First Maccabees Chapter – 3 – World English Bible

First Maccabees Chapters

1 And his son Judas, who was called Maccabaeus, rose up in his stead.

2 And all his kindred helped him, and so did all those who clave to his father, and they fought with gladness the battle of Israel.

3 And he got his people great glory, and put on a breastplate as a giant, and girded his warlike harness about him, and set battles in array, protecting the army with his sword.

4 And he was like a lion in his deeds, and as a lion’s whelp roaring for prey.

5 And he pursued the lawless, seeking them out, and he burned up those that troubled his people.

6 And the lawless shrunk for fear of him, and all the workers of lawlessness were sore troubled, and salvation prospered in his hand.

7 And he angered many kings, and made Jacob glad with his acts, and his memorial is blessed forever.

8 And he went about among the cities of Judah, and destroyed the ungodly out of the land, and turned away wrath from Israel:

9 and he was renowned to the utmost part of the earth, and he gathered together such as were ready to perish.

10 And Apollonius gathered the Gentiles together, and a great army from Samaria, to fight against Israel.

11 And Judas perceived it, and he went forth to meet him, and struck him, and killed him: and many fell wounded to death, and the rest fled.

12 And they took their spoils, and Judas took the sword of Apollonius, and therewith he fought all his days.

13 And Seron, the commander of the army of Syria, heard say that Judas had gathered a gathering and a congregation of faithful men with him, and of such as went out to war;

14 And he said, I will make myself a name and get me glory in the kingdom; and I will fight against Judas and those who are with him, that set at nothing the word of the king.

15 And there went up with him also a mighty army of the ungodly to help him, to take vengeance on the children of Israel.

16 And he came near to the going up of Bethhoron, and Judas went forth to meet him with a small company.

17 But when they saw the army coming to meet them, they said to Judas, What? shall we be able, being a small company, to fight against so great and strong a multitude? and we for our part are faint, having tasted no food this day.

18 And Judas said, It is an easy thing for many to be shut up in the hands of a few; and with heaven it is all one, to save by many or by few:

19 for victory in battle stands not in the multitude of an army; but strength is from heaven.

20 They come to us in fullness of insolence and lawlessness, to destroy us and our wives and our children, for to plunder us:

21 but we fight for our lives and our laws.

22 And he himself will discomfit them before our face: but as for you, be you° not afraid of them.

23 Now when he had left off speaking, he leapt suddenly upon them, and Seron and his army were discomfited before him.

24 And they pursued them in the going down of Bethhoron to the plain, and there fell of them about eight hundred men; but the residue fled into the land of the Philistines.

25 And the fear of Judas and his kindred, and the dread of them, began to fall upon the nations round about them:

26 and his name came near even to the king, and every nation told of the battles of Judas.

27 But when king Antiochus heard these words, he was full of indignation: and he sent and gathered together all the forces of his realm, an exceedingly strong army.

28 And he opened his treasury, and gave his forces pay for a year, and commanded them to be ready for every need.

29 And he saw that the money failed from his treasures, and that the tributes of the country were small, because of the dissension and plague which he had brought upon the land, to the end that he might take away the laws which had been from the first days;

30 and he feared that he should not have enough as at other times for the charges and the gifts which he gave aforetime with a liberal hand, and he abounded above the kings that were before him.

31 And he was exceedingly perplexed in his mind, and he determined to go into Persia, and to take the tributes of the countries, and to gather much money.

32 And he left Lysias, an honorable man, and one of the seed royal, to be over the affairs of the king from the river Euphrates to the borders of Egypt,

33 and to bring up his son Antiochus, until he came again.

34 And he delivered to him the half of his forces, and the elephants, and gave him charge of all the things that he would have done, and concerning those who lived in Judea and in Jerusalem,

35 that he should send an army against them, to root out and destroy the strength of Israel, and the remnant of Jerusalem, and to take away their memorial from the place;

36 And that he should make strangers to dwell on all their coasts, and should divide their land to them by lot.

37 And the king took the half that remained of the forces, and removed from Antioch, from his royal city, the hundred and forty and seventh year; and he passed over the river Euphrates, and went through the upper countries.

38 And Lysias chose Ptolemy the son of Dorymenes, and Nicanor, and Gorgias, mighty men of the king’s Friends;

39 and with them he sent forty thousand footmen, and seven thousand horse, to go into the land of Judah, and to destroy it, according to the word of the king.

40 And they removed with all their army, and came and pitched near to Emmaus in the plain country.

41 And the merchants of the country heard the fame of them, and took silver and gold exceedingly much, with fetters, and came into the camp to take the children of Israel for servants: and there were added to them the forces of Syria and of the land of the Philistines.

42 And Judas and his kindred saw that evils were multiplied, and that the forces were encamping in their borders; and they took knowledge of the king’s words which he had commanded, to destroy the people and make an end of them;

43 and they said each man to his neighbor, Let’s raise up the ruin of our people, and let’s fight for our people and the holy place.

44 And the congregation was gathered together, that they might be ready for battle, and that they might pray, and ask for mercy and compassion.

45 And Jerusalem was without inhabitant as a wilderness, there was none of her offspring that went in or went out; and the sanctuary was trodden down, and the sons of strangers were in the citadel, the Gentiles lodged therein; and joy was taken away from Jacob, and the pipe and the harp ceased.

46 And they gathered themselves together, and came to Mizpeh, near Jerusalem; for in Mizpeh was there a place of prayer aforetime for Israel.

47 And they fasted that day, and put on sackcloth, and put ashes upon their heads, and tore their clothes,

48 and laid open the book of the law, concerning which the Gentiles were wont to inquire, seeking the likenesses of their idols.

49 And they brought the priests’ garments, and the first fruits, and the tithes: and they stirred up the Nazarites, who had accomplished their days.

50 And they cried aloud toward heaven, saying, What shall we do with these men, and where shall we carry them away?

51 And your holy place is trodden down and profaned, and your priests are in heaviness and brought low.

52 And, behold, the Gentiles are assembled together against us to destroy us: you know what things they imagine against us.

53 How shall we be able to stand before them, except you be our help?

54 And they sounded with the trumpets, and cried with a loud voice.

55 And after this Judas appointed leaders of the people, captains of thousands, and captains of hundreds, and captains of fifties, and captains of tens.

56 And he said to those who were building houses, and were betrothing wives, and were planting vineyards, and were fearful, that they should return, each man to his own house, according to the law.

57 And the army removed, and encamped upon the south side of Emmaus.

58 And Judas said, Gird yourselves, and be valiant men, and be in readiness against the morning, that you° may fight with these Gentiles, that are assembled together against us to destroy us, and our holy place:

59 for it is better for us to die in battle, than to look upon the evils of our nation and the holy place.

60 Nevertheless, as may be the will in heaven, so shall he do.

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