1 Maccabees: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary 9780300160185

A new translation and commentary on I Maccabees that offers a fresh interpretation of the author’s values and purpose

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1 Maccabees: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary
 9780300160185

Table of contents :
Contents
Preface
List of Editions and Abbreviations
Introduction
Bibliography
Translation
Notes and Comments
Notes
Index of Subjects
Index of Modern Authors
Index of Ancient Sources

Citation preview

1 Maccabees

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The Anchor Yale Bible is a project of international and interfaith scope in which Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish scholars from many countries contribute individual volumes. The project is not sponsored by any ecclesiastical organization and is not intended to reflect any particular theological doctrine. The Anchor Yale Bible is committed to producing commentaries in the tradition established half a century ago by the founders of the series, William Foxwell Albright and David Noel Freedman. It aims to present the best contemporary scholarship in a way that is accessible not only to scholars but also to the educated nonspecialist. Its approach is grounded in exact translation of the ancient languages and an appreciation of the historical and cultural contexts in which the biblical books were written, supplemented by insights from modern methods, such as sociological and literary criticism. John J. Collins General Editor

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THE ANCHOR YALE BIBLE

1 Maccabees A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary

DANIEL R. SCHWARTZ

THE ANCHOR YALE BIBLE

New Haven & London

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“Anchor Yale Bible” and the Anchor Yale logo are registered trademarks of Yale University. Copyright © 2022 by Yale University. All rights reserved. This book may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, including illustrations, in any form (beyond that copying permitted by Sections 107 and 108 of the U.S. Copyright Law and except by reviewers for the public press), without written permission from the publishers. Yale University Press books may be purchased in quantity for educational, business, or promotional use. For information, please e-mail [email protected] (U.S. office) or sales@yaleup​ .co.uk (U.K. office). Set in Adobe Garamond type by Newgen North America. Printed in the United States of America. Library of Congress Control Number: 2021932834 ISBN 978-0-300-15993-6 (hardcover : alk. paper) A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. This paper meets the requirements of ANSI/NISO Z39.48-1992 (Permanence of Paper). 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

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In Memory of Morton Mandel (1921–2019) A great patron of the Humanities and Jewish Studies

‫תנצב"ה‬

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‫ורם לבבך ושכחת את ה' אלהיך ‪. . .‬‬ ‫ואמרת בלבבך כחי ועצם ידי עשה לי את החיל הזה‬ ‫‪—Deuteronomy 8:14, 17‬‬

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Contents

Preface, xiii List of Editions and Abbreviations, xvii

introduction, 1

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1. Title, Major Theme, and Structure 3 A. Title 3 B. Major Theme 4 C. Focus on Simon 4 D. Structure 6 2. Authorship and Date of Composition 7 3. Sources and Chronology 8 4. First Maccabees and the Bible 22 A. Canonical Status 22 B. A Biblical Book? 24 5. Transmission and Text 36 A. Hebrew Original 36 B. Greek Translation 39 C. Transmission of the Greek Text 43 6. This Translation and Commentary: On Themes and Middle Paths 47 7. A Short History of the Hasmonean Period 51 A. Antioch in Jerusalem, ca. 175–168 BCE 51 B. Antiochus’s Decrees and the Judean Revolt, 168–167 BCE 54

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C. The Hasmonean Revolt, the End of the Decrees, and Restoration of Jewish Jerusalem, ca. 166–164 BCE D. The Rise of the Hasmonean State, 163–104 BCE

58 58

bibliography, 65 translation, 107 notes and comments, 149 Prologue: Introducing the Villains (1:1–15) 151 Notes 151 Comments 159 Judea and Judaism Under Antiochus Epiphanes (1:16–64) 161 Notes 163 Comments 176 Mattathias Rebels (2:1–28) 178 Notes 179 Comments 187 The Rebels Overcome Religious Restraints (2:29–41) 189 Notes 189 Comments 191 The Rebels Take the Initiative (2:42–48) 193 Notes 193 Comments 196 Mattathias’s Deathbed Speech and Death (2:49–70) 198 Notes 199 Comments 204 Opening Ode to Judas Maccabaeus (3:1–9) 206 Notes 206 Comments 208

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Contents

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Judas Defeats Apollonius and Seron (3:10–26) 210 Notes 211 Comments 213 Lysias First Sends Gorgias Against Judas, Then Tries It Himself (3:27–4:35) 215 Notes 217 Comments 226 The Purification and Rededication of the Temple (4:36–61) 228 Notes 229 Comments 234 Fighting with Neighbors (5:1–68) 236 Notes 239 Comments 251 Death of Antiochus Epiphanes (6:1–17) 253 Notes 254 Comments 256 Lysias’s Second Campaign to Beth Zur and the Battle of Beth Zechariah (6:18–47) 258 Notes 259 Comments 264 Lysias Besieges Jerusalem but Withdraws (6:48–63) 265 Notes 266 Comments 268 A New King, Renewed Victories (7:1–50) 270 Notes 272 Comments 283 Judas’s Treaty with Rome (8:1–32) 284 Notes 286 Comments 291 From Judas to Jonathan (9:1–73) 293 Notes 296 Comments 305



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Contents

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Jonathan and the Judeans Are Wooed by Competing Seleucids (10:1–50) 307 Notes 309 Comments 319 Jonathan as Alexander’s Ally: Enter Ptolemy VI and Demetrius II (10:51–89) 321 Notes 323 Comments 328 Ptolemy VI Versus Alexander Balas (11:1–19) 330 Notes 331 Comments 333 Jonathan and Demetrius II (11:20–74) 335 Notes 337 Comments 344 Jonathan’s International Ties: Rome and Sparta (12:1–23) 345 Notes 346 Comments 348 From Jonathan to Simon (12:24–53) 350 Notes 351 Comments 355 Simon Takes Over (13:1–53) 356 Notes 358 Comments 369 Simon Ensconced, Now and Forever (14:1–49) 371 Notes 373 Comments 386 Simon on the International Scene (15:1–16:10) 388 Notes 390 Comments 398 Murder of Simon and Two of His Sons; John Succeeds Him (16:11–24) 399 Notes 400 Comments 402



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Contents

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Notes, 403 Index of Subjects, 429 Index of Modern Authors, 437 Index of Ancient Sources, 445



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Contents

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Preface

This volume has been a long time coming. Although at the time I did not realize it, it was born under very tragic circumstances: When my late teacher, Prof. Menahem Stern, was murdered by terrorists in June 1989, the Ben-Zvi Institute in Jerusalem, with which Stern had planned to publish Hebrew commentaries on both 1 and 2 Maccabees, asked the late Uriel Rappaport to take over the former and me the latter. That sent me off to work on 2 Maccabees for many years, until the volume appeared in 2004 (in Hebrew, alongside Rappaport’s) and 2008 (in English). To a significant extent, 1 and 2 Maccabees deal with the same period and the same events, and so it was natural that work on 2 Maccabees continually invited, and very often required, work on 1 Maccabees as well. Such work engendered thoughts and questions large and small, from the most picayune details of chronology and philology to the broadest possible questions about Jews and Judaism, and then to thoughts about why these two ancient Jewish books supply answers that are so very different. But there is quite a difference between thinking about 1 Maccabees while working on 2 Maccabees and thinking about it when it is the focus of attention. Therefore, when John Collins invited me, in 2009, to undertake a new volume on 1 Maccabees for the Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries, I was quite happy to take the opportunity to work out my views in some detail. As is explained in part 6 of this volume’s Introduction, while the commentary attempts to serve the interests of readers and scholars coming from various directions and with various interests, nevertheless it has two main foci. One is the sometimes fascinating contrast between the very biblical language and style of 1 Maccabees, which often can be identified just below the Greek translationese in which the work survived, and the very nonbiblical values that the book usually evinces. The other is the work’s focus on building a nation-state and, especially, on justifying the Hasmonean and particularly Simonide dynasty, which came to rule that state. In both ways 1 Maccabees differs from 2 Maccabees—a book that was not written in Hebrew and so does not read

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like a ­biblical book, and which, as is widely recognized, is a diasporic book that has no interest in the Judean state or the Hasmonean dynasty. Second Maccabees focuses on “Judaism” (a term that it may have invented—2 Macc 2:21, 8:1, 14:38) and is a Jewish book or, more precisely, a Judaic book. In contrast, 1 Maccabees, although its style is usually that of the Hebrew Bible, is, for the most part (after the first few chapters), from the point of view of its values, neither biblical nor Judaic. It focuses on the Judean state and is a Judean book. In my Judeans and Jews (2014), written alongside the preparation of the present volume, I attempted to flesh out how I understand this distinction. Here, in the context of prefatory remarks and disclosure, I will acknowledge the obvious: these two foci, and my willingness to see such a dichotomy between these two books and, more broadly, between these two ways of being a yehudi, have everything to do with my own experience in life. After living the first close to two decades of my life in the United States, where being Jewish was a matter of Judaism, for the past nearly five decades I have lived in a state of which the language is Hebrew but the values, the values of the state, are by and large neither biblical nor Judaic. Every day makes me, as others, confront the challenge of locating myself between the two orientations, and my sensitivity to the contrasts between them underlies much of what I see in 1 Maccabees, by itself and especially in contrast with 2 Maccabees. This leads me to paraphrase my friend Erich Gruen’s comments in a similar context, in the preface to his Heritage and Hellenism (1998, ix): I readily admit that my experience in life has led me to focus on these themes, but as for the possibility that it has skewed my perspectives about them more than it has allowed me to see what there is to see—I leave that to fair-minded and open-eyed readers to determine. Many institutions and friends have helped me along the way, and it is a pleasure to thank them. First, and most obviously: on the verge of retirement it is appropriate that I acknowledge, gratefully, that the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has been my academic home since 1971. Without it—beginning with the great teachers it made accessible to me and on through the wonderful students and colleagues with whom it allowed me to share my scholarly life, along with the support and resources it put at my disposal—this project, as just about everything else I have attempted to contribute to scholarship, would have been unthinkable. At the Hebrew University, most of the work on this volume was completed at my desk in the Mandel Scholion Interdisciplinary Research Center in the Humanities and Jewish Studies, which was my academic home between 2011 and 2019; during the past two years, that work continued at my new desk in the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School for Advanced Studies in the Humanities. The congenial atmosphere and generous support here are incomparable. My dedication of the volume to the late Morton Mandel, the visionary who made it all possible, is the best I can do to express my gratitude to that extraordinary man. Research funds supplied by the Herbst Family Foundation were also important at various junctures, and a research grant from the Israel Science Foundation (no. 436/18) was most useful in the final stages of the project. I am also grateful to Cambridge University Press for its gracious permission to reprint Map 1. In the spring quarter of 2017 I was fortunate enough to be a Greenberg Visiting Professor in Jewish Studies at the University of Chicago, and the wonderful working conditions there, and especially the regular reading and editing sessions with (soon-

xiv

Preface

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to-be Dr.) Joseph Cross, who was much more a partner than the title “research assistant” suggests, gave the project a serious boost. More recently, back in Jerusalem, Natan Evron, who is working with me on the retroversion of 1 Maccabees into Hebrew, has made numerous contributions to this volume. Many friends here at the Hebrew University (including, especially, Deborah Gera, Zeev Weiss, and Yair Zakovitch) and elsewhere—especially Chanan Ariel (Tel Aviv University), Robert Doran (Amherst College), Hermann Lichtenberger (Tübingen), Paul Mandel (Jerusalem), the late Berndt Schaller (Göttingen), and Johannes Schnocks (Münster)—were always willing to help out with this or that question. John Collins, editor of the Anchor Yale Bible, made numerous helpful comments and suggestions on the manuscript. I am very grateful to all of them. This is not to say that I always accepted their advice, or that of others; responsibility for everything in the book remains my own. I also express my sincere gratitude to my students in several seminars at the Hebrew University, and one at the University of Chicago in the spring of 2017, who, in the best tradition of scholarly work, served as sounding boards for my views and made their own valuable contributions to the interpretation of 1 Maccabees. Other HU students helped me in the final stages of this project: Jonathan Howard handled the transliterations of Hebrew, Daniel Lehmann and Chananya Rothner helped with the proofreading, and Chananya also prepared the index of ancient sources. They all offered much advice, beyond their specific responsibilities. I am also grateful to Yehudith Ginzburg, who prepared the index of modern authors. I hope that I have thanked all those responsible for specific suggestions in the appropriate places, and apologize to those whose ideas were so convincing that I too easily forgot their origin and adopted them as my own. Finally, I happily acknowledge that it has been a pleasure to work with the editorial staff of Yale University Press—Jennifer Banks, Heather Gold, Susan Laity, and Abbie Storch, as well as with Jessie Dolch, who did a thorough and instructive job of copyediting. Their professionalism and efficiency go hand in hand with friendly good humor. When I first agreed to write this commentary, one of my main motivations was to see whether I really should see the book as so dichotomously different from 2 Maccabees as I then did—a view that came together with a certain aversion to the book. Now, more than a decade later, I can say that while I still see the book as more or less diametrically opposed to 2 Maccabees, and as epitomizing much of what is challenging about Judea vs. Judaism, or about Judaism in Israel today, I appreciate it more. Going through the book time and again, word by word, and attempting to follow the thoughts and associations of the author (and to recover his original Hebrew formulations and their nuances), turned out to have its charms and attractive challenges, and the book’s values also have their nuances; not everything is either black or white. If the present volume conveys something of this to its readers, and thus helps foster the next generation of serious readers of this ancient work, then, whatever they, in their contexts, think of my understanding of the book and of what it represents, the labor will have been worth it. Daniel R. Schwartz The Hebrew University of Jerusalem August 2021



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Preface

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Editions and Abbreviations

References to 1 Maccabees and citations of its Greek text are according to Kappler 1936. Deviations are explained in the annotations. In three cases (6:24, 9:34, 14:43), doubtful words are printed but struck through. Chapter and verse references to other books of the Bible and Apocrypha are according to the Revised Standard Version. Other Greek texts from the Septuagint are cited according to Rahlfs 1935. The Hebrew Bible is cited according to the Masoretic Text. References to the Mishnah are according to the division in Danby 1933. References to Greek and Latin literary texts are according to the Loeb Classical Library editions. For abbreviations of the titles of biblical books and other ancient works, I follow the Society of Biblical Literature’s SBL Handbook of Style, ed. Patrick H. Alexander et al. (Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, 1999). Unless otherwise stated, all translations are my own. When my discussion of a verse in 1 Maccabees mentions the name of a translator, editor, or commentator but offers no further details, the reference is to that scholar’s presentation or discussion of the verse.

Abbreviations

1QS 1QHa AASOR AB ABD ADAJ

Community Rule (Qumran) Thanksgiving Scroll (Qumran) Annual of the American Schools of Oriental Research Anchor Bible Anchor Bible Dictionary Annual of the Department of Antiquities [of Jordan]

x

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ADPV AfO AfP AGAJU

Abhandlungen des deutschen Palästinavereins Archiv für Orientforschung Archiv für Papyrusforschung und verwandte Gebiete Arbeiten zur Geschichte des antiken Judentums und des Urchristentums AJEC Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity ANRW Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt BAH Bibliothèque archéologique et historique BAR Biblical Archaeology Review BBB Bonner biblische Beiträge BCH Bulletin de correspondance hellénique BDB Brown, Driver, and Briggs 1906 (see bibliography) BETL Bibliotheca Ephemeridum Theologicarum Lovaniensium Bib Biblica BJS Brown Judaic Studies BKAT Biblischer Kommentar, Altes Testament BMCR Bryn Mawr Classical Review BN Biblische Notizen BZAW Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft CBET Contributions to Biblical Exegesis and Theology CBQ Catholic Biblical Quarterly CBQMS Catholic Biblical Quarterly Monograph Series CD Damascus Document CEJL Commentaries on Early Jewish Literature CHANE Culture and History of the Ancient Near East CII Corpus Inscriptionum Iudaicarum CJAnt Christianity and Judaism in Antiquity ConBNT Coniectanea Biblica: New Testament Series CP Classical Philology CPJ 1 Tcherikover and Fuks 1957 (see bibliography) DCLS Deuterocanonical and Cognate Literature Studies DSD Dead Sea Discoveries EA Epigraphica Anatolica EBib Études bibliques EI Eretz-Israel EsBib Esegesi biblica

ii

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Editions and Abbreviations

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EtC FRLANT GCS GLAJJ GRBS HCS HEMGR HSM HTKAT HTR HTS HUCA HZ IEJ INJ JAJ JAOS JBL JCTCRS JH JJS JNES JPOS JQR JRA JRS JSHRZ JSJ JSJSup JSOT JSOTSup JSP JSQ JSS



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Études et commentaires Forschungen zur Religion und Literatur des Alten und Neuen Testaments Die griechischen christlichen Schriftsteller der ersten drei Jahrhunderte M. Stern 1974–1984 (see bibliography) Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies Hellenistic Culture and Society Hautes études du monde gréco-romain Harvard Semitic Monographs Herders Theologischer Kommentar zum Alten Testament Harvard Theological Review Harvard Theological Studies Hebrew Union College Annual Historische Zeitschrift Israel Exploration Journal Israel Numismatic Journal Journal of Ancient Judaism Journal of the American Oriental Society Journal of Biblical Literature Jewish and Christian Texts in Contexts and Related Studies Jewish History Journal of Jewish Studies Journal of Near Eastern Studies Journal of the Palestine Oriental Society Jewish Quarterly Review Journal of Roman Archaeology Journal of Roman Studies Jüdische Schriften aus hellenistisch-römischer Zeit Journal for the Study of Judaism Journal for the Study of Judaism Supplement Series Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Supplement Series Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha Jewish Studies Quarterly Journal of Semitic Studies

Editions and Abbreviations

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JTS Journal of Theological Studies J.W. Josephus, Judean War KJV King James Version LCL Loeb Classical Library Let. Aris. Letter of Aristeas LSJ Liddell, Scott, and Jones, 1992 (see bibliography) LSTS Library of Second Temple Studies LXX Septuagint MGWJ Monatsschrift für Geschichte und Wissenschaft des Judentums MT Masoretic Text of the Hebrew Bible NEAEHLSup E. Stern et al. 2008 (see bibliography) NEB New English Bible NETS A New English Translation of the Septuagint, ed. Albert Pietersma and Benjamin G. Wright (New York: Oxford University Press, 2007) n.F. neue Folge NJPS New Jewish Publication Society Translation (of the Hebrew Bible, 1988) NRSV New Revised Standard Version NTG Nestle and Aland, Novum Testamentum Graece (editions as specified) NTS New Testament Studies OCD Oxford Classical Dictionary, 2nd ed. (Oxford: Clarendon, 1970) OGIS Dittenberger 1903–1905 (see bibliography) o.s. old series OTS Oudtestamentische Studiën PEQ Palestine Exploration Quarterly Per. Livy, Periochae PW Paulys Real-Encyclopädie der classischen Altertumswissenschaft RB Revue biblique RBL Review of Biblical Literature (online) RDGE Sherk 1969 (see bibliography) RevQ Revue de Qumran REJ Revue des études juives RSR Recherches de science religieuse RSV Revised Standard Version

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Editions and Abbreviations

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SBL SBLSCS SCI SE SEbab SEmac SEG SFSHJ SJLA SNTSMS STDJ StPB SVTP Syr. TCAAS TDOT THB TLL TLZ TSAJ TSK TZ UBS VT VTSup WMANT WUNT YCS ZAW ZDPV ZPE



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Studies in Biblical Literature Society of Biblical Literature Septuagint and Cognate Studies Scripta Classica Israelica Seleucid era Babylonian and Jewish version of the SE Macedonian and Seleucid version of the SE Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum South Florida Studies in the History of Judaism Studies in Judaism in Late Antiquity Society of New Testament Studies Monograph Series Studies on the Texts of the Desert of Judah Studia Post-biblica Studia in Veteris Testamenti Pseudepigrapha Appian, Syrian Wars Transactions of the Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament Textual History of the Bible Thesaurus Linguae Latinae Theologische Literaturzeitung Texte und Studien zum antiken Judentum Theologische Studien und Kritiken Theologische Zeitschrift (Basel) United Bible Societies Vetus Testamentum Supplements to Vetus Testamentum Wissenschaftliche Monographien zum Alten und Neuen Testament Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament Yale Classical Studies Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft Zeitschrift des Deutschen Palästina-Vereins Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik

Editions and Abbreviations

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introduction

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1.

Title, Major Theme, and Structure

A. Title “The First Book of Maccabees” or “First Book of Maccabean Affairs” (Μακ(κ)αβαίων or Μακκαβαϊκῶν α′ [or πρῶτον]) is the name given to this work by the main manuscripts of the Septuagint.1 “First” is used to distinguish between it and the Second, Third, and Fourth Books of Maccabees, which were preserved alongside it in the ­Septuagint. ­However, it is not to be assumed that the book, numbered or not, was originally titled “Book of Maccabees,” for, in this book (as also in 2 Maccabees and Josephus), “Maccabee” is the byname of Judas Maccabaeus alone, not that of his clan and successors. The term “the Maccabees,” in the plural, does not appear before the Christian period, and even then it is used, as a rule, not for Judas and his brothers but rather for the martyrs of 2 Maccabees 7.2 True, one might imagine salvaging the received title by rendering it in the singular (“Book of the Maccabee” or “Book of the Maccabee’s Affairs”) and taking it to refer to the history of Judas alone. But that is excluded by the fact that almost half of the book’s sixteen chapters deal with the period, more than two decades, after Judas died (in ch. 9). Moreover, the book in fact ends up by focusing on one of Judas’s brothers, Simon, who competed with him. Note, for example, 2:65, where Simon is given precedence over Judas; 14:29–30, where a pro-Simonide document pointedly ignores Judas; and 16:23–24, where literally the “bottom line” of the book announces the establishment of the Simonide line.3 Since, as we shall see, the book seems to have been produced by a court historian in the days of Simon’s son, John Hyrcanus, it is unlikely that he would have chosen a title that proclaimed a focus on Simon’s brother. Rather, the title “First Book of Maccabees” should be understood simply as the product of scribes’ efforts to organize, side by side in the Septuagint, four books that were kept together because they are historiographical and deal with roughly the same period. The artificial nature of these titles is especially evident with regard to 3 Maccabees, which tells the story of an episode that is said to have transpired several decades before the days of Judas Maccabaeus, and in Egypt—a story that has next to nothing to do with Judea and nothing at all to do with “Maccabees.”4 Another title for the work, reported by Origen in his list of biblical books (in a Eusebian excerpt from Origen’s lost commentary on Psalms),5 has a better claim to be original: Σαρβηθσαβαναιελ (Sarbēthsabanaiel). Taking this to be a transliteration from

3

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Aramaic, and identifying the elements as səpar (“book”),6 bêt (“house” or “dynasty”), and ’ēl (“God”), this apparently denotes the book as “Book of the Dynasty of Those Who [verb] God.” With the help of a talmudic passage that plays with the name of the Hasmoneans’ clan, Jehoiarib (mentioned in 2:1 and 14:29), a name of which the two juxtaposed roots mean “God” and “fight,”7 we may imagine, with Goldstein, that the book’s author, who loved the Hasmoneans, characterized his work as one about “the house of God’s resisters/rebels,” that is, those who rebelled on God’s behalf.8 As is shown by the same talmudic passage (n. 7), however, the dynasty’s enemies, whether contemporary or later,9 found it amusing to portray them instead, ironically, as having rebelled against God.

B. Major Theme That title, insofar as it focuses on the Hasmonean dynasty (although perhaps not, as we shall see, insofar as it defines its rebellion as one on God’s behalf ), is indeed appropriate, for it points directly to the book’s central theme: the rise to power, and the justification of the rise to power, of the Hasmonean dynasty. That dynasty, taking advantage of the weakened state of the Seleucid kingdom,10 ruled Judea between the mid-second century BCE and the Roman takeover of the region in the fourth decade of the first century BCE.11 That was the first restoration of Judean sovereignty since the sixth century BCE, and, as such, it naturally attracted the attention of historians. As Alexander Rofé noted, commenting on 1 Maccabees’ renewal of Hebrew historiography after centuries during which there was none, “one gets the impression that in Israel, as elsewhere, the rise of historiography was connected with the creation of a state.”12 However, 1 Maccabees was not produced by someone who just happened to be interested in observing history, understanding it, and recording it. Rather, the work had a mission, a mandate: it is a work of dynastic history by a mouthpiece for the Hasmoneans, meant to persuade its readers that Hasmonean rule of Judea was entirely warranted and appropriate. For while some outside observers might view the exceptional interlude of Judean home rule simply as a fluke resulting from the passing default of those meant to be the natural holders of power in the East,13 and some Judeans might view the Hasmoneans as usurpers or worse, the Hasmoneans quite naturally thought otherwise. They preferred to recall their own successes and to present them to their subjects as due to their own heroism, sagacity, and perseverance, which entitled them to rule—and 1 Maccabees is their dynastic history, designed to make that case.

C. Focus on Simon That general point of the book, the justification of the Hasmoneans’ rise to power, is obvious and has always been recognized. But within it the work has a special focus, which has much less often been recognized, on one of the Hasmoneans in particular: Mattathias’s son Simon, the father of John, whose succession is reported at the very end of the work. This focus on Simon is particularly clear in two passages that more or less bracket the work: Mattathias’s deathbed speech and testament in chapter 2 is rounded off (in v. 65) with the appointment of Simon to “be unto you as your father,” that is, to replace Mattathias as the movement’s leader; and chapter 14 is filled by a

4 introduction

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long panegyric on Simon, followed by a long document in which a “great assembly” of priests, aristocrats, and other Judeans appoints Simon, and his sons, to rule the state forever. John’s succession at the end of the work, for which the ground was already laid demonstratively at the end of chapter 13, where he was singled out for special attention, fulfills the terms of that decision. The focus on Simon is expressed in numerous ways in the book, both in the forefronting of Simon and the sidelining of his brothers. If Judas is the main hero in chapters 3–9, and Jonathan is never mentioned in those chapters apart from a brief role in the shadow of Judas in chapter 5 (vv. 17, 24, 55), Simon is, in contrast, given an important, successful, and relatively independent role in chapter 5 (vv. 17–23, 55); if Jonathan is chosen to replace Judas in chapter 9, Simon nevertheless appears at his side from the outset and throughout Jonathan’s days (9:19, 32, 37, 62–67; 10:74, 82; 11:59, 64–66; 12:33, 38); if Jonathan initiated the Hasmonean conquest of Jaffa, the author admits it at 10:76 but later attributes that accomplishment to Simon alone (12:33; 13:11; and 14:5, 34), just as, similarly, he briefly recalls Jonathan’s role in the building of the walls of Jerusalem (10:11, 12:36) but ignores it in the pro-Simonide proclamation in 14:37. All of this is just as we should expect from an author who ignores Judas in that foundational document in chapter 14 and mentions Jonathan in it only in a single and somewhat derisive verse (14:30); an author who, of all five Hasmonean brothers (2:2–5), brings only Simon into connection with Mattathias, who was their father and the founder of the line (2:65; 13:3, 25–28; 14:29; 16:2); an author who locates Simon’s tomb at the most prominent place of the family’s memorial monument (see the Note on 13:28, each one opposite another). The same marginalizing of his brothers, via the establishment of a direct line between Simon alone and his father, is indicated by the openings of Simon’s speeches to his subjects, which credit all of the Hasmoneans’ accomplishments as those of “I, my brothers, and my [sic!] father’s family” (13:3, 16:2). The fact that, as shown in the respective Notes, several of the passages that adumbrate Simon’s later prominence disturb their contexts, and thus seem to be secondary insertions into material about Mattathias, Judas, and Jonathan, underlines their importance for the author.14 They testify to the author’s effort to show that Simon’s eventual domination of Judea, and hence the legitimacy of the succession to power of his son, John, in whose days the book was composed (see below, Introduction 2), was meant to be and was well-deserved, not merely scraping the bottom of the barrel after his brothers were no longer alive. The book’s focus on the history of the Hasmonean and specifically Simonide dynasties is also evident in what it does not pursue: two alternative actors or factors that could overshadow or share the Hasmoneans’ role in the creation of the Judean state. The first is divine providence: 1 Maccabees usually ignores God and ascribes him no role in the story (discussed below in Introduction 4B). Second, although it is clear that the internal and external difficulties of the Seleucid kingdom had everything to do with allowing for the rise of the Hasmonean state (see above, nn. 10 and 13), the author expresses interest in the Hellenistic world only insofar as it impinges directly upon Judea. Thus, for example, the author tells us of the struggle between Lysias and Philip only because it brought Lysias to give up his siege of Jerusalem (6:55–63). And if in that case we are at least told that Lysias eventually managed to overcome Philip (6:63), concerning the later struggle between Antiochus VII and Trypho we hear only that Trypho fled



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from Dor to Syria (15:37) but nothing at all about the outcome of the struggle, just as at 10:68 the author apparently saw no need to tell us where Alexander Balas had been before “returning” to Antioch. Indeed, when the book does tell us about major events of extra-Judean history, it tends to portray them as if they derive from Judean considerations. Thus, for example, any reader of 3:27–31 will infer that Antiochus IV invaded Persia so as to fill his coffers in order to finance his efforts in Judea, and any reader of 6:8–9 will infer that it was news of Lysias’s failure in Judea that so depressed the king that it drove him to his death; contrast Polybius (31.9.11), who, although telling a similar story, has Antiochus’s sickness and death resulting from his own failure in Elymais.15 Similarly, when Judeans do figure exceptionally on the international scene, their role is exaggerated. Thus, if 11:41– 51 reports that it was Jonathan and his troops who rescued Demetrius II from his mutinous troops and rebellious subjects in Antioch, even without any help from the foreign troops who had remained loyal to the king (11:38), we should not be surprised that, of the other authors who report the same episode, Josephus includes the foreign troops alongside the Judeans (Ant. 13.137—dependent on some Hellenistic source [see the Note on 11:8, plotted wicked plans]), and Diodorus (33.4) ignores the Judeans entirely.

D. Structure That the rise and justification of the Hasmoneans, and specifically of the Simonides, is the book’s central theme is clearly shown by the work’s basic structure, which is obvious and functional.16 First, chapter 1 sets out The Problem: rule of the East in general by Hellenistic kings (vv. 1–9) and, beginning in 175 BCE (v. 10), rule of Judea in particular by the Seleucid king, Antiochus IV Epiphanes. Since Alexander the Great himself was portrayed as cruel and arrogant (1:2–4), and a century and a half of rule by his successors down to 175 BCE could aptly be summarized as “and they multiplied evil in the world” (1:9), it is natural that Antiochus, the product of such a line and himself “a sinful growth” (1:10), was simply terrible. Chapter 1 tells us first of Antiochus’s conquest of Egypt, the author seeing no need for any explanation beyond his desire to be king of both kingdoms (1:16), and then of his robbery of the Temple of Jerusalem with no need to state any reason at all (1:21–24), apart from his “arrogance” (1:21). That was followed by a perfidious attack on Jerusalem by an emissary of Antiochus (1:29–30), which blossomed into plundering and the establishment of a garrison that kept on plundering the city (1:31–35). Finally, after a dirge bemoaning just how bad things already were (vv. 36–40), beginning with 1:41 the story sinks to a new nadir after Antiochus imposes decrees against the practice of Judaism and has them enforced very cruelly: by the end of chapter 1 we read of men and women being executed because of their refusal to obey the decrees. The situation was horrendous. Following the first chapter’s exposition of The Problem, namely Seleucid rule, summed up in its last words as “there was a very great wrath upon Israel” (1:64), the book’s remaining fifteen chapters proceed to present, step by step, The Solution: the Hasmoneans’ rebellion against Antiochus Epiphanes and his successors until they manage to establish their own sovereign state instead of Seleucid rule. First, chapter 2 describes the initial phase of the rebellion, which was initiated by Mattathias, the patriarch of the family. After Mattathias dies, at the end of chapter 2, he is succeeded by

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one of his sons after another: Judas (from ch. 3 until his death in ch. 9), Jonathan (from ch. 9 until his downfall in ch. 12), and Simon (from ch. 13 until his death in ch. 16). The story is punctuated by the use of ἀνέστη (“arose”) for each Hasmonean in turn (2:1, 3:1, 9:31, 13:14, 14:32). But when a brother replaces a brother, no dynasty is created. On the contrary, that can leave troublesome nephews and cousins around to claim the throne, as happened so disastrously within the Seleucid dynasty.17 Therefore, it was only when Simon was replaced by his son that the dynasty became firmly established. And that is the point at which the book ends, quite abruptly: apart from referring us at 16:24 to some lost chronicle about John (which may or may not have existed)18 and some summary references to John’s accomplishments, all that the final verse of the book reports is that John “became high priest after his father” (ἐγενήθη ἀρχιερεὺς μετὰ τὸν πατέρα αὐτοῦ). Those are the book’s very last words, and, indeed, they are its telos.19 The point of the story has been made: foreign rulers have been expelled from Judea, and now the family that made that happen (“the seed of those men, to whom it had been given that the salvation of Israel [would be] through their hand” [5:62]) rules, and deserves to rule, in place of the foreigners they had overcome and ejected. Thus, as opposed to some other ancient Jewish historical works (such as Esther, 2–3 Maccabees, and Philo’s In Flaccum) that focus on how an opening idyllic situation was affected by a crisis but eventually restored, so that by the end nothing had really changed,20 1 Maccabees tells the story of a major change, from foreign rule to home rule. It is meant to justify that change and the claim to rule of those who brought it about. The work’s structure is as follows: I. The Problem (ch. 1) II. The Solution (chs. 2–16) 1. Mattathias (ch. 2) 2. Judas (chs. 3–9:22) 3. Jonathan (9:23–end of ch. 12) 4. Simon (13:1–16:10)21 a. John (16:11–24)

2.

Authorship and Date of Composition The author’s identity is unknown, but it is obvious that he was a partisan of the Hasmonean family, writing in order to present the dynasty’s story and justify its position—and especially the position of Simon and John—at the head of the Judean state. Most probably he wrote in Judea, probably in Jerusalem, as is suggested both by his intense interest in the dynasty that had its capital there and by the detailed interest and knowledge



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that the book evinces concerning Judean geography;1 one notes, for example, the way in which he mentions names of Judean localities with no need to add explanations.2 A provincial Judean origin is also suggested both by the author’s evident lack of familiarity with the Hellenistic world3 and by the very fact that the book was originally composed in Hebrew.4 While it is not impossible that a Jew of the diaspora wrote in Hebrew, this hypothesis should be considered only when something else points in that direction. The author most probably wrote in the days of John, who took over from Simon early in 134 BCE (1 Macc 16:14) and died in 105/104 BCE.5 That he wrote later than John’s accession, on the one hand, derives from the fact that it is recorded at the end of the book. That he did not write after John’s death, on the other hand, despite the opinion of some earlier scholars,6 may be inferred with great probability from the fact that he twice condemns as arrogant the taking of royal crowns (1:9, 8:14)—something that was in fact done by John’s son and immediate successor, Aristobulus I7 (who ruled for only one year, 104/103 BCE), and was maintained by the later Hasmoneans as well.8 It is difficult to imagine that a pro-Hasmonean history that was written after John’s death, in the court of his sons, would both ignore the events of John’s long period of rule and condemn royal crowns. Narrowing down when within John’s three decades the book was written is more difficult, and there seems to be little to go on. Nevertheless, it appears that we should date the book rather late, perhaps ca. 110 BCE. This is for two main reasons: (1) such a dating sits well with the way two passages (8:10 and 13:30), although formulaic, relate to events of the 140s as belonging to the relatively distant past; and (2) the passage of a few decades would also allow for the development of some significant differences between attitudes expressed in the document of 140 BCE preserved in chapter 14 and those expressed in the rest of the book.9

3.

Sources and Chronology If indeed 1 Maccabees was composed only late in the second century BCE, it follows that half a century or more went by between the earliest events narrated in the book, beginning with Antiochus Epiphanes’s accession to the throne in 175 BCE (1:10) and the intensive years down to Judas’s death in 160 BCE (9:3, 18–22), and the time the book was composed. This raises the question of sources: How—from whom or from what—did the author learn about events that occurred long before his own time? This question is a cardinal one from various points of view. Certainly historians, who want to know what happened and also how the events and processes were interpreted, should want to know, when reading 1 Maccabees or different parts of it, as much as possible about the origin of the account. Was it all composed freely by the author of the work? Or did he use sources, and, if so, can we characterize them and assess his use of them? Can we, for example, locate materials in 1 Maccabees that were actually composed by

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a witness or witnesses close to the events and were included—with whatever editorial intervention, which we also would like to characterize—in the author’s work? Like most things in this world, such witnesses have their advantages and their disadvantages: their closeness to the events imparts special weight to their testimony but also raises the possibility of personal involvement, axes to grind, and lack of perspective, which could affect their accounts. But if we do not know whose testimony we are reading, we can hardly even begin to assess such things. Moreover, even readers who do not care what happened but just want “to be readers of 1 Maccabees”1 should want to know whether they are reading a text that has been pieced together, with greater or lesser felicity, from extant materials or rather an independent composition written by a single hand. In the former event, they will be—unless they believe the same Holy Spirit imbued them all (see Introduction 4B)—under less pressure to harmonize apparent tensions within the work.2 Discerning a book’s lost sources is never without its uncertainties, and this is especially true when, as is the case for 1 Maccabees (as we shall see in Introduction 5), the book did not survive in its original language. Even if the original author of the book used sources, as is likely, the chance that we should be able to discern them with any serious degree of confidence after they passed through not only his own hands but also those of a translator is not very high.3 This sets a high bar for attempts to identify sources: the anomalies such attempts can explain, the problems they can resolve, must be quite pressing and not admit of other solutions. To illustrate what we should be looking for, I offer a brief example in modern source criticism: a comparison of Bickerman’s conclusions, in 1928, from a table that displayed the parallel accounts in 1 and 2 Maccabees, to Abel’s conclusions, two decades later, from a similar table that, as he notes, is based on Bickerman’s. Bickerman 1928, col. 787

Abel 1949, xli

Eine gemeinsame, von beiden Darstellungen ausgezogene Grundquelle, anzunehmen, wie es auch E. Meyer II 458 will, scheint mir nicht erforderlich zu sein. Den [sic] Einfall von Schlatter (Iason von Kyrene 1891), daß diese eventuelle Quelle gerade Iason von Kyrene sein soll (so jetzt auch Kolbe), ist undiskutabel. [To assume that a common basic source was used by both accounts, as suggested even by E. Meyer II 458, seems to me to be unnecessary. [And] Schlatter’s notion, that that potential source was Jason of Cyrene (so too, now, Kolbe), does not deserve to be discussed.]

Une commune source pour les deux livres, comme le prétend Meyer, est une hypothèse inutile et l’idée de Schlatter que cette source éventuelle serait Jason de Cyrène lui-même ne mérite pas la discussion. [That, as Meyer claims, both books had a common source, is a useless hypothesis, and Schlatter’s idea, that this potential source was Jason of Cyrene himself, does not deserve to be discussed.]

On the one hand, I believe all will agree, despite the different languages, that Abel was writing on the basis of Bickerman. This conclusion derives from several



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c­ onsiderations: (1) both sources exist, so we can see their basic identity; (2) just a little bit earlier Abel stated that he was using Bickerman; (3) their parallel texts show the same order of elements (they follow a table that compares the two narratives; they deny the use of a common source, contrary to Meyer; and they deny dependence on Jason, contrary to Schlatter); and (4) they include the very same formulations (“eventuelle”/“éventuelle” and “undiskutabel”/“ne mérite pas la discussion”). Together, those considerations give us great confidence in concluding that Abel used Bickerman here. If we were to meet Abel and he denied it, we would probably assume his memory is playing tricks on him. But none of those considerations apply, and hence no such confidence adheres, to any hypothesis offered about the use of sources by the author of 1 Maccabees. On the other hand, I would note one small difference between Bickerman and Abel: whereas Bickerman notes that the hypothesis of a common source is not necessary (“nicht erforderlich”), Abel notes that it is useless (“inutile”). I take this to be evidence not that Abel’s German was weak, but rather that he realized that being necessary cannot be the only criterion for accepting a source-critical hypothesis. If it were, virtually no hypothesis would ever be accepted. Instead, Abel’s point is that, given the uncertainty that perforce applies to any attempt to reconstruct an ancient writer’s use of otherwise lost sources, we should limit our hypotheses not only to cases that are very probable (even if not “necessary”), but also to cases in which such hypotheses are useful, insofar as they explain the origin of some otherwise inexplicable inconcinnity or conundrum. Usually the two go together: the harder it is to read a text as if it is unitary (written by a single hand in one fell swoop), the more we need a hypothesis about secondary editing, including the possibility of the use of a source or sources, in order to explain how it came to be created. I will now survey three stages in the history of source-criticism of 1 Maccabees.4 1. For several decades around the turn of the twentieth century it was popular to assume that the account of Simon’s days, beginning somewhere in chapter 13, was added to the book after its completion. This was the so-called Addendum Theory, which was based, for the most part, on the fact that Josephus, who follows 1 Maccabees closely until Simon’s days, departs from it after Ant. 13.214, which parallels 1 Macc 13:42. That, of course, could have other explanations as well; perhaps Josephus’s copy of the work was incomplete, or perhaps he preferred his other sources for this or that reason. Nevertheless, the theory was once quite popular5—but it was demolished by Ettelson (1925), who demonstrated, on detailed philological grounds, that those final chapters are well at home in the book. 2. Ettelson swept the field and buried the Addendum Theory.6 But although demonstration that the work was produced by a single author and does not include a postauthorial addendum does not preclude the author’s use of sources, Ettelson’s work put a damper on the search for them too. The only major exceptions came in the wake of Bickerman’s analysis of the chronological systems used in the book, which led him to posit the use of both Seleucid and Jewish sources;7 moreover, his chronological interest also led him to note the basic parallelism of 1 Maccabees’ story line, about Judas, to that in 2 Maccabees.8 Bickerman did not pursue the first point very far,9 and he specifically denied (as we have just seen) that the second one pointed to the use of a common source. Nevertheless, his work eventually led Schunck, Bunge, and Goldstein to posit,

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in detail, the use of Jewish and Seleucid sources, including, especially, a “Judasvita” used by both 1 and 2 Maccabees.10 A priori, the “Judasvita” theory is attractive. Especially in a book that comes to focus on Simon, not on Judas, and that actually troubles to assert Simon’s primacy over Judas at 2:65–66 and to ignore Judas in 14:29–30, it is surprising that so much space is given to Judas. But it is entirely likely that a narrative about Judas would have been produced early on, before Simon and his line took over, and that such a narrative would have been used (even if sometimes misused) by the eventual author of the work; it is easier to imagine a writer inserting substantial material that does not serve his own interests, perhaps editing it here or there, than to imagine him creating such materials himself. Indeed, 9:22 can easily be taken to be a reference to such a source, and often is (see n. 32); and the fact that Demetrius I is portrayed in chapters 7 and 9 as a pawn used by Judean villains, but in chapter 10, retrospectively, as having been a dastardly villain all by himself (see the Note on 10:5, the wicked things that we perpetrated), is further reason to suppose a changed point of view. In contrast, the absence of such a priori considerations concerning sources about Jonathan and Simon, who lived closer to the author’s own day, makes theories about them perforce less attractive.11 Even with regard to Judas, however, it proved difficult to move beyond initial attraction. Whether because of general skepticism about the ability to discern sources in a book that has gone through so many stages12 or of specific objections about details,13 none of the abovementioned theories gained much support, and in the preface to his commentary on 2 Maccabees, J. Goldstein (1983, xi–xii) disowned “most” of what he had written, at length, on the works’ lost sources in his 1976 commentary on 1 Maccabees. That is testimony both to Goldstein’s honesty and to the difficulty of doing that type of work. We will return, below, to the question of the use of a source down to 1 Maccabees 9. 3. There has been, so far, one more round to this story of the history of sourcecriticism of 1 Maccabees, but to understand it we must revert briefly to the question of the work’s structure. A year after Goldstein backed away from his earlier theory, scholarship embarked on a new trajectory with the appearance of Nils Martola’s Capture and Liberation: A Study in the Composition of the First Book of Maccabees (1984). This work, which focused not on source-criticism but rather on form-criticism and compositioncriticism, attempted first to dissect 1 Maccabees into small or very small units and then, in piecing the book back together again, to examine which pieces fit better with which and which seemed, instead, to be isolated “islands.” Of the latter, Martola identified three: chapter 8 (on Rome and the treaty with it), the Spartan correspondence at 12:1–23, and the end of the book (14:16–16:24). After excluding them (although he admits the author may have added them himself ), Martola comes to his real goal: he characterizes the work as having two main parts: “Capture” (ch. 1: “The Origin of an Imbalance,” corresponding to my “The Problem”) and “Liberation” (chs. 2–16: “The Balance Is Restored,” corresponding to my “The Solution”). Martola shows, in detail, just how each part of the work fits into that purpose or (in the three abovementioned exceptional cases) does not. But he was not interested in discerning sources. Neither was David S. Williams, whose monograph (1999a) appeared a decade and a half after Martola’s.14 As Martola, Williams wanted to understand how the structure of 1 Maccabees served its themes and, in that context, whether there



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were “islands” that did not fit in. He focused on two of the three identified by Martola. First, discerning chiastic structures in the book, Williams suggested (departing from Martola) a way to incorporate chapter 8 into the structure of the work—Judas’s treaty with Rome can be seen as mirrored by Jonathan’s. Second, building on Martola’s identification of 14:16–16:24 as secondary, Williams posited, departing from Martola (who was willing to leave that addition to the original author), that the addition reflected a second edition from a period in which the Hasmoneans were less hostile to Gentiles than had earlier been the case.15 Williams’s analysis of the book gained some acceptance, but as Bartlett (2001) observed, it is not very cogent, for three main reasons: (1) “The sections compared here are lengthy; how can we be sure that the author’s mind (and the reader’s eye) would pick out these particular points as obvious mirror images?”; (2) the way some of the sections need to be characterized in order to allow them to mirror one another chiastically is not always natural;16 and (3) “Williams’s structure seems to cross all the obvious boundaries. The career of Judas, for example, is divided between Sections A and B [i.e., at the end of ch. 7], the obvious caesura at 9:22 is played down.” The last comment means, of course, that the basic structure of the work is given by the identity of the Hasmoneans (ch. 2 Mattathias; ch. 3–9:22 Judas; 9:23–ch. 12 Jonathan; chs. 12–16 Simon), and any more subtle structures can be allowed only if they do not obscure this. Would anyone, for example, contemplate dividing the book from chapter 7ff. vs. chapter 10ff. merely because both “sections” open with the nearly identical accounts of the arrival in Syria of new claimants to the throne? I have discussed Martola and Williams in some detail here, although they do not focus on the issue of sources per se, because their work has served as the basis for a most far-reaching attempt to discern sources. Francis Borchardt, in The Torah in 1 Maccabees (2014), takes their work to have revolutionized the field insofar as it shows that dissection of 1 Maccabees into small units can be profitable—and then he pursues that endeavor not to the end of discerning the work’s structure, but rather to the end of discovering sources used by the author. Borchardt discerned what he believed are four main strands within the book, reflecting the use of four sources: a basic work (“Grundschrift”) and three sources that were used to supplement it—one that supplied documents, another that focused on Judean enemies of the Hasmoneans, and a third that contributed material lionizing the Hasmoneans. In the Notes and Comments I discuss several of Borchardt’s observations, and in each case I conclude that the disjunctions and inconcinnities are not so weighty as to justify his conclusions. While frequently Borchardt does point to real problems raised by the text, in my opinion they are usually not so pressing as to require an assumption that one writer did not create the text as it is without using a source, and it is not always the case that his isolation of a passage on source-critical grounds solves a problem for us without creating another that is just as bothersome.17 Take, for example, Borchardt’s analysis (2014, 78–82) of 6:42–46, the story of Eleazar’s death. Although Borchardt opens by admitting that “at first blush it has a number of links to the broader context of chapter 6 and the rest of 1 Maccabees,” never­ theless there are problems: 1. Eleazar appears unannounced at 6:43: readers have not heard of him at all since the bare mention of his name at 2:5, and, in particular, nothing in the preceding

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informed us that he, or any of Judas’s brothers, was at the battle of Beth Zechariah. “One expects that the author would place Eleazar at the scene before he appears to send himself to certain death.” 2. “[T]he rather improbable progression from v. 46 to v. 47.” Namely, “After Eleazar’s great rampage through the phalanx and slaying of the royal elephant is described, one expects that the Judean forces would be inspired and energized to continue the battle. The logic here would be that the heroism and the skill of one man among them was so effective that if they all fought with the same spirit they might gain a victory.” Instead, the Judeans flee. 3. Moreover, Borchardt argues that “v. 47 . . . seems to allege that the Seleucid troops are only beginning their attack at this point . . . It is indubitable that this passage contradicts the whole episode beginning with v. 42. There could have been no fight for Eleazar or Judas if the troops only begin their attack at v. 47.” That is, Borchardt argues that since Eleazar is introduced out of the blue in v. 43 and the continuation of the story in v. 47 makes no sense if it was preceded by vv. 43–46, it follows that the latter four verses are from a different source—H, the Hasmonean source. They were, Borchardt argues, inserted into the midst of a longer story that was based on the main source, the Grundschrift (which focused here on Judas); perhaps the editor who inserted the material was interested in showing that Judas’s brothers played important roles even in his day, a point that would contribute in a general way to the solidifying of Simon’s eventual status as well. That those four verses were inserted is supported, according to Borchardt, by the fact that “v. 41 is continued very logically by v. 47.” This is true, insofar as v. 41 says the Seleucid force was frightening and v. 47 says the Judeans fled. In reviewing these arguments, I would note first of all that they suffer from a usual problem of source-critical suggestions: If the problems that Borchardt notes are so pressing, why did they not bother the editor? The editor easily could have notified us that Eleazar was present; if instead he chose to let us infer that, as we must, should we really be bothered? As for Borchardt’s second argument: note that in his summary, quoted above, he fails to note that Eleazar evidently failed; he was not “effective.” Why, then, should we expect his death to imbue the Judeans with courage and energy? As for Borchardt’s third argument, note that it is predicated on skipping v. 42, which reports Judas’s initial victory over the Seleucid force; Borchardt’s last line on this pericope is that “6:42 is also additional, though its relationship with 6:43–46 is not entirely clear.” What, then, has been solved here? More generally, my basic stance differs from Borchardt’s: whereas time and again he points out that some argument is not sufficient to establish that a given passage is part of the basic work (his first strand, the Grundschrift),18 in fact it seems to me more reasonable to begin with the presumption that everything in the book is by the same hand and then to decide whether, in this or that case, there is sufficient reason to set this presumption aside. This is usually difficult, for the stronger the case for the secondary nature of a text, the more surprising it is that even a secondary editor would let the text pass. This sets, as stated above, a very high bar for detecting interpolations or use of sources: we should allow them only when it seems there is no other choice—when the text as it is, is intolerable, and a motive that may well have moved the putative



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secondary editor is easily identifiable. This seems to me to be the case concerning the references to Simon in 2:65 and 9:33, and probably at 5:17–23 as well, but not with regard to much else in the book. Despite skepticism about our ability to discover sources used in the production of 1 Maccabees, and about what it might contribute to our understanding of the work and of the history that it reports and reflects, it seems that it is worthwhile, and warranted, to point to two cases in which the author depended on written sources. The first is fairly simple and specific: As detailed work by numerous scholars indicates, most if not all of the official documents cited in the work—most of them Seleucid, the others Roman, Spartan, and Judean—are probably authentic.19 True, the original texts are lost, because of the history of the book’s transmission; thus, for the main example, Seleucid royal documents, originally in Greek, will have been translated into Hebrew to be part of 1 Maccabees, and then again translated into Greek along with the rest of the book.20 Moreover, we cannot assume that the pro-Hasmonean writer who composed the work was above making various changes in the documents, whether because of negligence, misunderstanding, or design; probably we should assume that he did, and also admit that we will not always be able to identify such changes. Nevertheless, comparisons with other similar documents preserved elsewhere21 indicate that, as a rule, these documents, which punctuate the narrative especially beginning with chapter 10, may be viewed as authentic source material, probably preserved in Hasmonean archives (see 8:22 and 14:49)22 and used by the writer who produced 1 Maccabees. Whether the author of 1 Maccabees collected these documents himself from archival copies, or rather (as Borchardt suggests)23 someone else collected them and inserted them into the work, they stand out as materials with characteristics of their own. The two significant exceptions to the rule are the long letter by Demetrius I in 10:25–45 and the short letter by King Areus of Sparta quoted in 12:19–23. The former, even apart from its Hebraisms24 and other stylistic issues,25 is so extravagantly generous to the Judeans that it has been rejected as incredible, not only by Jonathan and his followers (10:46) but also by many modern scholars.26 Even in this case, however, there are those who tend to accept it as basically authentic.27 As for Areus’s letter: its text is so reminiscent of biblical Hebrew, and the length of time (more than a century!) that is supposed to have gone by between its receipt and Jonathan’s response (vv. 5–18) is so great, that even conservative scholars find it unwarranted to maintain its presumption of authenticity. Here too, however, the debate continues.28 The second use of a source to which we may point with some confidence is broader, but also more complicated and speculative. Namely, there are a number of differences between the first half of the book, down to the end of chapter 9, and the second half, and together they suggest a change of sources at that point, or perhaps already earlier in the chapter.29 I have already alluded to something of this in connection with attempts to reconstruct a “Judasvita” (above, at n. 10), but now turn to the issue more broadly. 1. Between the end of chapter 9 and the beginning of chapter 10 there is a five-year hiatus (see 9:54, 57 and 10:1), but nothing in the text points this out or shows any awareness of the passage of so much time. Given the fact that the author was hitherto quite concerned to keep us abreast of the chronology of his story, noting the passage of each year between 145 and 153 SE (1:54; 2:70; 3:37; 4:52; 6:16, 20; 7:1; 9:3, 54)

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and then making a summary reference to another two years (9:57), it is quite strange that the work then skips without comment to 160 SE (10:1) and henceforth mentions the passing years only sporadically.30 Thus, to begin with, we read in chapter 10 of 162 and 165 SE (vv. 57, 67) but nothing of 161, 163–164, and 166, and the next year that is mentioned is 167 (11:19). Similarly, later references to dates are relatively few as well; although the story goes down to 177 SE (16:14), there is no reference to 168, 169, 173, 175, or 176 SE (see Table 1). This all suggests a break between the material used for the earliest part of the story, namely, the days of Mattathias and Judas and the immediate aftermath of Judas’s death, and that which follows. 2. There are no Seleucid royal documents before chapter 10 but several after that. True, this could reflect merely the nonexistence of such earlier documents or the Judeans’ failure to preserve them. However, given the fact that we know the Seleucid chancellery was quite active, and that the Judeans did preserve the relevant texts, it seems likelier to suppose that the lack of such documents in the first half of the book points to an author who was less interested in such things.31 3. In commenting on Judas’s death, 9:22 seems to make a plain reference to a written work about Judas: “And the rest of the matters pertaining to Judas and the wars and acts of valor that he did, and his greatness, were not written down, for they were too numerous.” This seems to indicate the use of a source that went only that far.32 4. The last verse of chapter 9 sounds like the end of a story: “And the sword ceased in Israel, and Jonathan resided in Michmash. And Jonathan began to judge the people and made the impious disappear from Israel.” Had the story ended here we would easily accept it as the end of the story, were it not for the references to Simon discussed in the next paragraph. 5. Apart from the listing of Simon as one of Mattathias’s sons at 2:3, Simon is mentioned, down to the end of chapter 9, only at 2:65 and 5:17–23 (and its pendant at 5:55), and a few times in chapter 9. Of these passages, at 2:65 and 9:33 the references to Simon seem clearly to be interpolations into an extant text that did not originally mention him, and this seems to be the case concerning 5:17–23 as well.33 These insertions suggest that the pro-Simonide editor of the work as we have it used materials created during an early period in which no one yet saw a need to adumbrate Simon’s eventual rise to power. 6. The fact that there are serious parallels between 1 Maccabees and 2 Maccabees, down to 161 BCE (where 2 Maccabees ends, after Judas’s last great victory and before his death, in a narrative roughly parallel to 1 Macc 7), suggests that they both used the same source for some of their stories.34 As mentioned above, scholars have invested much energy in attempting to reconstruct or at least to characterize such a source—what German scholars tended to characterize as the “Judasvita” or as Jason of Cyrene’s lost work, while Goldstein settled for calling it the “Common Source.”35 True, to some extent such parallels reflect the fact that both works are narrating the same events, albeit from different points of view, and perhaps all that is required is the notion of parallel memories of the same events; note, for example, the reports of Bible-reading at 1 Macc 3:48 and 2 Macc 8:23, or those of exemptions from battle at 1 Macc 3:56 and 2 Macc 8:13. But at times the similarities at least suggest a common source as well. Note, for example, that there is at least one case in which the author of 2 Maccabees, in telling a story paralleled in 1 Maccabees, seems to have



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been perplexed by his source and not really to have known what to do with it. I refer to 2 Maccabees 13, the story of a second Beth Zur campaign, after the one reported early in 2 Maccabees 11; while 1 Maccabees 4 and 1 Maccabees 6 had no trouble in reporting both campaigns and contextualizing them both separately, the author of 2 Maccabees seems to have been discomfited and not to have been sure what to do with the second account36—which, then, he may well have gotten from a source that served 1 Maccabees too. Similarly, there is at least one verse in 1 Maccabees (7:47) that seems to presume the author knows something reported only in 2 Maccabees (14:33), and it may be that this too reflects usage of a common source.37 But 2 Maccabees does not go beyond Judas’s death (indeed, it stops short of it), and this suggests that the common source too focused on Judas alone. 7. The detailed and vivid nature of the descriptions of Judas’s battles led Bezalel BarKochva, an authority on the military history of the period, to posit their dependence on eyewitness testimony.38 There is, of course, something impressionistic, that is, not easily quantified and pinned down, about this.39 Nevertheless, the alternative explanation for the vivid details, proposed by Dov Gera, namely, that the author was following a Greek literary model,40 is less convincing, for the author wrote in Hebrew. While it is not impossible, it would be surprising to learn that such an author was also capable of, and interested in, reading and imitating Greek classical literature such as that to which Gera pointed. Bar-Kochva thought that this firsthand nature of those battle reports points to oral reports and hence to an early date for the work. If, however, we prefer (as explained in Introduction 2) a later date for the book, a likely explanation is that the eyewitness material found its way into a written account that was later available to the work’s author. Apart from those reasons to suspect that chapters 1–9 reflect a source used by the author of 1 Maccabees, as opposed to the rest of the book, which deals with a period closer to his own day and for which he was much more of an author, there also seems to be room to imagine a further breakdown of the first nine chapters. Namely, with regard to the religious nature of the narrative there is, as we shall see in Introduction part 4B, quite a serious difference between the first four chapters of the work and the rest of it: that is, God functions quite significantly in the former but virtually never in the latter.41 This might imply that the material in the first nine chapters in fact derives from at least two sources, of which the first culminated with the retaking of the Temple (end of ch. 4), and the latter recounted Judas’s subsequent exploits down to his death. It is, in fact, easy to imagine that someone thought the story was over with the rededication of the Temple and also wanted to produce a text that would justify the holiday constituted to memorialize that (4:59); such works are a standard genre.42 And there is also some linguistic evidence that suggests, at least, that the first chapters of the work have a history different from the rest.43 But pending harder and more comprehensive evidence for such a further source-critical breakdown of chapters 1–9,44 I will not speculate any further about it. Finally, note that traditionally, and especially since Bickerman 1928, discussions of sources of 1 Maccabees have focused on the way the book keeps track of the passage of time. This is because it is normally assumed that any writer will use one system of dating, so the presence of more than one system in a given work immediately suggests the

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Table 1. Seleucid era (SE) years mentioned in 1 Maccabees Reference in 1 Macc SE year A 1:10 B 1:20 C 1:29 D 1:54 E 2:70 F 3:37 G 4:28 H 4:52 I 6:16 J 6:20 K 7:1 L

9:3

M 9:54 N 9:57 O 10:1 P

10:21

Q 10:57 R 10:67 S 11:19 T 13:41 U 13:51 V 14:1 W 14:27 X 15:10 Y 16:14

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137

Event

Antiochus IV ascends to throne 143 Antiochus leaves Egypt “Two years later” Beginning of Antiochus’s persecution 145, Kislev Antiochus defiles Temple 146 Mattathias dies 147 Antiochus begins eastern campaign “The next year” Lysias’s campaign 148, Kislev Judas rededicates Temple 149 Death of Antiochus Epiphanes 150 Judas besieges the Akra 151 Demetrius I takes over the kingdom 152, “in the first Bacchides’s invasion of Judea month” 153, “in second Death of Alcimus month” Two years of After death of Alcimus peace 160 Appearance of Alexander Balas 160, “in the Jonathan dons high-priestly seventh month” vestments on festival of Tabernacles 162 Marriage of Cleopatra Thea and Alexander Balas 165 Appearance of Demetrius II 167 Death of Alexander Balas and Ptolemy VI; Demetrius II reigns alone 170 Liberation of Judea 171, in “the Conquest of the Akra second month” 172 Demetrius II begins eastern campaign 172, Elul Popular decree in favor of Simon 174 Appearance of Antiochus VII 177, Shebat Murder of Simon

SE mac SE bab began in began in autumn of spring of 176

175

170

169

168 167 166

167 166 165

165 164

164 163

163 162

162 161

161

160

160

159

153

152

153

152

151

150

148 146

147 145

143 142

142 141

141

140

141

140

139 136

138 135

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work of more than one author, and this is especially the case if also the contents of the documents suggest input from contexts that use different systems.45 For many decades, scholars have, on the basis of such considerations, been studying whether more than one system is employed in 1 Maccabees and what this might suggest about the work’s sources. As is appropriate for a historical work, events are frequently dated in 1 Maccabees. Years are counted according to the Seleucid era (SE)—the era, used widely in the Hellenistic East, which began with the year that was traditionally recognized as the birth of the Seleucid kingdom with Seleucus I Nicator’s conquest of Babylon: 312/311 BCE. First Maccabees, which covers the forty years from Antiochus’s ascent to the Seleucid throne (175 BCE) to John Hyrcanus’s ascent to Judea’s (134 BCE), includes twenty-two references to specific SE years; and, as may be seen in Table 1, without exception the dates all appear in order and thus serve as a convenient basic scaffolding for the book, pointing out to readers the passage of time as the story moves along. Table 1 also includes (in lines C, G, and N), apart from the twenty-two references to SE years, three prose references to the passage of years; they too are part of the author’s effort to allow readers to keep abreast of the passage of time. As may be seen in the last two columns of Table 1, there were two versions of the Seleucid era. The “Macedonian” system, used by the Seleucids (as others), counted years from the autumn, so its Year 1 ran from the autumn of 312 BCE to that of 311. The “Babylonian” system, used by Jews, among others, counted years from the spring (beginning with the Babylonian month of Nisannu [Heb. Nisan]; see, for example, Exod 12:2 and Josephus, Ant. 11.109 [“the Festival of Unleavened Bread, in the first month, which among the Macedonians is called Xanthicus but among us—Nisan”]), so its Year 1 ran from the spring of 311 BCE to that of 310.46 This means that from the spring to the fall of each year the number of the year in both systems was identical, but from the fall to the spring of each year the SEmac year was one ahead of the SEbab year. This creates the potential problem that an event that occurs in the winter but has an SEbab date can appear to be earlier than an event that occurred earlier the same winter but has an SEmac date, unless we are aware of which system is followed for each datum. First Maccabees shows no awareness of the existence of two different systems, and that is what generates the relevance of this issue for sources, for (as stated above) normally we would assume that the same author would always use the same system or, if not, make an effort to distinguish between the ones he uses. A priori, a Judean book such as 1 Maccabees, which was originally written in Hebrew (see Introduction 5A), might be expected to use the Babylonian system. This is particularly likely in eight of the cases listed in Table 1: the four (D, H, W, and Y) that use Hebrew month-names and the four (L, M, P, and U) in which an ordinal number identifies the month, for that was a Hebrew (biblical) practice47 but not a Macedonian one.48 Although it is theoretically possible that a writer might combine Hebrew monthnames or month-numbers with Macedonian years (just as Jews today might speak of “Tishri 2020”), there is no particular reason to expect this. The fact that eight of the twenty-two SE dates are very likely according to the Babylonian system creates something of a presumption that all the dates in the book follow that system. And it is bolstered by the fact that such is naturally to be expected

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from a Judean and Hebrew book and by the normal assumption that any given work will use only one system. However, the fact is that 1 Maccabees deals with a clash between Judeans and a Hellenistic monarchy and gives a good bit of information about Seleucid kings and pretenders to the Seleucid throne. Therefore, it is natural to assume that at least some of the author’s information derived from a Hellenistic source or sources that dealt with the Seleucids. But if so, it follows that—since, as mentioned above, the author nowhere shows any awareness that two SE systems existed—it might be that he took from such a Hellenistic source chronological data that were based on the SEmac system and copied them, without correction, into his own work, for which SEbab was (as we have posited) the rule. Especially when a date in 1 Maccabees does not seem to be correct when taken as according to the SEbab system, but is correct if interpreted as SEmac, we have to choose between thinking our author simply erred and the possibility that he got his datum from a Hellenistic source and reproduced it unchanged. If the date in question relates to an event of Seleucid history, it is somewhat attractive to prefer the latter alternative. The parade example for this issue is I in Table 1, the statement at 6:16 that Antiochus died in 149 SE. That year ran from autumn 164 to autumn 163 in the Macedonian system but from spring 163 to spring 162 in the Babylonian system. Since we know from a Babylonian astronomical diary that Antiochus’s death became known in Babylonia in Kislev of 148 SEbab (November/December 164 BCE), and that his corpse was being transferred back to Syria during the next month,49 it is clear that the date in 6:16 is correct only according to the SEmac system. This might well be an instance of the potential problem mentioned above. Namely, if the author of 1 Maccabees—who believed, as we see at 4:52, that Judas’s rededication of the Temple was in 148 SE—had a source that dated Antiochus’s death to 149 SE and was not aware that it followed the SEmac system, he would with complete confidence give the materials in their current order: the dedication, in chapter 4, precedes Antiochus’s death, in chapter 6. Of course, other explanations are possible. It could be that the author did not find the datum about Antiochus’s death in a Hellenistic source, or that he did but was aware of the use of different eras; perhaps he simply misstated the year of Antiochus’s death in Judean (SEbab) terms—whether by mistake or by design. Note, moreover, that it is quite possible that news of Antiochus’s death arrived in Jerusalem only after the dedication of the Temple; perhaps that guided the author in arranging the materials. Moreover, the author’s arrangement of the events, including his postdating of Antiochus’s death, amounts to the claim that Judas reconquered Jerusalem and the Temple while Antiochus was still alive, which sounds more respectable and heroic than the way 2 Maccabees 9–10 tells the story, which has Antiochus die first and Judas taking advantage of that. The way to determine whether 1 Maccabees’ date at 6:16 came to it simply, from a Hellenistic source, or rather is the product of some error or devious misrepresentation, is to see whether we can find more cases in which an SE date in the book does not work as SEbab but does work as SEmac. The more such cases there are, the likelier it is that we should turn to a single explanation—the use of a Hellenistic source or sources—for them all.



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Here, however, the going is not easy, for, as we shall see, concerning too many dates we either know too little to assess them or we know they could be correct according to both systems. So far, of the twenty-two years mentioned in the book, we have looked at nine and seen that for eight SEbab should be assumed while concerning one, the date of Antiochus’s death, we have to choose between SEmac and the author being mistaken. Turning now to the other thirteen years listed in Table 1, we note the following: 1. A could be right according to either system because Antiochus became king in September of 175—which was toward the end of 137 SEmac and in the middle of 137 SEbab. See the Note on 1:10, 137th year. 2. B could be correct according to either system, for if we assume that 1:20 refers to Antiochus IV’s return to Syria after his first invasion of Egypt (see the Note on 1:17, So he invaded Egypt), that return came apparently in the summer of 169 BCE,50 which was in 143 SE according to both systems. (If the reference were to Antiochus’s second return from Egypt, after his humiliation there by Popilius Laenas, which came only after the battle of Pydna late in June of 168, the date would be wrong according to both systems.) 3. E, the date of Mattathias’s death, cannot be assessed, as it is not mentioned elsewhere.51 But we would certainly expect such a datum to be preserved by Judeans in their system—SEbab. 4. F cannot be assessed, for the beginning of Antiochus’s eastern campaign is now dated to the spring of 165,52 which is in the part of the year in which the systems overlap. 5. J is apparently wrong, as it fits neither SE system; instead of 150, the year should be 149, as in 2 Macc 13:1. See the Note on 6:20, 150th year. 6. K, Demetrius I’s takeover of the throne, works only with the SEmac system, since we know that Demetrius escaped Rome in the late summer of 16253 and that he certainly took over before the following spring, when 151 SEbab began. The latest mention of Antiochus V as reigning is from October 162.54 7. O, the appearance of Alexander Balas: Bernhardt (2017, 345) places this in autumn/ winter 153/152, which fits only the SEmac system. This, however, assumes a rather swift series of events after Alexander garnered at least passive Roman support in the summer of 153 (Polybius 33.18). Ehling (2008, 147–148), in contrast, assumes that Alexander’s stay thereafter in Ephesus, to organize his army, reported by Polybius (ibid.), took up the winter of 153/152—and so it was only in the spring of 152 that he moved out into Syria; thus the beginning of his reign is to be dated to the summer of 152 (Ehling 2008, 149).55 That was in 160 SE by both reckonings. This reconstruction has the additional advantage of allowing Alexander’s takeover to be not long before the autumn (152) holiday of Tabernacles, as is suggested by the order of events in chapter 10. 8. Q, the marriage of Cleopatra Thea, cannot be dated precisely. Huß (2001, 584, n. 372) places it tentatively in October 150, but that is only in order to let the present datum be according to SEmac. 9. R, the appearance of Demetrius II, is placed by Ehling (2008, 159) in the spring of 147, which could fit either system. The only sources Ehling cites are this verse (1 Macc 10:67) and Josephus, Ant. 13.86, which is dependent upon it.

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10. S cannot be assessed, for the battle at which Balas and Ptolemy VI died is dated to the summer of 145, the time of year in which both SE systems overlap. See the Notes on 11:15, confronted him, and on 11:18, King Ptolemy had died. 11. T seems to be taken from the letter that immediately precedes it, in which case it will be an SEmac date. The fact that this assumption permits us to allow that SEmac year (170) to overlap “the 169th year” mentioned in the Judean letter (which presumably followed the SEbab system) cited at 2 Macc 1:7, and thus to supply a reasonable background for the occasion of that letter, is a bonus that makes this assumption all the more attractive. See the Note on 13:41, 170th year. 12. V—as Dąbrowa 1999 has shown, reading this as an SEmac year makes Demetrius II’s campaign far too long, but reading it as SEbab works fine. See the Note on 14:1, 172nd year. 13. X, the appearance of Antiochus VII Sidetes. Assuming that he took over following the capture of his brother, which is now dated to the summer of 138 (see the Note on 14:3, seized him), this date could be correct according to either system. This survey indicates, first of all, that of the twenty-two years mentioned in the book, nine—the eight mentioned above and V—apparently follow the SEbab system, and probably a tenth one (E) does as well, while of the other twelve, only three—I, K, and T—seem to follow the SEmac system. In one case, T, we can point to the Seleucid letter that apparently supplied the date. But in the other two cases (I and K), we cannot point to any such source, and it does not seem warranted to posit, on the basis of such sparse evidence, that the author took them from a Seleucid source or sources. Perhaps one of the other options (the author meant to date it according to his usual SEbab system but was mistaken, or we are mistaken about the facts) is in fact to be preferred. But—and here is the main point in the present context—even if the author did take those data from such a Seleucid source or sources, we should underline that they all pertain to such framework details as the year of a king’s accession to the throne or the year of his death—precisely the type of data that a Judean historian might extract from some handbook or chronicle. That is: even if the author of 1 Maccabees used such a source or sources, all we know is that he cherry-picked such external data. This leads to no broader conclusions regarding the use of such sources for the stories in 1 Maccabees in which these data are found. Compare, for example, Josephus, Ant. 11.304–305: in the midst of a story about Judean affairs, chock-full of details about tensions within the high priesthood (§§297– 303) and between Judeans and Samaritans (§§302–303, 306–312), there is a brief but very detailed report about the murder of Philip II (“at Aegae by Pausanias, son of Cerastes, of the Orestae family”) and the beginning of Alexander the Great’s campaign eastward, through a detailed list of Anatolian regions (“Lydia, Ionia, Caria, Pamphylia”). Even had Josephus not ended §305 with “as has been related elsewhere,” we still would have assumed that the paragraph is the product of Josephus’s swooping down into some handbook on Hellenistic history in order to extract enough data to anchor his story in historical time and make it move forward (for by §313 Josephus will need Alexander to be approaching Syria, so as to involve him in his story about Judea). But Josephus’s use of that other source is quite isolated and has no larger consequences for Josephus’s story here. So too, it seems, is the situation concerning 1 Maccabees. Bickerman’s conclusion,



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in his 1937 discussion of the issue, thus seems indeed to be the most one would want to say about the issue: We may assume, therefore, that the author of 1 Maccabees . . . took these dates, which he had used as fixed points in his Jewish chronicle, from some Seleucid work. There, of course, the dates were given according to the official system [= SEmac]. The author of 1 Maccabees failed to make the necessary recalculations, which were without import to him or his readers. Such a dependence upon the calendrical system of the sources, used at various points, can be demonstrated in the case of many ancient historians, e.g., Josephus or Porphyry, and even in Polybius.56 That is, the most we might say is that it is quite possible that the author “took dates” from such a source, which might have been no more than a laconic king list. From there to the incorporation of more from such sources is a leap, which is possible, but requires evidence that so far is not forthcoming.

4.

First Maccabees and the Bible Alongside the question of the author’s sources for the work’s contents, there arises the question of his models and inspiration for the way he tells the story. This will bring us to what is, for the present writer, the most interesting aspect of the book: the stark contrast between its heavy dependence upon the Hebrew Bible as a stylistic and literary model, on the one hand, and its radical departure from biblical assumptions and values, on the other. Both assessments need to be demonstrated. First, however, we must devote a short discussion to that which creates the expectation that the work is biblical in nature, namely, the fact that it is part of the Christian Bible.

A. Canonical Status First Maccabees is among those ancient Jewish works that were not preserved as part of the Jewish Bible but are included in Christian Bibles “one way or another—by the custom of including them in Eastern Orthodox Bibles; by the decree of the Council of Trent (in 1546) for their inclusion in Roman Catholic Bibles; [or] by the practice, now current again, of including these books in most Protestant Bibles, but in [a] special section apart from the undisputed canonical books.”1 That is, these books are part of the Bible, or are closely associated with it, but with some room for reservations about their status—and so it has been since antiquity. Thus, although 1 Maccabees is not quoted or apparently alluded to in the New Testament,2 it is quoted as authoritative by church fathers beginning with Tertullian (d. 220 CE). But they do not quote it often. As Kappler put it, the contribution of

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­patristic literature to establishing the text of 1 Maccabees (i.e., the extent of that literature’s citations of the book) is very minimal: “außerordentlich gering” for the Greek fathers and “verhältnismässig sehr klein” for the Latin fathers.3 Indeed, it seems that both 1 and 2 Maccabees were “apparently little read in the patristic age,”4 and the lion’s share of references to them that do survive are to 2 Maccabees.5 That relative lack of interest in 1 Maccabees is because most Christian interest in the Maccabees focuses on stories of persecution and martyrdom, which so often served as models for Christian martyrs.6 For while 2 Maccabees lionizes the martyrs and gives them an absolutely central function, 1 Maccabees, as we shall see, has precious little to say about them, and what it does say in no way posits their response to persecution. Thus we can understand that, for example, such a serious church author as Athanasius of Alexandria seems never, to judge by the silence of his large corpus of extant writings, to have had any interest in citing the book.7 Formally, 1 Maccabees was included in lists of canonical books,8 especially in the West;9 but even in the West, note that Hilary of Poitiers, who otherwise copied Origen’s list, simply omitted his reference to it.10 Moreover, even when it was mentioned, it was often marked as “outside” of the canon, “ecclesiastical” or “apocryphal”;11 there was no pressing reason to be very clear-cut about the precise status of noncanonical books.12 One way or another, the book survived as part of the Septuagint and the Vulgate, and this meant it was available for use as needed.13 Heroic defenders of the church over the centuries could be characterized as Judas Maccabaeus;14 in the eleventh-century investiture struggle church writers would argue as to the implications of Jonathan (10:20) and Simon (14:38) having accepted their appointments to the high priesthood by Seleucid monarchs,15 just as they could point more generally to the Maccabees’ revolt as precedent for the use of violence against a ruling power16 and portray Heinrich IV as a latter-day Antiochus;17 and by the end of that century, and for a long time thereafter, especially the Crusaders and their chroniclers would find it quite useful to quote and apply 1 Maccabees as a source of encouragement in their wars against infidels.18 Such Crusader heroes as Baldwin I and Godfrey of Bouillon were portrayed and remembered in the image of Judas Maccabaeus, and material from 1 Maccabees was explicitly quoted with regard to them,19 just as later religious swashbucklers in search of canonical models, whether in Germany or in England, would be happy to make use of the book.20 As with other books of the Apocrypha, it was only in the sixteenth century that the status of the book came to be pinned down, in the context of polemics: when ­Luther and other Reformers attempted to clarify the borders of the canon by excluding the apocryphal books since they were not part of the Hebrew Bible, or for some other reason, and therefore relegated 1 Maccabees, along with the rest, to a clearly second-rate status of Apocrypha,21 Catholic Counter-Reformers, in reaction, responded by insisting they were fully a part of sacred scripture and proclaiming anathema sit concerning anyone who disagreed in whole or part.22 Interestingly, however, the participants in the Council of Trent, who proclaimed that insistence, deliberately abstained—so as not to legitimize any argument—from discussing the merits of the books in question; their decision was based on precedent alone, along with the need to close ranks and rebuff the Reformers.23 It is interesting to wonder what they would have concluded about 1 Maccabees had they undertaken to



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assess each book separately and measure its essence and its values against those of the Hebrew Bible or the New Testament.

B. A Biblical Book? First Maccabees presents quite a striking contrast between its language and style on the one hand and its spirit and values on the other. It is clear that the book draws extensively upon the Hebrew Bible for its language and style, and “there is a wide consensus that the author of 1 Maccabees was imitating biblical historiography.”24 The biblical Hebrew in which it was written is frequently palpable beneath the Greek of the extant translation, both in its paratactic syntax (καὶ . . . καὶ . . . καὶ . . .) and its vocabulary (such as “by the mouth of the sword” [5:28, 51], “daughters” of a city [5:8, 65], and “defeated from his face” [1:18; 6:6]) (see below, Introduction 5). Again, the book frequently adopts biblical models, such as by explicitly comparing the enmity between Judeans and Idumeans to that between Jacob and Esau (5:2–3) and implicitly comparing Mattathias’s final speech to Joshua’s (2:19–20//Josh 24:15), Judas’s rescue of the Gileadites to Saul’s rescue of Jabesh-Gilead (1 Macc 5//1 Sam 11),25 Judas’s death to that of Saul (9:21//2 Sam 1:19, 27), the frightening Seleucid elephants to the divine chariot of Ezekiel’s vision (6:36//Ezek 1:17, 19), the wicked Bacchides to the wicked Ishmael b. Nethaniah (7:19//Jer 41:7, 9), Alexander Balas’s choice of Jonathan to Pharaoh’s choice of Joseph (10:16//Gen 41:38), Simon’s reburial of Jonathan to David’s reburial of Saul and Jonathan (13:25//2 Sam 21:12–14), and Nicanor’s hatred of the Judeans to Haman’s hatred of the Jews (7:26//Esth 7:6); perhaps the book even intends readers to think of the wicked Jambriites of 9:40 as latter-day residents of Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen 14:10). And it certainly wanted us to recognize in Simon the fulfiller of all sorts of biblical promises, enumerated in 14:4–15 (see the Notes there). Moreover, there are also many passages in which the author formulates texts on the basis of biblical precedents although it appears to be clear that he has no intention to compare the characters involved, much less to identify them typologically. Thus, for example, at 7:35 Nicanor makes a threat using a formulation the Bible puts into Gideon’s mouth in a similar situation (Judg 8:9), and then he departs from the Temple in wrath, just the way Moses departed from Pharaoh according to Exod 11:8; but no one should imagine that the author was typologically identifying Nicanor as either of those heroes, or even be sure that the author was thinking of them. Similarly, we may assume that the book does not mean to compare Judas to the wicked Balak (9:8//Num 22:6), Bacchides to God (9:22//Exod 4:24), the Hellenizers (1:15//1 Kgs 21:20, 25) or Jonathan (10:70//1 Kgs 20:23–30) to Ahab, Demetrius I to Balak and Jonathan to the wicked Bileam (!) at 11:42 (//Num 22:17), or Antiochus Sidetes to Balak at 15:9; nor—to revert to the above examples—are readers supposed to infer that both Judas (ch. 5; 9:21) and Jonathan (13:25) are new Sauls or Simon is a new Hezekiah (15:32//2 Kgs 20:12–19// Isa 39). Rather, the author is simply enjoying the use of formulations and motifs that derive from and point to his “bookshelf,” the literary legacy he shares with his readers. Allusions to the Bible in the work are legion.26 Thus, one can fully agree with Abraham Kahana, who translated the work into Hebrew in the 1930s and in his introduction told his readers that the author of 1 Mac-

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cabees “wrote the book in Hebrew and particularly in the style of the books of the Hebrew Bible, with which he was very familiar.”27 Indeed, given the fact that “Darius the Persian” was the last Persian king mentioned in the Hebrew Bible (Neh 12:22), the very fact that the book’s first verse refers to “King Darius of the Persians and the Medes” is probably meant to signal to readers that it continues history from where the Bible left off.28 However, it is quite difficult to agree with the continuation of Kahana’s assessment, namely, that the author of 1 Maccabees was “full of the spirit” of the Hebrew Bible and that therefore he “was able to write a book that is like another link continuing the chain of the sacred books themselves.” Although Kahana is far from the only writer who has taken 1 Maccabees to be in fundamental agreement with biblical tradition, and some scholars have claimed specifically that it is firmly in the Deuteronomistic tradition,29 this seems to me to be missing the mark by far. True, one can understand that Zionist scholars like Kahana would prefer that a Judean book devoted to state-building be part and parcel of authentic Jewish tradition,30 just as one can understand that Christians, and especially Catholics, for whom the book is canonical or at least deuterocanonical,31 might feel a similar need to make the book at home in sacred scriptures.32 But the facts seem to me to point in a very different direction. To understand this, we must recognize that the hallmark of biblical historiography, especially with regard to human heroism (which is what 1 Maccabees is about), is what has been termed “double causality.” This is the assumption that behind and beyond the mundane causes for things in this world, namely, behind and beyond the workings of nature, chance, and power, God is also pursuing his own purposes.33 As Wright put it, “the basic substance of biblical theology . . . is fundamentally an interpretation of history, a confessional recital of historical events as the acts of God.”34 And this is the case even, perhaps especially, when the Bible recounts the accomplishments of human heroes. In such contexts, the Bible typically ascribes a prominent role to God’s providential care for his covenantal partners, which includes reward for those who serve and obey him and punishment for those who do not. This ascription comes in various forms. One is explicitly supernatural: miracles. God splits the Red Sea (Exod 14–15); God makes the walls of Jericho fall (Josh 6); God throws down hailstones and makes the sun stand still at Gibeon for Joshua (Josh 10:11–14) and for Hezekiah (2 Kings 20); God prepares a whale to swallow Jonah, and it does, but later it spits Jonah out when God tells it to do so (Jonah 1–2), etc. More frequently, however, things happen in an apparently natural way, but the biblical writer is concerned to make it clear, explicitly, that it was really God who was pulling the strings (or, by deliberate abstinence from interference, allowing others to fulfill his purposes). Thus, for some examples: Joseph explains to his brothers that although they thought it was only their own heinous jealousy that had sent him into Egypt, in fact God had sent him thither for his own purposes (Gen 45:5–8); Pharaoh was not nasty and stubborn just because he was nasty and stubborn, but because God was setting him up for an exemplary and well-publicized fall (Exod 10:1–2); Barak descended upon Sisera with ten thousand men, but it was God who routed Sisera (Judg 4:15); if Jephthah was able to defeat the Ammonites, it was only because God lost his patience with the Israelites’ suffering (Judg 10:16); if four hundred thousand Israelites



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managed to defeat their Benjaminite opponents, it was not because of the mere fact that the victors outnumbered the defeated fifteen to one, but rather the fact that they appropriately prayed to God and fasted (Judg 20:14–35); conversely, an Israelite army that outnumbered a Judahite army two to one could not defeat it because the Judahites had remained faithful to God’s arrangements concerning king and priests while the Israelites had violated them (2 Chr 13). Similarly, Deuteronomy closes with several chapters (29–32) that preach quite programmatically that the Israelites’ fortunes depend upon their obedience to God; the author of Judges preaches just as programmatically, in the second chapter of his book, that it was because the Israelites turned their back on God that he abstained from overcoming their enemies; Isaiah proclaims that if the Assyrians will be able to work destruction in Israel, it is because they are God’s “rod of fury” against his sinful people (Isa 10:5); and Jeremiah’s main concern is that the Judeans understand that the king of Babylonia will destroy their kingdom because God allows him to do so because of their sins—something that even Israel’s enemies sometimes understand (Jer 40:2–3). Moving closer to the time of 1 Maccabees, the theme remains central for Ezra as well (9:6–15) and, yet nearer the time of 1 Maccabees, Daniel (ch. 9). Indeed, the Bible’s central exposition of the way the Israelites’ history works, Moses’s Song in Deuteronomy 32 (“Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations”), is dedicated precisely to the same point: the Israelites’ sins bring God to suspend his providential care for them, which allows them to be persecuted by their enemies, unless and until atonement brings God to relent. In yet a third approach, biblical writers, when reporting events that contradict what considerations of nature, human power or wisdom, or chance would have led us to expect, neither mention miracles nor explicitly interpret events as a result of God’s providential involvement. Nevertheless, readers are expected to understand that the latter accounts for what happened. This is made clear by the combination of two factors: the unlikelihood that things would have happened the way they did as a result of chance or power, including, especially, the unlikelihood that any human actor could have made things happen the way they did; and references to God nearby in the narrative. Thus, for example, no one should have expected that the young and unarmed David would overcome the heavily armed and giant Goliath, but he did, and there is no statement that God helped him do that. Nevertheless, since earlier verses have David complain twice that Goliath had been reviling the living God by scorning his army (1 Sam 17:26, 36), and David also states that he himself came in the name of that God and that the outcome of battles is in God’s hand (17:45–47), readers are clearly meant to infer that David’s otherwise unimaginable success was due to God’s involvement. Or, for an even more extreme case, note that God is not mentioned at all in the book of Esther. Nevertheless, Esther’s attempt, at great personal risk (4:11), to bring down the Jews’ nemesis comes only after Mordechai expresses his confidence that if she does not act, salvation will come to the Jews “from another place” (4:14), and after she asks the Jews of Shushan to fast “for her” for three days (4:16). It is nigh impossible to understand Mordechai’s confidence without reference to God, and fasting is unambiguously a type of self-mortification that seems to have no other purpose than the attempt to move God to mercy. If Esther succeeded, it seems that the author, whatever his reason to avoid the explicit mention of God, assumed or hoped we would understand that it was God who was, behind the scenes, pulling the strings.35

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In 1 Maccabees, in contrast, there is very little of any of the above, and what there is comes almost entirely in chapters 1–4. In the entire work, there are no miracles, nor any mention of God (theos) or the Lord (kyrios). There are a few references to heaven (ouranos), and they do refer to God, but they too are mostly in chapters 1–4 (3:18, 19, 50, 60; 4:10, 24, 40, 55); although this point is often ignored, afterwards they are few and far between (only 5:31, 9:46, 12:15, 16:3).36 Moreover, those latter few are also very thin: they do not seem to mean much and appear to be not much more than window dressing.37 The difference between them and their biblical counterparts is far more striking than the similarities.38 True, frequently commentators insert references to God in passages that do not explicitly mention him. Sometimes this is taken for granted. So, for example, Luther added Gott frequently; I counted thirty-nine references to Gott in his 1545 translation, not to mention such combinations as Gottesdienst and gottlos. While one can argue that some of these are warranted as interpretation, there is still a world of difference between a text that mentions God and one that does not. More conservatively, the KJV blithely introduced “God” nine times into the book,39 and Abel (1949, 54), apparently torn between his religious faith and philological responsibility, used parentheses to get heaven into 3:8: he rendered plain ὀργή with a definite article as “le courroux (du Ciel)” (“the wrath [of heaven]”) and explained, in his commentary, that “Judas turned away the divine wrath (‘la colère divine’) which had hovered over Israel”; perhaps this was what brought Penna (1953, 68) to make the plain “wrath” of 3:8 into “ira divina,” although even the Vulgate, which he prints in parallel to his translation, has only “iram.” Similarly, Abel (1949, 161, 277) inserted “Dieu” into 9:10 (turning “far be it from me” into “God save me”) and made the “mercy” mentioned in 16:3 heavenly (“céleste”). But can something as important as God simply be taken for granted? Note, for example, the chasm between the text of 15:33–34, in which Simon states that Judea is “our fathers’ inheritance,” and the explanation offered by Chen (2006, 117): “for these Jewish writers, the Promised Land has always been and will always be Israel’s inheritance, given to Israel by their Father because Israel is God’s only, firstborn, and beloved son.” In fact, God is not mentioned here at all, and Simon’s claim makes perfect sense without him, as especially Berthelot has shown.40 The same goes for Janssen’s declaration that “the fact that John survived Ptolemy’s attempt to murder him (16:11ff.) is taken by the author [of 1 Maccabees] as divine (göttliche) confirmation that salvation (Heil) would continue to exist, namely, that the Hasmonean dynasty would be able to continue to rule in peace.”41 Neither God nor salvation, nor anything remotely connected with either, is mentioned in the story to which Janssen relates, which is the closing story of the work. This problem, this petitio principii, is particularly evident in passages in which scholars recognize the absence of God and nevertheless assert his presence. So, for example, Bickerman offers a remarkable example of how things may be stood on their head: Although the author perceives the Jews’ suffering as “God’s wrath” (1:64; 3:8) and considers victory as God’s grace (3:18; 4:8;42 12:15; 16:3), direct intervention by God is absent from the story. Everything develops naturally, pragmatically. Compare for example, (the story of ) Alcimus’s death in 9:55 [according



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to which Alcimus died after being “smitten”] to Josephus’s paraphrase at Ant. 12.413 [according to which Alcimus died because of “a sudden smiting from God”].43 Here, instead of recognizing the failure of the first two passages to mention God, and that the others at best mention God indirectly (as “heaven”), and then recognizing the basic agreement between such avoidance of direct reference to God and the absence of God’s direct intervention in the story, Bickerman first inserts God into those verses, even within the quotation marks, thus creating a contrast—which he notes but does not explain (away)—between his presence there and absence from the story. An even more egregious example of such an approach was suggested, quite naturally, by a book that studied 1 Maccabees alongside other ancient Jewish works that deal with what the modern author, and some ancient authors, conceive of as “The People of God and Its History.” With regard to 1 Maccabees, Janssen writes: Salvation is supplied by God. True, the author does not use the terms θεός and κύριος for God, but instead he uses the paraphrase “heaven.” It is in heaven that the outcome of a battle is decided (3:60). Passive construction is just as frequent. [So, for example,] “It is quite possible, that many will be given into the hands of few” (3:18). “The kings were humbled in those days” (14:13). [As the latter passage shows], the praise for Simon too follows such practice. It is God who initiates the wrath (1:64) that lies upon the people. And God is also the one who removes the wrath from Israel: “In the 170th year the yoke was removed from Israel” (13:41). God’s direction of events is again paraphrased with a passive construction; God’s intervention in history is directly experienced.44 This is all very natural for readers of 1 Maccabees who are used to thinking of it, or whose faith predisposes them to interpret it, as part of sacred scripture. But it has little to do with the book as it is. Apart from the problematic notion of building one’s interpretation of a book on that which the author did not say, what can possibly justify the assertion that the fact that a text fails to refer to God directly means that it assumes that God is experienced directly?45 In other cases, God’s presence in the story is not merely taken for granted but rather is argued. Too often, however, the arguments are not persuasive. There are two main types: inferences from biblical models and inferences from passages early in 1 Maccabees itself. For a simple example of the first type, note the following declaration in the introduction to 1 Maccabees that appeared in the 2007 edition of a standard popular edition of the English Bible (Callaway 2007, 202): “There are no accounts of miraculous interventions, but the author believes that God was working through the Maccabees, as he did through the deliverers in Israel (5.62; cf. Judg 2.16; 6.14).” Anyone who follows the references, which are meant to justify the assertion about the author’s belief, will find no reference to God in the first-named passage and clear references to him in the two in Judges. So while the statement at 1 Macc 5:62 that the salvation of Israel “had been given” into the hands of the Hasmoneans can easily be taken by those who are so minded to mean that God gave it into their hands, and admittedly it is difficult to interpret otherwise, surely it is at least as important and interesting to

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realize that the author did not say that.46 This makes it possible for others to avoid that conclusion, perhaps thinking of some impersonal force (or “moment” [kairos]; see below), perhaps thinking of nothing in particular at all, just as we may speak of “gifted” children without requiring any belief about a giver. If an American president were to conclude a speech with “may America be blessed,” would it pass unnoticed, as if equivalent to what generations of his or her predecessors had said? Similarly, with regard to Mattathias’s reference to the terrible times, which opens his deathbed speech (2:49), Reiterer (2007, 85) begins his discussion with the observation that “in the typical manner of late-biblical writings, persecution is not explained merely on the basis of external considerations, but rather also, or perhaps even primarily, it is interpreted as the result of one’s own failures”47—a statement that he then proceeds to illustrate by referring “for example” to 2 Macc 7:18, where the sixth son declares that suffering results from sin against God. But in justifying his understanding of Mattathias’s speech, Reiterer adduces no text from 1 Maccabees. The situation is the same concerning Weitzman’s statement (2005, 127–128) that both 1 and 2 Maccabees encourage soldiers by enlisting God’s help. He illustrates this by pointing to 1 Macc 9:6, which reports that Judas’s men were intimidated by the huge number of enemy troops: “What keeps Judah’s army fighting is their confidence in God’s support, a confidence reinforced by the occasional other-worldly apparition.” But—as opposed to the early chapters of 1 Maccabees, to which Weitzman correctly refers on the next page—there is no reference to God or confidence in him in chapter 9’s report of Judas’s last battle, and the other-worldly apparition to which Weitzman points, to illustrate his statement, is reported not in 1 Maccabees but rather in 2 Macc 11:8–11. Or, for another example of this first type, note 1 Macc 9:10. First it has Judas exclaiming “far be it from me” (μὴ μοι γένοιτο) to flee the field of battle; then it has Judas explain that he would rather die manfully, with no blemish to his honor, if his καιρός has come. That is, Judas (i.e., the author) clearly states that if things go wrong, it will be due to bad luck (see the Note on 12:1, the moment was going his way). Various commentators and translators, however, who would prefer a more pious Judas and are aware of biblical usage of h.ālîlâ lî along with a reference to God (yielding “God forbid” or the like, as in 2 Sam 23:17 and 1 Chr 11:19), insert God into Judas’s opening statement. But Judas’s statement does not refer to God. See the Note on 9:10, Far be it from me. For a similar case, note the Kedesh story at the end of chapter 11 where, after an initial defeat, Jonathan tears his clothes, puts dirt on his head, and prays. Then he renews the battle and is victorious. It is not unreasonable for readers to infer that Jonathan’s prayer was answered, that is, that God helped him to his victory. However, surely it is worthy of our attention that God is never mentioned in the story: not as the addressee of prayer, not in the course of the battle, and not after it; and see below, on how 12:1 implies that, as with Judas’s death, it was the “moment” (kairos) that was responsible for the way the battle went. This should be emphasized not only in response to Tilly (2015, 245), who ends his comments on the Kedesh story with the conclusion that “even when serving Antiochus VI, the pious leaders of the Judeans and their faithful followers always received help from God (cf. Zech 9:13–17) [my translation],” but also Reiner (2017, 502), who asserts that the story attributes Jonathan’s victory to his prayer; Reiner even emphasizes that no other story reports “direct divine ­intervention” and that “there is [in 1 Maccabees] no other battle in which God tips the balance f­ollowing



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a prayer.” To suggest that there is anything in 1 Maccabees 11 that compares favorably with the graphic account of divine intervention in Zech 9:13–17, or simply to fill out the story the way Reiner did, as if it reports “direct divine intervention” or reports that God “tipped the balance,” is to miss what makes the story characteristic of 1 Maccabees—all the more so if, as Reiner suggested, readers of 11:71 were reminded of Josh 7:6 (see the Note on 11:71, Jonathan tore his garments and put dirt on his head and prayed). Finally, in this category of inferences from other parts of the Bible, note Adinolfi’s argument (1969, 103–122) that 1 Macc 6:43–46 simply must condemn Eleazar. This is because part of Eleazar’s motivation was to “make for himself an eternal name,” which is a motivation the Bible condemns, beginning with Gen 11:4, as an inappropriate goal for humans, and sacred scripture cannot contradict itself. For the opposite conclusion, that 1 Maccabees consistently views the quest for fame as normal, something shared by both heroes (2:51; 3:7, 9; 9:10; 14:10) and villains (3:14, 5:57), and differs in this regard from the Bible, see Himmelfarb 2008, 84–90. She views this as a case of Hellenistic values influencing 1 Maccabees, but it might simply be a result of similar circumstances engendering similar results. As an example of inference from earlier passages in 1 Maccabees itself, note ­Tilly’s comment that the similarity of 10:48–50 to earlier battle scenes (3:10–12, 23–24; 4:14– 15; 7:43–45) “shows that it is the God of Israel who here uses the pretender to the Syrian throne (Alexander Balas) in order to punish the enemy of his people.”48 I take Tilly to mean that readers are supposed to assume both that (1) the earlier victories were understood to have been orchestrated by God on behalf of the Judeans, and that (2) therefore this victory, in chapter 10, must be interpreted the same way. If so, then although the first assumption is not unreasonable, since all of the texts he cites (apart from 3:10–12) come adjacent to prayers, there seems to be no justification for the second. Indeed, nothing in 10:48–50 indicates that readers are meant to recognize what happened here as the death of the Judeans’ enemy, and not just as another episode in the history of the Seleucids—one goy killing another. Examples of such failure to refer to God in 1 Maccabees, along with the insertion of God by modern scholars whose expectations are nurtured on the Bible, are quite numerous.49 Moreover, and of most fundamental importance, there is never anything, anywhere in the work that suggests that it is the Judeans’ sins that explain their troubles, or that their atonement explains their salvation from troubles.50 As Duggen points out, “In 1 Maccabees, the terminology of ‘sin’ pertains exclusively to the enemies of the Jews.”51 The troubles that 1 Maccabees describes are with Hellenistic kings and Gentile neighbors, and as chapter 1 explains concerning the former and passages such as 5:1 and 12:53 demonstrate concerning the latter, they are simply hostile. Salvation from them is thanks to the successful Hasmonean rebels. It is not merely the case that God hardly functions in the book after chapter 4. If the case were wholly from silence about him, perhaps we could explain that he is taken for granted52 and assume that reticence about him derives from reverence; this assumption is frequently made,53 just as often we are told that the author, as others, deliberately used passive constructions so as to avoid the need to name God as an actor.54 Indeed, there are cases in Jewish literature in which God’s name is avoided by writers who, we may assume, do so out of reverence, and several cases in the early chapters of 1 Mac-

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cabees where this is a likely explanation; note especially 4:24, where “heaven” appears instead of the name of God in a text quoted from Psalms; 3:18, where the text clearly alludes to a passage in 1 Samuel that refers explicitly to God; and 3:50–53, which opens as an appeal to “heaven” but goes on to refer to time and again to “you.” But I see no reason to assume such reverence on the part of whoever created the text after chapter 4, and certainly not when nothing in the context requires or even suggests it. One should underline, moreover, that such reticence, even among the pious, applies only to the Tetragrammaton; when such reverent authors want to refer to God, they find other ways of doing so, either depending on the context to make their intention clear55 or by using surrogates for the Tetragrammaton.56 But apart from “heaven,” which all but disappears after chapter 4, such surrogates are not used in this book. In 1 Maccabees, moreover, the silence about God is accompanied by plenty of references to two competitors with God that are given quite a lot of credit, and this eliminates the need to posit any further contribution by God. The minor competitor is luck, denoted here by kairos (“the moment”): Judas recognizes that he would die if that is what the kairos had in the cards for him (9:10); Jonathan sends a delegation to Rome because he sees the kairos was making things go his way (12:1); and Simon explains to a Seleucid diplomat that sometimes the kairos is on one side, sometimes the other (15:33–34). Nowhere in these texts57 is there any suggestion that such luck has anything to do with God or his providential involvement in the world; “you win some and you lose some” is all there is. More important, however, the main argument of the book is about the other competitor: it is the energetic, astute, and heroic Hasmoneans who make things happen.58 And they do so, apart from in chapters 1–4, with no help from God and with virtually no reference to him. Thus, on the one hand: 1. Chapter 2 features Mattathias’s deathbed speech, in which he urges his sons to remain faithful to the Law and, by clear implication,59 to God. 2. Chapter 3 (vv. 18–22, 58–60) and chapter 4 (vv. 8–11) include speeches in which Judas explicitly urges his men to fight bravely in the knowledge that “heaven” is fighting on their side, and they also include prayers in which the Judeans ask “heaven” to do so (3:44, 50–53; 4:30–33) or praise it for their successes (4:24). Once or twice we even hear of the Judeans fasting (3:17 [?], 47), which (as at Esth 4:16) seems clearly to constitute a way of appealing to God. 3. Chapters 3 and 4 also include various other references to the Judeans’ observance of Jewish law (3:49, 55–56; 4:41–59 [dedication of the Temple]). 4. All five laments in 1 Maccabees come in the first four chapters (1:24b–28, 36–40; 2:7–13; 3:45; 3:50b–53).60 On the other hand, however, after those four chapters (which as noted above also contain most of the book’s references to “heaven”) there is next to nothing of the kind—a point that underlies the hypothesis, suggested above in Introduction 3, that 1 Maccabees uses a source that originally culminated in and concluded with the restoration of the Temple. Already chapter 5 sets the new tone: the sole prebattle speech comes at 5:32 and—in sharp contrast to those in chapters 3–4, which express confidence in God—consists only of “Fight today for our brethren!” Again, while prayer is quoted at 5:24 and mentioned (by a single word) at 5:33 and postvictory sacrifices are briefly



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mentioned at 5:54, what is far more important for the author is reported at length at 5:63–64: “the manly Judas and his brothers were greatly honored.” Moreover, this statement comes sandwiched between the two concluding scenes of chapter 5, which both show that “Judas and his brothers” were successful in battle while others were not, because the Hasmoneans were those “to whom it had been given that the salvation of Israel (would be) through their hand”—a passive phrasing that neatly avoids, as we have seen, the need to say that it had been given by anyone, such as God. Indeed, if Judas’s rescue of the Gileadites is recounted in chapter 5 in a way that cannot fail to remind biblically literate readers of Saul’s rescue of those besieged in Jabesh-Gilead (1 Sam 11),61 they should not ignore the fact that, according to the latter story, Saul was able to put together an army only because God instilled terror in the Israelites (1 Sam 11:7). Correspondingly, at the end of the story Saul declares that it was God who gave Israel the victory, and he and the people draw practical conclusions, vis-à-vis God, from this recognition (11:13–15). There is nothing like that in the story in 1 Maccabees 5. Similarly, in chapter 6 the long account of the Beth Zechariah campaign offers no reference at all to God or prayer or anything of the kind, and the next chapter actually presents “scribes” and “pious people” as naïve fools who get themselves killed because they believe perfidious promises, whereas Judas and his men quite properly see through the lies (7:10–18). While the priests offer a brief prayer at 7:37–38 and Judas does the same a few verses later (vv. 40–42), calling upon God to crush Nicanor as once he crushed the Assyrians (2 Kgs 19:35), there is no reference to God helping out in the battle or of any praise for him after its successful conclusion. Chapter 8 focuses on a panegyric of Roman power—with no allusion to anything supernatural, only kairos (vv. 25, 27), just as there is none in the story of Judas’s death in chapter 9, where Judas chooses to die (if his “moment” has come) rather than blemishing his honor (9:10). This is particularly striking since Judas’s heroic declaration comes in response to his men’s worries about their enemies’ numerical superiority—the very consideration that in chapters 3 and 4 elicited speeches of several verses each (3:18–22, 4:8–11) which preach confidently that God can and will help the Judeans despite the enemies’ greater numbers. Nothing of this appears in the story of Judas’s last stand. There is, at 9:46, a passing reference to prayer, and 9:54–55 might suggest, to those so disposed (such as Josephus, Ant. 12.413), divine intervention against the sinful Alcimus; but the author says nothing of the kind. Be that as it may, after that there are no such hints throughout the long story of Jonathan’s success in the rest of the chapter, or its continuation in chapter 10, just as, later in chapter 10, when Jonathan’s ally, Alexander Balas, defeats and kills Demetrius I, God plays no role in the story and no one ascribes him one (10:48–50).62 Yet later in that chapter the absence of God is all the more salient. For when Jonathan hears Apollonius’s challenge (10:70–73) to come down out of the hills and fight like a man, “his spirit was aroused” (v. 74)63 and he sets out for war—without any reference to God, although the biblical text upon which Apollonius’s challenge is plainly based, 1 Kgs 20:28, has a Syrian general who invades Israel asserting that the Israelites’ God is a god of the mountains but not of the valleys.64 Rather, Apollonius challenges Jonathan to come down from the hills, and Jonathan responds to the challenge by doing so and walloping Apollonius; no one mentions God before or during the battle, and no one mentions or praises him after the victory.

