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World English Bible (Catholic) - 2 Maccabees

2 Maccabees 8

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1But Judas, who is also called Maccabaeus, and those who were with him, making their way secretly into the villages, called to them their kindred. Taking to them those who had continued in the Jews’ religion, gathered together about six thousand.
2They called upon the Lord to look at the people who were oppressed by all, and to have compassion on the sanctuary that had been profaned by the ungodly men,
3and to have pity on the city that was suffering ruin and ready to be leveled to the ground, and to listen to the blood that cried out to him,
4and to remember the lawless destruction of the innocent infants, and concerning the blasphemies that had been committed against his name, and to show his hatred of wickedness.
5When Maccabaeus had trained his men for service, the heathen at once found him irresistible, for the wrath of the Lord was turned into mercy.
6Coming without warning, he set fire to cities and villages. And in winning back the most important positions, putting to flight no small number of the enemies,
7he especially took advantage of the nights for such assaults. His courage was loudly talked of everywhere.
8But when Philip saw the man gaining ground little by little, and increasing more and more in his success, he wrote to Ptolemy, the governor of Coelesyria and Phoenicia, that he should support the king’s cause.
9Ptolemy quickly appointed Nicanor the son of Patroclus, one of the king’s chief friends, and sent him, in command of no fewer than twenty thousand of all nations, to destroy the whole race of Judea. With him he joined Gorgias also, a captain and one who had experience in matters of war.
10Nicanor resolved by the sale of the captive Jews to make up for the king the tribute of two thousand talents which he was to pay to the Romans.
11Immediately he sent to the cities upon the sea coast, inviting them to buy Jewish slaves, promising to deliver seventy slaves for a talent, not expecting the judgment that was to overtake him from the Almighty.
12News came to Judas concerning Nicanor’s invasion. When he communicated to those who were with him the presence of the army,
13those who were cowardly and distrustful of God’s judgment ran away and left the country.
14Others sold all that they had left, and at the same time implored the Lord to deliver those who had been sold as slaves by the impious Nicanor before he ever met them,
15if not for their own sakes, then for the covenants made with their ancestors, and because he had called them by his holy and glorious name.
16So Maccabaeus gathered his men together, six thousand in number, and exhorted them not to be frightened by the enemy, nor to fear the great multitude of the heathen who came wrongfully against them, but to fight nobly,
17setting before their eyes the outrage that had been lawlessly perpetrated upon the holy place, and the torture of the city that had been turned to mockery, and further the overthrow of the way of life received from their ancestors.
18“For they,” he said, “trust their weapons and daring deeds, but we trust in the almighty God, since he is able at a nod to cast down those who are coming against us, and even the whole world.”
19Moreover, he recounted to them the help given from time to time in the days of their ancestors, both in the days of Sennacherib, when one hundred eighty-five thousand perished,
20and in the land of Babylon, in the battle that was fought against the Gauls, how they came to the battle with eight thousand in all, with four thousand Macedonians, and how, the Macedonians being hard pressed, the six thousand destroyed the hundred and twenty thousand because of the help which they had from heaven, and took a great deal of plunder.
21And when he had with these words filled them with courage and made them ready to die for the laws and their country, he divided his army into four parts.
22He appointed his brothers, Simon, Joseph, and Jonathan, to be leaders of the divisions with him, giving each the command of one thousand five hundred men.
23Moreover Eleazer also, having read aloud the sacred book, and having given as watchword, “THE HELP OF GOD”, leading the first band himself, joined battle with Nicanor.
24Since the Almighty fought on their side, they killed more than nine thousand of the enemy, and wounded and disabled most of Nicanor’s army, and compelled them all to flee.
25They took the money of those who had come there to buy them as slaves. After they had pursued them for some distance, they returned, being constrained by the time of the day;
26for it was the day before the Sabbath, and for this reason they made no effort to chase them far.
27When they had gathered the weapons of the enemy together, and had stripped off their spoils, they kept the Sabbath, greatly blessing and thanking the Lord who had saved them to this day, because he had begun to show mercy to them.
28After the Sabbath, when they had given some of the spoils to the maimed, and to the widows and orphans, they distributed the rest among themselves and their children.
29When they had accomplished these things and had made a common supplication, they implored the merciful Lord to be wholly reconciled with his servants.
30Having had an encounter with the forces of Timotheus and Bacchides, they killed more than twenty thousand of them, and made themselves masters of exceedingly high strongholds, and divided very much plunder, giving the maimed, orphans, widows, and the aged an equal share with themselves.
31When they had gathered the weapons of the enemy together, they stored them all up carefully in the most strategic positions, and they carried the rest of the spoils to Jerusalem.
32They killed the phylarch of Timotheus’s forces, a most unholy man, and one who had done the Jews much harm.
33As they celebrated the feast of victory in the city of their fathers, they burned those who had set the sacred gates on fire, including Callisthenes, who had fled into a little house. So they received the proper reward for their impiety.
34The thrice-accursed Nicanor, who had brought the thousand merchants to buy the Jews as slaves,
35being through the help of the Lord humbled by them who in his eyes were held to be of least account, took off his glorious apparel, and passing through the country, shunning all company like a fugitive slave, arrived at Antioch, having, as he thought, had the greatest possible good fortune, though his army was destroyed.
36He who had taken upon himself to make tribute sure for the Romans by the captivity of the men of Jerusalem published abroad that the Jews had One who fought for them, and that because this was so, the Jews were invulnerable, because they followed the laws ordained by him.