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World English Bible (Catholic) - 2 Maccabees

2 Maccabees 11

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1Now after a very little time, Lysias, the king’s guardian, kinsman, and chancellor, being very displeased about the things that had happened,
2collected about eighty thousand infantry and all his cavalry and came against the Jews, planing to make the city a home for Greeks,
3and to levy tribute on the temple, as on the other sacred places of the nations, and to put up the high priesthood for sale every year.
4He took no account of God’s power, but was puffed up with his ten thousands of infantry, his thousands of cavalry, and his eighty elephants.
5Coming into Judea and approaching Bethsuron, which was a strong place and about five stadia away from Jerusalem, he pressed it hard.
6When Maccabaeus and his men learned that he was besieging the strongholds, they and all the people with lamentations and tears made supplication to the Lord to send a good angel to save Israel.
7Maccabaeus himself took up weapons first, and exhorted the others to put themselves in jeopardy together with him and help their kindred; and they went out with him very willingly.
8As they were there, close to Jerusalem, a horseman appeared at their head in white apparel, brandishing weapons of gold.
9They all together praised the merciful God, and were yet more strengthened in heart, being ready to assail not only men but the wildest animals and walls of iron,
10they advanced in array, having him who is in heaven to fight on their side, for the Lord had mercy on them.
11Hurling themselves like lions against the enemy, they killed eleven thousand infantry and one thousand six hundred cavalry, and forced all the rest to flee.
12Most of them escaped wounded and naked. Lysias himself also escaped by shameful flight.
13But as he was a man not void of understanding, pondering 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
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.
15Maccabaeus gave consent upon all the conditions which Lysias proposed to him, being careful of the common good; for whatever requests Maccabaeus delivered in writing to Lysias concerning the Jews the king allowed.
16The letter written to the Jews from Lysias was to this effect: “Lysias to the people of the Jews, greetings.
17John and Absalom, who were sent from you, having delivered the document written below, made request concerning the things written therein.
18Whatever things therefore needed to be brought before the king I declared to him, and what things were possible he allowed.

19If then you will all preserve your good will toward the government, I will also endeavor in the future to contribute to your good.
20Concerning this, I have given order in detail, both to these men and to those who are sent from me, to confer with you.
21Farewell. Written in the one hundred forty-eighth year, on the twenty-fourth day of the month Dioscorinthius.”
22And the king’s letter contained these words: “King Antiochus to his brother Lysias, greetings.
23Seeing that our father passed to 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 to the customs of the Greeks, but choose rather their own way of living, and make request that the customs of their law be allowed to them—
25choosing therefore that this nation also should be free from disturbance, we determine that their temple is to be restored to them, and that they live according to the customs that were in the days of their ancestors.
26You will therefore do well to send messengers to 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 to the nation, the king’s letter was as follows: “King Antiochus to the senate of the Jews and to the other Jews, greetings.
28If you are all well, it is as we 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 who depart home up to the thirtieth day of Xanthicus shall have our friendship, with full permission
31that the Jews use their own foods and observe their own laws, even as formerly. None of them shall be in any way molested for the things that have been done in ignorance.
32Moreover I have sent Menelaus also, that he may encourage you.
33Farewell. Written in the one hundred forty-eighth year, on the fifteenth day of Xanthicus.”
34The Romans also sent to them a letter in these words: “Quintus Memmius and Titus Manius, ambassadors of the Romans, to the people of the Jews, greetings.
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 someone promptly, after you have considered them, that we may publish such decrees as are appropriate for your case; for we are on our way to Antioch.

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