First Maccabees Chapter – 4 – World English Bible

First Maccabees Chapters

1 And Gorgias took five thousand footmen, and a thousand chosen horse, and the army removed by night,

2 that it might fall upon the army of the Jews and strike them suddenly: and the men of the citadel were his guides.

3 And Judas heard thereof, and removed, he and the valiant men, that he might strike the king’s army which was at Emmaus,

4 while as yet the forces were dispersed from the camp.

5 And Gorgias came into the camp of Judas by night, and found no man; and he sought them in the mountains; for he said, These men flee from us.

6 And as soon as it was day, Judas appeared in the plain with three thousand men: however they had not armor nor swords to their minds.

7 And they saw the camp of the Gentiles strong and fortified, and horsemen compassing it round about; and these were expert in war.

8 And Judas said to the men that were with him, Fear you° not their multitude, neither be you° afraid of their onset.

9 Remember how our fathers were saved in the Red sea, when Pharaoh pursued them with an army.

10 And now let’s cry to heaven, if he will have us, and will remember the covenant of our fathers, and destroy this army before our face today:

11 and all the Gentiles shall know that there is one who redeems and saves Israel.

12 And the strangers lifted up their eyes, and saw them coming near them:

13 and they went out of the camp to battle. And those who were with Judas sounded their trumpets,

14 and joined battle, and the Gentiles were discomfited, and fled into the plain.

15 But all the hindmost fell by the sword: and they pursued them to Gazara, and to the plains of Idumaea and Azotus and Jamnia, and there fell of them about three thousand men.

16 And Judas and his army returned from pursuing after them,

17 and he said to the people, Be not greedy of the spoils, inasmuch as there is a battle before us;

18 and Gorgias and his army are near to us in the mountain. But stand you° now against our enemies, and fight against them, and afterwards take the spoils with boldness.

19 While Judas was yet making an end of these words, there appeared a part of them looking out from the mountain:

20 and they saw that their army had been put to flight, and that the Jews were burning the camp; for the smoke that was seen declared what was done.

21 But when they perceived these things, they were sore afraid; and perceiving also the army of Judas in the plain ready for battle,

22 they fled all of them into the land of the Philistines.

23 And Judas returned to plunder the camp, and they got much gold, and silver, and blue, and sea purple, and great riches.

24 And they returned home, and sang a song of thanksgiving, and gave praise to heaven; because his mercy is good, because his mercy endures forever.

25 And Israel had a great deliverance that day.

26 But the strangers, as many as had escaped, came and told Lysias all the things that had happened:

27 but when he heard thereof, he was confounded and discouraged, because neither had such things as he would been done to Israel, nor had such things as the king commanded him come to pass.

28 And in the next year he gathered together threescore thousand chosen footmen, and five thousand horse, that he might subdue them.

29 And they came into Idumaea, and encamped at Bethsura; and Judas met them with ten thousand men.

30 And he saw that the army was strong, and he prayed and said, Blessed are you, O Savior of Israel, who did quell the onset of the mighty man by the hand of your servant David, and did deliver the army of the Philistines into the hands of Jonathan the son of Saul, and of his armor bearer:

31 shut up this army in the hand of your people Israel, and let them be ashamed for their army and their horsemen:

32 give them faintness of heart, and cause the boldness of their strength to melt away, and let them quake at their destruction:

33 cast them down with the sword of those who love you, and let all that know your name praise you with thanksgiving.

34 And they joined battle; and there fell of the army of Lysias about five thousand men, and they fell down near them.

35 But when Lysias saw that his array was put to flight, and the boldness that had come upon those who were with Judas, and how they were ready either to live or to die nobly, he removed to Antioch, and gathered together hired soldiers, that he might come again into Judea with even a greater company.

36 But Judas and his kindred said, Behold, our enemies are discomfited: let’s go up to cleanse the holy place, and to dedicate it afresh.

37 And all the army was gathered together, and they went up to mount Sion.

38 And they saw the sanctuary laid desolate, and the altar profaned, and the gates burned up, and shrubs growing in the courts as in a forest or as on one of the mountains, and the priests’ chambers pulled down;

39 and they tore their clothes, and made great lamentation, and put ashes upon their heads,

40 and fell on their faces to the ground, and blew with the solemn trumpets, and cried toward heaven.

41 Then Judas appointed certain men to fight against those that were in the citadel, until he should have cleansed the holy place.

42 And he chose blameless priests, such as had pleasure in the law:

43 and they cleansed the holy place, and bare out the stones of defilement into an unclean place.

44 And they took counsel concerning the altar of burnt offerings, which had been profaned, what they should do with it:

45 and there came into their mind a good counsel, that they should pull it down, lest it should be a reproach to them, because the Gentiles had defiled it: and they pulled down the altar,

46 and laid up the stones in the mountain of the house in a convenient place, until there should come a prophet to give an answer concerning them.

47 And they took whole stones according to the law, and built a new altar after the fashion of the former;

48 and they built the holy place, and the inner parts of the house; and they hallowed the courts.

49 And they made the holy vessels new, and they brought the candlestick, and the altar of burnt offerings and of incense, and the table, into the temple.

50 And they burned incense upon the altar, and they lighted the lamps that were upon the candlestick, and they gave light in the temple.

51 And they set loaves upon the table, and spread out the veils, and finished all the works which they made.

52 And they rose up early in the morning, on the five and twentieth day of the ninth month, which is the month Chislev, in the hundred and forty and eighth year,

53 and offered sacrifice according to the law upon the new altar of burned offerings which they had made.

54 At what time and on what day the Gentiles had profaned it, even on that day was it dedicated afresh, with songs and harps and lutes, and with cymbals.

55 And all the people fell upon their faces, and worshiped, and gave praise to heaven, which had given them good success.

56 And they kept the dedication of the altar eight days, and offered burned offerings with gladness, and sacrificed a sacrifice of deliverance and praise.

57 And they decked the forefront of the temple with crowns of gold and small shields, and dedicated afresh the gates and the priests’ chambers, and made doors for them.

58 And there was exceedingly great gladness among the people, and the reproach of the Gentiles was turned away.

59 And Judas and his kindred and the whole congregation of Israel ordained, that the days of the dedication of the altar should be kept in their seasons from year to year by the space of eight days, from the five and twentieth day of the month Chislev, with gladness and joy.

60 And at that season they built up the mount Sion with high walls and strong towers round about, lest perhaps the Gentiles should come and tread them down, as they had done aforetime.

61 And he set there a force to keep it, and they fortified Bethsura to keep it; that the people might have a stronghold near Idumaea.

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