Second Maccabees Chapter – 12 – World English Bible British Edition

Second Maccabees Chapters

1 So when these covenants had been made, Lysias departed to the king, and the Jews went about their husbandry.

2 But certain of the governors of districts, Timotheus and Apollonius the son of Gennaeus, and Hieronymus also and Demophon, and beside them Nicanor the governor of Cyprus, would not suffer them to enjoy tranquillity and live in peace.

3 And men of Joppa perpetrated this great impiety: they invited the Jews that lived amongst them to go with their wives and children into the boats which they had provided, as though they had no ill will towards them;

4 and when the Jews, relying on the common decree of the city, accepted the invitation, as men desiring to live in peace and suspecting nothing, they took them out to sea and drowned them, in number not less than two hundred.

5 But when Judas heard of the cruelty done to his fellow-countrymen, giving command to the men that were with him

6 and calling upon God the righteous Judge, he came against the murderers of his kindred, and set the haven on fire by night, and burnt the boats, and put to the sword those that had fled there.

7 But when the town was closed against him, he withdrew, intending to come again to root out the whole community of the men of Joppa.

8 But learning that the men of Jamnia were minded to do in like manner to the Jews that sojourned amongst them,

9 he fell upon the Jamnites also by night, and set fire to the haven together with the fleet, so that the glare of the light was seen at Jerusalem, two hundred and forty furlongs distant.

10 Now when they had drawn off nine furlongs from thence, as they marched against Timotheus, an army of Arabians attacked him, no fewer than five thousand footmen and five hundred horsemen.

11 And when a sore battle had been fought, and Judas and his company by the help of God had good success, the nomads being overcome implored Judas to grant them friendship, promising to give him cattle, and to help his people in all other ways.

12 So Judas, thinking that they would indeed be profitable in many things, agreed to live in peace with them; and receiving pledges of friendship they departed to their tents.

13 And he also fell upon a certain city Gephyrun, strong and fenced about with walls, and inhabited by a mixed multitude of various nations; and it was named Caspin.

14 But those who were within, trusting to the strength of the walls and to their store of provisions, behaved themselves rudely towards Judas and those who were with him, railing, and furthermore blaspheming and speaking impious words.

15 But Judas and his company, calling upon the great sovereign of the world, who without rams and cunning engines of war hurled down Jericho in the times of Joshua, rushed wildly against the wall;

16 and having taken the city by the will of God, they made unspeakable slaughter, insomuch that the adjoining lake, which was two furlongs broad, appeared to be filled with the deluge of blood.

17 And when they had drawn off seven hundred and fifty furlongs from thence, they made their way to Charax, to the Jews that are called Tubieni.

18 And Timotheus they found not in occupation of that district, for he had then departed from the district without accomplishing anything, but had left behind a garrison, and that a very strong one, in a certain post.

19 But Dositheus and Sosipater, who were of Maccabaeus’s captains, went out and destroyed those that had been left by Timotheus in the stronghold, above ten thousand men.

20 And Maccabaeus, ranging his own army by bands, set these two over the bands, and marched in haste against Timotheus, who had with him a hundred and twenty thousand footmen and two thousand and five hundred horsemen.

21 But when Timotheus heard of the inroad of Judas, he at once sent away the women and the children and also the baggage into the fortress called Carnion; for the place was hard to besiege and difficult of access by reason of the narrowness of the approaches on all sides.

22 But when the band of Judas, who led the van, appeared in sight, and when terror came upon the enemy and fear, because the manifestation of him who sees all things came upon them, they fled amain, carried this way and that, so that they were often hurt of their own men, and pierced with the points of their swords.

23 And Judas continued the pursuit the more hotly, putting the wicked wretches to the sword, and he destroyed as many as thirty thousand men.

24 But Timotheus himself, falling in with the company of Dositheus and Sosipater, implored them with much crafty guile to let him go with his life, because he had in his power the parents of many of them and the kindred of some: otherwise, said he, little regard will be shown to these.

25 So when he had with many words confirmed the agreement to restore them without hurt, they let him go that they might save their kindred.

26 And Judas, marching against Carnion and the temple of Atergatis, killed five and twenty thousand persons.

27 And after he had put these to flight and destroyed them, he marched against Ephron also, a strong city, wherein were multitudes of people of all nations; and stalwart young men placed on the walls made a vigourous defence; and there were great stores of engines and darts there.

28 But calling upon the Sovereign who with might breaks in pieces the strength of the enemy, they got the city into their hands, and killed as many as twenty and five thousand of those who were within.

29 And setting out from thence they marched in haste against Scythopolis, which is distant from Jerusalem six hundred furlongs.

30 But when the Jews that were settled there testified of the good will that the Scythopolitans had shown towards them, and of their kindly bearing towards them in the times of their misfortune,

31 they gave thanks, and further exhorted them to remain well affected towards the race for the future; and they went up to Jerusalem, the feast of weeks being close to hand.

32 But after the feast called Pentecost they marched in haste against Gorgias the governor of Idumaea:

33 and he came out with three thousand footmen and four hundred horsemen.

34 And when they had set themselves in array, it came to pass that a few of the Jews fell.

35 And a certain Dositheus, one of Bacenor’s company, who was on horseback and a strong man, pressed hard on Gorgias, and taking hold of his cloke drew him along by main force; and while he was minded to take the accursed man alive, one of the Thracian horsemen bore down upon him and disabled his shoulder, and so Gorgias escaped to Marisa.

36 And when those who were with Esdris had been fighting long and were wearied out, Judas called upon the Lord to show himself, fighting on their side and leading the van of the battle;

37 and then in the language of his fathers he raised the battle-cry joined with hymns, and rushing unawares upon the troops of Gorgias put them to flight.

38 And Judas gathering his army came to the city of Adullam; and as the seventh day was coming on, they purified themselves according to the custom, and kept the Sabbath there.

39 And on the day following, at which time it had become necessary, Judas and his company came to take up the bodies of those who had fallen, and in company with their kinsmen to bring them back to the sepulchres of their fathers.

40 But under the garments of each one of the dead they found consecrated tokens of the idols of Jamnia, which the law forbids the Jews to have anything to do with; and it became clear to all that it was for this cause that they had fallen.

41 All therefore, blessing the works of the Lord, the righteous Judge, who makes manifest the things that are hid,

42 betook themselves to supplication, beseeching that the sin committed might be wholly blotted out. And the noble Judas exhorted the multitude to keep themselves from sin, forsomuch as they had seen before their eyes what things had come to pass because of the sin of those who had fallen.

43 And when he had made a collection man by man to the sum of two thousand drachmas of silver, he sent to Jerusalem to offer a sacrifice for sin, doing therein right well and honourably, in that he took thought for a resurrection.

44 For if he were not expecting that those who had fallen would rise again, it were superfluous and idle to pray for the dead.

45 (And if he did it looking to an honourable memorial of gratitude laid up for those who die in godliness, holy and godly was the thought.) Wherefore he made the atoning sacrifice for those who had died, that they might be released from their sin.

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