken, and one that had bene exercised in all pointes of godlinesse from a childe) holding vp his handes towardes heauen, and praying for the whole people of the Iewes.}

13 {\cf2 After this there appeared vnto him another man which was aged, honourable, and of a wonderfull dignitie, and excellencie aboue him.}

14 {\cf2 And Onias spake, and said, This is a louer of the brethren, who prayeth much for the people, and for the holy citie, to wit, Ieremias the Prophet of God.}

15 {\cf2 He thought also that Ieremias helde out his right hande, and gaue vnto Iudas a sworde of gold: and as he gaue it, he spake thus,}

16 {\cf2 Take this holy sworde a gifte from God, wherewith thou shalt wound the aduersaries.}

17 {\cf2 And so being comforted by the wordes of Iudas, which were very sweete & able to stirre the vp to valiantnesse and to incourage the heartes of the yong men, they determined to pitch no campe, but couragiously to set vpon them, and manfully to assaile them, and to trie the matter hand to hand, because the citie and the Sanctuarie and the Temple were in danger.}

18 {\cf2 As for their wiues, and children, and brethre and kinsfolkes, they set lesse by their danger: but their greatest and principall feare was for the holy Temple.}

19 {\cf2 Againe they that were in the citie, were carefull for the armie that was abroad.}

20 {\cf2 Nowe whiles they all wayted for the tryall of the matter, and the enemies nowe mette with them, and the hoste was set in aray, and the beasts were separated into conuenient places, and the horsemen were placed in the wings,}

21 {\cf2 Maccabeus considering the coming of the multitude, and the diuers preparations of weapons, and the fiercenesse of the beastes, helde vp his handes toward heauen, calling vpon the Lord that doeth wonders, and that looked vpon them, knowing that the victorie commeth not by ye weapons, but that he giueth the victorie to them that are worthy, as seemeth good vnto him.}

22 {\cf2 Therefore in his prayer he said after this maner, O Lord, thou that diddest sende thine Angel in the time of Ezechias King of Iudea, who in the host of Sennacherib slewe an hundreth, foure score and fiue thousand,}

23 {\cf2 Sende nowe also thy good Angell before vs, O Lorde of heauens, for a feare and dread vnto them,}

24 {\cf2 And let them be discomfited by the strength of thine arme, which come against thine holy people to blaspheme. Thus with these wordes he made an ende.}

25 {\cf2 Then Nicanor and they that were with him, drew neere with trumpets & shoutings for ioy.}

26 {\cf2 But Iudas & his company praying & calling vpon God, encountered with the enemies,}

27 {\cf2 So that with their handes they fought, but with their hearts they prayed vnto God, and slewe no lesse then fiue and thirtie thousande men: for through the presence of God they were wonderously comforted.}

28 {\cf2 Now when they left off, & were turning againe with ioy, they vnderstoode that Nicanor himselfe was slaine for all his armour.}

29 {\cf2 Then they made a great shout & a cry, praysing the Almightie in their owne language.}

30 {\cf2 Therefore Iudas, which was euer the chiefe defender of his citizens both in body and minde, and which bare euer good affection towards them of his nation, commaunded to smite off Nicanors head, with his hand and shoulder, and to bring it to Ierusalem.}

31 {\cf2 And when he came there, he called all them of his nation, and set the Priests by the altar, and sent for them of the castel,}

32 {\cf2 And shewed them wicked Nicanors head, and the hand of that blasphemour which he had holden vp against the holy Temple of the Almightie with proude bragges.}

33 {\cf2 He caused the tongue also of wicked Nicanor to be cut in litle pieces, and to be cast vnto the foules, & that the rewardes of his madnesse should be hanged vp before the Temple.}

34 {\cf2 So euery man praised toward the heauen the glorious Lorde, saying, Blessed be he, that hath kept his place vndefiled.}

35 {\cf2 He hanged also Nicanors head vpon the hie castell, for an euident and plaine token vnto all of the helpe of God.}

36 {\cf2 And so they established all together by a common decree, that they would in no case suffer this day without keeping it holy:}

37 {\cf2 And that the feast should be the thirteenth day of the twelfth moneth, which is called Adar in the Syrians language, the day before Mardocheus day.}

38 {\cf2 Thus farre as concerning Nicanors matters, and from that time the Hebrues had the citie in possession; here will I also make an ende.}

39 {\cf2 If I haue done wel, and as the storie required, it is the thing that I desired: but if I haue spoken slenderly and barely, it is that I could.}

40 {\cf2 For as it is hurtfull to drinke wine alone, & then againe water: and as wine tempered with water is pleasant and delighteth the taste: so the setting out of the matter deliteth the eares of them that reade the storie; here shall be the ende.}