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Thus, from the passing reference in 9:46 we have to wait until 11:71 for another brief reference to prayer. But nothing is said about whether it is answered, and when thereafter Jonathan returns successfully to Jerusalem, at 11:74, there is not even a brief reference (as at 5:54) to sacrifices or anything else. On the contrary: the very next verse, 12:1, opens by generalizing that Jonathan saw the “the moment” (kairos) was “synergetic” for him. This means, in context, that it was that “moment”—which was perhaps blind, perhaps fated, but in any case not God’s providence or response to Jonathan’s prayer—that had made Jonathan successful in the preceding episode.65 Next, although the letter to Sparta in chapter 12 has some brief references to dependence on “holy books” and on “heaven” (vv. 9, 15), and even to worship (v. 11), the fact that this is only diplomatic window dressing, as noted above, is shown by the continuation, when something real occurs: when Jonathan hears of a new invasion by Demetrius II’s generals, he sets out to meet them in battle (12:24–25) and the enemy is terrified and flees (v. 28). God is not mentioned and plays no role, neither in advance nor retrospectively—neither according to the characters nor according to the author. The same is the case for Simon when he hears of a coming invasion by Trypho; although he gives a speech of encouragement (13:1–5), it is about his and his brothers’ virtues and accomplishments and his willingness to fight valiantly against the people’s enemies. Similarly, when the “yoke of the Gentiles” is removed from Israel later in the chapter (v. 41), it is done by Demetrius II, in recognition of Simon’s wonderful bargaining position; pace Janssen (and others), nothing is said of any gratitude to God here or of any other notion of his having played a role.66 While there is a reference at 13:47 to the cleansing of Gezer from idolatry and to Simon’s entrance into it with hymns and praise, and a similar scene at 13:51 about the citadel in Jerusalem, God is not ascribed any role in the story (and, in contrast to 4:43–49, no details are given about the purification procedures). Nor, extremely strikingly, does God figure in any way in chapter 14; the allusions to biblical pictures of an idyllic future skip blithely around the religious obligations upon which the Bible makes it conditional;67 and although 14:41 mentions the possibility that a true prophet might appear someday, it is clear that that would not be a welcome eventuality for Simon or his descendants. Finally, in all the diplomacy and fighting recounted in chapters 15–16, there is no mention of God or of his involvement, until finally, at 16:3, for the first time since 11:71, there is another bit of what I earlier referred to as window dressing: Simon expresses the hope that “the assistance of heaven be with” his sons. Thereafter, however, it is again business as usual: when John returns safely to Judea at 16:10, it is like 11:74 (and contrasts with 5:54 and earlier stories): no sacrifices, no praise for God, no nothing. Similarly, as Berthelot (2014a) has emphasized, there is no reference to God or to any divine promises in Simon’s assertion that Judea belongs to the Judeans (15:33–34), just as, more generally as well, the book is not concerned with notions of the Promised Land.68 Again, note that even when, beginning with Jonathan, the Hasmoneans become high priests, the author has no interest in portraying them as doing anything cultic in that capacity.69 Rather, at 10:21 the announcement of Jonathan’s appointment to the high priesthood is immediately followed by the notice, as if to state its consequence, that “he assembled troops and prepared numerous weapons”; note, similarly,



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the ­matter-of-fact way in which 16:11–12 explains that Ptolemy son of Aboubos was very rich because his father-in-law was the high priest. Thus, in contrast to Kahana’s assessment of 1 Maccabees’ being full of the spirit of the Hebrew Bible, I think that Grimm was in fact closer to the mark: Since the book’s character and the tone of its story are, like its language, simple and like those of the Hebrew Bible, the book is usually compared, in this respect, to the books of Samuel and Kings. Only in one not insignificant point (Nur in Einem nicht unwesentlichen Puncte) does it differ from the old Israelite historiography and align itself, instead, with the postexilic books of Ezra and Nehemiah, namely, in that—in contrast with the old theological pragmatism—it no longer presents events in a supernatural light and no longer allows God, following a specific plan and directing events in miraculous ways, to move in and out through the webs of natural causation.70 That is, in so many words: neither God nor thoughts about God play a significant role in 1 Maccabees, apart from the first four chapters. Presumably this reflects some development among the Hasmoneans, reflected in the sources available to the author of the book: whereas the earlier Hasmoneans felt more dependent upon God, and/or beholden to biblical tradition, later ones, such as the ones who saw to this book’s production, having achieved success, preferred to claim the laurels for themselves or, to put things differently, saw less need to cater to the sensitivities of Judeans who were more attached to their religion. The same may be seen in other ways as well. One of them has been pointed out by Borchardt, who noted, with regard to the book’s references to Jewish law: “Of the 56 cases of unambiguously ‘legal’ vocabulary in the book, over forty appear in these four chapters.”71 Borchardt explains this as a matter of subject matter: the first chapters deal with a period during which the Law was threatened by Seleucid decrees. While this is true, it hardly suffices; authors who are interested in Jewish law will naturally refer to it often, just as authors who are interested in God will naturally refer to him often, whether directly or obliquely. Another way the contrast between early Hasmonean interest in Judaism as opposed to later disdain for it becomes clear is in the contrast between the foundational document of 140 BCE in chapter 14 and the rest of the book—a point that brings us back, as promised at the end of Introduction 2, to the question of dating 1 Maccabees. As I have argued elsewhere in detail,72 there are some serious differences between the document in 1 Maccabees 14, which establishes Simon and his sons as rulers of the people forever, and the body of the book. Those differences suggest that a significant period of time went by between the formulation of the document, in 140 BCE (14:27), and the composition of the book.73 Of these differences, which all suggest that the Hasmoneans “grew up” during those intervening years, two pertain to politics. First, the document shows deference to Demetrius II and is proud to record that Demetrius confirmed Simon in his authority (14:38–39), but the book itself scorns Demetrius and vilifies him: as soon as he ascended to the Seleucid throne, with Jonathan’s help, he violated all of his promises to him (11:53) and made war upon him (11:63, 12:24). This, of course, corresponds to the book’s general tendency to portray Seleucid rulers as wicked and perfidious (1:9–10, 6:62, 7:10, 10:46, 15:27). In sum, in stark

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contrast to the document of 140 BCE, the book does not give the impression that the Hasmoneans would be proud to have been appointed by such rulers. Second, the document betrays Simonide insecurity vis-à-vis Judas and Jonathan, in that it ignores Judas and gives Jonathan short and apparently ironic shrift (14:30; see the Note there on gathered . . . was gathered). But the book itself shows, as we have seen, that ways were found to co-opt them into a pro-Simonide narrative. A third difference, however, pertains to our current topic, religion: the proviso at 14:41, that Simon’s high priesthood might be abrogated by a true prophet, seems to be a concession made to pious Jews who had doubts about the usurpation of the high priesthood by the Hasmoneans.74 Apparently, then, in 140 Simon thought he needed their support and hoped to secure it. But in the body of the book, pious Jews are basically treated as pious fools, naïve foils for the Hasmoneans: their allegiance to religious precepts gets them killed at the end of chapter 1 and in the middle of chapter 2 (and, as opposed to 2 Maccabees, their martyrdom is simply their death, with no redeeming effect), and their stupidity gets them killed early in chapter 7. In all three of these cases they are immediately contrasted with the Hasmoneans, who take the wiser and more successful course. This is definitely not the type of thing one would write in order to cultivate support in pious circles. Indeed, beginning in the late second and early first centuries BCE we find, in the Dead Sea Scrolls,75 in the Psalms of Solomon,76 in Josephus,77 and in rabbinic literature,78 evidence for a good bit of pious opposition to the Hasmonean rulers, just as we also find evidence for John claiming to be a prophet himself.79 Here too, then, just as we found evidence that suggests the material used in chapters 1–4 is earlier than the rest, and expressed religious attitudes that were later marginalized by the Hasmoneans, so too we see that the proclamation in chapter 14, dated explicitly to 140, adhered to a position much more congenial to the pietists than what was in fashion in the Hasmonean court a few decades later, after it gained its self-confidence. In concluding this discussion of 1 Maccabees and the Hebrew Bible, I would emphasize that the evidence above has been presented without reference to comparison to 2 Maccabees. Had it been done that way, as it often is,80 it would have been quite pointed, for there the situation is more or less the opposite. Namely, 2 Maccabees is affected only minimally by biblical language and style, but it is permeated by belief in divine providence and double causality; its story is one of sin and atonement; and it is full of references to God, heaven, prayers, miracles, angels, efficient divine providence, and resurrection. In contrast, 1 Maccabees, although full of biblical language and style, has, as noted, only a few references to “heaven” and prayers, and of the prayers that are mentioned after chapter 4, namely at 5:33; 7:37–38, 40–42; 9:46; and 11:71, only those in chapter 7 give any text of the prayer. So, too, one would be hard put to find any notion of double causality or divine providence after chapter 4, and as for the other items on the list (sin, atonement, miracles, angels, resurrection), the book has nothing at all about them.81 Moreover, it is easy to see that 2 Maccabees’ basic understanding of the whole story is diametrically different, as heaven is from earth, from that of 1 Maccabees. For 2 Maccabees, the martyrs, far from being naïve unfortunates and mere foils for the Hasmonean heroes, as they are in 1 Maccabees, are themselves “saviors of the Jewish people,”82 since it is their blood that effects atonement and thereby brings God to



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transform his wrath into mercy (2 Macc 8:2–5). As for the heroes of 1 Maccabees, the Hasmoneans and their dynasty, the author of 2 Maccabees has, accordingly, next to no interest in them.83 Thus, it seems that these two books, fortuitously or not, represent two very different orientations in the second century BCE: in accordance with 2 Maccabees’ focus on “Judaism” (2:21, 8:1, 14:38), I term that book “Judaic” and its protagonists “Jews,” whereas, given 1 Maccabees’ focus on the establishment of a sovereign state, I term it “Judean” and its protagonists “Judean.”84 If 2 Maccabees is a Judaic book that is hardly biblical, 1 Maccabees, although originally in biblical Hebrew, is Judean and—after its first few chapters—hardly biblical and certainly not Judaic.

5.

Transmission and Text A. Hebrew Original1 As already noted, and as one might well expect of a book written in a spirit of Judean nationalism, 1 Maccabees was originally composed in Hebrew.2 St. Jerome reports this fairly explicitly in his “Helmeted Prologue” (Prologus Galeatus) to the books of Kings,3 but even without that testimony the point would be clear from the work’s surviving title (see Introduction 1) and, especially, from the style of the work’s Greek, its occasionally odd or mistaken vocabulary, and its allusions to the Hebrew Bible. Examples abound; let the following suffice: 1. Style. Four very salient features of the book’s style are typical of biblical Hebrew: (a) Parataxis, namely, the stringing of finite verbs one after another, connected by mere conjunctions, typically καί, not δέ. For example, anyone who begins to read the book will encounter fourteen such verbs, each preceded by καί (Heb. wāw), in the book’s first four verses!4 Moreover, those four verses contain not a single instance of δέ, just as, indeed, there is not a single appearance of δέ, or of γάρ, in chapters 1–2. Such parataxis is fine and typical of biblical Hebrew (e.g., Gen 25:34) but more or less intolerable in Greek—which typically coordinates participles and finite verbs and uses δέ a good deal more frequently than καί.5 (b) The parallelism in the text of the poetic sections.6 (c) The book’s distinction between the usual verb + subject form for sequential verbs (the “wāw consecutive”) and subject + verb when an action precedes the previously mentioned one or took place at the same time, as, for example, at 9:5, 67; 11:67; 12:38; and 13:13.7 (d) The use of verbal forms that are anomalous in Greek but faithfully reflect Hebrew usage; see, for instance, Notes on 2:16, stuck together and on 11:10, For I regret. 2. Vocabulary. The underlying Hebrew text is frequently palpable, whether the wording is merely non-Greek (such as “by the mouth of the sword” [5:28, 51] or “daugh-

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ters of cities” [5:8, 65], “camps” in the sense of “armies” [see the Note on 3:17, force], “avenging the vengeance” [see the Note on 9:42, Having taken vengeance for], “peace” in the sense of well-being [see the Note on 12:22, your well-being], “land of Judah” rather than “Judea” [see the Note on 10:33, the land of Judah], “House” rather than “Temple” [see the Note on 10:41, maintenance of the House]) or is outright erroneous. For cases of the latter, which are especially strong evidence for the book’s Greek being a translation of a Hebrew text, note, for example, 13:29, where μηχανήματα (“[siege]-machines”) appears where “bases” or “foundations” is what is needed; it is obvious that the original Hebrew here had məkōnôt in that sense (as, for example, in 1 Kgs 7:27, 37–39) and that, one way or another, it was wrongly turned into a “false friend”—a Greek word that sounds similar but in fact means something else.8 Other good examples come in passages where the Greek refers to “your brother” and “my brother” (13:8 and 16:3, respectively) but the plural is needed; in unvocalized Hebrew texts, the two forms are, in each case, identical (‘H . YK and ‘H . Y, respectively). The case of “thirty” in 6:37, where the number evidently derives from a misreading of consonantal ŠLŠYM as šəlōšîm (“thirty”) instead of šālīšîm (“officers,” as in Exod 14:7), is similar. Note also the apparent pun at 13:34, which plays with the Hebrew meaning of “Trypho.”9 3. Biblical allusions. Sometimes, rather than recourse to Hebrew vocabulary in general, recourse to the Hebrew text of the Bible in particular is needed to make sense of a text. Thus, for example, at 1:24 Greek readers of καὶ ἐποιήσεν φονοκτονίαν naturally and normally take the odd noun according to its roots (“blood” + “killing”) and translate the text as if it referred specifically to murder (e.g., “and carried out murder” [Zervos]; “he shed much blood” [NRSV]). However, in context this makes no sense, as many commentators have recognized, one way or another,10 for it is reported only after Antiochus left Jerusalem and is therefore mystifying for those who naturally assume that the text means Antiochus killed many Judeans. The problem evaporates, however, when one realizes that, for whatever reason, this rare compound root is used in the Septuagint only to represent the Hebrew root H . NP, which refers generally to “pollution” (see esp. Num 35:33–34), not particularly to murder. This makes it easy to realize that the verse is comparing Antiochus to the nābāl (fool or scoundrel) of Isa 32:6, who “does h.ōnep” and is understood to be a king, for he is contrasted to the righteous king of v. 1 of that chapter.11 Thus, rather than appending another item, out of order, to the list of Antiochus’s crimes, the author is summarizing, quite appropriately at the end of the scene, his description of Antiochus by characterizing him as a canonical villain. Note, however, that LXX Isa 32:6 uses ἄνομα for h.ōnep, not φονοκτονία, so we can recognize the biblical allusion here only by reference to the Hebrew text of Isaiah. Similarly, readers who want to know why two participles (μισοῦντα καὶ ἔχθραίνοντα) are needed to describe Nicanor’s hostility at 7:26, or why, a few verses later (7:35), such an arrogant villain would speak of returning safely (lit. “in peace”) but also leave open the possibility that he might fail to do so, should be satisfied upon discovering that the former compares Nicanor to Haman (Esth 7:6) and the latter compares him to Gideon (Judg 8:9). But they should also note that in both cases the Greek text of 1 Maccabees does not conform to the Septuagintal translation of its



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models.12 Here, too, that is, the author must have had the Hebrew originals in mind and written his own Hebrew text in imitation of them. While it is possible to imagine that an original Greek writer who knew of the Hebrew text formulated allusions to it independently, it is simpler to assume that the allusions were created in Hebrew and that, whoever eventually translated the text, rendered it—whether or not he recognized the allusions—without recourse to the Septuagint. In other cases, what is surprising or intolerable about the Greek text, and so leads to thoughts about a mistranslated Hebrew original, is not in the realm of lexicon or style but rather of historical reality. These suggestions can of course be circular, both because we cannot be sure what really happened and because we cannot be sure that the author’s notions about that were the same as ours or that he wanted to reflect reality. Nevertheless, sometimes these suggestions can be quite attractive. A few examples: 1. At 6:34 all the Greek witnesses say the Seleucid commanders “showed” (ἔδειξαν) their elephants grape and mulberry juice in order to excite them. But this makes little sense, and we would expect to hear instead that they gave the elephants such juices to drink (cf. 3 Macc 5:2, 45). While it is just possible that the author thought that even showing the elephants the juice would excite them, scholars have not unreasonably suspected that the original Hebrew read HRWW (hirwû, “slaked their thirst” or “caused them to drink,” as at Isa 55:10 and Jer 31:25), but the translator mistook it for the much more common verb spelled almost identically, HR’W (her’û, “showed”).13 2. Sticking with those elephants, note that although the witnesses to 6:37 split between those that state there were “thirty-two” soldiers on each Seleucid war-elephant and those that state there were “thirty,” both numbers are equally preposterous.14 While it is hardly possible that the author believed there could be so many soldiers on a single elephant, it is somewhat possible, given the human tendency to exaggerate the number of one’s enemies (and thus magnify one’s victories over them or—as in this case—excuse one’s defeats at their hands),15 that he wanted to claim there were. Nevertheless, as noted above it is attractive to assume, with Abel,16 that the original unvocalized Hebrew text read ŠLŠYM and the translator wrongly read šəlōšîm (“thirty”) instead of šālīšîm (“officers”). For Hebrew readers, the original text would doubtless recall Pharaoh’s army as described in Exod 14:7, thus characterizing the Seleucid oppressor as of the same ilk as the biblical Pharaoh.17 3. The same goal, of comparing the Seleucid oppressor to Pharaoh, apparently lurks behind the fact that 1:29 reports that Antiochus sent a “taskmaster” (ἄρχων φορολογίας, lit. “tax official”) to Judea and Jerusalem. Note that what that official did, as detailed in the next verses, has nothing to do with forced labor or taxation and that 2 Macc 5:24 identifies the official in question as a “Mysarch,” that is, commander of a unit of soldiers from Mysia, a region in northwestern Anatolia (compare “Cypriarch” at 2 Macc 4:29). This makes it attractive to imagine that the original unvocalized Hebrew text read ŚR HMSYM, but the translator, whether or not he knew about Mysians and Mysarchs and realized he was punning, rendered it as if it were to be read śar ha-missîm, “tax-official” = taskmaster. For Hebrew readers this would be an unmistakable allusion to Exod 1:11, one that compared Antiochus to the wickedly oppressive Pharaoh of the exodus story.18

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4. At 3:41 all witnesses agree that troops from “Syria and the land of the Philistines” joined the Seleucid army after it invaded Judea. But since (a) the army was already composed of troops from Syria; (b) in Hebrew “Syria” would be ’RM (“Aram”), which looks very similar to ’DM (“Edom,” i.e., Idumea);19 and (c) unlike Syria, Idumea was indeed adjacent to Philistia, it has been reasonably suggested that in fact “Syria” here is a mistake for “Idumea.”20 The Hebrew text has not survived.21 This reflects, first of all, rabbinic notions of canon, which excluded, and thus more or less condemned to oblivion, books known to have been written later than the Persian period, which the rabbis, as Josephus, considered to be the end of the era of prophecy.22 Certainly a book like 1 Maccabees, which proclaims that the time of prophecy was long over (4:46, 9:27, 14:41), could not claim a place in the Jewish canon of inspired literature. However, Jews were not incapable of preserving historical works outside of the canon, as the cases of Sēder ‘Ôlām and Məgillat Ta‘ănît show. It seems, therefore, that the Jews’ failure to preserve 1 Maccabees also reflects, to some measure, a lack of Jewish interest in preserving a work about a dynasty that came and went within a century. Or perhaps it reflects, more specifically, Pharisaic and rabbinic opposition to the Hasmoneans.23 After all, the Hasmoneans, in their heyday under John and Alexander, adopted a version of Judaism (Sadduceeism) that the rabbis considered false;24 in a massive and bloody civil war under Jannaeus the Pharisees were on the anti-Hasmonean side;25 and then finally the collapse of the Hasmonean state, with the Roman conquest in 63 BCE (followed in short order by vassaldom, Herodian rule, and direct Roman rule), will have put a damper or question mark on any surviving interest in preserving their dynastic history. True, the weight of tradition sufficed to preserve the Hasmonean holiday of Hanukkah, and that was enough to preserve some historical memory of the Hasmonean period, some of which drew one way or another on 1 Maccabees.26 But it survived only after being reworked by the rabbis from a holiday in commemoration of Hasmonean victories into one commemorating a miracle in the Temple27 and supplied, eventually, with a liturgy that depicts the Hasmoneans as pious students and practitioners of the Torah and their victories as God’s.28 Nothing forced them to preserve such a worldly and basically godless book as 1 Maccabees,29 whose time had passed, and reworking it into one that would have been religiously acceptable would have been a most formidable and thankless task.30

B. Greek Translation Like the Hebrew original, so too the Greek translation seems to have been produced while the Hasmonean state still existed, that is, before the Roman conquest of Judea in 63 BCE. This assumption rests, for the most part, upon three general considerations— one positive and two negative: (1) the book is a dynastic history, and since Greek was the lingua franca of the Mediterranean world, the Hasmoneans would have wanted a Greek version so as to spread their message to the Jews of the diaspora,31 and perhaps also to the foreign powers with whom they were in contact; (2) interest in translating the work would have waned with the demise of the state; and (3) what pro-Hasmonean translator would have been interested in preserving, after 63 BCE, the long and lavish praises of Rome in 1 Maccabees 8?32



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Beyond these three general considerations, there are at least two passages where it appears that the text as we have it is an early but nevertheless secondary revision of the Greek text.33 First, at 2:65–66 Mattathias appoints his son Simon to be his main heir, while Judas was to be (merely) the head of military operations. This passage stands out like a sore thumb, an interpolation, for at least three reasons: it sounds like a new start after the speech ended with a peroration at 2:64; the continuation of the story fails to relate in any way to Simon’s appointment, instead blithely going on to have Judas succeed Mattathias at 3:1; and Simon’s name is given as Συμεων, although ­everywhere else in 1 Maccabees (scores of times) it is spelled Σιμων.34 We may probably infer that vv. 65–66 constitute pro-Simonide editing of traditional material ascribed to ­Mattathias—the editing reflecting, and retroactively justifying, the fact that, by the time the book reached its current form, the Hasmonean dynasty had become specifically a Simonide dynasty (see especially ch. 14 and 16:24 [the very end of the book]). It is most likely that the text was subjected to this revision early on in the days of the Simonides, when it was necessary to defend their claims, but the use of Συμεων, preserved with remarkable unanimity by the Greek witnesses, shows it was already done on a Greek text. Had the interpolation been made into a Hebrew text, the Greek translator would have handled all occurrences of the name the same way. The second such passage comes at 5:15, which is the point of departure for a story that has Simon leading a military campaign to what is usually taken to be called “Galilee of the Gentiles,” echoing Isa 9:1 (MT 8:23); several references in this context to the region as “the Galilee” (vv. 14, 17, 20, 21, 23) show that this is, indeed, how the reference was understood. This understanding, however, seems to have grown out of an original Hebrew reference to gəlîl plešet or gəlîl pəlištîm (“the region of Philistia/the Philistines,” as in Joel 4:4, where it is in the plural), which is near the southern coast of Palestine. If that were the original text, and the first word was transliterated (Γαλιλαία) and the second was translated as ἀλλόφυλοι (in accordance with usual Septuagintal practice for “Philistines”), we need only imagine a later editor of the Greek text who took the former to refer to “the Galilee” and the latter to refer to Gentiles in general. That would have been enough to encourage a pro-Simonide editor to create a campaign by Simon to the north. See the Note on 5:15, the whole Galilee of the Gentiles. As for the nature of the Greek translation: We have already seen that it is “extremely unfree” (see n. 4); we assembled examples of this as part of our demonstration that the book was originally in Hebrew. An important exception, however, is provided by the cases in which the translator follows Septuagintal conventions rather than offering a literal translation, and this can have implications for our understanding of the work. Thus, for example: The author sometimes refers to Judean villains as being paranomoi, which literally means “law-violators.” But before we follow that to the conclusion that the author focuses on Jewish law and its observance as his criterion for distinguishing good Judeans from bad Judeans, and include that conclusion in a dossier on “nomism” or “legalism” in Judaism of the Second Temple period,35 we should note that the Septuagint frequently uses anomoi and paranomoi of wicked people in general. In particular, note especially that bənê bəliyya‘al is frequently rendered by ἄνδρες παράνομοι or ὑιοὶ παρανόμων in the Septuagint (e.g., Deut 13:13; Judg 19:22, 20:13; 2 Sam 16:7, 20:1) and that the call for apostasy that is attributed to υἱοὶ παράνομοι in 1 Macc 1:11 echoes quite closely the appeal ascribed to bənê bəliyya‘al in Deut 13:13.

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Since, in the latter case, for good reason, the Hebrew phrase is usually rendered into English by such terms as “base fellows” (RSV), “miscreants” (NEB), or “scoundrels” (NRSV), without any particularly legal orientation, we should do the same in 1 Maccabees as well.36 Other cases in which the Greek of 1 Maccabees follows Septuagintal usage rather than standard Greek include τραυματίας for “corpse” (see the Note on 1:18, many fell mortally wounded), φονοκτονία for “pollution” in 1:24 (see above, at n. 10), and ὅρια (“borders”) in the plural for gəbûl in the singular;37 so too 1 Maccabees’ use of δόλος for “deceit,” always in a pejorative sense, without any modifier clarifying, as is usual in Greek, that it is “bad” and not “good”;38 its use of εἰρήνη for well-being (12:22), κληρονομέω for “to take possession of ” (1:32; 2:10, 57), and κάτοικοι for “inhabitants” (1:38, as Gen 50:11 and Prov 31:23)—a natural meaning that nonetheless, according to Bickerman, is never found in non-Jewish Greek;39 and its use of παρεμβολή not only for “camp” but for “army, a military force,” which is regular in biblical Hebrew (mah.ăneh) but not at all in Greek.40 In short, to properly understand the Greek of 1 Maccabees one needs constantly to be concerned with how the meaning of the Greek’s unnatural translationese would have been expressed in literary Hebrew, and sometimes also with quirks of Septuagintal usage with which the translator of 1 Maccabees was evidently familiar. It might be that we should think of more than one translator, for the Greek style of the book is not uniform. Not all parts exhibit the same translationese and are as readily retroverted into biblical Hebrew. Rather, there are discrepancies that suggest that some chapters of the work were translated by different hands.41 Note, for example, that while the early chapters of the work include several instances of πατάσσω πληγὴν μεγάλην (1:30; 5:3, 34), which conforms precisely to a frequently appearing biblical Hebrew idiom that uses the verb NKH and the adjective rabbâ (as in Num 11:33, Deut 25:3, and 2 Chr 13:17) or gədōlâ (as in Judg 11:33 and 15:8, 1 Sam 6:19, etc.), the last chapters offer several instances of ποιέω πληγὴν μεγάλην (13:32; 14:36; and 15:29, 35), although ‘ŚH is never used in this collocation in the Bible. While the use of πληγή does sound like translationese, the use of the latter nonbiblical verb may suggest a translator less familiar with the biblical idiom or less beholden to it. However, apart from the references given above, note that the presence of the collocation with πατάσσω as late as 8:4 and with ποιέω as early as 7:22 makes it difficult even to begin to formulate a simple theory to account for such diversity, and for the present I have none to propose. Especially chapters 10–11 stand out. Although both include enough Hebraisms to indicate that they too are translated,42 note, nevertheless, the following: 1. While chapter 5 refers to “daughters of cities,” (vv. 8, 65), literally reflecting the biblical Hebrew idiom, this never recurs in the book, and at 10:84 and 11:4 we read instead, respectively, in plain Greek, of τὴν Ἄζωτον καὶ τὰς πόλεις τὰς κύκλῳ αὐτῆς and of Ἄζωτον καὶ τὰ περιπόλια αὐτῆς. 2. Somewhat similarly: while in chapter 5 we twice read (vv. 28, 51) of people being killed “by the mouth of a sword” (ἐν στόματι ῥομφαίας) and—although this Hebrew idiom does not recur in the book—ῥομφαία reappears another nine times in the book, there is no occurrence in chapters 10 or 11, and when someone is killed by a sword there (10:85), it is a μάχαιρα.



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3. Both 8:22 and 13:35 use ἐπιστολή in the singular, and when the noun appears in the plural at 9:60; 12:2, 4; 15:15; and 16:19, it indeed refers to several different letters. But in the latter chapters of the book we often find ἐπιστολαί, in the plural, with reference to single letters. This is, of course, a well-documented idiomatic usage in Greek, but it is surprising that, apart from one appearance in the first half of the book (5:14), it shows up only in 10:3, 7, 17; 11:29; 14:20; and 15:1, as well as in the correspondence at 12:5, 7, 8, 17, 19. 4. At 11:22 the common Greek expression τὴν ταχίστην makes its only appearance in the Septuagint, and the next verse (11:23) includes καὶ ἐπέλεξεν τῶν πρεσβυτέρων Ισραηλ καὶ τῶν ἱερέων, which is, as Grimm (1853, 172) notes, a typically Greek construction (“ächt griechische Construction”)—it uses a partitive genitive without a preposition (such as ἐκ [as, e.g., in 5:23 and 8:9] or ἀπό [5:58]) and also fails to use a noun, such as ἄνδρας (as, e.g., in LXX Exod 17:9) to denote those who are selected. In all thirteen other cases of ἐπιλέγω in 1 Maccabees, a noun is supplied, and none uses a partitive genitive. Similarly, at 11:5, 11 ψογίζω is used, but it appears nowhere else in the book or in the entire Septuagint. 5. More generally, chapter 11 deviates very strikingly from the rest of the book, and especially from the first four chapters, in its Greek-style use of article + preposition without noun, such as οἱ ἀπό or οἱ ἐκ.43 6. The relatively strange usage of πρόσταγμα rather than ἐντολή in 2:68 (see the Note there on the commandment of the Law) is paralleled at 10:14. Since the former seems clearly to be part of a pro-Simonide revision of Mattathias’s testament, it is “economical” to imagine that the same late hand also worked more generally on the translation of the later part of the book. 7. Similarly, while ἀλλόφυλοι is virtually always used of Philistines in the Septuagint (see the Note on 5:15, the whole Galilee of the Gentiles), hundreds of times—and that is apparently the way it is used at 3:41; 4:22, 30 (leaving 4:12, 26 a puzzle); and 5:66, 68—nevertheless, at 11:68 and 11:74 it is used, in accordance with its usual Greek sense, for “foreigners” in general. And this seems to be how the term was misunderstood by whoever created the pro-Simonide pericope in chapter 5; see the Note on 5:15, the whole Galilee of the Gentiles. This too seems to point to a later hand that used Greek words without reference to the Jewish convention that guided the earlier writer. It seems that a similarly late and pro-Simonide hand created some anomalous formulations late in chapter 2 (see the Comments to 2:49–70); perhaps it was the same hand. But to establish the latter hypothesis, or even to establish the more general thesis that different parts of the work were produced by different translators, requires, as far as I can see, more evidence, and stronger evidence, than is presently available. Perhaps others will be able to do more with such data as those assembled above, and hopefully further work, already in progress, will allow for more certainty (see above, Introduction 4, n. 26). Finally, just as it is possible that originally Greek documents were inserted into the book in their original Greek form (with or without editing),44 so too it is possible that the originally Hebrew proclamation at 14:27–49 was translated separately into Greek and that translation was incorporated into the book. A priori this is likely if, as sug-

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gested above in Introduction 2, a few decades went by between 140 and the preparation of 1 Maccabees; a Greek translation of the proclamation would have had its uses for the Hasmoneans. Note, in this context, that the opening of the document states it was adopted by a συναγωγή μεγάλη (14:28)—in contrast to the fact that at 3:13 and 5:16 the author refers to such assemblies as an ἐκκλησία and ἐκκλησία μεγάλη, and that even in the author’s prose preceding the document in chapter 14 the body is termed an ἐκκλησία (14:19). Similarly, although the document frequently refers to Judea, it never refers to it as “the land of Judah” (γῆ Ἰούδα), which is so frequent in this book (e.g., 3:39; 5:45, 53, 68; 6:5; 9:57; 10:30, 33; 12:4). Indeed, the document never employs γῆ, although it is so common in the work, including the first half of chapter 14 (vv. 4, 8, 10, 11, 13). Rather, the document refers to Judea nine times as ἡ χώρα. These two points concerning differential vocabulary are suggestive, but so far are not more than that.

C. Transmission of the Greek Text The 1930s were of fundamental importance for our knowledge of the Greek text of 1 Maccabees: Donatien De Bruyne’s edition (together with Bonaventure Sodar) of the Old Latin versions of 1–2 Maccabees, published in 1932, and Werner Kappler’s Göttingen edition of the Greek text of 1 Maccabees, published in 1936, remain the two main pillars of our knowledge.45 Alongside them we should also mention Abraham Kahana’s Hebrew translation of 1 Maccabees, which first appeared, as a pilot for his collection of “external books,” in 1931; it was the first serious attempt to reconstruct the Hebrew text of the book.46 The following account builds on the abovementioned pillars as well as various other discussions of details.47 In producing his 1936 Göttingen edition of the Greek text, Kappler used the three surviving uncial manuscripts (Sinaiticus, Alexandrinus, and Venetus) and twenty-six minuscule manuscripts. He largely ignored another eleven minuscules, because of his conclusion that they were all either copied from extant manuscripts or virtually identical with them.48 The minuscules are divided, as usual, into some groups, of which the most important distinction is that between those that are Lucianic, that is, they reflect the efforts of Lucian of Antioch (d. 312) to clarify, smooth out, and otherwise improve the Greek style of the book,49 and those that are not. After these Greek witnesses, the most important testimony is that of the Old Latin version (edited by De Bruyne and Sodar), which reflects a pre-Lucianic Greek text, similar at times to the text testified to by citations by Cyprian, already in the third century. Editors can also use some very minimal patristic evidence,50 two Syriac versions that are of little value (for the so-called SyI is dependent on a Lucianic text, and SyII is dependent, for the most part, upon SyI),51 and Josephus’s long paraphrase of 1 Maccabees, discussed below. The main critical issue has to do with the relative importance of the Old Latin version, for two reasons. On the one hand, as noted, it seems to depend on a Greek text older than any of the Greek witnesses; on the other, it is only a translation. How shall those two considerations be weighed against one another? Does the fact that readings supported by the Latin translation, which agree with readings found otherwise only in Lucianic witnesses, mean that those readings are in fact ancient, and presumably original? Perhaps it means only that even pre-Lucianic Latin translators, or the scribes who produced the old Greek texts that they translated, were capable of making



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i­mprovements similar to those introduced by Lucianic editors. Naturally enough, De Bruyne was more sanguine about the former alternative, but Kappler, about the latter.52 Indeed, Kappler concluded that he could not point to any witness or group of witnesses that should be preferred a priori.53 Rather, each case must be handled on its own merits, and the issues presented are much the same as with other books translated from Hebrew in the Septuagint. The basic rule, which offers general guidance, is that, all things being equal, when evidence conflicts we should prefer the reading that is crude or rough in Greek but literally reflects good biblical Hebrew, especially if there is early testimony for the reading.54 Thus, for example, at 2:48, where Alexandrinus and other witnesses report that the Judean rebels “retook the Law out of the hand of the Gentiles and out of the hand of the kings,” but the other two uncials and some other witnesses omit the second “out of the hand,” the former reading, with the repetition, conforms to good Hebrew style (cf. Exod 18:10, 1 Sam 17:37, 2 Sam 22:1) and Kappler adopts it. Similarly, when at 2:65 Alexandrinus has Mattathias tell Simon “you shall be (or ‘become’) unto them a father” (ὑμῖν ἔσται εἰς πατέρα), whereas the other uncials have “you shall be their father” (ἔσται ὑμῶν πατήρ), here too it is the former that conforms to the Hebrew idiom (e.g., Judg 17:10, 18:19; 2 Sam 7:14),55 and Kappler adopts it.56 Conversely, when a reading both makes the text better Greek and is supported by late testimony, it is relatively easy to view it as secondary. Thus, at 9:35 “his brother” seems to refer to Simon, thereby setting readers up for a shock in v. 36 when he turns out to have been John, and even the opening “he” of v. 35 is ambiguous because the immediate antecedent in v. 34 is Bacchides but in fact Jonathan (last mentioned in v. 33) is meant. Given these two difficulties with the text as given by the main witnesses, we should not be surprised to find some Lucianic and other witnesses adding Jonathan’s and John’s names, as subject and object respectively, into v. 35 so as to clarify things. Nor should we be surprised that Kappler and other editors refuse to adopt those clarifications into their text. Had the need for the clarifications been less pressing, or had the clarifications been supported by earlier evidence, editors would not tend to reject them so confidently. As for Josephus’s long paraphrase of 1 Maccabees (Ant. 12.237–ca. 13.214), which is conveniently compared synoptically with the book in Sievers 2001, although usually it is studied by scholars interested in Josephus’s views,57 with circumspection it can also be used in some cases as testimony to the state of the text of the book as Josephus read it late in the first century CE. Sometimes it makes a major difference. Thus, for a wellknown case, 1 Macc 5:66 reports, according to the Greek witnesses, that after warfare in the land of the Philistines, that is, near the southwestern coast of Palestine, Judas Maccabaeus went on to go through “Samaria,” which is nowhere near there. Josephus, in contrast, reports in his paraphrase at Ant. 12.353 that Judas then ravaged “Marisa,” which is indeed near Philistia. It seems likely that “Marisa” is to be preferred, on the assumption that copyists of 1 Maccabees who were unfamiliar with that toponym replaced it with a Palestinian toponym composed of the same collection of consonants and was much more familiar to Christian copyists from such texts as Luke 10, John 4, and Acts 8. The fact that several manuscripts of the Old Latin version also read “Marisan” makes this emendation of the received text of 5:66 all the more secure. Such cases, however, are relatively rare. In most cases, Josephus’s tendency to paraphrase rather than copy, especially when his source is in clumsy Greek that he desires

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to upgrade, limits the value of his text as evidence for that of 1 Maccabees.58 Indeed, even cases in which his evidence conforms to more direct witnesses are of doubtful significance, for (just as noted above with regard to the Old Latin witnesses) we cannot be sure that he was not simply alleviating the difficulties in his received text in a way that others could too. At 12:28, for example, we read that the Seleucid troops were so frightened by Jonathan’s that they lit fires in their camp, and vv. 29–30 then go on to report that Jonathan and his men “did not know (it) until the morning,” whereupon they chased after the fleeing Seleucids. It is obvious that what v. 28 meant to indicate is that the Seleucids stealthily decamped after lighting the fires in order to mislead the Judeans into thinking they were still there (and the intent to mislead is made clear by the end of v. 29, “for they saw the lights of the burning fires”), but that is not said in v. 28. Josephus, in his paraphrase at Ant. 13.178, felt the need to add that element explicitly (ἀνεχώρησαν), and the same, καὶ ἀνεχώρησαν or the like, is also found in several late witnesses of 1 Maccabees. But the notice is not found in any uncial manuscript, nor in the witnesses to the Old Latin, which all leave it to the reader to infer what happened— if not already when reading v. 28, then from vv. 29–30. If we had only Josephus’s evidence for “and fled,” we would not imagine it was in the original text,59 and the same probably would have been the case if we had only the late minuscules and no support from Josephus. Were there uncial or Old Latin support for the reading, we would probably assume it is original and happily cite Josephus in support of it. As things are, however, a case like this one is somewhere in the middle, with everyone agreeing the verb should be understood but divided as to whether it should be read as part of the text. For another such case, see the Note on 5:18, leader of the people. A case such as that of 12:28, which points up the difference between meaning and text, is a good one to use in order to compare different editions and translations of 1 Maccabees. Swete, Rahlfs, and Abel, whose editions were based on uncials, ignore the issue; Kappler, whose edition is based on the full sweep of the evidence, kept καὶ ἀνεχώρησαν out of his text but, after assembling the evidence for these words in his critical apparatus, labeled them “fort. recte” (“perhaps correct”); Schunck, with a similarly philological orientation but a little more confidence, inserted the verb into his translation, but within brackets, along with a note that lists the witnesses, including Josephus; but Goldstein, whose interest is mostly historical rather than text-critical, simply inserted “they withdrew” into his translation of 12:28, adding neither brackets nor comment.60 Goldstein thus shows us how easy it is for someone who is more interested in the story than in the text to make such a move, and thereby reinforces doubts about reconstructing the original text on the basis of the paraphrase produced by his firstcentury colleague. From this point of view, Josephus’s evidence is similar to Lucian’s: while frequently his readings are easier to follow than others, we must often suspect that it was not the text as he found it but rather Josephus’s historical interest or some other motive that, like Lucian’s philological purism, accounts for the improvement. I will conclude this discussion of the text of 1 Maccabees by noting that there is justification for great confidence concerning the Greek text. Vaccari, who compared the first three chapters of 1 Maccabees in Rahlfs’s 1935 “manual edition” (which is based mainly on Sinaiticus)61 to Kappler’s 1936 edition (which is based on so much more), reported that he found only thirty differences, most of them quite minor.62 Given the fact that those three chapters comprise more than thirty-three hundred words, thirty is



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a minuscule number—all the more so when we realize that many of the differences are indeed quite minor (e.g., at 1:31 Rahlfs reads ἐνέπρησεν, with Sinaiticus, while Kappler prefers the more vulgar ἐνεπύρισεν, as Alexandrinus; at 2:65 Rahlfs has πατήρ, following Sinaiticus and Venetus, where Kappler prefers Alexandrinus’s εἰς πατέρα, which, as noted above, is closer to the Hebrew idiom). Similarly, given the fact that so much of 1 Maccabees relates, one way or another, to biblical Hebrew, and given the abundance of evidence both for that and for the habits of the Septuagint’s translators, there is a good bit of room for confidence about reconstructing the underlying Hebrew text, something that may be seen in the large measure of agreement among modern Hebrew translations of the text (above, n. 46). Nevertheless, there remain passages in which doubt, even significant doubt, remains. This is particularly the case, and for historians is particularly of interest, when the book reports something that we find hard to accept as historical fact. After all, 1 Maccabees is a work of history; is it the case that, all things being equal, we may expect its report to correspond to historical truth? Here are two examples that illustrate how, even today, conflicting considerations, and differing scholarly dispositions, leave textual issues open: 1. Is it possible that the author of 1 Maccabees really meant to indicate, as do the main witnesses for 7:16, that Alcimus was the author of Psalm 79? Is it not the case that this statement, which contradicts not only the general image of Alcimus in this book as a villain, but also other evidence concerning the date of the psalm, and about beliefs concerning that question in antiquity, is simply too far off the charts to be accepted? Or should we be more humble vis-à-vis the ancient witnesses, avoid circularity, prefer the more difficult reading, and build on the text as we have it? There is no agreement among scholars.63 2. At 10:49 the main uncial evidence has Demetrius I routing Alexander Balas’s army. This sets us up to be surprised and perhaps mystified by the announcement in v. 50, with nothing indicating a turnabout, that by the end of the day Demetrius was defeated and dead. Is this very discrepancy, and the author’s failure to reflect it (if only by “nevertheless” or by contrasting “at first” to “but later” or the like), reason enough to prefer the numerous other witnesses that reverse the names in v. 49 and thus confront us with no such surprise? Or should they be seen as secondary attempts to alleviate the problem, in which case we should stick with the uncials as the lectio difficilior? But maybe their reading is simply too difficult. Maybe, that is, we should simply refuse to accept the notion that the author would relate an outcome so different from the outset without reflecting more clearly an awareness that it was a turnabout. In that case, the reading of the witnesses that gives Alexander the upper hand already in v. 49 should be preferred, whether as evidence for ancient tradition or for ancient intelligence.64 But then again: What weight should we ascribe to the fact that Josephus and Justin basically support the uncials’ report in v. 49?65 That is, to what extent should our assumptions, that the author of the book not only knew how to write in a way that would not surprise and mystify his readers, but also that he got his facts right (i.e., shared a common historical tradition)—at least in matters such as this that do not, apparently, relate to his own agenda—figure into discussions of the book’s text?

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These are questions that remain controversial, in the twenty-first century just as much as in the 1930s, when both major editors of 1 Maccabees allowed their common sense to overcome their rules. Rahlfs, apparently moved by the discrepancy between expectation and result, adopted the easier reading of v. 49, despite his usual dependence on Sinaiticus. Kappler, in contrast, was apparently so impressed by the external evidence that he stuck to the more difficult reading supplied by the uncials and, in quite an unusual move that, in deciding a text-critical issue, explicitly ascribes weight to external evidence about historical truth, referred to Josephus and Justin in his critical apparatus for this verse.66 Perhaps the next generation will come up with new evidence or arguments that can resolve such issues.

6.

This Translation and Commentary: On Themes and Middle Paths Both as a part of the Christian Bible or Apocrypha and as a detailed witness to parts of Hellenistic and Jewish history, 1 Maccabees has been the object of much scholarly interest. Accordingly, there are many translations, many commentaries, and much more scholarly literature in various genres and contexts. To say that I have learned much from them is a gross understatement. Offering yet another volume on 1 Maccabees requires, therefore, some justification. Moreover, composing a commentary on 1 Maccabees, as on any text, can go in many different directions; every word, every phrase, every character, every toponym, every event, every allusion within the book and every later text that alludes to it, etc., can be a point of departure for a dissertation—but to treat all those topics in detail in a commentary would create an endless project, which, if nevertheless completed, would present readers with a volume that, with so many trees, allows them to see no forest. Such a volume might be useful as a point of departure for other people’s work but would leave its author making no statement of his or her own. In preparing the present volume I tried to take a middle path. On the one hand, I have tried to supply readers—or, more probably, scholars with hit-and-run interests in this or that topic or this or that word, verse, or episode—with basic information and bibliographical guidance that will help them to understand the book and also to pursue, on its basis, research in many different directions, such as those listed above. Probably others will have other questions that did not even occur to me, but I hope that they too will find my discussions and references useful. On the other hand, I made no attempt to resolve every issue, nor even to give a complete account of every issue. Rather, as noted in the Preface I focused on two particular themes that most interested



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me, and it is regarding them that I hope this volume will make its own special contribution to the field, alongside works of others that focus on other themes. To some extent, my focus on these two themes derives from my previous work on 2 Maccabees, which differs radically from 1 Maccabees on both points. The two themes are actually two sides of the same coin, two answers to the same question: Who is responsible for the course of history? The first theme is the Simonide theme. Namely, although it has of course been widely recognized that 1 Maccabees is the Hasmoneans’ dynastic history, meant to tell the story of the rise of the dynasty and to justify its claim to rule Judea, the fact that it is specifically Simon and his sons that the book promotes has not, it seems, sufficiently been recognized. Much of my thinking about the book was born some years ago when I noticed the crass contradiction between 2:65 and 3:1 and realized that 2:65, where Mattathias appoints Simon to be his heir, must be understood as retrospective pro-Simonide editing of an original narrative—one that was unaware that Simon was to play any special role in the story: the editor did what he had to do, making Simon’s eventual ascendancy acceptable by under­writing it with the authority of the grand old man of the clan. This led me to focus on numerous other ways in which the book forefronts Simon, a move that sometimes, as at 2:65, entailed (and thereby revealed) clumsy editing1 and was often accompanied by the marginalization of his brothers—most prominently, but far from only, by ignoring Judas and giving Jonathan very short shrift in the foundational document at 14:29–31. All of that, summarized in Introduction 1C, was meant to adumbrate and justify Simon’s eventual rise to power. That first theme is the positive side of the coin. The second theme, to which Introduction 4B is devoted, is the negative side of the same coin, and it is, for me, what is especially interesting about this work: the blatant contrast between its intensive dependence on the language of the Hebrew Bible and the virtually complete absence, after chapters 1–4, of the Hebrew Bible’s assumptions and teachings about Who is really responsible for the course of history. Both halves of this are very salient, but only the first is well-known. Namely, biblically literate readers and commentators have always known that the language of the Bible, and echoes of its formulations, are found all over the work, and especially the original (1976) Anchor Bible commentary on this work, by the late Jonathan A. Goldstein (d. 2004), was rich and comprehensive in demonstrating this.2 The same cannot be said, however, about the other half of this theme, for as I argued in Introduction 4B, it is all too often assumed, whether simply because the book is part of Christian sacred scripture or rather on the basis of texts in its first four chapters, that God is the main mover in the story. As in the Introduction, so too in the Notes and Comments where relevant, special attention is paid to demonstrating that this assumption is gratuitous or outright wrong, and that instead the point of the book is that the Hasmoneans, and especially the Simonides, could and did handle things all by themselves. As for the text and translation: here too I have tried to walk a middle path, in two ways. First, concerning the text: Usually I followed Kappler’s edition, but in some rare cases I deviated from it (as explained in the commentary in each case), especially when he seemed to be too doctrinaire in subjugating his common sense to the witnesses; see, for example, Notes on 9:69, he killed . . . he decided; on 10:41, as in previous years; and, although less significantly, on 15:3, Since. Second, concerning the translation: Just as

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the commentary frequently suggests underlying Hebrew formulations, since one of my main goals in the commentary is to show how biblical the phrasing of the book is (in contrast to its values), so too does my translation try to reflect the book’s wording as long as that does not impinge too much on the ease of reading it in English. Obviously, this condition (“too much”) is vague and subjective, and different readers will assess such things differently. Here I will present six examples. They illustrate how the present translation takes a path somewhere between that offered in its predecessor in this series by Jonathan Goldstein, which strove to “bring the book to the English reader,”3 and the 2007 NETS translation by George T. Zervos, who, in accordance with that translation’s mandate “to bring the English reader to the book,” strove to be very literal:4 1. The Greek of 1:3 consists of a single sentence that includes five finite verbs in the past tense, each preceded by καί (“and”), which is quite burdensome in English. Zervos, while rendering the verbs as is, alleviated the burden somewhat by breaking the sentence into two; I left it all one sentence but did something similar by turning two verbs into participles (“despoiling” and “soaring” instead of “and he despoiled” and “and his heart soared”) and inserting a semicolon; but Goldstein broke up the verse among three sentences, inserted one verb into a prepositional phrase and made another two depend on a participle (“becoming”)—and, to boot, eliminated the Hebraic reference to Alexander’s “heart” (using “becoming proud and haughty” where Zervos has “and he was exalted, and his heart was uplifted” and I have “he became arrogant, his heart soaring high”). 2. Similarly, at 6:63 the Greek offers a single sentence with five cases of καί + finite verb in the past tense, and so does Zervos, although he made it into two sentences instead of the Greek’s one: “And he departed quickly and returned to Antioch, where he found Philip governing the city. And he made war upon him and took the city by force.” My translation, which also turns the one sentence into two, goes further insofar as it (a) turns one of the finite verbs into a participle (“returning”) and (b) substitutes an adverb (“then”) for the opening καί. The result is that only two cases of “and” + finite verb remain, which is bearable. Goldstein did much the same as my first two moves (employing “Thereafter” and “On his return”) but went one step further concerning the third: he split this Greek verse into three English sentences and thus managed to knock the cases of καί + finite verb down to one. 3. At 5:21 Zervos offers, quite literally, “And Simon went to Galilee and conducted many battles against the nations, and the nations were smashed before him.” Goldstein, in contrast, offers “Simon marched to Galilee, and after a series of battles he routed the gentiles”—thus (a) eliminating the opening “and,” (b) upgrading “went” into “march,” (c) failing to indicate that it was Simon who initiated the battles, (d) avoiding, as is smoother in English, the heavy repetition of “gentiles” (Zervos’s “nations”) by turning two clauses into one, (e) turning the passive formulation that requires a prepositional clause at the end of the verse (“were smashed before him”) into an active one, and (f ) also—for no apparent reason—turning defeat (συνετρίβη, “were smashed”) specifically into a “rout.” My translation is very similar to Zervos’s but does make a gesture to English style by substituting a semicolon for the third “and”: “And Simon went to the Galilee and engaged the Gentiles in numerous battles; the Gentiles were crushed before him.”



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4. At 4:45, Goldstein renders καὶ ἔπεσεν αὐτοῖς βουλὴ ἀγαθὴ καθελεῖν αὐτό as “and they came up with the good idea of dismantling it” and makes no comment on the text or on his translation—in which (a) the first verb, “came up,” is precisely the opposite of the Greek one (ἔπεσεν, “fell”); (b) the second one, “dismantling,” amounts to fudging in order to reflect respect for the altar (for καθελεῖν means “destroy,” as Goldstein himself renders with regard to other altars at 2:25, 45 and 5:68); and (c) the definite article (“the good idea”) is gratuitous; Goldstein introduced it because otherwise he could not continue “of dismantling,” which is also an Anglicizing departure from the Greek, which has an infinitive. Zervos, in contrast, renders the Greek slavishly: “and there fell to them a good counsel, to tear it down”; the first clause is not English. My compromise is “and there occurred to them a good idea: to destroy it,” where the first verb at least retains the Greek’s suggestion that the idea came by itself (as opposed to Goldstein’s “they came up with”), and in my Note on 4:45, I comment on a parallel formulation in a Hebrew text that is apparently influenced by 1 Maccabees. 5. At 9:17, Goldstein renders ἐκ τούτων καὶ ἐκ τούτων as “on both sides” and makes no comment on the phrasing, and in this case Zervos’s translation is virtually identical: “from both sides.” This shows how difficult it is to adhere to strictly literal translation, even when that is one’s mandate. My translation is “of these and of those,” and in a Note (on 8:30, these or those), I comment on the Hebrew expression. But note that even my translation employs the English “these and those,” not the Hebrew “these and these,” just as at 8:30 I offer “these or those” rather than the Hebrew “these or these,” and at 6:45 I settled for “this way and that way,” not the Hebrew “hither and hither.”5 6. Finally, at 13:27 the Greek reads καὶ ᾠκοδόμησεν Σιμων ἐπὶ τὸν τάφον τοῦ πατρὸς αὐτοῦ καὶ τῶν ἀδελφῶν αὐτοῦ καὶ ὕψωσεν αὐτὸν τῇ ὁράσει λίθῳ ξεστῷ ἐκ τῶν ὄπισθεν καὶ ἔμπροσθεν. This presents some interesting challenges, especially concerning αὐτόν and then the last words of the verse. First of all, αὐτόν: Zervos, in his literal translation, renders “it,” thus leaving the matter as dim in English as it is in Greek, or, if taken literally, implying that the grave itself, which was at ground level or lower, could be seen from afar, which is impossible. I expand αὐτόν by using a parenthetical addition, “(the monument),” but Goldstein goes the whole way, rendering “monument” without parentheses. As for the final words, ἐκ τῶν ὄπισθεν καὶ ἐκ τῶν ἔμπροσθεν: Zervos offers a literal translation, “on the back and on the front,” while Goldstein makes no less than five changes in order to allow for a smooth English translation, “on both its front and rear sides”: he (a) inserts “both,” which coordinates between the two sides and allows the next move; (b) omits the repetition of the preposition;6 (c) turns the Greek articles into possessive adjectives; (d) reverses the order of “front” and “rear,” so as to conform to what is usual in English; and (e) adds “sides” so as to obviate the need for “front” and “rear” to serve as substantives. My translation, “on its rear and its front,” is between these two extremes: it adopts two of Goldstein’s changes (b and c), but not the others. In making such compromises, which amount to deviations from more literal translations, I relied only on my own sense, and that of some friends who read the translation, as to what was within, or beyond, or pressing too hard the borders of the pale

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of acceptable English style. I can formulate no explanations or rules that quantify or otherwise justify such decisions, and I assume that some readers would prefer I did it more often and others, less often. I allowed myself such license in the hope that it will conform to the taste of numerous readers, and in the hope that I can depend on Goldstein and Zervos to satisfy most of the others.

7.

A Short History of the Hasmonean Period An overview of Judean history from the 170s down to the end of the second century BCE can help provide readers with a broader background for 1 Maccabees that can help them understand the book and the events to which it relates. Of those seven decades, the first four (175–135 BCE) are those in which the events described in the book transpired, while the last three are those of the rule of John Hyrcanus (d. 105/104 BCE), during which—so I assume—the book was composed.1 This history is best understood in four consecutive chapters, of which the first three are much shorter than the last, and the order of events in the second—which was crucial but transpired in a very short period—is a matter of controversy.

A. Antioch in Jerusalem, ca. 175–168 BCE This first chapter saw the beginnings of institutionalized Hellenism in Jerusalem, after a century and a half of an incipient process. Judea had been part of the Hellenistic world since the days of Alexander the Great, who passed through Palestine in the late 330s BCE. Once the dust of the Wars of the Successors settled, Palestine remained under the rule of Hellenistic kingdoms: the kingdoms of the north and of the south, as they are termed in Daniel 11. First, for the entire length of the third century BCE, Palestine was ruled from the south, by the Ptolemies, whose kingdom was based in Egypt. Then, after that century was punctuated by four “Syrian Wars” that were won by the Ptolemies (“to the victors goes the naming”), in 200 BCE Antiochus III (“the Great”) was finally victorious in the Fifth Syrian War, and so Palestine was taken over by the kings of the north, the Seleucids, whose kingdom was based in Syria and, to begin with, Mesopotamia. As the century of Ptolemaic rule, so too the first quarter-century of Seleucid rule of Palestine—first under Antiochus III and, after his death (187 BCE), under his son Seleucus IV—seems to have been fairly uneventful. This was especially so, perhaps, due to the fact that during the first decade Antiochus was pursuing conquests in the north and west, which brought him into conflict with Rome—and that “Bellum Antiochicum” culminated in his defeat at Magnesia (189 BCE) and the debilitating terms of the Treaty of Apamea (see the Note on 8:7, imposed upon them). Accordingly, we should



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not be surprised to learn that Seleucus IV, who ruled after his father’s death in 187, was, as Appian put it, “inactive and weak” (Syr. 66). When, however, upon Seleucus IV’s death in 175 the kingdom was taken over by his brother, Antiochus IV “Epiphanes,” who was anything but inactive and weak, things would change radically—and it is at this point, 175 BCE, that the story of 1 Maccabees begins.2 During the century and a half from Alexander to Antiochus, it seems to be the case that Judea—the small region around Jerusalem—was less affected by Hellenistic influence than were other regions of Palestine, especially the coastal region and the north, where numerous poleis (Greek cities) were established (Tcherikover 1959, 90–105). For Judea, an inland region in which no poleis were founded, and which had no access to the coast, and which people just passing through Palestine had little reason to visit,3 this was a period of only incipient Hellenization, “on a low burner.” To judge by the enthusiasm evinced for priests (kohănim), the high priest, and the Temple cult in Ben-Sira (Ecclesiasticus), a Hebrew book produced in Jerusalem early in the period of Seleucid rule (see Sir 7:29–31, 45:6–26, 50:1–21), and by the list of biblical heroes to which its last chapters are devoted, not much had changed since the days of Ezra and Nehemiah. Nevertheless, Palestine is a small country, and Judeans were not totally divorced from what was going on around them. During the century and a half beginning with Alexander, Judeans and Greeks were rubbing shoulders with this or that degree of intensity, be it in commerce, in contacts with the government or passing armies, or otherwise, and by early in the second century BCE, this must have had its effect on the Judeans. Scholars argue about the extent and depth of such influence,4 but there must have been some. Especially for those who had reason to travel—such as those mentioned here and there by Ben-Sira (34:10, 39:4, 51:13) and by the protagonists of Josephus’s long story of the Tobiads (Ant. 12.154–236)—the foreign culture, that of the successful rulers of the world, would engender interest and attraction. This may be seen in various ways. An obvious one is the appearance of Greek names among Judeans. Thus, for example, we read at 2 Macc 4:11 of a Judean diplomat, active around 200 BCE, whose name was Johanan (“John”). But if Johanan’s parents had chosen, perhaps around 230 BCE, to give him that pure and well-established (e.g., Neh 12:22–23) Hebrew name, Johanan and his wife gave their own son—who was to be a diplomat in 161 BCE (1 Macc 8:17, 2 Macc 4:11) so was probably born not long after 200—a Greek name, Eupolemus. And Eupolemus’s comrade, who accompanied him to Rome, was named Jason son of Eleazar (1 Macc 8:17); here too the move from the father’s Hebrew name to the son’s Greek name—one that in this case points directly at a famous Greek myth—shows what was afoot in Jerusalem early in the second century BCE. Names are not only names: obviously, diplomats such as Eupolemus and Jason were provided with an education that allowed them to learn enough Greek and Greek ways to be able to function as diplomats. It is interesting to wonder how Eupolemus understood, or was affected by, the fact that while his father’s name, in Hebrew, thanks God for being gracious and/or expresses the hope that God will be gracious, his own name, in Greek, presented him as one meant to be “a good fighter.” Thoughts such as these suggest that there must have been deeper Hellenism as well, however low the flame. Evidence is sparse, but the cupboard is not bare. Note, especially, that the very premise of Hellenism in the East is its universal nature, one that, in defining people, prescinds from such externals as place of birth or residence or descent:

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Hellas is Greece, Hellenes are Greeks, but “Hellenism” is something available everywhere to everyone, by education. This point, proudly underlined already in the fourth century BCE by Isocrates5 and again by Eratosthenes in the third,6 was made very real, in the Hellenistic period, by the creation of outposts of Hellenism all around the East, poleis with schools (“gymnasia”) that turned orientals into “Hellenes” by teaching them Greek and, along with it, Greek culture and values. Note, in this context, that Ben-Sira, cited above as imbued with old priestly Jerusalemite values, nevertheless also bespeaks a tendency to universalism: at 10:19 he denies, demonstratively, the importance of a person’s descent (which alone defines priesthood among Jews!) and, as Eratosthenes, insists instead on moral virtues as that which make the man (the only honorable race is the “race” of those who fear God); correspondingly, at 44:16–17 he includes such nonIsraelites as Enoch and Noah in his list of biblical greats. When one contrasts the latter passage with Ezra’s prayer in Neh 9:6–7, a Persian-period text that, in summarizing primordial history, skips straight from the Creation (without even mentioning Adam) to Abraham, it is clear that Hellenism was making its mark in Jerusalem. It was on the background of such adumbrations that, upon the ascent to the throne of Antiochus IV Epiphanes in 175 BCE, which is where the story of 1 Maccabees opens (1:10), Judeans who tended to Hellenism got together and moved to institutionalize Hellenism in Jerusalem: they imitated Hellenic ways in general (1 Macc 1:11–13, 2 Macc 4:13–15) and initiated, with royal approval, the foundation of a gymnasium (1 Macc 1:14, 2 Macc 4:12). Moreover, a gymnasium is a typical institution of a Greek polis, and, it appears from 2 Macc 4:9, the Hellenizers in Jerusalem indeed constituted themselves as a polis, “Antioch in Jerusalem,” named in honor of the new king.7 If, a quarter-century earlier, Antiochus’s father (Antiochus III) had, when conquering Judea, done his business with the Judeans’ elders and allowed Jerusalem to maintain its ancestral form of government and institutions—pointing specifically to the elders, priests, and Temple scribes and singers (Josephus, Ant. 12.138–146)—now, without abolishing those, Antiochus IV allowed such Judeans who were interested to join an alternative civic framework that instead followed a Greek model. Information about the next few years is not abundant, but what little there is, mostly from 2 Maccabees 4, points, naturally enough, to an increased presence of Hellenization in Jerusalem. First Maccabees 1 writes in a general way about Hellenizers who abandoned the ancestral covenant, complaining specifically about the gymnasium and about neglect of circumcision (1:14–15), while 2 Maccabees 4, which reports how Hellenizing priests were appointed with royal support to the high priesthood, complains about young priests who preferred Greek sports (which were cultivated in the gymnasium) to participation in the Temple cult (4:13–15). Moreover, that chapter also portrays some scenes in the life of “Antioch in Jerusalem”: a report that delegates of the polis participated, as observers and partial sponsors, in games held at Tyre (4:18–20) and a description of an enthusiastic reception of Antiochus when he visited Jerusalem (4:22). Even if, as the former reports, those representatives made a point of avoiding explicitly idolatrous activity, this all probably engendered hostility and resentment among more traditionally oriented Jerusalemites—all the more so insofar as Hellenizers, with such names as Jason and Menelaus (whose brother was Lysimachus), managed to be appointed, with royal support, to the high priesthood. First Maccabees 1:11–15 is a literary expression of such hostility, so too the accusations, in 2 Macc 4:32, 39, 48, and then



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again at 5:15, that the Hellenizers not only showed scorn for the Temple cult but also actually robbed it. Events on the international scene were to occasion the opportunity for such hostility to go public and have a major impact.8 Namely, late in the 170s Rome went to war again with Macedonia, and that Third Macedonian War gave the Seleucids, who had been under Rome’s thumb since Antiochus III’s defeat at Magnesia, the opportunity to attempt new initiatives. Antiochus invaded Egypt in 170 BCE (hoping “to reign as king of both kingdoms,” as it is put in 1 Macc 1:16) and was at first quite successful. In that first campaign of the so-called Sixth Syrian War (on which, see the Note on 1:17, So he invaded Egypt) in 170/169 BCE, Antiochus conquered most of Egypt. After returning to Syria after that first campaign (as is reported in Dan 11:28) and helping himself to some of the treasures of the Temple of Jerusalem on the way (see the Note on 1:24, he worked pollution), he returned to Egypt in the spring of 168, planning to finish things off. But that was not to be. Rather, Rome’s decisive defeat of Macedonia at Pydna, in June 168, allowed Rome again to take up its self-appointed role as supervisor of the entire Mediterranean. Accordingly, as Daniel puts it (11:30), shortly thereafter “ships from Kittim” (Rome; see the Note on 1:1, Kittim) showed up in Egypt and spoiled the “king of the north’s” (Antiochus’s) plan: in a famous scene on the beach of Alexandria (Polybius 29.27, Livy 45.12), a Roman emissary served on Antiochus a humiliating ultimatum, and he was forced to pull his forces out of Egypt and return to Syria. One can imagine his mood, and perhaps we should not be surprised to read that, on his way back to Syria, he took his wrath out on Jerusalem (Dan 11:30), killing many of its residents and robbing the Temple (2 Macc 5:11–21).

B. Antiochus’s Decrees and the Judean Revolt, 168–167 BCE At this point, the summer of 168 and Antiochus’s attack on Jerusalem, we come to the main controversy concerning the reconstruction of Judean events of the period. All, or almost all,9 agree that the next two episodes are Antiochus’s decrees against Judaism and the Judean revolt, but the order of the two is disputed. The decrees, detailed in 1 Macc 1:​41–50 and 2 Macc 6:1–9, forbade, on penalty of death, the observance of Jewish law (prime examples cited include circumcision and dietary laws), required participation in a pagan cult, and were accompanied by a cessation of the Temple cult and introduction of a pagan altar (see the Note on 1:54, abomination of desolation) into the Temple of Jerusalem. As for the revolt: 1 Maccabees 2 and 2 Maccabees 8 report that it was led by the Hasmonean family, came after Antiochus’s decrees, and was provoked by those decrees. However, there is some reason to believe that in fact a Judean revolt that was not led by the Hasmoneans preceded the decrees and provoked them. First, let us note, as a point of departure, that a number of sources agree that Antiochus’s takeover of the Temple and replacement of the Jewish cult with a pagan cult lasted for three or three and a half years, ending late in 164 BCE (see the Note on 4:52, Kislev . . . 148th year). This means that Antiochus’s persecution of Judaism was under way by late 167 BCE, and we may probably assume that such a radical measure, the desecration of the Judeans’ central shrine, was not the first episode. Indeed, 1 Macc 1:33–35 refers to the establishment of a Seleucid garrison in Jerusalem (and 2 Macc

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5:24–26 apparently does too), which is obviously a first means to repress a revolt, before the imposition of decrees against Judaism, including the takeover of the Temple (1 Macc 1:41–50, 2 Macc 6:1–11). On this basis, it is convenient to begin our reconstruction of the relationship between the rebellion and the decrees by asking why Antiochus imposed them. What could have brought him to do such a thing? After all, a ruler should need a good reason to do something that would so antagonize his subjects. Moreover, as opposed to a monotheist (Momigliano 1986), a pagan ruler should have no problem with the notion that members of a particular people might want to adhere to their own ancestral cult. Accordingly, if we do not simply adopt the ancient canard that Antiochus was insane (Polybius 26.1), which would mean that no reason should be sought, or the traditional Jewish axiom (proclaimed in the very opening of the Hanukkah prayer, ‘al ha-nissîm) that the Greek kingdom was simply “wicked,” the question is quite pressing. The first few answers assume, in line with 1 and 2 Maccabees, that Antiochus’s decrees preceded the rebellion and indeed provoked it; the rebellion was a response to the decrees. As for why, then, Antiochus issued his decrees, the answer that is given by 1 Maccabees (1:41–42) is that Antiochus wanted to unify his kingdom. Although this answer has appealed to some scholars, who understood Antiochus’s policy in light of Bismarck’s Kulturkampf (Gutberlet) or Hitler’s Gleichschaltung (Heinemann),10 it is basically a nonanswer, for it begs the question of why Antiochus would want to do so. Moreover, as Bernhardt (2017, 239) puts it quite roundly, there is not the slightest evidence for such a kingdomwide measure. Another answer is that, indeed, Antiochus had no reason of his own to promulgate the decrees. Therefore, if we are not to conclude that he did not promulgate them, it must be he did it because someone else urged or pushed him into doing it. This is the path taken by Elias Bickerman(n), in Der Gott der Makkabäer (1937): he proposed that Jewish Hellenizers, who were interested in propelling the Jewish people forward into the modern age of their day, enlisted the royal power to back up their call upon their fellow Jews to adopt modern (Greek) ways. This answer, however, although adopted and developed especially by Martin Hengel (1974), is not without serious difficulties. First, although Bickerman posited that Jewish Hellenizers were aware of and influenced by Hellenistic thinkers who historicized and thereby relativized and undercut the binding nature of religious claims, it is not at all easy to document such views among early Hellenistic writers (Heinemann 1938: 156–157) or to posit such a high level of literacy in Hellenistic thought among Jerusalemites of the early second century BCE (Tcherikover 1959, 185). Moreover, if Bickerman’s logical point of departure is the premise that a Hellenistic king, given Hellenistic principles, especially polytheism, should have been willing to tolerate the cults of subject peoples, it makes little sense to posit that Jews who picked up the same Hellenistic values did not share the same attitude. But even if they did not, it is not easy to accept the notion that Antiochus would allow them to persuade him, or that he would not realize that acceding to such putative requests by Jewish Hellenizers would arouse serious opposition. Finally, however that may be, it is no simple matter to jump from Jews who want to educate their children in a gymnasium to Jews who want to enlist royal power in enforcing, against their fellow Jews, even unto death, a prohibition of circumcision (1 Macc 1:48, 60–61; 2 Macc 6:10; Assumption of Moses 8). These



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and ­similar objections have led not a few scholars to reject Bickerman’s reconstruction, leaving it an “unconvincing case” (A. I. Baumgarten 2007) that is of more interest for the study of Bickerman’s biography than for the study of ancient history. But if suggestions as to why Antiochus would, without provocation, impose decrees against Judaism are not satisfactory, it is warranted to consider the opposite reconstruction: that the Judeans first rebelled and Antiochus’s decrees against Judaism were part of his attempt to put the rebellion down. Imagining the latter part of this is no problem: compare Hadrian’s repression of Judaism in the 130s, after the outbreak of the Bar-Kochva rebellion, or recall Roman persecution of Christians on the grounds that Christian belief precluded loyalty to the emperor. But the former part entails two questions: (1) Why would Judeans rebel against Antiochus, and (2) what evidence is there that they did? As for why: Two suggestions may easily be made on the basis of the survey offered above. First, the Roman humiliation of Antiochus, in the summer of 168, easily could have awakened nationalist hopes among the Judeans. The Hebrew Bible offers any number of prophecies of the restitution of Judean sovereignty, and it is not at all difficult to show, from such nearly contemporary works as Ben-Sira and Daniel, that such prophecies were not forgotten.11 Any Judean who read or remembered the end of Haggai, for example, which promises that God would “overthrow the thrones of kings” and instead enthrone a Davidic ruler, and had heard from his father of Antiochus III’s humiliation at Magnesia and in his own day of Antiochus IV’s humiliation in Alexandria, might easily think the end to be imminent and set out to help realize that dream. Probably something of that atmosphere lies behind the heavily charged apocalyptic expectation in Daniel, a work of the 160s. Moreover, as explained above, the institutionalized Hellenization in Jerusalem, which must have riled traditionally oriented Judeans, was undertaken and proceeded under the auspices of Antiochus, after whom the polis was named. It would have been quite difficult for ancient Judeans to prevent their hostility to Hellenizers, who had the king’s ear and support, to flow over into hostility toward the king. So when, after the Roman intervention in Egypt, the king was thought to be on the ropes, they had all the more reason to rebel. As for evidence for such a pre-decrees rebellion, one that preceded the Hasmonean revolt reported in our sources, there is some evidence, and there are good explanations for why there is not more. There is some in 2 Maccabees 5, where, as Tcherikover (1959, 186–188) argued, especially two points support the hypothesis of a Judean rebellion. The first one is simply the fact that, as is reported at 5:11, Antiochus attacked Jerusalem because “he inferred” (διέλαβεν) the Judeans were rebelling. While the author would have us believe that Antiochus was wrong (cf. the mistaken διάλημπσις at 2 Macc 3:32), most readers who were not born yesterday would probably agree that, were that the case, the Jerusalemites could and would have made their peaceful disposition clear to Antiochus. The other point comes a few verses earlier, at 5:7, where we read that, after Jason attacked Jerusalem and Menelaus was forced to take refuge in the Temple, Jason’s men were forced to flee the city. Who overcame them? Is it not reasonable to infer the presence of another armed Judean force in the city, one that the author does not want to mention?

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Obviously, an inference like this would be stronger if we can imagine why the authors of 1–2 Maccabees would not want to mention Judean rebels who provoked Antiochus into making his decrees. In fact we can, with ease. First Maccabees, a pro-­Hasmonean book (see Introduction 1), had no reason at all to mention any pre-­ Hasmonean rebellion. The author of this dynastic history would rather his readers— who were his patron’s subjects—believe that, until the Hasmoneans rebelled, the Judeans had done nothing effectual against the Seleucids: some knuckled under (1:52, 2:23), others allowed themselves to be killed (1:62–64), and others just “sat there” (2:7), until Mattathias bravely took up the cudgels. For 1 Maccabees, that is, it was axiomatic that the Hasmoneans were the first to rebel—see not only the transitions from the end of chapter 1 to chapter 2 and from 2:29–38 to 2:39–41, which starkly contrast martyrs to Hasmonean rebels, but also Simon’s speech at 13:1–6 and the formal proclamation that begins at 14:29. As for 2 Maccabees, as a diasporic book (see Introduction 2, n. 1) it had no interest in mentioning any Judean rebels at all, unless they were responding to a threat to their religion. This is the nature of the compact Jews of the diaspora make with their respective rulers: “If, and as long as, you respect our religion, we shall be your loyal and law-abiding subjects.” Just as 2 Maccabees opens its story (after the prefatory material in its first two chapters) with a general statement (3:1–3) that emphasizes how respectful and generous Gentile rulers usually are toward the Jews and Judaism, and just as that book again underlines, in its report of Antiochus’s robbery of the Temple, that in fact Hellenistic kings usually honored the Temple and bestowed gifts upon it (5:16b), so too would it do its best to hide the notion that Jews might clash with the government as long as the latter did not interfere with their religious freedom. Thus, it seems most likely that, in attempting to understand the genesis of Antiochus IV’s decision to impose decrees against the practice of Judaism, we should accept the hypothesis that a Judean rebellion, occasioned by the recognition of an opportunity and by simmering hostility on the background of royally sponsored Hellenization, was a significant part of the story; probably it broke out in the wake of Antiochus’s humiliation in Egypt during the summer of 168. The Judean sources had no reason to report that rebellion, but it seems impossible to explain events without it. The fact that this reconstruction of events was congenial to ancient defenders of Antiochus Epiphanes, as was emphasized by Bickerman (2007, 2.1045–1046), does not mean that it is untrue. The revolt will have been met by suppressive measures by the Seleucids, beginning with Antiochus’s violence in Jerusalem on his way back from Egypt (2 Macc 5:11–16), then with the establishment of a Seleucid garrison in Jerusalem (1 Macc 1:33–35, 2 Macc 5:22–26), and, finally, with decrees against Judaism and a Seleucid takeover of the Temple of Jerusalem and introduction of a pagan cult into it (1 Macc 1:41–50, 2 Macc 6:1–11). These measures, however, succeeded only (as is so often the case) in fanning the revolt, which eventually came to be led by the Hasmoneans, beginning with Mattathias, until his death sometime in 166/165 (1 Macc 2:70). I would summarize this discussion of the second and third parts of the story, namely Antiochus’s decrees against Judaism and the Judean rebellion, by saying that there have been two main polar positions among scholars, with one in between. Heinemann, on the one hand, insisted that the first stage of the story, Hellenism in Jerusalem,



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is to be sharply distinguished from Antiochus’s persecution of Judaism, so a separate reason is needed for the latter; he located it in Antiochus’s desire to unify his kingdom. Bickerman, at the other pole, argued that Antiochus’s decrees were basically a continuation and intensification, with royal support, of the Hellenizers’ own actions.12 Here I have taken a third position: adopting Tcherikover’s hypothesis of a Judean but nonHasmonean Judean rebellion that preceded and provoked Antiochus’s decrees,13 I have argued that while that rebellion broke out when Antiochus’s troubles in Egypt made it seem that it had a chance, it was nurtured by hostility toward Antiochus’s Judean clients, who had established, in his honor and with his permission and patronage, a Greek polis, “Antioch in Jerusalem,” where once there had been only “the holy city” (1 Macc 2:7, 2 Macc 3:1).

C. The Hasmonean Revolt, the End of the Decrees, and Restoration of Jewish Jerusalem, ca. 166–164 BCE The rebellion, once it broke out, escalated from skirmishes and battles between Judean guerrillas and local forces, based especially around the Seleucid garrison of Jerusalem (centered in the city’s Akra [citadel], which is frequently mentioned in 1 Maccabees), to clashes between more organized Judean forces, commanded by Judas Maccabee, and royal forces dispatched to put down the rebellion (see the Comments on 3:10–26) (Map 1). Fortunately for the Judeans, by the spring of 165 Antiochus had decided to transfer his interest eastward across the Euphrates in an attempt to reconquer territories that were once part of his kingdom: as is recorded in 1 Macc 3:31–37, he split the royal army and went east, leaving the campaign in Judea to his viceroy, Lysias. Lysias was not very successful: sometime in the late autumn of 164, he was defeated by Judas near Beth Zur, south of Jerusalem (1 Macc 4:29–35)—whereupon Judas’s men continued up to the capital and, while some kept the Seleucid forces in the Akra occupied and at bay, the others took over the Temple complex and restored the cult, which had been interrupted. This event, which came about half a year or more after Antiochus abrogated his decrees against Judaism in the spring of 164 (2 Macc 11:27–33), and around the same time that Antiochus died (November 164; see the Note on 6:16, 149th year), amounted to a watershed, commemorated by the festival of Hanukkah, that basically restored the status quo ante.

