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Revised Version with Apocrypha (1895) - 2 MACCABEES


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1Now after a very little time Lysias, the king’s guardian and kinsman and chancellor, being sore displeased for the things that had come to pass,
2collected about fourscore thousand footmen and all his horsemen and came against the Jews, thinking to make the city a place for Greeks to dwell in,
3and to levy tribute on the temple, as on the other sacred places of the nations, and to put up the high priesthood to sale every year;
4holding in no account the might of God, but puffed up with his ten thousands of footmen, and his thousands of horsemen, and his fourscore elephants.
5And coming into Judaea and drawing near to Bethsuron, which was a strong place and distant from Jerusalem about five leagues, he pressed it hard.
6But when Maccabaeus and his men learned that he was besieging the strongholds, they and all the people with lamentations and tears made supplication unto the Lord to send a good angel to save Israel.
7And Maccabaeus himself took up arms first, and exhorted the others to jeopard themselves together with him and succour their brethren; and they sallied forth with him right willingly.
8And as they were there, close to Jerusalem, there appeared at their head one on horseback in white apparel, brandishing weapons of gold.
9And they all together praised the merciful God, and were yet more strengthened in heart: being ready to assail not men only but the wildest beasts, and walls of iron,
10they advanced in array, having him that is in heaven to fight on their side, for the Lord had mercy on them.
11And hurling themselves like lions upon the enemy, they slew of them eleven thousand footmen and sixteen hundred horsemen, and forced all the rest to flee.
12But the more part of them escaped wounded and naked; and Lysias also himself escaped by shameful flight.
13But as he was a man not void of understanding, weighing with himself the defeat which had befallen him, and considering that the Hebrews could not be overcome, because the Almighty God fought on their side, he sent again unto them,
14and persuaded them to come to terms on condition that all their rights were acknowledged, and promised that he would also persuade the king to become their friend.
15And Maccabaeus gave consent upon all the conditions which Lysias proposed to him, being careful of the common good; for whatsoever requests Maccabaeus delivered in writing unto Lysias concerning the Jews the king allowed.
16For the letters written unto the Jews from Lysias were to this effect: Lysias unto the people of the Jews, greeting.
17John and Absalom, who were sent from you, having delivered the petition written below, made request concerning the things signified therein.
18What things soever therefore had need to be brought before the king I declared to him, and what things were possible he allowed.

19If then ye will preserve your good will toward the state, henceforward also will I endeavour to contribute to your good.
20And on this behalf I have given order in detail, both to these men and to those that are sent from me, to confer with you.
21Fare ye well. Written in the hundred forty and eighth year, on the four and twentieth day of the month Dioscorinthius.
22And the king’s letter was in these words: King Antiochus unto his brother Lysias, greeting.
23Seeing that our father passed unto the gods having the wish that the subjects of his kingdom should be undisturbed and give themselves to the care of their own affairs,
24we, having heard that the Jews do not consent to our father’s purpose to turn them unto the customs of the Greeks, but choose rather their own manner of living, and make request that the customs of their law be allowed unto them,—
25choosing therefore that this nation also should be free from disturbance, we determine that their temple be restored to them, and that they live according to the customs that were in the days of their ancestors.
26Thou wilt therefore do well to send messengers unto them and give them the right hand of friendship, that they, knowing our mind, may be of good heart, and gladly occupy themselves with the conduct of their own affairs.
27And unto the nation the king’s letter was after this manner: King Antiochus to the senate of the Jews and to the other Jews, greeting.
28If ye fare well, we have our desire: we ourselves also are in good health.
29Menelaus informed us that your desire was to return home and follow your own business.
30They therefore that depart home up to the thirtieth day of Xanthicus shall have our friendship, with full permission
31that the Jews use their own proper meats and observe their own laws, even as heretofore; and none of them shall be in any way molested for the things that have been ignorantly done.
32Moreover I have sent Menelaus also, that he may encourage you.
33Fare ye well. Written in the hundred forty and eighth year, on the fifteenth day of Xanthicus.
34And the Romans also sent unto them a letter in these words: Quintus Memmius and Titus Manius, ambassadors of the Romans, unto the people of the Jews, greeting.
35In regard to the things which Lysias the king’s kinsman granted you, we also give consent.
36But as for the things which he judged should be referred to the king, send one forthwith, after ye have advised thereof, that we may publish such decrees as befit your case; for we are on our way to Antioch.

37Wherefore send some with speed, that we also may learn what is your mind.
38Farewell. Written in the hundred forty and eighth year, on the fifteenth day of Xanthicus.