D. The Rise of the Hasmonean State, 163–104 BCE If, however, one might expect that at this point the Judeans would revert to that status quo ante, namely, go back to being subjects of the Seleucids, since the latter had abrogated their decrees and given up their control of the Temple, that did not happen, for two main reasons. First, the same type of nationalist hopes that had nurtured the rebellion to begin with, given the Romans’ humiliation of Antiochus IV, were naturally fanned by Antiochus’s death in the East and Judas’s success against Lysias. Indeed, Judas’s success in 164 was soon followed by a second, in 163, when Lysias, who needed to deal with new troubles at home in Antioch, despite initial success interrupted a renewed attempt to retake Jerusalem and instead made peace with Judas (1 Macc 6:55–63). Any Judean

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Map 1. Sites of Judas Maccabaeus’s battles. (Originally appeared in Bezalel BarKochva, Judas Maccabaeus: The Jewish Struggle Against the Seleucids [Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989]. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1989. Reproduced with permission of Cambridge University Press through PLSclear.)

who considered those events could well be encouraged to try for more; l’appetito vien mangiando. Second, beginning less than two years after Judas retook Jerusalem, the Seleucid state would be afflicted not only with continued pressure from Rome, but also, for decades, with internal warfare due to competition among competing claimants to the throne. This came in two main rounds, both times with similar logic.



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1. Antiochus IV’s line vs. Seleucus IV’s. When Seleucus IV died in 175, he left a son, Demetrius I, who was about eleven years old. Under the circumstances, Seleucus’s brother, Antiochus IV, stepped in instead—and while Demetrius preferred to view Antiochus only as a temporary stand-in, Antiochus and his son (Antiochus V) would naturally prefer to see things differently. The natural result was that Antiochus’s death eleven years later touched off a struggle between Demetrius I and Antiochus V (and his right-hand man, Lysias)—and this struggle, passed on to the sons and grandsons of Seleucus IV and Antiochus IV, would continue for some forty years: • between Antiochus V and Demetrius I, ending in 162 with the former’s death, together with Lysias (1 Macc 7:1–4); • between Demetrius I and Alexander Balas (who at least claimed to be a son of Antiochus IV), ending in 150 with the former’s death (1 Macc 10:50); • between Alexander Balas and Demetrius II (son of Demetrius I), ending in 145 with the former’s death (1 Macc 11:17); • between Demetrius II and Alexander Balas’s son, Antiochus VI (who was supported and used by Trypho), ending with Antiochus’s death in 142 or 141 BCE (1 Macc 13:31) but soon followed by a decade spent by Demetrius in Parthian captivity (see the Note on 14:3, seized him), which made its own contribution to weakening the Seleucids; • between Demetrius II (after his release by the Parthians) and another (alleged) son of Alexander Balas—Alexander Zabinas—ending with Demetrius II’s death in 126 or 125 BCE; • and between Alexander Zabinas and Demetrius II’s son, Antiochus VIII Grypus, ending with Alexander’s death ca. 122 BCE. Only then did the claims of Antiochus IV’s branch of the family finally become extinct, after they had brought the Seleucid kingdom to dissipate its strength in internal conflicts for four decades. 2. Struggles among Demetrius I’s descendants and their cousins. The next four decades (which already take us beyond the period covered by this survey) were no better, however, for similar reasons.14 Back in the 130s, while Demetrius II was in Parthian captivity, the kingdom had been taken over by his brother, Antiochus VII Sidetes (see 1 Macc 15); he was killed during a Parthian campaign in 129 or 128, around the same time that the Parthians released Demetrius (Josephus, Ant. 13.253), and the natural result was a struggle between his line and Demetrius’s. That struggle, between Antiochus Grypus and Antiochus Sidetes’s son, Antiochus IX Cyzicenus, began a few years after Grypus defeated Alexander Zabinas and went on inconclusively for more than a decade and a half; Josephus compares Grypus and Cyzicenus to competing athletes of whom neither was strong enough to win but both were too proud to give up (Ant. 13.327), and the result was only more dissipation of strength and resources. Next, after death released those two from their suffering in 96/95 BCE, five sons of the former and one of the latter went on fighting each other for another several years. It is no mystery that the remnants of the Seleucid kingdom first fell prey to the Armenians, who, during the reign of Tigranes II “the Great,” ruled Syria for a decade and a half (83–69); then, after Rome defeated Tigranes, it went on, shortly thereafter, to put Seleucid Syria out of its misery, establishing Provincia Syria in its stead.

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The implications of all this for the Hasmoneans were very clear: the years of Seleucid weakness were those of Hasmonean expansion.15 Whether the Hasmoneans advanced their claims by defeating the Seleucids, by wringing concessions from them, by depending on Roman backing, or simply by ignoring the Seleucids, and whatever assistance was afforded by Rome (see end of Comments on 8:1–32), the century between Judas’s reconquest of Jerusalem and the Temple in 164 BCE and the Roman takeover of Judea in 63 BCE was one of expansion and state-building. This happened in a series of steps, each more far-reaching than its predecessor. In the days of Judas (1 Macc 3–9) we find a concentration of efforts in Judea proper, around Jerusalem, with only some exceptional fighting in more far-flung parts of Palestine (1 Macc 5). That was soon to change. Already Jonathan—who allied himself not only with Rome (as had Judas [1 Macc 8, 12:1–4]), but also with Alexander Balas, who was supported by Rome—was much more seriously active on the coast and in the north (1 Macc 10:74–89, 11:60–74), and he also achieved international recognition. First, chapter 10 has Demetrius I and Balas vying for Jonathan’s support, a process that brought Balas to appoint Jonathan high priest of the Judeans (10:17–21), which basically meant their ruler, as also to make him a “First Friend” and give him other titles (10:65); Balas also invited Jonathan to participate in events on the international scene (10:59–66). Next, 1 Maccabees 11 has Jonathan hobnobbing, in turn, with Ptolemy VI, with Demetrius II, and with Antiochus VI (and Trypho), and chapter 12 has him renewing Judas’s alliance with Rome and making a new one with Sparta. Jonathan comes to a tragic end, but by the next chapter (ch. 13), in the days of Simon (still covered in 1 Maccabees), we find yet more expansion (13:43–52, 14:5–7) and de facto independence, and this continues all the more, as we read in Josephus’s Antiquities, in the days of John Hyrcanus and his sons, especially Alexander Jannaeus, who ruled from 103 to 76 BCE and expanded the kingdom to borders that rivaled those of the kingdom once ruled by David and Solomon (Map 2). True, the story is not one of uninterrupted success. Now and then there were setbacks, but they were just passing delays. Of these there were two main cases. The first came in the late 130s, when Antiochus VII Sidetes—whose brother and rival, Demetrius II, was in Parthian captivity—attempted to restore Seleucid suzerainty in Judea: he reconquered Jerusalem, imposed a tribute on John Hyrcanus, and also required Hyrcanus to accompany him on a campaign to Parthia (see Josephus, Ant. 13.236–253). That campaign, however, resulted in a major catastrophe for the Seleucids: Sidetes was killed in battle, but not before the Parthians, in order to upset the Seleucids, freed Demetrius II from captivity—whereupon the internal Seleucid conflict resumed, as summarized above, and Hyrcanus was thereby freed to resume his series of conquests.16 The other case came at the very end of the second century, when Ptolemy IX Lathyrus of Egypt, and later his mother, Cleopatra III, tried to take advantage of Seleucid weakness and to compete with Alexander Jannaeus in northern Palestine. This could have spelled the end of the Hasmonean state, were it not for Ptolemy’s decision, after initial success against Alexander Jannaeus, to withdraw because of problems elsewhere; when Cleopatra too decided to leave Palestine alone, Alexander was freed to proceed with his expansion (Josephus, Ant. 13.328–356).17 The territorial expansion of the Hasmonean state (which in part belongs to the last decades of the Hasmonean dynasty, after the period to which this survey is devoted), was, of course, accompanied by a number of developments. Here, in conclusion, I



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Map 2. Judea during the Hasmonean period. (Originally appeared in Eyal Ben-Eliyahu, Identity and Territory: Jewish Perceptions of Space in Antiquity [Oakland: University of California Press, 2019]. Copyright © Reuven Soffer. Reprinted with permission from Soffer Maps, Jerusalem.)

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point out three that are of particular relevance for understanding the climate in which 1 Maccabees was produced: 1. The Hasmonean hold on the rule of Judea became a fait accompli. We hear of virtually no competition from others. The only exceptions are some carping in Qumran about the gaps between Hasmonean rule and ideal rule,18 or in Egypt, where the descendants of the Oniad line of high priests, who preceded the Hasmoneans in Jerusalem, maintained a temple of their own and, we may assume, some hopes of returning to their former glory.19 But even they came around: when late in the second century BCE Cleopatra III considered pursuing an invasion into the Hasmonean kingdom, and might well have overrun it, we read (in Josephus, Ant. 13.287, 354–355) that it was a Jewish general of that Oniad line who persuaded her to back off. 2. Hasmonean rule became secular. If already at the outset, calling the Hasmoneans “high priests” was basically a matter of preserving the traditional title but applying it to a whole new set of interests and duties (see the Note on 10:21, and he assembled troops and prepared numerous weapons), by the days of Simon that title was supplemented by two others, “ruler” and “commander” (14:41–42); and by the end of the century, beginning with John’s son Aristobulus I, they were all trumped by “king” (Josephus, Ant. 13.301). Although the Hasmonean kings retained the high-priestly title as well, this move showed a recognition that the governmental sphere was different from the religious sphere—and to judge by Aristobulus’s choice of byname, “Philhellene” (Ant. 13.318), and from the activities of Alexander Jannaeus, who expanded the state to its greatest extent—the former was more interesting for them. To some significant extent, this secularization of the Hasmonean ruler also derived from, or at least jibed with, the fact that the expansion of the kingdom resulted in the inclusion, within its borders, of a large non-Jewish population, which could relate to the Hasmoneans as rulers but not as high priests. If those non-Jewish subjects were not to be turned into Jews, as John Hyrcanus tried, with whatever success, after conquering the Idumeans (Ant. 13.257–258, 15.253–255), the ruler had to be turned into someone whose position was independent of his role in the Jewish cult. 3. The other half of that separation of religion from state, signified by the Hasmonean creation of kingship alongside the high priesthood, was the increased self-awareness of the Jewish religion. This had various causes. Perhaps the most immediate one was the experience of Antiochus’s decrees, which aimed not to annihilate the Jews, but rather to get them to stop acting like Jews; this made it clear that being a Jew was something that could be chosen or rejected. Evidence for this growing salience of the Jewish religion is supplied both by the appearance of the very term “Judaism” (Greek Ioudaïsmos; it first appears in 2 Maccabees [2:21, 8:1, 14:38]) and by the appearance of self-conscious versions of Judaism, usually termed “sects”; the first reference to Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes comes in Josephus’s account of the mid-second century BCE (Ant. 13.171–173), the Qumran sect appears during this period, and it seems it was during this period that the “Hasidim” also appeared as a self-conscious group (not merely “pious” people).20 True, the separation between the two domains, religion and state, was not at all hermetic, for, as noted, the Hasmoneans did not give up the high priesthood. Instead, they added the royal crown to the priestly crown. Correspondingly, the religious groups



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also tended not to view the Hasmonean government as Jews of the diaspora might view their respective rulers; rather, they often evinced hostility toward the Hasmoneans, just as the present pro-Hasmonean book, for its part, evinces scorn for the religious, viewing them as pious fools who do not know how the world really works (see Introduction 4, at n. 74). Nevertheless, the creation of the monarchy alongside the high priesthood had its results: by the late Hasmonean period it was possible for a Jewish queen, Salome Alexandra (Alexander Jannaeus’s widow), to rule the state for a decade (76–67 BCE) although she could not be high priest. Similarly, when a few years later the Romans took over, in 63 BCE, they went on to pursue their own ways of maintaining their own rule—first by Jewish proxies such as Hyrcanus II or Herod and eventually by Roman governors—while letting the Jews live according to their own religion. That is, they imposed diaspora conditions in Judea. This happened in various ways, and with various degrees of success, but it is a story that goes well beyond the period covered by this survey.21 Here it is enough to note that that story would eventually end with the Roman destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE. That was the culmination of a war that broke out because too many Judeans resisted the imposition of diaspora conditions in Judea: they rejected the separation of religion from state and insisted on viewing the Temple as the seat of Judean sovereignty—rather than as a center of the Jewish religion, where Jews could worship their God who is in heaven but lets the Romans rule on earth. The Romans, in other words, finally imposed in Judea the solution the Hasmoneans had introduced. Historical processes can take time, and the way they are completed can be quite ironic.

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Stern, Ephraim. 2000. Dor: Ruler of the Seas: Nineteen Years of Excavations at the ­Israelite-Phoenician Harbor Town on the Carmel Coast. Revised and expanded ed. Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society. Stern, Ephraim, Hillel Geva, Alan Paris, and J. Aviram, eds. 2008. The New Encyclopedia of Archaeological Excavations in the Holy Land, Vol. 5: Supplementary Volume. Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society, and Washington, D.C.: Biblical Archaeological Society. Stern, Menahem. 1972. The Documents on the History of the Hasmonaean Revolt. 2nd ed. Tel Aviv: HaKibbutz HaMeuh.ad (in Hebrew). ———. 1973. “Die Urkunden.” Pages 181–199 in Literatur und Religion des Frühjudentums: Eine Einführung. Edited by Johann Maier and Josef Schreiner. Gütersloh: Mohn. ———. 1974–1976. “Aspects of Jewish Society: The Priesthood and Other Classes.” Pages 2.561–630 in The Jewish People in the First Century. Edited by S. Safrai and M. Stern. 2 vols. Compendium Rerum Iudaicarum ad Novum Testamentum 1/1–2. Assen: Van Gorcum. ———. 1974–1984. Greek and Latin Authors on Jews and Judaism. 3 vols. Jerusalem: Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities. ———. 1981. “Judaea and Her Neighbors in the Days of Alexander Jannaeus.” Jerusalem Cathedra 1: 22–46. ———. 1991. Studies in Jewish History: The Second Temple Period. Edited by Moshe Amit, Isaiah Gafni, and Moshe David Herr. Jerusalem: Yad Izhak Ben-Zvi (in Hebrew). ———. 1991/92. “‘Antioch in Jerusalem:’ The Gymnasium, the Polis and the Rise of Menelaus.” Zion 57: 233–246 (in Hebrew). ———. 1995. Hasmonaean Judaea in the Hellenistic World: Chapters in Political History. Edited by Daniel R. Schwartz. Jerusalem: Zalman Shazar Center (in Hebrew). Stone, Shelley. 1994. “The Toga: From National to Ceremonial Costume.” Pages 13–45 in The World of Roman Costume. Edited by Judith Lynn Sebesta and Larissa Bonfante. Wisconsin Studies in Classics. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press. Strootman, Rolf. 2014. Courts and Elites in the Hellenistic Empires: The Near East After the Achaemenids, c. 330–30 BCE. Edinburgh Studies in Ancient Persia. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. Suchard, Benjamin D. 2020. The Development of the Biblical Hebrew Vowels, Including a Concise Historical Morphology. Studies in Semitic Lanuages and Linguistics 99. Leiden: Brill. Talmon, Shemaryahu. 1995. “A Calendrical Document from Qumran Cave 4 (mišmarot D, 4Q325).” Pages 327–344 in H. ayyim leYona: Solving Riddles and Untying Knots: Biblical, Epigraphic, and Semitic Studies in Honor of Jonas C. Greenfield. Edited by Ziony Zevit, Seymour Gitin, and Michael Sokoloff. Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns. ———. 2010. Text and Canon of the Hebrew Bible: Collected Studies. Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns. Talshir, David. 2013. “Syndetic Binomials in Second Temple Period Hebrew.” Pages 225–239 in Hebrew in the Second Temple Period: The Hebrew of the Dead Sea Scrolls



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and of Other Contemporary Sources. Edited by Steven E. Fassberg, Moshe Bar-Asher, and Ruth A. Clements. STDJ 108. Leiden: Brill. Tanner, Norman P., ed. 1990. Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils. 2 vols. London: Sheed and Ward. Tarn, W. W. 1930. Hellenistic Naval and Military Developments. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Täubler, Eugen. 1913. Imperium Romanum: Studien zur Entwicklungsgeschichte des römischen Reichs, I: Die Staatsverträge und Vertragsverhältnisse. Berlin: Teubner. ———. 1946/47. “Jerusalem 201 to 199 B.C.E.: On the History of a Messianic Movement.” JQR 37: 1–30, 125–137, 249–263. Taylor, Jane. 2002. Petra and the Lost Kingdom of the Nabataeans. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. Tcherikover, Victor A. 1959. Hellenistic Civilization and the Jews. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of America, and Jerusalem: Magnes. ———. 1964. “Was Jerusalem a ‘Polis’?” IEJ 14: 61–78. Tcherikover, Victor A., in collaboration with Alexander Fuks, eds. 1957. Corpus Papyrorum Judaicarum, vol. 1. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. Tempesta, Claudia. 2013. “Central and Local Powers in Hellenistic Rough Cilicia.” Pages 27–42 in Rough Cilicia: New Historical and Archaeological Approaches. Edited by Michael C. Hoff and Rhys F. Townsend. Oxford: Oxbow. Thackeray, Henry St. John. 1909. A Grammar of the Old Testament in Greek, I. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Theophilos, Michael P. 2011. The Abomination of Desolation in Matthew 24.15. London: T&T Clark. Thiessen, Matthew. 2011. Contesting Conversion: Genealogy, Circumcision, and Identity in Ancient Judaism and Christianity. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Thomas, J. David. 1975–1982. The Epistrategos in Ptolemaic and Roman Egypt. 2 vols. Papyrologica Coloniensia 6. Opladen: Westdeutscher. Thrall, Margaret E. 1962. Greek Particles in the New Testament: Linguistic and Exegetical Studies. New Testament Tools and Studies 3. Leiden: Brill. Tilly, Michael. 2014. Review of Borchardt 2014. TLZ 139: 1283–1286. ———. 2015. 1 Makkabäer. HTKAT. Freiburg: Herder. Timpe, Dieter. 1974. “Der römische Vertrag mit den Juden in 161 v. Chr.” Chiron 4: 133–152. Toki, K. 1977. “The Dates of the First and Second Books of Maccabees.” Annual of the Japanese Biblical Institute 3: 69–83. Tomes, Roger. 2007. “Heroism in 1 and 2 Maccabees.” Biblical Interpretation 15: 171–199. Torrey, Charles C. 1902. “First Maccabees.” Encyclopædia Biblica 3:2857–2869. ———. 1903. “Schweizer’s ‘Remains of a Hebrew Text of 1 Maccabees.’” JBL 22: 51–59. Tov, Emanuel. 1990. “Greek Words and Hebrew Meanings.” Pages 83–125 in Melbourne Symposium on Septuagint Lexicography. Edited by Takamitsu Muraoka. SBLSCS 28. Atlanta: Scholars Press. ———. 1999. The Greek and Hebrew Bible: Collected Essays on the Septuagint. VTSup 72. Leiden: Brill.

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Prologue: Introducing the Villains 1 After the successful offensive of Alexander, son of Philip the Macedonian—who had departed from the land of the Kittim and defeated Darius, king of Persians and Medes, and reigned as king in his stead, after first reigning over Greece—2he started numerous wars, conquered fortresses, and slaughtered kings of the world. 3He went to the ends of the earth, despoiling many peoples, and the world became quiet before him; he became arrogant, his heart soaring high. 4And he collected a very mighty army and ruled countries, peoples, and monarchs, and they all became tributary to him. 5But after that he fell into his bed and knew he would die. 6So he summoned his honored servants who had been brought up with him since youth, and distributed his kingdom among them, while he was still alive. 7Thus Alexander reigned for twelve years, and died, 8and each of his servants took power, each in his place. 9After his death they all donned diadems, and so too their sons after them for many years, and they multiplied evil in the world. 10Out of them there emerged a sinful growth, Antiochus Epiphanes (the son of King Antiochus), who had been a hostage in Rome, and he began to reign as king in the 137th year of the kingdom of the Greeks. 11 In those days there emerged out of Israel wicked men, and they seduced many, saying: “Come let us make a covenant with the Gentiles who are around us. For since the day we separated ourselves from them we have been visited by many troubles.” 12 This proposal found favor in their eyes, 13and some of the members of the people volunteered and went to the king, and he gave them the authority to act according to the customs of the Gentiles. 14So they built a gymnasium in Jerusalem, according to the customs of the Gentiles. 15They made themselves foreskins, deviating from the sacred covenant and yoking themselves to the Gentiles; they sold themselves to the doing of evil. 1

Judea and Judaism Under Antiochus Epiphanes When Antiochus’s kingdom was securely established, he undertook to rule as king of Egypt too, so as to be king of both kingdoms. 17So he invaded Egypt with a strong army, including chariots and elephants, and with a great fleet. 18He went to war against King Ptolemy of Egypt, and Ptolemy was defeated by him and fled; many fell, mortally 16

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wounded. 19And he took the fortified cities of the land of Egypt, and despoiled the land of Egypt. 20 Then Antiochus turned back after smiting Egypt, in the 143rd year, and came up against Israel and Jerusalem with a strong army. 21He invaded the Temple arrogantly and took the golden altar and the candelabrum and all its appurtenances, 22and the Table of the Presence and the libation cups and the bowls and the golden censers and the curtain; and the crowns and the golden decoration upon the façade of the sanctuary—he stripped them all off. 23And he took the silver and the gold and the precious vessels, and he took the hidden treasures that he found. 24After taking it all he departed for his own land; he worked pollution and spoke with great arrogance. 25And there came great mourning upon Israel, in all of their places. And rulers and elders groaned, Virgins and young men became weak, And the beauty of women was transformed. 27 Every bridegroom raised a lament, And she who sits in a bridal chamber was in mourning. 28 The land turned over upon its inhabitants, And all the house of Jacob wore shame. 26

Two years later, the king sent a taskmaster to the cities of Judah, and he came to Jerusalem with a strong army. 30He spoke to them peaceful words, with guile, and they entrusted themselves unto him—but then he fell upon the city suddenly, smote it with a heavy blow, and wiped out numerous people of Israel. 31He despoiled the city and burnt it, and destroyed its houses and its walls roundabout. 32And they took the women and children captive, and took possession of the cattle. 33And they built the city of David with a great and strong wall, and strong towers, and it became a citadel for them. 34 He settled there a sinful people, wicked men, and they made themselves strong there: 35 they stored up weapons and provisions, and after collecting the spoils of Jerusalem they deposited (them) there and became a great snare. 29

And it became an ambush to the Temple, and a villainous adversary to Israel incessantly. 37 And they spilled innocent blood around the Temple, and defiled the Temple. 38 The residents of Jerusalem fled on their account, it became an abode of foreigners, it became foreign to its offspring, and its children abandoned it. 39 Its Temple was desolated like a desert, its festivals turned into mourning; its Sabbaths, into disgrace; its honor, into naught. 36

As much as it was glorious (previously, now) it was filled with disgrace, and its grandeur turned into mourning. 41 Then the king wrote to his entire kingdom, that all should become one people, 42 and that each should abandon his own customs. And all the Gentiles acquiesced to do according to the word of the king. 43And many from Israel (too) agreed to follow his religion, and they sacrificed to the abominations and desecrated the Sabbath. 44And the king sent letters to Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, via messengers, (ordering them) to follow customs foreign to the land: 40

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to prevent the offering of whole-offerings and sacrifices and libations in the sanctuary, to desecrate Sabbaths and festivals, 46 to defile the Temple and the holy things, 47 to build pagan altars and sacred precincts and contemptible shrines, to sacrifice pigs and impure cattle, 48 to leave their sons uncircumcised, to defile themselves with all sorts of impurity and defilement— 45

so as to forget the Law and change all the ordinances. 50And anyone who would not do according to the king’s word was to be killed. 51 He wrote all these things to all of his kingdom, and appointed supervisors for the entire people and ordered the cities of Judah to offer sacrifices in each and every city. 52 And many from among the people joined up with them, everyone who abandoned the Law, and they did works of wickedness in the land 53and forced Israel into hidingplaces in all of their places of refuge. 54 On the fifteenth day of Kislev in the 145th year he built an abomination of desolation on the altar, and they built pagan altars in the cities of Judah roundabout 55 and offered up sacrifices at the doors of their houses and in the streets. 56They tore up and burnt the books of the Law that they found, 57and wherever they found someone with a book of the covenant, or if anyone insisted upon (observing) the Law, the royal judgment killed him. 58Employing their power, month after month they did this to whomsoever of Israel they found in the cities, 59and on the twenty-fifth day of each month they sacrificed upon the pagan altar, which was upon the altar. 60And they killed, in conformance with the edict, those women who had circumcised their sons: 61they hanged the babies from their necks, (and also killed) their families and those who circumcised them. 62 But many in Israel remained strong and, despite their suffering, abstained from eating impure things. 63They undertook to die, so as not to be defiled by foods and not to desecrate the sacred covenant—and they died. 64And there was a very great wrath upon Israel. 49

Mattathias Rebels 2 In those days there arose from Jerusalem Mattathias, son of John son of Simeon, a priest of the sons of Jehoiarib, and took up residence in Modiin. 2He had five sons: John also named Gaddi, 3Simon called Thassi, 4Judas called Maccabaeus, 5Eleazar called Auran, Jonathan called Apphous. 6He saw the outrages that had occurred in Judah and Jerusalem 7and said: 1

Woe is me! Why was I born to see the ruin of my people and the ruin of the holy city?! And they sat there while the city was given over into the hands of its enemies, the sanctuary—into the hand of foreigners! 8 Its sanctuary became like a man delivered up, 9 its glorious vessels were taken off as captives, its infants were killed in its squares, and its young men—by the enemy’s sword.



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What people has not taken possession (of land) in its kingdom and seized its spoils?! 11 All of its glory has been removed, and instead of free it has become a slave. 12 Behold: our Temple, our beauty, and our glory have been desolated, and the Gentiles have desecrated them; 13what good is life for us anymore? 10

And Mattathias and his sons rent their garments, wrapped themselves in sackcloth, and mourned greatly. 15 The king’s men who were coercing apostasy came to the city of Modiin, so that they should sacrifice. 16And many out of Israel came over to them, but Mattathias and his sons stuck together. 17And the king’s men made a declaration to Mattathias, saying as follows: 14

You are a ruler and honored and a great man in this city, firmly supported by your sons and your brothers. 18Now, therefore, be the first to come forward and fulfill the king’s edict, as has been done by all the peoples and by the men of Judah and those who remain in Jerusalem—and you and your sons will be among the Friends of the King, and you and your sons will be honored with silver and gold and great rewards.

But Mattathias declared to them, speaking in a loud voice:

19

Even if all the peoples in the house of the king’s kingdom were to listen to him and apostasize, each from the religion of its own fathers, and prefer his commands, 20nevertheless, I and my sons and my brothers will continue to adhere to the covenant of our fathers. 21Far be it from us to abandon Law and ordinances! 22We will not listen to the words of the king and violate our religion, neither to the right nor to the left! But after he finished speaking these words, there came forward a Judean man, before the eyes of all, to sacrifice upon the pagan altar in Modiin in accordance with the king’s edict. 24Mattathias saw this and became zealous; his innards trembled and he let his wrath go, as was proper: running up, he slaughtered the man upon the pagan altar. 25 And at the same time he also killed the king’s man who had been coercing them to sacrifice, and he tore down the pagan altar. 26Thus he was zealous for the Law, doing as Phinehas did to Zimri the son of Shallum. 27And Mattathias called out in the city in a loud voice, saying: “Any man who is zealous for the Law, maintaining the covenant, let him come out after me!” 28And he and his sons fled to the mountains, leaving behind all that they had in the city. 23

The Rebels Overcome Religious Restraints At that time numerous people seeking justice and law went down to the wilderness to take up residence there, 30they and their sons and their wives and their livestock, for the troubles weighed heavily upon them. 31But it was reported to the king’s men, and to the soldiers in Jerusalem, in the city of David, that men who had violated the king’s decree had gone down to hiding-places in the wilderness. 32A large number of them hastened off after them and caught up with them and, encamping over against them, went to war against them on a Sabbath day. 33And they said to them: “Enough now! Come out and 29

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do according to the king’s word, and you shall live.” 34But they said: “We shall not come out, nor shall we do the word of the king and thereby desecrate the Sabbath day.” 35So they hastened (to make) war upon them. 36But they did not respond, neither did they throw a single stone at them nor block up the hiding-places, 37saying: “Let us all die in our rectitude; heaven and earth testify on our behalf, that it is unjustly that you wipe us out.” 38So they rose up against them in war on the Sabbath, and they died—they and their wives and their children and their livestock—around a thousand people. 39 When Mattathias and his companions learned of this they mourned over them greatly. 40And they said to one another: “If we all do like our brethren did, and do not fight the Gentiles for our lives and our laws, now they will swiftly wipe us off the face of the earth.” 41So they deliberated and decided that day, saying: “If any man comes to make war against us on a Sabbath day, we will fight against him, lest we all die as our brethren died in the hiding-places.”

The Rebels Take the Initiative There then joined up with them a community of Judeans, mighty men of Israel, all who were devoted to the Torah. 43And all those who fled from the troubles joined them, and they became a buttress for them. 44And they formed a force and smote sinners in their wrath and wicked men in their anger; those who remained fled to the Gentiles to save themselves. 45And Mattathias and his companions went round and about: they destroyed the pagan altars 46and forcibly circumcised all the uncircumcised children that they found within the borders of Israel. 47And they chased away the arrogant, and their work was successful. 48They rescued the Law from the hand of the Gentiles and from the hand of the(ir) kings, and gave no quarter to any sinner. 42

Mattathias’s Deathbed Speech and Death 49

When the days came near for Mattathias to die, he said to his sons: Now that arrogance and condemnation have become firmly established, a time of ruin and furious wrath—50now be zealous for the Law, children, and give your lives for the covenant of our fathers. 51 Remember the deeds of our fathers, which they did each in his generation, and they received great glory and an eternal name. 52 Abraham—was he not found faithful in trial, and it was considered unto him as righteousness? 53 Joseph kept the commandment at the time of his distress, and he became the ruler of Egypt. 54 Phinehas our father, by being zealous with zeal received the covenant of eternal priesthood. 55 Joshua, by fulfilling the word, became a judge in Israel. 56 Caleb, by giving testimony in the congregation, received an inheritance in the land. 57 David, due to his devotion, received the royal throne unto eternity. 58 Elijah, by being zealous in zeal for the Law, was taken up into heaven.



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Hananiah, Azariah, and Mishael, having remained faithful, were saved from fire. 60 Daniel, in his rectitude, was rescued from the mouth of lions. 61 Therefore bear in mind that, from generation to generation, all who put their hope in him will not stumble. 62And do not become fearful due to the words of a sinful man, for his glory is unto dung and worms: 63today he is on the heights but tomorrow he is no longer to be found, for he shall return to his dust and his plotting shall perish. 64 Children, be courageous and be strong in the Law, for by it you shall be glorified! 65 Now behold: Simeon your brother is, I know, a man of good counsel; listen to him always, he shall be unto you as your father. 66 And Judas Maccabaeus has been powerful and mighty since his youth; he shall be unto you the chief of the army and fight the war against the Gentiles. 67 And all of you—join unto you all those who do the Law, and avenge your people. 68Requite the Gentiles their retribution and heed the commandment of the Law. 59

And he blessed them, and was gathered up unto his fathers. 70He died in the 146th year and was buried in the graves of his fathers in Modiin, and all Israel mourned him greatly. 69

Opening Ode to Judas Maccabaeus 3 His son Judas, who was called Maccabaeus, arose in his stead. 2And he was assisted by all his brothers and all those who had cleaved to his father, and they fought Israel’s war gladly. 1

He spread about the glory of his people and wore armor like a giant, and girded himself about with his military equipment; he started wars, protecting the camp by the sword. 4 He was like a lion in his deeds, and like a young lion roaring for his prey. 5 Seeking out the wicked he chased after them, and hotly pursued those who terrified his people. 6 The wicked cowered in fear of him, and all the doers of wicked acts were terrified, and salvation was successfully achieved by his hand. 7 He angered many kings, but caused Jacob to rejoice in his deeds, and his memory will forever be a blessing. 8 He went through the cities of Judah, and totally destroyed the impious out of it, and turned wrath away from Israel. 9 His name was heard unto the end of the land, and he gathered together those who were perishing. 3

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Judas Defeats Apollonius and Seron Apollonius assembled Gentiles and a large force from Samaria to make war against Israel. 11When Judas learned of it, he went out to confront him and smote him and killed him; many fell, mortally wounded, the survivors fled, 12and they took their booty. Judas took Apollonius’s sword and went on to fight with it all his days. 13 Seron, the commander of the army of Syria, heard that Judas had gathered a multitude and community of loyal people with him and had gone out to make war. 14 And he said: “I will make myself a name and glorify myself in the kingdom: I will make war against Judas and those who are with him, who set the king’s word at naught.” 15 And there also joined him and went up with him a strong force of impious men to assist him in taking vengeance upon the sons of Israel. 16When they came as far as the Ascent of Beth H . oron, Judas went out to confront him with a few men. 17When they saw the force coming to confront them, they said to Judas: “What can we do, being that we are so few, to fight against a horde that is so strong? And we are giving out, for we have not eaten today.” 18But Judas said: 10

It is easy for a multitude to be delivered up into the hands of a few, and it makes no difference in the sight of heaven to save from many or from a few. 19 For victory in war lies not in the multitude of the forces, but in the power of heaven. 20They come against us in the plenitude of arrogance and wickedness to wipe us out, together with our wives and our children, and to despoil us, 21 but we fight for our lives and our laws. 22He shall crush them before us; and you—have no fear of them. When he finished speaking, he charged into them suddenly, and Seron and his force . oron were crushed before him. 24And he chased after them in the Descent of Beth H and until the plain, and as many as eight hundred of them fell, the rest fleeing to the land of the Philistines. 25 The fear and terror of Judas and his brothers began to fall upon the Gentiles around them, 26and his name came all the way to the ears of the king; every people was telling of his battles. 23

Lysias First Sends Gorgias Against Judas, Then Tries It Himself When Antiochus heard these things, he became wrathful and sent and ordered the assembling of all the armies of his kingdom—a very great force. 28And he opened his treasury and gave wages to his forces for a year, and ordered them to be ready for any need. 29But when he saw that the coffers were running out of silver, and that the taxes coming in from the land were too low, because of the sedition and the suffering that he brought upon the land by overturning the customs that had been in effect since the earliest days, 30he was afraid that—as had already happened once or twice—he might not have enough for his expenses, and for the gifts that he had previously given with a generous hand, going beyond the earlier kings. 31Therefore, his soul was affected by grave consternation, and he decided to go to Persis and take the tributes of those lands and amass much silver. 32He left Lysias, a man of distinction and of the royal family, 27



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in charge of the affairs of the king from the Euphrates River until the border of Egypt, 33 and to raise his son, Antiochus, until he returned. 34And he transferred to him half of the troops and half of the elephants, and gave orders concerning all matters as he desired, as also concerning the residents of Judea and Jerusalem—35to send against them an army to destroy and eradicate the strength of Israel and the remnant of Jerusalem and expunge their memory from the place, 36to settle foreigners in all of their borders, and to give them their land as an inheritance. 37And the king took the remaining half of the troops and went off from Antioch, from the capital city of his realm, in the 147th year; he crossed the Euphrates and went through the upper districts. 38 Lysias chose Ptolemy the son of Dorymenes, Nicanor, and Gorgias, powerful men who were among the Friends of the King, 39and sent with them forty thousand men and seven thousand cavalry to go to the land of Judah and devastate it in accordance with the king’s word. 40And they set out with all of their army and came and encamped near Emmaus, in the region of the plain. 41The merchants of the country heard of them and, taking a large quantity of silver and gold, and fetters, they came to the camp in the hope of taking the children of Israel as slaves; and there also joined them a force from Idumea and the land of the Philistines. 42When Judas and his brothers saw that the troubles had become numerous, and that the forces were encamped within their borders, and also learned of the words of the king, which he had ordered so as to bring upon the people destruction and annihilation, 43they said one to another: “Let us raise up the ruins of our people and fight for our people and for the Temple!” 44And the assembly convened so they could be prepared for war, and to pray and beseech for mercy and compassion. And Jerusalem was unpopulated, like the desert; not one of its offspring was going in or going out, and the holy place was downtrodden, and there were foreigners in the Akra—a dwelling place for Gentiles. Joy was uprooted from Israel, and there remained neither flute nor lyre.

45

And they gathered together and went to Mizpah, vis-à-vis Jerusalem, for Israel had formerly had a place of prayer in Mizpah. 47And they fasted on that day, wrapped themselves around with sackcloth and put ashes on their heads, and tore their clothes. 48 And they unrolled the book of the Law (to seek) the things about which the Gentiles consult their images of abominations. 49They also brought the priestly vestments and the first fruits and the tithes, and had the Nazirites who had completed their days stand up. 50And they cried out in a loud voice to heaven, saying: 46

What shall we do with these, and whither shall we take those—51with your Temple downtrodden and defiled, your priests in mourning and degradation?! 52 And behold—the Gentiles have gathered together against us to wipe us out; you of course know what they have in mind for us. 53How shall we be able to withstand them, unless you act as our ally?! And they blew the trumpets and cried out in a loud voice. 55After that, Judas appointed leaders of the people—officers of thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens. 56And he told those who had built houses, betrothed wives, planted vineyards, or were fearful to return each to his own home, in accordance with the Law. 57Then the force set out and encamped south of Emmaus. 58And Judas said: 54

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Gird yourselves about and be valiant, and be ready to fight these Gentiles early tomorrow morning—they who have gathered together against us to wipe us out, along with our Temple. 59For it is better for us to die in war than to look on (passively) upon the terrible things that the Gentiles have done to us and the Temple. 60But whatever will there shall be in heaven, so shall it do. 1 4 Gorgias took with him five thousand men and a thousand select cavalry, and his force set out at night 2to assault the Judeans’ camp and strike them suddenly, the men of the Akra serving as their guides. 3But Judas and his men heard of it, and he set out along with his forces to strike the king’s soldiers who were in Emmaus 4while those soldiers were still dispersed outside of the camp. 5When Gorgias reached Judas’s camp at night he found no one there, so he searched for them in the mountains, saying, “They have fled from us.” 6But just as day broke, Judas became visible in the plain, along with three thousand men—although they had neither body-armor nor swords as they would have wanted. 7When they saw the mighty force of the Gentiles, fully armed and with cavalry surrounding it, and all experienced in war, 8Judas said to his men:

Do not fear their multitude, and be not cowardly in the face of all their fury. 9 Remember that our fathers were saved at the Red Sea, when Pharaoh pursued them with his army. 10So now, let us cry out to heaven—if he desires us he will recall the covenant with our fathers and crush this camp before our eyes today! 11 And let all the Gentiles know that there is a redeemer and savior of Israel! When the foreigners lifted up their eyes and saw them coming from the opposite side, 13they left their camp to do battle. Those alongside Judas blew trumpets 14and they engaged in battle—and the Gentiles were defeated and fled toward the plain; 15all of those in their rear fell by the sword. And they chased them until Gezer and until the plains of Idumea and until Azotus and Jamnia, and about three thousand of them fell. 16 Then Judas and his force turned back from chasing after them, 17and he said to the people: “Do not be eager for the booty, for we (still) have war before us, 18for Gorgias and his force are in the mountain near us; rather, stand up to our enemies and make war against them. After that you can freely take their booty.” 19Judas had hardly finished (talking) when a unit was seen peering up out of the mountain. 20They saw that (their comrades) had been defeated, and that their camp had been set afire (for the smoke that was visible revealed what had happened), 21and when they took all that in, they became very afraid; then, when they perceived Judas’s force in the plain, ready for battle, 22they all fled to the land of the Philistines. 23Then Judas turned back to despoil their camp: they took much gold and silver and expensive blue fabric and marine-died purple cloth and a great deal of treasure. 24Upon returning, they sang and blessed heaven, “for he is good, for his grace is eternal.” 25Thus there occurred that day a great salvation in Israel. 26 Those of the foreigners who survived went and told Lysias all that had hap27 pened. When he heard, he was upset and angry, for things had not gone the way he wanted with Israel, and had not turned out the way the king had commanded him. 28So the next year he recruited sixty thousand picked men and five thousand cavalry to suppress them totally in war. 29They came to Idumea and camped in Beth Zur, and Judas came to confront them with ten thousand men. 30When he saw the mighty camp, he prayed and said: 12



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Blessed art thou, O savior of Israel, who crushed the fury of the powerful man by the hand of your servant David and gave the camp of the Philistines into the hands of Jonathan the son of Saul and his armor-bearer. 31Give this camp into the hand of your people, Israel, and let them be shamed for all their soldiers and their cavalry. 32Give them cowardice, melt away their courage from their strength, and let them be shaken in their defeat. 33Throw them down by the sword of those who love you, and let all who know your name praise you with hymns. Then they threw themselves against each other, and about five thousand of Lysias’s men fell—they fell before them. 35Lysias, seeing the defeat that his force had incurred, and the courage of Judas’s, and that they were prepared to live or die nobly, went off to Antioch and recruited even more mercenaries, so as to invade Judea again. 34

The Purification and Rededication of the Temple And Judas and his brothers said: “Behold—our enemies have been crushed. Let us go up and purify the Temple and rededicate it.” 37And so the whole force assembled and went up to Mount Zion. 38When they saw that the Temple had been desolated and that the altar had been desecrated, that the gates had been burnt down, and that plants were growing in the courts as if in a forest or on one of the mountains, and the chambers destroyed, 39they tore their clothes and mourned greatly, putting ashes upon themselves, 40 and they fell upon their faces on the ground; blowing the signal trumpets, they cried out to heaven. 41Then Judas ordered men to fight those in the Akra until the Temple be purified. 42And he selected unblemished priests, devoted to the Law, 43and they purified the Temple and removed the stones of the abomination to an impure place. 44Then they considered what to do with the defiled whole-offering altar, 45and there occurred to them a good idea: to destroy it, lest it be for them a shameful (reminder) that the Gentiles had defiled it; so they destroyed the altar. 46But they put the stones aside in an appropriate place on the Temple Mount, until the coming of a prophet who could give an answer about them. 47 Then they took whole stones, according to the Law, and built a new altar according to (the model of ) the previous one. 48And they built the Temple and sanctified the things inside the building and consecrated the courts, 49and made new holy vessels and brought the candelabrum and the incense-altar and the table into the sanctuary. 50 Then they offered up incense upon the altar and lit the lights upon the candelabrum, thus illuminating the inside of the sanctuary. 51And they put loaves of bread upon the table and spread out the curtains and completed all the tasks that they did. 52 Arising early the next morning, the twenty-fifth day of the ninth month— which is Kislev—of the 148th year, 53they brought a sacrifice according to the Law, upon the new whole-offering altar that they had made; 54at about the season and the day in which the Gentiles had defiled it, at that time it was rededicated with hymns, lyres, (other) stringed instruments, and cymbals. 55The entire people fell upon their faces and prostrated themselves, and blessed heaven, which had made them successful. 56 They carried out the dedication of the altar for eight days and brought whole-offerings with joy; and they offered a sacrifice of well-being and of praise. 57And they decorated the façade of the sanctuary with golden crowns and small shields, and renovated the 36

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gates and the chambers and fitted them with doors. 58There was very great joy amidst the people, and the disgrace imposed by the Gentiles was removed. 59And Judas and his brothers and the entire community of Israel instituted the celebration of the days of the rededication of the altar in their season, every year, for eight days, beginning on the twenty-fifth day of the month of Kislev, with mirth and joy. 60 At that time they also built a high wall around Mount Zion, and strong towers, lest the Gentiles again come and trample them, as they had done previously. 61And he stationed a force there to guard it, and he fortified Beth Zur, so the people would have a bastion facing Idumea.

Fighting with Neighbors 1 5 When the Gentiles roundabout heard that the altar had been built and the Temple rededicated as they previously were, they were very wrathful, 2and they decided to wipe out the people of Jacob in their midst. So they began to kill members of the people and to exterminate them. 3But Judas fought against the sons of Esau in Idumea, in Akrabattene, who had been besieging Israel, and he smote them severely, humbled them, and despoiled them. 4Remembering the wickedness of the sons of Baian, who had been a snare and a trap for the people by ambushing them on the roads, 5he forced them back into their towers, assaulted them, and devoted them to destruction, burning their towers together with all who were in them. 6Then crossing over (the Jordan) against the Ammonites, he found a strong force and great multitude of men, commanded by Timothy. 7Engaging them in numerous battles, they were crushed by him and he defeated them. 8After also taking Jazer and its villages, he returned to Judea. 9 But the Gentiles in the Gilead gathered together against those of Israel who were within their borders, in order to exterminate them, and so they fled to the fortress Dathema. 10And they sent a letter to Judas and his brothers, saying:

The Gentiles roundabout us have gathered together against us to exterminate us. 11And they are preparing to come and capture the fortress, to which we have fled; and Timothy is leading their force. 12Now, therefore, come save us from their hand, for a multitude of us have (already) fallen, 13and all of our brethren among Tobias’s men have been killed: their wives and their children and their property have been captured, and a unit of about a thousand men perished there. While that letter was being read—behold: other messengers arrived from the Galilee, with their clothes rent, and they reported as follows, 15saying that people had gathered against them from Ptolemais, Tyre, Sidon, and the whole Galilee of the Gentiles, “to annihilate us.” 16 When Judas and the people heard these words, a great assembly was convened to consider what to do for their brethren who were in straits and against whom war was being waged by them. 17And Judas said to his brother Simon: “Pick men for yourself and go rescue your brethren who are in the Galilee; I and my brother Jonathan will go to the Gilead.” 18And he left Joseph the son of Zechariah and Azariah, a leader of the people, with the remainder of the army in Judea, to guard it. 19He ordered them 14



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as follows: “Take care of this people, but do not engage the Gentiles in battle until we return.” 20Three thousand men were assigned to Simon to go to the Galilee, and eight thousand to Judas for the Gilead. 21 And Simon went to the Galilee and engaged the Gentiles in numerous battles; the Gentiles were crushed before him. 22He pursued them up to the gate of Ptolemais; and about three thousand of the Gentiles fell, and he took their spoils. 23And he took the (Jews) from the Galilee and Arbatta, together with their wives and children and all they had, and led them to Judea with great joy. 24 Judas Maccabaeus and his brother Jonathan crossed the Jordan and walked for three days in the desert. 25Then they encountered the Nabateans, and they received them peacefully and told them all that had befallen their brethren in the Gilead, 26and that many of them had been surrounded in Bosora, and Bosor in Alema, Chaspho, Makked, and Carnaim—all of them being fortified and great cities, 27and others were caught in other cities of the Gilead, and they were set to besiege the fortresses on the next day and, upon taking them, to exterminate all of them in a single day. 28Immediately Judas and his force changed their route (and went) directly to the wilderness of Bosora; he took the city and killed all the males by sword, and took all its booty and put it to the torch. 29Then he set out from there at night and they went until they were near the fortress. 30When it was dawn they raised up their eyes and behold: a great multitude, without number, holding ladders and siege-machines to take the fortress; but they were making war against them. 31When Judas saw that the battle had already begun, and the clamor of the city was going up to heaven, (along with the sound of ) trumpets and (their) loud blasts of alarm, 32he said to the men of his force: “Fight today for our brethren!” 33 He went out against them in three units, and they blew the trumpets and cried out in prayer. 34And when Timothy’s force realized that it was Maccabaeus, they fled before him, and he smote them severely; some eight thousand men of them fell on that day. 35Then he turned away to Alema and made war upon it; taking it, he killed all its males, took its booty, and put it to the torch. 36From there he went off and also took Chaspho, Makked, Bosor, and the other cities of the Gilead. 37 After these things Timothy put together another force and encamped before Raphon, on the other side of the wadi. 38And Judas dispatched men to spy out their camp, and they reported to him, saying, “All the Gentiles around us have joined him— a very great force; 39and Arabs have been hired to assist them, and they are encamped on the other side of the wadi, and ready to come upon you in war.” So Judas marched out to confront them. 40And Timothy said to the officers of his force: When Judas and his force approach the flowing wadi—if he crosses first, against us, we will not be able to withstand him, for he will certainly overcome us. 41But if he is afraid and makes his camp on the other side of the river, we shall go over against him and overcome him. When Judas came near to the flowing wadi, he had the officers of the people stand on the banks of the wadi and ordered them as follows: “Do not allow any person to stay in camp; rather, let all of them go into battle!” 43And he crossed over to them first, and all the people after him, and the Gentiles were crushed by them; throwing away their weapons, they fled to the sacred precinct in Carnaim. 44But they took that city first and 42

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then the sacred precinct, and put them to fire together with all that was in them. Thus was Carnaim defeated, and it could no longer withstand Judas. 45 Then Judas gathered all those of Israel who were in the Gilead, from the smallest to the greatest, together with their wives and children and their property—a very great camp!—to go to the land of Judah. 46And they came as far as Ephron—it too a great and very strong city on the road, which could not be bypassed neither to the right nor the left; rather, one had to go straight through it. 47But the people of the city shut them out, blocking the gates with rocks on the inside. 48Judas sent them a message, with peaceful words, saying: “We shall pass through your land in order to depart to our land, and no one shall hurt you—we shall only walk through on our feet”—but they did not want to open up for him. 49So Judas ordered it to be announced to the camp that each man should remain in his place. 50The men of the force encamped, and he fought the city that entire day and all through the night, and the city was given up into his hand. 51 They wiped out all the males of the city by sword, uprooted it, and despoiled it, and then they passed through the city over the corpses of those who had been killed. 52Opposite Beth Shean they crossed the Jordan to the Great Plain. 53And Judas was gathering in stragglers and encouraging the people all along the way, until they arrived in the land of Judah. 54Then they went up to Mount Zion with mirth and joy and brought wholeofferings (to acknowledge) that not one of them had fallen the whole way until they returned safely. 55 During the days when Judas and Jonathan were in the land of Gilead and Simon, his brother, was in the Galilee before Ptolemais, 56Joseph the son of Zechariah and Azariah, the commanders of the army, heard of the valorous deeds and the war that they had accomplished, 57and said: “Let us too make ourselves a name; let us go and fight the Gentiles roundabout us.” 58So they summoned the men of the force that was with them and marched against Jamnia. 59But Gorgias came out from the city, along with his men, to confront them in battle. 60Joseph and Azariah were defeated, and they were pursued back to the borders of Judea; on that day around two thousand men of the people of Israel fell. 61Thus did a great defeat befall the people, for they did not listen to Judas and his brothers, thinking to be heroes. 62They were not of the seed of those men, to whom it had been given that the salvation of Israel (would be) through their hand. 63 But the manly Judas and his brothers were greatly honored among all of Israel and all the Gentiles, wherever their name was heard, 64and they gathered around them, singing their praises. 65And Judas and his brothers went out and made war against the sons of Esau in the southern part of the land, and he smote Hebron and its villages, destroyed its fortresses, and burned the towers around it. 66Then they set out to march to the land of the Philistines and crossed through Marisa. 67On that day some priests fell in battle, having desired to make themselves heroic by going out to battle, without taking counsel. 68Then Judas turned aside to Azotus, in the land of the Philistines, destroyed their altars, burned the idols of their gods in fire, despoiled the spoils of the city, and returned to the land of Judah.

Death of Antiochus Epiphanes 1 6 As King Antiochus was going through the upper districts, he heard of Elymais in Persia, a city renowned for its wealth, gold, and silver, 2and that the temple in it was



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very wealthy, and that there were there golden shields and body-armor and weapons left behind there by Alexander (the son of King Philip of Macedonia), who was the first to rule as king of the Greeks. 3So he went and sought to take the city and plunder it, but he could not, for his intention had become known to the men of the city. 4They stood up to him in war, and he fled and set out from there, grieving greatly, to return to Babylonia. 5Then someone came to him in Persia and informed him that the forces that had gone to the land of Judah had been defeated: 6that Lysias had gone at the head of a strong army but had been defeated by them; that they had become better armed and stronger and had acquired much booty, which they took from the forces that they had cut down; 7and that they had destroyed the abomination, which he had built upon the altar in Jerusalem, and had again surrounded the Temple, as previously, with high walls—and his city of Beth Zur as well. 8And it happened, when the king heard these words, that he was upset and trembled greatly, and he fell into bed and fell ill due to his grief that that which he had planned for himself had not transpired. 9He was there for many days, for great grief kept renewing itself upon him, and he realized that he was going to die. 10So he summoned all his Friends and said to them: Sleep has departed from my eyes, and my heart has collapsed due to worry. And I said in my heart: “Unto what distress have I come, in what tempest am I now!”—I, who was formerly kind and beloved in my authority. 12Now I recall the wicked deeds that I did in Jerusalem, and that I took all the silver and gold vessels that were there, and sent out (soldiers) to wipe out the residents of Judah for no reason at all. 13I know that it is for that reason that these troubles have visited me. Now behold—I am perishing in great grief in a foreign land. 11

Then he summoned Philip, one of his Friends, and appointed him over his entire kingdom. 15He gave him his crown and his raiment and the seal, so that he should bring up his son Antiochus and raise him to be king. 16Then King Antiochus died there, in the 149th year. 17When Lysias learned that the king had died, he installed Antiochus his son—whom he had raised since childhood—to rule in his stead, and he named him Eupator. 14

Lysias’s Second Campaign to Beth Zur and the Battle of Beth Zechariah 18 The men of the Akra had been hemming Israel in around the Temple and incessantly attempting wicked acts and were a buttress for the Gentiles. 19Judas decided, therefore, to wipe them out, and so he assembled all of the people to besiege them. 20They gathered together and besieged it in the 150th year, and he made siege-walls and siegemachines. 21But some of them got out from the siege, and some of the impious of Israel cleaved to them, 22and they went to the king and said:

How long will you not do justice and avenge our brethren?! 23For we decided voluntarily to serve your father and adhere to that which he said and follow his edicts—24and they besieged it for this reason the sons of our people even act toward us as if we were foreigners; and moreover they killed those of us who were caught by them, and they have pillaged our patrimonies. 25And it is not against us alone that they have stretched out their hand; rather, (they

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have done so) throughout their borders. 26And behold—this very day they have camped over against the Akra in Jerusalem in order to capture it, and they have fortified the Temple and Beth Zur. 27If you do not forestall them and subdue them swiftly, they will do even more, and you will not be able to restrain them. The king was enraged at what he heard, and he assembled all of his Friends, the commanders of his army, and those who were in authority. 29Even from other kingdoms and from the islands of the seas there came to him mercenary soldiers; 30the number of his forces was a hundred thousand infantry and twenty thousand cavalry, along with thirty-two elephants experienced in war. 31They came via Idumea and encamped over against Beth Zur, and did battle for many days and made siege-machines; but (the Judean defenders) went out and set fire to them and fought valiantly. 32 Judas set out from the Akra and camped near Beth Zechariah, opposite the king’s camp. 33The king arose early in the morning and took his force with all its fury along the road to Beth Zechariah, and the soldiers prepared for battle and sounded the trumpets. 34And they showed the elephants grape juice and black mulberries, in order to ready them for battle. 35They distributed the beasts among the phalanxes and assigned a thousand men—armored with chain-mail, and with bronze helmets on their heads—to each elephant, and they selected and assigned five hundred cavalrymen to each elephant. 36Wherever the beast was, these were there beforehand, and wherever it went, they went together with it, never departing from it. 37And there were strong wooden towers protecting each beast, strapped onto them by contraptions, and upon each of them there were four men of the army who were fighting upon it, along with their mahout. 38The rest of the cavalry was stationed on both sides around the two parts of the force, frightening (the enemy) and covering the phalanxes. 39When the sun gleamed upon the golden and bronze shields, the mountains shone back from them and glowed brightly like burning torches. 40And one part of the king’s force was deployed upon the high mountains, others in the low ones, and they advanced in a secure and orderly manner. 41 And there trembled all who heard the noise made by their multitude, and by the marching of the multitude and the clanking of their weapons, for it was a very great and powerful force. 42But Judas and his force drew near to do battle, and six hundred men of the king’s force fell. 43And Eleazar Auran, seeing among the beasts one that was armored with royal armor, and that stood out among all the beasts, thought that the king was in it—44so he gave himself up to save his people and make for himself an eternal name: 45he ran bravely toward it through the midst of the phalanx, killing right and left, and they split away from him this way and that way. 46Then he crawled under the elephant and stabbed it from below and killed it; it fell upon the ground on top of him and he died there. 47When they saw the power of the royal force and the fury of the troops, they turned away from them. 28

Lysias Besieges Jerusalem but Withdraws Some of the king’s army went up to Jerusalem to confront them, and the king besieged Judea and Mount Zion. 49And he made peace with the men of Beth Zur, and they departed from the city, for they did not have (enough) provisions to allow them to 48

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stay within it, because it was a sabbatical year for the land. 50So the king took Beth Zur and stationed a garrison there to guard it. 51And he besieged the Temple for many days, placing there siege-walls and siege-machines and fire-throwers and catapults, along with scorpions to shoot arrows and projectiles. 52But they too made machines to oppose their machines, and they fought for many days. 53But they did not have food in the bins because it was the seventh year, and those who had been saved and brought to Judea from among the Gentiles had consumed all that remained of the supplies. 54So only a few men held out in the Temple, for hunger overcame them and they scattered, each to his own place. 55 But Lysias heard that Philip, who had been appointed by King Antiochus, when he was still alive, to bring up his son Antiochus to rule as king, 56had returned from Persia and Media along with the forces that had gone with the king, and that he was seeking to take over the government. 57So he quickly decided to depart, and said to the king and the leaders of the army and the men: We are falling away day by day, and our food is dwindling, and the place which we are besieging is strong, and the affairs of the kingdom depend upon us. 58So let us give the right hand to these men and make peace with them and with all their people. 59We shall allow them to adhere to their customs as previously. For it is on account of their customs, which we dissolved, that they became wrathful and did all of these things. The suggestion found favor in the eyes of the king and the officers, and he sent to them to make peace, and they accepted. 61The king and the officers took an oath to them; thereupon they left the fortress. 62But when the king entered Mount Zion and saw the place’s strength, he violated the oath that he had sworn: he gave orders and destroyed the wall around it. 63Then he set out with alacrity and, returning to Antioch, found Philip ruling the city. He made war upon him and took the city by force. 60

A New King, Renewed Victories 7 In the 151st year, Demetrius son of Seleucus departed from Rome and came up with a few men to a coastal city and reigned there as king. 2And it happened that when he entered into the palace of his ancestral kingdom, the troops arrested Antiochus and Lysias to bring them to him. 3When it became known to him, he said: “Do not show me their faces!” 4So the troops killed them, and Demetrius sat upon the throne of his kingdom. 5 Then all of the wicked and impious men of Israel came before him, with Alcimus leading them, desiring to become (high) priest. 6And they denounced the people to the king, saying: 1

Judas and his brothers have wiped out all of your friends; and as for us—he has scattered us from our land. 7Now, accordingly, dispatch a man whom you trust, who upon coming will see all the havoc that he inflicted upon us and the king’s land, and let him punish them and all those who help them. So the king chose Bacchides, one of the Friends of the King who ruled in Beyondthe-River and who was a great man in the kingdom and trusted by the king, 9and 8

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dispatched him and the impious Alcimus; he gave him the (high) priesthood and commanded him to take vengeance upon the children of Israel. 10 They set out and came with a great force to the land of Judah, and sent envoys to Judas and his brothers—(with) peaceful words, with guile. 11They did not, however, pay their words any heed, for they saw that they had come with a great force. 12But there gathered together to Alcimus and Bacchides a congregation of scribes to seek justice, 13 (just as) among the people of Israel it was the pious who were the first to seek peace with them. 14For they said: “A man who is a priest of the seed of Aaron has come with the troops; he will not deal with us unjustly.” 15And he spoke with them peaceful words, and swore to them as follows: “We will not seek to do evil to you or to your comrades.” 16 They entrusted themselves into his hands—but he arrested sixty men from among them and killed them in a single day, in accordance with the word that he had written: 17 “They poured out the flesh and blood of your pious people around Jerusalem, and there was no one to bury them.” 18 And the fear and terror of them fell upon the entire people, for they said: “There is no truth and justice among them; for they transgressed the undertaking and the oath, which they had sworn.” 19 Then Bacchides set out from Jerusalem, encamped at Beth Zaith, and sent and arrested many of those who had deserted and joined him, and also some of the people; he slaughtered them and (threw their bodies) into the large cistern. 20He entrusted the land to Alcimus, leaving a force with him to help him. Then Bacchides went off to the king. 21Alcimus struggled for the high priesthood, 22and there joined him all those who troubled their people; they took control of the land of Judah and wreaked great havoc in Israel. 23 But Judas saw all the evil that was done by Alcimus and his men against the children of Israel on behalf of the Gentiles, 24and he went out to all the borders of Judea roundabout and took vengeance upon the men who had deserted, and prevented them from going out into the countryside. 25 When Alcimus saw that Judas was becoming strong, along with his men, he knew he would not be able to withstand them, so he returned to the king and accused them of wicked deeds. 26So the king sent Nicanor, one of his honored governors, one who hated Israel and was hostile to it, and ordered him to wipe out the people. 27So Nicanor came to Jerusalem with a great force, and with guile sent to Judas and his brothers peaceful words, saying: 28“Let there not be fighting between me and you. I will come out with a few men, so as to see your faces in peace.” 29And he came to Judas, and they greeted one another peacefully; but the enemies were ready to seize Judas. 30But it became known to Judas that it was with guile that he came to him, and so he was wary of him and no longer agreed to see his face. 31When Nicanor realized that his plot had been discovered, he went off to confront Judas in battle, near Kephar-Salama. 32Around five hundred of Nicanor’s men fell, and they fled to the city of David. 33 After these things Nicanor went up to Mount Zion, and some of the priests and the elders of the people came out of the Temple to greet him peacefully and to show him the whole-offering that was being offered for the king. 34He mocked them, made fun of them, defiled them, and spoke arrogantly. 35And he angrily swore as follows: “If Judas is not turned over to me now, together with his force, then it shall be, if and when I return safely, that I will burn this building!” Then he departed in great anger.



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The priests went inside and, standing before the altar and the sanctuary, wept and said: 36

You chose this house, for your name to be called upon it, to be a house of prayer and supplication for your people. 38Work vengeance upon that man and his force, and let them fall by the sword. Remember their blasphemies and do not allow them to survive!

37

Nicanor then left Jerusalem and encamped at Beth H . oron, where an army from Syria came to meet him. 40And Judas encamped in Adasa, with three thousand men. And Judas prayed and said:

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When the king’s men were blasphemous, your angel went out and smote 185,000 of them. 42So too—crush this force before us today, and let all those who survive know that he spoke wickedly against your sanctuary; judge him according to his evil! 41

The forces engaged each other in battle, on the thirteenth day of the month of Adar; Nicanor’s force was crushed and he was the first to fall in the battle. 44When his force saw that Nicanor had fallen, they fled after throwing away their weapons. 45And they pursued them a day’s distance from Adasa until the approaches of Gezer, blowing after them on the signal trumpets. 46And from all of the villages of Judea roundabout people went out and outflanked them, so that they turned back toward them, and they all fell by the sword; not even one of them survived. 47They took the booty and the spoils, and, after cutting off Nicanor’s head and his right hand, which he had arrogantly stretched out, they brought them and hung them up alongside Jerusalem. 48And the people was very joyous and celebrated that day as one of great joy, 49and they established the celebration of that day every year, on the thirteenth day of Adar. 50Then the land of Judah was quiet for a few days. 43

Judas’s Treaty with Rome 8 Judas heard of the fame of the Romans, that they are mighty warriors but are well-disposed toward all who join them and establish friendship with whoever approaches them, 2and that they are mighty warriors. And he was told of 1

their wars and of their valorous deeds, which they did to the Galatians, and that they had conquered them and subjected them to tribute; 3 and all that they had done in the land of Spain in order to gain control of the silver and gold mines there—4and they took control of that entire land by virtue of their good counsel and perseverance, although the land was extremely distant from them; and also of the kings who came against them from the end of the earth, until they crushed them and dealt them heavy blows—the survivors giving them tribute annually; 5 and (as for) Philip and Perseus, king of the Kittim, and those who set out against them—they defeated them in war and conquered them; 6 and Antiochus the Great, king of Asia, who had marched out to war against them, having 120 elephants and cavalry and chariots and a very large

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army, was defeated by them: 7they took him alive and imposed upon them, that he and those who reigned after him would give them a large tribute and hostages and separation (of forces), 8and also territory: India, Media, Lydia, and some of his best territories; and having taken them from him they gave them to King Eumenes; 9 and that when those who were from Greece conspired together to come and wipe them out, 10when it became known to them, they sent a single general against them and he made war against them, and many of them fell, mortally wounded, and they took their wives and children captive and despoiled them and conquered their land and destroyed their fortresses— and enslaved them until this very day; 11 and all the remaining kingdoms and islands—any who ever opposed them they destroyed and enslaved, 12but with their friends, and those who rested their hopes upon them, they kept friendship. And they conquered kings both near and far, and all who had heard their name feared them. 13Those whom they want to help reign, reign, and those they want, they depose; they were greatly exalted. 14 But despite all of this, not one of them crowned himself with a diadem or wrapped himself in purple so as to pretend to be great. 15Rather, they made themselves a council, and every day 320 of them always take counsel together concerning the population and maintaining its good order. 16 Every year they entrust a single person with governing them and ruling all of their territory, and they all listen to that one person; among them there is neither envy nor jealousy. So Judas chose Eupolemus the son of John of the Haqqoz clan and Jason the son of Eleazar and sent them to Rome to establish friendship and alliance with them, 18and to remove the yoke from them, for they saw that the kingdom of the Greeks was subjugating Israel into slavery. 19 They went to Rome—and the trip is very long!—and entered the council and declared: 20“Judas, also known as Maccabaeus, and his brothers and the community of the Judeans have sent us to you to establish alliance and peace with you, so that we may be listed among your allies and friends.” 21This found favor in their eyes. 22And this is the copy of the letter, which they wrote in response on bronze tablets and sent to Jerusalem, so as to be a memorial there, among them, of the peace and alliance: 17

Let it be well for the Romans and the people of the Judeans on sea and on land forever, and let sword and enmity be far from them. 24But if war is made upon Rome, first of all, or upon any of its allies in its entire realm, 25the people of the Judeans will fight together with them wholeheartedly, as far as opportunity prescribes to them. 26And they will neither give nor supply their enemies wheat, weapons, money, ships—as Rome decided, and they will observe their obligations without receiving anything. 27In the same way, if the people of the Judeans is attacked first, the Romans will fight enthusiastically as its allies, as far as opportunity prescribes to them. 28Nor will they give to the allies (of the partner’s enemies) wheat, weapons, money, ships, as Rome decided, and they will observe these obligations without duplicity. 23

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These are the terms that Rome thus established with the citizenry of the Judeans. 30But if after these words (of agreement) these or those desire to add or to subtract, they shall do so as they prefer, and that which they add or subtract shall be valid. 31 As for the wicked deeds that King Demetrius has done to them, we have written him as follows: “Why do you make your yoke heavy upon our friends and allies, the Judeans? 32If they again petition (us) against you, we shall do justice for them and fight against you on sea and on land!” 29

From Judas to Jonathan 1 9 When Demetrius heard that Nicanor and his troops had fallen in war, he again sent Bacchides and Alcimus, a second time, to the land of Judah, and the right wing (of the army) along with them. 2They marched there by way of Gilgal and encamped over against Maisaloth in the region of Arbel, and captured it and wiped out many people. 3And in the first month of the 152nd year they encamped over against Jerusalem. 4Then they set out and came to Bereth, with twenty thousand men and two thousand cavalry. 5Judas was encamped in Elasa, along with three thousand selected men. 6When they saw how massive the force was, for it was so multitudinous, they were very afraid, and many of them slipped away from the camp; there remained of them no more than eight hundred men. 7When Judas saw that his camp had trickled away and that the battle was imminent, he was brokenhearted, for he did not have the opportunity to gather them together, 8and he became very angry, and spoke to those who remained: “Let us rise up and go up against those who oppose us: perhaps we will indeed be able to fight against them!” 9But they attempted to dissuade him, saying: “We will not be able to. Rather, if we save our lives now, later we will turn about, together with our brothers, and fight them; and we are only a few.” 10But Judas said: “Far be it from me to do such a thing, to flee from them! And if our moment has come, let us die manfully for our brothers and not leave any blemish upon our honor!” 11 The force set out from the camp and took up position to confront them: the cavalry divided into two parts, and the slingers and the archers went out in front of the force, also the frontline fighters—all the powerful ones. 12Bacchides was in the right wing. And the phalanx advanced on both sides and the trumpets were sounded, and also Judas’s men sounded their trumpets, 13and the ground quaked from the noise of the armies; they were locked in battle from early morning to evening. 14Judas saw that Bacchides and the core of his force were on the right, and all those who were of good heart went up against him. 15The right wing was defeated by them, and they chased after them until the border of Azotus. 16But when those of the left wing saw that the right wing had been defeated, they turned around on the heels of Judas and his men from the rear. 17The fighting was very heavy, and many fell, mortally wounded, of these and of those; 18Judas fell, and the rest fled. 19 Jonathan and Simon lifted up their brother Judas and buried him in their fathers’ grave in Modiin. 20And all of Israel wept over him and mourned him—a deep mourning—and grieved over him for many days and said: 21“How has there fallen a powerful man who saved Israel?!” 22 And the rest of the matters pertaining to Judas and the wars and acts of valor that he did, and his greatness, were not written down, for they were too numerous.

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23 It happened that after the death of Judas, the wicked men raised their heads throughout the borders of Israel, and all the workers of injustice sprouted up again. 24 In those days there was a very severe famine, and the country deserted with them. 25 And Bacchides chose the impious men and installed them as rulers of the country; 26 they searched out and sought the friends of Judas and brought them to Bacchides, and he punished them and tormented them. 27There was great affliction in Israel, such as had not been since the day that no prophet appeared to them. 28Then there gathered together all the friends of Judas, and they said to Jonathan:

Since your brother Judas died, there is no other man like him to go out against our enemies, including Bacchides and (all) those who are hostile to our people. 30Therefore, we have chosen you today to be our ruler in his stead, and to lead us in fighting our war. 29

So Jonathan undertook rule at that time, and arose in place of his brother Judas. Bacchides learned of it and sought him to kill him. 33But Jonathan and his brother Simon and all those who were with him learned of it, and they fled to the wilderness of Teqoa and made their camp next to the water of the cistern at Asphar. 34Bacchides learned of it on a Sabbath day, and he and his whole army went and crossed the Jordan. 35 And he sent his brother to lead the mass of people, and encouraged his Nabatean friends to allow them to deposit their baggage with them, of which there was a considerable amount. 36But the Jambriites from Medeba went out and seized John and all that he had, and went off, taking it with them. 37 After these events, it was reported to Jonathan and his brother Simon that the sons of Jambri were making a great wedding and leading the bride—a daughter of one of the great chieftains of Canaan—from Nadabath, with a large entourage. 38Remembering the blood of their brother John, they went up and hid under the overhang of the mountain. 39They lifted up their eyes and—behold: they saw hustle-bustle and a lot of baggage, and the bridegroom had come out, along with his friends and his brothers, to meet them with drums and musical instruments and many weapons. 40They pounced upon them from ambush and killed them; many fell, mortally wounded, and the survivors fled toward the mountain; they took all their booty. 41Thus did their wedding turn into mourning and the sound of their musical instruments into lamentation. 42Having taken vengeance for the blood of their brother, they returned to the marshes of the Jordan. 43 Bacchides heard and went on a Sabbath day to the bank of the Jordan, with a large force. 44But Jonathan said to those with him: 31

32

Let us arise and fight for our lives; for today is not like yesterday or two days ago. 45Behold: the battle is in front of us, and the water of the Jordan is behind us on this side and on that side, also marshes and thickets, and there is no place to escape. 46Now, therefore, cry out to heaven, so that you might be saved from the hand of our enemies. Battle was joined, and Jonathan stretched out his hand to smite Bacchides—but he escaped from him toward the rear. 48And Jonathan and his men plunged into the Jordan and swam across to the other side, and (the others) did not cross the Jordan after them. 49 About a thousand of Bacchides’s men fell that day. 47

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50 But he returned to Jerusalem and built up powerful cities in Judea: the fortress in Jericho and Emmaus, Beth H . oron, Bethel, Timnatha-Pharathon, and Tephon, with high walls, gates, and bars. 51And he stationed garrisons in them, to harass Israel. 52 He also fortified the city of Beth Zur and Gezer and the Akra, and stationed in them troops along with supplies of food. 53And he took the sons of the leaders of the land as hostages, and put them under guard in the Akra in Jerusalem. 54 In the 153rd year, in the second month, Alcimus gave an order to destroy the wall of the outer court of the Temple, thus destroying the works of the prophets; and he began the work of destruction. 55But at that time Alcimus suffered a stroke, and so his projects were stymied; his mouth was walled up, and he became paralyzed and was no longer able to say a word or to give orders (even) about his own house. 56And Alcimus died at that time, in great suffering. 57When Bacchides saw that Alcimus had died, he returned to the king. And the land of Judah was quiet for two years. 58 But then all the wicked men took counsel together and said, “Behold: Jonathan and his men are living confidently and safely. Now let us bring Bacchides and let him seize them all in a single night!” 59So they went (to him) and conspired with him. 60 He set out to go with a large force and secretly sent letters to all his allies in Judea, so they should capture Jonathan and his men; but they could not, for their plot had become known. 61And they seized from among the people of the land those who were the main authors of the wickedness, some fifty men, and killed them. 62Jonathan and Simon and those who were with him removed themselves to Beth Basi, which is in the wilderness, and built up its ruins and strengthened it. 63When that became known to Bacchides, he assembled all of his horde and summoned those (of his troops) in Judea. 64 And he went and encamped near Beth Basi and fought it for many days, and made siege-machines. 65 Jonathan left his brother Simon in the city, went out into the countryside, and came back with a small number of men. 66He smote Odomera and his brothers and the sons of Phasiron in their tents, and they began to attack and came up in force, 67 while Simon and those with him came out of the city and burnt the machines. 68And so they fought against Bacchides and he was defeated by them, and it depressed him greatly that his plan and his invasion had come to naught. 69He became very angry at the wicked men who had counseled him to come to the land, and he killed many of them; (then) he decided to leave for his own land. 70When Jonathan learned of that, he sent envoys to him to make peace with him and (to arrange) that he would return his captives to them. 71He agreed and did in accordance with his words, and swore to him that he would not seek to harm him all the days of his life. 72And he returned to him the captives he had earlier taken in the land of Judah and departed, returning to his land; never again did he come within their borders. 73 And the sword ceased in Israel, and Jonathan resided in Michmash. And Jonathan began to judge the people and made the impious disappear from Israel.

Jonathan and the Judeans Are Wooed by Competing Seleucids 1 10 In the 160th year, Alexander, the son of Antiochus Epiphanes, came up and captured Ptolemais; they accepted him, and he reigned there as king. 2When King

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Demetrius heard that, he assembled very numerous soldiers and went out to confront him in war. 3And Demetrius wrote Jonathan a letter with peaceful words, flattering him. 4For he said: “Let us be preemptive and make peace with them before he does so with Alexander, against us. 5For he will recall all the wicked things that we perpetrated against him and his brothers and the people.” 6So he gave him authority to assemble troops and manufacture weapons and to be his ally, and he said he would turn over to him the hostages that were in the Akra. 7 Jonathan went to Jerusalem and read the letter in the ears of the entire people, and of those in the Akra. 8They were very frightened when they heard that the king had given him the authority to assemble troops. 9And those who were in the Akra handed the hostages over to Jonathan, and he passed them on to their parents. 10 Jonathan resided in Jerusalem, and he began to build the city and renovate it: 11 he instructed those who were doing the work to build the walls around Mount Zion with ashlars, to fortify them, and they did so. 12And all the foreign-born, who were in the fortresses that Bacchides had built, fled. 13Each person left his place and returned to his own land, 14apart from Beth Zur, where some of those who had abandoned the Law and the commandments remained, for it was (for them) a place of refuge. 15 King Alexander heard of the promises that Demetrius had sent to Jonathan, and they told him about the wars and the acts of valor that he and his brothers had done, and the troubles that they had endured, and 16said: “We shall never find another man like this one! Let us now make him our friend and ally!” 17So he wrote a letter and sent it to him, saying the following: King Alexander to his brother Jonathan: greetings. 19We have heard about you, that you are a valiant man of war and that you are fitting to be our Friend. 20So now we have appointed you today to be high priest of your people and to be called Friend of the King (and he sent him purple and a golden crown), and you should be mindful of our interests and preserve friendship with us. 18

So Jonathan donned the holy vestment in the seventh month of the 160th year, on the festival of Tabernacles, and he assembled troops and prepared numerous weapons. 22 When Demetrius heard these things he was saddened and said: 23“What have we done?! For Alexander has preempted us in establishing friendship with the Judeans, who will be a buttress for him. 24I too will write them words of exhortation, and (promises of ) elevation and gifts, in order that they be with me and support me.” 25And he sent them the following: 21

King Demetrius to the people of the Judeans: greetings. 26Since you have kept your covenants with us and remained in friendship with us, and not gone over to our enemies—we have heard this and are gladdened. 27So too now, continue to preserve loyalty to us, and we shall requite you with good things in return for the ones you do for us. 28And we will grant you numerous concessions and give you gifts: We now liberate you and exempt all the Judeans from the tributes, and from the salt-tax and crown-taxes. 30 Instead of the third of the crops, and instead of the half of the fruit of the trees, which I am entitled to take, I forbear, from today on, from taking 29



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them from the land of Judah and from the three districts that are attached to it from Samaria and from the Galilee, from this day and for all time. 31 Jerusalem will be sacred and exempt, along with its borders—the tithes and the imposts (too will be exempt). 32 I also give up authority over the Akra that is in Jerusalem, and I give it to the high priest, so that he may station in it such men as he chooses to guard it. 33 I release as a free gift all Judeans who were taken captive from the land of Judah to any place in my kingdom, and all shall be released from tributes—even their animals. 34 All the festivals and Sabbaths and new moons and specially designated days, and three days before (each) festival and three days after (each) festival, shall all be days of no taxation, and of release for all the Jews in my kingdom, 35and no one will be allowed to do anything (to them) or to burden any one of them concerning any affair (on those days). 36 As many as thirty thousand Judeans shall be signed up into the king’s armies, and they shall be given provisions as is appropriate for all the king’s forces. 37Some of them shall be stationed in the king’s great fortresses, and of them some shall be assigned to be entrusted with the royal accounts; and those who are above them and their officers shall come from among them and adhere to their laws, just as the king ordained for the land of Judah. 38 The three districts that were added to Judea from the land of Samaria shall be added to Judea, so that they shall be considered under one (rule) and not obey any other authority apart from that of the high priest. 39 I bestow Ptolemais and the region adjoining it as a gift to the Temple in Jerusalem, to cover the expenses pertaining to the holy things. 40And I myself will also give, every year, fifteen thousand silver shekels from the royal budget from the relevant places. 41And all the excess sums, which the functionaries did not remit as in previous years—from now on they shall give them for the maintenance of the House. 42And beyond all of that, I also give up the five thousand silver shekels that I took from the Temple’s budget every year, because they belong to the priests who serve in the sacrificial cult. 43 Any persons who flee to the Temple in Jerusalem or anywhere in its borders, because of a debt to the crown or any other (such) issue, shall be free along with all that is theirs anywhere in my kingdom. 44 Also the expenses for works of building and renovation of the Temple shall be given from the royal budget. 45So too for the building of the walls of Jerusalem and its fortification roundabout—the (money) for these expenses too shall be given from the royal budget, as also for the building of the walls in Judea. When Jonathan and the people heard these words, they did not believe them and did not accept them, for they remembered the great evil that he had done to Israel, and how he had severely oppressed them. 47Rather, they were favorable toward Alexander, for he 46

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had been the one who initiated peaceful words for them, and they fought alongside him all his days. 48 And King Alexander assembled great forces and encamped opposite Deme49 trius. When the two kings joined in battle, Alexander’s army fled; Demetrius pursued him and was stronger than them. 50But the battle raged very strongly, until the sun went down, and Demetrius fell that same day.

Jonathan as Alexander’s Ally: Enter Ptolemy VI and Demetrius II Then Alexander sent envoys to King Ptolemy of Egypt with the following message, saying:

51

Since I returned to my kingdom and sat upon my fathers’ throne, and took control of the government, defeated Demetrius, and took control of our country—53for I engaged him in battle, and he and his army were defeated by us, and we have sat on the throne of his kingdom—54therefore let us now establish friendship with one another. So now give me your daughter as wife, and I will be your son-in-law and give you and her gifts worthy of you. 52

King Ptolemy answered, saying: “Happy is the day upon which you returned to the land of your fathers and sat on the throne of their kingdom. 56Now I will do for you as you wrote. But come meet me at Ptolemais, so that we may see each other, and I will become your father-in-law, as you said.” 57 Ptolemy departed from Egypt, he and his daughter Cleopatra, and he came to Ptolemais in the 162nd year. 58King Alexander came to meet him, and he gave him his daughter Cleopatra and made her wedding in Ptolemais in grand style, as kings do. 59 And King Alexander wrote Jonathan to come and meet him. 60So he went in grand style to Ptolemais and met the two kings, and gave them and their Friends silver and gold and numerous gifts, and found favor with them. 61And when some villainous men of Israel, wicked men, gathered together against him and petitioned against him, the king did not pay them any heed. 62Rather, the king ordered them to take off Jonathan’s vestment and dress him in purple, and they did it. 63And the king sat him beside him and said to his ministers: “Go out with him into the middle of the city and proclaim that no one should accuse him about anything, and no one should harass him concerning any matter.” 64And it happened, when the petitioners saw the honor that was his—what was proclaimed about him and how he was draped about in purple—they all fled. 65And the king showed him honor, included him among his First Friends, and installed him as general and district governor. 66Then Jonathan went back to Jerusalem safely and joyfully. 67 But in the 165th year Demetrius son of Demetrius came from Crete to the land of his fathers. 68King Alexander heard this and was greatly troubled and returned to Antioch. 69And Demetrius appointed Apollonius, who was already incumbent in Coele Syria, and he assembled a large force and encamped in Jamnia and sent to Jonathan the high priest as follows: 55

You are the one and only one who revolts against us, and I have become an object of derision and scorn on your account. Why do you exert your

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authority­against us in the mountains?! 71If indeed you trust your own forces, come down to us in the plain and let the decision come between us there, for the army of the cities is with me. 72Ask and you will learn who I am and who the rest of my allies are, who say “You have no foothold before us, for your fathers were twice routed in their land.” 73Now as well you shall not be able to withstand the cavalry and such a force in the plain, where there is neither rock nor pebble nor any place to flee. When Jonathan heard Apollonius’s words, his spirit was aroused: he selected ten thousand men and departed from Jerusalem, joined by his brother Simon, who came to aid him. 75And he encamped before Jaffa, but the men of the city closed him out because there was a garrison of Apollonius’s men in Jaffa—and so they made war on the city. 76In fear, the men of the city opened it up, and so Jonathan became ruler of Jaffa. 77When Apollonius heard that, he took three thousand cavalry and a large force and went to Azotus as if he were going to go through it, but at the same time he made progress toward the plain—for he had a large mass of cavalry and relied upon it. 78But he (Jonathan) pursued after him until Azotus, and the armies joined in combat. 79Now Apollonius had secretly left a thousand cavalrymen behind, in their rear. 80But Jonathan knew of the ambush in his rear, and although they encircled his army and shot arrows at the troops from morning until evening, 81his troops stayed in place, as Jonathan ordered, and (the ambushers’) horses became fatigued. 82Then Simon brought his force forward and engaged the phalanx, and since the cavalry was giving out, they were crushed by him and fled: 83the cavalry was scattered in the plain and fled to Azotus and went into Beth-Dagon, their contemptible shrine, to be saved. 84But Jonathan burned Azotus and the cities around it and took their spoils; and as for the temple of Dagon and those who had fled to it—he burned them in fire. 85And (the number) of those who fell by the sword, together with those burnt to death, was about eight thousand men. 86 And Jonathan set out from there and made his camp before Ascalon, and men of the city came out to meet him with great pomp. 87Then Jonathan returned to Jerusalem, together with his men, having a great quantity of booty. 88 When King Alexander heard these things, he honored Jonathan all the more. 89 And he sent him a golden brooch, as it is customary to give the Kinsmen of Kings, and gave him Ekron and all of its territory as his inheritance. 74

Ptolemy VI Versus Alexander Balas 11 Then the king of Egypt gathered numerous soldiers, as many as the sand by the shore of the sea, and many ships, and sought to take over Alexander’s kingdom by guile and to annex it to his own kingdom. 2He departed for Syria with peaceful words, and the people of the cities opened up to him and welcomed him, because of an order from King Alexander to welcome him, for he was his father-in-law. 3When he had entered into the cities, however, Ptolemy detached soldiers as a garrison in each city. 4When he approached Azotus, they showed him the temple of Dagon, which had been put to the torch, as well as Azotus itself and its surroundings, which had been destroyed, and the corpses thrown all about and those that were burnt up, which he had burnt in the war; for they had made piles of them along his route. 5And they told the king what Jonathan had done, in order to accuse him, but the king remained silent. 6And Jonathan went to 1

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meet the king in Jaffa with great pomp, and they greeted one another and passed the night there. 7Then Jonathan went with the king as far as the river called Eleutherus and then returned to Jerusalem. 8 But King Ptolemy ruled the coastal cities as far as Seleucia, which was on the coast, and plotted wicked plans against Alexander. 9And he sent envoys to King Demetrius, saying: “Come, let us make a covenant with one another, and I will give you my daughter—whom Alexander now has—and you shall rule as king of your father’s kingdom. 10For I regret that I gave him my daughter, for he has tried to kill me.” 11He accused him because he coveted his kingdom. 12Taking away his daughter from him (Alexander), he gave her to Demetrius, and he became hostile toward Alexander and the enmity between them became apparent. 13And Ptolemy entered Antioch and crowned himself with the diadem of Asia: he wore two crowns on his head, that of Egypt and that of Asia. 14 King Alexander was in Cilicia at that time, for the people in those regions had revolted. 15When Alexander heard (what had happened) he came to make war against him—but Ptolemy came out and confronted him in force and routed him. 16Alexander fled to Arabia to find refuge for himself there; but King Ptolemy was on high, 17and Zabdiel the Arab cut off Alexander’s head and sent it to Ptolemy. 18However, King Ptolemy had died on the third day, and those who were in his fortresses perished at the hands of those in the fortresses. 19So Demetrius reigned as king in the 167th year.

Jonathan and Demetrius II In those days Jonathan gathered men of Judea to make war on the Akra in Jerusalem, and they made many siege-machines for use against it. 21Some of those who hated their people, wicked men, went to the king and reported to him that Jonathan was besieging the Akra. 22Hearing that, he became wrathful; immediately upon hearing (the report) he set out and came to Ptolemais and wrote to Jonathan not to besiege (the Akra) and to meet him immediately in Ptolemais for a discussion. 23When Jonathan heard that, he ordered (his men) to continue the siege, chose some of the Israelite elders and priests, and undertook the danger upon himself. 24Taking silver, gold, vestments, and numerous other gifts he went to the king in Ptolemais and found favor in his eyes. 25When some wicked men of the people petitioned the king against him, 26the king did for him just as his predecessor had done, elevating him in the eyes of all of his Friends. 27And he confirmed him in the high priesthood and in all of the other honors he previously enjoyed, and had him reckoned among the First Friends. 28Jonathan asked the king to make Judea tribute-free, and also for the three districts and Samaritis, and he promised him three hundred talents. 29And the king agreed and wrote Jonathan a letter about all of these matters, which read as follows: 20

King Demetrius to his brother Jonathan and to the people of the Judeans: greetings. 31The copy of the letter, which I wrote my kinsman Lasthenes about you, I have written to you as well, for your information: 32 King Demetrius to his father Lasthenes: greetings. 33We have decided to be beneficent to the Judean people, due to their goodwill toward us, since they are our friends and have preserved justice toward us. 34We have confirmed for them the borders of Judea and the three districts—Aphairema, Lydda, and 30



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Ramathaim; and we have annexed them to Judea from Samaria, along with all that borders on them, for all those who sacrifice in Jerusalem, instead of the royal (taxes), which the king used to take from them annually from the produce of the land and the fruit of the trees. 35And whatever else was due to us, from the tithes and the tributes that were due to us and the salt-pits and crown-taxes that were due to us—from now on we shall turn them all over to them. 36And let nothing of these things, not even one, ever be nullified from now and for all time. 37Now take care to make a copy of these things and give it to Jonathan, and let it be placed on the holy mountain in a prominent place. When King Demetrius saw that the land was quiet before him and no one opposed him, he released all of his troops, each to his own place, apart from the foreign units, which he had recruited as mercenaries from the islands of the Gentiles. So all the forces he had received from his fathers became hostile to him. 39 When one Trypho, who earlier had been among Alexander’s men, saw that all of the troops were grumbling against Demetrius, he went to Imalkoue the Arab, who was bringing up Antiochus, Alexander’s young boy, 40and pressed him to give him to him, so that he might reign as king in his father’s stead. And he told him the things Demetrius had ordered and about the hostility of the forces toward him; he remained there for many days. 41 Jonathan sent to King Demetrius, (asking him) to expel the men of the Akra in Jerusalem and those in the fortresses, for they were always fighting Israel. 42And Demetrius wrote to Jonathan, saying: “Not only that will I do for you and your people, but I will truly honor you and your people, when I find the proper opportunity. 43But for now you would do well if you send me men, who will fight as my allies, for all of my forces have rebelled.” 44 So Jonathan sent him three thousand mighty men of war, to Antioch, and they came to the king, and the king rejoiced at their arrival. 45When about 120,000 people from the city gathered together in the middle of the city and wanted to kill the king, 46the king fled into his palace; the people of the city seized the roads that traverse the city and began to make war. 47But the king summoned the Judeans for help, and they all gathered together unto him and, after spreading out in the city, killed around a hundred thousand men in the city that day. 48And they set fire to the city and, taking much booty that day, they rescued the king. 49The people of the city saw that the Judeans had taken control of the city as they desired, and they became demoralized and cried out to the king in supplication, saying: 50“Give us the right hand, and let the Judeans be stopped from making war upon us and the city.” 51And they threw down their weapons and made peace, and the Judeans were glorified in the eyes of the king and of all the people of his kingdom. Their name was made (famous) in his kingdom, and they returned to Jerusalem with much booty. 52 King Demetrius thus sat on the throne of his kingdom, and the land was quiet before him. 53But he reneged on all he had said, became hostile toward Jonathan, and did not requite him according to the goodwill that he had shown him; (rather,) he oppressed him severely. 54 After these things Trypho returned and with him Antiochus, who was quite a young boy; and he began to reign and donned a diadem. 55And all the troops that had 38

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been dispersed by Demetrius gathered unto him and made war against Demetrius, and he fled and was routed. 56Trypho took the beasts and took control of Antioch, 57and the younger Antiochus wrote to Jonathan, saying: “I appoint you to the high priesthood and place you over the four districts and to be among the Friends of the King.” 58And he sent him golden vessels and table service and gave him permission to drink from golden cups, to wear purple, and to have a golden brooch, 59and appointed his brother Simon governor from the Ladder of Tyre until the border of Egypt. 60Then Jonathan set out and went across the river and in the cities (there), and all the army of Syria gathered to him as an ally, and he came to Ascalon, and the people of the city welcomed him with honor. 61From there he departed to Gaza, but since the people of Gaza shut him out, he besieged it, put its surroundings to the torch, and despoiled them. 62Then, upon the request of the people of Gaza, Jonathan gave them the right hand; taking the sons of their rulers as hostages, he sent them off to Jerusalem. Then he went through the country as far as Damascus. 63 When Jonathan heard that the officers of Demetrius had arrived at Kedesh in the Galilee with a large force, desiring to remove him from his office, 64he went out to confront them, leaving his brother Simon behind in the land. 65And Simon encamped before Beth Zur and made war against it for many days, and shut them in. 66But they asked him to give them the right hand, and he gave it to them and expelled them from it; taking the city, he put a garrison into it. 67 Jonathan and his army had encamped before the waters of Gennesar, and early in the morning they arose and went to the plain of Hazor. 68And behold: there was an army of foreigners confronting him in the plain; they had separately deployed an ambush for him in the mountains, but they themselves came straight out to confront them. 69The ambushing force pounced out of their hiding-places and engaged them in battle; 70all of Jonathan’s men fled, not one remained of them apart from Mattathias son of Absalom and Judas son of H . alphi, who were commanders of the army of the forces. 71 Jonathan tore his garments and put dirt on his head and prayed; 72then he turned back against them in war—he routed them and they fled. 73But when those who had fled from his side saw that, they returned to him and together with him they pursued (the others) as far as Kedesh, as far as their camp, and they camped there. 74Around three thousand men of the foreigners fell that day, and Jonathan returned to Jerusalem.

Jonathan’s International Ties: Rome and Sparta 1 12 When Jonathan saw that the moment was going his way, he chose men and sent them to Rome to confirm and renew the friendship with them. 2And he sent similar letters to the Spartans and other places. 3When they came to Rome and entered into the council, they said: “Jonathan the high priest and the people of the Judeans has sent us to renew the friendship and alliance with them as earlier.” 4And they gave them letters for those (in authority) in each place, so that they would further them along their way safely to the land of Judah. 5 This is a copy of the letter that Jonathan wrote to the Spartans:

Jonathan the high priest, and the council of elders of the people and the priests and the rest of the citizenry of the Judeans, to their brothers the Spartans: greetings. 7Already earlier a letter was sent to Onias the high priest 6

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by Areus who ruled as king among you, to the effect that you are our brothers, and a copy of it is appended below. 8And Onias received with honor the man who was sent and accepted the letter, in which alliance and friendship were plainly discussed. 9And although we are not in need of such things, for we have for our encouragement the holy books that are in our possession, 10 we have endeavored to send to you to renew our brotherhood and friendship with you, so that we should not become estranged from you; for a long time has gone by since you sent (the letter) to us. 11We, for our part, continually remember you without fail at all times, and on our festivals and on the other appropriate days when we bring sacrifices, and in our prayers, as it is necessary and proper to remember brothers. 12And we are joyful about your glory. 13 As for us, numerous troubles and numerous wars have beset us, and the kings around us waged wars against us. 14Therefore we did not want to burden you and our other allies and friends in those wars, 15for we have the help of heaven to assist us, and we were saved from our enemies, and our enemies were brought low. 16Now we have selected Numenius the son of Antiochus and Antipatros the son of Jason and sent them to the Romans to renew our earlier friendship and alliance with them. 17We have, accordingly, instructed them to go to you too and greet you and give you, in response, our letter concerning the renewal of our brotherhood. 18Now therefore it would be nice if you could let us hear from you in response about these things. And here is the copy of the letter that they had sent to Onias:

19

King Areus of the Spartans to Onias the high priest: greetings. 21It has been found in a text about the Spartans and the Judeans that they are brothers and of the family of Abraham. 22So now, since we know these things, it would be nice if you write us about your well-being. 23As for us, we respond to you: “Your livestock and your property are ours, and ours are yours.” So we instruct (our messengers) to inform you accordingly. 20

From Jonathan to Simon When Jonathan heard that Demetrius’s officers had returned with a force larger than the previous one to fight him, 25he set out from Jerusalem and confronted them in the land of Hamath; for he did not allow them the respite necessary to set foot into his land. 26He sent out scouts to their camp, and they returned and reported to him that they were being positioned to fall upon them that night. 27When the sun went down, Jonathan ordered his men to be watchful and, having their weapons at hand, to be prepared for battle throughout the night, and he deployed pickets around the camp. 28 But when the enemies heard that Jonathan and his men were prepared for battle, they became afraid, cowered in fear in their hearts, and lit fires in their camp. 29Jonathan and his men did not know (of their decamping) until early in the morning, for they saw the lights of the burning fires. 30Jonathan pursued after them but did not catch them, for they had already crossed the Eleutherus River. 31Then Jonathan turned aside against the Arabs known as Zabadeans; he smote them and took their spoils. 32Turning back, he went to Damascus, passing through the midst of the entire country. 33And Simon 24

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went out and passed through all the way to Ascalon and the nearby fortresses. Then he turned aside to Jaffa and preemptively captured it, 34for he had heard that they wanted to turn the fortress over to Demetrius’s men; he stationed a garrison there to guard it. 35 Jonathan returned and assembled the elders of the people. Together with them he decided to build fortresses in Judea, 36and to raise the walls of Jerusalem higher and to raise them to a great height between the Akra and the city, so as to sever it from the city, so it would be isolated and (the Akra’s inhabitants) incapable of both buying and selling. 37They gathered together to build up the city, but part of the wall of the eastern valley fell, and he renovated the so-called Chaphenatha. 38And Simon built Adida in the coastal plain, fortified it, and furnished it with gates and bars. 39 Trypho, for his part, sought to rule as king of Asia, and he donned the diadem and stretched out his hand against King Antiochus. 40But he was afraid, lest Jonathan not allow him and lest he fight against him, so he sought a way to seize Jonathan and to do away with him. Setting out, he came to Beth Shean. 41Jonathan went out to confront him, with forty thousand selected men ready for battle, and he went to Beth Shean. 42 When Trypho saw he had arrived with a large force, he was afraid to stretch out his hands against him. 43Rather, he received him with honor and introduced him to all his Friends, and gave him gifts and ordered his Friends and his dignitaries to obey him as if he were him. 44And he said to Jonathan: Why have you wearied all this multitude, when no war is in the offing against us? 45Now send them to their homes, and choose for yourself a few men, who will be with you, and come with me to Ptolemais, and I will give it to you along with the other remaining fortresses and remaining forces and all the officers, and I will turn about and depart; for it was for that that I have arrived. (Jonathan) entrusted himself unto him and did as he said: he sent the troops away, and they went off to the land of Judah. 47He retained with himself three thousand men, of whom he left two thousand in the Galilee; a thousand went along with him. 48But when Jonathan entered Ptolemais, the people of Ptolemais closed the gates and seized him, and killed by the sword all the people who had come in with him. 49Then Trypho sent troops and cavalry to the Galilee and to the Great Plain to do away with all of Jonathan’s men. 50But they learned that he had been seized and done in, along with those who had been with him; and they encouraged one another and went out en masse, ready for battle. 51When those who were pursuing them realized that it was a matter of life and death for them, they turned about. 52And all of them came safely to the land of Judah, and they mourned Jonathan and those who were with him, and they were very afraid; and all of Israel mourned greatly. 53And all the Gentiles who were around them sought to wipe them out, for they said: “They have neither ruler nor ally, so let us now make war against them and destroy mankind’s memory of them.” 46

Simon Takes Over 13 Simon heard that Trypho had assembled a large force in order to come to the land of Judah and destroy it. 2When he saw that the people were trembling and fearful, he went up to Jerusalem and gathered the people, 3encouraged them, and said to them: 1

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You of course know what we—I, my brothers, and my father’s family—did for the laws and the Temple, and the wars and the tribulations that we underwent. 4 As a result, my brothers all perished for Israel, and I alone have survived. 5 And now—far be it from me to spare my life in any time of distress, for I am not better than my brothers. 6Rather, I will avenge my people and the Temple, and your wives and children, for all the Gentiles have gathered together to wipe us out, on account of their hostility. The spirit of the people revived immediately upon hearing those words, 8and they declared in a loud voice: “You are our leader instead of Judas and Jonathan, your brothers; 9 fight our war, and all that you say to us, we shall do.” 10Then he assembled all the fighting men and hastened to complete the walls of Jerusalem and to fortify it roundabout. 11 And he sent Jonathan son of Absalom with a sizable force to Jaffa; he expelled those who had been there and remained there in it. 12 Trypho set out from Ptolemais with a large force to enter the land of Judah, with Jonathan with him under guard. 13Simon was encamped in Adida, across from the plain. 14When Trypho learned that Simon had arisen instead of his brother Jonathan, and that he was about to engage him in battle, he sent envoys to him, saying: 15“It is on account of the money, that your brother Jonathan owes the royal treasury due to the functions he has, that we are holding him. 16So now—send a hundred talents of silver, and two of his sons as hostages, so that once released he will not rebel against us, and we will release him.” 17 Although Simon knew that they were speaking to him with guile, nevertheless he sent to bring the money and the youths, lest he provoke the people to great hostility, 18“for they might say that he perished because I did not send the money and the youths.” 19So he sent the youths and the hundred talents, but (Trypho) played him false and did not release Jonathan. 20After that, Trypho set out to invade the country and destroy it, and they went around by the road to Adora. But Simon and his army kept up opposite him, wherever he went. 21 The men of the Akra sent envoys to Trypho, strongly urging him to come to them via the wilderness and send them provisions. 22Trypho indeed prepared all of his cavalry to go, but that night there was a very severe snowfall, and because of the snow he did not go; rather, he set out and went to the Gilead. 23When he was approaching Baskama, he killed Jonathan, and he was buried there. 24Then Trypho turned about and went off to his own land. 25 Simon sent and brought the bones of his brother Jonathan and buried him in Modiin, the city of his fathers. 26And all of Israel lamented him with great lamentation and mourned him for many days. 27And Simon built above the grave of his father and his brothers, elevating (the monument) so as to be visible, with hewn stone on its rear and its front. 28And he set up seven pyramids, each one opposite another, for his father and mother and four brothers. 29He made bases for them, placing large columns around them, and made panoplies upon the columns for an eternal name; and alongside the panoplies ships were carved, on the surface, so that they could be seen by all who sailed the sea. 30This, then, was the tomb that he made in Modiin, (and it remains there) until this very day. 31 Trypho dealt deceitfully with the young King Antiochus, and killed him. 32He became king in his stead, donning the diadem of Asia and wreaking much havoc in the land. 33But Simon built the fortresses of Judea and walled them about with high tow7

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ers and great walls, with gates and bars, and he stored food in the fortresses. 34Simon also chose men and sent them to King Demetrius to arrange for a concession for the land, for everything that Trypho did was acts of violence. 35King Demetrius sent him a response about these things, answering him in a letter as follows: King Demetrius to Simon the high priest and Friend of kings, and to the elders and people of the Judeans: greetings. 37We have received the golden crown and the palm-frond that you sent us, and we are ready to make a great peace with you and to write to our functionaries to grant you concessions. 38 And all that we have established for you remains valid, and the fortresses that you have built shall remain yours. 39We also relinquish (all claims) concerning all the wrongs you unwittingly committed and your offenses until today; and the crown-tax that you owe, and any other tax that may have been collected in Jerusalem shall no longer be collected. 40And if any of you are worthy to sign up in our forces, let them be signed up, and let there be peace between us. 36

In the 170th year the yoke of the Gentiles was removed from Israel, 42and the people began to write in documents and contracts: “In the first year of Simon the high priest, general, and leader of Israel.” 43 In those days he encamped over against Gezer, surrounded it with camps and made a helepolis; he brought it up to the city, battered a tower, and seized it. 44Those who were in the helepolis jumped out into the city, and there ensued quite a tumult in the city. 45Then the people of the city went up onto the wall, together with their wives and children, having ripped through their garments, and they cried out in a loud voice, asking Simon to give them the right hand. 46And they said: “Do not treat us according to our misdeeds, but, rather, according to your mercy.” 47So Simon came to an understanding with them and stopped fighting them; he cast them out of the city, purified the buildings in which the abominations had been, and then entered into it, along with hymns and blessings. 48And he cast out of it all impurity, settled law-observant men in it, strengthened its fortifications, and built himself a residence in it. 49 The men of the Akra in Jerusalem, who were prevented from going back and forth to the countryside, and from buying and selling, were very hungry, and a good number of them perished from hunger. 50So they cried out to Simon to give them the right hand, and he gave it to them. Then he cast them out of there and purified the Akra from its pollutions. 51And they entered into it on the twenty-third day of the second month of the 171st year—with praise and palm-fronds, and with stringed instruments, cymbals, harps, hymns, and songs, for a great enemy had been driven out of Israel. 52 And he established that every year that day should be celebrated joyfully. He also strengthened the fortifications of the Temple Mount alongside the Akra, and he and his entourage resided there. 53 When Simon saw that his son John was a man, he appointed him to be the commander of all the forces. He resided in Gezer. 41

Simon Ensconced, Now and Forever 1 14 In the 172nd year, King Demetrius gathered together his forces and went to Media in order to assemble support so as to make war against Trypho. 2When King Arsaces of Persia and Media heard that Demetrius had entered within his borders, he sent



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one of his officers to seize him alive. 3He went and attacked Demetrius’s camp, seized him, and brought him to Arsaces, who put him under guard. 4And the land was quiet all the days of Simon. He sought the welfare of his people, and his authority and glory found favor with them throughout his days. 5 And alongside all his (other) glory he took Jaffa as a port, thus allowing access to the islands of the sea. 6 He expanded the borders of his people, and conquered the land. 7 He gathered many captives, and conquered Gezer and Beth Zur and the Akra, and eradicated its impurities, and there was none who opposed him. 8 And they were cultivating their land in peace, and the land gave its produce; and the trees of the plain, their fruit. 9 Old men sat in the town squares, all of them conversing about good things, and the young men wore clothes of glory and war. 10 He supplied food to the cities, and fitted them out with equipment for fortification—to such an extent that talk of his glorious name reached the end of the land. 11 He made peace in the land, and Israel was joyous with great joy. 12 And each sat under his vine and under his fig tree, and there was none to make them afraid. 13 And there ceased to exist those who would make war against them in the land, and the kings were crushed in those days. 14 He supported all the humble ones of his people; he sought the Law and wiped out every wicked and villainous man. 15 He made the Temple more glorious and multiplied the sacrificial vessels. When it was heard in Rome, and as far as Sparta, that Jonathan had died, they mourned greatly. 17But when they heard that his brother Simon had become high priest in his stead, and that he had taken control of the country and of the cities within it, 18 they wrote him on bronze tablets in order to renew with him the friendship and the alliance that they had established with his brothers, Judas and Jonathan. 19And (the tablets) were read out before the assembly in Jerusalem. 20This is a copy of the letter sent by the Spartans: 16

The rulers of the Spartans and the city to the high priest Simon, and to the elders and the priests and the rest of the citizenry of our brothers the Judeans, greetings. 21The envoys who were sent to our citizenry reported to us about your glory and honor, and we were happy about their arrival. 22And we have written down what they said in the decisions of the citizenry, as follows: “Numenius the son of Antiochus and Antipatros the son of Jason, envoys of the Judeans, came to us to renew the friendship with us. 23And it pleased the citizenry to receive the men with honor and to deposit a copy of their words in the books designated by the citizenry, so the citizenry of Sparta might preserve their memory.” And they wrote (and sent) this copy of their words to Simon the high priest. After that Simon sent Numenius to Rome with a large golden shield weighing a thousand minas, to confirm the alliance with them. 24

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25 When the citizenry heard these things, they said: “With what gratitude can we requite Simon and his sons? 26For he was strong, he and his brothers and his father’s family, and they fought off Israel’s enemies.” So they established authority for him and inscribed it on bronze tablets and fixed them on pillars on Mount Zion. 27This is a copy of what was written:

On the eighteenth of Elul in the 172nd year, which is the third year of the high priesthood of Simon, in Asaramel, 28in a great assembly of priests and people and rulers of the nation and the elders of the land, it was proclaimed to us that: 29 WHEREAS when wars frequently occurred in the country, Simon, son of Mattathias, a son of the sons of Jehoiarib, and his brothers, undertook the danger upon themselves and stood up against the opponents of our people, so that their Temple and the Law were put on a firm footing, and they glorified our people with great glory; 30 And Jonathan gathered up his nation and became their high priest, but he was gathered unto his people; 31 And when their enemies conspired together to invade their land and destroy their land, and to stretch out their hands against their Temple—32then there arose Simon, and he waged war for his people and, spending great amounts of his own money, he armed the men of his people’s army and gave them wages; 33 and he fortified the cities of Judea and Beth Zur, which is on the border of Judea, where the weapons of the enemies had formerly been, and he stationed there a garrison of Judean men; 34 and he fortified Jaffa, which is on the seacoast, and Gezer, which is on the border of Azotus, the place in which our enemies had formerly resided, and he settled Judeans there, and deposited in those places whatever was needed to maintain them properly; 35 and when the people saw Simon’s faithfulness and the glory, which he had decided to create for his people, they made him their leader and high priest— because he had done all these things, and on account of the justice and the faithfulness that he had maintained toward his nation. And he attempted, in every way, to raise it high. 36And in his days success was achieved, by his hands, in wiping out the Gentiles from their land, including those in the city of David who were in Jerusalem, who had made a citadel for themselves, from which they used to go out and defile roundabout the Temple and dealt a great blow to its purity. 37He settled in it Judean men and fortified it so as to provide security to the country and the city, and he raised the walls of Jerusalem. 38 And King Demetrius, in view of these things, confirmed him in the high priesthood 39and made him one of his Friends and glorified him with great glory, 40for he heard that the Judeans had been called by the Romans friends, allies, and brothers, and they had received Simon’s envoys with honor— 41 (THEREFORE) the Judeans and the priests agreed that Simon shall be their leader and high priest forever, until the arising of a trustworthy prophet, 42 and that he shall be their general, and that he shall be responsible for the



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holy things—to appoint on his own authority those who take care of the cult and of the country, the weapons, and the fortresses; 43 and he shall be responsible for the holy things, and all shall obey him, and all documents in the country shall be written in his name; and that he shall be clothed in purple and gold. 44 And no one of the people or priests shall be allowed to abrogate any of these things or to contradict anything said by him, or to convene any assembly in the country without him, to wear purple, or to fasten his garment with a golden brooch. 45 Whoever violates or abrogates any of these things shall be guilty. The entire people agreed to appoint Simon according to these terms. 47And Simon accepted and agreed to serve as high priest and be general and ethnarch of the Judeans and the priests, and to stand at the head of all of them. 48And they announced that this text should be recorded on bronze tablets and set up in the Temple enclosure in a prominent place, 49and that copies of it should be deposited in the treasury, where Simon and his sons could have (access to) it. 46

Simon on the International Scene 1 15 Antiochus, the son of King Demetrius, sent a letter from the islands of the sea to Simon, the (high) priest and ethnarch of the Judeans, and to the entire people. 2Its content was as follows:

King Antiochus to Simon, the high priest and ethnarch, and to the people of the Judeans: greetings. 3Since some villains have taken control of our fathers’ kingdom, I desire to reclaim the kingdom, so as to restore it as it previously was. So I have raised a multitude of mercenary soldiers and fitted out ships of war, 4and I desire to go out into the country so as to go after those who have ravaged our country and desolated numerous cities in my kingdom. 5Now I confirm for you all of the concessions that the kings who preceded me granted to you, and I remit to you whatever other gifts (they granted you). 6And I allow you to make your own coinage, coinage for your land. 7Jerusalem and the Temple shall be free; and all of the weapons, which you prepared, and the fortresses that you built, which you now have in your power, shall remain yours. 8 And I forgive you all your debts to the crown, and all future royal debts from now and forever. 9And when we establish our kingdom, we shall glorify you and your people and the Temple with great glory, so that your glory shall be revealed in the entire world. In the 174th year Antiochus departed for the land of his fathers, and all the forces went over to him, so that Trypho had only a few left. 11Antiochus pursued him, and he came in flight to Dor, which is on the seacoast, 12for he knew that troubles had piled up against him, and the forces had deserted him. 13Antiochus encamped over against Dor, having with him twelve myriads of fighting men and eight thousand cavalry. 14And he surrounded the city, and his ships linked up (with his soldiers) from the sea; thus he pressed heavily upon the city from land and sea and did not let anyone leave or enter. 10

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15 And Numenius and those with him came from Rome with letters to the kings and countries, in which the following was written:

Lucius, consul of the Romans, to King Ptolemy: greetings. 17There came to us envoys of the Judeans, our friends and allies, having been sent by Simon the high priest and the citizenry of the Judeans to renew the original friendship and alliance. 18And they brought a golden shield weighing a thousand minas. 19 So now it pleased us to write the kings and the countries (and admonish them) not to seek to do wicked deeds to them, nor to make war against them or their cities or their country, nor to be allies of any who make war against them. 20And we decided to accept the shield from them. 21So if any villains have escaped from their land to you, hand them over to Simon the high priest, so that he will punish them according to their laws. 16

And he wrote the same to Kings Demetrius, Attalus, Ariarathes, and Arsaces, 23and to all the countries, including Sampsake, and the Spartans, and to Delos, Myndos, Sicyone, Caria, Samos, Pamphylia, Lycia, Halicarnassus, Rhodes, Phaselis, Cos, Side, Arados, Gortyne, Cnidos, Cyprus, and Cyrene. 24And they wrote (and sent) a copy of them to Simon the high priest. 25 Antiochus kept on besieging Dor in the city’s back quarter, continually bringing up his forces and constructing siege-machines and closing in upon Trypho, so that no one could leave or enter. 26And Simon sent him two thousand select men to fight together with him, along with silver and gold and a great deal of equipment. 27But he did not want to receive them. Rather, he abrogated everything that he had previously covenanted with him, and became hostile to him. 28And he sent to him Athenobius, one of his Friends, to negotiate with him, saying: 22

You have taken control of Jaffa and Gezer and the Akra in Jerusalem, which are cities of my kingdom. 29You have devastated their territories and dealt a severe blow to the land, and you lord over many places in my kingdom. 30So now: turn over the cities that you conquered, and the tributes for the places where you have taken over rule outside the borders of Judea. 31If not, give in lieu of them five hundred silver talents and—for the destruction you have wrought and the tribute of the cities—another five hundred talents. If not, we will come and wipe you out in war. So Athenobius, the king’s Friend, came to Jerusalem—and when he saw Simon’s glory and a cupstand with gold and silver cups and impressive display, he was outraged. Then he related the king’s words to him. 33In response to him, Simon said:

32

We have not taken foreign land, nor have we conquered that which belongs to others. Rather, (we have reconquered) our fathers’ inheritance, which had been conquered unjustly at some point in time by our enemies; 34when the moment was ours, we reclaimed our fathers’ inheritance. 35As for Jaffa and Gezer, which you demand—they dealt a severe blow to our people and our land. For them we shall give a hundred talents. He said nary a word in reply, 36but returned angrily to the king and reported to him these words, as well as concerning Simon’s glory and all that he had seen; and the king became very wrathful. 37Since Trypho had embarked upon a ship and fled to Orthosia,



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the king appointed Cendebaeus governor of the coastal region, gave him infantry and cavalry forces, 39and ordered him to encamp upon the border of Judea. He ordered him to build up Kedron and fortify its gates, so as to make war against the people, while the king himself pursued Trypho. 40 Cendebaeus came to Jamnia and began to harass the people and to invade Judea, taking captives from among the people and committing murders. 41And he built up Kedron and stationed cavalry and soldiers there, so that when they went out they could march along the roads of Judea, as the king had commanded him. 1 John went up from Gezer and reported to his father, Simon, what Cendebaeus 16 had brought about. 2And Simon summoned his two older sons, Judas and John, and said to them: 38

I, my brothers, and my father’s family fought Israel’s wars from our youth until this very day, and often we were successful in delivering Israel through our hands. 3But now I have grown old, and you are, mercifully, old enough: be you instead of me and my brothers, going out to fight for our people, and let the assistance of heaven be with you. And he chose from among the country twenty thousand men of war and cavalrymen, and they went out against Cendebaeus and stayed that night in Modiin. 5Arising early in the morning, they went to the plain, and behold: there was a large force confronting them, infantry and cavalry, with a wadi between them. 6He camped opposite them, he and his men, and when he saw the people was afraid to cross the wadi, he crossed first; when his men saw him (do that), they crossed over after him. 7Then he split up the troops, with the cavalry amidst the foot soldiers, for the enemy’s cavalry was very numerous. 8But they sounded the trumpets, and Cendebaeus was routed along with his army: many of them fell, mortally wounded, while those who survived fled to the fortress. 9John’s brother Judas was wounded then, but John pursued them until he came to Kedron, which (Cendebaeus) had built up. 10And they fled as far as the towers that were in the fields of Azotus; he set fire to it, and about two thousand of their men fell. Then he returned to Judea safely. 4

Murder of Simon and Two of His Sons; John Succeeds Him Ptolemy son of Aboubos had been appointed governor of the plain of Jericho and had much silver and gold, 12for he was the son-in-law of the high priest. 13And his heart rose high and he conspired to take control of the country, and so he conspired deceitfully against Simon and his sons, so as to kill them. 14Simon, in the course of making the rounds of the cities around the country, giving thought to what pertained to their administration, came down to Jericho—he and his sons Mattathias and Judas, in the eleventh month, which is Shebat, of the 177th year. 15And Aboubos’s son welcomed them, with guile, into the small fortress that he had built, which is called Dok, and made them a large drinking party and hid men there. 16When Simon and his sons became drunk, Ptolemy and his men arose, took their arms, and, pouncing upon Simon in the symposium room, killed him, his two sons, and some of his servants. 17Thus he committed a grave act of faithlessness, repaying good deeds with evil. 18 Ptolemy wrote these things up and sent (his report) to the king, so that he would send him troops to help him and turn the cities and the country over to him. 11

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And he sent others to Gezer to kill John; sent letters to the chiliarchs, calling upon them to come and join him, for he would give them silver and gold and gifts; 20and sent others to seize Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. 21But someone ran ahead to John, in Gezer, and told him that his father and brothers had perished, saying: “He has also sent to have you killed.” 22When he heard that, he was greatly outraged; seizing the men who had come to do away with him, he killed them, for he knew that they had sought to do away with him. 23 As for the rest of the affairs of John, his wars and his valorous deeds that he heroically performed, and the building of the walls that he built, and his (other) acts— 24 behold, they are written in the journal of his high priesthood, beginning with when he became high priest after his father. 19

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notes and comments

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Prologue: Introducing the Villains (1:1–15)

1 1 After the successful offensive of Alexander, son of Philip the Macedonian—who had departed from the land of the Kittim and defeated Darius, king of Persians and Medes, and reigned as king in his stead, after first reigning over Greece—2he started numerous wars, conquered fortresses, and slaughtered kings of the world. 3He went to the ends of the earth, despoiling many peoples, and the world became quiet before him; he became arrogant, his heart soaring high. 4And he collected a very mighty army and ruled countries, peoples, and monarchs, and they all became tributary to him. 5But after that he fell into his bed and knew he would die. 6So he summoned his honored servants who had been brought up with him since youth, and distributed his kingdom among them, while he was still alive. 7Thus Alexander reigned for twelve years, and died, 8and each of his servants took power, each in his place. 9After his death they all donned diadems, and so too their sons after them for many years, and they multiplied evil in the world. 10Out of them there emerged a sinful growth, Antiochus Epiphanes (the son of King Antiochus), who had been a hostage in Rome, and he began to reign as king in the 137th year of the kingdom of the Greeks. 11 In those days there emerged out of Israel wicked men, and they seduced many, saying: “Come let us make a covenant with the Gentiles who are around us. For since the day we separated ourselves from them we have been visited by many troubles.” 12This proposal found favor in their eyes, 13and some of the members of the people volunteered and went to the king, and he gave them the authority to act according to the customs of the Gentiles. 14So they built a gymnasium in Jerusalem, according to the customs of the Gentiles. 15They made themselves foreskins, deviating from the sacred covenant and yoking themselves to the Gentiles; they sold themselves to the doing of evil.

Notes 1:1. After, Καὶ ἐγένετο. Lit. “and it came to pass”—Heb. wayhî, as at the opening of so many biblical stories; note, for example, the openings of the biblical books of Samuel,

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Ruth, and Esther. For similar references to what happens “after smiting,” see Gen 14:17, 1 Sam 17:57 and 18:6, 2 Sam 1:1. After the successful offensive . . . and defeated, μετὰ τὸ πατάξαι . . . καὶ ἐπάταξεν. This English translation is an attempt to reflect, as does the Greek, the Heb. hakkôt . . . wayyak (lit. “after smiting . . . smote”), in which the first occurrence of the verb is general and the second introduces the details. For a similar passage, Natan Evron points to Dan 8:2, possibly also to Num 16:1–3—the latter especially if we emend the problematic first word from WYQH . to WYQM, as several scholars have suggested; see G. Gray 1906, 195. This would allow the opening verb to be resumed by wayyāqumû at the beginning of v. 2, after the full statement of all the subjects of the verb. Kittim. A biblical term (Gen 10:4, Num 24:24, etc.), perhaps derived from Kition in Cyprus, that refers to peoples living over the sea to the west of Palestine; as Josephus put it, “all of the islands and most of the [lands] along the sea are called Kittim by the Hebrews” (Ant. 1.128). Although elsewhere in Second Temple literature it is applied to Rome (so esp. Dan 11:30 and Pesher Nahum 3–4 1:3, which contrasts “kings of Greece” and “rulers of the Kittim,” for the Romans had no kings during the Republic; see Horgan 1979, 8, and Sharon 2017, 171–190), here it obviously applies to Macedonia or perhaps more generally to Greece; so too at 8:5, where the kings of Macedonia are called kings of Kittim. For texts and discussion, see especially H. Eshel 2008, 163–179. Darius. Darius III, killed by a satrap while fleeing from Alexander in 330 BCE (Arrian, Anabasis 3.21). For readers familiar with the Bible, who know that “Darius the Persian” is the last Persian king mentioned in the Hebrew Bible (Neh 12:22; see also Hag 1:1, 15), this reference serves to portray 1 Maccabees as a continuation of the biblical story. Cf. Introduction 4, n. 28. Persians and Medes. Here the reference is specific. Cf. the Note on 6:56, Persia and Media. after first reigning over Greece, πρότερον ἐπὶ τὴν Ἑλλάδα. Although πρότερον properly means “formerly” (as for example in 14:33 and 15:3), that makes this a clumsy afterthought, to such an extent that the RSV even encloses “he had previously become king of Greece” in parentheses. For similar difficulties, compare πρώτη in Luke 2:2 and Fitzmyer 1981–1985, 1.401. It seems, however, that we should understand that the author is indeed backing up: after summarizing the story down to Alexander’s takeover of Darius’s kingdom, he now fills in the details: after first reigning in Greece, Alexander proceeded to wage numerous wars, to conquer fortresses, etc. For πρότερος in the sense of “first,” see also 5:43. Another way of dealing with the problem would be to suppose that the author means that having defeated Darius and thereby established an empire in the East as well, Alexander was the first to reign over all the Greeks—so Dancy (1954, 55), who points to 6:2, where the author indeed wrote that Alexander had been the first king “of the Greeks” (not “Greece,” as here), and so too J. Goldstein (1976), who translates “and became king in his place and thus the first to rule over the Hellenistic empire.” However, this involves not only assuming (as Dancy notes) “a matter of a slight mistranslation of the Hebrew” here (positing “Greeks” [as in 6:2] instead of “Greece”), but also ignoring the fairly obvious sequence presented in these verses: Alexander first gained control of Greece, then went on to wage numerous wars elsewhere, in the East, and only they were to provide the basis for the establishment of his empire.

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1:2. started numerous wars, συνεστήσατο πολέμους πολλούς. In this collocation, which reappears in v. 18 and in 2:32 and 3:3, συνίστημι apparently reflects the verb ’SR, as at LXX Ps 117 (MT 118):27; for ye’sōr milh.āmâ, which ascribes the initiative to the subject, see 1 Kgs 20:14 (RSV: “begin the battle”) and 2 Chr 13:3 (RSV: “went out to battle”), although neither is translated with συνίστημι in the Septuagint. On συνίστημι in the Septuagint, see Lee 1990, especially 10–11 on its use for ’SR. slaughtered, ἔσφαξε. This is quite a harsh verb (as opposed to “defeated” or even “killed”); cf. the Note on 7:19, slaughtered them. As such, it sets the tone for a negative evaluation of Alexander. kings of the world, as in Pss 2:2, 76:12, 89:27. 1:3. ends of the earth, ἕως ἄκρων τῆς γῆς. See the Note on 3:9, His name was heard unto the end of the land. arrogant . . . soaring high, ὑψώθη καὶ ἐξήρθη ἡ καρδία αὐτοῦ. Taken by itself, ὑψώθη might refer to great happiness or excitement; so, perhaps, at 11:16. Or, as at 8:13, the reference could be to Alexander’s objective success. Here, however, paired with a high-soaring heart (i.e., full of hubris; cf. 2 Macc 5:17, 21) and in the wake of “slaughtered,” this probably means he was arrogant; so Muraoka 2009, 709, s.v. ὑψόω, §Ie. So too at 16:13 and, for example, as something forbidden to kings at Deut 17:20 and characteristic of the wicked king of Tyre at Ezek 28:2, 5, 17, also—most pertinently here, of the wicked Hellenistic “king of the south”—at Dan 11:12. 1:4. peoples, and monarchs, ἐθνῶν καὶ τυράννων. In the Septuagint, as often elsewhere in Greek (Sealey 1976, 38–40; Parker 1998), the latter need not have any pejorative connotation (“tyrants”). Note especially Prov 8:16, where τύραννοι (nədîbîm; RSV: “nobles”) are mentioned after “kings,” “rulers,” and “princes,” and it is God who allows them all to function. The pairing of nədîbîm with “people” is frequent in the Bible; cf. Num 21:18; Pss 47:10, 113:8. 1:5. and knew he would die. This opens a stock scene, repeated at 6:9–10. 1:6. summoned, ἐκάλεσε. As with Hebrew qārā’, in this book, as elsewhere in the Septuagint (see Muraoka 2009, 358–359), καλέω covers both “summon” (e.g., 6:10, 14; 11:47; 16:2) and “name” (e.g., 2:3–5; 3:1; 6:17; 12:31, 37). Both senses are also documented in Hellenistic Greek; see, for example, Mauersberger 1956–1975, 3.1248–1251. But there was a tendency to prefer only the latter sense and to use other verbs, such as προσκαλέω, for summoning. In biblical Hebrew, in contrast, qārā’ is the standard word for both meanings. brought up with him, τοὺς συνεκτρόφους αὐτοῦ. On such syntrophoi as common in Hellenistic courts, see Corradi 1929, 269–281, and Strootman 2014, 140– ​144,  168. distributed his kingdom among them. This, of course, diametrically contradicts the standard account of Alexander’s death, according to which he left his kingdom to no one apart from “the strongest” or “the best” (Diodorus Siculus 17.117), and so his death was followed by decades of wars among his successors. For Ptolemaic and Seleucid attempts to portray themselves as heirs of Alexander, see Rice 1983, 84, and Rice 2006, 33–34; also Introduction 4, n. 83. 1:7. reigned for twelve years, and died. So too, for example, Diodorus 17.117 and Arrian, Anabasis 7.28.1 (“twelve years and eight months”). Alexander died in June 323 BCE, after reigning since the murder of his father in 336 BCE. Virtually the same

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phrase appears in Sēder Ôlam Rabbâ 30 (Milikowsky 2013, 1.322, l. 21). As Natan Evron argues in a forthcoming study, on the basis of the anomalous formulation of that passage, it may well be based on the Hebrew version of this verse or its source—a possibility already contemplated by others; see Milikowsky 2013, 2.520, nn. 76, 79. 1:8. his servants, οἱ παῖδες αὐτοῦ. Strangely, many translators render the noun as “officers” (RSV, Einheitsübersetzung, Abel, Goldstein, Tilly), which corresponds to the facts but not to the text. In fact, παῖς is simply the usual Septuagintal rendition (hundreds of times) of ‘ebed, “slave, servant.” The Old Latin translation, pueri (De Bruyne 1932, 4), is only somewhat less surprising. That Alexander was not survived by his children was well-known; see Dan 11:4 and above, Note on v. 6, distributed his kingdom among them. That even high officers of a king might be termed his “servants” is not at all surprising; see, for example, Gen 24:2, also 2 Kgs 6:11 and 24:10–12. 1:9. donned diadems, a sign of arrogance (contrast the Romans, 8:14). This point seems to be of cardinal importance for the dating of 1 Maccabees; see Introduction 2, at n. 8. for many years. A century and a half, 323–175 BCE. and they multiplied evil in the world, ἐπλήθυναν κακὰ ἐν τῇ γῇ. Alluding to Gen 6:11? By referring to a long period of time and continuous activity, the author wraps up the section and signals to readers that time might go by before the next stage of the story. Compare Gen 40:23 and Luke 1:80, 2:52, which are resumed, respectively, by the datings in Gen 41:1 and Luke 3:1–2, just as the story here is resumed with a dating in v. 10. On the translation of γῆ (here “world”), see the Note on 3:9, His name was heard unto the end of the land. 1:10. Out of them there emerged a sinful growth, ἐξῆλθεν ἐξ αὐτῶν ῥί ζα ἁμαρτωλός. This appears to be an ironic contrast to the ideal Davidic king according to Isa 11:1 (“there shall emerge a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots”). That is, Antiochus was evil because he derived from such evil predecessors; as it were, it was in his genes. For šōreš, usually translated “root,” in the opposite sense, namely “growth” (or “outgrowth”), see especially Sir 3:9 (“a father’s blessing shall firmly establish [his] šōreš”); Isa 14:30 (where the security of the firstborn children of the poor is contrasted to the famine suffered by the Philistines’ šōreš and others who survive them); and Isa 11:10 (where “Jesse’s šōreš” is apparently identical with the “shoot from the stump of Jesse” [the house of David] mentioned in 11:1). See Kagan 2018, 9–11, and Renz 2006. My thanks to Itai Kagan for help with this point. Antiochus Epiphanes, son of Antiochus III, born ca. 215 BCE. His title Epiphanes (“the glorious,” “illustrious” [Walbank 1957–1979, 3.285, with bibliography; also Bernhardt 2017, 186]), alone or in the combination theos epiphanes (“the god who is manifest/has appeared”), is known from his coinage early in his reign. On him, see, in general, Mørkholm 1966 and Mittag 2006. had been a hostage, according to terms of his father’s capitulation to Rome in the Treaty of Apamaea (188 BCE); see the Note on 8:7, imposed upon them. On this regular feature of ancient diplomacy, mentioned elsewhere in this book as well, which, as in Antiochus’s case, could allow the hostage respectable treatment and an opportunity to assimilate to the host culture (indeed, according to Livy 42.6.9, Antiochus would later claim that he had been treated as a king, not as a hostage), see Walker 2005. The next year Antiochus III died and was succeeded by Antiochus’s older brother Seleucus

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IV, who reigned 187–175. Formerly it was thought that Antiochus was released from Rome shortly before Seleucus’s death and was in Athens, on his way back to Syria, when news of that reached him; so Appian, Syr. 45, and, for example, Mørkholm 1966, 35. However, epigraphic evidence has made it clear that already ca. 178 BCE Antiochus was replaced in Rome by Seleucus’s son, Demetrius I. That happened when the latter (born ca. 186 BCE) was old enough to serve in that capacity, for obviously a king’s son was better than a brother as a guarantee of good behavior. (For young children as hostages, cf. 10:9, 11:62, 13:16–17.) Antiochus stayed in Athens for a few years until his brother died; see Davis and Llewelyn 2012, 87–91; and Mittag 2006, 40–48. This is the background for Antiochus’s special relationship with Athens, which was expressed in various ways and reflected in 2 Macc 6:1 and 9:15; see also Mittag 2006, 104, 115. 137th year, according to the Seleucid era, which began in 312/311 BCE, that is, 176/175 BCE in the Macedonian reckoning, or 175/174 in the Jewish reckoning. See Introduction 3, Table 1. Seleucus IV’s death is dated by epigraphic evidence to September 2–3, 175 BCE (Sachs and Wiseman 1954, 208), which is just about the end of SE 137 in the Macedonian system, and, according to the same evidence (ibid.), Antiochus began to reign “the same month.” For the insertion of a date to mark the passage from the general introduction to the particular point at which the real story begins, compare Thucydides 2.2; Josephus, War 2.284; and Luke 3:1–2 (along with the next Note). 1:11. In those days. This is a typical way of opening a new scene (the chronological statement being required to explain why this story is being told here, since the new narrative does not flow out of the old one; so too at 2:1, 9:24, and 11:20). That is, having presented the Hellenistic kings in vv. 1–10, the author now turns to some other characters—who also will turn out to be villains. J. Goldstein (1976, 190–191), comparing Esth 1:1–2, which moves from “wayhî in the days of ” to “in those days,” suggests that we should read all of vv. 1–10 as “setting the scene” for the present verse, “the ‘after’ of 1:1 govern[ing] all the verbs through ‘became king’ in 1:10.” However, one cannot compare the procession from one verse to the next in Esther to the present case, and for the author of 1 Maccabees, the Hellenistic kings are not merely background for Judean villains. Rather, as the next Note shows, the author wants to draw a parallel between two sets of villains—who will then proceed to join up with each other, in v. 13, and the author’s heroes will have to fight both sorts of enemies in the course of the book. Cf. Luke 1–3: chapter 1 starts (at v. 5) a story with “ἐγένετο in the days of Herod” and tells how John was born; chapter 2 starts a story with “ἐγένετο in those days” and tells how a new character, Jesus, was born; and chapter 3, which opens as noted with a detailed date, has the two characters meet and the story begin. there emerged, ἐξῆλθον. The verb, which apparently represents yās.’û in Deut 13:13 (see below, the Note on wicked men), is the same as in v. 10. Thus it underscores the parallelism between the external persecutor and the homegrown renegades, as if to announce, here at the start of the story, that there are two main types of villains: the ones who “emerged out of ” them, and the ones who “emerged out of ” us. out of Israel, ἐξ Ισραηλ. The reference is to the people, not the country (which, in this book, is typically “Judea” or “the land of Judah”). Cf. below, the Note on v. 25, upon Israel, in all of their places. Typically the name is used with a positive valence, often in religious contexts, as opposed to the mundane “Judeans.” See, for example, its solemn usage at the end of chapter 1 and chapter 2. For 1 Maccabees, it is clear that ­villains

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like this “emerged out of Israel,” that is, departed from its ranks, whether because of conviction, opportunism, or fear; so too 2:16; 3:15; 6:21, 24; 7:5–7; 10:61. Compare m. Sanhedrin 10:1, which first announces that “all Israel(ites) have a share in the world to come” but then enumerates heretics who do not; that is, who are no longer part of “Israel.” wicked men. A clear allusion to the bənê bəliyya‘al of Deut 13:13–18, who make a similar speech and who (along with those who follow them) are to be utterly eradicated. For another case of this, see also Note on 10:61, pernicious men. The Greek here, υἰοὶ παράνομοι, is as in the Septuagint, just as παράνομος frequently renders bəliyya‘al, which usually, for good reason, is rendered generally as “evil,” not etymologically as “law-breaking.” Thus, for some examples, RSV and NRSV respectively offer “base fellows” and “scoundrels” for bəliyya‘al people at Deut 13:13, “worthless men” or “scoundrels” at 1 Sam 2:12, and “base” or “mean” for a bəliyya‘al thought at Deut 15:9; and the Einheitsübersetzung similarly offers, respectively, “niederträchtige Menschen,” “nichtsnutzige Menschen,” and again “niederträchtigem Herzen.” Hence, despite the view of Renaud (1961, 45–49) and others, who focus on the Greek here and also share a Pauline predisposition to think that, for Jews, law is the measure of all things, there is no real reason to think that the author, or even the translator, meant these villains were reprehensible specifically because they violated laws (or “the Law”). Cf. Introduction 5, at n. 35. The author makes no effort to identify the “wicked men” he attacks here. According to 2 Maccabees 4 (as already 2 Macc 1:7) the main mover was Jason, brother of the high priest Onias, but 1 Maccabees has no interest in Onias, Jason, or any other pre-Hasmonean high priests. Indeed, even when condemning Alcimus, at 7:5, it fails to report that he had previously been a high priest (as we learn from 2 Macc 14:3 and Josephus, Ant. 12.385 and 20.235) and states only that he wanted to be high priest; see VanderKam 2004, 226–232. Perhaps the author preferred totschweigen to mentioning earlier high priests, for no matter what he might have said about them, reference to them could raise the question whether it was legitimate for the Hasmoneans to supplant them. covenant. As Jaubert notes (1963, 313), in using διαθήκη for bərît, 1 Maccabees follows standard Septuagintal practice. But the fact that it could be used by villains required a terminological innovation—the addition of an adjective—regarding the covenant of the righteous; see below, the Note on v. 15, sacred covenant. the Gentiles who are around us, τῶν ἐθνῶν τῶν κύκλῳ ἡμῶν. This is a very common way in 1 Maccabees of referring to the Judeans’ neighbors (3:25; 5:1, 10, 38, 57; 12:53; cf. 12:13), and apart from here, in the mouth of villains, it always comes in the context of their aggression against the Judeans. They are wicked, and since they surround “us,” they are threatening; they seek to exterminate the Judeans when things are going well for them (5:1) or when things are going poorly for them (12:53), that is, they always do so (“on account of their hostility” [13:6]). Thus, from the outset, readers who are familiar with the story should realize that the Hellenizers were dead wrong. For since the day, ἀφ’ ἧς, sc. ἡμέρας, which is supplied by some witnesses, as at 9:27. we separated ourselves from them, ἐχωρίσθημεν ἀπ’ αὐτῶν. As is noted by Penna (1965, 162), it seems clear that this formulation echoes Jer 44:18, in which something similar is said by Jewish idolators who stubbornly resist Jeremiah’s remonstrations.

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visited by many troubles, εὗρεν ἡμᾶς κακὰ πολλά. Note the irony here: in fact, as readers know from v. 9, it was the Hellenistic kings themselves who were responsible for the troubles. Thus, here too, as with the “Gentiles who are around us” earlier in the verse, the author wants his readers to know from the very beginning that the villains have things backwards. The phrase “visited by troubles,” together with the need to explain why that happened, points to Deut 31:17, 21, but the author takes (here and also at 6:13) only the phrase, not the explanation supplied there, namely, that God hides his face from the Israelites (i.e., suspends his providential protection of them) because of their sins. This is a central motif of 2 Maccabees (see esp. 2 Macc 5:17, also D. R. Schwartz 2008, 262) but does not at all figure in 1 Maccabees. Cf. the Note on 12:53, and destroy mankind’s memory of them. 1:12. proposal found favor in their eyes. Here λόγος, Heb. dābār, denotes—as, for example, in Gen 41:37, Deut 1:23, Esth 1:21 and 2:4—both the “thing” that “was good in their eyes” and the “speech” that suggested it. 1:13. volunteered, προεθυμήθησάν. For this rendering, see especially LXX 1 Chr 29:5, 6, 9, 14, 17 (twice). customs of the Gentiles, τὰ δικαιώματα τῶν ἐθνῶν. In the Septuagint, δικαίωμα represents various Hebrew terms for law; see Renaud 1961, 40; Tov 1990, 83–97; and Spicq 1994, 1.343–344. Here, however, especially given the use of τὰ νόμιμα in the next verse (see the Note on v. 14, customs of the Gentiles), probably we should think of h.uqqôt ha-gôyim, which are of a status lesser than h.uqqîm (“laws”) and which come together with “walking in” in Lev 20:23 and 2 Kgs 17:8 (both of which are rendered by the RSV as “customs”); see also Lev 18:3, Jer 10:3, and Ezek 33:15. Similarly, note that below, in v. 49, τὰ δικαιώματα comes alongside “the Law,” apparently as a secondary category. But since the author is writing from a Jewish point of view, probably there he had mis.wōt in mind; see the Note on 2:68, the commandment of the Law. Jews would probably not speak of Gentile practices as mis.wōt. 1:14. they built a gymnasium. On this educational institution, so characteristic of the process of Hellenization inasmuch as it created “Greeks” by inculcating them with Greek culture, see Delorme 1960, and also, with regard to Jerusalem, Doran 1990 and 2001 and M. Stern 1991/92. In 2 Macc 4:12 too, as here, its foundation is taken to be, both in reality and symbolically, a central point in the agenda of the Hellenizers. customs of the Gentiles, τὰ νόμιμα τῶν ἐθνῶν. Apparently another rendering of h.uqqôt ha-gôyim; see the Note on v. 13, customs of the Gentiles. On νόμιμα see Renaud 1961, 40. As he notes, the use of νόμιμα for customs or practices of a lesser authority than νόμοι is common. See, for example, Philo, Hypothetica 7.6 (“unwritten practices, νόμιμα, and the νόμοι themselves”), and Josephus, Ant. 13.296–297, where, when joining up with the Sadducees, John Hyrcanus is said to have abrogated the νόμιμα that were not part of the written νόμοι. 1:15. made themselves foreskins. This is often taken to be a reference to epispasm, an operation that undoes circumcision; so, for example, Hall 1988 (73: “The practice of epispasm under Jason and Menelaus is attested unequivocally in only one place”— this verse) and Schäfer 1999 (125: “1 Maccabees, which clearly refers to epispasmos”). However, apart from this verse it seems that all the other evidence for such operations is much later; as Hall notes (1988, 76), after surveying all the evidence, the evidence (i.e., this verse alone) pertaining to the days of Jason (i.e., the Jerusalem Hellenizers in

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the 170s and 160s) “attest[s] the practice of epispasm among Jews 150 years earlier than would otherwise be known.” That being the case, we might well be skeptical about the conclusion that this verse in fact refers to epispasm. It seems likelier that it means only that the Hellenizers abstained from circumcising their children; see especially 1:48 and 2:46 (where nothing is said of restoring the circumcision of those who had undone it by epispasm). Alternatively, this text might be making a bitter joke, as if to say the Hellenizers tried to do something that was impossible, à la pigs flying. For this notion, compare especially Doran 1990, 107–108, who, after emphasizing as above the lack of contemporary evidence for epispasm, suggests instead that the author “has wrought a new metaphor in response to the Greeks’ pride in their uncircumcision, a metaphor which mocks the aping of Greek ways.” For joking about such things, compare Spartianus’s claim, with regard to a Roman prohibition of circumcision, that the Jews rebelled against Hadrian because he forbade them to mutilate themselves (Scriptores Historiae Augustae, Hadrian 14.2 [GLAJJ, no. 511]; see also Isaac 1996, 112–113). For circumcision as a prime identity marker of Jews in the Hasmonean period, see S. J. D. Cohen 1999, 39–40, along with Josephus, Ant. 13.257–258 (on the Idumeans) and 13.318–319 (on the Itureans); see also, for example, Gal 2:8–9 and m. Nedarim 3:10. deviating from the sacred covenant, ἀπέστησαν ἀπὸ διαθήκης ἁγίας. On the verb, see the Note on 2:15, apostasy. This general phrasing, just as the parallel ‘ōzbê bərît qōdeš at Dan 11:30, means they abandoned Jewish practice altogether; see, for example, 2:27, where “Law” and “covenant” go hand in hand and there is no particular reference to circumcision. Nevertheless, the juxtaposition of circumcision and covenant in the present verse, as also in v. 62 (see the Note on v. 63, the sacred covenant), suggests that the author took circumcision to be the central sign of the covenant (as in Gen 17:9–14, Sir 44:20) and that therefore their abandonment of it was tantamount to the abandonment of Judaism in general and a statement of their desire to do just that. Jaubert notes (1963, 82) that the phrase “sacred covenant” (bərît qōdeš) does not appear before the Hasmonean period, where we find it in Daniel (11:28, 30) and twice in the present chapter (here and v. 63). For circumcision as “the covenant” par excellence in rabbinic literature, see S. J. D. Cohen 2007, 38–41. yoking themselves to the Gentiles, ἐζευγίσθησαν τοῖς ἔθνεσι. Given the explicit allusions at 2:24, 26 to the story of Phinehas, this must be taken as a comparison of these villains to those of Num 25:3, 5, who “yoked themselves” (wayyis.s.āmed, hanis.mādîm) to Ba‘al Pe‘or; the verb indicates a self-alignment that also entails subjugation (cf. the use of ζυγός = “yoke” below at 8:18, 31 and 13:41). While the Septuagint translates the verbs in those verses with another Greek one (τελεῖν), it frequently uses ζεῦγος for .semed (e.g., Judg 19:3, 10—“yoked pair of donkeys”); as frequently in this book, biblical allusions can be seen only through the Hebrew, not the Septuagint. Cf. Introduction 4, n. 26. For similar usage, note 2 Cor 6:14. sold themselves to the doing of evil, ἐπράσθησαν τοῦ ποιῆσαι τὸ πονηρόν, Heb. wαyyitmakkərû la‘ăśôt hāra‘, as in 2 Kgs 17:17 and 1 Kgs 21:20, 25—which apply, respectively, to the wicked Israelites of the northern kingdom in general or to one of their notoriously villainous kings, Ahab in particular. Typically for 1 Maccabees, it does not repeat the clarification in those verses that the evil was “before God”; see Introduction 4B. Concerning ἐπράσθησαν, note also that, as in those cases and despite the use of

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the passive in Greek, the author meant to condemn the villains for selling themselves (not being sold by others); cf. the Note on 3:2, cleaved. As for the verb used: it has been noted that sometimes it “does not denote a ‘literal sale’ but functions as a euphemism for being betrayed or ruined” (Byron 2003, 224)—in this case, by oneself.

Comments This section serves two major functions. First, it locates the story in time and, particularly, coordinates it with biblical history. This was necessary because nothing in biblical history prepares readers for a confrontation with a western power: all of the ancient powers that figure in biblical history were oriental. Moreover, the last king mentioned in the Hebrew Bible is “Darius the Persian” (Neh 12:22 [see also Hag 1:1, 15]; the question, which of the three kings named Darius of whom we know, need not have concerned ancient Judean readers, who may not have been aware that there had been more than one; see Introduction 4, n. 28). Hence, by opening with Alexander’s defeat of Darius, the writer both opens his story at a point with which many readers would have been familiar and also explains how it happened that the orientation of his story would be, contrary to biblical precedent, toward the West. The other function of this opening section is to make it clear that the work will deal with two types of villains: Hellenistic kings and Judean “renegades”; the parallel usage of “emerged out of ” in vv. 10–11 makes this point very demonstratively. The former are presented, beginning with Alexander, as rapacious, arrogant, and cruel (note “slaughter” in 1:2), and a century and a half of their rule is summarized as filling the world with evil (1:9), so it is only natural that Antiochus Epiphanes, a descendant of such predecessors, will be evil. On that background, the Judean renegades are presented as having a totally untenable program: the notion that merging with the other nations might be beneficial contradicts all that we have heard about the leaders of those nations (just as readers who are familiar with the story, which frequently portrays “the Gentiles who are around us” as hostile and wicked, will recognize this part of the Hellenizers’ program as all the more ludicrous, were it a laughing matter). Moreover, the language used of them in v. 11 builds clearly on that of Deut 13:6, 13, and that chapter goes on to mandate the killing of such people. Note the chasm between this opening of 1 Maccabees and that of the story of 2 Maccabees. The latter opens at 3:1–3 (after the opening chapters of epistles and the author’s preface) with a statement about how benevolent Hellenistic kings were, illustrated by how generous and respectful they were toward the Temple of Jerusalem. This is a fundamental distinction between a diasporic work, as is 2 Maccabees, which assumes foreign rule, and 1 Maccabees, which is meant to justify the rise of a native dynasty that put an end to foreign rule. It has been suspected that vv. 11–15 are based on a source different from the one that supplied the basic story (see Borchardt 2014, 8–9). There are two main reasons for this: (1) the story interrupts the otherwise smooth passage between v. 10 and v. 16, and (2) of the materials presented in this section, the υἱοὶ παράνομοι do not figure again in chapter 1 and the gymnasium does not figure again in the entire book. However, it is difficult to agree that this report merely “interrupts” the story of Antiochus Epiphanes, for it will be important for the author to claim that such Judean villains as are described

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here collaborated with the Seleucid villains later in the story as well (v. 52; 6:21, 24; 7:5–7; 10:61; 11:21). Moreover, the space the author devotes here to Judean villains gives time, as it were, for Antiochus Epiphanes to move from initially “emerging” (v. 10) to stabilizing his kingdom (v. 16); such things take time. Compare, for example, the way chapter 5 fills up the time it takes for news of Lysias’s defeat in chapter 4 to reach Antiochus in Persia in chapter 6; the way Judas’s dealings with Rome in chapter 8 fill up the time it takes for news of Nicanor’s defeat in chapter 7 to make its way to Demetrius in chapter 9; the way that Jonathan’s dealings with Sparta (12:1–23) fill up the time between Jonathan’s defeat of Demetrius II at the end of chapter 11 and Demetrius’s resumption of hostilities; and the way the document in 15:15–24 allows the siege of Dor to go on for a long time. Compare Josephus, J.W. 3.506–521, where the geographical digression fills up, as it were, the time needed to build boats (see Villalba 1986, 171), and Ant. 18.11–25, where the discussion of Jewish sects fills up, as it were, the time required to execute the Roman assessment of property in Judea. While the “filler” material in such cases might come from discrete sources, it might not, and the hypothesis that it did does not seem to solve any real problem in the present case. See Introduction 3, at n. 17.

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Judea and Judaism Under Antiochus Epiphanes (1:16–64)

16 1 When Antiochus’s kingdom was securely established, he undertook to rule as king of Egypt too, so as to be king of both kingdoms. 17So he invaded Egypt with a strong army, including chariots and elephants, and with a great fleet. 18He went to war against King Ptolemy of Egypt, and Ptolemy was defeated by him and fled; many fell, mortally wounded. 19And he took the fortified cities of the land of Egypt, and despoiled the land of Egypt. 20 Then Antiochus turned back after smiting Egypt, in the 143rd year, and came up against Israel and Jerusalem with a strong army. 21He invaded the Temple arrogantly and took the golden altar and the candelabrum and all its appurtenances, 22and the Table of the Presence and the libation cups and the bowls and the golden censers and the curtain; and the crowns and the golden decoration upon the façade of the sanctuary—he stripped them all off. 23And he took the silver and the gold and the precious vessels, and he took the hidden treasures that he found. 24After taking it all he departed for his own land; he worked pollution and spoke with great arrogance. 25And there came great mourning upon Israel, in all of their places.

And rulers and elders groaned, Virgins and young men became weak, And the beauty of women was transformed. 27 Every bridegroom raised a lament, And she who sits in a bridal chamber was in mourning. 28 The land turned over upon its inhabitants, And all the house of Jacob wore shame. 26

Two years later, the king sent a taskmaster to the cities of Judah, and he came to Jerusalem with a strong army. 30He spoke to them peaceful words, with guile, and they entrusted themselves unto him—but then he fell upon the city suddenly, smote it with a heavy blow, and wiped out numerous people of Israel. 31He despoiled the city and burnt it, and destroyed its houses and its walls roundabout. 32And they took the women

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and children captive, and took possession of the cattle. 33And they built the city of David with a great and strong wall, and strong towers, and it became a citadel for them. 34 He settled there a sinful people, wicked men, and they made themselves strong there: 35 they stored up weapons and provisions, and after collecting the spoils of Jerusalem they deposited (them) there and became a great snare. And it became an ambush to the Temple, and a villainous adversary to Israel incessantly. 37 And they spilled innocent blood around the Temple, and defiled the Temple. 38 The residents of Jerusalem fled on their account, it became an abode of foreigners, it became foreign to its offspring, and its children abandoned it. 39 Its Temple was desolated like a desert, its festivals turned into mourning; its Sabbaths, into disgrace; its honor, into naught. 36

As much as it was glorious (previously, now) it was filled with disgrace, and its grandeur turned into mourning. 41 Then the king wrote to his entire kingdom, that all should become one people, 42 and that each should abandon his own customs. And all the Gentiles acquiesced to do according to the word of the king. 43And many from Israel (too) agreed to follow his religion, and they sacrificed to the abominations and desecrated the Sabbath. 44And the king sent letters to Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, via messengers, (ordering them) to follow customs foreign to the land: 40

to prevent the offering of whole-offerings and sacrifices and libations in the sanctuary, to desecrate Sabbaths and festivals, 46 to defile the Temple and the holy things, 47 to build pagan altars and sacred precincts and contemptible shrines, to sacrifice pigs and impure cattle, 48 to leave their sons uncircumcised, to defile themselves with all sorts of impurity and defilement— 45

so as to forget the Law and change all the ordinances. 50And anyone who would not do according to the king’s word was to be killed. 51 He wrote all these things to all of his kingdom, and appointed supervisors for the entire people and ordered the cities of Judah to offer sacrifices in each and every city. 52 And many from among the people joined up with them, everyone who abandoned the Law, and they did works of wickedness in the land 53and forced Israel into hidingplaces in all of their places of refuge. 54 On the fifteenth day of Kislev in the 145th year he built an abomination of desolation on the altar, and they built pagan altars in the cities of Judah roundabout 55 and offered up sacrifices at the doors of their houses and in the streets. 56They tore up and burnt the books of the Law that they found, 57and wherever they found someone with a book of the covenant, or if anyone insisted on (observing) the Law, the royal judgment killed him. 58Employing their power, month after month they did this to whomsoever of Israel they found in the cities, 59and on the twenty-fifth day of each month they sacrificed upon the pagan altar, which was upon the altar. 60And they killed, 49

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in conformance with the edict, those women who had circumcised their sons: 61they hanged the babies from their necks, (and also killed) their families and those who circumcised them. 62 But many in Israel remained strong and, despite their suffering, abstained from eating impure things. 63And they undertook to die, so as not to be defiled by foods and not to desecrate the sacred covenant—and they died. 64And there was a very great wrath upon Israel.

Notes 1:16. When Antiochus’s kingdom was securely established, καὶ ἡτοιμάσθη ἡ βασιλεία, Heb. wattikkôn ha-malkût, as in 1 Sam 20:31, 1 Kgs 2:12, 2 Chr 12:1. of both kingdoms. So too at 11:13. The same Judean point of view, according to which only two Hellenistic kingdoms were relevant, recurs in Daniel 11, which relates in some detail to “the king of the north” and “the king of the south.” Porphyry, in his commentary on Dan 11:21f. (GLAJJ, no. 464n), reports that in fact Antiochus did proclaim himself king of Egypt during this campaign—a notice that is defended in detail, in part on the basis of Egyptian sources, by Bernhardt 2017, 200–203. 1:17. So he invaded Egypt, early in 169 BCE, taking advantage of Rome being occupied in the Third Macedonian War. Antiochus’s war to conquer Egypt, known as the Sixth Syrian War and which achieved success, but only fleetingly, was spread over two years, as is noted in Dan 11:25–29. The first season ended with Antiochus largely in control of Egypt, apart from Alexandria; see below, the Note on v. 19, And he took the fortified cities . . . and despoiled. The following spring, 168, Antiochus resumed his campaign and completed the conquest of Egypt, only to be thrown out by a famously humiliating Roman ultimatum in June or July, after the Romans successfully concluded their war with a decisive victory over Perseus of Macedonia at Pydna. On Antiochus’s Egyptian campaigns, see Will 1979–1982, 2.311–325; Huß 2001, 544–561; Mittag 2006, 159–181, 209–224; and Bernhardt 2017, 193–215. The campaign mentioned here, which is portrayed as the opening of the war and is dated in v. 19 to 143 SE (which is 170/169 in the Macedonian reckoning), seems to be the first of the two; see below, the first Note on v. 20, turned back after smiting Egypt, in the 143rd year. Thus it is apparently to be distinguished from the one mentioned in 2 Macc 5:1, which is explicitly defined as the “second” one, the one of spring 168 (cf. D. R. Schwartz 2001 and D. R. Schwartz 2008, 533–536). This means that, contrary to the assumption of various scholars, there is no need to supplement the present report with details from that one; see below, the Note on v. 24, he worked pollution. 1:18. King Ptolemy of Egypt. There were at the time two competing kings, the brothers Ptolemy Philometor and Ptolemy Euergetes (= Physcon), but the provincial author of 1 Maccabees had no interest in mentioning such details—no more than in identifying which city is meant at 7:1 or which Parthian king is meant at 14:2. Cf. the Note on 10:51, Ptolemy. defeated by him, ἐνετράπη . . . ἀπὸ προσώπου αὐτοῦ, lit. “defeated from his face [= from before him].” So too at 6:6. For the Hebrew, wayyikkānaʿ mippānāyw (later, as Natan Evron notes, mille˘pānāyw), see Judg 11:33, 2 Kgs 22:19, 2 Chr 34:27, and 2 Chr 36:12.

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many fell, mortally wounded, καὶ ἔπεσαν τραυματίαι πολλοί. A standard phrase in this book, recurring at 3:11; 8:10; 9:17, 40; and 16:8. In the Septuagint, τραυματίας is the usual translation for h.ālāl; for that usage, of people killed (and not merely wounded), LSJ (1811, s.v.) gives only Septuagintal evidence. See also Muraoka 2009, 685. 1:19. And he took the fortified cities . . . and despoiled. On Antiochus’s initial success in Egypt, including his conquest of most of Egypt (apart from Alexandria) in the first campaign (170/169 BCE), see Bernhardt 2017, 198–205. However, after first besieging that capital, Antiochus broke the siege off and returned to Syria in the autumn of 169; Will (1979–1982, 2.317) suspects that that was due to unrest in Judea, while Huß (2001, 555) simply admits ignorance (“Die Gründe liegen im Dunkeln”). For ancient Judean knowledge of Antiochus’s initial success, see Dan 11:24 and, according to Broshi and Eshel 1997, 4Q248, lines 2–6; for doubts about the latter, see Collins 1998. Note also the Third Sibylline Oracle, 611–615 (on which, see Buttenwerf 2003, 265, who cites the doubts of Gruen 1998, 274–275). 1:20. turned back after smiting Egypt, in the 143rd year. Both the reference to Antiochus as having been successful and the date (which on either version of the SE is too early to refer to Antiochus’s departure from Egypt after his humiliation by Rome and expulsion from Egypt in the summer of 168) confirm that the reference is to his return after his first campaign to Egypt. and came up against Israel and Jerusalem. The verb (ἀνέβη) reflects the biblical ‘ālâ, which, with regard to Jerusalem, reflects both the geographical facts and the city’s sanctity. Cf., for example, 7:33 and 13:2; LXX Gen 22:2 (“to the land of Moriah” = εἰς τὴν γῆν τὴν ὑψηλήν); Let. Aris. 83–84; Acts 11:2; Gal 2:1; Philo, Spec. 1.73; Danker 2000, 58; and, in general, Eliav 2005. 1:21. invaded . . . took, εἰσῆλθεν . . . ἔλαβε, as in v. 17a and v. 19b. The author offers no explanation, so all we know is that Antiochus wanted to enrich himself; he robbed the Temple “because that’s where the money was.” Indeed, ancient writers frequently refer to temple robbery by Antiochus; see Polybius 30.26.9 and 31.9; 2 Macc 1:14 and 9:2; Josephus, Ag. Ap. 2.84 and Ant. 12.358–359; also D. R. Schwartz 2008, 149. Note especially that the author has given us no indication that Antiochus’s robbery of the Temple was punitive. Indeed, it appears that, whatever tensions were in the air, rebellion broke out only a year later, after Antiochus’s humiliation in Egypt (see Introduction 7B). But 1 Maccabees has no difficulty with the conclusion that Antiochus was simply wicked; he was a true descendant of his royal ancestors (see vv. 9–10). Contrast 2 Macc 5:11, which, in good diasporic fashion, presents Antiochus’s attack on Jerusalem (which is probably not the one described here) as extraordinary and requiring an explanation: it was a result of misunderstanding (Antiochus mistakenly took a report of inner-Judean fighting, which was already over, as if it testified to an anti-Seleucid revolt). Temple, τὸ ἁγίασμα. For this as “temple” in general (or “sacred area”), see, for example, below, v. 37 and 3:45, cited by Joüon 1935, 331, n. 4. This general statement is followed in the next verse by details that all pertain to items within the sanctuary itself, which is therefore mentioned specifically. 1:22. Table of the Presence, τὴν τράπεζαν τῆς προθέσεως. This is the table on which the “showbread” was displayed; see Exod 25:30; Lev 24:5–9; 1 Kgs 7:48; Jose-

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phus, Ant. 3.139–143 and J.W. 5.216–217. As here, so too elsewhere, including 4:49 (the story of its restoration), it is frequently mentioned alongside the candelabrum; see, for example, Lev 24:1–9; 2 Chr 13:11; 2 Macc 1:8 and 10:3; and Josephus, J.W. 5.216. Cf. the Note on 4:50, offered up incense upon the altar and lit the lights. the crowns and the golden decoration upon the façade of the sanctuary, τοὺς στεφάνους καὶ τὸν κόσμον τὸν χρυσοῦν τὸν κατὰ πρόσωπον τοῦ ναοῦ. The wording here is very close to that at 4:57, which describes the restoration of the sanctuary. For ναός = hêkāl, the sanctuary, namely, the central building of the Temple complex, see the Note on 4:49, into the sanctuary. For the gold on its façade, see 1 Kgs 6:20–22; Josephus, J.W. 5.210; and m. Middot 4:1 (“all the House was overlaid with gold, save only behind the doors”). he stripped, καὶ ἐλέπισε. As in LXX Gen 30:37–38 (Heb. ps.l [RSV: “peeled”]). Rabban (1962, 372) prefers to restore wayqas.s.ēs. (“cut into pieces”?), as in 2 Kgs 24:13 and 2 Chr 28:24, where the context is the same as here. 1:23. precious vessels, τὰ σκεύη τὰ ἐπιθυμητά, Heb. kəlê ha-h.emdâ. Something typically taken by plunderers, be they Hellenistic kings (Dan 11:8) or others (Jer 25:34, Hos 13:15, Nah 2:9). 1:24. he worked pollution. The Greek here, ἐποίησε φονοκτονίαν, is usually taken to refer to a massacre; so, for example, the NRSV (“shed much blood”), Abel (“ayant répandu le sang”) and Tilly (“richtete ein Blutbad an”). This conforms to the etymological meaning of the noun. However, there is no other claim here that Antiochus killed anyone on this visit to Jerusalem; and had the author meant that the king perpetrated a massacre, he probably would have mentioned it before robbery of the Temple. Moreover, we would certainly not expect to hear about it after he left Jerusalem. (For some attempts to evade this problem, whether by emending the Greek text or by playing with the translation [changing the order or tenses, adding appropriate temporal prepositions or other actors], see D. R. Schwartz 2001, 56.) Nor is it justified to posit a reference to a massacre here on the basis of the one reported at 2 Macc 5:13, for, as noted above (Note on v. 17, and he invaded Egypt), that apparently refers to a later visit of the king to Jerusalem; note that, as Tcherikover (1959, 186 and 473–474, n. 20) emphasizes, Dan 11:28, 30–31 records that Antiochus visited Jerusalem and did something nasty there after both of his campaigns, that is, in both 169 and 168. Moreover, while the Greek noun appears only here in the Septuagint (and nowhere else in pre-Christian Greek literature), the verb φονοκτονέω appears in the Septuagint (LXX Num 35:33, twice; Ps 105 [MT 106]:38) for the Hebrew root H . NP. This suggests we render this phrase as a summary statement that Antiochus “did h.ōnep,” which amounts to a comparison of him to the nābāl (foolish/wicked villain) of Isa 32:6. This suggestion is strongly bolstered by the fact that the present verse, as Isa 32:6, goes on to complain about his arrogant speech. Interestingly, characterization of Antiochus as a nābāl is easily paralleled by the focus of 2 Maccabees on Deuteronomy 32 as the explanation for the Jews’ history during this period: the Jews suffer, because of their sins, at the hands of a nābāl (Deut 32:21). For this focus, see D. R. Schwartz 2008, 21–22. But while 1 Maccabees seems to share the characterization of Antiochus as a nābāl, it has no interest in the notion, which is of great interest for 2 Maccabees, that it was any fault of the Judeans that moved God “to hide his face” (Deut 32:20//2 Macc 5:17) and thereby let the nābāl succeed. Cf. the Note on 12:53, and destroy mankind’s memory of them.

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1:25. upon Israel, in all of their places, ἐπὶ Ισραηλ ἐν παντὶ τόπῳ αὐτῶν. Here, as “their” shows, is a clear example of “Israel” referring to the people, not the land. So too, for example, above, v. 11, and below, vv. 43, 53, 62. Cf. the Note on 2:46, within the borders of Israel. 1:26. Virgins and young men, Heb. bətûlôt ûbah.ûrîm, a common collocation, as in Ps 148:12, including accounts of suffering, such as Deut 32:25 and Amos 8:13. Note, concerning the latter, that Amos 8:10 (with its reference to the invasion by “the northerner”) is echoed in v. 39 and again at 9:41, also that became weak, ἠσθένησαν, might well be the author’s way of reflecting “faint” in Amos 8:13. 1:27. bridegroom . . . lament, / And she who sits in a bridal chamber . . . mourning. Compare Joel 2:16, where the wording is different but the context is suffering under the hand of “the northerner” (v. 20). For that reference being applied to Antiochus Epiphanes, see the Note on 3:51, your priests in mourning. 1:28. The land turned over upon its inhabitants, cf. 9:24b. wore shame, ἐνεδύσατο αἰσχύνην, Heb. lābšâ bōšet, as Ps 35:26 and Job 8:22. Contrast 14:9 and, for example, Isa 59:17 and Ps 132:9. 1:29. Two years later, 168 BCE. taskmaster, ἄρχοντα φορολογίας, lit. “tribute-official.” True, we may surmise that Antiochus imposed serious burdens in Judea, as elsewhere; on this, along with evidence for Seleucid minting at the time in Jerusalem, see especially Barag 2002. But nothing in the present narrative points to any forced labor or taxation. I have translated on the assumption that—despite the fact that LXX Exod 1:11 reads differently—the original Hebrew of 1 Maccabees read śar ha-missîm, implicitly comparing Antiochus to the wicked Pharaoh; see Introduction 4, n. 26. The fact that, according to 2 Macc 5:24, the official, Apollonius, commanded Mysian soldiers makes it all the easier to think that hostile Judeans perverted his name into “commander of the missîm,” that is, taskmaster. This seems to me likelier than another common explanation (offered, for example, by Wellhausen 1905, 161, and Abel 1949, 15), namely, that the Greek here is merely a mistaken translation of the unvocalized consonantal text HMSYM, vocalized something like ha-musîm, which actually meant “the Mysians.” the cities of Judah, τὰς πόλεις Ἰούδα. Although no Greek would admit that there was any polis in Judea apart from Jerusalem (and even that only beginning right at this time, at the earliest, if that is what is indicated by 2 Macc 4:9; see D. R. Schwartz 2008, 530–532), Hebrew usage had no problem with using ‘îr for a village; cf. the Notes on 2:15, city of Modiin; on 10:84, Azotus and the cities around it; also 6:49, 9:62, and 14:17. For a table that presents ancient Hebrew terminology for different sizes of settlements, including the usage of ‘îr for settlements of moderate size, see Bendavid 1967, 181–182. The collocation “cities of Judah” is quite common in the Bible (e.g., 2 Sam 2:1, 2 Kgs 18:13, Isa 36:1) and recurs below as well (vv. 29, 44, 51, 54; 3:8). 1:30. and they entrusted themselves unto him, καὶ ἐνεπίστευσαν αὐτῷ. On the verb, see Muraoka 2009, 228. Just as in the other two passages in which it appears (7:16 and 12:46), the trust turns out to have been naïvely misplaced. From the outset, the book makes it clear that as a rule only naïve fools should believe Gentiles, apart from far-off foils like Romans and Spartans. Cf. the Note on 11:2, peaceful words.

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1:31. and destroyed . . . its walls roundabout. For what little is known about the walls of Jerusalem at the time, see Geva 2015, 60–62; also Ariel 2019a, 27–28. 1:32. women . . . children . . . cattle. For the same ancient point of view, see, for example, 2:30; 5:13, 23; 2 Macc 12:21; and the section “Shortage of Manpower, Use of Women, Children, and Other Animals” in Bickerman and Smith 1976, 222–224; also Note on 9:35, baggage. took possession, ἐκληρονόμησαν. This is a clear Hebraism, usual in the Septuagint, reflecting the biblical use of yāraš (“inherit”) in the sense of “conquered” or “took over.” See also 2:10, 57, along with Muraoka 2009, 400, and Wazana 2014, 31– 32, n. 28. 1:33. city of David, south of the Temple Mount; see David Tarler and Jane M. Cahill, ABD 2:52–67. a citadel, ἄκραν, usually referred to as the Akra. Its location is uncertain and has been discussed intensively: “It seems that there is no part of the city of which the name cannot be found in the list of suggested locations” (Ben-Ami and Tchekhanovets 2015, 321). For a map of suggestions all around ancient Jerusalem, see Tsafrir 1975, 504. This situation reflects both the ambiguous and incomplete nature of the archaeological findings and the problem raised by Josephus’s repeated statements that originally the Akra was higher than the Temple (Ant. 12.252, 362; 13.215–217; J.W. 5.139)—statements that would exclude the city of David (south of the Temple), which would otherwise be the obvious location according to passages such as the present one. For reviews of the opinions and discussion, see Tsafrir 1975; Bar-Kochva 1989, 445–465; and Williams 2001, 175–177—who all tend to place it in the city of David. Indeed, excavations of a wall and a glacis of the second century BCE in the Givati Parking Lot, just south of the present wall of the Old City to the east of the Dung Gate, have been taken to confirm that; see Ben-Ami and Tchekhanovets 2015. 1:34. a sinful people, wicked men, ἔθνος ἁμαρτωλόν, ἄνδρας παρανόμους. Despite the language that literally refers to “sinful” and “law-violating” people, the overall definition of the residents here as members of a “people” seems to denote them as nonJudeans; so too 3:45 emphasizes the foreign identity (υἱοὶ ἀλλογενῶν . . . ἔθνεσι) of the residents of the Akra. Contrast 2:44, 48, where the reference seems to be to wicked Judeans, who are not defined as members of a different “people.” Other passages, however, will indicate that those core occupants, the Seleucid garrison, were joined in the course of time by various Judeans; see 4:2; 6:18; and especially Sievers 1994, 198–202. 1:35. a great snare, μεγάλην παγίδα, as in 5:4. In biblical texts, môqēš denotes hostility; see, for example, Exod 10:7 and Josh 23:13. Sometimes the nuance is of a hostile enemy who is seductive (so, e.g., at Deut 7:16, Judg 8:27, CD 4:14–19); this might be the case here too. 1:36. ambush to the Temple, to which it was adjacent. Cf. 6:18. 1:37. the Temple . . . the Temple, τοῦ ἁγιάσματος . . . τὸ ἁγίασμα. Cf. above, the Note on v. 21, Temple. 1:38. an abode of foreigners, κατοικία ἀλλοτρίων. One might be tempted to render the first noun “colony” (so J. Goldstein 1976, 220; Tilly 2015, 77) and to see here specifically a reference to a military colony; see especially Tcherikover 1959, 189–190. However, even in Greek, κατοικία need have no such specific nuance (see Walbank

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1957–1979, 1.605), and the Hebrew môšāb, which was most probably the original term here (as is shown overwhelmingly by Septuagintal usage), means no more than “abode,” “place of residence.” to its offspring, τοῖς γενήμασιν αὐτῆς. In the Septuagint, γέν(ν)ημα usually refers to agricultural produce, as below at 11:34 and 14:8. In the present poetic context, however, as also in that at 3:45, it seems to refer to the city’s natives, probably yəlûdêhā, as in Sir 10:18 (“Pride was not created for men, nor fierce anger for those born of women”), where γεννήμασιν γυναικῶν represents the Hebrew lîlûd ’iššâ. Cf. especially Danker 2000, 194, s.v. γέννημα. 1:39. Temple was desolated, ἠρημώθη, Heb. šāmēm. A common collocation, as below, 4:38. Cf. 2:12; also, for example, Lam 5:18, Lev 26:31, Dan 9:17, 4QFlorilegium 1:5, Matt 23:38, y. H . agigah 78a, etc. its festivals turned into mourning. Cf. Amos 8:10, which is also echoed below, at 9:41. For use of Amos 8 in this chapter, see the Note on 1:26, Virgins and young men. its Sabbaths, τὰ σάββατα. This is the usual Septuagintal designation for the Sabbath. Apparently it derives from the Aramaic šabbətâ’, just as, for example, the Aramaic pash.â’ served as the Greek term for Passover (Heb. pesah.), for example in LXX Exod 12:11 and Deut 16:1. But although šabbətâ’ is in the singular, the form of the transliteration (-ta) was naturally received in Greek as that of neuter plural, and so the word was treated, as here, and that extended to the genitive as well: ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ τῶν σαββάτων (e.g., LXX Num 28:9, as also below, 2:32, 34, 41; 9:34, 43). See Pelletier 1972 and Pelletier 1975, 221–224. 1:40. disgrace . . . mourning. By repeating the terms of v. 39, this verse completes this poetic section. 1:41. wrote to his entire kingdom, ἔγραψεν . . . πάσῃ τῇ βασιλείᾳ αὐτου. The same words recur in v. 51, thus defining a unit that begins with a general statement, follows it with details, and then summarizes. Cf. below, the Note on v. 43, And many from Israel (too) agreed. Historically, however, one may well doubt that Antiochus really wrote to his entire kingdom. The statement that he did probably derives only from the logic that the author next ascribes to Antiochus: since he wanted to unify his entire kingdom, “that all should become one people,” of course he had to write to his entire kingdom. In fact, however, ascription of that motivation to the king is not convincing. Rather, it seems we should understand the king’s actions as his response to incipient revolt in Judea; see Introduction 7, at n. 11. that all should become one people. For this Hebraic formulation (hāyâ l . . . ), see Introduction 5, n. 55. Readers are probably expected to recognize an allusion to the Shechemites of Gen 34:16, 22—and the way Jews liked to tell that story, the Shechemites were of course the villains. See, for example, Jdt 9:2, Jubilees 30, Joseph and Asenath 23, Testament of Levi 5–6. For Jews’ concern with intermarriage and its biblical precedents, see also van Unnik 1974; Himmelfarb 1999; and S. J. D. Cohen 1999, especially 241–262. 1:42. acquiesced, ἐπεδέξαντο. For this sense, as also in 9:31, 14:47, etc., see Muraoka 2009, 271. 1:43. And many from Israel (too) agreed. It is important for the author to underscore that “many” Judeans chose one or the other wrong course: many treasonously allied themselves with the Greeks (v. 11) or willingly acquiesced to the decrees against

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Judaism (here and v. 52; also 2:16), just as “many” (v. 62) avoided treason but had no better response than to die. Thus, just as much as the repeated references later in the book to the Seleucids’ greater numbers, these statements too underline just how exceptional the Hasmoneans were, insofar as they chose a path that was both honorable and effective and managed to be victorious against the odds. Borchardt (2014, 49–51) has suggested that this verse is based on a source different from the rest of the narrative here, since (1) according to the main narrative here the news of Antiochus’s decrees arrived in Judea only later (v. 44) so it makes no sense to report, already here, that “many” willingly obeyed them; and (2) more or less the same report is made in v. 52, so it is superfluous here. As concerning vv. 11–15, however (see the Comments on 1:1–15), so too here I find it difficult to see any real problem that requires such a hypothesis. Rather, v. 41 reports that the king wrote to the entire kingdom, apparently including Judea, and just as that is followed by a general statement about Gentiles who acquiesced (v. 42), so too is it followed in the present verse by such a general statement about Judeans. It is understandable, given the focus of this work, that the author then goes on to give details about the latter—about the specifics of the way the king tried to make his decrees known and to enforce them, along with the details of the decrees, something summarized again in v. 51 as what the king had written (as reported at the outset, in v. 41) to “all of his kingdom.” to follow his religion. See the Note on 2:22, our religion. abominations, εἰδώλοις, as in 3:48 and 13:47, always in the plural; contrast 5:68, where γλυπτός is used. The latter is unambiguously used for “idol” (pesel) in the Septuagint, often and almost without exception. In contrast, εἴδωλον represents a large number of Hebrew words in the Septuagint, and pesel only a few times, and one may suspect that one of them, gillûlîm (so in LXX Lev 26:30; Deut 29:17; 2 Kgs 17:12; 21:11, 21; 23:24; also frequently in Ezekiel), underlies the present text; it too always appears in the plural, and it is less specific than “idols.” It can denote both an idol and the being worshipped; perhaps it also was used to refer to figurines, which were very common among the Judeans’ neighbors (see, e.g., Ehrlich 2014) but are usually not found at Judean sites (as Oren Tal kindly told me). There seems to be no ancient Hebrew word that denoted them in particular, so this would be another reason to use some general invective. Thus, although the RSV regularly translates “idols,” the NJPS moved to the more nebulous “fetishes.” Even that, however, seems to be too specific; lately Alter (2019, 1.718, on Deut 29:16) has used “foulnesses,” which, although hardly English, seems to point in the right direction (see also Alter 2019, 2.599, on 2 Kgs 21:11). So does the Septuagint’s use of βδέλυγμα (which usually renders šeqes. or šiqqûs., or tô‘ēbâ, i.e., words regularly translated as “abomination”) for gillûlîm at 1 Kgs 21:26 (LXX 3 Kgdms 20:26) and in some texts of Ezek 30:13. As Preuss (1978, 2) noted concerning gillûlîm, “in this unexplained word, which is intended to evoke negative and derisive associations, we have rather an artificially created and cacophonous term of abuse.” It is this abusiveness—pointed up by the frequent appearance of the word in parallel with ’e˘lîlîm and šiqqûs.îm—that seems to be the word’s main content. Indeed, in more or less contemporary usage in Qumran the word typically refers to impurity: thus, at 1QS 4:5, where Vermes (1995, 74) and others translate kol gillûlê niddâ as “all unclean idols,” Gaster’s “all the taint of filth” (1976, 49) fits the context better; so too at CD 20:9, where Vermes (1995, 104) renders “set idols upon their hearts,” I prefer “put

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abominations upon their heart” (D. R. Schwartz and Baumgarten 1995, 35). Note too the Qumran use of the verb hitgôllēl for “wallowing” in sin and/or impurity (1QS  4:19; CD 3:17, 8:5; 1QHa 17:19); so too Sir 12:14 and 23:12. Hence, and in the absence of specific evidence for idols in particular, I have chosen, here and at the other occurrences of εἴδωλον in 1 Maccabees, a word that does not point specifically to “idols” and instead more generally indicates condemnation and disgust. Cf. below, the Note on v. 47, contemptible shrines. desecrated, ἐβεβήλωσαν, Heb. h.illəlû. The opposite of “sanctified,” used of ­Sabbath-violation in v. 45 and 2:34 as well, as elsewhere (Exod 31:14, Isa 56:2, Ezek 20:13). See Spicq 1994, 1.284–286. 1:44. letters, βιβλία, Heb. səpārîm. For such use of səpārîm for royal epistles, compare Esth 1:22 and 3:13. Note, however, that the Greek translator of Esther avoided βιβλίον in both of those passages, although he used it for the sefarim mentioned at 9:20 and 10:2, where real books were meant. The fact that the translator of 1 Maccabees uses βιβλίον not only for books (vv. 56–57, 3:48, 16:24) but also, here, for letters illustrates the assessment that it is “extremely unfree” (see Introduction 5, n. 4). Later in the book, however, he uses regular Greek terminology; see the Note on 5:10, a letter. to Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, as in v. 51. This formulation is the basis for the assumption that Antiochus’s decrees did not apply to Jews outside of Judea. See, for example, Bickerman 1937, 121 (in English: Bickerman 2007, 2.1113). If there is any truth to the notion that the Samaritans argued that they should be exempt from the decrees, this geographical criterion was probably a stronger argument than some amorphous claim about not really being “Jewish.” The document that Josephus attributes to them (Ant. 12.258–264), which makes the latter argument, is probably, in whole or in large measure, a polemical Jewish fabrication; see D. R. Schwartz 2008, 539. Cf. Bernhardt 2017, 231–235. via messengers, ἐν χειρὶ ἀγγέλων, lit. “in the hand of messengers.” Such use of the singular is usual, as for example in 1:44; 2:7, 47–48; and 5:12, as in the Hebrew Bible (e.g., Gen 37:21–22, Exod 29:25). to follow, πορευθῆναι ὀπίσω, lit. “to walk after,” Heb. lāleket ’ah.ărê. Cf. the Note on 2:20, to adhere to the covenant. In the Bible, this collocation usually refers to the deity who is followed; so, for example, Deut 11:28, 13:4, 28:14; 2 Kgs 23:3, while “walking in” is used for the practices (Lev 18:3–4, 26:3; Ezek 20:16). But as Ezek 20:16 shows, there is some room for slippage, as here, from the deity to practices associated with him; see also 1 Kgs 21:26. On this image, see van Hecke 1999. My thanks to Baruch Kvasnica, who is preparing a doctoral dissertation on such usage in Jewish Greek of the Second Temple period. customs foreign to the land. The assumption here, that Jewish law characterizes a particular land (rather than something universally applicable, such as the “Judaism” focused upon in the diasporic 2 Maccabees), just as other laws characterize other lands (3:29), is typical of this Judean work, which never mentions Jews of the diaspora. The same assumption will later be typical of Josephus in his first work, the Judean War, as opposed to his Antiquities, which was written after he had been abroad for decades. Cf. 10:12–13 and, in general, D. R. Schwartz 2014. 1:45. desecrate, βεβηλῶσαι, Heb. ləh.allēl. Cf. above, the Note on v. 43, desecrated.

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1:46. the Temple and the holy things, ἁγίασμα καὶ ἁγίους. For the former as “Temple,” see above, the Note on v. 21, Temple. As for “the holy things”: Grimm (1853, 28) took it to refer to the loyal Jews as “saints,” as several times (so he thought) in Daniel 7 (vv. 18, 21–22, etc.) and Dan 8:24. But even apart from the fact that recent scholars tend to identify the “holy ones” of Daniel 7 as angels (see Collins 1993, 312–319) or as God (Segal 2016, 139–143), a reference to loyal Jews hardly fits into the midst of a list of objects; as Kaminka (1932, 181) noted, “Les versets 45–47 ne parle que d’institutions, et non de personnes.” Moreover, when at the end of this chapter we do hear of such loyal Jews, they are not characterized as “holy.” But neither can this verse refer to angels or to God. Another option, proposed by Kaminka (1932, 181), would be to assume the translator did not recognize a reference here to the Holy of Holies, qōdeš ha-qo˘dāšîm, rendered τὸ ἅγιον τῶν ἁγίων in the Septuagint (e.g., Exod 26:33–34). But the narrative’s focus on the altar, which was not in the sanctuary, suggests that the innermost sanctum was not touched. Rather, it seems simplest to assume, with J. Goldstein (1976, 221–222) and Collins (1993, 317), that ἁγίους here renders (as “sancta” in manuscripts of the Old Latin here [De Bruyne 1932, 8]) qo˘dāšîm (“holy things,” as in the name of the fifth order of the Mishnah), which refers to sacrifices and other holy objects. 1:47. pagan altars, βωμούς. βωμός is the standard Septuagintal translation (and transliteration) of bāmâ, used of pagan altars (as also below: vv. 46, 54, 59; 2:23–25, 45; 5:58) in distinction to the Jewish neologism θυσιαστήριον, which was applied to the legitimate altar of the Temple of Jerusalem; for the contrast in 1 Maccabees, see especially vv. 54, 59. On this differential usage, see Daniel 1966, 15–53. sacred precincts, τεμένη. I have translated this as usual. “Sacred precincts” is certainly appropriate for the marked-off areas around altars; in 2 Macc 10:2 as well (which, it seems, is from a Jerusalemite source; see D. R. Schwartz 2008, 8–9) we read of τεμένη alongside the altars that had been built in Jerusalem, and at the other appearance of the word in this book, 5:43, it obviously refers to some sizable space in which—because of its sanctity—refugees could hope to enjoy immunity. It is worthwhile to note, however, that in the three or four occurrences of the word in parts of the Septuagint that have Hebrew texts, in two, at Ezek 6:4, 6, it stands for h.ammān—a term that, as here, comes together with bāmôt and with gillûlîm both there (Ezek 6:4, 5, 6) and at Lev 26:30; for gillûlîm in the present verse, see the next Note. As for the meaning of h.ammān: there are various options (RSV renders “incense altars”; BDB 329, s.v., prefers “sun-pillar, used in idolatrous worship,” etc.), but what seems clear is that the author of 1 Maccabees simply wanted to imitate in this verse the canonical triad of reprehensible cultic constructions: bāmôt, h.ammānîm, gillûlîm. contemptible shrines, εἰδώλια. I have translated this term, here and at 10:83, on the assumption that it is basically pejorative, not particularly referring to shrines “for idols” (RSV). See above, the Note on v. 43, abominations. pigs. For the singling out of pigs as a particularly egregious violation of Jewish sensitivities, see, for example, Philo, Legatio 361, and the story on the siege of Jerusalem in 63 BCE in b. Sot. ah 49b; note also Petronius’s claim that the Jews worshipped a piggod (“Iudaeus licet et porcinum numen adoret” [GLAJJ, no. 195]), a notion that probably originated as a polemical explanation of Jews’ abstention from eating pork (for a similar idea, cf. Let. Aris. 144). Note that the text does not report any sacrifice of pigs in the Temple of Jerusalem, but the story naturally grew: Josephus (Ant. 12.253, 13.243)

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reports that the king sacrificed swine on the altar built on top of the Temple’s altar (see the Note on v. 54, abomination of desolation), and Diodorus (34–35.1.4, quoting Posidonius? [GLAJJ, no. 63]) went one better and reported that Antiochus sacrificed a sow on the altar and sprinkled the broth of its flesh on the Jews’ holy books. On sacrifices of pigs in the ancient Near East, see De Vaux 1967, 252–269, and Bernhardt 2017, 256. The latter argues that since pig sacrifice was widely held to be the epitome of impurity in many Phoenician and oriental cults (for which he depends especially on Houston 1993, 161–177), it cannot be that Antiochus decreed that it should be practiced throughout his kingdom (v. 41). Therefore, Bernhardt argues, we must conclude that the claim that such a demand was made is only “von Projektionen und Behauptungen ex post geprägt,” reflecting the later desire to flesh out whatever might have been implied by a general prohibition of Jewish practice. impure cattle, κτήνη κοινά. Muraoka (2009, 403, s.v. κοινός) offers only this passage for “ritually profane,” marking it with an asterisk, which indicates that the sense is not found before the Septuagint. But it had quite a successful afterlife; see, for example, Mark 7:2, 5 and Rom 14:14a, along with Danker 2000, 551–552, s.v. κοινός, and House 1983. Note, however, that House’s specific argument, that at Acts 10:14–15 the adjective refers not to food that is impure in and of itself but only to formerly pure food that had come into contact with impure food, is not relevant here. For while those verses in Acts juxtapose two words, κοινὸν καὶ ἀκάθαρτον, the present verse and also v. 62 use only one, so it apparently stands for the whole gamut of impurity. 1:48. to leave their sons uncircumcised. See the Note on v. 15, made themselves foreskins. to defile themselves, βδελύξαι τὰς ψυχὰς αὐτῶν. Very aptly for the present context, this corresponds precisely to the prohibition in Lev 11:43 and 20:25, ’al (20:25: wəlō’) təšaqqəs.û ’et napšōtêkem (LXX: μὴ βδελύξητε τὰς ψυχὰς ὑμῶν), which spells out the result of eating types of food that are prohibited. Note that ψυχή here reflects the Hebrew nepeš and, as such, means only “self ” in general, without implying any distinction between body and soul; the same term is used for fish and swarming “creatures” in Lev 11:46. True, already in the Septuagint the word can refer particularly to a person’s “incorporeal, inner existence and strength” (Muraoka 2009, 743–745), and in CD 7:4, which too seems to be echoing Lev 20:25, the more or less contemporary author uses “his holy spirit” instead of “his nepeš” (as was pointed out by Kister 2018, 277–279). Nevertheless, there is still a significant gap between the usage here and the distinction between “soul” and “body” (ψυχή/σῶμα) found in more Hellenistic sources, such as 2 Macc 6:30, 14:38, and 15:30. For the Greek background of the latter, see Luz 1983. with all sorts of impurity and defilement. That is, by food forbidden by Jewish law; see v. 62. 1:49. the Law and . . . all the ordinances, τοῦ νόμου καὶ . . . πάντα τὰ δικαιώματα. Probably the author had Torah . . . mis.wot in mind. Cf. the Note on 2:21, Law and ordinances. 1:51. cities of Judah. On “cities,” cf. the Notes on v. 29, cities of Judah, and on v. 44, to Jerusalem and the cities of Judah. 1:52. the people, τοῦ λαοῦ, that is, the Judeans. This is standard Septuagintal usage. See the Note on 2:66, the war against the Gentiles.

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did works of wickedness in the land, καὶ ἐποίησαν κακὰ ἐν τῇ γῇ, just like Alexander’s successors (v. 9). Borchardt (2014, 51–52) opines that the present verse is likely secondary, from a source that focused on opponents to the Hasmoneans; he argues that the verse interrupts the context, which otherwise deals with Gentile enemies. But the author likes to point up cooperation of Judeans with the Seleucids, as already in vv. 11–15 (which Borchardt also would assign to this same source on opponents [see the end of the Comments on 1:1–15]). Moreover, the identity of the formulation here with the characterization of Alexander’s successors (above, v. 9), which Borchardt assigns to the basic work, is another reason to doubt the surgery here. 1:53. forced Israel into hiding-places, καὶ ἔθεντο τὸν Ισραηλ ἐν κρύφοις. Lit. “placed” Israel; verbs like “forced,” which I adopted from NETS, or “drove” (RSV), are only attempts, in the absence of any better idea, to approximate what should have been said. Another option, suggested by Kaminka (1932, 181–182), is to emend the verb to ἔδον and, comparing Isa 9:12, to posit a reference to the Syrians “devouring” (consuming, destroying) Israel in its hiding-places. But the verb is rare, and if they were in hiding, how could the Syrians devour them? Perhaps we should consider instead the possibility that the translator has mistaken mat. t. ārôt for me‘arôt (MṬRWT for M‘RWT), that is, the Syrians and their Judean collaborators found the loyal Judeans even in their places of refuge and put them into prisons; for mat. t. ārâ as prison, see Jer 32:2, 8; Neh 3:25. 1:54. fifteenth day of Kislev . . . in the 145th year, November/December 167 BCE. Some would emend the day of the month to “twenty-five,” so as to bring this text into line with the putative meaning of 4:54 as well as 2 Macc 10:5 and Josephus, Ant. 12.248; so, among others, Marcus 1943, 126b. However, the almost complete unanimity of the manuscript and versional evidence for “fifteen” (rather than “twenty-five,” offered here only by a Syriac text) is quite impressive and convincing, and the meaning of 4:54 seems to be less exact than is often thought; see the Note on 4:54, about the season and the day. abomination of desolation, βδέλυγμα ἐρημώσεως. I have retained the traditional translation, also familiar from Daniel (see below) and the Gospels (Mark 13:14, Matt 24:15). The Hebrew original of the term, in Dan 12:11, is šiqqûs. šōmēm. (Other versions, in Dan 9:27 and 11:31, are slightly different, and each has its own problems [see Lust 2001, 684–685], but the Greek of all is similar to here, with the genitive [“of ”] reflecting the Hebrew status constructus.) Of these two words, šiqqûs. refers to the defiling nature of whatever it is that is meant. This resonates well in this chapter (see the Note on v. 48, to defile themselves): Antiochus’s measures introduced defilement both among individuals and in the central cult. As for the second component, šōmēm, it connotes desolation but also the madness of the desolator. It has been suggested that it is a scornful pun (“dysphemism”) on ba‘al šāmēm (“lord of heaven”), which was likely the name under which Syrian soldiers worshipped Zeus (see Nestle 1884, 248; Tcherikover 1959, 194–195, 200). For Antiochus’s predilection for Zeus, and association of the cult of Zeus with his own royal cult, as is testified by texts and coins, and hence for the assumption that that was the cult which he introduced into Jerusalem (as is reported by 2 Macc 6:2–3; note also Josephus, Ant. 12.261, 263); see Bernhardt 2017, 181–188. Without denying that the cult was Zeus’s, Lust (2001, 684–687) has

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­ ersuasively ­argued that there is, however, no need to see a dysphemism here. Rather, p the term refers to the “abomination” (pagan altar and accompanying sacrifice) of the “desolator,” namely, of (i.e., belonging to, set up at the initiative of ) Antiochus; note especially Dan 9:27, which looks forward to God eventually pouring out his wrath on “the desolator” (šomēm), which clearly refers to Antiochus. As for what the “abomination” was, apparently it was another altar, built on the extant altar, as Josephus reports (Ant. 12.253); see also v. 59 and 6:7. Already Nestle raised the possibility of a statue as well, and especially Rowley (1953, 309–315) argued, on the basis of some late texts (Porphyry on Dan 11:31ff. [GLAJJ, no. 464r], some obscure rabbinic texts, and the Vulgate and Bologna text of the Old Latin [but not the Lyon text, thought to be the best; see De Bruyne 1932, 8]) that refer to an idol or idols erected in the Temple, that this was in fact likely: he suggested that a statue of Antiochus was set up on the original altar, thus defiling it, while another altar was set up nearby for the sacrifices in honor of the king. For doubt about such a statue, see Dancy 1954, 79–80; also Lust 2001, 677–678; and Theophilos 2011, 160–161. In the face of the silence of the older sources, it seems unwise to build much on the later texts, which might well be no more than imaginative expansion of the original tradition (cf. the Note on 1:47, pigs), with or without a cue from the idol episode under Gaius Caligula (Josephus, Ant. 18.261; Philo, Legatio 188). See also the Note on 4:54, abomination of desolation. on the altar, ἐπὶ τὸ θυσιαστήριον. For the terminology, see above, the Note on v. 47, pagan altars. 1:55. offered up sacrifices, ἐθυμίων. Lit. “send up in smoke.” Various translators (such as Abel 1949, 25; Tilly 2015, 81; even NETS) take this to refer specifically to incense, in accordance with usual Greek usage (LSJ, 809, s.v. θυμιάζω). But the more general Latin sacrificabant (De Bruyne 1932, 8) appears to be preferable, for in the Septuagint, the verb usually renders various forms of QṬR, and that applies to all sorts of sacrifices, including animal sacrifices—so, for example, at Lev 4:10 and 8:20, Num 18:17, 1 Chr 6:49, and 2 Chr 13:11. For use of QṬR with regard to sacrifices in general, as being the raison d’être of the Temple, see also 2 Chr 2:6, echoed in 4QFlorilegium 1:6. Contrast 4:50, where the context makes it clear that incense is meant. and in the streets. This reference to sacrificing (QṬR) in the streets, not only in Jerusalem but also “in the cities of Judah” (v. 54), clearly recalls, as Natan Evron notes, the canonical descriptions of such abominations at Jer 11:12–13 and 44:21. Note also that according to Jer 1:13–15, the punishment for those who sacrifice (QṬR) to other gods in Jerusalem (v. 16) will come from the north—a reference often applied to the Seleucid kings; see Daniel 11 passim and Note on 1:26, Virgins and young men. 1:56. the books of the Law, τὰ βίβλια τοῦ νόμου. Most of the evidence on biblical scrolls in this period comes from Qumran; see especially Haran 1985. 1:57. book of the covenant, βιβλίον διαθήκης—apparently another term for a scroll of the Torah. For the formulation, cf. Exod 24:7 and 2 Kgs 23:2//2 Chr 34:30 (although precisely what is meant in each case may be debated). or if anyone insisted on (observing) the Law, καὶ εἴ τις συνευδόκει τῷ νόμῳ. Apart from here, this compound verb appears in the Septuagint only in documents in 2 Maccabees (11:24, 35), where, as usual in Greek, it means “to agree,” which does not fit here. It may be that the translator’s choice of a Greek verb that does not precisely

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fit the context was the result of his desire to contrast the faithful, mentioned here, to the “renegades” of v. 43, who εὐδόκησαν the king’s religion; perhaps the addition of συν- here is meant to trump the latter. While it is clear that the intention is to refer to continued observance of Jewish law (RSV: “adhered to the law”; NETS: “was conforming to the law”), divining the original Hebrew is difficult. Perhaps, as Natan Evron suggests, we should build on the fact that the basic verb, εὐδοκέω, is frequent in the Septuagint as a verb expressing desire and allow that to point us to Ps 1:2, which praises those “whose desire is in the Law.” Probably J. Goldstein (1976, 207) was thinking of something like this when he translated “or showed his love for the Torah.” the royal judgment killed him, τὸ σύγκριμα τοῦ βασιλέως ἐθανάτου αὐτόν. This powerful phrasing suggests that the punishment came with no room for any human deliberation and hence no chance of escape. Cf. Esth 4:11, where a similar phrasing contributes to the image of the king as enjoying absolute authority. 1:58. Employing their power, ἐν ἰσχύι αὐτῶν. Cf. the Note on 2:46, forcibly. they did this, ἐποίουν. The addition of “this” is an attempt to make sense of this difficult verse, in which the verb has no object. For similar options, see Grimm 1853, 32 (who, instead of adding “this” or the like, reads, with a few secondary witnesses, οὕτως, “thus”), and J. Goldstein 1976, 226 (who adds “against”—“they acted against the Israelites”). 1:59. on the twenty-fifth day of each month. Probably this should be related to the reference in 2 Macc 6:7 to monthly celebrations of the king’s birthday—which seems to be a Ptolemaic reinterpretation; see D. R. Schwartz 2008, 541–543. For a defense of its historicity for Seleucid Jerusalem, see Amitay 2017. It might also be that this is the origin of the focus of the memory of these events on the twenty-fifth of Kislev; see above, the Note on v. 54, fifteenth day of Kislev . . . in the 145th year. 1:60. women who had circumcised their sons. Given the separate reference in v. 61 to “those who circumcised them,” the present reference might mean no more than “women whose sons had been circumcised.” But the plain meaning cannot be excluded: any number of circumstances could account for women alone being responsible for their babies, and beginning with Exod 4:25–26, there are other ancient Jewish texts that refer quite naturally to women circumcising their children. Note, for example, the two stories at the end of b. Shabbat 134a. 1:61. from their necks. This is a prudish Judean formulation; compare “breasts” in the same context in the more “pathetic” 2 Macc 6:10 (as already 2 Macc 3:19). 1:62. remained strong and, despite their suffering, abstained from eating impure things, ἐκραταιώθησαν καὶ ὠχυρώθησαν ἐν αὐτοῖς τοῦ μὴ φαγεῖν κοινά. The words καὶ ὠχυρώθησαν ἐν αὐτοῖς raise an interesting difficulty. The three words that follow them, τοῦ μὴ φαγεῖν, evidently reflect ləbiltî ’ăkōl, as at Gen 3:11 and Deut 12:23. The two opening verbs are usually taken to reflect the standard biblical admonition h.izqû wə’ims.û, which indeed appears below at 2:64. However, that collocation is routinely translated with two other verbs, ἀνδρίζομαι and ἰσχύω, as at 2:64 and LXX Deut 31:7, 23; Josh 1:6, etc.; as J. Goldstein noted (1976, 227), that phrase is never translated in the Septuagint by the collocation in the present verse. Indeed, while κραταιόω regularly renders H . ZQ in the Septuagint, ὀχυρόω always pertains to fortifications and usually renders forms of BṢR; in this book too, we very frequently find this root in the context of fortifying and fortifications (see, for some examples, the verb at 4:61, 6:26,

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and 10:45 and the noun at 1:2; 5:9, 11, 27; and 10:12). True, we might imagine that the author meant that these martyrs “fortified themselves” (steeled themselves) against eating impure food, in which case ὠχυρώθησαν might simply intensify ἐκραταιώθησαν here and the sense of the verse would be as that of Deut 12:23: “be strong (h.ăzaq) not to eat the blood” (πρόσεχε ἰσχυρῶς τοῦ μὴ φαγεῖν αἷμα). That interpretation, however, is difficult for three reasons: (1) I cannot find any parallel for such a sense of BṢR; (2) as Deut 12:23 shows, there is no need for such intensification; and (3) this reconstruction does not account for ἐν αὐτοῖς (a difficulty that is reflected in the fact that numerous copyists omitted these words or replaced them with ἐν ἑαυτοῖς, which better conforms to the putatively reflexive meaning). These difficulties led Natan Evron to suggest that we read ἐκραταιώθησαν here in direct connection with τοῦ μὴ φαγεῖν κοινά, following the model of Deut 12:23, and find another explanation of καὶ ὠχυρώθησαν ἐν αὐτοῖς: he suggests that the translator has erred here, taking the original bas.s.ar lāhem or bas.s.ar lāmô as if it were a verb of fortification, whereas in fact it means “in [or despite] their suffering,” as in Pss 106:44; 107:6, 28. For those who persevere in observing the Law despite their suffering (bas.ar lamo), see also Pesher Habakkuk 5:5–6. (An alternative possibility Evron raised is based on Sir 37:20, which refers to someone who “is denied all enjoyable food”: the Hebrew text, which reads nibs.ār [“is denied”], uses yet another meaning of BṢR [which appears, e.g., in Gen 11:6 and Job 42:2]. It may well be that the translator was thinking of such a phrase but used the passive form to indicate that it was the martyrs who denied this food to themselves. But that reconstruction does not account for ἐν αὐτοῖς.) impure things, κοινά. See above, the Note on v. 47, impure cattle. 1:63. the sacred covenant. As noted above, this general phrasing had particular associations with circumcision; see the Note on v. 15, deviating from the sacred covenant. Therefore readers, who learned in vv. 60–61 about Jews who defied the decrees against circumcision and then in v. 62 about Jews who refused to violate Jewish dietary laws, would probably see v. 63a as chiastically referring to food and therefore v. 63b as referring back to circumcision. 1:64. wrath, as in the Phinehas story, Num 25:4, 11. This verse adds no new information but rather summarizes the situation and, by letting readers understand that it is intolerable, sets them up for a change of scene. True (as Muraoka [2009, 503–504] notes), in the Septuagint ὀργή usually appears with regard to God’s wrath (and so it is in the Phinehas story as well). But God is not mentioned here, and there is little basis for J. Goldstein’s assessment (1976, 228) that “our verse also expresses the author’s conviction that the persecution and God’s failure at first to answer his people’s prayers were the result of the sins of the apostates and those who tolerated them; cf. Zech 7:12–14.” In fact, we hear nothing of prayers, nor of sin, nor of God. Rather, the wrath that has befallen Israel is that of Antiochus and his agents; wicked people, such as Hellenistic kings, do wicked things.

Comments After a short section (vv. 16–19) that demonstrates that Antiochus is a worthy successor to his wicked forebearers, insofar as he invades and conquers Egypt simply because he wants to and he can, the story turns to his terrible treatment, in three stages, of Judea

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and the Judeans. First Antiochus robs the Temple (vv. 21–24); then he establishes a garrison in Jerusalem that, according to the author, amounted to the institutionalization of robbery (vv. 29–35); and finally he issues, and cruelly enforces, a decree that forbids Jewish practice and requires all his subjects to participate in a pagan cult that he establishes in the Temple of Jerusalem and in altars around the country (vv. 41–64). In order to point up the progression from stage to stage, poetic laments are inserted between the first and second stages (vv. 26–28) and again between the second and third (vv. 36–40). The author carefully distinguishes between two types of responses among the Judeans. On the one hand, just as earlier there were “many” who pursued Hellenism (v. 11), so too were there now “many” who willingly followed the king’s decrees (vv. 43, 52): they both gave up Jewish practice and participated in the new cult (“they sacrificed to the abominations and desecrated the Sabbath” [v. 43]). On the other hand, there were also “many” (v. 62) who refused to knuckle under: they persisted in Jewish practice, refused to participate in the new cult, and were killed. But if the former were wicked, the latter were ineffective; their deaths merely demonstrated how bad things were. This is how the chapter ends, at a nadir: “and there was a very great wrath upon Israel.” Thus, the chapter shows there was a great problem, that many Judeans colluded in it, and those who did not merely suffered from it but did nothing to alleviate it; as 2:7 will put it, they just sat there and took it. As opposed to 2 Maccabees, which views the death of martyrs as part—the main part—of the solution,1 for 1 Maccabees, the martyrs serve only to show how terrible the situation is. The solution will come from elsewhere, beginning in the next chapter. One could compare the end of this chapter to the end of Exodus 1, which, as in this case, describes the nadir of persecution and is immediately followed, at the start of the next chapter, by the introduction of the character who will bring salvation. But there, God is mentioned at the end of chapter 1 as looking out for the righteous who fear him, just as he is again mentioned at the end of chapter 2, where he sees how terrible the situation is, and the opening of chapter 3, where, in response, he takes the initiative. In 1 Maccabees, God is nowhere mentioned, and in the next chapter it will be Mattathias who sees the terrible situation and takes the initiative.

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Mattathias Rebels (2:1–28)

2 1In those days there arose from Jerusalem Mattathias, son of John son of Simeon, a priest of the sons of Jehoiarib, and took up residence in Modiin. 2He had five sons: John also named Gaddi, 3Simon called Thassi, 4Judas called Maccabaeus, 5Eleazar called Auran, Jonathan called Apphous. 6He saw the outrages that had occurred in Judah and Jerusalem 7and said: Woe is me! Why was I born to see the ruin of my people and the ruin of the holy city?! And they sat there while the city was given over into the hands of its enemies, the sanctuary—into the hand of foreigners! 8 Its sanctuary became like a man delivered up, 9 its glorious vessels were taken off as captives, its infants were killed in its squares, and its young men—by the enemy’s sword. 10 What people has not taken possession of (land in) its kingdom and seized its spoils?! 11 All of its glory has been removed, and instead of free it has become a slave. 12 Behold: our Temple, our beauty, and our glory have been desolated, and the Gentiles have desecrated them; 13what good is life for us anymore? And Mattathias and his sons rent their garments, wrapped themselves in sackcloth, and mourned greatly. 15 The king’s men who were coercing apostasy came to the city of Modiin, so that they should sacrifice. 16And many out of Israel came over to them, but Mattathias and his sons stuck together. 17And the king’s men made a declaration to Mattathias, saying as follows: 14

You are a ruler and honored and a great man in this city, firmly supported by your sons and your brothers. 18Now, therefore, be the first to come forward and fulfill the king’s edict, as has been done by all the peoples and by the men of Judah and those who remain in Jerusalem—and you and your sons will be

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among the Friends of the King, and you and your sons will be honored with silver and gold and great rewards. 19

But Mattathias declared to them, speaking in a loud voice:

Even if all the peoples in the house of the king’s kingdom were to listen to him and apostasize, each from the religion of its own fathers, and prefer his commands, 20nevertheless, I and my sons and my brothers will continue to adhere to the covenant of our fathers. 21Far be it from us to abandon Law and ordinances! 22We will not listen to the words of the king and violate our religion, neither to the right nor to the left! But after he finished speaking these words, there came forward a Judean man, before the eyes of all, to sacrifice upon the pagan altar in Modiin in accordance with the king’s edict. 24Mattathias saw this and became zealous; his innards trembled and he let his wrath go, as was proper: running up, he slaughtered the man upon the pagan altar. 25 And at the same time he also killed the king’s man who had been coercing them to sacrifice, and he tore down the pagan altar. 26Thus he was zealous for the Law, doing as Phinehas did to Zimri the son of Shallum. 27And Mattathias called out in the city in a loud voice, saying: “Any man who is zealous for the Law, maintaining the covenant, let him come out after me!” 28And he and his sons fled to the mountains, leaving behind all that they had in the city. 23

Notes 2:1. In those days, Ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις ἐκείναις. A new start, in a new place, as in “meanwhile, on the other side of town.” Compare, especially, the way the phrase punctuates stories in Judges (17:6, 18:1, 19:1). Since the phrase only coordinates events chronologically, it creates something of a tension in the reader’s mind: How will this second story connect with the first one? Compare, for two examples, the way Josephus, Ant. 11.304–305, and Luke 2:1 are introduced into their contexts out of the blue, something that is explained only by words that point to the synchronism (“in those days,” “at that time”). In both cases, readers have the right to expect that the second story, and the new protagonist it introduces, will be brought into connection with the first one—and soon they are. there arose from Jerusalem. But according to v. 70, the family’s ancestral graves were in Modiin, and the same is also shown by 9:19 and 13:25 (where Modiin is termed “the city of [Simon’s] fathers”); later they would remain there even when Jerusalem became the Hasmoneans’ capital (13:27–30). Josephus too, in J.W. 1.36, states roundly that Mattathias was “from” Modiin, although in Ant. 12.87, following the present text, he terms Mattathias a “Jerusalemite” who was “then resident in Modiin.” On the whole issue, see Bernhardt 2017, 288–290; following others, he raises the possibility that Mattathias was a Jerusalemite who owned land in Modiin. S. Schwartz (1993b, 306) argues that Mattathias should be understood as a one of Palestine’s “‘village strongmen’—that is, well-to-do landowners, who were influential enough locally and zealous enough of their own prerogatives to successfully resist official interference in their villages or farms,” similar to one known from the Zenon Papyri (CPJ 1, no. 6) and to the Tobiads in Ammanitis according to other papyri and Josephus’s story in Ant. 12.160–236.

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Mattathias, son of John son of Simeon. None is known from other sources, but all three names were to become popular in the Hasmonean period (see Ilan 2002, 6–7). On the spelling “Simeon” (Συμεων) here, as opposed to Σίμων in v. 3 and, with one exception, everywhere else in this book, see below on that exception: the Note on v. 65, Simeon. a priest, that is, a descendant of Aaron. The assumption that the Hasmoneans were priests is very widespread and was, of course, a necessary condition for their eventual rise to the high priesthood. True, Wellhausen (1914, 243, n. 1) opined that Mattathias’s priestly descent is questionable (“fraglich”), and Smith (1996) argued, in a posthumously published study, that among their contemporaries there were those who denied that the Hasmoneans were of priestly descent. But Wellhausen offers no argument at all, and Smith’s case rests on four very weak reeds. Namely, he argues (1) that the complaint recorded in b. Qiddushin 66a (and reflected in Josephus, Ant. 13.292, 372) that the Hasmonean high priest John Hyrcanus or his son Alexander Jannaeus (“Yannai”) should resign and leave the high priesthood to the sons of Aaron means the Hasmoneans were thought not to be Aaronites—but the story refers only to John and Yannai and explains that the complaint derives from rumors about them in particular, not about the dynasty; (2) that his conclusion derives from 1 Macc 7:14—but see the Note on 7:14, a priest of the seed of Aaron; (3) that the reference in “the Maccabean Psalm” 110, to a priest “after the fashion of Melchizedek” (i.e., not a son of Aaron), is meant to support Hasmonean claims to be priests although not Aaronites, just as Melchizedek was not Aaronite—but whatever one thinks of the psalm’s date, it is easier to suppose that the Hasmoneans used it to support their claim that high priests could also be rulers, as was Melchizedek (Gen 14:18 [see the Note on 14:41, high priest forever); (4) that in fact the axiom that all priests were Aaronites became accepted only early in the Second Temple period. Be that as it may, it has no implication for what people thought three or four hundred years later, in the second century BCE, when the axiom indeed seems to have been firmly in place. of the sons of Jehoiarib, as is also stated in 14:29, that is, a descendant of Aaron and member of the priestly clan of Jehoiarib—the clan that is listed first in the list of twenty-four priestly clans in 1 Chr 24:7–18. The fact that it is listed first (which already Josephus takes to indicate its prominence—Vita 2) suggests that Jehoiarib enjoyed prominence already before the Hasmonean period. Scholarly discussion of this since the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, which make several references to the “Sons of Zadok” (see esp. 1QS 5:2, 9), has typically focused on the question of whether the Hasmoneans were specifically of Zadokite descent, that is, members of the clan that had hitherto supplied high priests; note “Praise him who chose the Sons of Zadok to be (high-)priests, for his mercy is forever” (Sir 51:29 [ed. Segal, 355]). These Qumran references at first gave rise to the theory that the Qumran sect opposed the Hasmoneans because they were not of Zadokite descent; as Hunt (2006) emphasizes, there seems to have been little interest in Zadokites between Ezekiel and Qumran—a datum that suggests that the issue was raised only when opponents of the Hasmoneans found it useful. Typically, this theory was also combined with the older hypothesis (e.g., Geiger 1857, 204–205, n. **, and Dequeker 1986, 103) that the placement of Jehoiarib as the first of the priestly courses, according to 1 Chr 24:7, was

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a product of pro-Hasmonean editing, while other evidence, which escaped such editing (such as 1 Chr 9:10; Neh 12:6, 19), shows that in fact it was of lesser stature. Over the past few decades, however, this theory has become much less popular, for two reasons. First, new evidence from Qumran (Cave 4) showed that the references to “Sons of Zadok” in the abovementioned 1QS texts were secondary (see Vermes 1991, 254–255, followed by A. I. Baumgarten 1995, 403–405). Second, and more generally, it seems that, as a normal process in the rise and fall of scholarly consensuses (see A. I. Baumgarten 1995), earlier exaggeration in the reconstruction of Qumran-Hasmonean polemics has led the current swing of the scholarly pendulum to be less willing to assume a Qumran polemic when it is not explicit, and so less willing to assume a Hasmonean need to deal with an otherwise unattested polemic about its ancestry. This has engendered more skepticism about the assumption of pro-Hasmonean tampering with the list in 1 Chronicles 24 (see, for example, Talmon 1995, 337–338) and even a willingness to go to the other extreme and posit that the Hasmoneans were in fact of Zadokite descent (see Schofield and VanderKam 2005; Hunt 2006, 117, n. 157; and Regev 2013, 121). However, (1) if the Hasmoneans were descendants of Zadok, it is surprising they did not proclaim it at least here, in their court history—but nowhere do they make the claim; (2) the central text on the priestly clans, 1 Chronicles 24, which states that Jehoiarib was the first of the clans (v. 7), does not say that Jehoiarib was Zadokite; (3) even if 1 Maccabees’ comparisons of the Hasmoneans to Eleazar’s son Phinehas (see the Note on 2:24, became zealous) might lead us to assume the Hasmoneans liked to claim they were among Phinehas’s descendants, to whom high priesthood had been promised (Num 25:13, Sir 45:24), that would not have forced anyone to conclude—contrary to the apparent assumption of Schofield and VanderKam 2005, and also of Hunt 2006, 117, n. 157—from 1 Chronicles 24 or elsewhere that Jehoiarib was descended from Zadok, for probably Phinehas and at least some of his male descendants, in the several generations between him and Zadok (see Ezra 7:2–5, 1 Chr 6:50–53), had more than one son; (4) Jehoiarib’s location at the head of the list in 1 Chronicles 24, which contrasts with its lower placement in other lists (Neh 12:1–7, 12–21), might, as noted above, be a product of pro-Hasmonean editing; (5) even if we were convinced that Jehoiarib was descended from Zadok, this would offer no guarantee that Judeans of the second century BCE shared this view; and indeed (6) it is likely that groups that anyway opposed or despised the later Hasmoneans for other reasons would be happy to subscribe to doubts and denial about their descent as well. That is the way polemics work; recall the endless polemics over the question of where Barack Obama was born and the way positions on the issue generally conformed to other attitudes toward him. Similarly, we may assume that in antiquity Jews who liked Herod were not bothered by his Idumean ancestry while those who opposed him were happy to add the latter to their complaints against him. Cf. the Note on 14:41, their leader. Indeed, apart from the Qumran sect we may point to the “Sadducees,” whose name indicates the importance of Zadokite descent—and it seems that they were in the opposition to the Hasmoneans until late in the second century BCE (until the turnabout reported by Josephus at Ant. 13.295–296). It seems, in other words, that the Hasmoneans were not thought to be Zadok­ ites; that at first this was not much of an issue; that somewhere in the course of the

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history of the Qumran community the Zadokite lineage of its own leaders became more important; and that it is likely that, at that time, the sect, which anyway had its reasons to oppose the Hasmoneans, would, as the Sadducees, have added this point to its dossier of complaints. It also seems, however, that the latter point cannot yet be documented explicitly. took up residence in Modiin, a village some seventeen miles northwest of Jerusalem. For a detailed review of the history of scholarship concerning the identification of the village, and the proposal that it was at Kh. El-Hummam/Kh. Midieh (with the latter name preserving the village’s ancient name), on the southwestern bank of Nahal Modi‘in and northwest of modern Modiin, see Zissu and Perry 2015. 2:2. five sons, probably listed here in order of age. With the exception of “Maccabaeus,” the nicknames mentioned in vv. 2–5 are mysterious, and the fact that Josephus’s readings are somewhat different only compounds our ignorance, although suggestions are nevertheless legion. See, for example, Grimm 1853, 34–35, and J. Goldstein 1976, 231, along with Hachlili 1984, 196, and the relevant entries in Ilan 2002, 306, 366– 367, 379–380, 434, 438. Of the nicknames, only those of Eleazar and Judas recur in 1 Maccabees—the former at 6:43 (but no more), and the latter frequently, as also in 2 Maccabees. 2:4. Maccabaeus, probably derived from maqqebet, “hammer” (e.g., Judg 4:21); such an epithet could characterize Judas’s strength (cf. Charles “Martel”). In making this move from Greek to Hebrew here there are two issues: Was the second letter of the root a kaph or a qoph, and, once one of those is chosen, what Hebrew word is represented? But although theoretically separate issues, obviously the ease with which the second can be answered has its implications for the first. Some (esp. Curtiss 1876 and Kaminka 1932, 180–181) have argued that the second letter was a kaph, pointing (1) to the fact that Latin sources offer “Mac(c)habaeus” (see De Bruyne 1932, 9, and, e.g., the passage from Jerome cited in Introduction 5, n. 3) and asserting that ch points rather toward kaph, and (2) to the fact that in Greek the kappa is doubled, which suggests the desire to reflect a plosive kaph as opposed to a spirant one. However, neither argument is very persuasive in the face of the fact that “one can cite scores of names in which Greek κ renders Hebrew post-vocalic ‫ק‬, and Greek χ renders Hebrew post-vocalic ‫”כ‬ (Marcus 1953, 62). Moreover, no attractive suggestion has been offered as to what the name might mean if we read kaph. If we therefore read a qoph, with a dagesh (hence the double kappa [despite Kaminka’s examples of cases in which the Greek does not reflect the dagesh]), the obvious suggestion is, as noted, maqqebet, a name that is readily understood with regard to a military hero. For some other suggestions, see Marcus 1953, 63–65; he himself suggests miqwēh, in which case the nickname might mean “(source of ) hope.” 2:6. outrages that had occurred, τὰς βλασφημίας τὰς γινομένας. For emphasis on the fact that βλασφημία means “insults” and need not have the specific sense of “blasphemy” if no divinity is mentioned or implied, see Bickerman 2007, 2.732–733. Taken together with τὰς γινομένας, it seems that not just words but something broader is meant, hence “outrages.” As Natan Evron, notes, probably the original Hebrew here was ne’ās.ôt, as in Neh 9:18, 26 and in the Psalms of Joshua from Qumran (4Q379 22 ii, l. 14 [Newsom 1988, 69]), where N’ṢH appears parallel to h.ănuppâ). Cf. 2 Macc 8:4: blasphemies had “happened” (τῶν γενομένων εἰς τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ βλασφημιῶν).

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2:7. of the holy city, τῆς πόλεως τῆς ἁγίας. As emerges from the emphases in the next verses, the city’s sanctity derives from that of the Temple. Cf. “the city of the Temple” in CD 12:1; Temple Scroll 45:11–12, 16–17; and 4Q248 (Broshi and Eshel 1997, 121), along with Milgrom 1994/95; also “have mercy upon your holy city—Jerusalem, the foundation of your residence” (Sir 36:12). “Holy city” also appears in Isa 48:1, Neh 11:1, 2 Macc 3:1, Tob 13:9, etc. they sat there. This follows Sinaiticus and Kappler’s text, ending the question with τῆς ἁγιάς and reading ἐκάθισαν. Alexandrinus and some other witnesses would continue the question and read καθίσαι, as if Mattathias were complaining that he was born to sit there while terrible things happened. That seems to be a secondary reading that eliminates the disparaging reference to others who stayed in Jerusalem, since in fact we read at the end of chapter 1 of martyrs who did not “just sit there.” But whatever pious scribes thought about that, it seems to have fit the Hasmoneans’ needs better to belittle all their immediate forerunners. After all, Mattathias did not sit there; he left Jerusalem (v. 1) and started a rebellion. Hence I agree with J. Goldstein (1976, 229, 231), who renders “the people sat idle there” and refers to Judg 5:17 and Jer 8:14 to illustrate this sense of the verb. Zervos (2007, 481), in contrast, renders, “And they lived there [i.e., in the city] when it was delivered into the hand of enemies”; but although the Hebrew YŠB can refer both to residing and to sitting, it is difficult to see what a mere reference to their residence in Jerusalem would add to Mattathias’s argument here. 2:8. a man delivered up, reading ἔκδοτος, as proposed by Risberg (1915, 7). The main manuscripts read ἔνδοξος (“honored”), as in v. 17 and elsewhere, but this makes little sense, hence the need for emendation. Most, including Kappler, suggest ἄδοξος, which is already found in a minuscule. However, since the preceding verse refers to the sanctuary having been “given up” (δοθῆναι) into the hands of foreigners, and the next verse goes on to report the robbery of Temple vessels that ensued, it appears more reasonable to adopt Risberg’s suggestion that we read ἔκδοτος, which is just as minimal an emendation and fits the context precisely. Compare Theodotion’s text of Bel and the Dragon 22, where Bel is delivered up (ἔδωκεν . . . ἔκδοτον) to Daniel, who promptly destroys the god and his temple. 2:9. in its squares, and its young men. As Lange (2014, 210–212) notes, this is reminiscent of Jer 49:26//50:30, where the fate of such wicked cities as Damascus and Babylon is that “her young men shall fall in her squares.” This biblical precedent underscores the bitter irony here that this is Jerusalem’s fate. But the order of the words has been changed, the verse is expanded, and being killed by the sword has been substituted for “falling.” Probably this means no more than that the author of the present text was creative. Lange suggests, alternatively, that the author’s text of Jeremiah had a “double reading” engendered by confusion between “her squares” (RH . BTYH) and “her swords” (H . RBTYH). But this seems unlikely, given the numerous differences between the verses, along with the fact that “her swords” would be difficult to construe. 2:10. taken possession of (land in) its kingdom, ἐκληρονόμησεν ἐν βασιλείᾳ . . . αὐτῆς. On the verb, see the Note on 1:32, took possession. This passage has been the subject of much discussion, especially because Alexandrinus omits ἐν and reads βασιλεια, and that reading has been preferred by many, including Rahlfs 1935, 1.1043, who reads βασίλεια. That text, however, although adopted by Abel and J. Goldstein, appears to be quite difficult to construe. Abel (1949, 33–34) offered “quelle nation ne

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l’a pas exhérédee de ses droits royales,” but it is difficult to get from βασίλεια to royal rights and in any case I cannot imagine how those French words might have been formulated in ancient Hebrew. J. Goldstein (1976, 232) avoided this problem by taking βασίλεια as “kingdoms,” but his translation, “What nation has not inherited kingdoms and has not seized her spoils?,” which opens with a complaint about the success of other peoples elsewhere, leaves “her” without a proper antecedent, and, more generally, it requires him to import here the notion that Jerusalem is suffering not only because of attacks upon it but also insofar as it has not, in contrast to others cities, conquered other kingdoms. Thus, it seems that we should read the text as referring to others who “inherit” parts of the Judeans’ kingdom. True, they had not had a kingdom since the sixth century BCE; perhaps that is what drove Tilly (2015, 90) to render “Schatz” (treasure). However, it does not seem possible to justify that translation, and it is perfectly natural for a Judean lament to recall the days of old. My translation, accordingly, sticks with Kappler’s text and follows Neuhaus 1974a, 56. 2:11. free . . . slave. As Melamed notes (1932, 470), it seems there was paronomasia in the Hebrew here: h.opšiyyâ . . . šiph.â. It might be that this type of tradition contributed to Paul’s images in Gal 4:23–26. 2:12. behold, καὶ ἰδού, Heb. wəhinnê, as is common in the Septuagint (see Muraoka 2009, 337–338) and frequent in 1 Maccabees (2:65, 3:52, 4:36, 5:14, etc.) desolated, ἠρημώθη. See the Note on 1:39, Temple was desolated. 2:13. what good is life for us anymore? Cf. Gen 27:46. 2:14. rent their garments, wrapped themselves in sackcloth. These two demonstrative public mourning practices are often paired; see, for example, 3:47, also Gen 37:34, 2 Sam 3:31, 1 Kgs 21:27, 2 Kgs 19:1//Isa 37:1. Separately they both appear quite frequently. 2:15. apostasy, ἀποστασίαν. For such usage with regard to abandonment of religion, see especially Josh 22:22–23, where Israelites protest that they are not building an altar of their own, for God is their witness that they are not acting out of “rebellion or breach of faith” (RSV)—two terms that are rendered in the Septuagint by one: ἀποστασία. Similarly, in Jer 2:19, ἀποστασία is simply parallel to “wickedness,” and note Acts 21:21. For the verb in the same sense, see above, 1:15, and below, v. 19. city of Modiin. “Village” is more accurate (Josephus, J.W. 1.36 and Ant. 12.265, 268, 271; and Eusebius, Onomasticon [ed. Klostermann (GCS 11/1)], 132). But our author did not make such distinctions. Cf. the Note on 1:29, the cities of Judah. so that they should sacrifice, in accordance with the decree of 1:51. 2:16. many out of Israel, καὶ πολλοὶ ἀπὸ Ισραηλ. Cf. the Note on 1:11, out of Israel. stuck together, συνήχθησαν. J. Goldstein (1976, 232), emphasizing that the verb is in the passive, translates “were brought into the gathering,” referring to Lev 26:25, where wəne’e˘saptem indeed means “and you shall be gathered.” But no gathering has been mentioned here, and the notion of Mattathias and his sons being brought passively to an assembly does not fit their stance. Rather, one more easily imagines them taking a stance of closing ranks and maintaining defiant aloofness, as in Num 16:27, hence my “stuck together.” Moreover, the passive form should not be pushed, for the Hebrew verb can also be reflexive; note, for some examples, 9:28; 1 Sam 13:11, “and the Philistines were mustering (not ‘were being mustered’) at Michmash” (NRSV), where

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the Hebrew is ne’e˘sāpîm and the Septuagint has συνήχθησαν, as in our verse; and Exod 32:26, where wayyē’āspû is used of zealous Levites who “gathered themselves” (RSV; not “were assembled” by someone else) in preparation for a fight. In general, cf. the Note on 3:2, cleaved. 2:17. made a declaration. Here καὶ ἀπεκρίθησαν . . . καὶ εἶπαν is an obvious Hebraism (wə‘ānû wə’āmrû), with no necessary implication that any question was being answered. So too below, v. 19, 8:19 and 13:8, and also, for example, Deut 21:7, 25:9. firmly supported, ἐστηρισμένος. On this verb, which recurs in v. 49, 14:14, and 14:26 (and the cognate noun at v. 43, 6:18, and 10:23), see Spicq 1994, 3.291–295. and your brothers. Mentioned also in v. 20; we know nothing about them. 2:18. Friends of the King (an oft-appearing honorific title—e.g., 3:38, 6:10, 10:19, 15:28), part of the royal entourage. On such aulic terminology, including also “First Friends” (10:65, 11:27), see Bickerman 1938, 40–50, and Savalli-Lestrade 1998. and great rewards, ἀποστολαῖς πολλαῖς. This sense of ἀποστολή, also found in 2 Macc 3:2, seems to have grown out of “parting gift,” as in LXX 3 Kgdms 5:14b (= šillūh.îm in 1 Kgs 9:16). 2:19. Mattathias declared, the same idiom as that used to describe the Seleucid officer’s offer to him in v. 17, thus underlining that Mattathias totally rejected the latter. in the house of the king’s kingdom, ἐν οἴκῳ τῆς βασιλείας τοῦ βασιλέως. The phrasing is otiose but serves to intensify the rhetoric. apostasize, ἀποστῆναι. See the Note on v. 15, apostasy. religion. See the Note on v. 22, our religion. 2:20. nevertheless, I and my sons and my brothers. The formulation is reminiscent of Josh 24:15. to adhere to the covenant, πορευσόμεθα ἐν διαθήκῃ, lit. “to walk in” the covenant. Here, “covenant” has its broad meaning; see the Note on 1:15, deviating from the sacred covenant. As for the verb—it is a Hebraism, lālekhet b . . . (ultimately at the root of the term halakhah), common in this book (1:44; 6:23, 59; 10:37) as elsewhere in the Septuagint. See especially Muraoka 2009, 577–578 (“to conduct oneself, follow a certain moral life-style”). 2:21. Far be it from us, ἵλεως ἡμῖν. A Hebraism: h.āllîlâ lânû, so translated, for example, in the Septuagintal version of 2 Sam 20:20, 23:17 (where the latter includes a reference to God, “far be it from me, O Lord”); cf. the Note on 9:10, Far be it from me. Law and ordinances, νόμον καὶ δικαιώματα. Above (1:13) I used “customs” for the latter term, especially in view of the apparently synonymous usage of νόμιμα in 1:14. There, however, the reference was to “customs” of Gentiles, which the author has no reason to dignify. Here, where the reference is to Jewish practices, note the absence of definite articles (contrast 10:14), together with the presumption that a proud Jewish declaration would rather upgrade the status of Jewish practice, not relativize it (see the Note on 13:3, for the laws). These considerations suggest tôrâ ûmis.wōt—a collocation that is very common in later literature, such as Deuteronomy Rabbah on Deut 29:1 (ed. Lieberman, 111–112) and the second benediction of the daily evening prayer (Hertz 1947, 306). For δικαιώματα rendering mis.wōt, see also 1:49 and LXX 1 Kgdms 2:3. See also below, the Note on v. 68, the commandment of the Law. 2:22. our religion, τὴν λατρείαν ἡμῶν. For this broad sense of λατρεία, see especially Daniel 1966, 111. She remarks that in all three occurrences in 1 Maccabees

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(1:43; 2:19, 22) the word seems to refer not merely to a particular rite, but rather to a combination of practices that constitute a “religion,” and that “au moins dans ce dernier cas [2:22], λατρεία implique évidement plus que de simples manifestations extérieures de piété.” So too Penna 1965, 163–164: the parallelism between ἀπὸ λατρείας πατέρων αὐτοῦ in v. 19 and διαθήκῃ πατέρων ἡμῶν in v. 20 shows they are basically identical, and since they turn into νόμον καὶ δικαιώματα in v. 21 and are again summarized as λατρεία in the present verse, it turns out that they are all ways of referring to “la religione.” True, there is modern debate about the propriety of using “religion” in discourse about antiquity; see especially Barton and Boyarin 2016. Whatever one thinks about that in general, I simply note that, with regard to the translation of these occurrences of λατρεία, I am not aware of any preferable alternative. neither to the right nor to the left. That is, not at all, as in Deut 5:32; 17:11, 20; 28:14; Josh 1:7; and 1QS 1:15. 2:23. before the eyes of all, as in the Phinehas episode (Num 25:6), “before the eyes of Moses and the eyes of the entire congregation.” This element emphasizes the insolence and rebelliousness that accompanied the act. 2:24. became zealous, as Phinehas (Num 25:10); in v. 26 the comparison will become explicit. This comparison is the point of the story, insofar as it entitles the Hasmoneans to the high priesthood; see also below, v. 54. as was proper, κατὰ τὸ κρίμα. Taking κρίμα literally led Borchardt (2011, 303–305) into a detailed discussion of what specific “judgment” is meant here (Deut 13:7–12? Deut 17:2–7? Exod 22:19? Num 25:6–15?). He concludes, from the reference to zeal here and to Phinehas in v. 26, as already to “yoke” in 1:15, that the fourth text is meant. However, although that text is in “the Law” (the Torah), it is not a law (or a “judgment”), but only a story, albeit one that supplies a worthy model to follow. In fact, it does not seem warranted to seek a particular law here, for in the Septuagint κατὰ τὸ κρίμα renders ka-mišpāt. at 2 Kgs 11:14 and 2 Chr 30:16, and that means no more than “as it should happen” (Muraoka 2009, 413, s.v. κρίμα, §7). See also, for example, tərûmat śəpātayim la-mišpāt. in 1QS 9:4–5, which means no more (and no less) than “prayer rightly offered” (Vermes 1995, 82), and CD 7:1–2. he slaughtered the man upon the pagan altar. There is some irony here; the man had wanted to slaughter an animal on the altar, and instead he was slaughtered there. In the present context (see the preceding Note), readers might be expected to think of Num 25:8, where the villainous Israelite wanted to be united with the pagan woman and was—by Phinehas’s spear. 2:25. the king’s man. Since v. 15 had reported that a number of the king’s men had come, the reference here to a single individual, along with the failure to refer to any neutralizing of the others or reaction on their part, might leave us wondering about the others. For the apparent assumption that this is so bothersome as to require us to conclude that a legendary source on Mattathias’s deed has been used to supplement the basic account, see Borchardt 2014, 57. Indeed, it would be understandable if more than one version arose concerning such a fundamental episode. However, there is no necessity to view this as a problem, since no one would really imagine that the officer came to Modiin alone. Note, for example, by way of comparison, that while 14:24 reports that Numenius was sent to Rome, 15:15 reports the return of his delegation, and there too it can be read without difficulty.

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and he tore down the pagan altar, as would frequently be done by his successors. See 5:44, 68 and 10:84; also Josephus, Ant. 13.256, 364, and (on the temple at Tel BeerSheba) Shatzman 1991, 56. On this theme, see especially Barbu 2010. 2:26. Zimri the son of Shallum, Num 25:14. Cf. the Note on v. 24, became zealous. 2:27. maintaining the covenant, ἱστῶν διαθήκην. On the noun, see the Note on v. 20, to adhere to the covenant. The verb can be used both for “maintaining” an extant covenant (12:1 [contrasted to “renew”], 14:29) and for “establishing” a new one (4:59; 8:1, 17, 20; 10:54; 14:24). See Muraoka 2009, 343–344, s.v. ἵστημι, especially II, §§6, 13. 2:28. he and his sons fled. No one else is mentioned, although the call in v. 27 was for “any man,” and already v. 39 will take “companions” for granted. The present formulation serves the needs of a dynastic history. Contrast the non-Hasmonean version of the story at 2 Macc 5:27, where the failure to mention Mattathias is complemented by the fact that Judas is accompanied by others from the outset. to the mountains. Taking to the hills to avoid danger in the city is as common in ancient Hebrew literature as everywhere else; see, for example, Gen 19:17, Ezek 7:16, and Mark 13:14. In the present case, flight was apparently to the Gophna Hills, east of Modiin; see Bar-Kochva 1989, 196; J. Schwartz and Spanier 1991, 253, 257. The same is said of Judas at 2 Macc 5:27, a fact that has contributed to some scholars’ doubts about the historicity of Mattathias.

Comments This chapter, which opens with the first appearance of Mattathias and ends with his death and burial, presents the outset of the rebellion: the patriarch of the family on which the book focuses, and the first steps of its protracted struggle. The rest of the work will follow Mattathias’s descendants one by one and the later and greater stages of the conflict. Indeed, note that in contrast to chapter 1, which focused on Jerusalem and the troubles there, this chapter, like all of chapter 3 and most of chapter 4, transpires outside Jerusalem. It thus has something of a “meanwhile, on the other side of town” nature; readers are expected to infer that if they are patient, the story that begins in Modiin will eventually bear fruit that will address and resolve the problems in Jerusalem set out in chapter 1. This hope is nourished both by the opening statement that Mattathias moved to Modiin from Jerusalem, which means that he must be aware of the catastrophic situation there, and, correspondingly, by the dirge in vv. 6–13, which focuses on that situation in Jerusalem, and by the mourning recorded in v. 14. Mattathias is not mentioned in 2 Maccabees, and the activities ascribed to him here, in vv. 42–48, can be read as parallel to those reported in 2 Macc 8:1, where we read of the growth of Judas  Maccabaeus’s movement in the wake of his movements around Judea and enlisting, in his force, those who remained “in Judaism”; that could well imply more hostile behavior on their part toward those who did not so remain. This has led some scholars to consider the possibility that the author of 1 Maccabees has created Mattathias by using materials that originally applied to Judas. The putative motivation for such a move would have been the need to make Simon his father’s heir (2:65!), rather than just another brother.

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However, while it is true that the need to justify the eventual rise to power of Simon and his line was a real concern for the author of this book, it does not seem justified to go so far as to deny the existence and role of Mattathias.2 There are three main reasons for this assessment: (1) the special mention of Simon and Judas in Mattathias’s deathbed speech (2:65–66) reflects secondary pro-Simonide editing of an original document, as is shown by several inconcinnities (see the end of the Comments on 2:49–70; also D. R. Schwartz 2017); had a pro-Simonide writer invented Mattathias, nothing would have occasioned such difficulties; (2) the pronounced religious orientation of Mattathias’s deathbed speech (2:49–64) differs so radically from the macho orientation of the poem about Judas (3:3–9) that it is difficult to imagine that originally the former also applied to Judas; although it is possible, it is hardly likely that such disparate materials would be preserved about the same individual; (3) similarly, the religious tone of Mattathias’s deathbed speech is very far from the tone of this book’s account of Simon, including the ode to Simon in 14:4–15.3 The story of Mattathias’s opening of the rebellion in Modiin is modeled, implicitly and explicitly, on that of Phinehas (Num 25)—who, filled with zeal for God, killed an apostate and was rewarded, by divine promise, with eternal priesthood; since regular Jewish priesthood was determined by Aaronite descent alone, Jewish tradition took the promise to refer to eternal high priesthood. Readers of the present story who were familiar with that biblical story would most probably recognize, from the reference to zeal and killing in v. 24—even if they happened to miss the hint about “yoking” at 1:15 and the public nature of the apostasy recorded at 2:23—that Mattathias’s act here was meant to recall Phinehas’s. To make sure that no one missed the point, however, the author pointed out the precedent explicitly in v. 26. The author is not so heavy-handed as to make explicit the implication that Mattathias’s descendants too were entitled to be high priests, but it is difficult to imagine that it did not occur to readers, and was not meant to. In any case, by the time they get to Mattathias’s explicit reference to Phinehas as “our father” in v. 54, probably even the dullest readers would make the connection.

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The Rebels Overcome Religious Restraints (2:29–41)

29 2 At that time numerous people seeking justice and law went down to the wilderness to take up residence there, 30they and their sons and their wives and their livestock, for the troubles weighed heavily upon them. 31But it was reported to the king’s men, and to the soldiers in Jerusalem, in the city of David, that men who had violated the king’s decree had gone down to hiding-places in the wilderness. 32A large number of them hastened off after them and caught up with them and, encamping over against them, went to war against them on a Sabbath day. 33And they said to them: “Enough now! Come out and do according to the king’s word, and you shall live.” 34But they said: “We shall not come out, nor shall we do the word of the king and thereby desecrate the Sabbath day.” 35So they hastened (to make) war upon them. 36But they did not respond, neither did they throw a single stone at them nor block up the hiding-places, 37 saying: “Let us all die in our rectitude; heaven and earth testify on our behalf, that it is unjustly that you wipe us out.” 38So they rose up against them in war on the Sabbath, and they died—they and their wives and their children and their livestock—around a thousand people. 39 When Mattathias and his companions learned of this they mourned over them greatly. 40And they said to one another: “If we all do like our brethren did, and do not fight the Gentiles for our lives and our laws, now they will swiftly wipe us off the face of the earth.” 41So they deliberated and decided that day, saying: “If any man comes to make war against us on a Sabbath day, we will fight against him, lest we all die as our brethren died in the hiding-places.”

Notes 2:29. justice and law, δικαιοσύνην καὶ κρίμα, Heb. s.ədāqâ ûmišpāt. , as in Gen 18:19, that is, seeking to live according to divine law. (In the parallel at 2 Macc 6:11 it is said specifically that it was the Sabbath the people involved wanted to observe, but that focus seems only to derive from the continuation of the story.) For the suggestion that

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the people in question are somehow related to the Qumran sect (despite the lack of detail here and despite the families mentioned in the next verse, whereas it is usually, although not universally, assumed that members of the Qumran sect were celibate; see, e.g., Kugler and Chazon 2004), see Kampen 1988, 77. Indeed, these terms are important ones in Qumran (Kampen, ibid., terms them “ubiquitous in the Dead Sea Scrolls” and “central to the self-understanding of the sect”), and not infrequently they appear together as here; see, for example, 1QS 1:5, 8:2, and 11:5. In the current context, however, what is important for the author is to portray these unfortunates, as those of 1:60–63, as adhering faithfully but naïvely to standard religious practice rather than participating in practical struggle against the Seleucids. the wilderness, ἔρημον. For its identification as the Desert of Samaria (noting that “desert” is the conventional translation of Heb. midbār, which literally refers to grazing lands for flocks and can apply to regions less barren than deserts), of which the southeastern end bordered on the Gophna Hills near Modiin, in which the rebellion first centered, see J. Schwartz and Spanier 1991. 2:30. they and their sons and their wives and their livestock. That is, they are not prepared for war. Contrast v. 28, where Mattathias’s valiant and dedicated followers leave everything behind. 2:31. violated, διεσκέδασαν. For use of this verb of violation of law by people who could and should observe it but choose not to, see also, for example, Num 15:31 and Ezra 9:14, along with Muraoka 2009, 158, s.v. διασκεδάζω, §3, where he renders “reject, throw away” and indicates the usage is specifically Septuagintal. For the basic Greek meaning, see the Note on 6:59, which we dissolved. city of David. See the Note on 1:33, city of David. hiding-places, κρύφους. Caves—according to 2 Macc 6:11 and Josephus, Ant. 12.274 (although in general Josephus does not seem to have known of 2 Maccabees), which fits the statement in v. 36 that they had entrances that could have been blocked. 2:32. encamping over against them, παρενέβαλον ἐπ’ αὐτούς. As in 6:26, 31 and 15:13, 25, presumably this reflects Heb. wayyah.ănû ‘al, which implies not only proximity but also hostile attempt (sometimes amounting to “besiege”). See, for example, Josh 10:31, Jer 52:4, 2 Chr 32:1, and Ps 27:3. on a Sabbath day, ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ τῶν σαββάτων. On this formulation, see the Note on 1:39, its Sabbaths. 2:33. Enough now!, Ἕως τοῦ νῦν. Muraoka (2009, 311) suggests “The time is up!, Enough of this!” This might be rab ‘atâ, rendered by the NJPS as “Enough!” at 2 Sam 24:16//1 Chr 21:15 and 1 Kgs 19:4. 2:34. desecrate the Sabbath day, βεβηλῶσαι τὴν ἡμέραν τῶν σαββάτων. On these formulations, see the Notes on 1:39 and 1:43. 2:37. rectitude, ἐν τῇ ἁπλότητι ἡμῶν, as below, v. 60. On the senses of ἁπλότης, see Amstutz 1968 (at 31–32 he prefers “Integrität” here and in v. 60) and Spicq 1994, 1.169–173 (including, “As opposed to duplicitous people, those with divided hearts, those who are simple have no other concern than to do the will of God, to observe his precepts; their whole existence is an expression of this disposition of heart, this rectitude: ‘Let us all die in our simplicity’ [1 Macc 2:37]” [1.170]). For tom derek as an ideal in Qumran texts, see, for example, 1QS 3:3, 9; 8:21, 25; cf. ’anšê təmîm (ha-)qōdeš in CD 20:2, 5, 7.

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2:38. they and their wives and their children and their livestock. The formulation signals the end, by total annihilation, of the story that began the same way in v. 30. people, ψυχῶν ἀνθρώπων. Lit. “souls of persons.” Probably ψυχῶν here reflects the Hebrew singular nepeš (as is frequent in such contexts in the Septuagint; see, e.g., Gen 46:18, Exod 1:5). The addition of ἀνθρώπων appears to be an attempt to clarify that the number of dead does not include the animals; for the same formulation, see Num 31:35. 2:39. greatly, ἕως σφόδρα, Heb. ‘ad mə’ōd, as at 1 Kgdms 25:36 and 3 Kgdms 1:4. 2:40. for our lives, περὶ τῆς ψυχῆς ἡμῶν. Here the Hebrew singular (e.g., Num 11:6, 21:5; Josh 2:14) survived translation (see esp. De Bruyne 1932, lii, n. 1), although numerous witnesses correct it to the plural; cf. the Notes on v. 38, people, and on v. 47, and their work was successful. they will swiftly wipe us, νῦν τάχιον ὀλεθρεύσουσιν ἡμᾶς. Together with the next words, this could well be an echo of Deut 11:17. But if the biblical verse posits the danger of failure to observe divine law, the Hasmoneans here posit the danger of continuing to observe it. off the face of the earth, ἀπὸ τῆς γῆς. Here, γῆ plainly means “world,” not “land”; cf. the Note on 3:9, His name was heard unto the end of the land. For the phrase , in the same context of being wiped out totally, cf. Gen 7:4 and Exod 32:12. 2:41. If any man comes to make war against us on a Sabbath day. This formulation, which allows self-defense but not offensive warfare on the Sabbath, appears elsewhere as well. Note especially Josephus’s report that Pompey, knowing that the Jews made such a distinction, abstained from directly attacking them on the Sabbath but did use the time to build siegeworks (Ant. 14.63–64, J.W. 1.146). In practice, however, the distinction was difficult to maintain. On the whole topic, see the studies mentioned in Notes and Comments, n. 4.

Comments This story provides another foil for the Hasmoneans: as the story at the end of chapter 1, it focuses on faithful Judeans who chose another course, which failed miserably. Four main points of contrast are made. The first three, which come at the very beginning of the story, are often missed: the pious people described in this story abstained from rebellion against the Seleucids, thought the Seleucids would leave them alone, and therefore thought they could continue their lives as normal—as is shown by the fact that they took their families and property with them. The Hasmoneans and their followers, in contrast, rebelled against the Seleucids, knew they had a war to fight, and (therefore) left their families and property behind; the latter is explicit in the final words of v. 28 and hence underlines the contrast with the report in vv. 29–30. The fourth contrast is more prominent and the real focus of the story—namely, the people involved are pious: they “seek righteousness and justice” and use religious parlance (“desecrate the Sabbath day,” “heaven,” “rectitude,” “unjustly”), and they allow themselves to be killed rather than violate religious law, whereas the Hasmoneans decide not to do so. True, numerous ancient, medieval, and modern religious Jewish discussions of the dilemma addressed in this story (combat is of course included in the prohibitions of “work” on the Sabbath, but abstinence from combat, at least in

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self-defense, will engender death) quote biblical verses and other evidence for religious precepts in order to show that the preservation of one’s life, and/or the conquest or defense of the Holy Land, is a religious duty that trumps the Sabbath.4 Such discussions deal with this dilemma within the terms of Judaism—and what is important here is the fact that there is nothing of the kind in 1 Maccabees. Here, the Hasmoneans quoted in vv. 39–41 make no effort to justify their decision on the basis of anything other than pragmatism. Just as the martyrs of v. 38 recognize that abstinence from warfare in selfdefense will get them killed, that is the only consideration cited by Mattathias and his men; no effort is made to explain why the alternative they chose is better than the one they rejected. Most basically, moreover, note that the death of these martyrs in the cave is useless. Contrast 2 Maccabees, where the death of martyrs works atonement and therefore moves God to renew his providential care for the Jews (see esp. 2 Macc 7:6, 37–38 and 8:3, 5), so the martyrs are actually “the saviors of the Jewish people” (van Henten 1997); and contrast the story in Assumption of Moses 9, which is strangely similar to the present one (see Nickelsburg 2006, 124–130, and Collins 1973, 22–26), but there the pious Jews who choose to die in a cave believe their death will force God to avenge them (see Licht 1961; Yuval 2006, 94–99). Here, however, in this pro-Hasmonean book, as at the end of chapter 1, the death of martyrs is useless, mere death, and serves to point out only that the Hasmoneans’ response is to be preferred. It is strange that not many scholars have recognized 1 Maccabees’ attitude toward martyrs; J. Goldstein’s remark (1976, 226) that “in fact, our author had considerable contempt for martyrs” is quite isolated.



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The Rebels Take the Initiative (2:42–48)

42 2 There then joined up with them a community of Judeans, mighty men of Israel, all who were devoted to the Torah. 43And all those who fled from the troubles joined them, and they became a buttress for them. 44And they formed a force and smote sinners in their wrath and wicked men in their anger; those who remained fled to the Gentiles to save themselves. 45And Mattathias and his companions went round and about: they destroyed the pagan altars 46and forcibly circumcised all the uncircumcised children that they found within the borders of Israel. 47And they chased away the arrogant, and their work was successful. 48They rescued the Law from the hand of the Gentiles and from the hand of the(ir) kings, and gave no quarter to any sinner.

Notes 2:42. community of Judeans, reading συναγωγὴ Ιὀυδαίων—as in Sinaiticus, Venetus, three manuscripts of the Vetus Latina (“sinagoga iudaeorum” [De Bruyne 1932, 13]), and older modern editions—rather than συναγωγὴ Ἀσιδαίων, which is attested in Alexandrinus, the Vulgate, and both Syriac versions (of which the latter is based on the former) and was adopted by Abel, Rahlfs, Kappler, and others. De Bruyne (1932,  3) suggests, in his apparatus for this verse, that Ἀσιδαίων is also supported, indirectly, by the strange reading of the Lyon manuscript: “in auxilia eorum” > asilaeorum > ΑΣΙΛΑΙΩΝ > ΑΣΙΔΑΙΩΝ. The reading συναγωγὴ Ἀσιδαίων, which would refer to the same group alluded to at 7:13, reflects the wording of Ps 149:1 (qəhal h.ăsîdîm), a psalm that goes on to report, as is appropriate in the present context, that they both praise God and wield double-bladed swords (v. 6). That reading is also attractive insofar as 1 Maccabees usually uses the alternative here, “Judeans,” in texts written by Gentiles (e.g., 8:23, 29; 10:23, 25) or addressed to them (12:3, 6), otherwise preferring “Israel” as the in-group designation (ten times in ch. 1, three in ch. 2, seven in ch. 3, etc.), as is usual elsewhere as well (see Ben-Eliyahu 2019, esp. 25–26).

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Nevertheless, one may doubt that the current consensus for reading Ἀσιδαίων would have come to be had Sinaiticus, and the weight of the Latin evidence, been known before the discovery of the Syriac evidence in the mid-nineteenth century. For apart from the philological facts that “Judeans” is much better testified (and we may understand that it is explained and dignified by the following reference to “Israel”), and that at least v. 23 and 11:47, 51, and 14:47 (and cf. 14:23–35, 37, 40–41!) show that the author could himself use it for Judeans (and that Goodblatt 1998 shows widespread Hasmonean usage of “Judeans”), it is also the case that (1) we have no reason to think that the author wanted readers to think that only the members of a particular sect joined the Hasmoneans; (2) there seems to be no other reference to H . asidim in this book, apart from (3) at 7:13, and I doubt they are mentioned there; but if they are, note that they are portrayed as naïve and foolish peace-seekers, which hardly fits those characterized here: Why should their attitude toward the Seleucids, or the author’s attitude toward them, have changed so radically? (And even if, as is so often thought, the H . asidim joined the rebellion as long as there were decrees against Judaism but, as 7:13 reports, gave it up after the decrees were abrogated, that would not explain why a proHasmonean writer would portray them so positively here, in retrospect.) It seems, therefore, that one of two scenarios is to be preferred: (1) Some copyist(s), perhaps sparked by the use of συναγωγή (which reminded him of Ps 149:1) and perhaps aware of the Greek text of 7:13 (and perhaps also of 2 Macc 14:6, the only other time the H . asidim are mentioned in the Septuagint), decided that the colorless ΙΟΥΔΑΙΩΝ was a mistake for ΑΣΙΔΑΙΩΝ; or (2) the original Hebrew text indeed used h.asîdîm but meant no more than “pious people” (for the senses of h.āsîd, see Jacobs 1957), but the translator mistook it to be the proper name of a particular group and therefore transliterated it. The latter suggestion is the one I have also adopted concerning 7:13; see the Note on 7:13, (just as) among the people of Israel it was the pious who were the first. For more detailed discussion, see D. R. Schwartz 1994. all who were devoted to the Torah, πᾶς ὁ ἑκουσιαζόμενος τῷ νόμῳ, Heb. kōl hamitnaddēw la-tôrâ. Frequent in 1QS (5:1, 8, 21, 22; 6:13–14); see Licht 1965, 108–109. For the translation, and much comparative material and bibliography, see Davies 1977, 134–135, and Mandel 2017, 143, n. 180. 2:43. buttress, στήριγμα, as at 6:18 and 10:23. Note the progress: if to begin with Mattathias was supported by his sons and brothers (2:17, ἐστηρισμένος), now their movement has grown and they are supported by others. 2:44. sinners . . . and wicked men, ἁμαρτωλοὺς . . . ἄνδρες ἀνόμους. Renaud (1961, 46), following Abel (1949, 44) and pointing to 1:10 and 1:34, where ἁμαρτωλός is used of Gentiles, thinks the “sinners” here are Gentiles. However, in 1:10 it is clear that Antiochus is not thought of as a Judean, and in 1:34 the “sinners” are explicitly said to be of a different “people” (ἔθνος). Here, in contrast, there is no such statement, hence no such room for certainty, and since those who survive the Judeans’ attack are said in this verse to have taken refuge with the Gentiles, it seems we should understand that the refugees were not Gentiles and that Mattathias’s men were not yet attacking Gentiles. In general, however, it is not clear that we should expect the author to be very specific about villains and to insist on distinguishing between those who are Judean and those who are not; after all, the former “emerged out of Israel” (1:11) and were treated as if they were foreigners (6:24). Cf. the Note on 4:2, men of the Akra.

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2:45. went round and about, ἐκύκλωσε. The same impression is given by the formulation at 2 Macc 8:1, “had been going in and out and around.” On the possibility that Mattathias materials have been affected by Judas materials, see the Comments on 2:1–28. the pagan altars. See 1:54. 2:46. forcibly, ἐν ἰσχύι. These Greek words read as if they are tacked on at the end of the verse, so perhaps a gloss. Moreover, it is difficult to find, before modern Hebrew, usage of bəkōah. in this sense. Note, however, with Natan Evron, both that there is some poetic justice in this phrasing here in contrast to 1:58, and that in Ezra 4:23 wəh.ayil, which is dependent on the prepositional bə one word earlier, appears in a similar sense and similar location in the sentence. uncircumcised children. See 1:15, 48. Schipper (2005, 95) declares that pious or nationalistic Jews did not consider Jewish-born boys really to be part of the people without circumcision (“waren die Kinder ohne Zeichen des Bundes [Beschneidung] schlicht keine Mitglieder des Volkes”). It is doubtful that one can justify this statement strictly speaking, as a matter of law, but when the failure to be circumcised was due to a decision to abstain from it, it could well conform to common sensitivities; see the Note on 1:15, deviating from the sacred covenant. It appears, nevertheless, that Mattathias was not as radical as those ancient Jews who held, according to Gen 17:14, that circumcision on the eighth day was a sine qua non of being Jewish (for males) and that therefore it was impossible to convert to Judaism; note especially the Septuagint and Samaritan versions of the verse, also Jub 15:25–26, and see Thiessen 2011. As Thiessen recognizes (p. 85), that position, if applied even in such special circumstances as these, would exclude the validity of what this verse reports. Indeed, a generation later the Hasmoneans will show themselves quite willing to convert adults to Judaism (however they phrased that) via circumcision; see the next Note. within the borders of Israel, ἐν ὁρίοις Ισραηλ. Although this seemingly geographical formulation (which recurs, slightly expanded, at 9:23) might imply forcible circumcision of non-Jewish children, this is unlikely, for the present report comes under the general heading of v. 44, which says that Mattathias’s men directed their hostility against sinners and wicked men, that is, Judeans (see the Note there, sinners . . . and wicked men). Indeed, the verse should be read in connection with the reports in chapter 1, mentioned in the first Note on this verse, about Jews who abstained, voluntarily or under duress, from circumcising their children. Were that not the case, why would only children be mentioned here? Note, in contrast, that when later the Hasmoneans are said to have imposed circumcision upon conquered peoples (Josephus, Ant. 13.257–258, 318–319, 397), there is no such limitation to children. Finally, note that Sinaiticus here reads not ὁρίοις but rather υἱοῖς—“the sons of Israel”; whether as text or as interpretation, it is reasonable. For the application of “Israel” to the people in this book, not to the land (which is usually “Judea” or “the land of Judah”), so “the borders of Israel” means “wherever Judeans are found”; see, for example, the Note on 1:25, upon Israel, in all of their places. For discussion, see especially Weitzman 1999, 44–51, and Livesey 2010, 4–15, n. 26. 2:47. and their work was successful, καὶ κατευοδώθη τὸ ἔργον ἐν χειρὶ αὐτῶν, lit. “the work prospered in their hand” (singular!)—a clear Hebraism, as at 1:44 and 5:12; cf. Gen 39:3, Isa 53:10, Dan 8:25; also the Note on v. 40, for our lives.

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2:48. rescued the Law, καὶ ἀντελάβοντο τοῦ νόμου. That is, they made its observance possible. Kahana (1937, 108) renders wayyigʾălû, pointing to LXX Isa 49:26. However, that is the only such case in the Septuagint, so odd that Hatch and Redpath (1897–1906, 1.11) refuse to recognize it. Rather, as Natan Evron notes, in the Septuagint ἀντιλαμβάνομαι usually renders verbs that relate to helping, such as ‘ZR—a verb that goes beyond “help” to the strong sense of “rescue, redeem.” For two cases from Qumran that, as here, specify whose “hand” someone or something is rescued from, note the following: “But you, my God, have rescued (ʿāzartâ) the soul of the poor and destitute from the hand (miyyad) of one stronger than him” (1QHa 10:36–37); and “the angel of his truth will rescue (yaʿăzôr) all the sons of light from the hand (miyyad) of Belial” (4Q177 5:12). Accordingly, the original Hebrew here might have been wayya‘ăzrû. from the hand of the Gentiles and from the hand of the(ir) kings. On the Hebraic repetition of “hand” in the present verse, see Introduction 5, at n. 54. Given the end of the following Note, compare especially 2 Sam 22:1, “from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul” (RSV). Note also the contrast between that hand and the “hand” of Judas and his men (v. 47). gave no quarter, οὐκ ἔδωκαν κέρας. Muraoka (2009, 395), who notes that κέρας, which regularly renders qeren in the Septuagint, usually means “horn,” which is a “symbol of might,” renders here “did not allow the sinner to triumph.” So too RSV (“they never let the sinner gain the upper hand”), Abel 1949, 45 (“ne laissèrent pas l’avantage au pécheur”), and Tilly 2015, 101 (“und ließen dem Sündner nicht die Oberhand”). However, if that were the meaning of the noun here, then the verb seems wrong; the abovementioned translations are forced to fudge the Greek’s “did not give” into “did not allow/let/ließen/laissèrent,” for while it is possible to imagine that the rebels, if unsuccessful, would allow victory to their enemies, there is no reason to think they would “give” them victory. Rather, as Rappaport notes (2004, 135, n. 15), it seems preferable to take κέρας here to have another sense of qeren, namely, “corner” (as often in the Bible of the “corner” of the altar [e.g., Lev 4:7, 18, 25] but also otherwise, as in Isa 5:1). For “holding onto the horn/corner of the altar” as granting asylum, see Exod 21:14 and 1 Kgs 1:50–51, 2:28. That is, the rebels not only defeated their enemies; they did not even give them any quarter—any refuge or possibility of escape. Note especially, in this connection, the parallelism in 2 Sam 22:3, where, just after the first verse called to mind by the opening of the present verse, David says that God is “my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the qeren of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge.” For the suggestion that there, too, qeren refers to a “corner” in which one can find refuge (“quarter”), see H . akham 2003, 1.110.

Comments This first round of fighting deals only with combat between the Hasmoneans and their followers and their Judean enemies; in vv. 44 and 48 it distinguishes the latter (“sinners,” “wicked men”) fairly clearly from Gentiles. But the fighting obviously aims also to reverse steps taken by the Seleucids in chapter 1: it was Antiochus who had ordained the construction of altars (v. 45) and prohibited circumcision (v. 46). Moreover, the Judeans attacked by the Hasmoneans fled “to the Gentiles” (v. 44) and could expect to receive succor from them. Hence, this first round of fighting, despite its limited nature,

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opens the Hasmonean revolt against Seleucid rule; and the summary in v. 48, which refers to rescuing the Torah from the hands of Gentiles and kings, may be understood as a legitimate adumbration of the rest of the story. Schipper (2005) has suggested that the passage, especially vv. 45–46, is meant to suggest to readers that Mattathias is a latter-day Joshua: just as the ancient conquest of the land entailed elimination of pagan altars and circumcision of uncircumcised children, so too Mattathias’s conquest. However, while the circumcision of children is associated with Joshua in Joshua 5, the verse Schipper quotes about destroying altars, Judg 2:2, is quite far away from that passage and is actually a complaint about the failure to destroy altars. So while it is possible (as the case of Schipper shows) that this passage would have suggested to readers that Mattathias was a new Joshua, it does not seem likely that the author was particularly interested in fostering that suggestion. Indeed, the fact that Joshua is only one of a number of names mentioned in Mattathias’s speech (below, v. 55) argues against it. See especially Schnocks 2014, 101–106, 109; he examines Schipper’s case and concludes that the points of contact between 1 Maccabees and Joshua are “weak and unmarked.” Similarly, Berthelot (2007, 60) concluded that “no document has reached us that allows us to say that the Hasmonaeans saw themselves as fulfilling God’s command to Joshua”; see also her discussion in Berthelot 2018, 102–109, which concludes that Joshua and his exploits only “marginally” inspired the author of 1 Maccabees. For more on this, see the Notes on 4:10, if he desires us, and on 11:71, Jonathan tore his garments.

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Mattathias’s Deathbed Speech and Death (2:49–70)

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When the days came near for Mattathias to die, he said to his sons:

Now that arrogance and condemnation have become firmly established, a time of ruin and furious wrath—50now be zealous for the Law, children, and give your lives for the covenant of our fathers. 51Remember the deeds of our fathers, which they did each in his generation, and they received great glory and an eternal name. 52 Abraham—was he not found faithful in trial, and it was considered unto him as righteousness? 53 Joseph kept the commandment at the time of his distress, and he became the ruler of Egypt. 54 Phinehas our father, by being zealous with zeal received the covenant of eternal priesthood. 55 Joshua, by fulfilling the word, became a judge in Israel. 56 Caleb, by giving testimony in the congregation, received an inheritance in the land. 57 David, due to his devotion, received the royal throne unto eternity. 58 Elijah, by being zealous in zeal for the Law, was taken up into heaven. 59 Hananiah, Azariah, and Mishael, having remained faithful, were saved from fire. 60 Daniel, in his rectitude, was rescued from the mouth of lions. 61 Therefore bear in mind that, from generation to generation, all who put their hope in him will not stumble. 62And do not become fearful due to the words of a sinful man, for his glory is unto dung and worms: 63today he is on the heights but tomorrow he is no longer to be found, for he shall return to his dust and his plotting shall perish.

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Children, be courageous and be strong in the Law, for by it you shall be glorified! 65 Now behold: Simeon your brother is, I know, a man of good counsel; listen to him always, he shall be unto you as your father. 66 And Judas Maccabaeus has been powerful and mighty since his youth; he shall be unto you the chief of the army and fight the war against the Gentiles. 67 And all of you—join unto you all those who do the Law, and avenge your people. 68Requite the Gentiles their retribution and heed the commandment of the Law. 64

And he blessed them, and was gathered up unto his fathers. 70He died in the 146th year and was buried in the graves of his fathers in Modiin, and all Israel mourned him greatly. 69

Notes 2:49. When the days came near for Mattathias to die. This phrasing puts Mattathias alongside such biblical heroes as Jacob (Gen 47:29) and David (1 Kgs 2:1). arrogance . . . condemnation . . . time of ruin and furious wrath, ὑπερηφανία καὶ ἐλεγμὸς καὶ καιρὸς καταστροφῆς καὶ ὀργὴ θυμοῦ. This verse recalls Isa 37:3//2 Kgs 19:3, where Hezekiah opens his speech by proclaiming that “this day is a day of distress (s.ārâ), tôkēh.â, and nə’ās.â”; see below on the translation of the last two nouns. In the Septuagint of that verse in Isaiah, which the author of 1 Maccabees might have had in mind, the three Hebrew nouns are rendered by four in Greek: θλίψεως καὶ ὀνειδισμοῦ καὶ ἐλεγμοῦ καὶ ὀργῆς. Usually, scholars assume that the first three are in order and the fourth is gratuitous—so, for example, Wildberger 1982, 1383, and Hatch and Redpath 1897–1906, 1.449a (as also at 2.994c, where they take ὀνειδισμοῦ to represent tôkēh.â). But perhaps there was a fourth noun in the original Hebrew; see the next Note. As for ἐλεγμός: Often in the Septuagint (e.g., LXX Lev 19:17; Pss 37:14, 38:11, 149:7) it represents tôkēh.â, including in its version of 2 Kgs 19:3 (although in its version of the parallel at Isa 37:3 it seems rather to correspond to nə’ās.â), and this is usually thought concerning the present verse as well. However, usually tôkēh.â is taken to refer to criticism that is thought to be warranted, offered by a well-meaning observer in order to improve the recipient’s behavior; note especially the German “Zurechtweisung,” offered here by Tilly 2015, 103. Indeed, in the Bible, tôkēh.â is offered by Abraham (Gen 21:25), by all righteous people (Lev 19:17), by good fathers (2 Sam 7:14, Prov 3:12), by teachers and the wise in general (Prov 15:12, 25:12), and frequently by God (Gen 31:42; Isa 2:4; Ps 50:8, 21; Ps 94:10, etc.), often appearing parallel to YSR (“to chastise,” in order to improve; so, e.g., Prov 3:11, 5:12, 6:23). Similarly, note the appearance of ἐλεγμός in the sense of “punishment” (Deborah Gera 2014, 144) at Jdt 2:10, a verse that, as this one, might be alluding back to Hezekiah’s speech; there, too, the word refers to punishment that is warranted in the eyes of the speaker. Here, however, there is no suggestion that anything the Judeans did warranted punishment (so also “vengeance,” which is suggested by the parallelism at Ps 149:7 and Sir 48:7, would not work), and the context, alongside “arrogance,” “ruin,” and “furious wrath,” indicates that ἐλεγμός is something done by the wicked for no good reason. This has led commentators such

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as Abel (1949, 46–47) and J. Goldstein (1976, 238–239) to offer “outrage”; both point in this context to nə’ās.â in Isa 37:3, where, as seen above, it may indeed be rendered by ἐλεγμός; Penna (1953, 64) even offers “sopruso” (“tyranny,” “abuse of power”) here. That, however, would leave LXX Isa 37:3 the only place in the Septuagint in which ἐλεγμός stands for nə’ās.â, as also the only place in which ὀνειδισμός stands for tôkēh.â. It is easier to assume (1) that in LXX Isa 37:3 the second and third words are in reverse order, so it is ὀνειδισμός that stands for nə’ās.â (as usually it refers to disgrace and insulting, as does nə’ās.â; see the Note on v. 6, outrages that had occurred), while ἐλεγμός, as often elsewhere, stands for tôkēh.â; and (2) that the latter’s nuance here is something like “condemnation.” It does not take much for “rebuke” to turn into “condemnation.” Note especially Pesher Habakkuk 5:10, which may condemn those who stood by silently while the “Man of Lies” imposed tôkēh.â upon the Teacher of Righteousness. That would certainly condemn him, if not worse; Heinz-Josef Fabry, in TDOT 6:71, offers “torturing, ‘chastisement’ (and execution?).” But other interpretations are possible. See H. G. M. Williamson 1977 and Lim 2020, 82. wrath, ὀργὴ θυμοῦ. As in LXX Ezek 23:25, where the Hebrew is h.ēmâ. Note that if we indeed assume that this verse is echoing Hezekiah’s words at Isa 37:3//2 Kgs 19:3, it would amount to an additional witness, alongside the Septuagint version of the former, for this fourth item. 2:50. be zealous for the Law. A leitmotif in this speech (here and vv. 54, 58), as already above (vv. 24, 26, 27), and the prime link the author builds between the Hasmoneans and Phinehas, the archetypical zealot and high priest (Num 25:11). On such “zeal,” see especially Hengel 1989, 149–228. For “zeal for the Law” as a catchphrase that all Jews who claimed to be legitimate claimed to embody, as also in 1QS 4:4 and 9:23, Acts 22:3, and Gal 1:14, see A. I. Baumgarten 1992, 141–142. 2:51. each in his generation, as in v. 61, probably alluding to Deut 32:7, which requires those who would understand history, and especially the Jews’ troubles, to consider “the years of each and every generation.” Compare Sir 44:1, which, opening a long section on the greats of the biblical past, calls upon readers to praise “our fathers in their generations.” But note that Ben Sira’s list of characters includes antediluvian nonJews, such as Enoch and Noah (44:16–18), which corresponds to his universalism (e.g., 10:19). The more particularistic author of 1 Maccabees, in contrast, confines himself to Jews, in a way reminiscent of how Neh 9:6–7 skips directly from Genesis 1 (without mentioning the creation of humankind) to Genesis 12. and they received great glory. The Greek reads the imperative δέξασθε, which is surprising, or even “unbequem” (Risberg 1915, 8). But what is expected is not a futuretense verb (“do this and you will . . .”), as Risberg seems to have assumed, but rather a statement about the fathers, in the past, as in all of the items of the coming list of examples. Perhaps the consonantal Hebrew text read QBLW, which was meant to be qibbəlû, but a translator whose expectations were similar to Risberg’s, doing as best as he could, read qabbəlû. 2:52. Abraham . . . in trial. Probably the reference is to the binding of Isaac (Gen 22); later Jewish tradition enlarged on the number of “tests” Abraham underwent (see Jub 17:17–18; m. Avot 5:3; Avot de Rabbi Natan A, ch. 33 [ed. Schechter, 94–95]; and Pirqe de Rabbi Eliezer, chs. 26–31 [Friedlander 1916, 187–230]). The fact that Abraham is the first hero mentioned in this list, and that it is with reference to his son and

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the willingness of Abraham to see him die in service to God, suggests that although Mattathias’s speech is meant to encourage his sons to be willing to die, this first item is meant particularly to reflect his own situation, as a father urging his sons to be willing to die. faithful. Abraham’s faithfulness when “tried” is also emphasized at Sir 44:20 and Jub 17:18. considered unto him as righteousness. Gen 15:6, quoted in Jub 14:6. On the interpretation of this verse in the Second Temple period, down to Paul, see Oeming 1998. 2:53. Joseph. The mother’s speech in 4 Macc 18:11 focuses on Joseph’s suffering in prison (Gen 39–40), but more probably the reference here, which emphasizes his steadfast observance of the Law (which is not mentioned in the report of his imprisonment in Gen 40) is especially to Genesis 39: Joseph’s rejection of the advances of Potiphar’s wife. See Niehoff 1992, 51: “This notice is then the earliest allusion to the concept of this ‘affair’ as a trial of religious steadfastness.” So too Kugel 1990, 20–21. More generally, on “Joseph as a Paradigmatic Enslaved Figure” in ancient Jewish literature, see Byron 2003, 132–138. became the ruler of Egypt. For Joseph as ruler, see Genesis 41–50 and Ps 105:17– 22. Cf. Oertelt 2015. 2:54. Phinehas our father. This emphasis of their particular relationship to Phinehas, which stands out since there is no similar addition about any other person mentioned in this list, underscores the Hasmoneans’ priestly descent. Just as the explicit comparison of Mattathias’s opening act (v. 26) to Phinehas’s, along with the implicit hints at 1:15 and 2:23–24, this adumbrates the Hasmoneans’ eventual claim to the high priesthood—a position reserved for Phinehas’s descendants (Num 25:13, Sir 45:23–25). 2:55. Joshua. See Num 13:30–14:38, 26:65. became a judge. This is a difficult statement, unless one takes “judge” in a general sense as nonroyal and nonpriestly “ruler” (in contrast to vv. 53–54), as is the case with Jonathan at 9:73. See Hieke 2007, 67–68, and Schnocks 2014, 102–104. Schnocks notes that by focusing on Joshua, the author conjures up the image of a hero who (as opposed to the other biblical judges) not only directed a particular war in a particular crisis but also stayed on to rule for a long time—and was therefore an especially good model for the Hasmoneans. For other allusions to Joshua (and Caleb), see the Notes on 4:10, if he desires us, and on 11:71, Jonathan tore his garments. Nevertheless, compare the end of the preceding Comments. 2:56. Caleb. Together with Joshua, Caleb remained devoted to the land of Israel despite the strength of the Israelites’ enemies (Num 13:30–14:38, 26:65). received an inheritance in the land. This is a specific reference to Num 14:24 and Josh 14:13–14. But the formulation also alludes to such verses as Isa 60:21 and Ps 44:4, which suggest more directly that such good fortune would be shared by others who followed in Caleb’s footsteps. 2:57. David . . . devotion. It may be assumed that, as is very usual in the Septuagint, ἔλεος here represents the Hebrew h.esed; on Septuagintal usage, see Joosten 2004. Thus, the phrase recalls the references to “David’s h.eseds” in Isa 55:3 and 2 Chr 6:42. Moreover, comparison to references in Nehemiah (13:14) and 2 Chronicles (32:32, 35:26) to other rulers who did h.eseds shows (as is noted by Sakenfeld 1978, 156–157) that whatever the original sense was, later readers would similarly take Isa 55:3 to mean

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that David was the one who did the h.eseds that are mentioned. As for how to translate h.esed here: very frequently it means “mercy” (see esp. Joosten 2004), and that led Hieke (2007, 69) to suggest that this verse refers to David’s display of mercy for various enemies (2 Sam 9:1, 3, 7; 10:2; 1 Kgs 2:7). However, such behavior is never adduced in the Bible as a reason for David’s appointment to the throne, nor is mercy to enemies ever portrayed as laudable in 1 Maccabees. Rather, this entire list is devoted to examples of faithfulness to God—hence “devotion,” as in the RSV translation of h.esed in Jer 2:2. received the royal throne unto eternity. See 2 Sam 7:16. On the verb here, κληρονομέω, see the Note on 1:32, took possession. Here, however, the reference to “eternity” apparently entails some of the original sense of the verb (“inherit”) as well: David received the royal throne, and it remained as an inheritance for his descendants forever. 2:58. Elijah . . . zeal. See 1 Kgs 19:10, 14; Sir 48:2. On Elijah as a model of zealousness in the image of Phinehas, see Hengel 1989, 162–168; Schwemer 2013; and the Note on 13:5, for I am not better than my brothers. was taken up into heaven, ἀνελήμφθη ὡς εἰς τὀν οὐρανόν. J. Goldstein (1976, 241) suspected that here, as in LXX 4 Kgdms 2:1, 11, the use of ὡς is a reservation: “as if.” But Sir 48:9 reflects no such reservation, and, as Hieke notes (2007, 70, n. 32), it seems more warranted either to take ὡς with a preposition of direction as denoting the direction or to read ἕως (“taken up until heaven”), with Venetus. 2:59. Hananiah, Azariah, and Mishael, of Dan 1:6–20 and 3:8–30 (and similarly recalled in 3 Macc 6:6 and 4 Macc 18:12). These Judean youths in the Babylonian court persisted in observing Jewish law, like Daniel, despite the king’s orders and were miraculously saved. The Septuagint version of Daniel 3 has two prayers attributed to them, inserted after Dan 3:23; on them, see Schürer 1973–1987, 3.722–730; and Siegert 2016, 265–266. 2:60. Daniel . . . lions. See Daniel 6; cf. 3 Macc 6:6–7, where these same two stories are mentioned in a similar context. rectitude. As above, v. 37. 2:61. from generation to generation. This return to the opening (v. 51) signals that the coming verses are a peroration. him. This is the closest that this long speech comes to mentioning God explicitly. Although one may assert that “yet God is always present in the form of the passivum divinum” (Hieke 2007, 71), others might doubt how many readers will be able to keep him in mind over long stretches of text that fail to mention him, even in a text such as this one, in which the religious content is quite salient. On the passivum divinum and its problematic nature, see the Note on 5:62, had been given. will not stumble. Cf. Isa 63:13, Jer 31:9, Ps 26:1. 2:62. dung and worms. This sounds like Sir 10:11 (“For when a man is dead, he will inherit creeping things, and wild beasts, and worms” [RSV]), especially in light of the continuation: 2:63. today . . . but tomorrow. A common notion, including in the adjacent verse in Ben Sira (10:10: “the king of today will die tomorrow”) and a little earlier (9:11: “Do not envy the honors of a sinner, for you do not know what his end will be”). on the heights, ἐπαρθήσεται. Given that the reference is to wicked people, this seems to relate both to objective success (as with the Romans at 8:13) and, as with Alexander (1:3), to arrogance as a result of it. Cf. the description of Ptolemy VI at 11:16.

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plotting, διαλογισμός. This seems to recall Ps 146:4: a man’s “thoughts” or “plans” perish on the day of his death. I have deployed a translation, however, with a negative nuance, “plotting,” because here, as opposed to that biblical verse, the reference is specifically to that of a “sinful man.” Indeed, διαλογισμός, used there in the Septuagint (Ps 145:4) for ‘eštōnōt (RSV: “plans”), is a standard Septuagintal translation of mah.ăšāvâ, “thought,” which often has the negative sense of plotting; see, for example, Dan 11:25, Jer 49:30, Esth 8:5. In LXX Ps 138 (Heb. 139):20 it actually renders məzimmâ (“plot”). 2:64. courageous . . . strong. The common biblical admonition, h.izqû wə’ims.û. Cf., for example, Deut 31:6, 7, 23 and Josh 1:6–7. Cf. the Note on 1:62, remained strong and, despite their suffering, abstained from eating impure things. 2:65. Simeon, Συμεων. Of all the some sixty times that Simon is mentioned in 1 Maccabees, this is the only occurrence of this spelling; everywhere else he is Σίμων. Given the other evidence for the secondary nature of this reference to Simon (since he in fact does not inherit his father’s role; see the Note on 3:1, arose in his stead), this is quite impressive testimony to the accuracy of the scribal tradition, which in this case indicates that this reference to him was added, in Greek, by a pro-Simonide editor, to a text that had already been translated. Had the addition been made into a Hebrew text, all occurrences of the name would have been spelled the same way. Note also that the spelling Συμεων occurs one more time in the book, not of this Simon, but of his great-grandfather (2:1). It is likely that the same pro-Simonide editor who was concerned to adumbrate Simon’s eventual hegemony was also happy to mention his eponymous ancestor. I know, οἶδα. It is noteworthy that this verse does not offer a pronoun as well. Contrast 3:52 and 13:3, which do, conforming to biblical usage, so as to emphasize the certainty of the knowledge (Joüon 1922, 205–206). See the next Note. 2:66. the war against the Gentiles, πόλεμον λαῶν, lit. “war of the peoples.” This phrase has given translators much trouble, because as a rule the Septuagint uses λαός, in the singular, for the Jews and ἔθνη, in the plural, for Gentiles. Moreover, just a few verses later, at 3:2, Judas Maccabaeus and his men are said to have fought τὸν πόλεμον Ισραηλ, and there (as also at 9:30 and 13:9, and probably at 16:2) the genitive obviously denotes whom the war is for; why should it refer here to whom the war was against? These considerations have led translators to turn the plural into singular and render “the people’s war” (so, for example, the Einheitsübersetzung: “den Krieg für [!] sein Volk”; see D. R. Schwartz 2012, 216). Another possibility, somewhat more speculative, is the suggestion that the original text referred to the war(s?) of God—perhaps echoing “wars of God” in 1 Sam 18:17 and 25:28, just as the first part of the present verse (“powerful and mighty since his youth”) might be echoing 1 Sam 17:33, and just as 1 Samuel 17 is echoed elsewhere in this book (see the index of biblical citations). That is, the original text might have hinted at Mattathias playing Saul to Judas’s David—so J. Goldstein 1976, 242. They would not be the only such hints, however inconsistent; see the Note on 3:4, young lion. However that may be, it seems that in its present state, we should take this verse literally, as referring to Israel’s war against other peoples, and realize that whoever edited these verses in the Greek version of Mattathias’s testament was not familiar with the usual differential usage of λαός and ἔθνη. This conforms with the fact that, evidently, he was not familiar with the book’s usual Greek spelling of Simon’s name (see above, the Note on v. 65, Simeon), with usual parlance about God’s

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­commandments as opposed to royal edicts (see the Note on v. 68, the commandment), or with the translator’s usual way of expressing certainty about knowledge (see the Note on v. 65, I know). That is, the use of the genitive to define the enemies appears to be another bit of evidence that whoever wrote these verses, at least as they now are, was not the translator of the book as a whole. And since the editor of the text is evidently pro-Simonide, it is significant that we find in chapter 14 as well frequent use of ἔθνος for the Jews, and so too, in Simon’s mouth, at 16:3; see the Note on 14:4, He sought the welfare of his people. 2:67. who do the Law, τοὺς ποιητὰς τοῦ νόμου. So too in 13:48. This corresponds to ‘ôśê ha-tôrâ, which is known especially from Qumran texts, including Pesher Habakkuk 7:10–11, 8:1, 12:4–5; for more, see Horgan 1979, 38; Lim 2020, 105; and (with Alon 1938/39, 154) John 7:19. 2:68. Requite the Gentiles their retribution, ἀνταπόδοτε ἀνταπόδομα τοῖς ἔθνεσιν. A frequent biblical expression, with the object gəmûl and the verb either HŠB (e.g., Pss 28:4, 94:2) or ŠLM (e.g., Isa 59:18, 66:6). It applies to the wicked, but in the present chapter “the Gentiles” have been assigned that role; see vv. 10, 12, 40, 44, 48. heed, προσέχετε. As at 7:11 and 10:61. the commandment of the Law, πρόσταγμα τοῦ νόμου. This is puzzling, for since there is no reference to any particular commandment here, we would expect “commandments,” in the plural (and copyists and translators often supply the plural here; so, e.g., the KJV, Abel 1949, and Tilly 2015). As evidence for usual Hebrew style, note not only that the plural is used without comment in the translations offered by Kahana 1937 and Artom 1969, but also that when I showed Rappaport’s 2004 translation (MS.WWT), which is not vocalized so can be read either as singular or as plural, to numerous readers at home in Hebrew, virtually all read it in the plural. This would reflect the usual notion that the Law, the Torah, includes numerous commandments; so, for example, at 10:14, where villains are said to have abandoned “the Law and the commandments” (ha-tôrâ wəha-mis.wôt). Moreover, the use of πρόσταγμα for mis.wâ is also surprising, although not impossible; in the Septuagint, ἐντολή is usually used for mis.wâ (whether human or divine), and so too may it be translated in 1 Maccabees (2:19, 31, 53; 11:2), so too δικαιώματα (2:21, 40, perhaps also 1:49), while πρόσταγμα is used for the edicts of human kings (1:60; 2:18, 23; 6:23; the only exception is at 10:14). See D. R. Schwartz 2012, 221–222. 2:69. was gathered up unto his fathers. That is, died (so too 14:30)—a standard biblical phrase (Judg 2:10, 2 Kgs 22:20, 2 Chr 34:28); see Bloch-Smith 1992, 110. 2:70. 146th year. That is, 166/165 BCE according to the Judean reckoning (SEbab). graves of his fathers in Modiin. These would eventually be renovated massively (13:27–30), but they have not yet been found; see especially Fine 2002. mourned him greatly. As at the deaths of Judas (9:20) and Jonathan (13:26, also 12:52 and 14:16).

Comments This speech (on which, see esp. Egger-Wenzel 2006 and Hieke 2007) lists biblical precedents for confidence that zeal for the Law, or at least faithfulness to it, pays off.

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Insofar as it presents a chronological list of the greats of biblical history, it recalls Ben Sira 44–49. But whereas the latter is quite long because it has no particular focus, the present list is short and aims at making a single point, summarized succinctly in its opening (vv. 50–51) and again in what seems to be its peroration (v. 64). In this respect it is more like 3 Macc 6:2–15 and 4 Macc 18:7–19, which indeed refer to several of the same heroes. It is important to note, with Schnocks (2014, 101–102), that the “payoff” is frequently not only fame, but also the achievement of a leadership position (“ruler,” high priest, judge, king—vv. 53–55, 57). This, together with the specific reference to Phinehas, the archetypical high priest, as “our father” (v. 54), is the practical implication of the speech for the Hasmoneans. The peroration in v. 64, which could have been followed directly by vv. 69–70, is in fact followed by two verses (vv. 65–66) that make arrangements for leadership of the movement after Mattathias’s death, and they require a new peroration in vv. 67–68. The appointment of Simon as Mattathias’s heir (v. 65) seems clearly to be a secondary addition, if only because it is ignored and frontally contradicted by 3:1. The addition was evidently meant to justify the eventual course of events, so it may be that all four of these verses are secondary—an hypothesis that could also account for some other oddities in their formulation; see the Note on v. 66, the war against the Gentiles.

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6

Opening Ode to Judas Maccabaeus (3:1–9)

1 3 His son Judas, who was called Maccabaeus, arose in his stead. 2And he was assisted by all his brothers and all those who had cleaved to his father, and they fought Israel’s war gladly.

He spread about the glory of his people and wore armor like a giant, and girded himself about with his military equipment; he started wars, protecting the camp by the sword. 4 He was like a lion in his deeds, and like a young lion roaring for his prey. 5 Seeking out the wicked he chased after them, and hotly pursued those who terrified his people. 6 The wicked cowered in fear of him, and all the doers of wicked acts were terrified, and salvation was successfully achieved by his hand. 7 He angered many kings, but caused Jacob to rejoice in his deeds, and his memory will forever be a blessing. 8 He went through the cities of Judah, and totally destroyed the impious out of  it, and turned wrath away from Israel. 9 His name was heard unto the end of the land, and he gathered together those who were perishing. 3

Notes 3:1. arose in his stead, ἀνέστη . . . ἀντ’ αὐτοῦ. This is the author’s standard way of punctuating his story by marking the rise of each successive Hasmonean (2:1, 3:1, 9:31, 13:14, 14:32 [and see the Note on 14:26, was strong]); the phrasing is reminiscent of

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1 Kgs 8:20. In this case, however, the notice poses a problem, because 2:65 clearly led readers to expect Simon instead. While the RSV and NRSV, departing from the KJV’s “rose up in his stead,” would avoid the problem by translating “took command,” thus suggesting that Judas’s authority was confined to the military domain, as is mandated by 2:66, it seems in fact simpler to view 2:65 as a clumsy bit of pro-Simonide editing; see the Note on 2:65, Simeon. Israel’s war. As at 16:2. Cf. the Note on 2:66, the war against the Gentiles. 3:2. cleaved, ἐκολλήθησαν. On this verb, which also appears in 6:21, and which, in the Septuagint, usually corresponds to DBQ—a verb that entails complete severance of ties to one’s origins and amalgamation with someone else, as in Gen 2:24—see D. R. Schwartz 1983 (on Acts 5:13). As for the use of the passive in Greek here, see the Notes on 1:15, sold themselves to the doing of evil, and 2:16, stuck together. 3:3. armor like a giant. Perhaps ancient readers thought of Goliath (1 Sam 17:5) and enjoyed the reversal of roles; David’s victory over Goliath is alluded to at 4:30. In any case, it is clear that the author wants to portray Judas as a highly successful soldier who, in contrast to David, does not glory in being an underdog, nor in being dependent upon God (see 1 Sam 17:26, 36, 45–47).5 3:4. young lion, σκύμνος, Heb. kəpîr. As Melamed notes, in his full discussion of the translation of σκύμνος (1932, 469–470), this is an allusion to Ps 104:21. For parallelism between aryēh (lion) and kəpîr, as here, see, for example, Nah 2:11 and Isa 31:4. Van Henten (1996, 203–204) notes that the present passage may also remind readers of the patriarch Judah, who was famously characterized by his father as “a lion’s cub” (Gen 49:9), and thus suggest a comparison of Judas to David. See also below, the Note on v. 4, Judas took Apollonius’s sword. Such allusions to biblical figures in portraying their namesakes is not surprising; compare, for example, Josephus’s Vita 204, in which, by referring both to the jealousy that led his fellows to try to eliminate him and to his desire to see his father before he dies, he seems to compare himself to the biblical Joseph (Gen 37, 45:28). But there is no reason to press these allusions as if they are meant to suggest that Judas was something of a descendant of David (cf. the Comments on 3:27–4:35), just as, for example, there is no reason to follow the allusion to Saul (2 Sam 1:19, 25) in 9:21 to any conclusion about Judas being a Benjaminite or a latter-day Saul. For the Hasmoneans being priests, and hence of the tribe of Levi, see the Note on 2:1, a priest. 3:5. wicked, ἀνόμους. Here and in the next verse (ἄνομοι . . . ἐργάται τῆς ἀνομίας) there is, despite the etymology, no particular reference to the violation of any law or laws. Rather, as is usual in Septuagintal usage, the reference is to evil in general; by far, the most usual word it represents is simply rāšā‘ (“evil,” “wicked”). See Borchardt 2017 and Introduction 5, at n. 36. hotly pursued, ἐφλόγισε. In the Septuagint, this verb is used for literal burning, but that seems unwarranted here. One possibility is suggested by J. Goldstein (1976, 244): the original Hebrew verb was a form of B‘R, which can mean not only “burn” but also “eliminate” or “destroy,” as, for example, at Deut 26:13 and 2 Chr 19:3. However, if the present verse meant Judas eliminated the wicked, it would be somewhat surprising to read in the next verse that they are still alive and cowering. While that is not impossible, it might be preferable to look for a verb that refers to pursuit, paralleling the first verb in the verse; the suggestion that ἐφλόγισε is a mechanical mistranslation of Heb.

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dālaq, which literally means “burned” but is used of “chase” (Gen 31:36, 1 Sam 17:53, Lam 4:19), which would neatly parallel the earlier verb, is the fifteenth stelling (thesis) that accompanies E. Stein 1937. As Natan Evron notes, the verb is similarly mistranslated by LXX Lam 4:19, where another verb of burning (ἐξάπτω) is used. those who terrified, ταράσσοντας, answered tit-for-tat by συνεταράχθησαν in the next verse. The original probably used the root BHL in the active and passive voice, as in Ps 83:15 and 2 Chr 32:18 on the one hand and Exod 15:15 and Jer 51:32 on the other. On ταράσσω, see Spicq 1994, 3.372–376. 3:6. wicked acts, ἐργάται τῆς ἀνομίας. Probably ma‘ăśê reša‘ or ma‘ăśê ’âwen (as in Isa 59:6). and salvation was successfully achieved by his hand. Cf. 5:62. 3:7. and his memory will forever be a blessing. Based on such biblical verses as Prov 10:7 and Ps 112:6 (cf. Sir 46:11), such language is common in Jewish epitaphs; see van der Horst 1991, 37–38. 3:8. wrath. As at 1:64 and 2:49, God is not mentioned, although translators and commentators like to insert him; see Introduction 4, at n. 39. 3:9. His name was heard unto the end of the land. The same is said of Simon at 14:10. For the importance of the spread of one’s “name,” see also the Note on v. 14, make myself a name. I have rendered ἕως ἐσχάτου γῆς here as “unto the end of the land” (not “earth”) for two main reasons: (1) it must be the case in the parallel at 14:10, given the following references to γῆ in 14:11, 13; and (2) the present verse goes on to refer to the events of chapter 5 in far-flung parts of Palestine. However, it seems that at 1:3, 2:40, 8:4, and 15:9 γῆ means the whole world, and in the present case there is some room for ambiguity: given the apparent intent of this passage to summarize all of Judas’s accomplishments, we may wonder whether the author also had chapter 8 in mind—Judas’s treaty with Rome, which might be thought of as representing the end of the earth (see esp. 8:19). On the senses of γῆ in 1 Maccabees, see especially Uemura 2012, 90–92. On the same ambiguity in Acts 1:8, the Judean beginning of a story that promises to get to the end of the γῆ and indeed gets to Rome by the end of the book, see D. R. Schwartz 1986. gathered together those who were perishing, ἀπολλυμένους, as twice in LXX Isa 27:13 (ἀπολόμενοι), where it refers to exiles; the allusion would be to the events of chapter 5. However, several scholars have suspected the authenticity of this clause; see Risberg 1915, 9–10; De Bruyne 1922, 52; Bruppacher 1931, 149; and Neuhaus 1974a, 33–34. They do so because it seems to interrupt the natural progression from v. 9a to v. 10 and is thought to be too short and therefore “lame” (Risberg 9: “unbequem nachhinkt”; Bruppacher: “matt”), and also because the tantalizing near identity of this καὶ συνήγαγεν ἀπoλλυμένους and the opening of v. 10 (καὶ συνήγαγεν ἀπoλλώνιος) suggests this clause be explained away, here, as the result of a secondary correction of a dittography. Indeed, Venetus omits the clause.

Comments This poem (on which, see esp. Burney 1920; Neuhaus 1974a, 63–65; and van Henten 1996), which may be read as responding to the first nine verses of chapter 1, focuses on Judas’s personal qualities and accomplishments. It links him both to the preceding

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story, insofar as he “turned wrath away from Israel,” which means he solved the terrible situation summarized in 1:64; and to the subsequent story, insofar as it reports his victories over enemies throughout the land and, in particular, that he “gathered together those who were perishing” (3:9)—a clear allusion (if it is authentic; see the second Note on v. 9) to chapter 5. It should be noted that nothing here indicates any continuity with Mattathias’s speech: Judas is not said to be “zealous”; there is no reference to “law and covenant,” which were so prominent in Mattathias’s first and second speeches (2:19–22, 49–68); and there is no allusion to God (although various religious translators insert references to him; see, e.g., Abel 1949, 55, and the Einheitsübersetzung). Judas is another type of guy: the poem is devoted to Judas himself and culminates in the conclusion that he became renowned—a concern for his reputation that will recur in his story (3:25, 5:63), down to his death (9:10). As especially Himmelfarb (2008) has argued, this is an aspect of the book’s distance from biblical narrative and values and its similarity, instead, to Hellenistic historiography; see also Tomes 2007 and the Note on 6:44, make for himself an eternal name.

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Judas Defeats Apollonius and Seron (3:10–26)

3 10Apollonius assembled Gentiles and a large force from Samaria to make war against Israel. 11When Judas learned of it, he went out to confront him and smote him and killed him; many fell, mortally wounded, the survivors fled, 12and they took their booty. Judas took Apollonius’s sword and went on to fight with it all his days. 13 Seron, the commander of the army of Syria, heard that Judas had gathered a multitude and community of loyal people with him and had gone out to make war. 14 And he said: “I will make myself a name and glorify myself in the kingdom: I will make war against Judas and those who are with him, who set the king’s word at naught.” 15 And there also joined him and went up with him a strong force of impious men to assist him in taking vengeance upon the sons of Israel. 16When they came as far as the Ascent of Beth H . oron, Judas went out to confront him with a few men. 17When they saw the force coming to confront them, they said to Judas: “What can we do, being that we are so few, to fight against a horde that is so strong? And we are giving out, for we have not eaten today.” 18But Judas said: It is easy for a multitude to be delivered up into the hands of a few, and it makes no difference in the sight of heaven to save from many or from a few. 19 For victory in war lies not in the multitude of the forces, but in the power of heaven. 20They come against us in the plenitude of arrogance and wickedness to wipe us out, together with our wives and our children, and to despoil us, 21 but we fight for our lives and our laws. 22He shall crush them before us; and you—have no fear of them. When he finished speaking, he charged into them suddenly, and Seron and his force . oron were crushed before him. 24And he chased after them in the Descent of Beth H and until the plain, and as many as eight hundred of them fell, the rest fleeing to the land of the Philistines.

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25 The fear and terror of Judas and his brothers began to fall upon the Gentiles around them, 26and his name came all the way to the ears of the king; every people was telling of his battles.

Notes 3:10. Apollonius. Given the identity of his troops, it is likely that Apollonius is to be identified as the Seleucid governor (meridarch or stratēgos) of Samaria of that name mentioned by Josephus in another contemporary context (Ant. 12.261, 287). See BarKochva 1989, 202–203, and Grainger 1997, 79–80. Samaria, north of Judea, where the Seleucid hold was still strong. For suggestions concerning the location of the battle, see Bar-Kochva 1989, 205, and Raviv 2019b, 11, n. 14. Note that the author apparently assumes that the residents of Samaria are hostile to Judeans but are not “Gentiles.” Their ambiguous situation (which is part of the ambiguity of “Judea”—does it refer to all of Palestine or only to the region south of Samaria and north of Idumea?) is reflected in numerous other sources of the period, such as 2 Macc 5:22–23 and 6:2 (one people but two temples), Luke 17:18 (the Samaritan is a “foreigner” but worships the Jewish God), and Josephus’s repeated carping (Ant. 9.291, 11.341) about the way Samaritans opportunistically exploited this ambiguity; cf. the Note on 1:51, cities of Judah. 3:11. mortally wounded, τραυματίαι. See the Note on 1:18, many fell, mortally wounded. 3:12. Judas took Apollonius’s sword. Readers might think of David taking Goliath’s sword (1 Sam 17:51), which is perhaps echoed by Judith’s treatment of Holophernes (Jdt 13:6–8), but in those cases the enemy had yet to be killed. In any case, the author makes no effort to develop the comparison in particular; see the Note on v. 4, young lion. 3:13. the commander of the army of Syria. That is, stratēgos of Coele Syria (as put by Josephus in Ant. 12.288), otherwise unknown (Grainger 1997, 116). On Coele Syria, see the Note on 10:69, Coele Syria. 3:14. make myself a name, a frequent manly goal in 1 Maccabees, sought equally by heroes and by villains; see 2:51, 3:9, 5:57, 6:44, 11:51, and 13:29; and cf. 3:7, 9:10, and 14:10, along with Himmelfarb 2008 and the Note on 6:44, make for himself an eternal name. 3:15. there also . . . went up with him, καὶ προσέθετο καὶ ἀνέβη μετ’ αὐτοῦ. Here we must assume that Seron’s strong declaration of his intention in v. 14 was in fact followed by an invasion. Some scholars, unhappy with this assumption, have suggested emendations. Thus, Schwabe and Melamed (1928) posited two mistakes in this verse: they proposed that καὶ προσέθετο renders wayyōsep but in fact the original read wayye’e˘sōp, that is, Seron “collected”; and also that the text originally had an object that clarified what or who Seron collected, such as δύναμις (“force” [of soldiers]), as in Josephus’s version of this story in Ant. 12.289, which presumably was based on his text of 1 Maccabees. J. Goldstein (1976, 247), more conservatively, suggested that only one error need be posited, indeed one that limits the translator’s error to a mistranslation of a correctly read text: an original Hebrew text read wayya‘al, a causative (hiphil) verb

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meaning (as, e.g., at 2 Sam 6:12, 2 Chr 36:17) that Seron additionally brought up the force with him, but the translator wrongly took wayya‘al to be in the qal conjugation, meaning (as, e.g., at Gen 19:30) that the force went up with him. However, it is not difficult to live with the text as is, on the presumption that the declaration in v. 14 was of course followed up by an invasion. impious men . . . Israel. Here the author makes it clear that from the Hasmoneans’ point of view, Judeans who oppose them exclude themselves from true “Israel.” For similar formulations, see 1:11 (“out of Israel”), 6:24 (“the sons of our people even act toward us as if we were foreigners”), and 7:22 (“all those who troubled their people”). 3:16. Ascent of Beth H . oron, northwest of Jerusalem, a steep section of the ascent from the Ayalon Valley toward the capital. 3:17. force, παρεμβολήν, Heb. mah.ăneh—which can mean both “camp” and “force.” Use of it as here, of a military force, rather than of the place in which it is stationed (of which the latter is found in 5:49 and 13:43, just as mah.ăneh occurs in both senses in the Hebrew Bible [see, e.g., Gen 32:8 vs. 33:8]), is, as the entry in LSJ shows (1335), foreign to Greek usage but well at home in Jewish Greek. In the latter, it stands for mah.ăneh in all its senses, including, frequently, a “company of soldiers ready for battle” (Muraoka 2009, 533) or simply a large body of people; see, for example, LXX Gen 33:8 and 50:9; Joel 2:11; Heb 11:34; Lanfranchi 2006, 177 (on Ezekiel, Exagoge, 81); and Fensham 1964. giving out, ἐκλελύμεθα. As in 10:82; for this basic sense of the verb (“to suffer complete loss of strength”), see Muraoka 2009, 212–213. Contrast 9:8. we have not eaten, ἀσιτοῦντες. As Hacham pointed out (1996, 13–17), this verse probably assumes—or perhaps simply states outright—that the soldiers have been fasting. This is based on a few considerations: (1) ἀσιτέω is used of fasting in LXX Esth 4:16, which, apart from here, is the verb’s only appearance in the Septuagint; (2) otherwise the text is simply mystifying; (3) prebattle fasting is mentioned below, in v. 47; and (4) it is clear that Judas’s speech cited in the next verse recalls 1 Sam 14:6 (see the Note on 3:18, from many or from a few), and in that same context we read (at 14:24) that Saul forbade his soldiers to eat until the battle was successfully completed. That fasting is meant was already assumed by Josephus, who glosses this verse in Ant. 12.290: δι’ ἀσιτίαν, νηνηστεύκεσαν γάρ. For biblical precedents of fasting before or during battle, a practice meant to move God to intervene on behalf of the fasters (either because it emphasizes their weakness or because it is a way of atoning for sins and thus to move God to restore his providential protection of his covenantal partners [cf. Introduction 4, n. 59, on Esth 4:16]), see Hacham 1996, 7–8, citing Judg 20:26; 1 Sam 7:6, 14:24, 28:20; 2 Chr 20:3; and perhaps Jer 36:9. 3:18. Heaven—this book’s way of referring to God, especially in these first chapters; see Introduction 4, at n. 37. Cases such as this one, which clearly allude to God, probably reflect a reverent desire to avoid mentioning his name. from many or from a few. Echoing 1 Sam 14:6, a favorite chapter for the author; see also 4:30 and the Notes on v. 17, we have not eaten; on 5:40, if he crosses first; on 7:46, people went out; and on 10:73, neither rock nor pebble. 3:20. wickedness, ἀνομίας. See the Note on v. 5, wicked. 3:23. he charged. As a heroic commander, Judas himself took the lead. Cf. the Note on 6:6, Lysias had gone at the head of.

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3:24. Descent of Beth H . oron. Cf. “Ascent” in v. 16. as many as, εἰς. For such usage, see also 10:36 and Muraoka 2009, 197, s.v. εἰς, §9. land of the Philistines, γῆν Φυλιστιϊμ, the southern coastal region. Here, for some unknown reason, the name of the region is transliterated, as is frequent in Josephus; this is the only time in 1 Maccabees. Rather, as the Septuagint in general (for whatever reason), so too this book usually translates “Philistines” as ἀλλόφυλοι; see the Note on 4:22, to the land of the Philistines. 3:25. fear and terror, φόβος . . . πτόη. Given the duplication of the noun and the following reference to the Gentiles (“peoples”) on whom the fear will fall, this is probably an echo of Deut 2:25 or 11:25. 3:26. telling of, ἐξηγεῖτο. For this plain meaning of the verb here, as opposed to other usage for “exegesis,” see Spicq 1994, 2.20–23, and Mandel 2007, 21–22.

Comments After the poetic opening that placed Judas at center stage (vv. 1–9), the narrative presents his first series of struggles in several rounds, each broader than the one that precedes it, until the first plateau: the purification of the Temple (4:36–61). Namely, if in chapter 2 we heard only of inner-Judean fighting, now we read of a clash with the Judeans’ neighbors to their north (vv. 10–12), then of intervention by a Syrian upon his own initiative (vv. 13–26), and next, finally, we will read of royal initiatives against Judas. Even they, however, are divided into two stages: first there will be a round in which Lysias sends an expeditionary force commanded by others (3:38–4:35), and when that fails the fighting will move up one final notch with an invasion commanded by Lysias himself (6:28–63). While nothing in particular is said to have touched off the first round of fighting (v. 10), the subsequent cases are each occasioned by the enemy’s decision to intervene after learning of Judas’s success in the preceding round (3:13, 26–27; 4:26–27; 6:18–27). Although it is likely that this is a schematic and selective account, and that things did not really develop in such a smooth linear manner, something like this must have happened. Note that the parallel story in 2 Maccabees 8 has a similar progression from local clashes to royal involvement; but there, given the author’s lack of interest in Judean geography, the story is much more compressed (8:5–8), just as that book’s focus on Nicanor may be seen in its failure to mention Apollonius or Seron, along with its focus on Nicanor with regard to what is here the third round. The first clash, with Apollonius and his forces from Samaria, gets very short shrift (vv. 10–12). We are not told who Apollonius was or where the battle took place, and so the short report serves only two purposes: it gets Judas a sword, and it draws the attention of the next echelon in the Seleucid chain of command. The former point differs, in a way typical of the differences between the books, from the story in 2 Macc 15:12–16 about the origin of Judas’s sword: it was given to him by a prophet and righteous high priest, both long dead, who appeared to him in heaven. For the author of 1 Maccabees, prophets and righteous high priests were not Judas’s heroes, and dead people, as we saw with regard to the pious martyrs in chapters 1 and 2, were just that: dead.

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The account of the second clash, with Seron (3:13–26), is more detailed. Continuing the focus of the opening ode to Judas, Seron’s motivation is said to be the desire to make himself a name and thus enjoy fame (v. 14). Thus, this is something of a oneon-one conflict between Seron and Judas, a point emphasized by the faint-heartedness of Judas’s men (v. 17). However, the clash is not simply one between two manly antagonists: Judas’s prebattle speech expresses faith in help from heaven, a hope justified by the premise that the enemies’ motivations are self-serving and evil (v. 20), while our side fights for respectable values (v. 21). Such values will be repeated in three more speeches later in this chapter and the next (3:58–60; 4:8–11, 30–33), but not thereafter—one of the prime differential characteristics of chapters 1–4 as opposed to the rest of the book, as is shown in Introduction 4B.

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Lysias First Sends Gorgias Against Judas, Then Tries It Himself (3:27–4:35)

27 3 When Antiochus heard these things, he became wrathful and sent and ordered the assembling of all the armies of his kingdom—a very great force. 28And he opened his treasury and gave wages to his forces for a year, and ordered them to be ready for any need. 29But when he saw that the coffers were running out of silver, and that the taxes coming in from the land were too low, because of the sedition and the suffering that he brought upon the land by overturning the customs that had been in effect since the earliest days, 30he was afraid that—as had already happened once or twice—he might not have enough for his expenses, and for the gifts that he had previously given with a generous hand, going beyond the earlier kings. 31Therefore, his soul was affected by grave consternation, and he decided to go to Persis and take the tributes of those lands and amass much silver. 32He left Lysias, a man of distinction and of the royal family, in charge of the affairs of the king from the Euphrates River until the border of Egypt, 33 and to raise his son, Antiochus, until he returned. 34And he transferred to him half of the troops and half of the elephants, and gave orders concerning all matters as he desired, as also concerning the residents of Judea and Jerusalem—35to send against them an army to destroy and eradicate the strength of Israel and the remnant of Jerusalem and expunge their memory from the place, 36to settle foreigners in all of their borders, and to give them their land as an inheritance. 37And the king took the remaining half of the troops and went off from Antioch, from the capital city of his realm, in the 147th year; he crossed the Euphrates and went through the upper districts. 38 Lysias chose Ptolemy the son of Dorymenes, Nicanor, and Gorgias, powerful men who were among the Friends of the King, 39and sent with them forty thousand men and seven thousand cavalry to go to the land of Judah and devastate it in accordance with the king’s word. 40And they set out with all of their army and came and encamped near Emmaus, in the region of the plain. 41The merchants of the country heard of them and, taking a large quantity of silver and gold, and fetters, they came to the camp in the hope of taking the children of Israel as slaves; and there also joined them a

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force from Idumea and the land of the Philistines. 42When Judas and his brothers saw that the troubles had become numerous, and that the forces were encamped within their borders, and also learned of the words of the king, which he had ordered so as to bring upon the people destruction and annihilation, 43they said one to another: “Let us raise up the ruins of our people and fight for our people and for the Temple!” 44And the assembly convened so they could be prepared for war, and to pray and beseech for mercy and compassion. And Jerusalem was unpopulated, like the desert; not one of its offspring was going in or going out, and the holy place was downtrodden, and there were foreigners in the Akra—a dwelling place for Gentiles. Joy was uprooted from Israel, and there remained neither flute nor lyre.

45

And they gathered together and went to Mizpah, vis-à-vis Jerusalem, for Israel had formerly had a place of prayer in Mizpah. 47And they fasted on that day, wrapped themselves around with sackcloth and put ashes on their heads, and tore their clothes. 48And they unrolled the book of the Law (to seek) the things about which the Gentiles consult their images of abominations. 49They also brought the priestly vestments and the first fruits and the tithes, and had the Nazirites who had completed their days stand up. 50 And they cried out in a loud voice to heaven, saying: 46

What shall we do with these, and whither shall we take those—51with your Temple downtrodden and defiled, your priests in mourning and degradation?! 52 And behold—the Gentiles have gathered together against us to wipe us out; you of course know what they have in mind for us. 53How shall we be able to withstand them, unless you act as our ally?! And they blew the trumpets and cried out in a loud voice. 55After that, Judas appointed leaders of the people—officers of thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens. 56And he told those who had built houses, betrothed wives, planted vineyards, or were fearful to return each to his own home, in accordance with the Law. 57Then the force set out and encamped south of Emmaus. 58And Judas said: 54

Gird yourselves about and be valiant, and be ready to fight these Gentiles early tomorrow morning—they who have gathered together against us to wipe us out, along with our Temple. 59For it is better for us to die in war than to look on (passively) upon the terrible things that the Gentiles have done to us and the Temple. 60But whatever will there shall be in heaven, so shall it do. 1 4 Gorgias took with him five thousand men and a thousand select cavalry, and his force set out at night 2to assault the Judeans’ camp and strike them suddenly, the men of the Akra serving as their guides. 3But Judas and his men heard of it, and he set out along with his forces to strike the king’s soldiers who were in Emmaus 4while those soldiers were still dispersed outside of the camp. 5When Gorgias reached Judas’s camp at night he found no one there, so he searched for them in the mountains, saying, “They have fled from us.” 6But just as day broke, Judas became visible in the plain, along with three thousand men—although they had neither body-armor nor swords as they would have wanted. 7When they saw the mighty force of the Gentiles, fully armed and with cavalry surrounding it, and all experienced in war, 8Judas said to his men:

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Do not fear their multitude, and be not cowardly in the face of all their fury. 9 Remember that our fathers were saved at the Red Sea, when Pharaoh pursued them with his army. 10So now, let us cry out to heaven—if he desires us he will recall the covenant with our fathers and crush this camp before our eyes today! 11 And let all the Gentiles know that there is a redeemer and savior of Israel! When the foreigners lifted up their eyes and saw them coming from the opposite side, 13they left their camp to do battle. Those alongside Judas blew trumpets 14and they engaged in battle—and the Gentiles were defeated and fled toward the plain; 15all of those in their rear fell by the sword. And they chased them until Gezer and until the plains of Idumea and until Azotus and Jamnia, and about three thousand of them fell. 16 Then Judas and his force turned back from chasing after them, 17and he said to the people: “Do not be eager for the booty, for we (still) have war before us, 18for Gorgias and his force are in the mountain near us; rather, stand up to our enemies and make war against them. After that you can freely take their booty.” 19Judas had hardly finished (talking) when a unit was seen peering up out of the mountain. 20They saw that (their comrades) had been defeated, and that their camp had been set afire (for the smoke that was visible revealed what had happened), 21and when they took all that in, they became very afraid; then, when they perceived Judas’s force in the plain, ready for battle, 22they all fled to the land of the Philistines. 23Then Judas turned back to despoil their camp: they took much gold and silver and expensive blue fabric and marine-died purple cloth and a great deal of treasure. 24Upon returning, they sang and blessed heaven, “for he is good, for his grace is eternal.” 25Thus there occurred that day a great salvation in Israel. 26 Those of the foreigners who survived went and told Lysias all that had happened. 27 When he heard, he was upset and angry, for things had not gone the way he wanted with Israel, and had not turned out the way the king had commanded him. 28So the next year he recruited sixty thousand picked men and five thousand cavalry to suppress them totally in war. 29They came to Idumea and camped in Beth Zur, and Judas came to confront them with ten thousand men. 30When he saw the mighty camp, he prayed and said: 12

Blessed art thou, O savior of Israel, who crushed the fury of the powerful man by the hand of your servant David and gave the camp of the Philistines into the hands of Jonathan the son of Saul and his armor-bearer. 31Give this camp into the hand of your people, Israel, and let them be shamed for all their soldiers and their cavalry. 32Give them cowardice, melt away their courage from their strength, and let them be shaken in their defeat. 33Throw them down by the sword of those who love you, and let all who know your name praise you with hymns. Then they threw themselves against each other, and about five thousand of Lysias’s men fell—they fell before them. 35Lysias, seeing the defeat that his force had incurred, and the courage of Judas’s, and that they were prepared to live or die nobly, went off to Antioch and recruited even more mercenaries, so as to invade Judea again. 34

Notes 3:27. sent and ordered the assembling, καὶ ἀπέστειλεν καὶ συνήγαγεν, lit. “sent and assembled,” but clearly “sent” means “sent out orders.” Cf. Gen 20:2, Num 16:12.

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a very great force, παρεμβολὴν ἰσχυρὰν σφόδρα, lit. “a very great camp.” See the Note on 3:17, force. For the same comment, although phrased differently in the Greek, see 5:38. 3:28. wages. On ὀψώνιον (“wages,” beyond rations), see Griffith 1935, 274– 276; Spicq 1994, 2.600–603; and Aperghis 2004, 201–203. In the Septuagint the word appears, apart from here and at 14:32, only in 1 Esd 4:56, all three times in a military context and with δίδωμι. for any need, εἰς πᾶσαν χρείαν. For this general and literal use in translation from the Hebrew, see 2 Chr 2:16, where the Septuagint’s χρεία stands for s.orek (“need”); so too (as Natan Evron pointed out) at Sir 15:12, 38:1, 39:21, 42:23. For more specific usage of this Greek word in Greek documents (10:37, 41; 13:37), see the Note on 10:41, the functionaries. 3:29. his coffers were running out of silver. The author is happy to make Antiochus look stupid, a bumbler who only belatedly realizes that his resources cannot support the project he has already begun. On Antiochus’s finances at this time, see especially Aperghis 2004, 259–260. Asperghis calculates that, at best, Antiochus had only a small annual surplus before his eastern campaign, and that from then on he must have had an ever-growing deficit. The reference to ἀπὸ τῶν θησαυρῶν might allude to the existence of various branches of the royal treasury; see the Note on 10:40, from the relevant places. overturning the customs. The author assumes that Antiochus was as bad for others as he was for the Judeans; cf. the Note on 1:44, customs foreign to the land. 3:31. to go to Persis. On Antiochus’s eastern campaign (“anabasis”) of 165/164 BCE, see Mittag 2006, 296–331. 3:32. Lysias. On him, see Grainger 1997, 102; Savalli-Lestrade 1998, 57–59, no. 56; and Rappaport 2007. of the royal family, ἀπὸ γένους τῆς βασιλείας. This is an exact translation of the Heb. mizzera‘ ha-məlûkâ (as in Jer 41:1), which was used in the Hebrew text to render, literally, the term συγγενής that must have defined Lysias in the source or report available to the author, just as it is used of him in 2 Macc 11:1, 35. However, συγγενής τοῦ βασιλέως is in fact an honorific aulic title (see Corradi 1929, 281–290; Bickerman 1938, 42), and Lysias seems to have been the first to bear it in the Seleucid kingdom (so Muccioli 2001, 300, n. 2). As at 10:89, and as with “brother” at 2 Macc 11:22 or “brother,” “kinsman,” and “father” below at 11:30–32, there is no reason to infer any real family relationship, and (pace Corradi, 1929, 284–285) there is no reason to think that the author of 1 Maccabees knew of one. On the mistranslation here, see SavalliLestrade 1998, 58, who notes that it betrays the author’s ignorance of Hellenistic court terminology. This seems likelier than Niese’s conjecture (1900, 51) that the author knew better but deliberately misformulated things here in order to maintain a more biblical style. Similarly: in charge of the affairs of the king, ἐπὶ τῶν πραγμάτων τοῦ βασιλέως. This formulation too shows the author’s unfamiliarity with Hellenistic terminology. It was usual to refer to the viceroy as ὁ ἐπὶ τῶν πραγμάτων (“chief of affairs”), with no need to specify that it was the king’s pragmata that were meant. See, for example, of Lysias—2 Macc 10:11 and 11:1; of Heliodorus—2 Macc 3:7, 38 and OGIS 247; Bickerman 1938, 187–188, 197; and especially Ehling 1998.

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from the Euphrates River until the border of Egypt. That is, although Lysias was the viceroy of the entire kingdom, the king left him to handle the western part of the kingdom, while he himself campaigned in the East. The present formulation is a nice biblical way of referring to the whole region west of the Euphrates: see Gen 15:18, 1 Kgs 4:21, Isa 27:12. Cf. the Note on 7:8, who ruled in Beyond-the-River. until the border of Egypt, ἕως ὁρίων Αἰγύπτου. Melamed (1932, 470) notes that the Septuagint always renders singular gəbûl (“border”) by the plural, ὅρια. Here, indeed, the singular is meant—Egypt’s northeastern border, as in 1 Kgs 4:21//2 Chr 9:26: “from the Euphrates to the land of the Philistines and to the border of Egypt.” 3:33. to raise his son, τρέφειν . . . τὸν υἱὸν αὐτοῦ—Antiochus V Eupator, who seems to have been born ca. 173; see Grainger 1997, 27–28. On such usage of τρέφω, see Spicq 1994, 3.381–383. On such “tutors” of young heirs to the throne—of which Antiochus V would have two, with catastrophic consequences (see 6:14–15, 55–63), and of which this book also includes the case of Trypho and Antiochus VI—see Bickerman 1938, 21. 3:34. half of the troops and half of the elephants, τὰς ἡμίσεις τῶν δυνάμεων καὶ τοὺς ἐλέφαντας. On such irregular Septuagintal usage of ἥμισυ, as also in v. 37, see Thackeray 1909, 179–180 (citing these two verses in his n. 11). On the total strength of Antiochus’s army, which included reserve forces as well as the approximately forty-five thousand soldiers who participated in a military procession in Apamaea in 166 or 165 BCE, see especially Polybius 30.25, along with Griffith 1935, 146–147; Bar-Kochva 1989, 30–40; and Mittag 2006, 289. 3:35. the remnant of Jerusalem, τὸ κατάλειμμα Ιεροουσαλημ, as at Jer 24:8, where too the context (vv. 9–10) is a foreign army’s attempt to wipe it out. But the context is reversed, for while Jeremiah has God sending the foreigners, here they are condemned. 3:36. foreigners, υἱοὺς ἀλλογενεῖς, Heb. bənê nēkâr. Lit. “sons of foreign land,” as is frequent in the Bible (e.g., 2 Sam 22:46, Isa 60:10 and 61:5). give them their land. That is, give the foreigners the Judeans’ land. 3:37. 147th year, 166/165 according to the Macedonian reckoning. the upper districts, τὰς ἐπάνω χώρας. A general way of referring to inner “highlands,” in contrast to the coast; see, for example, Josephus, Ag. Ap. 1.180, and Polybius 5.40.5, along with Walbank 1957–1979, 1.570 and 2.315–316 (on Polybius 11.34.14, where “the upper satrapies” are contrasted with “coastal cities”). Note also Bar-Kochva 1989, 237, who suggests that the author may well have meant, more specifically, “the Upper Satrapies” east of the Tigris, as emerges from the details offered in 6:1; on them, see Aperghis 2004, 40–44. 3:38. Ptolemy son of Dorymenes. This is the only reference to him in this book. He is mentioned, already as influential in the days of Antiochus IV, in 2 Macc 4:45–46. On him, see Grainger 1997, 114–115; Savalli-Lestrade 1998, no. 61; and Cotton and Wörrle 2007, 200–201. Nicanor. On him, see Savalli-Lestrade 1998, no. 58. It is noteworthy that he is listed here only as one of three commanders and is never mentioned again in this campaign, of which Gorgias is the real commander (4:1, 5, 18); contrast the parallel to the present story in 2 Maccabees 8, where the “thrice-cursed” Nicanor (2 Macc 8:34, 15:3) is the main antagonist and Gorgias is mentioned alongside of him only at the outset

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(8:9) and never reappears in this campaign. The same is the case in the comparison of 1 Maccabees 7 to 2 Macc 14–15: where the former has one campaign commanded by Bacchides and another by Nicanor; the latter ignores Bacchides and has two campaigns commanded by Nicanor. Nicanor’s prominence in 2 Maccabees corresponds to the fact that the book culminates with the establishment of “Nicanor’s Day”; see the Note on 7:49, thirteenth day of Adar. Gorgias. This Seleucid officer (Grainger 1997, 90; Savalli-Lestrade 1998, no. 53), who is characterized in 2 Macc 8:9 as “a commander, one who had experience in military service,” also figures as the regional governor of Idumea (2 Macc 10:14, 12:32). That explains his role in the battle near Jamnia reported at 5:59; Josephus, in fact, states—infers?—that Gorgias was the governor of Jamnia (Ant. 12.351), that is, that his jurisdiction in Idumea also included Jamnia.. Hence, it may well be that contrary to appearances here, Gorgias, rather than having been chosen specially to head this campaign, in fact had it entrusted to him in his capacity as the local Seleucid official with military resources. 3:40. set out . . . came . . . and encamped. As Melamed (1932, 471) notes, the phrasing recalls Exod 19:2. The reading παρενέβαλον (Rahlfs, Kappler, Abel), rather than Alexandrinus’s παρέβαλον, was deemed “zweifellos” by Allgeier 1937, 361. The same issue recurs at 4:1 and 10:77. Emmaus. Some fourteen miles northwest of Jerusalem. the plain. The Ayalon Valley, just west of Emmaus. 3:41. heard of them, ἤκουσαν . . . τὸν ὄνομα αὐτῶν, lit. “heard their name.” But probably all that is meant is “heard of their coming,” so either we imagine that the original Hebrew had not šəmām (“their name”) but rather šim‘ām (“report of them,” as at Jer 37:5 and 50:43; cf. šom‘ô in Esth 9:4 [RSV: “fame”]) and the translator erred, or else we agree to stretch “name” to mean “them” (since when we hear someone’s name, we hear of him or her). See especially Grimm 1853, 60, who notes that elsewhere as well (Gen 29:13, Num 14:15, 1 Kgs 10:1), Heb. šēma‘ is rendered in the Septuagint by ὄνομα, often enough that it might be viewed as intentional (so too Abel 1949, 66). One way or another, the formulation here reflects Hebrew diction. from Idumea. The Greek here reads “Syria” (Συρίας), but that makes no sense; we are reading of those who join an army that has already come from Syria to Judea, even southern Judea. The reasonable conjecture, that the original consonantal Hebrew here read ’ADM (“Edom,” i.e., Idumea) and that was misread ’ARM (“Aram,” i.e., Syria), has widely been accepted, given the fact that the two Hebrew letters are so similar (‫ר‬/‫—ד‬see Introduction 5, n. 19) and that 4:15 reports that the defeated forces fled to Idumea. See, for example, Bar-Kochva 1989, 247. On the Idumeans, see the Note on 5:3, in Idumea. the land of the Philistines, γῆς ἀλλοφύλων. See above, the Note on v. 24, land of the Philistines. 3:42. the troubles had become numerous, ἐπληθύνθη τὰ κακά. As at 1:9, this is what is expected from Seleucid rule. destruction and annihilation, ἀπώλειαν καὶ συντέλειαν. This doubling is reminiscent of Esther (3:13, 7:4, 8:11). For the Greek here, cf. LXX Esth 4:17s, 7:4, and 8:13. 3:44. the assembly. Apparently an ad hoc gathering; see the Note on 5:16, a great assembly was convened.

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3:45. its offspring, ἐκ τῶν γενημάτων αὐτῆς. See the Note on 1:38, to its offspring. going in or going out. This image manages to combine the notion of being besieged (as in Josh 6:1; cf. below, 13:49, 15:14, 25) and being desolated or abandoned, as is stated at 1:38. foreigners, υἱοὶ ἀλλογενῶν, Heb. bənê nēkār. 3:46. place of prayer in Mizpah. Tell en-Nas.beh, some fourteen miles northeast of Emmaus (and seven to eight miles north of Jerusalem). For ancient prayers there before warfare, see especially Judg 11:11, Judg 20:1//21:5, and 1 Sam 7:5–7, along with Davies 1972. 3:47. fasted on that day. On this verse, see Hacham 1996, 17–23, and above, the Note on v. 17, we have not eaten. sackcloth and . . . ashes. Cf. Isa 58:5, Ps 35:13, Jonah 3:5, Neh 9:1, Esth 4:3, Jdt 4:9–15, 2 Macc 10:25, m. Ta‘anit 2:1, and Josephus, Ant. 20.123, etc. and tore their clothes. For this additional act of self-humiliation in support of prayer, cf. 11:71 and 13:45. 3:48. unrolled the book of the Law, ἐξεπέτασαν τὸ βιβλίον. Cf. Neh 8:5 and Luke 4:17. (to seek). On the translation of this difficult verse, see especially Grimm 1853, 62–63; J. Goldstein 1976, 261–262; and Borchardt 2015b, 172–173. The author is apparently referring to some type of bibliomancy, some way of selecting an appropriate text in the Bible as guidance, a procedure he compares to divination among pagans. On such practice in antiquity, see Lieberman 1962, 194–199, especially 198, n. 35, and van der Horst 2000. It is remarkable that the only other reference to consultation of the Bible in 1–2 Maccabees comes at 2 Macc 8:23, in the parallel to the present story. This may well point to parallel tradition; see Introduction 3, at n. 35. 3:49. Nazirites who had completed their days, and needed to bring sacrifices to complete their vows. See Num 6:13–20; Acts 21:23–24; Josephus, J.W. 2.313, and Ant. 4.72 and 19.294; and Chepey 2005, 43–46. had . . . stand up, ἤγειραν. It seems that the verb here renders the Hebrew hēqîmû (as at Sir 36:15: hâqēm/ἔγειρον); see Muraoka 2009, 185–186. The point was to make it possible to point to the Nazirites demonstratively, in the continuation, in order to emphasize the impossibility of their situation: without the possibility of bringing their final sacrifices, they would suffer in limbo. Chepey (2005, 44–45) urges instead that we should render ἤγειραν as “stirred up” and see here aggressive bargaining that was meant to underline the “barter” that God had to lose if he refused to step in to help. As Chepey puts it, “the sacrifices of Nazirites were the elements powerfully catalytic in eliciting God’s attention and intervention in a time of crisis”; “the sacerdotal objects collectively formed a means of barter to elicit God’s succor, and the Nazirites, with their multiplicity of sacrificial goods to offer, formed an integral part of that collection.” This, however, seems overdone, both because their sacrifices are not mentioned and because, while it is simple to document the notion that Nazirites were desirous of bringing their final sacrifices so as to conclude their special restricted status, it is quite difficult to find support for the notion that God was thought to be waiting eagerly to receive those sacrifices, or others. 3:50. What shall we do? It is typical for 1 Maccabees, even in these early chapters, that although the scene is modeled on the biblical prayer-scene at Mizpah described in

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1 Samuel 7, the first element in the prayer there, namely, the confession of sin at 1 Sam 7:6, is omitted. Cf. the Note on 12:53, and destroy mankind’s memory of them. these . . . those, τούτοις . . . αὐτούς. On the formulation, cf. the Note on 8:30, these or those. Here the reference is to the Nazirites, first fruits, and tithes, all of which must be presented in the Temple. Concerning the first two, the requirement is biblical; see, respectively, Num 6:10 and Deut 26:2. The third, however, is not; according to Num 18:21–24, tithes are to be given to Levites, wherever. And even if τὰς δεκάτας here might also refer to tərûmôt (“heave-offerings,” given to priests), as is sometimes the case (J. M. Baumgarten 1984), they too, it seems, could be given anywhere. The practice of taking tithes (and tərûmōt) to the Temple is nevertheless natural and well in evidence for the Second Temple period; see Alon 1977, 89–96, with reference to this verse, and also, among other instances, Mal 3:10, LXX 1 Sam 1:21, Tob 1:6–7, and Philo, Spec. 1.152; also Jdt 11:13, along with Deborah Gera 2014, 358–359. 3:51. your priests in mourning. This motif points to Joel 1:8, which comes right after a reference to an invasion of the land by a powerful foreign power (v. 6), later defined as a northerner (Joel 2:20). As 2 Macc 9:9, 12//Joel 2:20 shows, Jews liked to understand Antiochus in the light of Joel; for other usage of Joel in this book’s telling of its story, see the Notes on 1:27, bridegroom . . . lament, and she who sits in a bridal chamber . . . mourning; on 5:15, the whole Galilee of the Gentiles; and on 7:36, the altar and the sanctuary. 3:52. you of course know, σὺ οἶδας. For the pronoun as a Hebraism that adds a light emphasis to the verb, see Joüon 1922, 205–206. 3:53. unless you act as our ally. This motif, of God as the Judeans’ ally (βοηθός or σύμμαχος), is quite rare in 1 Maccabees, reappearing only at 12:15. As Gafni (1989, 126–127) notes, Josephus develops it extensively in his paraphrase of the book, in which he strives to turn its heroes into religious Jews. 3:54. the trumpets. On the Septuagint’s employment of σάλπιγξ as a general term for trumpets, including both the hăs.ōs.râ (of metal) and the šōpār (of an animal’s horn), see Lestienne 1997, 85–86. For the use of the hăs.ōs.râ when going out to war, see, for example, Num 10:1–10 and 2 Chr 13:12. For the use of σάλπιγξ in Greek armies as well (as below, 6:33, 9:12), see P. Krentz 1991. 3:55. thousands, hundreds . . . , as in Exod 18:21, 25; Num 31:48; Deut 1:15; and 2 Sam 18:1. 3:56. betrothed wives. For this sense of μνηστεύομαι, see LXX Deut 20:7 (in the very same context) as well as several occurrences in LXX Deut 22:23–28; also Cowey and Maresch 2001, 62. As Melamed (1932, 470) notes, the relevant law does not refer to men who are already married, since they were altogether exempt from military service during their first year of marriage (Deut 24:5). Betrothal was considered nearly tantamount to marriage, insofar as severance of the relationship required divorce. For a more or less contemporary (134 BCE) papyrus that records an Egyptian Jew’s complaint that the father of a woman he had betrothed (ἐμνηστευσάμην) had nevertheless married her off to someone else without first receiving from him “the customary bill of divorce” (τὸ εἰθισμένον τοὺ ἀποστασίου βυβλίον—as in LXX Deut 24:1, 3), see Cowey and Maresch 2001, no. 4, along with the discussion there at pp. 68–70. the Law. Namely, Deut 20:1–9. For such specific dependence on the Law in 1 Maccabees, which is rare, see Borchardt 2015b. Note that a similar scene appears in 2 Macc

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8:13, but there, those who go home are portrayed as simply cowardly and faithless—and no reference is made to the three other categories of exempted individuals mentioned here at the outset of the verse. That focus in 2 Maccabees on cowards alone makes Judas and the men who remain with him look better, in contrast to the present narrative, which explains that those who left the army were exempted by the Law, even forbidden to serve. The failure of the story to extol Judas’s personal bravery here, preferring instead to underline his observance of Jewish law, is another indication—especially since it comes not long after another reference to consulting the Law (v. 48)—that the material that precedes chapter 5 is not cut from the same cloth as what comes later (see Introduction 3, beginning at n. 41). Indeed, no similar scene before any other battle is reported in this book. 3:57. Then the force set out . . . south of Emmaus. For the argument that this verse basically belongs between 4:4 and 4:5 (its first words being a mere gloss), which allows Judas’s speech in vv. 58–60 to conclude the ceremony, as one might expect, see Bar-Kochva 1989, 257–259. As he notes, this move would also relieve us of the need to assume that Gorgias’s troops, encamped in Emmaus (3:40, 4:3), did not know, before setting out for Mizpah, that Judas’s troops were already nearby, to their south. 3:58. valiant, υἱοὺς δυνατούς. Lit. “powerful sons,” Heb. bənê h.ayil—as in, for example, 2 Sam 2:7, 17:10; and 1 Kgs 1:52. 3:59. better . . . to die . . . than to look on (passively). This recalls Mattathias’s lament at 2:7, 13, but now the option is not not being born, or merely death; rather, it is death in battle. 3:60. whatever will there shall be in heaven, so shall it do. Note again the avoidance of direct reference to God. As with “wrath” at 1:64 and 3:8, which implies someone is wrathful but no one is mentioned, so too “will” implies a subject but only a location, “heaven,” is mentioned. Cf. Introduction 4, n. 39. 4:1. took with him, reading παρέλαβε, with Kappler, Rahlfs, and Abel, following the main witnesses. For a defense of παρενέβαλε (for which there is some evidence in the minuscules), see Ziegler 1937, 192–193. He argues that παρέλαβε is too “colorless” (farblos) and we should prefer the more “concrete and plastic” παρενέβαλε, for παρεμβάλλω, which, although usually intransitive (“encamp”), can have a transitive meaning: “to arrange for marching or for battle.” Although the latter meaning is difficult to document (and does not show up in Muraoka 2009, 533), Ziegler points in support of it to 10:77, where both Kappler and Rahlfs indeed read παρενέβαλε. But it seems more warranted to read παρέλαβε there too; see the Note on 10:77, he took. five thousand, of the much larger total force, which remained near Emmaus (see 3:39–40 and below, v. 3). 4:2. men of the Akra, lit. “sons” (υἱοί) of the Akra. For a reference to bənei h.aqrā’ (“sons of the Akra”) in an Aramaic text, Məgillat Ta‘ănît, see the Note on 13:51, second month. The reference here is to the local Seleucid garrison; see 1:33–34, 2:31, 6:18. Note especially 6:21, where impious Judeans join “the men of the Akra” who managed to escape the besieged Akra; that is, the latter were not Judeans. True, the present verse implies that “the men of the Akra” had local knowledge, but (despite Josephus, Ant. 12.305, and Sievers 1994, 199) that need not imply they were, or included, Judeans. Neither, however, can that be excluded; just as elsewhere, the author had little interest in distinguishing between “renegade” Judeans and Gentiles. See the Note on 2:44, sinners . . . and wicked men.

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4:5. saying, to himself. Readers may well be meant to recall Pharaoh’s own selfconfident declaration before he set out to pursue the Israelites (Exod 14:3). Cf. the Note on 10:4, For he said. 4:6. in the plain, near Emmaus (see 3:40). along with three thousand men. This is a standard round number in this book (cf. 5:20, 22; 7:40; 9:5; 10:77; 11:44, 74; 12:47), so it is not surprising that Judas’s men kill the same number of their enemies (v. 15); the same happens in the next chapter, too, both with this standard number (5:20, 22) and with another (eight thousand: see 5:20, 34, along with 10:85 and 15:13). body-armor, καλύματτα, lit. “coverings.” Perhaps shields are meant; so too at 6:2. 4:7. cavalry surrounding it, as usual. See the Note on 6:38, frightening (the enemy) and covering. experienced in war, διδακτοὶ πόλεμου, Heb. məlummədê milh.āmâ, as in Song 3:8; cf. Isa 2:4. 4:8. all their fury. As in its other occurrences (4:30; 6:33, 47), ὅρμημα is somewhere between “intense motion/momentum” and “wrath”; in LXX Hos 5:10, Amos 1:11, and Hab 3:8 it renders ‘ebrâ (RSV: “wrath,” “indignation”). See also Rev 18:21 (RSV: “violence”) and Muraoka 2009, 506. 4:9. Remember . . . when Pharaoh pursued. A standard exemplum. Cf. Moses’s speech at Deut 7:18–19; also Ps 106:10–11, Neh 9:9–11, Jdt 5:13, and 3 Macc 6:4. 4:10. if he desires us, εἰ θελήσει ἡμᾶς. Translators frequently have trouble with εἰ here, either rendering it generally (e.g., RSV: “And now let us cry to heaven, to see whether he will favor us and remember his covenant with our fathers and crush this army before us today”) or taking it literally but making the entire phrase depend upon it (e.g., Tilly 2015, 127: “wollen wir zum Himmel rufen, ob er uns geneigt ist und des Bundes der Väter gedenken und dieses Heer heute vor unseren Augen vernichten will”). Note also Abel 1949, 75: εἰ is an “atténuation de ὅτι,” pointing to a parallel at Rom 1:10: δεόμενος εἴ πως ἤδη ποτὲ εὐοδωθήσομαι (RSV: “asking that somehow by God’s will I may now at last succeed”). However, the verb that is used seems clearly to indicate that the author is allowing Judas to imitate Joshua and Caleb—models already at 2:55–56!—in a canonical scene in which the faithful argue with people overawed and discouraged by the number of their enemies, and really means “if ”: see their speech at Num 14:8, which opens, as here, with “if God desires us.” 4:11. And let all the Gentiles know. This is a common biblical motif, but given the reference to the David and Goliath story at 4:30, it may be that the author was thinking especially of 1 Sam 17:46. 4:12. the foreigners, οἱ ἀλλόφυλοι. This usage, here and in v. 26, is unusual; as a rule, the term refers to Philistines. See Introduction 5B, no. 7. 4:14. the plain, where they had begun their invasion (3:40). 4:15. Gezer, Γαζηρων, nineteen miles northwest of Jerusalem, past Emmaus. It will be an important Hasmonean center by Simon’s day (13:43–48, 53; 14:7, 34; 15:28, 35; 16:1, 19), but now it was still a Seleucid stronghold and, therefore, refuge; so too at 7:45 and 9:52. For remnants of the period there (at Tel Gezer), see Macalister 1907; Abel 1923–1926c, 207–208; Reich 1981; M. Fischer, Roll, and Tal 2008, 152–155; and Hagbi 2014, 34–38. For the suggestion that other references to Gezer in this book in fact relate to another site, near the coast, see the Note on 9:52, Gezer.

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plains of Idumea, the territory of Idumea. Azotus, modern Ashdod. For pursuits ending in its territory, see also 9:15 and 16:10, along with the Note on 9:15, until the border of Azotus. For its relation to Gezer, see the Note on 14:34, Gezer, which is on the border of Azotus. Jamnia, on the coast, between Tel Aviv and Ashdod, known in Hebrew as Yavneh. See Schürer 1973–1987, 2.109–110; M. Fischer 2005; Raz Kletter and Irit Ziffer in NEAEHLSup, 2071–2072; and, especially on the Hasmonean period (including 2 Macc 12:3–9!), Isaac 1991, 137–138. 4:16. turned back from chasing. Readers are apparently meant to understand that however victorious Judas’s force had been near Emmaus, it would have been suicidal for them to pursue farther into the enemy’s own turf. So too 7:45. Cf. the Note on 5:60, back to the borders of Judea. 4:18. Gorgias and his force are in the mountain, as the author reported in v. 5. Readers must presume that Judas had his ways of learning this. 4:19. a unit, of Gorgias’s force, back from its fruitless attack on Judas’s camp (vv. 5, 18). 4:22. to the land of the Philistines. That is, to the same region as that to which their comrades had fled (v. 15). As here and at 3:41, 4:30, and 5:66, 68, the Septuagint as a rule (hundreds of times) uses ἀλλόφυλοι for Philistines. On this somewhat mystifying practice, see especially De Vaux 1972; also the Note on 5:15, the whole Galilee of the Gentiles. 4:23. despoil their camp. This is also described in 2 Maccabees 8, but there, apparently to render it more acceptable, the author specifies that the spoils were first distributed among the needy and only the remainder was taken by the soldiers (v. 28). For such sensitivity, cf. Kvasnica 2008. The author of 1 Maccabees has no such problems. 4:24. “for he is good, for his grace is eternal.” In an example of “elevated prose” (Neuhaus 1974a, 36), the author includes here in his narrative a quotation from a biblical psalm (Pss 106:1; 118:1, 29; 136:1; see also Ezra 3:11). Compare the moves into direct speech at 5:15 and 13:18. On the substitution here of “heaven” for “the Lord” used in those psalms, see Introduction 4, at n. 37. This, along with v. 33, is one of the last times a Judean success in war is followed by praise for God in this book; see the Note on 5:54, brought whole-offerings. 4:26. the foreigners who survived went and told. Such an appeal to the king is a frequent impetus to restarting the action in this book; see also 6:21–22, 7:25, and 11:21 (also 10:61–64, where the villains fail to persuade the king). 4:27. not gone the way . . . not turned out the way. The author likes to gloat about such disappointments; see also 6:8, 9:68, and 10:64. 4:28. the next year. That is, after 147 SE (3:37), so 148 SE = 165/164 CE, according to the Macedonian reckoning. to suppress them totally in war, ὥστε ἐκπολεμῆσαι αὐτούς. In the Septuagint this verb appears sometimes as a translation of LH . M, “to fight,” but that Hebrew verb is much more frequently rendered by plain πολεμέω, which also appears scores of time in 1 Maccabees. So if the expanded verb is used here and at 15:31 (its only appearances in Kappler’s edition), it seems that the more final sense is indicated. 4:29. Idumea . . . Beth Zur. That is, rather than attacking Judea from the north, Lysias circled it from the south and then turned back north. The several witnesses that,

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instead of “Idumea,” read “Judea” here and in the parallel at Josephus, Ant. 12.313, reflect a common confusion; see the Note on 5:3, in Idumea. But in this case either could be correct, for Beth Zur, which is near H . alh.ul, some fifteen miles south of Jerusalem, was more or less at the border between Idumea and Judea (4:61, 14:33). The fort changed hands a few times during the period of time covered in this book: after the victory reported in this chapter, Judas fortified it (v. 61), but later it was taken over by the Seleucids (6:48–50) and remained in their hands (see 9:52) until late in the days of Jonathan, when Simon took it and fortified it (11:65–66)—an achievement memorialized among his claims to fame (14:33). On the history of its fortifications, see Funk 1968 and Berlin 1997, 21–22. 4:30. Blessed art thou, Εὐλογετὸς εἶ. On this Jewish adaptation of the Greek verb (which normally meant “commend,” “praise,” or “speak well”), see Joosten 2014. According to Chazon (2012, 162), “The introduction of the second person address to God in blessings is a distinctive feature of late biblical Hebrew that is attested [in the Bible] only in Ps 119:12 and 1 Chr 29:10, but which occurs with greater frequency in early apocryphal prayers (see, e.g., Tob 3:11; 8:5, 15–17; LXX Dan 3:26, 52; Genesis Apocryphon XX:12–13; 1 Macc 4:30).” powerful man, δυνατοῦ, that is, Goliath (1 Sam 17). Cf. above, the Note on v. 11, And let all the Gentiles know. But recall also that at 3:38, where the current story began, Judas’s enemies are said to be ἄνδρας δυνατούς, “powerful men,” so the present phrasing, on the eve of their defeat, is especially apposite. Jonathan the son of Saul and his armor-bearer. See 1 Sam 14:1–15. Note that 1 Samuel 14 figures several times in this book; see the Note on 10:73, neither rock nor pebble. The Greek here, τοῦ αἴροντος τὰ σκεύη αὐτοῦ, renders the Hebrew nōś’ē’ kēlāyw literally, although clearly such an aide might be more than a mere “armor-bearer”; cf. 1 Sam 16:21–22. 4:33. all who know your name, as in Jer 48:17 and Ps 9:10. with hymns, as at the end of the preceding campaign (v. 24). Cf. the Note on v. 24, “for he is good, for his grace is eternal.” 4:34. fell—they fell, ἔπεσον . . . ἔπεσον. It seems that the first “fell” refers to the deaths of individuals, while the second more generally refers to the defeat of the army. Cf. J. Goldstein 1976, 270. 4:35. to live or die nobly, ἢ ζῆν ἢ τεθνηκέναι γενναίως. In the Septuagint, γενναίως, γενναῖος, and γενναιότης appear only in 1–4 Maccabees, not in any (other) work translated from Hebrew. That is, the phrasing is very Hellenistic; see, for example, Himmelfarb 1998, 33–35. The present verse is the only appearance of such a word in 1 Maccabees, but the ideal is very salient; see especially 6:44, 9:10, and 13:5, along with Himmelfarb 2008.

Comments Now we come to fighting against the Seleucids at their highest level (on which, see esp. Abel 1923–1926a, 505–511, and Bar-Kochva 1989, 219–290) and also to the opening of a detailed report about Antiochus Epiphanes. The long account of Antiochus’s decision to depart for the East (3:27–37) serves not only to explain his absence and Lysias’s role in the story, but also two other purposes. First, by presenting Antiochus’s eastern

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campaign as a result of his need for funds in order to finance a campaign against Judas, it magnifies Judas’s importance. Second, it presents the king as something of a bumbler who only belatedly realizes that he lacks the funds to do what he wants to do, and additionally mocks him by claiming that his lack of funds derives from the very policy that now has elicited the need for such funds (3:29). As in the fighting against Seron, the Judeans’ response is phrased quite religiously. Details are supplied about their worries, the contents of their prayers, the rituals of self-mortification, and other demonstrations of their religious concern, their fulfillment of the law concerning those exempted from army service (3:56–57//Deut 20:5–8), and more, including repeated encouragement on the basis of biblical precedents right at the verge of battle (4:8–11, 30–33) and a prayer of thanks upon its successful conclusion (4:24). In particular, note the allusions to 1 Samuel: Judas’s confidence that numbers mean nothing to God for he can overcome the many just as well as the few (1 Macc 3:18 and 4:8) echoes Jonathan’s confidence on the eve of his attack on a much stronger Philistine camp (1 Sam 14:6), and that story itself is cited explicitly, alongside David’s killing of Goliath (1 Sam 17), in Judas’s prebattle speech at 1 Macc 4:30–33. Readers should infer that Judas is similar to David. Although given the differing genealogical data (David was of the tribe of Judah, not a priest) this cannot be meant to be making a specific claim (in contrast to the comparison of the Hasmoneans to Phinehas), and so there is nothing contradictory about the lament for him echoing that for Saul (9:21//2 Sam 1:25), it does contribute to a general claim about Judas being entitled to rule.

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The Purification and Rededication of the Temple (4:36–61)

36 4 And Judas and his brothers said: “Behold—our enemies have been crushed. Let us go up and purify the Temple and rededicate it.” 37And so the whole force assembled and went up to Mount Zion. 38When they saw that the Temple had been desolated and that the altar had been desecrated, that the gates had been burnt down, and that plants were growing in the courts as if in a forest or on one of the mountains, and the chambers destroyed, 39they tore their clothes and mourned greatly, putting ashes upon themselves, 40and they fell upon their faces on the ground; blowing the signal trumpets, they cried out to heaven. 41Then Judas ordered men to fight those in the Akra until the Temple be purified. 42And he selected unblemished priests, devoted to the Law, 43and they purified the Temple and removed the stones of the abomination to an impure place. 44Then they considered what to do with the defiled whole-offering altar, 45 and there occurred to them a good idea: to destroy it, lest it be for them a shameful (reminder) that the Gentiles had defiled it; so they destroyed the altar. 46But they put the stones aside in an appropriate place on the Temple Mount, until the coming of a prophet who could give an answer about them. 47 Then they took whole stones, according to the Law, and built a new altar according to (the model of ) the previous one. 48And they built the Temple and sanctified the things inside the building and consecrated the courts, 49and made new holy vessels and brought the candelabrum and the incense-altar and the table into the sanctuary. 50 Then they offered up incense upon the altar and lit the lights upon the candelabrum, thus illuminating the inside of the sanctuary. 51And they put loaves of bread upon the table and spread out the curtains and completed all the tasks that they did. 52 Arising early the next morning, the twenty-fifth day of the ninth month— which is Kislev—of the 148th year, 53they brought a sacrifice according to the Law, upon the new whole-offering altar that they had made; 54at about the season and the day in which the Gentiles had defiled it, at that time it was rededicated with hymns, lyres, (other) stringed instruments, and cymbals. 55The entire people fell upon their

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faces and prostrated themselves, and blessed heaven, which had made them successful. 56 They carried out the dedication of the altar for eight days and brought whole-offerings with joy; and they offered a sacrifice of well-being and of praise. 57And they decorated the façade of the sanctuary with golden crowns and small shields, and renovated the gates and the chambers and fitted them with doors. 58There was very great joy amidst the people, and the disgrace imposed by the Gentiles was removed. 59And Judas and his brothers and the entire community of Israel instituted the celebration of the days of the rededication of the altar in their season, every year, for eight days, beginning on the twenty-fifth day of the month of Kislev, with mirth and joy. 60 At that time they also built a high wall around Mount Zion, and strong towers, lest the Gentiles again come and trample them, as they had done previously. 61And he stationed a force there to guard it, and he fortified Beth Zur, so the people would have a bastion facing Idumea.

Notes 4:36. And Judas and his brothers said, Εἶπε δὲ Ιουδας καὶ οἱ ἀδελφοὶ αὐτοῦ. The fact that the verb is in the singular, here and in v. 59 (the only other place in which this story mentions the brothers), underlines Judas’s preeminence. Here it is definitely acceptable (as, e.g., of Moses at Exod 4:29, 7:10, 15:1). In other cases, however, this construction is not acceptable and apparently points to secondary insertion of Judas’s brothers into verses that did not originally mention them (see, e.g., the Notes on 5:17, Jonathan; 5:55, Simon, his brother; and 9:33, Jonathan and his brother Simon). This suggests we should wonder about this one too. our enemies have been crushed. Let us go up. As in vv. 17–18, the author emphasizes that Judas was always concerned primarily to keep enemies away; that is, he was practical. Beyond that, readers are free to think of 2 Sam 7:1, in which David’s thoughts about building a temple are said to have arisen after his enemies roundabout had been defeated. But it is appropriate to note the typical difference between the present verse and that one, which says that it was God who “had given him rest from all his enemies roundabout.” the Temple, τὰ ἅγια. For this general translation (rather than “sanctuary” [RSV, J. Goldstein, etc.]), see, for example, Deborah Gera 2014, 186, and Danker 2000, 11, s.v. ἅγιος, §2b. In the present chapter, τὰ ἅγια is used synonymously with τὸ ἁγίασμα (see v. 38 and the summary reference in 5:1). Cf. the Note on v. 49, into the sanctuary. 4:37. Mount Zion, the Temple Mount, as at v. 60; 5:54; 6:48, 62; 7:33; 10:11; and 14:26. Although originally “Zion” was used of what later became “the city of David” (2 Sam 5:7, 1 Kgs 8:1), south of the Temple Mount (see the Note on 1:33, city of David), in time it came to be used instead, together with “Mountain,” of the Temple Mount; see, for example, Pss 20:2, 74:2; and Eliav 2005, 7. 4:38. gates had been burnt down. Cf. 2 Macc 1:8 and 8:33, along with D. R. Schwartz 2008, 345. chambers, παστοφόρια, Heb. ləšākôt, as in v. 57 and elsewhere in the Septuagint (e.g., 1 Chr 9:26, 2 Chr 31:11, Ezek 40:17). On Septuagintal usage and its background, see Passoni Dell’Acqua 1981, especially 192–197. On the chambers of the Temple of Jerusalem, see especially m. Middot 5:3–4; also, e.g., Josephus, J.W. 5.200 and 6.282;

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m. Middot ch. 1 (passim); and m. Yoma 1:1, 5, along with the reconstructed layout in Safrai and Stern 1974–1976, 2.868. 4:39. tore their clothes . . . ashes. Typical expressions of shock, self-abasement, or mourning, as at 2:14, 3:47, and 11:71; also 2 Macc 10:25 and 14:15, as already Josh 7:6. See also Assumption of Moses 3:4 and Tromp 1993, 166–167. 4:40. the signal trumpets, ταῖς σάλπιγξι τῶν σημασιῶν. Apparently, šōpārôt, blown on holidays (Num 10:10), including fast days (m. Ta‘anit 1:6). Cf. the Note on 3:54, the trumpets. 4:41. those in the Akra. On whom, see the Note on 1:34, a sinful people, wicked men. 4:42. unblemished priests, ἱερεῖς ἀμώμους. That is, priests who are not disqualified by any of the blemishes listed in Lev 21:16–24; the fact that the Hebrew term for such blemishes is mum (e.g., ibid., passim) made this translation all the more attractive. However, it might also be that the translator or ancient readers thought of moral blemishes as well, a meaning that would naturally become common the more authors and readers moved away from the cultic context; see Danker 2000, 56, s.v. ἄμωμος. Hence Muraoka (2009, 34) renders the adjective not only by “unblemished” but also by “impeccable” and even—with regard to the present verse!—“innocent” (p. 325, s.v. θελητής). devoted to the Law, θελητὰς νόμου, probably echoing Ps 1:2, bətôrat YHWH h.eps.ô. On θελητάς in this verse, which essentially creates an apposition (“des prêtres innocents, qui observent scrupuleusement la loi”), see Muraoka 2005, 66. 4:43. they purified the Temple, ἐκαθάρισαν τὰ ἅγια. Again, not “the sanctuary” (cf. the Note on v. 36, the Temple). The altar, on which the “abomination” had been built, was not within the sanctuary. the stones of the abomination. That is, the stones of the “abomination of desolation” (1:54, 59); see the Note on 1:54, abomination of desolation. and removed . . . to an impure place. This recalls the language of Lev 14:40, 45, in the laws for purifying stone houses that had been infected by impurity and implies that that was the basis for the procedure described here; cf. the Note on v. 46, put the stones aside. Something similar is probably meant at 13:47, 50, as well. 4:44. with the . . . whole-offering altar, περὶ τοῦ θυσιαστηρίου τῆς ὁλοκαυτώσεως, Heb. mizbah. hā-‘ōlâ. This is “the altar” par excellence in 1:54, 59, and above, v. 38. Here the specification is made in light of the detailed nature of the present narrative, which will soon mention another altar as well (v. 49). Cf. the Note on v. 53, whole-offering altar. 4:45. there occurred to them a good idea, ἔπεσεν αὐτοῖς βουλὴ ἀγαθή, lit. “there fell upon them a good idea.” The Hebrew collocation ‘ēs.â tôbâ is not found in the Bible; and in rabbinic literature, in which it occurs often, its sense is usually “only good advice, but not a legal requirement” (so, e.g., in b. Bava Batra 28b–29a, 118a). But nəpal bəlibbəhôn milkā’ t. ābā’ (“there fell into their heart a good idea”) appears (in another context) in Məgillat Antiochus, v. 52 (see Kadari 1963, 98; he notes the parallel), and thus serves as evidence that that medieval text draws one way or another upon 1 Maccabees. For other such evidence, see Höpfl 1925, 55. My thanks to Itai Kagan for his help with this Note.

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4:46. put the stones aside. Since the stones had once been holy, they could not simply be dumped somewhere, lest someone use them; but neither they could be used, for they had been polluted by the pagan cult. For such stones being no longer usable, compare Lev 14:40 and CD 12:15, along with the Note on v. 43, and removed . . . to an impure place. The Mishnah refers at Middot 1:6 to a chamber in the Temple “in which the Hasmoneans deposited the altar-stones that had been defiled by the kings of Greece.” an appropriate place, ἐν τόπῳ ἐπιτηδείῳ. As opposed to the stones of the “abomination of desolation,” which were thrown out in an impure place (v. 43), these stones were stored respectfully, in the hope of a future restoration or of a more proper disposition. On the adjective, cf. the Note on 11:37, in a prominent place. on the Temple Mount, ἐν τῷ ὄρει τοῦ οἴκου, Heb. bəhar ha-bayit. Bayit (“house”) with the definite article is, of course, a common Hebrew term for the Temple (see the Note on 10:41, maintenance of the House), but, as Eliav (2005, 29) notes of this verse, it is “the one and only time in the entire Second Temple literature where the exact expression Temple Mount appears.” Later, it is common in rabbinic literature (e.g., in the Mishnah: Middot 1:1–3, 2:1–2; Kelim 1:8; Bikkurim 1:9; Pesah.im 5:10); see Eliav 2005, 189–236. until the coming of a prophet, as opposed to the current prophetless age; see also 9:27 and 14:41. The hope for the renewal of prophecy remained alive and well in some circles; see, for example, 4QTestimonia; 1QS 9:11; John 1:21, 25; Acts 7:37; as well as the way the prophecy that ends the book of Malachi, which is the last prophecy in the Hebrew Bible, is woven together with Isa 40:3 in the opening verses of Mark. But it is difficult to imagine that the Hasmoneans looked forward to such a potentially upsetting eventuality—at least until John Hyrcanus discovered that he could claim that he was himself a prophet; see the Note on 14:41, a trustworthy prophet. who could give an answer about them. See Deut 18:15–19 and Mal 4:5–6. A similar procedure is mentioned in Ezra 2:63//Neh 7:65, but there the hope was for the appearance of a priest who would specifically use the Urim and Thummim oracles. 4:47. according to the Law. See Exod 20:25, Deut 27:6, and Josh 8:31. 4:48. inside . . . courts. That is, they consecrated both what was inside the sanctuary and what was outside of it. 4:49. holy vessels, σκεύη ἅγια. Utensils used in the cult, to replace those stolen (1:21–23, 6:12; see also 2 Macc 4:32, 39; 5:16) or defiled. Later, Simon would donate many more of these (14:15). and the table, καὶ τὴν τράπεζαν. That is, of the showbreads; see the Note on 1:22, Table of the Presence. into the sanctuary, εἰς τὸν ναόν. This text, as others (see Joüon 1935), distinguishes between “the Temple” in general (τὸ ἁγίασμα [see the Note on 1:21, Temple] or τὰ ἅγια [above, vv. 36, 43]) and “the sanctuary,” the hêkāl, the central building, which is mentioned here because of the special attention here to the items that were located inside of it: the showbread table, the incense altar, and the candelabrum. Cf. 1 Kgs 7:48–50 and Josephus, J.W. 5.216–217. 4:50. offered up incense upon the altar and lit the lights. For the combination of incense, lights, and showbread (v. 51) as the standard items associated with a ­properly

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run temple, compare 2 Chr 13:11, 2 Macc 1:8 and 10:3, and Barag 1985/86. That ἐθυμίασαν here refers specifically to the offering of incense is shown by the reference in the preceding verse to the incense altar; contrast the Note on 1:55, offered up sacrifices. 4:51. loaves of bread upon the table, ἐπὶ τὴν τράπεζαν ἄρτους. As in 2 Macc 1:8 and 10:3. For this terminology, see Daniel 1966, 131–153. 4:52. Arising early, ὤρθρισαν. On Septuagintal usage of this verb, see Tov 1999, 124–128. Kislev . . . 148th year. November/December 164 BCE according to Jewish (SEbab) reckoning—three years after the profanation of the Temple in Kislev 145 (1:54). (On Daniel’s report [7:25; 9:27; 12:7, 11], echoed by Josephus [J.W. 1.32], that the period in which the cult was suspended was three and a half years, which is schematic [as Daniel notes: half a sabbatical period; see Bergmann 1938, 364–365], see Segal 2018; on the erroneous datum in 2 Macc 10:3 [“two years”], see D. R. Schwartz 2008, 372–373.) Assuming this date is correct, we must conclude that Antiochus IV, whose death is reported in chapter 6, in fact died somewhat earlier than the rededication of the Temple (as is the order of events in 2 Macc 9–10); see the Note on 6:16, 149th year. But that fact would not have been known in Judea. 4:53. whole-offering altar, θυσιαστήριον τῶν ὁλοκαυτωμάτων. The use of the plural (lit. “altar of the whole offerings”) here, corresponds to Septuagintal practice (see, e.g., LXX Exod 30:28; Lev 3:2, 4:7), in contrast to the Hebrew singular, mizbah. hā‘ōlâ (lit. “altar of the whole-offering”), which survived in the Greek of v. 44. 4:54. about the season and the day, κατὰ τὸν καιρὸν καὶ κατὰ τὴν ἡμέραν. For the significance of such coincidences, which indicate poetic justice or providence, compare especially Josephus’s similar formulation at J.W. 2.457: the slaughter of Jews in Caesarea happened, as if by supernatural providence, precisely τῆς αὐτῆς ἡμέρας καὶ ὥρας as a perfidious Jewish slaughter of Romans in Jerusalem. However, we should note not only that the present text is not (pace S. Stein 1954, 148, and others) very emphatic (it could have said κατ’ αὐτὸν τὸν καιρόν [as Josephus used αὐτῆς], which would justify the RSV’s “at the very season and on the very day,” or emphasized the identity of the day some other way, as, e.g., at 6:26), but also that in fact, 1:54 places the defilement of the altar on the fifteenth of Kislev, whereas here (as also in 2 Macc 10:5) we read of its purification on the twenty-fifth. This may be dealt with either by emending 1:54 (see the Note on 1:54, fifteenth day of Kislev . . . in the 145th year) or by taking καιρός here more generally, as does the RSV: “season.” For the latter option, compare the usage of καιρός in 2:25, 12:1, and 15:33–34; also, for example, Gen 17:21 (“in this season next year”) and 18:10. Moreover, note (with Abel 1949, 86, who refers to Abel 1927, 222, which cites such texts as Acts 16:25 and Heb 3:8) that temporal usage of κατά + accusative can be very general (“about that time”); so, for example, 11:14, Jdt 16:21, and frequently in Josephus (see D. R. Schwartz 1981/82). Accordingly, the present formulation does not need to mean more than “about the same season, indeed around the same day.” lyres, (other) stringed instruments, and cymbals, κιθάραις καὶ κινύραις καὶ κυμβάλοις. On these, see Lestienne 1997, 83–84, 86–89. For similar celebrations, see 13:51; also m. Sukkah 5:4 (kinnōrôt, nəbālîm, məs.iltayim). 4:55. fell upon their faces . . . which had made them successful, ἔπεσεν . . . ἐπὶ πρόσωπον . . . τὸν εὐοδώσαντα αὐτοῖς. This description is very similar to that at

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2 Macc 10:4 (πεσόντες ἐπὶ κοιλίαν) and 10:7 (εὐοδώσαντι). This contributes in a general way to the impression that 2 Macc 10:1–8 is a Jerusalemite addition to that work. For more general discussion of that, see D. R. Schwartz 2008, 8–10, and Trotter 2017. 4:56. eight days, as in the days of Moses (Lev 8:31–9:1), Solomon (1 Kgs 8:65– 66, 2 Chr 7:8–10), and Hezekiah (2 Chr 29:17). See Regev 2008 for the suggestion that the fact that Solomon’s dedication of the First Temple is explicitly said to have come at the time of the autumn holiday of Tabernacles (Sukkot)—just as other evidence suggests linking other (re)dedications to that festival (Ezra 3:6 and Jub 32:4–7)—may explain why the letters in 2 Macc 1:9, 18 call Hanukkah “the Feast of Tabernacles in the month of Kislev” (and 2 Macc 10:6 suggests a similar comparison). sacrifice of well-being and of praise, θυσίαν σωτηρίου καὶ αἰνέσεως, that is, šəlāmîm. See Daniel 1966, 296–297: despite the singular θυσίαν, she posits that the present verse in fact refers, in order, to whole-offerings (‘ōlôt), sacrifices of well-being (šəlāmîm), and thanksgiving offerings (tôdôt). 4:57. they decorated the façade of the sanctuary with golden crowns, καὶ κατεκόσμησαν τὸ κατὰ πρόσωπον τοῦ ναοῦ στεφάνοις χρυσοῖς. These details emphasize that the damage reported in 1:22b was fully repaired. small shields, ἀσπιδίσκαις. Apparently something decorative; cf. 13:29. fitted them with doors, ἐθύρωσαν αὐτά. This is the only occurrence of θυρόω in the Septuagint. 4:58. the disgrace imposed by the Gentiles was removed. That is, the visible evidence of it was eradicated. Cf. Ezek 34:29 and 36:6, 15; Isa 25:8. 4:59. entire community of Israel, πᾶσα ἡ ἐκκλησία Ισραηλ, Heb. kol qəhal Yiśrā’ēl, as in Lev 16:17, Deut 31:30, etc. instituted, ἔστησεν. On the verb, see the Note on 2:27, maintaining the covenant. with mirth and joy, μετ’ εὐφροσύνης καὶ χαρᾶς. On this pair, common in the Hebrew Bible and elsewhere (including 5:54), which apparently renders bəśimh.â ûbśāśôn, see Lange and Weigold 2011, 31. As Natan Evron notes, however, the order is usually reversed (e.g., Isa 22:13, 35:10, 51:3; Jer 7:34, 15:16; Zech 8:19); in the Bible, the present order is found only in Esther (8:16–17). For its appearance in another late text, see 1QHa 17:24. So this seems to be a case of late Hebrew reversal of an earlier pair, of which there are other examples as well; see Fassberg 2013, 65–69, and Talshir 2013, 231–232. 4:60. a high wall, which will figure significantly in the ensuing complaints about Judas to Antiochus IV (6:7, 26) and be destroyed by Lysias (6:62). This book includes several references to wall-building by Hasmoneans in Jerusalem (apart from the above, see also 1:31 on their destruction by Antiochus IV; 6:20 on Judas; 10:10–11, 45 and 12:36 on Jonathan; 13:10 and 14:37 on Simon; 16:23 on John). Indeed, it seems clear that that part of “the First Wall” (in Josephus’s terminology—J.W. 5.142–145), which encompasses the southwestern hill of Jerusalem and continues clockwise up to the “Citadel of David” (near the Jaffa Gate) and then east to the Temple Mount, was built by the Hasmoneans (to some extent, on the basis of earlier work); for a review of the evidence, see Geva 2015, 62–66. However, although the remains of this wall, of which several sections have been discovered, are “the most impressive remains of the Hasmoneans in Jerusalem” (ibid., 62), it is difficult to pin down what was done by whom,

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apart from the terminus ad quem early in the days of John Hyrcanus supplied by the “strength of the walls” that allowed Jerusalem to resist, for quite a long time, a siege by Antiochus VII Sidetes (Josephus, Ant. 13.236–248; on the date of the siege, concerning which there are conflicting data, see Bar-Kochva 2010, 404; Bernhardt 2017, 474–475, n. 25; and Ariel 2019a). For the argument that most of the work must have been done by Simon and John (and so that done by Judas and Jonathan was probably of restricted significance and limited for the most part to the Temple Mount itself ), since serious fortification of the city could have become possible only after the taking of the Akra in the days of Simon (13:49–52), see Geva 2015, 65–66. On pre-Herodian walls of the Temple Mount, but with no certainty about what predates Hasmonean construction, see Mazar 2011, 1.258–259. and trample them. The antecedent of “them” is not stated, but probably it is to be understood as the Temple courts; for “trampling” of them cf. Isa 1:12. More generally, at 3:45, 51 the Temple is said to have been downtrodden. 4:61. to guard it, and he fortified Beth Zur, τηρεῖν αὐτὸ καὶ ὠχύρωσεν αὐτὸ τηρεῖν τὴν Βαιθσούραν. This translation assumes that the two words that are struck through are some sort of error and should be deleted; so, among others, Abel (1949, 88) and Schunck (1980, 317), who simply pronounce them a dittography, and J. Goldstein (1976, 288), who thinks that they are the remains of an original characterization of Beth Zur as τὴν πόλιν, as in the parallel in Josephus, Ant. 12.326. Note that Zervos (2007, 485), who retains the words, is forced to offer “and he fortified it to defend Baithsoura so that the people would have a fortress facing Idumea,” which, assuming “it” must refer to the Temple Mount, seems to be absurd. Grimm too (1853, 77) defended the received text, taking αὐτό to refer to Mount Zion and αὐτὸ τηρεῖν to state the purpose of the fortification: the fortification of Beth Zur was supposed to contribute to the defense of Mount Zion. That is not impossible. But it is difficult to find such meaning in the text: the insertion of a purpose clause between the verb (ὠχύρωσεν) and its direct object (τὴν Βαιθσούραν) is not at all typical of translation Greek; the same may be said of the object αὐτό preceding τηρεῖν; and it is also difficult (Goldstein: “inelegant”) to coordinate such a purpose clause with the one that follows, introduced (as is usual in this book—e.g., 5:9, 48, 66; 6:26, 34; 8:3; 13:1; 14:8) with a genitive + infinitive. a bastion facing Idumea. Lysias’s campaign had shown the need for this. As is said at 14:33, Beth Zur was on the southern border of Judea. By leaving the story here, the author prepares us for its continuation in chapter 6 (vv. 7, 26, 31).

Comments This is a very straightforward account that could almost have ended the book; perhaps once it did. For after chapter 1 told of the troubles in Jerusalem in general and in the Temple in particular, and they were cited at the outset of Mattathias’s story as the impetus for his revolt, now we read that after the defeat of the Seleucid forces, Judas and his men retook Jerusalem and restored the Temple and its cult. This was summarized at 4:58 as “the disgrace imposed by the Gentiles was removed,” and a holiday was established to commemorate the event. True, we do not hear that Antiochus rescinded his decrees against the practice of Judaism. While it was important for a Hellenistic book like 2 Maccabees to preserve Antiochus IV’s and Antiochus V’s letters that announced

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their willingness to rescind them (2 Macc 11:27–33, 22–26; see D. R. Schwartz 2008, 396–397), this was not the case for the author of 1 Maccabees, who preferred to leave it all to the Hasmoneans’ heroism. Nonetheless, we are to understand that in practice the decrees could no longer be enforced. Thus, apart from the secondary promise about Simon at 2:65, which remains to be fulfilled, the only loose ends that remain are the statement at 4:35 that Lysias planned another campaign and the continued existence of the Seleucid citadel in Jerusalem (4:41). Both will be picked up in chapter 6. This section shows detailed interest in the Temple cult, including the involved report of the debate about what to do with the remnants of the old altar, which had been defiled (vv. 43–47), and the detailed enumeration of items fabricated anew for use in the cult (v. 49); see especially Regev 2008. This interest is reminiscent of 1:21–23 and very different not only from the diasporic (= far-from-the-Temple) interests of the author of 2 Maccabees (see D. R. Schwartz 2008, 46–47), but also from the rest of the book. The closest we again come to such interest in issues of purity and impurity is at 13:47–48, 50, and those stories have no details at all, just as the only other references to the Temple cult in 1 Maccabees are brief and general (5:54, 10:21, 14:29); usually it is ignored. Note especially that after 5:54 no return to Jerusalem after campaigning is followed by thanksgiving or sacrificing; see the Note on 5:54, brought whole-offerings. For the possibility that this chapter was the end of an early version of the work, one that had more interest in religion than the rest of the book and was meant to culminate with the rededication of the Temple and thus to explain the holiday in its memory, see Introduction 3, at n. 41.

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Fighting with Neighbors (5:1–68)

5 1When the Gentiles roundabout heard that the altar had been built and the Temple rededicated as they previously were, they were very wrathful, 2and they decided to wipe out the people of Jacob in their midst. So they began to kill members of the people and to exterminate them. 3But Judas fought against the sons of Esau in Idumea, in Akrabattene, who had been besieging Israel, and he smote them severely, humbled them, and despoiled them. 4Remembering the wickedness of the sons of Baian, who had been a snare and a trap for the people by ambushing them on the roads, 5he forced them back into their towers, assaulted them, and devoted them to destruction, burning their towers together with all who were in them. 6Then crossing over (the Jordan) against the Ammonites, he found a strong force and great multitude of men, commanded by Timothy. 7Engaging them in numerous battles, they were crushed by him and he defeated them. 8After also taking Jazer and its villages, he returned to Judea. 9 But Gentiles in the Gilead gathered together against those of Israel who were within their borders, in order to exterminate them, and so they fled to the fortress Dathema. 10And they sent a letter to Judas and his brothers, saying: The Gentiles roundabout us have gathered together against us to exterminate us. 11And they are preparing to come and capture the fortress, to which we have fled; and Timothy is leading their force. 12Now, therefore, come save us from their hand, for a multitude of us have (already) fallen, 13and all of our brethren among Tobias’s men have been killed: their wives and their children and their property have been captured, and a unit of about a thousand men perished there. While that letter was being read—behold: other messengers arrived from the Galilee, with their clothes rent, and they reported as follows, 15saying that people had gathered against them from Ptolemais, Tyre, Sidon, and the whole Galilee of the Gentiles, “to annihilate us.” 14

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16 When Judas and the people heard these words, a great assembly was convened to consider what to do for their brethren who were in straits and against whom war was being waged by them. 17And Judas said to his brother Simon: “Pick men for yourself and go rescue your brethren who are in the Galilee; I and my brother Jonathan will go to the Gilead.” 18And he left Joseph the son of Zechariah and Azariah, a leader of the people, with the remainder of the army in Judea, to guard it. 19He ordered them as follows: “Take care of this people, but do not engage the Gentiles in battle until we return.” 20Three thousand men were assigned to Simon to go to the Galilee, and eight thousand to Judas for the Gilead. 21 And Simon went to the Galilee and engaged the Gentiles in numerous battles; the Gentiles were crushed before him. 22He pursued them up to the gate of Ptolemais; and about three thousand of the Gentiles fell, and he took their spoils. 23And he took the (Jews) from the Galilee and Arbatta, together with their wives and children and all they had, and led them to Judea with great joy. 24 Judas Maccabaeus and his brother Jonathan crossed the Jordan and walked for three days in the desert. 25Then they encountered the Nabateans, and they received them peacefully and told them all that had befallen their brethren in the Gilead, 26and that many of them had been surrounded in Bosora, and Bosor in Alema, Chaspho, Makked, and Carnaim—all of them being fortified and great cities, 27and others were caught in other cities of the Gilead, and they were set to besiege the fortresses on the next day and, upon taking them, to exterminate all of them in a single day. 28Immediately Judas and his force changed their route (and went) directly to the wilderness of Bosora; he took the city and killed all the males by sword, and took all its booty and put it to the torch. 29Then he set out from there at night and they went until they were near the fortress. 30When it was dawn they raised up their eyes and behold: a great multitude, without number, holding ladders and siege-machines to take the fortress; but they were making war against them. 31 When Judas saw that the battle had already begun, and the clamor of the city was going up to heaven, (along with the sound of ) trumpets and (their) loud blasts of alarm, 32he said to the men of his force: “Fight today for our brethren!” 33 He went out against them in three units, and they blew the trumpets and cried out in prayer. 34And when Timothy’s force realized that it was Maccabaeus, they fled before him, and he smote them severely; some eight thousand men of them fell on that day. 35Then he turned away to Alema and made war upon it; taking it, he killed all its males, took its booty, and put it to the torch. 36From there he went off and also took Chaspho, Makked, Bosor, and the other cities of the Gilead. 37 After these things Timothy put together another force and encamped before Raphon, on the other side of the wadi. 38And Judas dispatched men to spy out their camp, and they reported to him, saying, “All the Gentiles around us have joined him— a very great force; 39and Arabs have been hired to assist them, and they are encamped on the other side of the wadi, and ready to come upon you in war.” So Judas marched out to confront them. 40And Timothy said to the officers of his force:

When Judas and his force approach the flowing wadi—if he crosses first, against us, we will not be able to withstand him, for he will certainly overcome us. 41But if he is afraid and makes his camp on the other side of the river, we shall go over against him and overcome him.

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When Judas came near to the flowing wadi, he had the officers of the people stand on the banks of the wadi and ordered them as follows: “Do not allow any person to stay in camp; rather, let all of them go into battle!” 43And he crossed over to them first, and all the people after him, and the Gentiles were crushed by them; throwing away their weapons, they fled to the sacred precinct in Carnaim. 44But they took that city first and then the sacred precinct, and put them to fire together with all that was in them. Thus was Carnaim defeated, and it could no longer withstand Judas. 45 Then Judas gathered all those of Israel who were in the Gilead, from the smallest to the greatest, together with their wives and children and their property—a very great camp!—to go to the land of Judah. 46And they came as far as Ephron—it too a great and very strong city on the road, which could not be bypassed neither to the right nor the left; rather, one had to go straight through it. 47But the people of the city shut them out, blocking the gates with rocks on the inside. 48Judas sent them a message, with peaceful words, saying: “We shall pass through your land in order to depart to our land, and no one shall hurt you—we shall only walk through on our feet”—but they did not want to open up for him. 49So Judas ordered it to be announced to the camp that each man should remain in his place. 50The men of the force encamped, and he fought the city that entire day and all through the night, and the city was given up into his hand. 51 They wiped out all the males of the city by sword, uprooted it, and despoiled it, and then they passed through the city over the corpses of those who had been killed. 52Opposite Beth Shean they crossed the Jordan to the Great Plain. 53And Judas was gathering in stragglers and encouraging the people all along the way, until they arrived in the land of Judah. 54Then they went up to Mount Zion with mirth and joy and brought wholeofferings (to acknowledge) that not one of them had fallen the whole way until they returned safely. 55 During the days when Judas and Jonathan were in the land of Gilead and Simon, his brother, was in the Galilee before Ptolemais, 56Joseph the son of Zechariah and Azariah, the commanders of the army, heard of the valorous deeds and the war that they had accomplished, 57and said: “Let us too make ourselves a name; let us go and fight the Gentiles roundabout us.” 58So they summoned the men of the force that was with them and marched against Jamnia. 59But Gorgias came out from the city, along with his men, to confront them in battle. 60Joseph and Azariah were defeated, and they were pursued back to the borders of Judea; on that day around two thousand men of the people of Israel fell. 61Thus did a great defeat befall the people, for they did not listen to Judas and his brothers, thinking to be heroes. 62They were not of the seed of those men, to whom it had been given that the salvation of Israel (would be) through their hand. 63 But the manly Judas and his brothers were greatly honored among all of Israel and all the Gentiles, wherever their name was heard, 64and they gathered around them, singing their praises. 65And Judas and his brothers went out and made war against the sons of Esau in the southern part of the land, and he smote Hebron and its villages, destroyed its fortresses, and burned the towers around it. 66Then they set out to march to the land of the Philistines and crossed through Marisa. 67On that day some priests fell in battle, having desired to make themselves heroic by going out to battle, without taking counsel. 68Then Judas turned aside to Azotus, in the land of the Philistines, destroyed their altars, burned the idols of their gods in fire, despoiled the spoils of the city, and returned to the land of Judah. 42

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Notes 5:1. Gentiles roundabout. The usual hostile generalization; see the Note on 1:11, the Gentiles who are around us. heard that the altar had been built . . . were very wrathful. This seems to recall Neh 4:1, 7. 5:2. Jacob. Together with the use of “Esau” in the next verse, this is meant to explain the enmity by anchoring it in the mythic past; cf. Gen 27:41 and Mal 1:2–4. Note similarly the Hasmonean-period expansion on the hostility and wars between Jacob and Esau and their sons in Jubilees 37–38; see VanderKam 2001, 77–78, and especially VanderKam 1977, 230–238. Comparison of the Hasmoneans to Jacob resulted in a reimaging of Jacob as warrior, fostering, most prominently, a preference for Gen 48:22 (“my sword and my bow”) rather than the alternative biblical characterization of him as a peaceful “tent-dweller” (Gen 25:27) who eschews violence (Gen 34:30); see Livneh 2013. to kill members of the people, θανατοῦν ἐν τῷ λαῷ, lit. “to kill in the people.” For such a formulation, J. Goldstein (1976, 294) compares Esth 9:16, 1 Sam 6:19, and 2 Sam 24:16–17. to exterminate, ἐξαίρειν. While some take the verb to refer only to expulsion (Abel 1949, 89; Zervos 2007, 486) and others take it to refer to plunder (Schunck 1980, 317: “zu rauben”), it seems that (1) both of those meanings would require that the object be stated and (2) Septuagintal usage in general (Muraoka 2009, 244–245) and the usage in 1 Maccabees in particular, even later in this chapter (vv. 9, 10, 27), point to killing. For the piling up of verbs for killing in such a context, compare Esth 3:13. 5:3. sons of Esau. This completes the allusion to the prototypical biblical enmity that opened in the preceding verse. For hostility between Idumeans and Judeans, see already Obadiah 1, Ezekiel 35, Ps 137:7, Sir 50:26, and Mnaseas of Patara (ca. 200 BCE) according to Josephus, Ag. Ap. 2.112–113 (GLAJJ, no. 28), along with Shatzman 2005, 234–236. On the identity of the Idumeans, see Kloner 2011, Levin 2015, and Mar­ ciak 2018. in Idumea. Given the reference to “sons of Esau,” this is the generally accepted reading, despite the fact that Alexandrinus reads “Judea.” “Idumea” and “Judea,” which begin similarly (ΙΔΥ/ΙΥΔ) and were in the same part of the world, were often confused, as, for example, already in witnesses to 4:29; for a list of such sources beginning with Virgil, see Stern in GLAJJ, 1.316 and 2.189–190; also Marciak 2018, 899–901. Akrabattene. A district of southern Samaria. But the reference to Idumeans here suggests that in fact it is “(the ascent of ) Akrabbim” (Num 34:4, Josh 15:3), south of the Dead Sea, that is meant. For this suggestion, accepted by “la grande majorité des exégètes,” see Abel 1949, 89. Bar-Kochva (1989, 556, n. 16), rejecting this suggestion, points to evidence for an Idumean population in the southern Samarian hills. But that should not have brought a Judean writer to refer to that part of Samaria as Idumea. he smote them severely, καὶ ἐπάταξεν αὐτοὺς πληγὴν μεγάλην. Lit. “he smote them a great blow,” a standard Hebraism, as in v. 34, as also 1:30 and 8:4, with the verb being wayyak and the adjective being either rabbâ (as in Num 11:33, Deut 25:3, 2 Chr 13:17) or gədôlâ (as in Judg 11:33 and 15:8; 1 Sam 6:19, etc.). See Introduction 5, at n. 41.

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5:4. sons of Baian, an otherwise unknown tribe. See Kasher 1988, 27–28; VanderKam 1977, 235, n. 49 (perhaps connected to the Moabite city Be‘on, mentioned in Num 32:3?). been a snare and a trap, εἰς παγίδα καὶ εἰς σκάνδαλον, Heb. ləpah. ûlmôqēš, a standard collocation, as in Josh 23:13, Isa 8:14, Ps 69:22. Cf. the Note on 1:35, a great snare. 5:5. towers. For the senses of πύργος (tower, watchtower, fortress, palace), see Spicq 1994, 3.213–218. devoted them to destruction, ἀνεθεμάτισεν, the usual Septuagintal translation for verbal forms of H . RM. This could be taken specifically to be a reference to the biblical h.ērem (annihilation of people and property dedicated to God), on the model of the laws in Deut 7:2 and 20, and the stories in Joshua 6 (Jericho) and 8 (Ai). However, since this is the only appearance of ἀναθεματίζω in 1 Maccabees (and there is none of ἀνατίθημι, which too can be used of H . RM), and readers know of no apparent reason to single out the sons of Baian for this treatment, as opposed to all the other enemies who are just “killed” (e.g., vv. 28, 35, 51), probably the terminology should not be pushed; so Berthelot 2014b, 46 (“probably with the sense ‘to massacre’”). Note that when the clear biblical precedents refer to h.ērem, in each case there is not just the verb; rather, we hear of the specific implications, especially the prohibition of any benefit from the property of the victims. See Deut 7:25–26, 13:15–17, 20:12–18; Josh 6:16–19. Indeed, in several passages, the verb H . RM seems simply to denote killing, done by Gentiles, who of course did not dedicate anything to God; note 2 Kgs 19:11, 2 Chr 20:23, and, for a more or less contemporary text, Dan 11:44b, where a wicked Gentile king is said ləhašmîd ûlhah.ărîm rabbîm (RSV: “to exterminate and utterly destroy many”). For attempts to find wartime h.ērem in the literature of the Second Temple period, see Park 2007, 53–114, and Batsch 2005, 417–446 (with 438–443 specifically on the period of Judas Maccabaeus), and for the assumption that it typified Judas’s wars and was so understood by the author of 1 Maccabees, see Trampedach 2012, 67–68. For a well-founded denial of its relevance to the Hasmoneans and 1 Maccabees, however, see Berthelot 2018, 118–149. their towers, τοὺς πύργους αὐτῆς, lit. “her towers.” The use of the feminine genitive singular here is puzzling; several secondary witnesses correct it to the plural αὐτῶν. The mistake could have arisen in the Hebrew by the loss of the final mem of MGDLYHM. 5:6. crossing over, the Jordan River. Ammon was a region of Transjordan. a strong force, χεῖρα κραταιάν. An interesting phrase. In the classic biblical references to God’s “strong arm,” the Septuagint uses these words to render God’s yad h.ăzāqâ (Exod 3:19, 6:1, etc.), and that is how ἐν χεῖρὶ ἰσχυρᾷ is used at 11:15. Here, however, it sounds like it refers to a strong military unit, as in LXX 4 Kgdms 11:7 (where the Hebrew has yādôt [RSV: “divisions”])—a meaning that Muraoka (2009, 731) marks as not testified before the Septuagint; cf. Josephus, Ant. 20.91. Timothy. A local commander in Transjordan, mentioned in this book only in this chapter (down to his defeat in v. 43) but several times, somewhat confusingly, in 2 Maccabees; the account in 2 Macc 10:24–38 parallels the present account. For a detailed study, see Bar-Kochva 1989, 508–515.

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5:8. Jazer. A city in Transjordan, of which the location is unclear; see John L. Peterson in ABD 3.650–651. It is apparently what is meant by the reference to Timothy taking refuge in “Gazara” (Gezer) in 2 Macc 10:32, which seems to be something of a confused memory of the present story; see D. R. Schwartz 2008, 374. and its villages, lit. “its daughters.” As below (v. 65), this is a common biblical designation for villages associated with a central town or city (e.g., Num 21:25; Josh 17:11, 16; Judg 1:27). “Jazer and its villages” appears at Num 21:32. 5:9. Gilead. Transjordan, roughly from the Arnon River, which enters the Dead Sea from the east near its middle (across from Ein Gedi), and up to the Bashan; cf. Deut 3:12–17. The mention of Gilead certainly reflects a conscious or unconscious desire to make the coming story of siege, call for help, and rescue reminiscent of the story about Jabesh-Gilead in 1 Samuel 11; see especially the Notes on v. 27, the next day, and on v. 33, three units, along with R. Goldstein 2013. within their borders, ἐπὶ τῶν ὁρίοις αὐτῶν. Although the Greek seems instead to point to those “on their borders,” as Grimm (1853, 80) notes it makes no sense to think that they attacked Jews outside their region but not those within their own territory. Various witnesses here, and Josephus at Ant. 12.330, indeed read ἐν τοῖς ὁρίοις αὐτῶν. Dathema. Given the other sites mentioned here, scholars have sought this site somewhere in northern Gilead, south or east of the Sea of Galilee; see Abel 1932 and the map in Bar-Kochva 1989, 509. 5:10. a letter, γράμματα. As Muraoka notes (2009, 136), in the Septuagint γράμμα appears mostly in the plural, even when the reference is to a single missive, as here and in v. 14, just as is frequently the case for ἐπιστολή; see the Note on 10:3, a letter. 5:11. and capture the fortress, καὶ προκαταλαβέσθαι τὸ ὀχύρωμα. This intensified form of λαμβάνω is used in the Septuagint of violent conquest (usually rendering forms of LKD); so too here and below in this chapter (vv. 11, 35, 36, 44) and elsewhere (6:27, 9:2, 12:33). As Muraoka notes (2009, 587), the prefix προ- can indicate that the seizing might be understood as preemptive, “in advance”; so at 6:27, and perhaps also below in v. 44. But “the notion of in advance is not always present, the meaning probably being just to seize, capture” (Muraoka, ibid., referring, among other examples, to 9:2). 5:12. from their hand, ἐκ χειρὸς αὐτῶν, Heb. miyyādām. Such use of the singular is usual in Hebrew and in 1 Maccabees (e.g., 1:44; 2:7, 47–48); cf. the Note on 2:47, and their work was successful. for a multitude of us have (already) fallen, ὅτι πέπτωκεν ἐξ ἡμῶν πλῆθος, Heb. wənāpal mimmennû rāb, precisely as in Exod 19:21 (as was pointed out to me by Natan Evron), although the Septuagint there is somewhat different. If indeed the Hebrew was identical, the author is displaying some virtuosity, insofar as his mobilization of this phrasing amounts to changing the verb from the conditional future to the past and the pronoun from third person to second person, all without changing the text. 5:13. among Tobias’s men, οἱ ὄντες ἐν τοῖς Τουβίου. Usually this is translated as if it referred to the “land of Tobias,” and it is surmised that this was congenial to the author insofar as it recalled the biblical toponym “land of Tov,” prominent in the story

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of Jephthah (Judg 11:3–5). But “land” is not mentioned. Especially given the military terminology discussed in the next Note, it seems instead to refer to soldiers associated with the Tobiads, a powerful Jewish clan in Transjordan during the third and second centuries BCE, known from Josephus’s long account in Ant. 12.154–236, from 2 Macc 3:11 and 12:17, and from epigraphic and archaeological evidence; see Tcherikover 1959, 126–142, and Dov Gera 1990. a unit of about a thousand men, ὡς μίαν χιλιαρχίαν ἀνδρῶν. The use of χιλιαρχία is surprising; in Greek in general it refers to the office of a chiliarch (commander of a thousand troops, as below at 16:19) or to the unit he commands (see LSJ, 1992), and the former is its meaning in its only other appearance in the Septuagint (Num 31:48). In the present story, in contrast, we would tend to assume, without this word, that, as at 2:38, those who were killed should be thought of as civilians, refugees. It seems, however, that readers were supposed to know that “Tobias’s men” (mentioned in the preceding verse) were, typically, military settlers; see, for example, CPJ 1; 2 Macc 12:17, 35; and Josephus, Ant. 12.229, along with Dov Gera 1990, 27–30. 5:14. While that letter was being read. The impression, of a relentless series of events, is similar to that given in Job 1:14–19 and Esth 6:13–14. 5:15. Ptolemais, that is, Acco. Hostility of its population to Judeans figures often in literature of the period; see especially 12:48; 2 Macc 13:25 and perhaps 6:8 (see D. R. Schwartz 2008, 279–280); Rappaport 1988; and Leibner 2019, 284. the whole Galilee of the Gentiles, πᾶσαν Γαλιλαίαν ἀλλοφύλων. I have translated the verse as is usual, in the phrasing familiar from Isa 9:1 (MT 8:23: gəlîl hagôyim) and Matt 4:15. However, there are three problems here. First, in the Septuagint, ἀλλόφυλος virtually always (263 times!) stands for “Philistine,” and usually this is the case in 1 Maccabees (3:41; 4:22, 30; 5:66, 68; on the exceptions at 4:12, 26 and 11:68, 74, see Introduction 5B, no. 7). On this usage, see in general De Vaux 1972; Drews 1998, 51–52; and Lieu 2002, 253–255. But a mission to the north, to the Galilee, went nowhere near Philistia, which was on the southern coast. Second, note that the present chapter fairly clearly coordinates complaints and accomplishments: the threats and issues reported in vv. 3, 9–13, and 18–19 are handled, respectively, in vv. 65, 24–54, and 55–64. But, on the usual reading, nothing prepares us for Judas’s attack on Philistia (γῆς ἀλλοφύλων) in vv. 66–68. Third, note that a mission to Ptolemais and back via Arbatta (vv. 21–23) would not entail any visit to the Galilee; see the Note on v. 23, Arbatta. All three problems evaporate if we realize that—as was listed in Lange and Weigold 2011, 241, but pointed out to me by Michal Drori-Elmalem (Drori 2018, 11–12), together with whom I developed much of what is set out in the present Note—this verse is echoing Joel 4:4, which refers to the entire coastal region, from north to south, as “Tyre and Sidon and all the gəlîlôt (‘regions’) of Philistia.” For other use of Joel in 1 Maccabees, see the Note on 3:51, your priests in mourning. It seems likely, that is, that originally there was no reference here to “the Galilee.” Rather, an original version of this chapter reported here attacks on Judeans in the coastal region, from the Phoenician coast and down to Philistia, an area that was punctuated by Hellenistic cities; for attacks on Jews who resided in them, compare 2 Macc 12:3–12 (in a chapter that is roughly parallel to the present one). But someone—an editor or translator—who was not used to Septuagintal usage concerning ἀλλόφυλοι (see the Note on 11:68, foreigners) and so took it to mean Gentiles (as it is used, e.g.,

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by Josephus and others; see Lieu 2002, 255–259), and who was not used to gālîl as a common noun (“region”) but was used to “the Galilee” being a proper noun that refers to a region in the north of the country, took the report to refer to the north alone and thus unwittingly eliminated the report that adumbrated and engendered Judas’s retaliation against Philistia in v. 68. One might suspect that this secondary editing occurred along with the introduction of Simon into the story; see below, the Note on v. 17, Judas said to Simon. For the eventual transformation of ἀλλόφυλοι, in Jewish usage, from Philistines to Gentiles—in the wake of the disappearance of the Philistines and their falling into oblivion, which freed up the term for more general usage, as for example in 2 Macc 4:13 and in Josephus—see Lieu 2002, 255–259. As for “the Galilee” becoming Jewish and part of the Hasmonean state during the course of the Hasmonean period (somewhere between the time of the events portrayed here and the translation of 1 Maccabees), see Leibner 2019. The process entailed, as its linguistic pendant, the eradication of gālîl as a common noun (just as, e.g., today negeb in Hebrew means only “the Negev,” not “south”). On this whole topic, see Schwartz and Elmalem, forthcoming. “to annihilate us.” Here the author moves into direct speech, as in 4:24 and 13:18. 5:16. a great assembly was convened, ἐπισυνήχθη ἐκκλησία μεγάλη, as at 14:28 (although there the reference is to συναγωγὴ μεγάλη, that noun corresponds to the verb used here, and moreover, the body seems to be identical with the ἐκκλησία mentioned at 14:19); note also 3:44 and 13:2. Rabbinic tradition relates now and then to “the Men of the Great Assembly” as some ancient authoritative body (e.g., m. Avot 1:1, b. Ber. 33a, b. B. Bat. 15a), but nothing is really known about it, and so references to it function only as badly needed fillers for an otherwise blank period in the history of tradition. See Mantel 1967; Leiman 1976, 149, n. 129; Tropper 2013, 33–34; and Korner 2017, 102, n. 100. The name that is used might be only a reminiscence of such usage, as here (and 14:28), where it apparently refers to an ad hoc assembly. See especially Korner 2017, 97–104; he points to the use of ἐκκλησία μεγάλη elsewhere in the Septuagint (3 Kgdms 8:65 and 2 Chr 7:8 [Heb. qāhāl gādôl]; LXX Pss 21:26 and 39:10 [Heb. 22:26 and 40:10: bəqāhāl rāb]), simply with regard to “large gathering[s] of people,” as further evidence that the reference is not to any standing body. 5:17. Judas said to his brother Simon. It is surprising to see such an important task being given to Simon, who otherwise is not mentioned between Mattathias’s death at the end of chapter 2 and Judas’s in chapter 9. Given the fact that his role here is very restricted (vv. 21–23), as opposed to all the space and details the rest of the chapter gives Judas; given the fact that we have just seen that v. 15 reflects meddling by an editor or translator who did not know what the Greek text meant; and given the fact that we have already seen, at 2:65 (vs. 3:1!), evidence for pro-Simonide meddling in 1 Maccabees by someone whose grasp of biblical Greek was far from perfect (see the Note on 2:66, the war against the Gentiles), we should probably suspect that this whole section is secondary, inserted, as 2:65, by a Simonide editor of the Greek text. Jonathan. Mention of Jonathan is just as surprising; as Simon, this is the only mention of him (apart from his name at 2:5) until Judas’s death in chapter 9. Perhaps he too was added secondarily to the story by a pro-Simonide writer interested in watering down Judas’s monopoly; such an editor, interested in adding Simon into the narrative, may have realized that this would be more credible if Jonathan too were added. Apart

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from here, Jonathan is mentioned in this chapter (and in all the narrative about Judas, from ch. 3 until Judas’s death in ch. 9) only in verses that frame Judas’s campaign, vv. 24 and 55—and in the latter, at least, the wording itself suggests that the reference to him is secondary; see the Note on v. 55, Simon, his brother. 5:18. And he left Joseph the son of Zechariah . . . and Azariah, as caretakers in Judea. For similar episodes, see 11:23, 64 and 12:33. But in the first of those three cases it seems the caretakers sat tight, while in the other two it was Simon who was left behind, and his initiatives proved successful. Contrast below, vv. 55–62. Neither man is otherwise known. leader of the people, ἡγούμενον τοῦ λαοῦ. So the main witnesses, but v. 56 apparently indicates the parity of Joseph and Azariah as “commanders of the army.” The plural, which therefore seems to be expected (and also seems to be assumed by Josephus, Ant. 12.333), is offered by several minuscules supported by Syriac and Latin evidence—one of the cases where it is difficult to choose between accepting a preferred reading and rejecting it as an attempt to alleviate a problem; see Introduction 5, at n. 58. Perhaps, as J. Goldstein suggests (1976, 299), the original Hebrew had another formulation, in the singular, that applied to both men, as at Deut 20:9: “then commanders shall be appointed at the head of the people (bərō’š hā‘ām)” (RSV). 5:20. Three thousand . . . eight thousand. On these standard numbers, which ­reappear in v. 22 and v. 34, respectively, see the Note on 4:6, along with three thousand men. 5:23. Arbatta. The identity is uncertain, but usually it is assumed to be Narbata; see Abel 1949, 95–96. However, just as the province Narbatene “borders on Caesarea” (Josephus, J.W. 2.509), so too was Narbata itself only “sixty stadia” (about 7.5 miles) from Caesarea (ibid., 2.291); “if this distance is correct, as most of Josephus’ distances for this part of the country are, the W. edge of Narbatene must have been in the gently rising coastal plain, not yet in Samaria proper” (S. Mason 2008, 237, n. 1881). It appears, therefore, that Simon’s campaign stayed near the coast and did not enter “the Galilee”; as noted (the Note on v. 15, the whole Galilee of the Gentiles), this is another reason to think that v. 15 did not originally refer to the Galilee. For Ptolemais not being part of the Galilee, see especially Josephus, J.W. 3.35, which states that the western border of the Galilee was “the outlying territory of Ptolemais and Carmel”; ibid., §115, which states that Vespasian, in Ptolemais, wanted to invade the Galilee; and ibid., §127, which reports that after organizing his army he set out and not long thereafter “reached the borders of the Galilee.” See also the Note on 12:47, left two thousand in the Galilee. 5:24. walked for three days in the desert. A standard measure for a substantial distance; cf. Gen 30:36; Exod 3:18, 15:22; Num 10:33; Jdt 2:21; and see the Note on 10:34, three days before (each) festival. The encounter with the Nabateans apparently came somewhere in the Hauran region (Bowersock 1983, 19); on the Nabateans in the Hauran, see Peters 1977. Targum Ps.-Jonathan to Num 10:33 translates a three-days’ journey in the desert into thirty-six Roman miles (= ca. thirty-three modern miles); for other data and estimates as to the distance covered, see the Note on 7:45, a day’s distance. 5:25. the Nabateans. An Arab people, whose capital was in Petra; on them, see Schürer 1973–1987, 1.574–586; Bowersock 1983, 12–27; Taylor 2002; and Patrich

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2005. The use of the definite article here suggests that readers are assumed to know that anyone who goes far enough into the desert will encounter them. received them peacefully. In 2 Macc 12:10–12, in contrast, we read in a very similar context that a large group of Arabs attacked Judas at their first encounter, and they made peace only after Judas defeated them. This is usually taken to be a contradiction between the two books, in which 2 Maccabees’ version conforms to that book’s general tendency to show that others, even those who initially were enemies, came to respect Judas; see also 2 Macc 11:12–15 and 14:18–25. Bowersock (1983, 19–20), in contrast, prefers to distinguish between the “Arabs” of 2 Maccabees 12 and the “Nabateans” mentioned here. However, given the basic parallelism between the two narratives, and given the fact that 2 Macc 5:8 (as many other sources) uses “Arabs” of Nabateans, that distinction is doubtful. told them. That is, the Nabateans told Judas. 5:26. Bosora . . . Bosor in Alema, Chaspho, Makked, and Carnaim. Of these, the first and last are relatively securely identified with, respectively, Bostra (some sixty-five miles south of Damascus; eventually it became the capital of the Roman province of Arabia; on the city during the Hasmonean period, according to the present passage, see Sartre 1985, 45–48) and Carnaim (usually identified with Šēh. Sa‘d, a site northeast of Bostra, some twenty-two miles east of the Sea of Galilee; cf. 2 Macc 12:21, 26; and Kellermann 1981, 50). These two sites suffice to give a general notion of the region involved. Sartre (1985, 47) identifies Bosor with Bus.r al-Harīrī, north of Bostra. For attempts to identify the other sites, see Hölscher 1906 and Abel 1923–1926a, 514–521. On “Alema,” see below, the Note on v. 35, Alema. all of them being fortified and great cities, echoing Num 13:28. 5:27. caught, εἰσι συνειλημμένοι. That is, although they were not yet being besieged, they were boxed in and had nowhere to go. the next day. Which of course enhances the drama of the story, just as it deepens the resemblance to the story of Jabesh-Gilead (1 Sam 11:9–10). to exterminate all of them in a single day. As at 7:16 and in Esth 3:13 and 8:12 (and cf. 9:58). The implication is that the danger is imminent and intense. 5:28. to the wilderness of Bosora, εἰς τὴν ἔρημον Βοσορα. That is, turning first to the first city on the list in v. 26, Judas went to that part of the wilderness that is near Bosora (Bostra), from which the city itself could be attacked “suddenly.” For such phrasing, cf. 9:33, Gen 21:14, 1 Sam 24:1, and 2 Chr 20:20. Some, such as Abel (1949, 97) and Peters (1977, 264), translate as if the verse meant they went through the desert to Bosora (= Bostra), Peters explaining “that is, by the routes that led through the domains of the nomads—like the Nabateans he had already encountered—and not by way of the Greek cities like Pella and Gerasa.” This assumption about Judas’s route is reasonable. by sword, ἐν στόματι ῥομφαίας, lit. “by the mouth of a sword.” A crass Hebraism repeated in v. 51; see, for example, Gen 34:26, Exod 17:13, Num 21:24. 5:29. the fortress, τὸ ὀχύρωμα. Apparently the reference is to Dathema (v. 9), for although it was the immediate impetus for this campaign, it is nowhere mentioned by name in the account of it. 5:30. siege-machines, μηχανάς—frequently used in this book for siege-machines, whether artillery (6:51–52) or storming-towers (see the Note on 13:43, helepolis). See also 9:64, 11:20, 15:25, and cf. the Note on 13:29, bases.

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but they were making war against them, καὶ ἐπολέμουν αὐτούς. Although often the conjunction is rendered as “and” and it is assumed these words mean that the attackers were making war against those within the walls, this hardly needs to be said. Therefore, it seems more probable that it means that those within were defending themselves as best they could; otherwise, there would be no “battle” (v. 31). Cf. 6:31. 5:31. the clamor . . . was going up to heaven, ἡ κραυγὴ . . . ἀνέβη ἕως οὐρανοῦ. There is no reason to see a reference to prayer here. All the text means is that there was a very loud clamor (κραυγή), which is typical of battle scenes, perhaps implying anguish, as for example 2 Macc 12:37 and 15:29—as already at 1 Sam 5:12, where the same wording appears. In the Septuagint, κραυγή simply refers to a loud sound; see Muraoka 2009, 411. In contrast, cf. κεκράξατε at 9:46, where the context shows prayer is meant. of the city, τῆς πόλεως. That is, of those in the fortress. Cf. the Note on 1:29, the cities of Judah. (along with the sound of ) trumpets and (their) loud blasts of alarm, σάλπιγξιν καὶ κραυγῇ μεγάλῃ. Here too, as earlier in the verse, κραυγή might mean general “clamor,” and so it is usually rendered (“loud shouts” [RSV], “loud shouting” [Goldstein], “clameur immense” [Abel]). That, however, both repeats what was already said and leaves the reference to trumpets with nothing said about the noise they make; usually the Bible offers a separate word to denote that noise: qôl (“voice”) or tərû‘â. See, for example, for the former, Exod 19:16, Jer 4:19 and 6:17, Ps 98:6; for the latter, Lev 25:9 and Num 31:6. And compare, to our verse, especially Zeph 1:16: “a day of trumpet blast and battle cry [šôpār ûtrû‘â] against the fortified cities and against the lofty corner towers” (RSV). Hence it seems preferable, as Natan Evron observed, to take the second κραυγή in this verse to refer to blasts produced by the trumpets. 5:32. “Fight today for our brethren!” The brevity of this speech and its failure to refer to God announce a radical change in comparison to the speeches in chapters 3–4 (see esp. 3:18–22, 58–60; 4:8–11). For a similar comparison, see the Note on v. 33, in prayer. For the possibility that the earlier chapters are from a different source, see Introduction 4, at n. 41. 5:33. three units. Although this is a standard tactic (e.g., Judg 7:16 [where we also find trumpets, as here] and 2 Sam 18:2), in the present context this functions as yet another allusion to 1 Sam 11:11—Saul’s rescue of those bottled up in Jabesh-Gilead; see above, the Note on v. 9, Gilead. in prayer, ἐν προσευχῇ. On προσευχή for “prayer,” see the Note on 12:11, and in our prayers. The failure, here, to say anything about the content of the prayer is characteristic of 1 Maccabees’ few references to prayer beginning with the present chapter, with the exception of 7:40–42; see 9:46 and 11:71, as opposed to 3:44–53 and 4:30–33. See above, the Note on v. 32, “Fight today for our brethren!” 5:35. Alema. This reading is problematic. The direct witnesses offer two readings; Josephus offers a third. Kappler reads Μααφα, following the main manuscripts; this is usually rendered as Mizpah, especially with the help of witnesses that have a medial s (masfa or maspha; see columns L and V in De Bruyne 1932, 31). For the shift from a to i, due to the “law of attenuation,” see Suchard 2020, 168–189 (for which reference I am grateful to Jonathan Howard). However, it seems to be impossible to identify a place of that name in the northern Gilead, and it is easy to explain the name away on the notion that some scribe saw here an allusion to the Jephthah story, in which Miz-

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pah is mentioned several times (Judg 10:17; 11:11, 29). Another reading here, offered by some minuscules and adopted by Rahlfs and Abel, is “Alema,” which is already mentioned in v. 26. Indeed, v. 26 sets the agenda for Judas’s campaign, so we would expect to hear about Alema; but of the toponyms listed there, “Alema”—which, as opposed to all the others, comes with ἐν and the dative—seems in fact not to be a separate place but rather to be part of the identification of Bosor (“Bosor in Alema”), to distinguish it from the first-named Bosora. Thus, for example, Schunck (1980, 320) suggests that “Alema” is the name of the district in which Bosor was found. For another possibility in this context, note that Bezer is mentioned three times in the Bible (Deut 4:43, Josh 20:8, 1 Chr 6:78 [Heb. 6:63]) and each time is defined as “in the desert”; could ἐν Ἀλέμοις be a phonetic corruption of ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ? Both versions of this suggestion are quite speculative, although not impossible. The third reading, supplied by Josephus (Ant. 12.340) and some Latin witnesses, is “Mella”—a reading that is approved by De Bruyne (1932, x), who, as others, suggests that in fact the reading ΑΛΕΜΑ here is simply a mistaken version of ΜΕΛΛΑ, assuming the opening Μ was misread as ΑΛ and the ΛΛ as a M (just as other scholars, such as Schalit [1968, 85], suggest that “Alema” was original and “Mella” the corruption). However, it seems to be impossible to locate any site named Mella. But it is very easy to locate Pella, a major Hellenistic city that is otherwise strangely ignored in this story, and the emendation too is simpler: for a Π to be misread as a Μ requires only a slight change of the horizontal bar. The admittedly speculative suggestion that therefore, and in the absence of a better solution, the text is so to be emended, is presented in detail in D. R. Schwartz 2003. On Pella, see Schürer 1973–1987, 2.145–148, and T. Weber 1993. 5:37. Raphon, usually assumed to be Raphanaea, a polis during the Roman period, mentioned by Pliny, Nat. Hist. 5.16 (74); apparently it was near Carnaim. See Schürer 1973–1987, 2.137–138. of the wadi, τοῦ χειμάρρου, Heb. nah.al. The bed or valley of a stream, which could be dry or flowing, depending upon the season; see also 12:37 and 16:5–6. In vv. 40, 42, the author adds ὕδατος to indicate that in this case it was flowing, hence “river” in v. 41. 5:39. So Judas marched out to confront them, despite the report of the enemy’s great numbers. As opposed to earlier occasions, here the author mentions neither hesitation nor prayer; Judas is simply heroic. 5:40. When Judas and his force approach. Most translations assume that this clause is not yet part of the quotation and instead describes the circumstances of the speech; that, however, works best if the order of the clauses is reversed, as, for example, in the RSV’s “Now as Judas and his army drew near . . . Timothy said . . .” This would be surprising, if not impossible. Moreover, if Judas already arrived at the wadi in v. 40, what was left to be reported at the opening of v. 42? Rather, we should understand Timothy’s speech here as filling up the time, as it were, that it took for Judas, once he started out to confront Timothy (in v. 39), actually to get to the bank of the wadi (in v. 42). For similar tactics elsewhere in the book, on a larger scale, see the end of the Comments on 1:1–15. if he crosses first, demonstrating his bravery. This seems to be playing with 1 Sam 14:9–10, a chapter that reverberates often in 1 Maccabees (see the Note on 3:18, from many or from a few). For a similar scene, see 16:5–6. Cf. the Note on 6:6, Lysias had gone at the head of.

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he will certainly overcome us, δυνάμενος δυνήσεται πρὸς ἡμᾶς, Heb. yākôl yûkal lānû. Here and in the next verse, this is a literal rendering of the biblical “will surely be able to overcome (or ‘withstand’)” an enemy; compare the similarly intensified formulation in Num 13:30, also the more usual simple phrasing at Gen 32:25, Judg 16:5, etc. For the doubling of the verb here to reflect the Hebrew idiom, cf. the Note on 11:42, I will truly honor you. 5:42. officers. Although literally “scribes,” γραμματεῖς is the usual Septuagintal translation of šōt. ərîm—and it is they who, at Deut 20:5–9, make announcements to the army concerning who may or may not avoid warfare. Schams (1998, 115–116), pointing to scribes in administrative positions in Hellenistic armies, raises the possibility, as an alternative, that the original referred to “scribes” (sôfərîm), as at 7:12. However, that would not account for the collocation with “of the people,” as here; cf. Exod 5:10 and Josh 1:11. 5:43. throwing away their weapons. A common element in descriptions of defeat; so too at 7:44 and 11:51. Carnaim. See above, the Note on v. 26, Bosora . . . Bosor . . . 5:44. took that city first, προκατελάβοντο τὴν πόλιν. That is, before turning to the sacred precinct. Cf. the Note on v. 11, and capture the fortress. 5:45. a very great camp! For similar comments, or even interjections, see 3:27 and 8:19. 5:46. Ephron. Ephron is identified as et-Taiba near Pella, east of Beth Shean (to which the Judeans will continue in v. 52), around 7.5 miles southwest of Irbid; see Polybius 5.70.12; Walbank 1957–1979, 1.596. 5:47. But the people of the city shut them out, καὶ ἀπέκλεισαν αὐτοὺς οἱ ἐκ τῆς πόλεως. No reason is stated, or needed. For the author, this is simply the way Gentiles are, just as in the mythic past; here, as in the next verses, the author compares Judas’s treatment of Ephron with Moses’s of Sihon and his cities, which also were in Transjordan (Num 20:14–21, 21:21–25; Deut 2:26–37). The phrasing here is difficult, because ἀποκλείω usually takes as its object a door or a gate, not people, so it is difficult to imagine the original Hebrew here. Perhaps we should assume that the original text read not αὐτοὺς but αὐτοῖς, as in Lucianic witnesses and the Syriac, apparently representing wayyisgərû ba‘ădām; cf. 2 Kgs 4:4, 33; Isa 26:20. 5:48. We shall pass through your land. As at Num 20:17, Deut 2:27, Judg 11:19. Similarly: we shall only walk through on our feet. Quoting Num 20:19, 21:21–22; Deut 2:27–28. 5:49. So Judas ordered it to be announced to the camp, καὶ ἐπέταξεν Ἰούδας κηρύξαι ἐν τῇ παρεμβολῇ. I translated παρεμβολή “camp” here because, as Natan Evron observed, this is a precise echo of Exod 36:6, where it definitely refers to a camp, not to a military force. Cf. the Note on 3:17, force. 5:51. wiped out all the males of the city by sword, as Sihon’s men (and more) according to Num 21:24 and Deut 2:34. This concludes the allusions to that biblical episode. 5:52. Great Plain. That is, the Esdraelon, between the Lower Galilee and Samaria (so, e.g., Josephus, Ant. 8.36 [cf. 1 Kgs 4:12]), as in 12:49. See Udoh 2002. True, Udoh (p. 134), as already Abel (1923–1926d, 221, n. 2), assumed that the present verse

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refers to the Jordan Valley. They did that because they took the verse to refer to “the Great Plain before Beth Shean” (Abel: “franchirent le Jourdain dans la grande plaine en face de Bethsan”). However, it is difficult to justify taking εἰς τὸ πεδίον to mean “in the Great Plain.” Rather, it appears to be preferable to maintain the usual usage and to take κατὰ πρόσωπον Βαιθσαν not as identifying the plain but, rather, identifying the point at which Judas and his force crossed the Jordan on their way to the Great Plain, of which Beth Shean (Scythopolis) is basically the eastern end. That was a usual place to cross the Jordan, near the junction of important roads; see especially Arubas et al. 2019, 201, citing, among others, Polybius 5.70 (Antiochus III proceeds from the vicinity of Scythopolis and Mount Tabor to Pella); Josephus, Ant. 14.49 (Pompey goes through Pella and Scythopolis); and the Madaba Map. See also below, 12:40. 5:53. encouraging, παρακαλῶν. For this sense of the verb, as in all its other occurrences in 1 Maccabees (9:35, 12:50, and 13:3; so too παράκλησις at 12:9), compare, for example, LXX Gen 50:21. Cf. the Note on 10:24, words of exhortation, and, in general, Danker 2000, 764–765, s.v. παρακαλέω. Note, however, that as Natan Evron pointed out, in the Septuagint παρακαλέω usually represents the root NH . M, “console” (or, reflexively, “regret” [e.g., Gen 6:7]). That does not at all fit the context here. But if we imagine that the original Hebrew here was nāh.â, “he led,” which is a standard verb in connection with “way” (derek), as here (e.g., Gen 24:27, Exod 13:21, Ps 139:24), but the translator erroneously read the consonantal text (NH . H) as nih.ēm, “and he consoled,” the result would be our Greek text. Such a mistake would especially be likely if the original Hebrew here included the objectival suffix nāh.ām (“he led them”), as at Exod 13:17—but that does not sit well with the explicit reference to “the people.” 5:54. went up to Mount Zion with mirth and joy, ἐν εὐφροσύνῃ καὶ χαρᾷ. See the Note on virtually the same phrase in 4:59. Here the author might be thinking especially of Isa 51:11: “And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with singing . . . joy and gladness.” brought whole-offerings. For such celebrations, cf. 4:24, 33. This is the last time such celebrations are mentioned in this book—an eloquent expression of the change of the book’s character. Contrast 7:48–49; 10:66, 87; 11:7, 51, 74; 12:35; 16:10. until they returned safely, ἐν εἰρήνῃ. Lit. “in peace”—the usual biblical phrase (Gen 28:21, 1 Kgs 22:27//2 Chr 18:26), as also in 16:10. Cf. the Notes on 7:35, if and when I return safely, and on 12:22, your well-being. 5:55. Simon, his brother, ὁ ἀδελφὸς αὐτοῦ. The fact that Jonathan is ignored here bolsters the suspicion that he was added secondarily into this narrative; see above, the Note on v. 17, Jonathan. 5:56. the valorous deeds and the war. For this standard collocation, see the Note on 9:22, and the wars and acts of valor that he did. 5:57. “Let us too make ourselves a name.” The formulation is reminiscent of Gen 11:4, which obviously condemns them. That is not always the case in this book; see the Note on 6:44, make for himself an eternal name. 5:58. summoned, παρήγγειλαν, as at 9:63 (where, as here, those summoned are denoted by τοῖς, which serves as a substantive). In the Septuagint of 1 Sam 15:4 and 23:8, the same verb renders the Hebrew wayšamma‘ (RSV: “summoned”). See also Spicq 1994, 3.9–11, and Muraoka 2009, 525. Jamnia. See the Note on 4:15, Jamnia.

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5:59. Gorgias. On him and his role concerning Jamnia, see the Note on 3:38, Gorgias. 5:60. back to the borders of Judea, ἕως τῶν ὁρίων τῆς Ἰουδαίας. The author takes it for granted that even Gorgias would not go farther, at least not without major preparations; cf. the Note on 4:16, turned back from chasing. One may well wonder whether that notion was really reasonable as early as the 160s. 5:62. of the seed of those men, ἐκ τοῦ σπέρματος τῶν ἀνδρῶν ἐκείνων—the Hasmoneans, echoing 1 Sam 1:11, where it appears in Hannah’s prayer for progeny. had been given. As Tilly notes (2015, 154), Judg 6:36 and 2 Sam 3:18 report that God gave the “salvation of Israel” “into the hands” of Gideon and David; and Judg 15:18, apart from not mentioning “Israel,” says the same of Samson. But to conclude from this, as he does, that this verse “expresses clearly (in deutlicher Weise) a fundamental aspect of the author’s exclusive evaluation of the Hasmonean dynasty as God’s agent (Werkzeug Gottes) that had been called to be the (mundane and spiritual) leader of the people” is to underestimate the importance of the fact that, as opposed to the three verses Tilly cites, this one makes no reference to God. Tilly realizes this but terms it a case of passivum divinum, which takes “die Erwählungshandeln Gottes” for granted. Tilly is not alone; numerous interpreters assume that God is meant, and some even put him into the translation. For an influential example, note Luther’s 1545 translation: “So sie doch nicht die Leute waren, denen Gott verliehen hatte, das Jsrael durch sie geholffen würde.” Indeed, it is difficult to see who else could be imagined as the giver here. But to ignore the fact that the author avoided mentioning God is to ignore what is characteristic about 1 Maccabees, as is argued in Introduction 4B. In general, on the pitfalls of recourse to passivum divinum, see Smit and Renssen 2014. For a similar case, see the Note on 14:7, and there was none who opposed him. 5:63. the manly Judas, ὁ ἀνῆρ Ἰούδας. Lit. “the man Judas,” as “the man Moses” (Exod 11:3), “the man Elkanah” (1 Sam 1:21), etc.; see J. Goldstein 1976, 305. 5:65. went out, ἐξῆλθεν. The use of the singular form of the verb, here and in three of the other four verbs in this verse, underlines Judas’s primacy, as, for example, Exod 15:1 and Shepherd 2011. For a similar case, cf. the Note on 12:3, has sent us. In both cases, as elsewhere (e.g., above, v. 57), various witnesses regularize the text by supplying verbs in the plural. 5:66. Marisa. A major Idumean center, near Bet Guvrin (some eighteen miles southwest of Jerusalem), not far from Philistia. The Greek witnesses here read Σαμαρ(ε)­ ιαν (“Samaria”), but it is usual to emend to Μαρισαν, following Josephus (Ant. 12.353), the Latin evidence (Kappler 1936, 34, cites this as one of the few cases in which there is “gar kein Zweifel” that it is correct), and the geographic logic: to go from Hebron to the southern coast of Palestine (“land of the Philistines,” v. 66) there was no need to go north to Samaria, but the natural route would go through Idumea, and Marisa was, as noted, near the border of Philistia. See Abel 1923–1926b, 204. Presumably, the Greek texts were produced by scribes who were unfamiliar with Palestinian geography and more familiar with Samaria (mentioned seven times in the Acts of the Apostles alone!) than with Marisa. On its remains, see Kloner 2003–2010. 5:67. some priests. Another episode like vv. 55–62. fell in battle. Similarly, 2 Macc 12:34 reports the death of a few (ὀλίγους) of Judas’s men in this fight near Marisa. But, typically for the differences between the two

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books, 2 Maccabees reports (at 12:40) that they died because of an egregious violation of religious law: they wore pagan amulets. For the dynastically minded author of 1 Maccabees, just as typically, they died because they went off to battle without taking counsel with Judas, in the hopes of making themselves a name comparable to his. 5:68. Azotus, in the land of the Philistines, εἰς Ἄζωτον γῆν ἀλλοφύλων. Several witnesses regularize the text by adding a second εἰς before γῆν, but Hebrew usage does not require the preposition; cf. Num 22:5 and Ezek 12:13. destroyed their altars, καθεῖλε τοὺς βωμοὺς αὐτῶν, just as is commanded in Exod 34:13//Deut 7:5 (LXX: τοὺς βωμοὺς αὐτῶν καθελεῖτε). So too: burned the idols of their gods in fire, τὰ γλυπτὰ τῶν θεῶν αὐτῶν κατέκαυσε πυρί. This fulfills, to the letter, the commandment that comes somewhat later in Deuteronomy 7 (v. 25), which is rendered in the Septuagint as τὰ γλυπτὰ τῶν θεῶν αὐτῶν κατακαύστε πυρί and is also conflated, in the Septuagint, with Exod 34:13, cited in the preceding Note. For such treatment of cultic sites, see the Note on 2:25, and he tore down the pagan altar.

Comments This chapter, which is roughly parallel to 2 Maccabees 12, and which fills up the time, as it were, between Lysias’s defeat in chapter 4 and Antiochus’s learning of it in chapter 6, focuses on a new type of enemy: the Judeans’ neighbors. Until now we have heard of fighting with other Judeans (ch. 2) and with Seleucids. The Judeans’ neighbors have figured as enemies, but only in passing at 3:10–11 and a few times as giving refuge to those who fled from Judas’s men (2:44; 4:15, 22). Now, after the failure of the Seleucids in chapter 4, they come into their own, as if there is a law of conservation of enmity toward the Judeans, so if the Seleucids fade out (for the moment), “the peoples roundabout” must step in to fill the role. Since this whole chapter is devoted to such hostility and such clashes, while they hardly reappear in the book, it is likely that the author has gathered here reports and memories that deal with events that actually transpired over a longer period; in any case, since we now know that Antiochus’s death (ch. 6) in fact preceded the dedication of the Temple (ch. 4), the location of this chapter between those two events does not define any particular period of time. Rather, the author has grouped these stories together in order to present his message that the Judeans are surrounded by inveterately hostile enemies, so they can depend only on the Hasmoneans. This message, so congenial to the point of this book and the dynasty that it serves, is quite different from the attitude of the author of 2 Maccabees, who holds that by and large the Jews’ neighbors respect them, so it is only because of inciting by troublemaking Seleucid officials (2 Macc 8:11 and 12:2) that hostilities arise. Indeed, by using “Jacob” and “Esau” in the first verses of this chapter, the author intimates that there is a deep-seated hostility, one that requires no explanation.6 The only explanation offered by this chapter is given in v. 1: “the Gentiles roundabout” were angered by the Judeans’ success and therefore decided to wipe them out. This assumes an inherently zero-sum game between Judeans and Gentiles, just the opposite of the attitude expressed in 2 Maccabees. Indeed, note that 5:1 is closely paralleled by 12:53, where “the Gentiles roundabout” think the Judeans are now so weak that they can be wiped out. That is, whether the Judeans are successful or unsuccessful, their neighbors

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want to wipe them out, which means they need no reason at all—no more than Antiochus Epiphanes needed any reason or justification to do what he did in chapter 1. This chapter, which reveals and assumes an intense familiarity with and interest in Palestinian geography, functions both to aggrandize Judas (both by showing his successes at great length and by demonstrating that others failed where he succeeded—vv. 18–19, 55–62, 67) and to adumbrate the spread of Hasmonean power beyond the borders of Judea proper. Although in this chapter the Hasmoneans abstain from conquest and confine themselves to bringing to Judea their compatriots who had been threatened by their neighbors elsewhere, this is accomplished only via quite a lot of warfare in far-flung regions, mostly in the north (vv. 17–54) but also in the south (vv. 3, 63–68). The emphasis on the Hasmoneans is bolstered by two episodes, which are strangely similar to each other, that show non-Hasmoneans also undertook to fight the Judeans’ enemies, only to fail miserably (vv. 55–62, 67). After the first eight verses of this chapter report fighting here and there, the narrative gains a clearer structure: reports of Judeans in trouble in the Gilead (vv. 9–13) and the Galilee (vv. 14–15) are followed by Judas’s decision to send expeditionary forces to those regions (vv. 16–20), a decision that is carried out in two parallel and successful campaigns: Simon commands one to the Galilee (vv. 21–23), and Judas, with Jonathan at his side, leads one to the Gilead (vv. 24–54). Note, however, that in the chapter as it is, nothing prepares us for Judas’s attack on the Philistines in vv. 66–68. This is surprising, given the otherwise clear structure of the chapter. Moreover, as explained in the Notes on vv. 15 and 17 there are other surprises here as well: Simon’s role, and the use of allophyloi for “Gentiles” although normally, in this book and as is usual in the Septuagint, it refers to Philistines. Such considerations suggest that an original report that had Judas responding to difficulties in Philistia as well as the Gilead has been turned, by a Simonide editor of the Greek text—who did not realize that allophyloi were Philistines and that the verse, following Joel 4:4, was referring to the coast of Palestine—into one that gives Simon a role as well; as Wellhausen (1905, 149) put it roundly more than a century ago, “it appears that 1 Macc 5 bestows upon Simon an honor that he did not earn.” Jonathan also seems to have been a beneficiary of this process, if only because it would have looked too suspicious to insert Simon alone; see the Note on v. 17, Jonathan.



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Death of Antiochus Epiphanes (6:1–17)

6 1As King Antiochus was going through the upper districts, he heard of Elymais in Persia, a city renowned for its wealth, gold, and silver, 2and that the temple in it was very wealthy, and that there were there golden shields and body-armor and weapons left behind there by Alexander (the son of King Philip of Macedonia), who was the first to rule as king of the Greeks. 3So he went and sought to take the city and plunder it, but he could not, for his intention had become known to the men of the city. 4They stood up to him in war, and he fled and set out from there, grieving greatly, to return to Babylonia. 5Then someone came to him in Persia and informed him that the forces that had gone to the land of Judah had been defeated: 6that Lysias had gone at the head of a strong army but had been defeated by them; that they had become better armed and stronger and had acquired much booty, which they took from the forces that they had cut down; 7and that they had destroyed the abomination, which he had built upon the altar in Jerusalem, and had again surrounded the Temple, as previously, with high walls—and his city of Beth Zur as well. 8And it happened, when the king heard these words, that he was upset and trembled greatly, and he fell into bed and fell ill due to his grief that that which he had planned for himself had not transpired. 9He was there for many days, for great grief kept renewing itself upon him, and he realized that he was going to die. 10So he summoned all his Friends and said to them: Sleep has departed from my eyes, and my heart has collapsed due to worry. And I said in my heart: “Unto what distress have I come, in what tempest am I now!”—I, who was formerly kind and beloved in my authority. 12Now I recall the wicked deeds that I did in Jerusalem, and that I took all the silver and gold vessels that were there, and sent out (soldiers) to wipe out the residents of Judah for no reason at all. 13I know that it is for that reason that these troubles have visited me. Now behold—I am perishing in great grief in a foreign land. 11

Then he summoned Philip, one of his Friends, and appointed him over his entire kingdom. 15He gave him his crown and his raiment and the seal, so that he should bring 14

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up his son Antiochus and raise him to be king. 16Then King Antiochus died there, in the 149th year. 17When Lysias learned that the king had died, he installed Antiochus his son—whom he had raised since childhood—to rule in his stead, and he named him Eupator.

Notes 6:1. As King Antiochus was going through, Καὶ ὁ βασιλεὺς Ἀντίοχος διεπορεύετο. This is a Wiederaufnahme (repetitive resumption, even with the same verb) that picks up the story from 3:37, the last time we read of Antiochus IV. Note that by stating the subject before the verb the author indicates that he is referring to something that had long been under way; cf., for example, Gen 39:1 (with the end of Gen 37) and see Joüon 1922, 204–205. That is, we are to understand that the events of chapter 5 took place while news of the events of chapter 4 was making its way to the king, who was far away, campaigning in the East. For similar moves, see 9:1 (picking up from the end of ch. 7), 12:24 (picking up from the end of ch. 11), and 15:25 (picking up from 15:13–14). upper districts. See the Note on 3:37, the upper districts. Elymais . . . a city. But there was no such city. Elymais (‘Elam) was the name of a region in southern Mesopotamia, bordering on the Persian Gulf. As Grimm (1853, 91–92) notes in his detailed discussion, it could be that the present text represents a mistranslation of the Hebrew mədînâ (“province”). But it is just as simple to assume that it reflects the author’s uncaring ignorance about the geography of far-off lands; cf. the Notes on 7:1, a coastal city, and on 14:2, Arsaces of Persia and Media. The claim that Antiochus died after a failed attack on a temple in Elymais recurs in Polybius 31.9; that Antiochus died after failing to rob a temple somewhere in “Persia” is stated by Josephus in a passage in which he refers to Polybius (Ant. 12.358–359), as also in both accounts of his death in 2 Maccabees (1:13–17, 9:1). Moreover, the latter refers specifically to Persepolis, and that seems to lie behind the present account; see the next Note. renowned for its wealth. It may well be that this reflects some notion of Persepolis, which, although east of Elam, was renowned as “the wealthiest city under the sun” (Diodorus Siculus 17.70) and also for its destruction at the hands of Alexander (ibid., 17.70–72). This would also account for the reference in v. 2 to what Alexander had “left behind” there, as opposed to so much else that he looted or destroyed. 6:2. body-armor, καλύμματα. Perhaps shields; so too at 4:6. left behind there by Alexander. See above, end of the Note on v. 1, renowned for its wealth. first to rule as king of the Greeks, ὃς ἐβασίλευσε πρῶτος ἐν τοῖς Ἕλλησι. See the Note on 1:1, after first reigning over Greece. 6:3. his intention had become known, ἐγνώσθη ὁ λόγος, Heb. nôda‘ ha-dābār. Lit. “the thing had become known,” as in Exod 2:14. 6:4. and he fled, without a battle. If above (3:29) the author enjoyed portraying Antiochus as a bumbler, now he is a failure, perhaps also a coward: real men win their battles, or at least refuse to flee the field of battle (9:10, 12:51). 6:6. Lysias had gone at the head of, ἐν πρώτοις. This seems to be the sense here, not “initially” or “as the first” as elsewhere; see Muraoka 2009, 605. Perhaps what is

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meant is that although Lysias went bravely “among the first” soldiers in his army, nevertheless they failed. That a brave general goes before his soldiers was a common trope; see, for example, 3:23, 7:43, 16:6, and the Note on 9:1, right wing. been defeated by them, ἀνετράπη ἀπὸ προσώπου αὐτῶν. That is, by the Judeans, as should be understood from the reference to the “land of Judah” in the preceding verse. For such usage cf., for example, Josephus, Ant. 18.2 (“Judea . . . their” [= of the Judeans]) and 18.196 (“he was a Judean . . . there” [= in Judea]). On the Hebraism here, see the Note on 1:18, defeated by him. 6:7. the abomination, which he had built upon the altar in Jerusalem, as at 1:54, 59. This detail and the next one serve to remind readers of the end of chapter 4, which the present story continues. and his city of Beth Zur. As is reported at 4:61. 6:8. that which he had planned for himself had not transpired. See the Note on 4:27, not gone the way . . . not turned out the way. 6:9. realized that he was going to die. This scene depicted in this verse and the next recalls Alexander’s death (1:5–6). But readers who notice this were probably meant to notice that while Alexander died successful, and had an empire to divide up, and 1 Maccabees even states that he did that successfully (1:6), Antiochus died a failure. Indeed, even his attempt to bequeath his empire to one particular courtier, Philip, would be unsuccessful by the end of the present chapter. 6:10. summoned, ἐκάλεσε. On this somewhat Hebraic usage, see the Note on 1:6, summoned. 6:11. distress . . . tempest, θλίψεως . . . καὶ κλύδωνος. Perhaps the original was the alliterative .sārâ wassa‘ar, or perhaps .sārâ ûs‘ārâ. In the Septuagint, .sārâ is very regularly rendered by θλῖψις, and the only times κλύδων corresponds to the Hebrew it renders sa‘ar (in Jonah 1:4, 11–12). formerly kind and beloved, χρηστὸς καὶ ἀγαπώμενος. In the Septuagint, the former is a very standard rendering of tôb. For numerous examples of statements by Hellenistic rulers who are proud to be the objects of their subjects’ goodwill (usually εὔνοια), see Schubart 1937, 16–18. Here, however, the words read like an ironic joke. Similarly, in 2 Maccabees as well the author takes Antiochus’s death as an opportunity to joke ironically about him and the way his subjects had adored him (9:21). 6:12. I recall the wicked deeds that I did. The same Judeo-centered report that the king linked his coming death to his misdeeds in Judea is reflected in the much more colorful account in 2 Maccabees 9, as also in Josephus’s complaint about Polybius in Ant. 12.358–359. for no reason at all, διὰ κενῆς. Muraoka (2009, 395) renders “for no justifiable reason,” pointing to Sir 23:11, Job 2:3, and Ps 24:3. 6:13. these troubles have visited me, εὗρέν με τὰ κακὰ ταῦτα, as at 1:11, echoing Deut 31:17, 21. 6:14. summoned, ἐκάλεσε. As in v. 10; this signals the resumption of the story after the speech in vv. 10–13. 6:15. his son Antiochus, who was then around nine years old; see Grainger 1997, 27. raise him, ἐκθρέψαι. The same verb as in v. 17; see the Note there on whom he had raised.

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6:16. 149th year. This is according to SEmac (as we may expect for such a datum about a Seleucid king); the year began in the autumn of 164. This corresponds to cuneiform evidence that shows Antiochus’s death became known in Babylonia in Kislev of 148 SEbab, around November–December 164 BCE, and that his remains were being transferred back from Mesopotamia to Syria during the next month; see Dov Gera and Horowitz 1997, 241, 249–250. Note that the present reference to 149 SE is the first date in the book since 148 SE was mentioned at 4:52; for readers who are unaware of the difference between SEmac and SEbab, the order of these episodes is self-evident. In fact, however, it appears that Antiochus’s death preceded the dedication of the Temple, although the author might not have been aware of that; see Introduction 3, at n. 49. 6:17. whom he had raised, ὃν ἐξέθρεψεν. Although the author does not belabor the point here, it is obvious that Lysias is competing with Philip, a point made especially clear by the use of the same verb as in v. 15. The Judeans would benefit from this rivalry; see below, vv. 55–56. and he named him. On the theme of philoi or the like choosing names for Seleucid kings, see Muccioli 2001, especially 300–301. Eupator, “good father.” In 2 Macc 10:10 this name is the object of irony, since it is juxtaposed to the characterization of his father as a wicked man. Here, however, it is just a name.

Comments This chapter picks up from the end of chapter 4; note especially the way v. 7 repeats details stated at the very end of chapter 4. From the point of view of the narrative, it is as if the events reported in chapter 5 took place while news of the events of chapter 4 was still making its way to the king. Such a structure is repeated in other cases as well; see the Note on v. 1, As King Antiochus was going through. Historically, however, Antiochus died somewhat before the dedication of the Temple late in 164, which was described at the end of chapter 4; the order of events in 2 Maccabees 9–10 is correct. Whatever motivated the author of 1 Maccabees to tell the story in this order (the desire to have Judas Maccabaeus spite Antiochus by succeeding in his lifetime? the desire to reflect the historical fact that Judas’s success in Jerusalem came before knowledge of the king’s death reached him? ignorance of the true order of events?), it was facilitated by the fact that because of the difference between the Jewish and the Macedonian systems, the SEbab date for the dedication, 148 (4:52), preceded the SEmac date of the king’s death, 149 (6:16). The death of Antiochus IV in the course of an eastern campaign attracted much interest among ancient writers; see especially Holleaux 1942, 255–279, who rejects the suggestion that there is here a confusion between the deaths of Antiochus III and IV. Just as our Judeocentric (and Judas-centric) author made Antiochus’s eastern campaign result from his need to finance his campaign against Judas (3:27–31), so too does he make Antiochus’s death result from his disappointment at the failure of Lysias’s campaign in Judea (6:8). Moreover, the author enjoys portraying Antiochus as regretting, on his deathbed, all that he had done against Jerusalem and the Judeans. The story in 2 Maccabees 9 is very similar, but, as usual, has a religious twist absent here. Namely, there the story has God riding in Antiochus’s chariot (v. 4) and orchestrating

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­Antiochus’s suffering (vv. 5–12), and Antiochus imagining that penitence and beneficence to the Jews will bring God to relent, and promising that he will become a Jew and proclaim God everywhere (vv. 13–17)—but, as the author points out (v. 13), it was too late for that. Similarly, Josephus too has Antiochus recognize specifically that it was his contempt of God that brought him down (Ant. 12.357). No such concerns are at work in 1 Maccabees’ version of the story. Although Antiochus’s formulation at 6:13 is reminiscent of Deut 31:17, 21, which is the prologue to a long discussion and poem about how divine providence expresses itself in history, there is nothing to indicate that the author of 1 Maccabees thought—or thought it important to teach, as did Moses—that troubles visit people because God is punishing them for their sins.

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Lysias’s Second Campaign to Beth Zur and the Battle of Beth Zechariah (6:18–47)

6 18The men of the Akra had been hemming Israel in around the Temple and incessantly attempting wicked acts and were a buttress for the Gentiles. 19Judas decided, therefore, to wipe them out, and so he assembled all of the people to besiege them. 20 They gathered together and besieged it in the 150th year, and he made siege-walls and siege-machines. 21But some of them got out from the siege, and some of the impious of Israel cleaved to them, 22and they went to the king and said: How long will you not do justice and avenge our brethren?! 23For we decided voluntarily to serve your father and adhere to that which he said and follow his edicts—24and they besieged it for this reason the sons of our people even act toward us as if we were foreigners; and moreover they killed those of us who were caught by them, and they have pillaged our patrimonies. 25And it is not against us alone that they have stretched out their hand; rather, (they have done so) throughout their borders. 26And behold—this very day they have camped over against the Akra in Jerusalem in order to capture it, and they have fortified the Temple and Beth Zur. 27If you do not forestall them and subdue them swiftly, they will do even more, and you will not be able to restrain them. The king was enraged at what he heard, and he assembled all of his Friends, the commanders of his army, and those who were in authority. 29Even from other kingdoms and from the islands of the seas there came to him mercenary soldiers; 30the number of his forces was a hundred thousand infantry and twenty thousand cavalry, along with thirty-two elephants experienced in war. 31They came via Idumea and encamped over against Beth Zur, and did battle for many days and made siege-machines; but (the Judean defenders) went out and set fire to them and fought valiantly. 32 Judas set out from the Akra and camped near Beth Zechariah, opposite the king’s camp. 33The king arose early in the morning and took his force with all its fury along the road to Beth Zechariah, and the soldiers prepared for battle and sounded 28

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the trumpets. 34And they showed the elephants grape juice and black mulberries, in order to ready them for battle. 35They distributed the beasts among the phalanxes and assigned a thousand men—armored with chain-mail, and with bronze helmets on their heads—to each elephant, and they selected and assigned five hundred cavalrymen to each elephant. 36Wherever the beast was, these were there beforehand, and wherever it went, they went together with it, never departing from it. 37And there were strong wooden towers protecting each beast, strapped onto them by contraptions, and upon each of them there were four men of the army who were fighting upon it, along with their mahout. 38The rest of the cavalry was stationed on both sides around the two parts of the force, frightening (the enemy) and covering the phalanxes. 39When the sun gleamed upon the golden and bronze shields, the mountains shone back from them and glowed brightly like burning torches. 40And one part of the king’s force was deployed upon the high mountains, others in the low ones, and they advanced in a secure and orderly manner. 41 And there trembled all who heard the noise made by their multitude, and by the marching of the multitude and the clanking of their weapons, for it was a very great and powerful force. 42But Judas and his force drew near to do battle, and six hundred men of the king’s force fell. 43And Eleazar Auran, seeing among the beasts one that was armored with royal armor, and that stood out among all the beasts, thought that the king was in it—44so he gave himself up to save his people and make for himself an eternal name: 45he ran bravely toward it through the midst of the phalanx, killing right and left, and they split away from him this way and that way. 46Then he crawled under the elephant and stabbed it from below and killed it; it fell upon the ground on top of him and he died there. 47When they saw the power of the royal force and the fury of the troops, they turned away from them.

Notes 6:18. men of the Akra. The local Seleucid garrison; see 1:34 (with the Note on a sinful people, wicked men), 2:31, 4:2. incessantly, δι’ ὅλου. This expression renders Heb. tāmîd in LXX 3 Kgdms 10:8 and Ezek 38:8. buttress, στήριγμα. See the Note on 2:43, buttress. 6:20. 150th year. Second Maccabees 13:1 dates Lysias’s second campaign, described in the present narrative, to 149 SE. Since the story ends with Philip’s arrival in Antioch, which was probably a few months after Antiochus IV died late in 164 (see the Note on 6:16, 149th year), the campaign should come sometime within the next several months; but even on the Macedonian reckoning, 150 SE starts too late, in the autumn of 163. Thus it seems we must recognize that the present date is an error and prefer the date in 2 Maccabees. Lysias’s second campaign must have come in the spring or summer of 163, which was 149 SE on both reckonings. See especially Dov Gera and Horowitz 1997, 250–252; Bar-Kochva’s detailed discussion of the chronology of this campaign (1989, 543–550), which places it a year later, appeared before the evidence Dov Gera and Horowitz discuss became available. Grabbe (1991, 65), in contrast, makes this verse a pillar of his case that SEbab dates in 1 Maccabees are according to an era in spring 312; cf. Introduction 3, n. 46.

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siege-walls, βελοστάσεις. For such usage in the Septuagint, see Ezek 17:17, 21:27, and 26:8 (Alexandrinus)—all three for dayyēq. Such walls, apart from preventing entrance and exit, could also serve as platforms upon which weapons could be mounted, and that is hinted at by the etymology (“basis for projectiles”). Indeed, the LSJ Supplement, s.v. βελοστασία, cites this verse as evidence for “range or battery of warlike engines”—such as the ones mentioned separately at the end of this verse (μηχανάς). 6:21. cleaved to them, ἐκολλήθησαν. On this strong verb, see the Note on 3:2, cleaved. 6:22. to the king, formally; really, to Lysias. 6:23. adhere to, πορεύεσθαι + dative, lit. “to walk in”; on this Hebraism, see the Note on 2:20, to adhere to the covenant. follow his edicts. For Hellenistic usage of κατακολουθέω, see Welles 1934, 342. 6:24. they besieged it, καὶ περιεκάθηντο ἐπ’ αὐτὴν. It is usually assumed that these four Greek words (obelized in Kappler 1936, 85) derive from a marginal note, probably meant for the end of v. 19. Perhaps it was written in such a way that it ended near v. 24 and a copyist wrongly inserted it there. even act toward us as if we were foreigners, καὶ ἠλλοτριοῦντο ἀφ’ ἡμῶν. The translation assumes the verb alludes to Gen 42:7, where Joseph pretends not to be the brother (wayyitnakkēr) of those who have appeared before him; the usage is similar to that at Esth 8:17, where Gentiles pretend to be Jews (mityahădim). In the Septuagint, ἀλλότριος is frequently used for forms of NKR, and the verb used here, ἀλλοτριόω, indeed appears at LXX Gen 42:7—just as it is used for virtual excommunication in 1 Esd 9:4, where it renders yibbādēl (RSV: “banned”) in Ezra 10:8. moreover. For such “progressive” use of πλήν in the Septuagint and elsewhere, see Thrall 1962, 22–23. 6:25. their borders, τὰ ὅρια αὐτῶν. This is a slip by the author or translator, for as at 7:6–7, we would expect the informers to refer to “your borders” and emphasize their concern for the king’s interests. Indeed, a few Latin witnesses read tuos (De Bruyne 1932, 37). Cf. the Note on 7:7, upon us and the king’s land. 6:26. camped over against, παρεμβεβλήκασι . . . ἐπί. On this formulation, see the Note on 2:32, encamping over against them. 6:27. forestall them and subdue them swiftly. The reflection in translation of both opening units of προκαταλάβῃ seems warranted in this case; cf. the Note on 5:11, and capture the fortress. 6:28. and those who were in authority, τοὺς ἐπὶ τῶν ἡνιῶν, lit., “those in charge of the reins.” Grimm (1853, 97) infers that this is an unusual way of referring to the commanders of the cavalry, but that would seem to promote them too high alongside “the commanders of the army.” Rather, it would seem to be a general way of referring to those who shared in holding the reins of power; Muraoka (2009, 321) renders “those in authority.” 6:29. islands of the seas, νήσων θαλασσῶν, as in Isa 11:11 and 24:15, which, however, have ’iyyê ha-yām (“of the sea”). Some copyists of the text were apparently bothered by θαλασσῶν being in the plural and so either changed it to the singular (as in LXX Isa 24:15) or added καί between the two nouns. In any case, the reference is to the Greek islands or, more generally, Greek lands that border on the sea; compare “islands of Kittim” in Jer 2:10 and Ezek 27:6, and also the more general statement in Gen 10:5,

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which, right after presenting the sons of Yavan, identifies the people of the “islands” as descendants of Japhet. Indeed, some of the Greek islands were well-known as sources for mercenaries. See 11:38; also the Notes on 10:67, from Crete, and 15:1, the islands of the sea, along with “commander of the Cypriot troops” at 2 Macc 4:29. 6:30. a hundred thousand infantry and twenty thousand cavalry, along with thirtytwo elephants. See Bar-Kochva 1989, 306–307: the first two figures are “grossly exaggerated” and the third is “exaggerated.” He suspects that Josephus’s “eighty” elephants (J.W. 1.41), in an otherwise sober account, reflects a misreading of Π (“eighty”) for an original Η (“eight”), which is a reasonable number. 6:31. Idumea . . . Beth Zur, as in the previous attempt (4:29). 6:32. Judas set out from the Akra. That is, Lysias’s invasion indeed succeeded, as hoped (vv. 26–27), in forcing Judas to suspend his siege. Beth Zechariah, south of Jerusalem, some five to six miles north of Beth Zur. 6:33. arose early in the morning. This is as common in war as it is in literature about war, so it seems exaggerated to argue, with reference to it, that “the use of conventional biblical (or classical) language undercuts the presumed credibility of a passage because the conventional terminology may well embody a literary commonplace rather than reflect a historical fact” (Tropper 2017, 14). Such arguments are more convincing when (1) the formulation is more obviously a literary allusion, and (2) there is other reason to doubt its historical truth. Cf. below, the Note on v. 35, armored with chainmail, and with bronze helmets on their heads. his force, τὴν παρεμβολήν. See the Note on 3:17, force. with all its fury, ἐν ὁρμήματι αὐτῆς. On the noun, see the Note on 4:8, all their fury. 6:34. showed the elephants, τοῖς ἐλέφασιν ἔδειξαν. According to Kappler’s apparatus, all the witnesses are unanimous here, with the exception of Sinaiticus, which reads the same verb but in the singular (ἔδειξεν). Nevertheless, several scholars have argued that since it is not enough merely to show elephants grape juice and mulberries, the original Hebrew read hirwû (“they caused to drink,” “saturated,” as in Isa 43:24, 55:10) and the Greek here reflects misreading as her’û, “they showed”; see especially Wellhausen 1905, 162, and, for support on the basis of other evidence (such as 3 Macc 5:2, 10, 45) about what intoxicates and so rouses and infuriates elephants, Maxwell-­ Stuart 1975. The suggestion is attractive, but since we have no reason to suppose the author knew what upsets elephants, we cannot be so sure that he did not write “showed.” grape juice, αἷμα σταφυλῆς. Lit. “grape-blood”; so in Gen 49:11, Deut 32:14, and Sir 39:26. black mulberries, μόρων; so Muraoka 2009, 468. On the question of whether this entails any conclusion about the season of the battle, see Grabbe 1991, 69. 6:35. the beasts, τὰ θηρία. That is, the elephants, as in the coming story and in 11:56. Such usage is common; see, for example, 3 Macc 5:23, 29, etc.; Polybius 11.1.8–12. But see also below, the Note on v. 36, Wherever the beast was. phalanxes. Macedonian-style formations of massed soldiers. For detailed descriptions, see Polybius 18.29–30 and Pritchett 1971–1991, 1.133–154. armored with chain-mail, and with bronze helmets on their heads. The description is quite obviously meant to recall that of Goliath in 1 Sam 17:5, intensifying the impression of the Seleucids’ overwhelming strength at this battle. Note, with Bar-Kochva

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(1989, 314–315), that the reference to being armored “in chain-mail” (ἐν ἁλυσιδωτοῖς) corresponds to the Septuagint of 1 Sam 17:5 (καὶ θώρακα ἁλυσιδωτός), which deviates from the Hebrew’s reference there to scale armor (qaśqaśśîm); this is evidence either for the author’s use of the Septuagint here or, more likely, for a common misunderstanding, nourished by contemporary realia, about the meaning of qaśqaśśîm armor, which is mentioned nowhere else in the Bible. For evidence on the use of chain-mail during the Hellenistic period, including in the Seleucid army, see Bar-Kochva, ibid. But the evidence is very limited (as is noted by Shatzman 1991, 203); the main testimony to Seleucid use of chain-mail, Polybius 30.25.3, relates to a special unit said to have been armed, as opposed to others, in Roman fashion. While this leads Bar-Kochva (ibid.) to conclude that soldiers of that unit participated in this battle and they are singled out here, Tropper (2017, 15), underscoring the paucity of evidence for Seleucid use of such body-armor, instead emphasizes the allusion to Goliath. Cf. above, the Note on v. 33, arose early in the morning. 6:36. Wherever the beast was, these were there beforehand. As Bar-Kochva notes (1989, 317), this description apparently mimics the account of the heavenly “beasts” of the heavenly chariot in Ezek 1:17, 19, perhaps to impress upon readers how frightening they were. The author’s use of “beasts” instead of “elephants” in the present story contributes to this allusion. 6:37. contraptions, μηχαναῖς. Usually this term applies to siege-machinery, as above, vv. 20 and 31, and below, vv. 51–52 and elsewhere. So there are two possibilities: either we accept the word here in a more general sense (LSJ [1131, s.v. μηχανή] offers “contrivance”), or we assume an error—whether within the Greek tradition or in the passage from the Hebrew. For the latter option, see especially Bar-Kochva 1989, 318– 321: he suggests that the original Hebrew was h.iššəbōnôt (which appears at Eccl 7:29), which could have been mistaken to mean “devices” and hence translated as here (just as it is properly translated the same way in the Septuagint of 2 Chr 26:15) but which really meant “thongs,” as in Lev 8:7 and elsewhere. four men. Here, Kappler, as others (including Kistler 2007, 153), adopted Rahlfs’s correction of “four” instead of “thirty” of the manuscripts (Rahlfs 1934), on the assumption that the latter is a simple misreading of Λ instead of Δ; perhaps the number of elephants mentioned in v. 30 also played a confusing role. Abel (1948, 184–186), however, argues that probably the original consonantal Hebrew text gave no number but rather reported that there were šalīšim (“officers”) on the elephants, thus comparing the Seleucid force to that of the biblical Pharaoh (Exod 14:7), but the translator misread šəlōšim (“thirty”); see Introduction 5, n. 17. their mahout, lit. “their Indian.” 6:38. on both sides, ἔνθεν καὶ ἔνθεν, as in LXX Exod 26:13 (Heb. mizzeh ûmizzeh). frightening (the enemy) and covering, κατασείοντες καὶ καταφρασσόμενοι. The Greek here is not very clear (see Grimm 1853, 101–102, and Bar-Kochva 1989, 323– 324), but seems to mean that the cavalry covered the phalanxes’ flanks by frightening away any of the enemy who might have attacked them from the side; cf. 10:82. For this usual arrangement, see, for example, Arrian, Anabasis 13.1; also Bar-Kochva 1975, 92–93, and Serrati 2013, 190–191.

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6:39. mountains shone. See Bar-Kochva 1989, 327, for his re-creation of this effect at the site of the battle, using mirrors the size of a phalangite’s shield. Abel (1949, xxiv) singles out this verse in particular as part of the case for eyewitness testimony lying behind this report; see the Note on v. 6:41, all who heard the noise. 6:40. in the low ones. Dov Gera (1996, 52–53) argued that τὰ ταπεινά means “the Shephela,” namely, the Judean coastal plain, and—since the latter is at least eleven to twelve miles west of the battlefield (ibid., 45)—therefore saw here a crass error that indicates the author was more interested in literature than geography. But the opening statement about one part of the army being in the high mountains seems to indicate that the other part was in the low mountains, that is, those near the site of the battle. See Bar-Kochva 1998, 11–17. For the transliteration of “the Shephela” as Σεφηλα, see below, 12:38. 6:41. all who heard the noise. This formulation sits well with the conjecture (Abel 1949, xxiv; Bar-Kochva 1989, 159–160) that the account of this battle is based on eyewitness testimony, but of course cannot prove it. 6:42. Judas and his force drew near to do battle, and six hundred men of the king’s force fell. See below, the Note on v. 47, When they saw . . . they turned away. 6:43. Eleazar Auran, Judas’s brother. Apart from 2:5, this is the only time he is mentioned. in it. That is, in the tower on the elephant, as described in v. 37. 6:44. make for himself an eternal name. This is the usual honorable motive; see the Note on 3:14, make myself a name. True, in his study of the present narrative Adinolfi (1969, 103–122) argued that this text must condemn Eleazar, since the Bible condemns this motive (Gen 11:4) and insists that glory is for God, while people should be modest and reverent. However, it seems preferable to see here an aspect of the chasm between this book’s manly values and the Bible’s values; see the Note on 9:10, and not leave any blemish upon our honor, and Introduction 4B. For the author of 1 Maccabees, glorifying one’s name is dishonorable only when it is pursued by the wrong people; see 5:57. 6:45. this way and that way, ἔνθα καὶ ἔνθα, as in LXX 4 Kgdms 2:8, 14, where the Hebrew is hēnnâ wāhēnnâ. Probably readers were supposed to recall the Israelites’ passage through the Red Sea (Exod 14:22, 29) or Elijah’s and Elisha’s crossing of the Jordan (2 Kgs 2:8, 14). 6:46. and he died there. Nothing is said about the king, and this silence, together with the use of “he thought” in v. 43 (and with the king’s continued functioning in the continuation of this chapter), shows that Eleazar failed in his mission. The author discreetly says nothing about this disappointing outcome, preferring to let the story fizzle out. For the disparaging comment of someone who—having given himself up at Jotapata rather than killing himself as did his fellows (Josephus, J.W. 3.340–391)—was happy to take the opportunity to comment on the pointlessness of hopeless acts of heroism, see ibid., 1.43–44. 6:47. When they saw . . . they turned away, καὶ εἶδον . . . καὶ ἐξέκλιναν. Something is disjointed here: we are not told the result of Eleazar’s efforts, and instead we hear of the enemy’s frightening power. This led Borchardt (2014, 78–82) to suspect that originally this verse followed v. 41. On Borchardt’s theory and its weakness, including

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its need to sideline v. 42 and to ignore Eleazar’s failure, see the discussion in Introduction 3, after n. 17. Here, concerning the translation, note only that Borchardt’s presentation of the text exacerbates the problem by translating the opening καί as “but,” as if v. 46 should lead us to expect renewed fighting on the part of the Judeans. This, however, ignores the fact that Eleazar failed. If, instead, we render the opening καί as “and” (as, e.g., RSV, NETS, Bar-Kochva [1989, 298], etc.) or “when,” there is a smoother passage from Eleazar’s death to the Judeans’ withdrawal.

Comments This section creates tension in the story, a swing of the pendulum away from the Judeans’ good fortune that culminated in Antiochus Epiphanes’s death, with which the chapter began. Judas’s attempt to continue his victories, over Lysias in chapter 4 and over neighbors in chapter 5, and to assert his power in Jerusalem as well, is met by a renewed Seleucid attempt to smash his movement; and in the opening campaign, described in the present section, the Seleucid revanche is wholly successful. This sets readers up for the next section, for the Seleucid move on Jerusalem, which could be expected to put paid to the whole revolt, unless some unforeseen intervention can save the day. The section portrays, in a nutshell, all of the actors. It begins with the heroic Judas and then portrays the “men of the Akra” and their Judean supporters, who together bring on the Seleucid might. Moreover, it forefronts the Hasmoneans in general: if they fail to win this battle, it is not without another opportunity to see their self-sacrificing heroism, portrayed in detail in vv. 43–46 with regard to one of the brothers and pointed up all the more by the faintheartedness of the other Judeans (v. 47; for a similar move, see 9:6–9). The question of where Judas is, in this section and the next, is one the author probably hoped his readers would not ask.



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Lysias Besieges Jerusalem but Withdraws (6:48–63)

48 6 Some of the king’s army went up to Jerusalem to confront them, and the king besieged Judea and Mount Zion. 49And he made peace with the men of Beth Zur, and they departed from the city, for they did not have (enough) provisions to allow them to stay within it, because it was a sabbatical year for the land. 50So the king took Beth Zur and stationed a garrison there to guard it. 51And he besieged the Temple for many days, placing there siege-walls and siege-machines and fire-throwers and catapults, along with scorpions to shoot arrows and projectiles. 52But they too made machines to oppose their machines, and they fought for many days. 53But they did not have food in the bins because it was the seventh year, and those who had been saved and brought to Judea from among the Gentiles had consumed all that remained of the supplies. 54So only a few men held out in the Temple, for hunger overcame them and they scattered, each to his own place. 55 But Lysias heard that Philip, who had been appointed by King Antiochus, when he was still alive, to bring up his son Antiochus to rule as king, 56had returned from Persia and Media along with the forces that had gone with the king, and that he was seeking to take over the government. 57So he quickly decided to depart, and said to the king and the leaders of the army and the men:

We are falling away day by day, and our food is dwindling, and the place which we are besieging is strong, and the affairs of the kingdom depend upon us. 58So let us give the right hand to these men and make peace with them and with all their people. 59We shall allow them to adhere to their customs as previously. For it is on account of their customs, which we dissolved, that they became wrathful and did all of these things. The suggestion found favor in the eyes of the king and the officers, and he sent to them to make peace, and they accepted. 61The king and the officers took an oath to them; thereupon they left the fortress. 62But when the king entered Mount Zion and saw the place’s strength, he violated the oath that he had sworn: he gave orders and 60

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destroyed the wall around it. 63Then he set out with alacrity and, returning to Antioch, found Philip ruling the city. He made war upon him and took the city by force.

Notes 6:48. besieged Judea and Mount Zion. This opening sentence refers in turn to the siege of Beth Zur (in “Judea”) and that of the Temple Mount, both reported in the coming verses. On the nomenclature for the latter, see the Note on 4:37, Mount Zion. On the fortifications of the Temple Mount, see also v. 62 and the Note on 4:60, a high wall. 6:49. they departed from the city, ἐκ τῆς πόλεως. “City” here (as at 11:66) is a typical exaggeration, in a book that does not care much for the niceties of Hellenistic political nomenclature, as at 2:15 with regard to Modiin or more generally at 14:17; cf. the Note on 1:29, the cities of Judah. Even Josephus’s πολίχνη (“small city”—J.W. 1.41) is an overstatement for this fortified town; see Sellers 1933 and Sellers et al. 1968. it was a sabbatical year for the land, σάββατον ἦν τῇ γῇ. Echoing the formulation of Lev 25:4 and explaining that since the land was left fallow during the sabbatical year, food was relatively scarce even without the siege. Although the Greek text plainly states that the siege took place during the sabbatical year, Bar-Kochva notes (1989, 339) that the fact that Hebrew has no past perfect makes it impossible to know whether the original text meant to refer to the sabbatical year itself or, rather, to the year after it (after there “had been” a sabbatical year); it is in fact the eighth year when the effects of having left the land fallow are especially severe (see Lev 25:21–22!). Moreover, even if we knew whether the reference were to the seventh year of the sabbatical cycle or rather to the eighth, various doubts make it impossible to decide whether the seventh year was observed from the autumn of 164 to that of 163 or rather a year later (see Wacholder 1973, 160–163; Blosser 1981, 131–132; and Grabbe 1991, 60–63). This means that the date of this campaign, to the spring or summer of 163, has to be determined, if possible, according to other evidence; see the Note on 6:20, 150th year. 6:51. catapults, λιθοβόλα. On these, see Bar-Kochva 1989, 340–341. This is the only occurrence of the term in the Septuagint. scorpions, σκορπίδια. On such artillery pieces, with mechanisms similar to “semiautomatic bows,” see Bar-Kochva 1989, 341, and Campbell 2006, 76–77. As “catapults,” this term too appears only here in the Septuagint; so too “helepolis” (13:43– 44). The Hasmoneans’ court translator seems to have been well at home in the nomenclature of Hellenistic weaponry. 6:53. because it was the seventh year, as stated above, v. 49. those who had been saved, namely, the refugees whose story is told in chapter 5 (vv. 23, 45). 6:55. Philip. See v. 14. On this episode, see Ehling 2008, 119. For the argument that the man mentioned here was in fact not the same as the one mentioned in v. 14 (and in 2 Macc 9:29), see J. Goldstein 1983, 467. His point of departure is the fact that 2 Macc 13:23 refers to the present Philip as having been left in charge of the government in Antioch, something that is not said of the Philip who was present at Antiochus’s deathbed. Goldstein takes this point—together with the fact that already 2 Macc 9:29 has Philip fleeing to Egypt and, apparently, with the fact that 2 Macc 13:23 troubles to identify Philip and not simply to mention his name, as if he were already known

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to readers—to mean that the author of 2 Maccabees “sharply distinguishes” between the two; so too, already, J. Goldstein 1976, 84 (“carefully distinguished”). This seems to be quite overdone, however, given the fact that 2 Macc 9:29 says that Philip fled out of fear of Antiochus Epiphanes’s son, which fits the present context. As for 2 Macc 13:23: note that the author of 2 Maccabees seems not to have realized that it pertains to a chronological context much earlier than where he put it; see D. R. Schwartz 2008, 32–33, 394–395, 458–459. 6:56. Persia and Media. As at 14:2, this biblical pair of toponyms (Esth 1:3, 14, 18; 10:2; Dan 8:20; 1 Esd 3:1, 14) seems to mean, here, no more than “somewhere or other far away in the East.” Contrast 1:1, which refers specifically to Darius I. 6:57. So he quickly decided, καὶ κατέσπευδεν καὶ ἐπένευσεν. For such auxiliary use of κατασπεύδω, Muraoka (2009, 384, s.v. §IId) cites LXX Exod 10:16. For another sense of the verb, see the Note on 13:21, strongly urging him. As for ἐπένευσεν, here rendered “decided,” cf. D. R. Schwartz 2008, 219 (on 2 Macc 4:10). This suggests that the Judeans had entreatied him to depart. (Muraoka [2009, 277] offers “to issue a command” for this verb in this verse, but it is obvious from the immediate sequel that at least formally, Lysias could not give such an order. He could agree with the Judeans but had to persuade the king to give the order.) We are all falling away . . . depend upon us. In fact, we just read that the besiegers were doing well. Now, the author satirically has Lysias offer a list of excuses (cf. Gen 21:26), pointing up his untruthfulness, which derived from his unwillingness to reveal his real motive (v. 56), for that would betray his insecurity. 6:58. give the right hand, as also in 11:50, 62, 66; 13:45, 50. On this expression, which alludes to making agreements (and perhaps literally to shaking hands), see also, for example, 2 Macc 4:34 and 11:26, 30; Polybius 29.27.6; and Weinfeld 1990, 181. According to Josephus (Ant. 18.328), giving the right hand is, among all the eastern “barbarians,” the supreme way of promising security. For its restoration in a Hebrew text, in the context of relations with a Greek general (Sifre Num. §131 [M. Kahana 2011, 53, in Heb. pagination]), see Lieberman 1991, 472–475. 6:59. to adhere to their customs, πορεύεσθαι τοῖς νομίμοις αὐτῶν. Lit., “to walk in their customs”; on this Hebraism, see the Note on 2:20, to adhere to the covenant. This report, that it was Antiochus V and Lysias who abrogated the decrees against Judaism (after the death of Antiochus IV, as here), corresponds to Antiochus V’s letter to Lysias preserved in 2 Macc 11:22–26. So does the reason supplied in the rest of the present verse (the Judeans’ wrath and rebellion); in 2 Macc 11:24 the king writes the same, although more diplomatically, namely, that he heard that the Judeans did not willingly agree to his father’s attempt to convert them to Greek ways. In fact, however, from 2 Macc 11:27–33 it emerges that already Antiochus IV abrogated his decrees, in the spring of 164, as part of an attempt to restore stability in the region. which we dissolved, διεσκεδάσαμεν. With reference to the abrogation of laws, the verb retains here its basic sense of “scatter,” “disperse.” Cf. the Note on 2:31, violated. 6:60. accepted, ἐπεδέξαντο. On this verb, see the Note on 1:42, acquiesced. 6:61. thereupon, ἐπὶ τούτοις, Heb. ‘al ’ēlleh. As in Lam 1:16 and Isa 57:6; ‘al zō’t in Amos 8:8. This formulation implies not only that they left after the oath but also

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that they left because of the oath—because they depended upon it. This aggravates the perfidy reported in the next verse. See Danker 2000, 364–365, s.v. ἐπί, §6. Cf. the Note on 10:42, And beyond all of that. the fortress, τοῦ ὀχυρώματος. That is, the Temple; see above, vv. 48–54. This choice of terminology betrays the same point of view as 10:21; see the Note there on and he assembled troops and prepared numerous weapons. 6:62. Mount Zion. See above, the Note on v. 48, besieged Judea and Mount Zion. he violated the oath, as usual; see the Note on 7:10, peaceful words, with guile. It is noteworthy that apart from reporting this behavior, the author wastes no time on condemning it (contrast 16:17). Apparently he does not want to give his readers the impression that they might be able to expect something better from Gentiles, especially from Seleucids. 6:63. took the city by force. The sources differ as to Philip’s fate. Josephus says that Antiochus V (i.e., Lysias) killed him (Ant. 12.386), but 2 Macc 9:29 reports that Philip managed to escape to Egypt, whereupon he disappears from the historical record. See Ehling 2008, 119. The author of 1 Maccabees is not interested in such details; his only interest in the struggle between Philip and Lysias is in the fact that it made Lysias leave Judea. For the same lack of interest in the details of Seleucid throne struggles, see the Notes on 10:68, returned to Antioch, and 15:39, the king himself pursued Trypho.

Comments Since the preceding story ended in the defeat of the Judeans, Lysias could have been expected to reap the benefits by restoring Seleucid control in Beth Zur and Jerusalem. That indeed happened in the former, but not in the latter, but not because of Judas’s—or any other Judeans’—resistance. Rather, salvation comes as a deus ex machina, although, as usual since chapter 5, without the involvement of any deus. Namely, just as the Judeans were once fortunate enough to have Antiochus take half of his army off to the East, now they are the beneficiaries of a power struggle within the Seleucid court in the wake of Antiochus’s failure in the East: the return of Antiochus’s eastern army to Antioch, with Philip at its head, led Lysias to close down his campaign in Judea so as to be able to devote himself more fully to maintaining his own position. The author of 1 Maccabees appears to mock Lysias by attributing a patently false excuse for his withdrawal: rather than admit his insecurity about his own position, he claims that his troops were running out of supplies (v. 57). And the author most certainly condemns Lysias by reporting his perfidy (v. 62), although it also suits his purposes to indicate that, from this point of view, Lysias was no different from other Seleucids; see the Note on 7:10, peaceful words, with guile. Judas is not mentioned at all in this section. Perhaps there was some historical reason for this; perhaps, as Josephus reports (infers?) at J.W. 1.45, Judas went into hiding or the like in the wake of the defeat at Beth Zechariah. Be that as it may, from the point of view of the story it is clear that, as J. Goldstein notes (1976, 322–323), the author was in a quandary. If Judas was not in the Temple, the obvious implication would be that he had avoided that trap and abandoned his men who defended the Judeans’ most sacred site—hardly a desirable implication. If, on the other hand, he was among

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those besieged, he would be among those who believed the Seleucids’ oath (v. 61)—but a hallmark of Judas’s wisdom was his understanding, as later that of Jonathan and Simon as well, that such promises were not to be trusted (see 7:11, 10:46, 13:17). So we can well understand the author’s preference to leave his hero out of this story, and hope that readers will not notice.

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A New King, Renewed Victories (7:1–50)

7 1In the 151st year, Demetrius son of Seleucus departed from Rome and came up with a few men to a coastal city and reigned there as king. 2And it happened that when he entered into the palace of his ancestral kingdom, the troops arrested Antiochus and Lysias to bring them to him. 3When it became known to him, he said: “Do not show me their faces!” 4So the troops killed them, and Demetrius sat upon the throne of his kingdom. 5 Then all of the wicked and impious men of Israel came before him, with Alcimus leading them, desiring to become (high) priest. 6And they denounced the people to the king, saying: Judas and his brothers have wiped out all of your friends; and as for us—he has scattered us from our land. 7Now, accordingly, dispatch a man whom you trust, who upon coming will see all the havoc that he inflicted upon us and the king’s land, and let him punish them and all those who help them. So the king chose Bacchides, one of the Friends of the King who ruled in Beyondthe-River and who was a great man in the kingdom and trusted by the king, 9and dispatched him and the impious Alcimus; he gave him the (high) priesthood and commanded him to take vengeance upon the children of Israel. 10 They set out and came with a great force to the land of Judah, and sent envoys to Judas and his brothers—(with) peaceful words, with guile. 11They did not, however, pay their words any heed, for they saw that they had come with a great force. 12But there gathered together to Alcimus and Bacchides a congregation of scribes to seek justice, 13 (just as) among the people of Israel it was the pious who were the first to seek peace with them. 14For they said: “A man who is a priest of the seed of Aaron has come with the troops; he will not deal with us unjustly.” 15And he spoke with them peaceful words, and swore to them as follows: “We will not seek to do evil to you or to your comrades.” 16 They entrusted themselves unto him—but he arrested sixty men from among them and killed them in a single day, in accordance with the word that he had written: 8

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“They poured out the flesh and blood of your pious people around Jerusalem, and there was no one to bury them.” 18 And the fear and terror of them fell upon the entire people, for they said: “There is no truth and justice among them; for they transgressed the undertaking and the oath, which they had sworn.” 19 Then Bacchides set out from Jerusalem, encamped at Beth Zaith, and sent and arrested many of those who had deserted and joined him, and also some of the people; he slaughtered them and (threw their bodies) into the large cistern. 20He entrusted the land to Alcimus, leaving a force with him to help him. Then Bacchides went off to the king. 21Alcimus struggled for the high priesthood, 22and there joined him all those who troubled their people; they took control of the land of Judah and wreaked great havoc in Israel. 23 But Judas saw all the evil that was done by Alcimus and his men against the children of Israel on behalf of the Gentiles, 24and he went out to all the borders of Judea roundabout and took vengeance upon the men who had deserted, and prevented them from going out into the countryside. 25 When Alcimus saw that Judas was becoming strong, along with his men, he knew he would not be able to withstand them, so he returned to the king and accused them of wicked deeds. 26So the king sent Nicanor, one of his honored governors, one who hated Israel and was hostile to it, and ordered him to wipe out the people. 27So Nicanor came to Jerusalem with a great force, and with guile sent to Judas and his brothers peaceful words, saying: 28“Let there not be fighting between me and you. I will come out with a few men, so as to see your faces in peace.” 29And he came to Judas, and they greeted one another peacefully; but the enemies were ready to seize Judas. 30But it became known to Judas that it was with guile that he came to him, and so he was wary of him and no longer agreed to see his face. 31When Nicanor realized that his plot had been discovered, he went off to confront Judas in battle, near Kephar-Salama. 32Around five hundred of Nicanor’s men fell, and they fled to the city of David. 33 After these things Nicanor went up to Mount Zion, and some of the priests and the elders of the people came out of the Temple to greet him peacefully and to show him the whole-offering that was being offered for the king. 34He mocked them, made fun of them, defiled them, and spoke arrogantly. 35And he angrily swore as follows: “If Judas is not turned over to me now, together with his force, then it shall be, if and when I return safely, that I will burn this building!” Then he departed in great anger. 36 The priests went inside and, standing before the altar and the sanctuary, wept and said: 17

You chose this house, for your name to be called upon it, to be a house of prayer and supplication for your people. 38Work vengeance upon that man and his force, and let them fall by the sword. Remember their blasphemies and do not allow them to survive!

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Nicanor then left Jerusalem and encamped at Beth H.oron, where an army from Syria came to meet him. 40And Judas encamped in Adasa, with three thousand men. And Judas prayed and said: 39

When the king’s men were blasphemous, your angel went out and smote 185,000 of them. 42So too—crush this force before us today, and let all those 41

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who survive know that he spoke wickedly against your sanctuary; judge him according to his evil! The forces engaged each other in battle, on the thirteenth day of the month of Adar; Nicanor’s force was crushed and he was the first to fall in the battle. 44When his force saw that Nicanor had fallen, they fled after throwing away their weapons. 45And they pursued them a day’s distance from Adasa until the approaches of Gezer, blowing after them on the signal trumpets. 46And from all of the villages of Judea roundabout people went out and outflanked them, so that they turned back toward them, and they all fell by the sword; not even one of them survived. 47They took the booty and the spoils, and, after cutting off Nicanor’s head and his right hand, which he had arrogantly stretched out, they brought them and hung them up alongside Jerusalem. 48And the people was very joyous and celebrated that day as one of great joy, 49and they established the celebration of that day every year, on the thirteenth day of Adar. 50Then the land of Judah was quiet for a few days. 43

Notes 7:1. 151st year. That is, 162/161 BCE in the SEmac system. The same date, that is, the “third year” beginning in 149 SE, is indicated by 2 Macc 13:1 and 14:1. Other sources too support the conclusion that Demetrius fled Rome late in the summer of 162 BCE and began to rule by the autumn; see Bar-Kochva 1989, 544, n. 3; Walbank 1957–1979, 3.478; and van der Spek 1997/98, 167–168. Demetrius. Demetrius I (born ca. 186 BCE; Grainger 1997, 39–42) was the son of Seleucus IV, hence the nephew of Antiochus IV. When Seleucus died in 175, Antiochus took over the throne (see the Note on 1:10, had been a hostage); now Demetrius, who had taken Antiochus’s place as hostage in Rome, escaped and claimed the throne. For the story, see especially Polybius 31.12–31.15; also Dov Gera 1998, 291–292. We can understand that while Antiochus V preferred to view Antiochus IV as having been a full-fledged king and himself his heir, Demetrius would prefer to see his late uncle as having been a stand-in for himself because he was too young to take over the kingdom from his father in 175 BCE—and now he was old enough. He also turned out to be strong enough to have his way. came up, ἀνέβη. As Grimm (1853, 107) notes, this is not a very appropriate verb here; contrast v. 33 (also 4:37, 5:54), where the verb is very appropriate for “going up” to the Temple. Grimm concludes that the author reckoned the coastal city part of the Holy Land, but that is difficult, given the author’s failure to identify the city and our knowledge that it was in fact well north of what is usually considered part of the Holy Land; see below, the Note on a coastal city later in this verse. However, at 10:1, in a recurrence of the same scenario, the same verb is used. It seems, accordingly, that we should see here a part of the general Hebrew usage that views sea travel as “going down to the sea” (Isa 42:10, Ps 107:23; cf. the Note on 13:29, could be seen by all who sailed the sea), so coming ashore amounts to “coming up.” with a few men. Indeed, Polybius 31.14.11 reports that when escaping Rome Demetrius had on board only eight companions and eight slaves. a coastal city. Tripolis, according to 2 Macc 14:1 and—independently—Josephus, Ant. 12.389 (citing “elsewhere” in §390). The provincial author of 1 Maccabees

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has no more interest in identifying the city than he has in identifying which Ptolemy is meant at 1:18 or 10:51. and reigned there as king, καὶ ἐβασίλευσεν ἐκεῖ. That is, he was recognized there as ruler. See the Note on the same phrase, in an identical scenario, at 10:1. 7:2. palace, οἶκον βασιλείας, Heb. bêt malkût, as in Esth 1:9, 2:16, etc. the troops. This apparently means that Antiochus’s and Lysias’s troops immediately changed sides. Had Demetrius’s troops been meant, we would have expected to hear of the fate of the others, and there would be no need “to bring” Antiochus and Lysias to Demetrius. The Judean author of 1 Maccabees offers no reason for the troops’ opportunistic lack of loyalty and is apparently happy to report it; it conforms to his general opinion concerning the faithlessness of Gentiles (cf. the Note on 11:2, with peaceful words). Contrast Josephus, Ant. 13.378, where a Hellenistic author (probably Nicolaus of Damascus), followed by Josephus, underlines the bravery and loyalty of Greek mercenaries even when serving a losing cause (see the detailed discussion in M. Stern 1991, 462–463, or his briefer discussion in English in GLAJJ, 1.230). 7:3. Do not show me their faces. For a royal refusal to see someone’s face as equivalent to a death sentence, compare Esth 7:8 (contrast Esth 1:14!) and below, the Note on v. 28, to see your faces in peace. 7:4. Demetrius sat upon the throne of his kingdom. This might sound as if it were justifying Demetrius’s claim as opposed to that of Antiochus V, on the notion that Antiochus IV had been only a stand-in as long as Demetrius was too young to rule (see above, the Note on v. 1, Demetrius). But beginning in chapter 10 the author clearly supports the claim to the throne of Alexander Balas, whom he describes as the son of Antiochus IV (10:1), so “his kingdom” here means only “the kingdom he now ruled.” 7:5. with Alcimus leading them, καὶ Ἄλκιμος ἡγεῖτο αὐτῶν. A literal translation of Kappler’s text would be “and Alcimus was leading them, in his desire to become (high) priest.” This sounds as if we knew already of Alcimus, but this is in fact the first reference to him in this book, and it is very unlikely that the author would not have reflected this by introducing him in some way. Contrast, for example, the way the author introduces Bacchides in v. 8 and Nicanor in v. 26, and also the way Alcimus is introduced in 2 Macc 14:3. One may therefore understand why Kappler, in his apparatus for this verse, tends to approve (“fort. recte”) the Old Latin “dux eorum,” a reading reflected to some extent in Sinaiticus as well (ἠγεῖτει αὐτῶν ἡγούμενος); see De Bruyne’s reconstruction (1932, vii). According to 2 Macc 14:3, Alcimus had been high priest in the past, after Menelaus, and now he wanted to regain his position. Josephus, in contrast, claims that Alcimus was the incumbent high priest at the time, having been appointed after the execution of Menelaus (Ant. 12.385, 387). First Maccabees, in contrast to both of these, has Alcimus merely wanting to become high priest. On the issue, see Bernhardt 2017, 593–601; he tends to accept Josephus’s reconstruction. In any case, the book’s silence about Alcimus’s past corresponds to its general failure to mention any of the pre-Hasmonean high priests; see the Note on 1:11, wicked men. Note also, however, that the present verse portrays Alcimus as the leader of a large group of villains. This contrasts sharply with 2 Macc 14:3, where he comes all by himself: “But one Alcimus . . .” Both of the books conform to their usual preferences: 2 Maccabees prefers to argue that Jewish villains are isolated exceptions, “bad apples”

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(such as “one Simon” [3:4] and “one Auranus” [4:40]), while 1 Maccabees is happy to talk about the “many” (1:11, 43, 52) Judean villains from whose way the few but rightminded and valorous Hasmoneans departed. 7:6. they denounced the people, κατηγόρησαν τοῦ λαοῦ. That is, the text here assumes and preaches, true Judeans of course supported Judas. Cf. the Note on 1:11, from Israel. The verb recurs in v. 25 and nowhere else in this book; in chapter 11 (vv. 5, 11), ψογίζω is used. 7:7. upon us and the king’s land. Here Alcimus is smarter than the informers of 6:24–25, who relate to themselves alone, but not yet as hypocritically smooth as the Alcimus of the parallel at 2 Macc 14:8, who ignores his own interests and refers, first of all, to the king’s (and then, secondarily, to those of the people at large). 7:8. Bacchides, known only from the books of Maccabees and Josephus (Grainger 1997,84–85; Savelli-Lestrade 1998, 66–68, no. 65). Apparently he had served under Lysias and Antiochus V and now, as so many others (v. 2), transferred his allegiance to Demetrius. who ruled in Beyond-the-River, ἐν τῷ πέραν τοῦ ποταμοῦ. That is, the Seleucid kingdom west of the Euphrates and as far as Egypt, a vast region that had been entrusted to Lysias when Antiochus IV went east (3:32). Cf. the Note on 11:60, went across the river. But although the name “Beyond-the-River” was used by the Persians as the name of a province, it was not in use among the Seleucids; they preferred “Syria,” which was composed of “Coele Syria” and “Phoenicia.” Here the writer prefers the biblical terminology; see, for example, Ezra 4:10–11 and 5:3. 7:9. the (high) priesthood, τὴν ἱερωσύνην, as in v. 21. More properly: ἀρχιερωσύνη, as at 11:27, 57; 14:38; and 16:24. For the frequent appearance of the same shorthand formulation elsewhere, see, for example, 15:1, Sir 50:1 (Heb. ha-kōhēn, Greek ἱερεὺς ὁ μέγας), Pesher Habakkuk 8:8–10 (“the priest who . . . ruled in Israel”; see Horgan 1979, 7, and H. Eshel 2008, 42–53); also, for example, Josephus, Ant. 18.95, 123; 19.298, 316; 20.232, 240–241. For a detailed examination of such usage in biblical and Second Temple literature, which demonstrates that some cases of ha-kōhēn refer to high priests and some do not, see Wise 1990b, 589–602. 7:10. peaceful words, with guile, λόγοις εἰρηνικοῖς μετὰ δόλου. This is a topos in this book, almost to the extent that the very statement that a Gentile spoke “with peaceful words” amounts to indicating he was lying. See below, vv. 15, 27; also 1:30; 6:62; 10:46; 11:53; 13:17, 31; also the Note on 11:2, with peaceful words. This is because, for 1 Maccabees, Gentiles are always hostile, whether they are open about it or not, just as they always want to destroy the Judeans, whether they are doing well (5:1–2) or poorly (12:53). On δόλος, see Introduction 5, n. 38. 7:11. They did not, however, pay their words any heed, for they saw that they had come with a great force. For such wise and unhesitant Hasmonean rejection of a perfidious enemy’s proffers, compare 10:46. 7:12. a congregation of scribes, συναγωγὴ γραμματέων. The use of συναγωγή here is reminiscent of 2:42. However, here the “congregation” is said to be one of “scribes,” who are not mentioned elsewhere in this book (for the γραμματεῖς of 5:42 are apparently officers, šōt. ərîm; see the Note on 5:42, officers). For a survey of the scattered evidence for Judean scribes in the Hellenistic period, including Josephus, Ant. 12.142 (on “scribes of the Temple” ca. 200 BCE); Sir 10:5 and 38:24; and 2 Macc 6:18

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(the martyr Eleazar was “one of the prominent scribes”), see Schams 1998, 71–124, 312–321. Schams basically adheres to the traditional assumption that “scribes” were first and foremost writing professionals, people who copied books and documents and were also considered to be experts about their contents; this underlies the typical German term for ancient Jewish sages, Schriftgelehrte, and the notion that much of what they did was biblical interpretation. For a pull in a somewhat different direction, away from writing professional and toward being respected and authoritative teachers of the Law (which was not limited to scripture and its interpretation), such as Ezra “the scribe,” see Mandel 2017, 23–86. to seek justice. This is reminiscent of the goal of the pious refugees mentioned in 2:29. 7:13. (just as) among the people of Israel it was the pious who were the first, καὶ πρῶτοι οἱ Ασιδαῖοι ἦσαν ἐν υἱοῖς Ισραηλ. Here there are several questions. What is the relationship between the pious people mentioned in this verse and the scribes mentioned in v. 12? What is the meaning of “first”? And should we render Ασιδαῖοι as a proper name of a group, H.ăsîdîm, as is usual (and as is reflected by the capital alpha in Kappler’s edition)? Much ink has been spilled over the first two questions, which are closely interrelated; Abel (1949, 132–133) mentions five possibilities. For some general discussions, see Davies 1977, 136–138, and Kampen 1988, 114–135. My translation derives from the fact that v. 17 refers to the death of the pious, quoting Ps 79 (LXX 78):2, where the Hebrew reads h.ăsîdêkā (“your h.ăsîdîm”). Although the Greek text quoted below in v. 17 reads ὁσίων, as in the Septuagint, it seems obvious that in the original Hebrew, h.ăsîdêkā referred readers back to those mentioned in the present verse, for here too, as the extant transliteration shows, the term used was h.asîdîm. But readers must also take v. 17 to refer to the fate of those mentioned in v. 12, the scribes, for otherwise we would hear nothing about their fate. This means, in turn, that contrary to the translator here (who chose to offer a transliteration, thus showing that he understood the Hebrew text to constitute a proper noun [cf. the Note on 12:38, in the coastal plain]), we should not render v. 17 as referring to the death of members of a specific group called H.ăsîdîm. Rather, we must take it as referring to the death of pious people—and so, indeed, it is taken in virtually every translation: although just about every translation offers a transliteration in v. 13, everyone renders “pious people” or the like in v. 17. They do so not only because the Greek of that verse does not have a transliteration, but also because that general translation allows v. 17 to refer to the scribes of v. 12 too. Once we realize, however, that in the original Hebrew the same word was used in v. 13 as well, it follows that it should be translated the same way. Probably, that is, the author meant to say that the scribes mentioned in v. 12 exemplify the attitude more generally held by the pious in Israel, and they were all naïve seekers of peace who were soon forced to pay the price for their foolishness. Note that Josephus, in his paraphrase of vv. 12–13 (Ant. 13.395), refers to only one group, “some of the members of the citizenry.” The assumption that the original of the present verse did not mention a group called H.ăsîdîm corresponds to the same conclusion concerning 2:42; see the Note there on community of Judeans. This bolsters, of course, the general pessimism evinced there about the existence of a group bearing that name so early in the Hasmonean period. Apparently, the situation here is similar to that at 5:15, where, it appears, a

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common noun that means “region” in Hebrew, gālîl, was mistaken for a proper noun, Galilee. That happened under the influence of later developments in the Hasmonean period, which, with the Judean settlement of northern Palestine, brought the Galilee into popular consciousness and put an end to the use of gālîl as a common noun (just as negeb in Hebrew today means only “the Negev,” not “south”). See the Note on 5:15, the whole Galilee of the Gentiles. So too, in this case, we should assume that during the course of the Hasmonean period, and before 1 Maccabees was translated, it became common to use h.āsîd to refer to an especially pious or charismatic person, and probably—as is shown by the transliteration here and at 2 Macc 14:6—even to think of a group of such people. This brought the translator to opt here for transliteration rather than translation. Perhaps he used the same transliteration at v. 17 too, but if he did, we can understand that a later editor, who was aware of the canonical Septuagint translation, substituted that for the transliteration. (For a similar case in 2 Macc 7:33, see D. R. Schwartz 2008, 303.) As opposed to “Galilee,” however, it is not easy to point to such usage of h.āsîd for a “pious” person in the Hasmonean period. The closest we get, apart from the translator’s use of a transliteration here, are the transliteration (Ασιδαῖοι) at 2 Macc 14:6; the characterization of Joseph ben Joezer as a “h.āsîd in the priesthood” at m. H.agigah 2:7 (he is dated by m. Avot 1:4 to the second century BCE, and a story in Genesis Rabbah 65:22 [ed. Theodor-Albeck, 742–743] portrays him as a contemporary of Alcimus); and the inference, from the combination of m. Ta‘ănît 3:8 and t. Ta‘ăniyyôt 2:13 (ed. Lieberman, 334), that H.oni “the Circlemaker,” of the late Hasmonean period (Josephus, Ant. 14.22), was known as a h.āsîd (cf. Noam 2018, 169, n. 39). Apparently, the pious who sought peace with the Seleucids had an agenda that was mostly limited to religion. Accordingly, they were willing to make their peace with the Seleucids, now that—as we learn from 6:59 and 2 Macc 11:22–26, 27–33—they had abrogated the decrees against Judaism. This thesis, that many pious (or specifically the H.ăsîdîm) were characterized by a religious orientation that had little interest in state-building as long as religious freedom was guaranteed, is obviously one that can serve various modern agendas; but that fact shows neither that it is true nor that it is not. For some discussions, see Efron 1987, 1–32, and Deines 1997, 57–59, 509–510. 7:14. a priest of the seed of Aaron. If this formulation derives from a good tradition, it could be used in support of the case that the high priest Menelaus was not of Aaronite descent, a case that depends especially on the Greek text of 2 Macc 3:4, which reports that Simon, who was Menelaus’s brother (2 Macc 4:23), was of the tribe of Benjamin (not Levi). See D. R. Schwartz 2008, 95–96. I see no justification for Smith’s assumption (1996, 322) that the implied comparison could not be with Menelaus, for he was dead, an assumption that leads Smith to assume that the point of the story is to support non-Aaronite Hasmoneans by showing that Aaronites could be wicked. But there is next to nothing to support the notion that any of their contemporaries thought the Hasmoneans were not Aaronites; cf. the Note on 2:1, a priest. In any case, however, there need not be any comparison with non-Aaronites here. Rather, for the author of 1 Maccabees, who never mentions Menelaus, the point is simply to characterize the religious people as naïve fools. This serves to contrast them to the worldly Hasmoneans, who knew who can be believed and who cannot (v. 11); cf. v. 30, 10:46, and 13:17.

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7:15. peaceful words. See above, the Note on v. 10, peaceful words, with guile. 7:16. They entrusted themselves unto him, καὶ ἐνεπίστευσαν αὐτῷ, as in 1:30— just as naïvely and with similar results. See the Note there on and they entrusted themselves unto him. single day. As in 5:27 and in Esth 3:13 and 8:12. The notice points to the intensity of the wickedness. Cf. the Note on v. 26, one who hated . . . and was hostile. that he had written. A notorious crux: did the author think that Alcimus composed Psalm 79, or at least its vv. 2–3, quoted here (which refer to h.ăsîdîm, hence the relevance here)? See especially J. Goldstein 1976, 332–336, expanded upon by Scolnic 2005, 113–137. However, even if the author were willing to contemplate such a late date for a biblical psalm, such a possibility would also require him to posit the composition of a psalm by a character he condemns as a villain. Just as ancient scribes typically rejected that possibility, and added in here “the prophet” or “David” or “Asaph,” so too most modern scholars reject it, taking one or another route. Indeed, it seems best to assume either that the translator misread a Hebrew text that said “as is written” (so Doran 2006) or that “which he had written” is a way of referring to a biblical text, with “he” being an elliptical reference to the unnamed and perhaps unknown author (so many, including Tilly [2015, 170]). Compare the frequent use of “as he said” to introduce biblical verses in CD (7:8, 16; 16:6, 15; 9:2, 8–9). For discussions of the issue, see Kappler 1936, 38–39; Doran 2006 (followed by Schnocks 2010, 155, n. 19); and Borchardt 2014, 89. 7:17. your pious people, ὁσίων σου. In the Hebrew of Ps 79:2, this reads h.ăsîdêkā. As explained in the Note on v. 13, (just as) among the people of Israel it was the pious who were the first, I have translated here and there, despite the Greek transliteration in v. 13, so as to keep the reference broad enough to include the scribes of v. 12 too. no one to bury them, so they remained unburied. Ancient sources typically consider this to be a terrible fate; cf. Fitzmyer 2003, 118, and D. R. Schwartz 2008, 245 (on Tobit and 2 Maccabees). 7:18. the undertaking and the oath, τὴν στάσιν καὶ τὸν ὅρκον. Citing only this verse and LXX Dan 6:7(8), LSJ (1634, s.v. στάσις, §B/V) offers “statute” or “decree,” just as the RSV renders the Aramaic qəyām in Dan 6:7(8) as “ordinance”; this is not unreasonable and corresponds, for example, to the use of ἔστησαν in v. 49. However, given the fact that no law or decree has been mentioned here, and given the juxtaposition with “oath” and the fact that there is no separate verb, it is likely that we should take στάσις here as another way of referring to an oath, which Alcimus and Bacchides had “established.” For the suggestion, accordingly, that the original Hebrew here was qəyām (as in Dan 6:7[8]) but meant “oath,” as in rabbinic Hebrew, see especially Alon 1938/39, 154–155, and Alon 1940/41, 271. Alon refers in this connection to the verb in Jdt 8:11, καὶ ἐστήσατε τὸν ὅρκον τοῦτον; as is noted by Deborah Gera 2014, 276, although elsewhere in the Septuagint it refers to fulfilling an oath, in that verse it refers to the initial taking of the oath. Note also the long comment on the last-named verse in Grintz 1957, 133, who adds Qumran evidence, such as 1QS 5:10 and CD 3:21 and 4:9. 7:19. who had deserted and joined him. This clause has perplexed many, both copyists (as the variants show) and commentators; see especially Grimm 1853, 112; Wellhausen 1905, 162; and Abel 1949, 135. The main question is who the “deserters” were, and the likely answer is that they were Judeans who “deserted” their people

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and joined up with Bacchides. However, those could be of two types: they could be renegades, of the type mentioned in vv. 5–6, the type of “deserters” that Judas himself will punish according to v. 24; or they could be pious fools, like those described in vv. 12–14. The latter are pointed to by the allusion to Jer 41:7 supplied in the continuation of the verse. slaughtered them, καὶ ἔθυσεν αὐτούς. On the text here (ἔθυσεν in the main witnesses, ἔσφαξεν in two minuscules), see Kilpatrick 1974, 432–433. He assumes that the original Hebrew had a verb that meant “slaughter” (t. ābah., šāh.at. , or zābah.) that the original translator mistakenly wrote ἔθυσεν (which is usually used of sacrificial slaughtering; see, e.g., 1:43, 47; 4:56; Muraoka 2009, 335) and that a later corrector, whose work was preserved in the two minuscules, changed to ἔσφαξεν, which is more appropriate (as at 1:2, 2:24). This is reasonable. But Kilpatrik’s suggestion—that we assume that the corrector did what he did on the basis of direct knowledge of the original Hebrew text of 1 Maccabees, rather than because of either his own sense or his own knowledge of the Hebrew (wayyišh.āt. ēm) or LXX (ἔσφαξεν) text of Jer 41:7 (LXX 48:7) (on which, see the next Note)—is far from cogent. It is therefore difficult to follow him in seeing here evidence for the late survival of the Hebrew text of 1 Maccabees. and (threw their bodies) into the large cistern. Even without the definite article, readers should recognize here the obvious allusion to Jer 41:7, where we read that the murderous and perfidious Ishmael b. Nethaniah, having killed Gedaliah b. Ahiqam, went on to welcome eighty would-be worshippers (“with their beards shaved and their clothes torn, and their bodies gashed, bringing cereal offerings and incense to present at the temple of the Lord”) and then to slaughter them and throw their bodies into a cistern, defined in 41:9 as a large one. That is, this is another round of the episode described above, at vv. 11–16, as if to emphasize the impossibility of trusting Bacchides and those he represented. Throwing their bodies into a cistern, rather than burying them, made the crime all the more heinous; see the Note on v. 17, no one to bury them. 7:21. Alcimus struggled for the high priesthood. Given the preceding verse and the next one, this means that Alcimus strove to stabilize his rule in the land; cf. the Note on 10:21, and he assembled troops and prepared numerous weapons. 7:22. all those who troubled their people, πάντες οἱ ταράσσοντες τὸν λαὸν αὐτῶν. This apparently refers to Judeans, who troubled “their (own) people.” Here the author naturally takes it for granted, in accordance with his dynastic mandate, that Judeans who did not (or do not) support the Hasmoneans are enemies of the people. Cf. the Note on 3:5, those who terrified, where the sense of the verb seems to be somewhat different. 7:24. the men who had deserted, ἐν τοῖς ἀνδράσιν τοῖς αὐτομολήσασιν. As in v. 19, Alcimus’s Judean supporters are styled as “deserters” from the Hasmoneans’ point of view. and prevented them from going out into the countryside. Apparently this means that Judas’s men engaged in guerrilla warfare, which made travel dangerous. 7:26. one who hated . . . and was hostile, μισοῦντα καὶ ἐχθραίνοντα. This use of two parallel participles is apparently overkill (although if pressed one could say the former describes attitude and the latter actions), and indeed some translations make the one define the other; so the Einheitsübersetzung (“ein erbitterter Gegner Israels”) and Penna (“nemico acerrimo di Israele”). Presumably, however, the verse simply echoes Es-

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ther’s characterization of Haman at Esth 7:6, ’îš .sar wə’ôyēb. For other echoes of Esther, see the Notes on v. 16, single day; on 9:22, and the wars and acts of valor that he did; and on 10:63, into the middle of the city and proclaim. 7:27. with guile . . . peaceful words, as is usual in this book; see above, the Note on v. 10, peaceful words, with guile. 7:28. to see your faces in peace. Cf. v. 30. On the rich Near Eastern background of “seeing someone’s face” as an expression of deference that establishes a special relationship between individuals (note, e.g., “those who see the king” in Esth 1:14), see Chavel 2012. For the opposite case, see the Note on v. 3, Do not show me their faces. 7:29. he came to Judas, and they greeted one another peacefully. Compare the parallel version of this scene at 2 Macc 14:21–22: if the Judean book of 1 Maccabees assumes that Nicanor was deceitful from the outset, the diasporic parallel assumes, and documents in the following verses, that Nicanor was sincere. For similar contrasts, see below, the Note on v. 36, the altar and the sanctuary. 7:30. with guile. See above, the Note on v. 10, peaceful words, with guile. to see his face. See the Note on v. 28, to see your faces in peace. 7:31. Kephar-Salama. Probably near Gibeon, some seven miles north of Jerusalem. 7:32. the city of David. That is, the Seleucid citadel, as in 1:33. 7:33. went up, ἀνέβη. Cf. the Note on 1:20, and came up against Israel and Jerusalem. and some of the priests and the elders of the people, ἀπὸ τῶν ἱερέων . . . καὶ ἀπὸ τῶν πρεσβυτέρων τοῦ λαοῦ. As Kooij (2012, 31) notes, the latter, alongside “priests,” seems to denote nonpriests, just as in chapter 14 (vv. 28, 41, 44, 47) “the priests” and “the people” are mutually exclusive—as is common in ancient Hebrew usage (e.g., Exod 19:24; Deut 18:3; Josh 3:6, 14; 1 Sam 2:13; m. Yoma 6:2); see also the Note on 11:23, some of the Israelite elders and priests. Little is known of the elders in the Hellenistic and Hasmonean periods. They are also mentioned (as individuals or as composing a council) below at 11:23; 12:6, 35; 13:36; 14:20, 28, as well as in such more or less contemporary texts as Josephus, Ant. 12.138, 142 (proclamation by Antiochus III) and 2 Macc 1:10, 4:44, and 11:27. See also Deborah Gera 2014, 178–179 (on Jdt 4:8). whole-offering . . . offered for the king, demonstrating loyalty (as in Ezra 6:10). Jewish sacrifices on behalf of their non-Jewish rulers had a long history; see Schürer 1973–1987, 2.311–312. The pro-Hasmonean author enjoys demonstrating that just as some Jews who welcomed Seleucid rulers were massacred by them (above, 7:16, 19), so too other Jews who attempted to demonstrate their subservience to the Seleucids were mistreated by them. Acceptance of Seleucid rule is, in other words, simply not an option. 7:34. defiled them, ἐμίανεν αὐτούς. In accordance with the usual usage of the verb, of polluting or declaring something polluted (Muraoka 2009, 461), it has been thought that this is meant literally: perhaps Nicanor spit on them, and perhaps a Gentile’s spit was thought to make Jews impure, or perhaps, at least, to make priests impure. So, for example, J. Goldstein (1976, 327, 340) translates “laughing in their faces and rendering them unclean with his spit.” For that legal opinion, see m. Sheqalim 8:1 and—for a story (quoted in this connection by Alon 1977, 152–153) about a high priest who was (apparently unintentionally) defiled by a Gentile king’s spit—see t. Kippurim

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3:20 (ed. Lieberman, 248). However, to fill in the single verb used in this verse with the aid of such a law seems to be quite extravagant. Moreover, since, as Hayes observes (2002, 52), (1) all of the other things Nicanor did here are types of speech, and since (2) the immediate continuation of this story has the priests going into the Temple and standing next to the altar without reference to any purification rites, it is difficult to think that this verse refers to formal defilement. Hayes therefore opts for “abused.” As for what that might have been in Hebrew, note that Orian (2019), building on an observation by Noam (2018, 45–46), has pointed out that the scene here is reminiscent of the confrontation between Sennacherib’s emissary and Hezekiah, a story in which the root H.RP is often used to denote the emissaries’ mocking of the Judeans (2 Kgs 19:4, 16, 22, 23; 2 Chr 32:17). Since other elements of that story are echoed in the Nicanorin-the-Temple story, but this one is not, he suggests that the original Hebrew text here included H.RP but it was misread as H.NP, thus engendering the present text. True, in the Septuagint μιαίνω is used overwhelmingly for ṬM’ (“to taint, defile, declare defiled” [Muraoka 2009, 461]), and this fits all of its other appearances in 1 Maccabees (1:46, 63; 4:45; 14:36). Nevertheless, as φονοκτονέω (see the Note on 1:24, he worked pollution), so too μιαίνω does appear, a few times, for H.NP (LXX Jer 3:1–2 and Dan 11:32), so it may have here as well. 7:35. if and when I return safely, ἐὰν ἐπιστρέψω ἐν εἰρήνῃ. For the Hebraic idiom, see the Note on 5:54, until they returned safely. This line, which (given the continuation) seems clearly to be echoing Judg 8:9, sounds ironic, as if Nicanor were invoking God’s protection and praying for a safe return (“in peace”). Readers knew well that just as the righteous Jews of Jerusalem were not the wicked inhabitants of Penuel, so too Nicanor was no Gideon, and his notion of “peace” was the opposite of the real thing. And if any readers missed the allusion to Gideon and instead settled for the more familiar story of Jacob (Gen 28:20–22), here too the contrast is clear and ironic: if Jacob promised to build a house of God upon his safe return, Nicanor promised to destroy one! departed in great anger. Echoing Exod 11:8? 7:36. the altar and the sanctuary. This location, taken together with the citation of a prayer by priests in the next verses, recalls Joel 2:17, where too the prayer is directed against a threat posed by “the northerner”; cf. the Note on 3:51, your priests in mourning. For a similar scene, see 2 Macc 10:26, where this same location is mentioned as a particularly appropriate site for prayer. But note that in the scene parallel to the present one at 2 Macc 14:34–36, no such details are given, similar to the diasporic lack of interest in cultic details in 2 Macc 5:16 as opposed to the detailed list in 1 Maccabees (1:21– 23). But 2 Macc 14:34–35 does report (again in accordance with diasporic tendencies) that the priests, although serving in the Temple, raised their hands toward heaven and began their prayer by noting that God did not really need the Temple; neither of those points, which willy-nilly undercut the Temple, would have been functional in a Judean book like 1 Maccabees. See D. R. Schwartz 2014, 15–16. 7:37. your name to be called upon it. A standard argument: if the Temple or the Jews suffer, it is God’s good reputation that will be tarnished. See, for example, Exod 32:12; Pss 79:9, 115:1–2; Ezek 36:22–32; 1 Kgs 8:29, 43//2 Chr 6:20, 33. house of prayer and supplication for your people, οἶκον προσευχῆς καὶ δεήσεως τῷ λαῷ σου. On προσευχή = prayer, cf. the Note on 12:11, and in our prayers. The

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contrast between the present statement and such famous passages as 1 Kgs 8:41–43 and Isa 56:7 (cited in Matt 21:13//Mark 11:17), which instead define the Temple as a house of prayer for all peoples, is quite striking—but quite in line with the ethnic orientation of 1 Maccabees. Cf., for example, the Notes on v. 10, peaceful words, with guile, and on 2:51, each in his generation. 7:38. blasphemies, δυσφημιῶν. This compound root appears in the Septuagint only in 1–3 Maccabees. In 1 Maccabees it appears only here and—as a verb—in v. 41; on such phenomena, see the Note on 12:32, passing through. Although elsewhere it often means “defamation” (3 Macc 2:26), here, in context, it appears that God is the object and so “blasphemy” is more appropriate; cf. the Note on 2:6, outrages, where a similar noun is used. do not allow them to survive, μὴ δῷς αὐτοῖς μονήν. This is the only appearance of μονή in the Septuagint. As Joüon notes (1922, 206), it seems to allude to Lev 26:37, “you will not have təqûmâ (RSV: “ability to stand”) before your enemies,” although the Septuagint there is different. 7:39. Beth H.oron. See the Note on 3:16, Ascent of Beth H.oron. 7:40. Adasa. Probably to be identified as H.adaša (as in Josh 15:37 and m. ‘Eruvin 5:6), somewhere in the hills north of Jerusalem and south of Ramallah; see Bar-Kochva 1989, 363–365. 7:41. angel . . . smote. See 2 Kgs 19:35//Isa 37:36. This example is cited frequently in similar contexts, such as 2 Macc 8:19 and 15:22; 3 Macc 6:5; Sir 48:21; and Josephus, J.W. 5.388. This is the only reference to an angel in 1 Maccabees, and it refers to ancient history; contrast the references to contemporary appearances of angels in 2 Maccabees (3:25–26, 10:29–30, 11:6–8). 7:42. and let all those who survive know. For this motif, that the Judeans’ victory should bring the Gentiles to recognize God’s power, compare, among other examples, 1 Sam 17:46, 1 Kgs 20:28, 2 Kgs 19:19//Isa 37:20, and Ezek 28:22–23. 7:43. Adar, around February/March. The same date is given in v. 49, in 2 Macc 15:36, and in Məgillat Ta‘ănît, chapter 12 (Noam 2003, 118–119). and he was the first to fall. Cf. the Note on 6:6, Lysias had gone at the head of. 7:44. fled after throwing away their weapons. As at 5:43 and 11:51, this is a common motif. For its appearance with regard to a fleeing Syrian army, see 2 Kgs 7:7, 15. 7:45. a day’s distance. A frequently used measure; cf. 5:24; also Jonah 3:3–4, Num 11:31, 1 Kgs 19:4, Luke 2:44, and m. Ma‘aser Sheni 5:2, where a day’s walk from Jerusalem is defined by sites such as Lydda, which is twenty-three miles west of Jerusalem as the crow flies. Usually it is estimated at around twenty miles (Brown 1993, 474), which fits the present case well (see below, the Note on Gezer). For a rich collection of sources and literature, along with a tendency to reduce the distance to fifteen to nineteen miles (twenty-five to thirty kilometers), see Bar-Ilan 1996, 48, n. 12, also the data—but especially concerning walking in the desert—by Retsö 2003, 385–386, n. 80. until the approaches of, ἕως τοῦ ἐλθεῖν εἰς—a Hebraism (‘ad bō’ăkā), as at LXX Judg 6:4, 11:33, etc. Gezer. Probably some eighteen miles away, where there was still a Seleucid fortress; see the Notes on 4:15, Gezer, and on 4:16, turned back from chasing.

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7:46. people went out. Given the allusions to 1 Samuel 14 elsewhere in this book (see the Note on 3:18, from many or from a few), the author might be thinking of 1 Sam 14:22. outflanked them, ὑπερκέρων αὐτούς. Elsewhere in the Septuagint this verb appears only in Jdt 15:5, in the course of a similar scene. turned back toward them. That is, the villagers forced the fleeing troops to turn back toward those pursuing them. 7:47. cutting off Nicanor’s head and his right hand, as at 2 Macc 15:30. The head requires no special explanation; cf. 11:17 and such precedents as 1 Sam 17:51 and Jdt 13:8. The explanation supplied for the hand is the same as the one supplied in 2 Macc 15:32. But note that while 2 Maccabees indeed reported, at 14:33 (mimicked by the priests in 14:34), that Nicanor stretched his hand out against the Temple, 1 Maccabees did not (see above, vv. 34–35). That it nevertheless assumes it here indicates either that a common source or tradition lies behind both stories (although the author of 1 Maccabees happened to omit this element the first time it appeared) or that the image that appears in Isa 10:32, of a threatening Gentile king who shakes his hand against the Temple Mount (which is specifically mentioned here at 7:33), was widespread and could be taken for granted. Indeed, it was widespread and reappears in Sir 48:18, in 4QpIsa a (frags. 2–6, l. 25; H. and E. Eshel 2000, 652–653), and in rabbinic versions of the present story (Məgillat Ta‘ănît, ch. 11 [Noam 2003, 298] and parallels); see Noam 2018, 54–55. alongside Jerusalem, παρὰ τὴν Ιερουσαλημ. Zervos (2007, 490) translates “in Ierousalem,” but, as J. Goldstein (who translates “where they could be viewed from Jerusalem”!) notes (1976, 343), bringing this mutilated dead body into the city would have ruffled religious sensitivities. See, for example, t. Negaim 6:2 (ed. Zuckermandel, 625), which prohibits leaving a corpse in Jerusalem overnight, burial within the city, and leaving (or perhaps transporting) human bones within the city. Cf. 2 Macc 15:33, “opposite the sanctuary” (κατέναντι τοῦ ναοῦ); also Acts 7:58 and Heb 13:12. 7:48. And the people. For ὁ λαός of the Jewish people, see the Note on 2:66, the war against the Gentiles. was very joyous. But, as usual since chapter 5, no thought is given to thanking God; see the Note on 5:54, brought whole-offerings. 7:49. they established, ἔστησαν. The same verb appears in connection with the establishment of Hanukkah in 4:59. thirteenth day of Adar, later known as “Nicanor’s Day.” The foundation of this festival, on this date, is the bottom line of 2 Maccabees (15:36); indeed, the two main campaigns in 2 Maccabees (chs. 8 and 14–15) are, according to that book, against the “thrice-cursed Nicanor”; see the Note on 3:38, Nicanor. Later evidence for Nicanor’s Day exists, in Josephus’s paraphrase of this passage (Ant. 12.412) and in rabbinic literature (see above, the end of the Note on v. 47, cutting off Nicanor’s head and his right hand). But given the fact that Hasmonean victories meant little after the collapse of their state, the holiday did not have much of a chance, and eventually it fell into desuetude—thus making the date, which is a single day before Purim, available for a pre-Purim fast (“Fast of Esther”). For the evidence for the latter, which is post-talmudic, see Noam 2003, 302, and D. R. Schwartz 2008, 512, n. 5. 7:50. Then the land of Judah was quiet for a few days. As at 9:57, this is a nice way to wrap up a chapter, in the style familiar from Judges (3:11, 30, etc.). But as opposed

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to “forty years” or “eighty years” in those passages, here the reference to “a few days” indicates to readers that things will not last long. In fact, comparison of 7:43 with 9:3 indicates that no more than a month separates them.

Comments While Lysias’s successful defeat of Philip might have been expected to allow Lysias to renew his campaign in Judea, in fact that was prevented by the entrance of a new actor: in the autumn of 162 Demetrius I escaped Rome and, in short order, took over the Seleucid throne. This is the first round of struggle between opposing pretenders to the Seleucid crown, something that would accompany the rise of the Hasmonean state, and facilitate it, over the next several decades (see Introduction 7D). In this first round, however, the fruits of the situation, for the Hasmoneans, were long delayed, for—unfortunately for them—Demetrius I immediately managed to stabilize his control of the kingdom and therefore picked up where Lysias had left off. That engendered two campaigns within the next two years, one commanded by Bacchides and one by Nicanor, and they are the subject of the present chapter. (Both campaigns are reported in 2 Macc 14–15 as well, but there, in accordance with the author’s focus on Nicanor, he commands both.) This chapter features a new villain as well: Alcimus, who is said to have wanted to be high priest (v. 5) and was indeed appointed to the position (vv. 9, 21). He plays the role of chief troublemaker: at 7:5 he leads a delegation of Judeans to Demetrius I to urge him to move against Judas, thus engendering Bacchides’s campaign; and at 7:25 he again incites Demetrius against Judas, and the result is Nicanor’s campaign. Similarly, in Alcimus’s only other appearance in the book (9:54–57), the author first condemns him in some detail and then reports that after Alcimus’s death (ibid.), Bacchides gave up his campaign against Judas “and the land of Judah was quiet for two years”—further proof that Alcimus had been the chief troublemaker. This is very striking, for hitherto the author ignored all other high priests, although 2 Maccabees 3–4, with its stories about Onias, Jason, and Menelaus, shows that much could have been said. It is not clear why Alcimus should be treated so differently. However, since the first high priest mentioned after Alcimus was to be Jonathan (10:20–21), we might infer that the author, a Hasmonean mouthpiece, wanted to make sure readers were not worried by the notion that he was replacing anyone respectable. This could explain why he condemned Alcimus so thoroughly and ignored whoever succeeded him during the several years that passed between Alcimus’s death and the appointment of Jonathan. (For hypotheses about the identity of that successor, see the Note on 10:25, to the people of the Judeans.) This chapter twice affords the author the opportunity to contrast Judas, who was no fool and knew what to believe and what not to believe, to religious fools. Early in the chapter (vv. 12–18) we read of “scribes” and “the pious” who (as opposed to Judas and his men) believe Alcimus and Bacchides and are killed by them, and later we read that priests in the Temple thought Nicanor might be happy to learn they were busy sacrificing on behalf of Demetrius—only to be crassly disabused; they, at least, survived and learned the lesson (vv. 33–38). So do readers, who will now understand all the more Judas’s decision to look, in the next chapter, to another foreign power for support against the Seleucids.

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Judas’s Treaty with Rome (8:1–32)

8 1Judas heard of the fame of the Romans, that they are mighty warriors but are well-disposed toward all who join them and establish friendship with whoever approaches them, 2and that they are mighty warriors. And he was told of their wars and of their valorous deeds, which they did to the Galatians, and that they had conquered them and subjected them to tribute; 3 and all that they had done in the land of Spain in order to gain control of the silver and gold mines there—4and they took control of that entire land by virtue of their good counsel and perseverance, although the land was extremely distant from them; and also of the kings who came against them from the end of the earth, until they crushed them and dealt them heavy blows—the survivors giving them tribute annually; 5 and (as for) Philip and Perseus, king of the Kittim, and those who set out against them—they defeated them in war and conquered them; 6 and Antiochus the Great, king of Asia, who had marched out to war against them, having 120 elephants and cavalry and chariots and a very large army, was defeated by them: 7they took him alive and imposed upon them, that he and those who reigned after him would give them a large tribute and hostages and separation (of forces), 8and also territory: India, Media, Lydia, and some of his best territories; and having taken them from him they gave them to King Eumenes; 9 and that when those who were from Greece conspired together to come and wipe them out—10when it became known to them, they sent a single general against them and he made war against them, and many of them fell, mortally wounded, and they took their wives and children captive and despoiled them and conquered their land and destroyed their fortresses— and enslaved them until this very day;

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and all the remaining kingdoms and islands—any who ever opposed them they destroyed and enslaved, 12but with their friends, and those who rested their hopes upon them, they kept friendship. And they conquered kings both near and far, and all who had heard their name feared them. 13Those whom they want to help reign, reign, and those they want, they depose; they were greatly exalted. 14 But despite all of this, not one of them crowned himself with a diadem or wrapped himself in purple so as to pretend to be great. 15Rather, they made themselves a council, and every day 320 of them always take counsel together concerning the population and maintaining its good order. 16 Every year they entrust a single person with governing them and ruling all of their territory, and they all listen to that one person; among them there is neither envy nor jealousy. 11

So Judas chose Eupolemus the son of John of the Haqqoz clan and Jason the son of Eleazar and sent them to Rome to establish friendship and alliance with them, 18and to remove the yoke from them, for they saw that the kingdom of the Greeks was subjugating Israel into slavery. 19 They went to Rome—and the trip is very long!—and entered the council and declared: 20“Judas, also known as Maccabaeus, and his brothers and the community of the Judeans have sent us to you to establish alliance and peace with you, so that we may be listed among your allies and friends.” 21This found favor in their eyes. 22And this is the copy of the letter, which they wrote in response on bronze tablets and sent to Jerusalem, so as to be a memorial there, among them, of the peace and alliance: 17

Let it be well for the Romans and the people of the Judeans on sea and on land forever, and let sword and enmity be far from them. 24But if war is made upon Rome, first of all, or upon any of its allies in its entire realm, 25the people of the Judeans will fight together with them wholeheartedly, as far as opportunity prescribes to them. 26And they will neither give nor supply their enemies wheat, weapons, money, or ships—as Rome decided, and they will observe their obligations without receiving anything. 27In the same way, if the people of the Judeans is attacked first, the Romans will fight enthusiastically as its allies, as far as opportunity prescribes to them. 28Nor will they give to the allies (of the partner’s enemies) wheat, weapons, money, or ships, as Rome decided, and they will observe these obligations without duplicity. 29 These are the terms that Rome thus established with the citizenry of the Judeans. 30But if after these words (of agreement) these or those desire to add or to subtract, they shall do so as they prefer, and that which they add or subtract shall be valid. 31 As for the wicked deeds that King Demetrius has done to them, we have written him as follows: “Why do you make your yoke heavy upon our friends and allies, the Judeans? 32If they again petition (us) against you, we shall do justice for them and fight against you on sea and on land!” 23

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Notes 8:1. Judas heard of the fame of the Romans. For such openings of new stories that precipitate travel, compare, for example, 9:1, Exod 18:1, and 1 Kgs 10:1. 8:2. and that they are mighty warriors. As in v. 1. These words are often thought to be a misplaced dittography, and perhaps they are. But they are supported by just about all the evidence. Perhaps, originally, the text was to be read as follows: v. 1 offers two headings (the Romans are mighty warriors but are good to their friends), and then, under the first heading (these words in v. 2), vv. 2–11 detail the first statement by listing the Romans’ triumphs over their enemies, following which vv. 12–13 flesh out the second statement, about the Romans’ friends; after that, vv. 14–16 round things out with general words of praise for the Romans and a reference to the Senate (“council”), which is where the story will continue. In the translation, the paragraphing is arranged accordingly. However, if that is what was originally meant, it seems that something was lost in the translation or the transmission of this opening, and it is also bothersome that the second section, beginning in v. 12, is so short. the Galatians, defeated in central Asia Minor in 189 BCE; see Will 1979–1982, 2.220–221. 8:3. Spain . . . mines. See Strabo 3.2.8 and Diodorus 5.36–37; also Rickard 1928 and S. Mason 2008, 290–291, n. 2361 (on Josephus, J.W. 2.374). 8:4. end of the earth. Probably the reference is to Carthage. Cf. the Note on 3:9, His name was heard unto the end of the land. 8:5. Philip and Perseus, king of the Kittim. Philip V and his son Perseus, kings of Macedonia (on Kittim, see the Note on 1:1, Kittim), defeated by Rome in the Second and Third Macedonian Wars in the early 190s and early 160s, respectively. The use of the singular “king” (βασιλέα) here is strange; see Grimm 1853, 122. If this is not simply an error in transmission, it might indicate that the reference to Perseus is secondary, added by someone who missed him. Note, in this connection, that the reference to Perseus is not found in the Syriac version nor in the Bologna text of the Vetus Latina (De Bruyne 1932, 47) and that omitting it would leave the events listed here in chronological order: first Philip, defeated finally at Cynoscephelae in 197 BCE, then . . . 8:6. Antiochus the Great, that is, Antiochus III, defeated by Scipio Asiaticus at Magnesia in 189 BCE. On Antiochus’s appellation “the Great” (Μέγας), which was widespread already during his lifetime and underlined in the opening lines of Appian’s Syrian Wars, see especially Ma 2000a, 272–276. Asia. The Seleucid kingdom, as at 11:13, 2 Macc 3:3, and elsewhere; see Bickerman 1938, 5, and Kosmin 2014, 124–125. 8:7. took him alive. This is not true, for although Antiochus III was defeated, he was not captured. Stories of victories tend to grow expansively; cf. 2 Macc 5:5. imposed upon them, ἐστησαν αὐτοῖς—upon Antiochus III and his successors, as is explained immediately. For the terms of the Treaty of Apamaea (188 BCE)—which, in the wake of Rome’s defeat of Antiochus at Magnesia, imposed reparations and territorial concessions, along with a demand for hostages (see 1:10), restrictions on the Seleucids’ ability to recruit mercenaries and to maintain a navy and war elephants, and many other demands—see Polybius 21.42; Livy 38.38; and Appian, Syr. 39; along with Walbank 1957–1979, 3.156–162; Gruen 1984, 2.640–643; and Briscoe 2008, 129–134.

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Judean awareness of this humiliation imposed upon the Seleucids, just as the one Rome imposed twenty years later on Antiochus’s son (see the Note on 1:17, So he invaded Egypt), certainly played a role in their willingness to rebel; see Introduction 7. separation, διαστολήν. This apparently refers to the Roman demand that Antiochus withdraw from Europe and from much of Asia Minor (west of the Taurus Mountains); see Polybius 21.42.5, supplemented by Livy 38.38.4, along with the discussion in Walbank 1957–1979, 3.157–158, and Gruen 1984, 2.641, n. 145. 8:8. Eumenes II, king of Pergamum, reigned 197–159 BCE; see Grainger 1997, 649. For the Roman annexation of Seleucid territories to his kingdom (which Rome eventually absorbed, in 133 BCE), see Livy 38.39 and Ma 2000a, 282–283. However, as Momigliano notes (1976, 660), it is a “geographical howler” to claim that territories as far as Media and India were attached to Pergamum. 8:9. when those who were from Greece. “The whole of vv. 9–10 makes sense only if they are taken to refer to the defeat of the Achaean League and the destruction of Corinth in 146 B.C.” (Momigliano 1976, 659); Niese (1900, 9) counts this item as one of those most securely identified in the present text. Clearly, however, Judas (d. 160 BCE) could not have heard of this event. This is, then, a proof, if one were needed, that this part of the chapter is a literary composition created years after Judas was dead. 8:10. a single general—Lucius Mummius Achaicus; see the next Note. conquered their land. Apparently a reference to Mummius’s destruction of Corinth in 146 BCE. As Kallet-Marx notes (1995, 94), other sources as well take this event to be the final Roman subjugation of Greece (apart from this verse in 1 Maccabees, he cites Diodorus 32.26.1–2; Pausanias 7.16.10; and Vergil, Aeneid 6.836–840), but “it is doubtful [ . . . ] whether we should impute to contemporaries the views of later sources, distorted by long hindsight, that Mummius’s victory represents the final subjugation of Greece to Rome.” until this very day. This, as the similar remark at 13:30, evidently implies that a considerable number of years have gone by since then; see Introduction 2, at n. 9. Such formulations are very frequent in the Bible, for example, Gen 19:37–38, 26:33, 35:20; Exod 10:6. 8:11. they destroyed and enslaved. This is where the verse ends in Kappler’s edition. I have arranged the text, however, in accordance with the verse division in Rahlfs’ edition (in which v. 11 continues until “they kept friendship” in the middle of Kappler’s v. 12), for that gives better sense: the opening of v. 11 refers to the universe of remaining kingdoms and islands, and the continuation states what happened to them according to whether they opposed Rome or became its friends. 8:12. they kept. On Hellenistic usage of συντηρέω (“keep safe”), see Welles 1934, 367. For a case of “preserving goodwill” similar to the present case in a late Seleucid document, see ibid., no. 71, l. 6. 8:13. Those whom they want to help reign, reign, and those they want—they depose. Playing with Exod 33:19, a verse that ascribes God complete freedom of action and power. exalted, ὑψώθησαν σφόδα. But, as the next verse will emphasize, not arrogant. Contrast Alexander at 1:3, where this statement is glossed by a clear reference to arrogance, and cf. the Notes on 2:63, on the heights, and on 11:16, was on high.

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8:14. But despite all of this, καὶ ἐν πᾶσι τούτοις. For this Hebraism, ûbkol zō’t, compare especially the familiar refrain in Isa 5:25; 9:12, 17, 21; 10:4. not one of them crowned himself with a diadem. As opposed to those arrogant Hellenistic kings whom the author despises (1:9). For the ease with which Rome claimed to despise kings in Judas’s day, see, for example, Polybius 30.19.6 and Livy, Per. 46.1–2 (a senatus consultum of 167/166 forbade kings to speak to the Senate, or even to enter Rome or Italy); according to Justin 38.6, Mithridates complained that the Romans had made it a law to hate all kings. However, John Hyrcanus’s son and successor, Aristobulus I, took the royal crown (Josephus, J.W. 1.70 and Ant. 13.301) during the year he reigned, 104/103 BCE. This is a good sign that the present pro-Hasmonean book was composed before then; see Introduction 2. wrapped himself in purple. See the Note on 10:20, sent him purple. The author ignores the purple stripes on the togas of magistrates and senators (Stone 1994, 13) but in general is right about Roman disapproval of purple robes as typical of kings. See ibid., 39, n. 12, and, for example, Plutarch, Tiberius Gracchus 14—an episode ca. 133 BCE that, Momigliano (1976, 660, citing Emilio Gabba) suggests, may have been in the background of the present statement: Tiberius Gracchus was suspected of having accepted a royal diadem and purple robe in the hope of becoming king of Rome. Note that the present collocation of crowns and purple, and condemnation of them, raises an issue when compared with the report in chapter 10 (vv. 20, 62) that Alexander Balas gave Jonathan both, and the one in chapter 14 (vv. 43–44) that Simon insisted on the right to wear purple and on denying that right to all other Judeans (14:43–44). This basically shows how flexible such standards are: when a court historian writes in favor of a given ruler (which is the case here not only for Simon, but also for Balas; see 10:47), whatever that ruler does is fine (cf. the Note on 2:1, of the sons of Jehoiarib). For the notion that practices usually considered to be associated with paganism might nevertheless be allowed to Jews who had frequently to deal with the ruling powers, see y. Avodah Zarah 2:2, 41a. to pretend to be great, ἁδρυνθῆναι. The translation assumes Heb. ləhitgaddēl (note, with Grimm [1853, 126], ἁδροί for gədōlîm in LXX 4 Kgdms 10:6, 11) and that the form of the Hebrew verb indicates that the activity is only pretended, not real, as for example wayyitnakkēr in Gen 42:7 (he pretended he was a foreigner) and mityahădîm in Esth 8:17 (they pretended they were Jews). 8:15. a council, βουλευτήριον, as also in 12:3. The standard Greek term for the Roman Senate was σύγκλητος; see H. Mason 1974, 121–122. The present term, in contrast, more properly refers to the Senate’s place of meeting (“council chamber”), as in Josephus, Ant. 14.270, 19.60. Thus here it seems to reflect the writer’s (and the translator’s) unfamiliarity with the institution, just as does his next statement about it: every day, καθ’ ἡμέραν. This is an idealizing statement: “The Senate was summoned by the presiding magistrates . . . Only during the Empire were the times of meeting fixed—usually two each month” (Arnaldo Momigliano in OCD, 973); so too O’Brien-Moore 1935, 702, referring especially to Cassius Dio 55.3. 320. This is, surprisingly, fairly accurate, for the number of senators during the Republic, until the days of Sulla, was in fact three hundred. See O’Brien-Moore 1935, 686, referring to Livy, Per. 60; Plutarch, Caius Gracchus 5; and Appian, Civil Wars 1.35.

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8:16. single person. Actually there were two consuls each year. This blooper, as also the statement that the Senate convened daily (v. 15), the naïve comment in v. 19 (“and the trip is very long!”), and the confusion between the Senate and its hall (Note on v. 15, a council), not to mention the historical errors in vv. 7–8, shows how unfamiliar the Judeans were with Rome at this early date. 8:17. Eupolemus . . . Jason. The former is mentioned in 2 Macc 4:11 as well, alone, in connection with the present mission to Rome, just as his father is identified there as having been a diplomat in the preceding generation, apparently responsible for the privileges granted by Antiochus III and preserved by Josephus at Ant. 12.138–146. Note that although both Eupolemus and Jason had Greek names and presumably knew Greek, their fathers had traditional Hebrew names—John and Eleazar. This indicates an intensification of Hellenization in Judea in the generation that preceded the Maccabean Revolt. On the possibility—no more, but no less—that the Eupolemus who is mentioned here was the author of a historical work on the ancient kings of Judah of which fragments were preserved by Alexander Polyhistor and Clement of Alexandria, see Holladay 1983, 99, n. 5, and Siegert 2016, 411. As for Jason, the name is a common one (for a list of fourteen Jasons, see Ilan 2002, 288–290), and so it is difficult to understand why Momigliano once opined (1988, 236–237) that it “seems very probable” that he was the “Jason of Cyrene” mentioned at 2 Macc 2:23 as the author of the long work of which 2 Maccabees is a summary; Siegert’s “weniger klar” (2016, 418), in contrast with the identification of Eupolemus, seems more reasonable. Haqqoz. A priestly family (1 Chr 24:10, Ezra 2:61). It is likely that Ben Sira too was of this line, for Heb. qôs. (“thorn”) = Aramaic sîrâ. 8:18. to remove the yoke from them . . . Israel, τοῦ ἆραι τὸν ζυγὸν ἀπ’ αὐτῶν . . . Ισραηλ. The same language reappears at 13:41. On ζυγός (“yoke”), which reappears in v. 31, see also the Note on 1:15, yoking themselves to the Gentiles. 8:19. and the trip is very long. This is a striking expression of the author’s provincialism; cf. Introduction 2, n. 3, and the Note on v. 16, single person. For this kind of interjection, cf. 5:45. and declared, καὶ ἀπεκρίθησαν καὶ εἶπον. On this Hebraism, see the Note on 2:17, made a declaration. 8:20. Judas, also known as Maccabaeus, and his brothers. As other elements in this chapter, this formulation reflects the later-than-Judas recognition of the importance of his brothers. Similarly: and the community of the Judeans, τὸ πλῆθος τῶν Ἰουδαίων. Although πλῆθος frequently has a pejorative nuance (mob, masses), for neutral usage of it, including by Jews, of a Jewish “community,” see, for example, 2 Macc 3:21 and 4:5, 39; Let. Aris. 310; 3 Macc 7:13. 8:22. bronze tablets, as also at 14:18, 26, 48. For Roman usage of bronze tablets to publish and preserve interstate agreements, and also to endow them with sacrosanct status, see, for some examples, Josephus, Ant. 14.188; Seeman 2013, 375–377; and Sherk 1969, 11–12. An extensive dossier of epigraphic and literary evidence is assembled and analyzed by C. Williamson 1987. 8:23. on sea and on land forever, ἐν τῇ θαλάσσῃ καὶ ἐπὶ τῆς ξηρᾶς εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα. Cf. RDGE no. 16, lines 27–29 (105 BCE): “between the people of the Romans and the people of Astypalaeans there shall be peace and friendship and alliance, καὶ

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κατὰ γῆν καὶ κατὰ θάλασσαν [εἰς τὸν ἅπαντα χρόνον].” So too in the treaty with the Lycians discussed by Schuler 2007, 54. ἡ ξερά is the standard Septuagintal rendering of yabbāšâ, “dry (land);” see Muraoka 2009, 481. 8:25. as far as opportunity prescribes, ὡς ἂν ὁ καιρὸς ὑπογράφῃ. On καιρός, see the Note on 12:1, the moment was going his way. For similar clauses in Roman treaties of the second century BCE, see Cichorius 1889, 443, 446; Täubler 1913, 244; and especially Schuler 2007, 58, 68, on Roman treaties with Kibyra, Methymna, and Astypalaea that required each side to supply the other aid qualified as εὔκαιρον or κατὰ τὸ εὔκαιρον. As is noted by Schuler, this wording opened up the way for each side to evade its commitments, and thus weakened the agreement in general. 8:26. supply, ἐπαρκέσουσι. This verb appears in the Septuagint only in 1 Maccabees—here and at 11:35, where it is used, as Muraoka notes (2009, 260), of the result of a concession and exemption from levies. will observe their obligations, φυλάξονται τὰ φυλάγματα αὐτῶν, a Hebraism: yišmərû ’et mišmərôtêhem (e.g., Lev 8:35, Num 8:26, and Ezek 44:15; the latter is quoted as a general characterization of loyal observers of the covenant in CD 4:1–10). 8:27. as far as opportunity prescribes to them, as in v. 25. 8:28. (of the partner’s enemies). Without this parenthetical explanation, the text absurdly forbids the two allies to help one another. Another option would be to correct the text, reading πολεμοῦσιν (“to those who fight [against]”) instead of συμμαχοῦσιν (“to the allies”)—so a couple of witnesses and Seeman 2013, 118. But that leaves the continuation of the verse without context. will observe these obligations without duplicity. That is, without tricks such as that prohibited in the beginning of this verse (indirect support of the partner’s enemy), which would allow for formal conformity to the terms of the treaty (in this case, v. 26) while in fact evading them. 8:29. citizenry of the Judeans, τῷ δήμῳ τῶν Ἰουδαίων. Usually δῆμος is translated “people.” Indeed, if we assume that this text, a Roman document, was originally in Greek or Latin and translated into Hebrew, and then back into Greek, it is difficult to imagine any Hebrew word here other than ‘am. This observation, however, raises the question of why δῆμος is used here rather than ἔθνος, which is so usual. Moreover, the fact is (as was pointed out to me by Natan Evron) that the few other times that δῆμος appears in 1 Maccabees it is always in official contexts: in diplomatic documents (here, 12:6, 14:20–23, 15:17) or in the text leading up to one (14:25). This suggests that the word is being used in its standard Greek sense, in official documents: body of citizens, or even “council of citizens.” See, for example, the list, in Sherk 1969, 190, of official Roman documents, in Greek, addressed ἄρχουσι βουλῇ δήμῳ of Greek cities. Indeed, note that just as cities in the vicinity of Judea listed the δῆμος on their coins as the minting authority (see, e.g., Hill 1914, liv–lv, lxix, on Ascalon and Gaza), so too do later Hasmonean coins list h.eber ha-Ye˘hûdîm, and so it could well be that that was meant to be a Hebrew equivalent to δῆμος τῶν Ἰουδαίων. On those coins, and the debate about what the Hebrew inscription means, see especially Regev 2013, 186–199. 8:30. these or those, οὗτοι καὶ οὗτοι. On this phrase, Heb. ’ēlleh wə’ēleh (e.g., Ps 20:7, Dan 12:2), in which, in contrast to the English distinction between “these” and “those,” the Greek reflects Hebrew’s lack of a second demonstrative, see Joüon 1922, 206; he points to another case of the same at 9:17. For a slightly different case, see 3:50.

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8:31. King Demetrius, I, of Syria, who had sent Bacchides and Nicanor (ch. 7). make your yoke heavy, ἐβάρυνας τὸν ζυγόν σου. A crass Hebraism; cf. Isa 47:6 (hikbadt ‘ullēk) and the repeated use of the image in 1 Kings 12 (vv. 4, 9–11, 14). 8:32. on sea and on land. Cf. above, v. 23.

Comments This chapter, which keeps readers occupied, as it were, while Judea rests for “a few days” (7:50; on such moves, cf. the opening of the Comments on 12:1–23), divides neatly into two halves: what Judas heard about Rome (vv. 1–16), and his treaty with Rome (vv. 17–32). The former focuses on Rome’s successes in defeating its enemies from Asia Minor to Spain and thereby extending the borders of its dominion, along with an emphasis on the Romans’ willingness to make alliances and their faithfulness. Thus Rome is portrayed as being everything the Hellenistic monarchs were not: Rome defeated Hellenistic monarchs, kept agreements as opposed to perfidious Hellenistic monarchs, and even avoided the arrogance indicated by crowns and purple (v. 14)—that too in contrast to the Hellenistic monarchs (1:9). The reference(s) to the Romans as “mighty warriors” in vv. 1–2 is something of an announcement of the main point: if the hallmark of Hellenistic monarchs is that they “smote” others and conquered their territories, the hallmark of Rome is that it was very strong but used that power differentially vis-à-vis friends and enemies. It is obvious that this Hasmonean dynastic history, produced under a ruler whose conquests significantly expanded the borders of his state (see esp. Josephus, Ant. 13.254–257, 275–283, and Shatzman 2012), expresses not only the desire to make sure to be on Rome’s side, and pride that that happened, but also admiration for Rome’s power and success in conquests. For the blatant contrast between this Hasmonean admiration of Roman power and conquests and the hostility to Rome evinced by Qumran texts of the late Hasmonean period, see especially Flusser 2007. Note, however, that the way that hostility is interpreted depends to some significant extent on the dating of those texts, especially Pesher Habakkuk. Flusser (ibid., 87) assumed it predates Pompey’s conquest of Judea, but others date it later; see Lim 2020, 19–33, who tends to the generation after that event—when pro-Hasmoneans too were very hostile to Rome. As suggested by Smith 1978, it might also be the case that the present text’s emphasis on Rome’s benevolence to those who submit to it is meant to support John’s similar policy toward the Idumeans. But his comparison of alliances to forced conversions is somewhat strained. The suggestions would be more convincing the more we tend to hold, with Kasher and Rappaport (but against the plain sense of Josephus, Ant. 13.257–258, and of a fragment by a historian named Ptolemy [GLAJJ, no. 146]), that the Idumeans’ linked up more or less voluntarily with the Hasmoneans, because of shared interests. For this debate, see Kasher 1988, 46–78; Shatzman 2005; and Rappaport 2009. As for the treaty, concluded by delegates sent by Judas to Rome (characterization of their trip as “a very long journey” [v. 19] points to the novelty of such diplomacy at this early stage), it is usually taken to be substantially authentic,7 corresponding as it does to expectations from such documents as shown by other ancient texts.8 The very fact of a Judean-Roman treaty at this time (although without any text of it) is also

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attested by a passage in Justin’s Epitome of Pompeius Trogus, which refers to the Jews seeking amicitia with Rome in the days of Demetrius I.9 And it might also be reflected in a Roman document preserved by Josephus in which a Roman consul extends Roman protection to Judean delegates who had come to pick up decrees passed by the Senate.10 Judas’s treaty with Rome begins a series of such alliances in 1 Maccabees and beyond: Jonathan renews the treaty at the outset of chapter 12, and it is again renewed in Simon’s days (14:16–19, 15:15–24), just as Josephus will report further renewals of the alliance in the days of John.11 Given the fact that 1 Maccabees was put together in John’s days, the present chapter, which obviously reflects knowledge of Rome from later than Judas’s days (see esp. vv. 9–10!), will have functioned as something of a legitimizing precedent for his practice in this respect.12 Although it is difficult to point to any particular applications of the alliance in practice, it is not impossible that it had some real impact on events. For even in the absence of direct Roman intervention, the treaty itself may well have deterred the later Seleucids from more extreme measures vis-à-vis Judea, and/or the Ptolemies from taking advantage of Seleucid weakness in the region.13

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From Judas to Jonathan (9:1–73)

9 1When Demetrius heard that Nicanor and his troops had fallen in war, he again sent Bacchides and Alcimus, a second time, to the land of Judah, and the right wing (of the army) along with them. 2They marched there by way of Gilgal and encamped over against Maisaloth in the region of Arbel, and captured it and wiped out many people. 3 And in the first month of the 152nd year they encamped over against Jerusalem. 4Then they set out and came to Bereth, with twenty thousand men and two thousand cavalry. 5 Judas was encamped in Elasa, along with three thousand selected men. 6When they saw how massive the force was, for it was so multitudinous, they were very afraid, and many of them slipped away from the camp; there remained of them no more than eight hundred men. 7When Judas saw that his camp had trickled away and that the battle was imminent, he was brokenhearted, for he did not have the opportunity to gather them together, 8and he became very angry, and spoke to those who remained: “Let us rise up and go up against those who oppose us: perhaps we will indeed be able to fight against them!” 9But they attempted to dissuade him, saying: “We will not be able to. Rather, if we save our lives now, later we will turn about, together with our brothers, and fight them; and we are only a few.” 10But Judas said: “Far be it from me to do such a thing, to flee from them! And if our moment has come, let us die manfully for our brothers and not leave any blemish upon our honor!” 11 The force set out from the camp and took up position to confront them: the cavalry divided into two parts, and the slingers and the archers went out in front of the force, also the frontline fighters—all the powerful ones. 12Bacchides was in the right wing. And the phalanx advanced on both sides and the trumpets were sounded, and also Judas’s men sounded their trumpets, 13and the ground quaked from the noise of the armies; they were locked in battle from early morning to evening. 14Judas saw that Bacchides and the core of his force were on the right, and all those who were of good heart went up against him. 15The right wing was defeated by them, and they chased after them until the border of Azotus. 16But when those of the left wing saw that the right

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wing had been defeated, they turned around on the heels of Judas and his men from the rear. 17The fighting was very heavy, and many fell, mortally wounded, of these and of those; 18Judas fell, and the rest fled. 19 Jonathan and Simon lifted up their brother Judas and buried him in their fathers’ grave in Modiin. 20And all of Israel wept over him and mourned him—a deep mourning—and grieved over him for many days and said: 21“How has there fallen a powerful man who saved Israel?!” 22 And the rest of the matters pertaining to Judas and the wars and acts of valor that he did, and his greatness, were not written down, for they were too numerous. 23 It happened that after the death of Judas, the wicked men raised their heads throughout the borders of Israel, and all the workers of injustice sprouted up again. 24 In those days there was a very severe famine, and the country deserted with them. 25 And Bacchides chose the impious men and installed them as rulers of the country; 26 they searched out and sought the friends of Judas and brought them to Bacchides, and he punished them and tormented them. 27There was great affliction in Israel, such as had not been since the day that no prophet appeared to them. 28Then there gathered together all the friends of Judas, and they said to Jonathan: Since your brother Judas died, there is no other man like him to go out against our enemies, including Bacchides and (all) those who are hostile to our people. 30Therefore, we have chosen you today to be our ruler in his stead, and to lead us in fighting our war. 29

So Jonathan undertook rule at that time, and arose in place of his brother Judas. 32 Bacchides learned of it and sought him to kill him. 33But Jonathan and his brother Simon and all those who were with him learned of it, and they fled to the wilderness of Teqoa and made their camp next to the water of the cistern at Asphar. 34 Bacchides learned of it on a Sabbath day, and he and his whole army went and crossed the Jordan. 35And he sent his brother to lead the mass of people, and encouraged his Nabatean friends to allow them to deposit their baggage with them, of which there was a considerable amount. 36But the Jambriites from Medeba went out and seized John and all that he had, and went off, taking it with them. 37 After these events, it was reported to Jonathan and his brother Simon that the sons of Jambri were making a great wedding and leading the bride—a daughter of one of the great chieftains of Canaan—from Nadabath, with a large entourage. 38Remembering the blood of their brother John, they went up and hid under the overhang of the mountain. 39They lifted up their eyes and—behold: they saw hustle-bustle and a lot of baggage, and the bridegroom had come out, along with his friends and his brothers, to meet them with drums and musical instruments and many weapons. 40They pounced upon them from ambush and killed them; many fell, mortally wounded, and the survivors fled toward the mountain; they took all their booty. 41Thus did their wedding turn into mourning and the sound of their musical instruments into lamentation. 42Having taken vengeance for the blood of their brother, they returned to the marshes of the Jordan. 43 Bacchides heard and went on a Sabbath day to the bank of the Jordan, with a large force. 44But Jonathan said to those with him: 31

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Let us arise and fight for our lives; for today is not like yesterday or two days ago. 45Behold: the battle is in front of us, and the water of the Jordan is behind us on this side and on that side, also marshes and thickets, and there is no place to escape. 46Now, therefore, cry out to heaven, so that you might be saved from the hand of our enemies. Battle was joined, and Jonathan stretched out his hand to smite Bacchides—but he escaped from him toward the rear. 48And Jonathan and his men plunged into the Jordan and swam across to the other side, and (the others) did not cross the Jordan after them. 49 About a thousand of Bacchides’s men fell that day. 50 But he returned to Jerusalem and built up powerful cities in Judea: the fortress in Jericho and Emmaus, Beth H.oron, Bethel, Timnatha-Pharathon, and Tephon, with high walls, gates, and bars. 51And he stationed garrisons in them, to harass Israel. 52 He also fortified the city of Beth Zur and Gezer and the Akra, and stationed in them troops along with supplies of food. 53And he took the sons of the leaders of the land as hostages, and put them under guard in the Akra in Jerusalem. 54 In the 153rd year, in the second month, Alcimus gave an order to destroy the wall of the outer court of the Temple, thus destroying the works of the prophets; and he began the work of destruction. 55But at that time Alcimus suffered a stroke, and so his projects were stymied; his mouth was walled up, and he became paralyzed and was no longer able to say a word or to give orders (even) about his own house. 56And Alcimus died at that time, in great suffering. 57When Bacchides saw that Alcimus had died, he returned to the king. And the land of Judah was quiet for two years. 58 But then all the wicked men took counsel together and said, “Behold: Jonathan and his men are living confidently and safely. Now let us bring Bacchides and let him seize them all in a single night!” 59So they went (to him) and conspired with him. 60 He set out to go with a large force and secretly sent letters to all his allies in Judea, so they should capture Jonathan and his men; but they could not, for their plot had become known. 61And they seized from among the people of the land those who were the main authors of the wickedness, some fifty men, and killed them. 62Jonathan and Simon and those who were with him removed themselves to Beth Basi, which is in the wilderness, and built up its ruins and strengthened it. 63When that became known to Bacchides, he assembled all of his horde and summoned those (of his troops) in Judea. 64 And he went and encamped near Beth Basi and fought it for many days, and made siege-machines. 65 Jonathan left his brother Simon in the city, went out into the countryside, and came back with a small number of men. 66He smote Odomera and his brothers and the sons of Phasiron in their tents, and they began to attack and came up in force, 67 while Simon and those with him came out of the city and burnt the machines. 68And so they fought against Bacchides and he was defeated by them, and it depressed him greatly that his plan and his invasion had come to naught. 69He became very angry at the wicked men who had counseled him to come to the land, and he killed many of them; (then) he decided to leave for his own land. 70When Jonathan learned of that, he sent envoys to him to make peace with him and (to arrange) that he would return his captives to them. 71He agreed and did in accordance with his words, and swore to him that he would not seek to harm him all the days of his life. 72And he returned to him the 47

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captives he had earlier taken in the land of Judah and departed, returning to his land; never again did he come within their borders. 73 And the sword ceased in Israel, and Jonathan resided in Michmash. And Jonathan began to judge the people and made the impious disappear from Israel.

Notes 9:1. a second time. That is, after the campaign that began at 7:8–9. This is the author’s way of reminding the reader of where the story was before the Roman episode that filled chapter 8. right wing, τὸ δεξιὸν κέρας. On the noun, cf. the Note on 2:48, gave no quarter. This wing was commanded by Bacchides himself (vv. 12, 14). As Bar-Kochva notes (1989, 392, with references), “the supreme command customarily fought and took personal charge of the right-wing cavalry.” Cf. the Note on 6:6, Lysias had gone at the head of. 9:2. Gilgal . . . Maisaloth . . . Arbel. This verse is problematic because, of the three toponyms, the first refers clearly to a site near Jericho (cf. Josh 4:19–20), the second is unknown, and the third, Arbel, is known as a site north of Tiberias (see, e.g., Josephus, Vita 188, 311); since the Syrian army came from the north, the order of the first and third places is backwards. One option is to change “Gilgal” to “Galilee” (with Josephus, Ant. 12.421) and to take “Maisaloth” to be a transcription of Heb. məsillôt (as in 2 Chr 9:11), meaning the “stairs” in the heights that lead up to Arbel; so Abel 1923–1926b, 381–382. This reading, however, has the philological difficulty of the absence of an article, the historical disadvantage of positing Hasmonean combat in the Galilee years before that is expected (see the Note on 11:63, Kedesh in the Galilee), and the literary disadvantage of inserting an aside on events in the Galilee between the references to the land of Judah in v. 1 and to Jerusalem in v. 3. The other option is to stick with the manuscripts and “Gilgal” and either posit the existence of an otherwise unknown Judean Arbel or emending: Bar-Kochva (1989, 556–557) proposes that the original Hebrew text referred to har bēt ’ēl (“Mount Bethel”), which would denote hills north of Jerusalem. In the absence of any direct evidence for the existence of such a toponym, however, the matter must remain unresolved. captured it, προκατελάβαντο. On this verb, see the Note on 5:11, and capture the fortress. 9:3. 152nd year, 160/159 BCE, according to the SEbab system, as is suggested by the use of the ordinal number for the first month, which corresponds to the spring, when campaigns usually begin. See Introduction 3, n. 48. they encamped over against Jerusalem, παρενέβαλον ἐπὶ Ιερουσαλημ. Abel (1923–1926b, 382; 1949, 159–160) translates the preposition as “à” (= at) or even prefers to read εἰς with Alexandrinus and concludes that Bacchides and Alcimus first went to Jerusalem, where the latter was (re-)installed as high priest; only thereafter, he proposes, did Bacchides depart (“partirent,” v. 4) from the capital in order to confront Judas north of the city. However, that is quite an involved story. It is much simpler to take ἐπί here as meaning “opposite” (so Bar-Kochva 1989, 385, who points out that Jerusalem can be seen from the heights of Beth-El) or, as Josephus (Ant. 12.421–422), to take the story to mean that Bacchides had been on his way toward Jerusalem when he learned where Judas was encamped north of the city and therefore went there instead.

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9:4. set out and came, καὶ ἀπῆραν καὶ ἐπορεύθησαν. As noted in the previous Note, Abel took the first verb as “partir,” as if it referred specifically to departure from Jerusalem, and used that in building a significantly new story. However, the collocation of these verbs with no mention of the place that is being left (= no interest in it) is quite standard in 1 Maccabees (3:40, 7:10, 12:40, 13:22), and in such cases all this means is “set out” or “broke camp,” the collocation meaning no more than “upped and went”; note that, indeed, Abel translates the verb in the first two of the four last-mentioned passages as “s’étant mis en marche” and “s’étant mis en route” (Abel 1949, 65, 133), and I see no reason for his preference of “partir” in the latter two (pp. 229, 239), as here. Note also 5:66, ἀπῆρε τοῦ πορευθῆναι (“set out to go”). Had the author meant to allude to the departure from Jerusalem, we would expect that city to be mentioned—an expectation bolstered by such passages as Exod 16:1 and 19:2. Bereth. Kappler (1936, 34) considers the reading Βερεθ to be beyond all doubt; in his apparatus for this verse he refers to Abel 1923–1926b, 382, and De Bruyne 1932, x. In that early publication, Abel identified the site with Al-Bireh, near Ramallah. Later, however, following De Vaux (1946, 260–261), Abel (1948, 187–188) abandoned Βερεθ in favor of Βεηρζαθ, which survived in several Lucian witnesses and which he takes to be the pre-Lucianic text (reflected also in Josephus, Ant. 12.422). This allows for the identification of the site as Birzeit, in the Gophna Hills, and in turn entails a location of Elasa far to the south of El-Birah; see the Note on v. 5, Elasa. Bar-Kochva (1989, 385–386), however, stuck with Abel’s original reading and identification, dismissing Βεηρζαθ as being a result of confusion. For a map of the relevant sites, see Bar-Kochva 1989, 383. 9:5. Judas was encamped. That is, he was already encamped there, and so the battle was thrust upon him. On the word order here, as at 13:13 (although there the tense is different), see below, the Note on v. 67, came out of the city. Elasa. This must have been very near “Bereth”; note that Josephus, in his account of this battle (Ant. 12.422–430), does not even mention Elasa. For its location, see Abel 1923–1926b, 383–385; Abel 1948, 187–188; J. Goldstein 1976, 373; and BarKochva 1989, 386–388. Abel originally identified it as Il‘asa, somewhat more than half a mile southwest of Al-Bireh, but later, along with his new identification of “Bereth” (see the Note on v. 4, Bereth), he instead pointed to Kh. Il‘asa, between upper and lower Beth H.oron. Goldstein and Bar-Kochva both maintain that Abel’s original identifications were more convincing. 9:6. for it was so multitudinous, they were very afraid. Lange and Weigold (2011, 241) suggest that this is playing with Num 22:3, a suggestion that gains in probability insofar as v. 8 seems to play with Num 22:6, and 11:42, with Num 22:17. very afraid, as at 3:16–22 and 4:6–11. But in those cases Judas’s speech focused on the power of God, not on the heroic need to adhere to manliness. See Introduction 4B. 9:7. he was brokenhearted, καὶ συνετρίβη τῇ καρδίᾳ. Cf. τοὺς συντετριμμένους τῇ καρδίᾳ for nišbərê lēb in LXX Isa 61:1 and καρδίαν συντετριμμένην for lēb nišbār in LXX Ps 50 (MT 51):19. 9:8. he became very angry, ἐξελύθη. At 3:17 and 10:82 this verb refers to becoming weak or worn out. But that would not at all be appropriate for the heroic Judas; therefore, I have translated on the assumption that the original Hebrew was wayyiz‘af, translated this way in the Septuagint of 2 Chr 26:19, where RSV and NETS render “angry.”

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perhaps we will indeed be able to fight against them, echoing Balak in Num 22:6? 9:9. they attempted to dissuade him. Perhaps readers are meant to think of the defeatist spies of Num 13:27–33, who serve as foils for the more honorable heroes. 9:10. Far be it from me, Μή μοι γένοιτο. J. Goldstein (1976, 374) illustrates the expression by comparing 2 Sam 23:17 and 1 Chr 11:19. But although both of those passages use “far be it from me” (h.ālîlâ lî), they also refer immediately thereafter to God (the RSV renders “far be it from me, O Lord” and “far be it from me before my God,” respectively). The author of 1 Maccabees, typically (and as at 2:21, where the same expression appears, although rendered differently in the Greek), leaves God out (just as Abel 1949, just as typically, inserts him into his translation here: “Dieu me garde”; cf. his “Que le Ciel nous garde” at 2:21); see Introduction 4, at n. 39. This point is especially pertinent in light of the immediate continuation here about what (rather than Who) makes things happen or not happen. Judas’s speech here is indeed a far cry from those in similar situations at 3:18–22, 59–60 and 4:8–11; see the Comments. our moment has come, to die. For this notion, that the καιρός (“moment”) might or might not be propitious, which means that this formulation is comparable to “if our number comes up,” compare the Note on 12:1, the moment was going his way. and not leave any blemish upon our honor. For this so Hellenistic notion, see Danker 1982, 354–355, and Himmelfarb 2008. As is noted by Tomes (2007, 179), Judas’s statement here is very similar to Eumenes of Cardia’s, according to Diodorus 19.42.5: although heavily outnumbered, Eumenes viewed it “shameful to yield to fortune and flee” (εἶξαι τῇ τύχῃ καὶ φυγεῖν αἰσχρὸν διέλαβεν). Indeed, just a page later (at 19.43.3) it is the καιρός to which Eumenes is forced to submit. Cf. the Note on 6:44, make for himself an eternal name. 9:11. The force set out from the camp, καὶ ἀπῆρεν ἡ δύναμις. The Latin (De Bruyne 1932, 51, version B) specifies that it was Judas’s force that set out, with the Seleucid force’s deployment (depicted later in the verse) being a response; this would fit the tendency of 1 Maccabees to make Judas the hero and even suggest that his speech had some effect on his followers. However, nothing is said of the latter, and so it seems more natural to take the entire verse as referring to the Seleucids. See Bar-Kochva 1989, 390–391; he also discusses some of the details mentioned in the rest of this verse. 9:12. the phalanx advanced on both sides, ἐκ τῶν δύο μερῶν. That is, soldiers from both parts of the phalanx advanced. For the division of a phalanx into left and right parts, Bar-Kochva (1989, 393) points to Arrian, Tactica 8.2–3; see also Asclepiodotus 2.6. 9:13. from early morning to evening, ἀπὸ πρωΐθεν ἕως ἑσπέρας (phrasing as LXX Exod 18:13)—which shows that if the Judeans indeed lost, it was not without putting up a good fight. So too 10:50, 80. 9:15. until the border of Azotus. Rahlfs and Kappler read here ἔως Ἀζώτου ὄρους (“to the mountain of Azotus”). This has long been recognized as a problem, since this battle, north of Jerusalem (see the Notes on vv. 4–5), transpired far away from Azotus (Ashdod), and anyway there are no mountains near Ashdod. Two main solutions have been proposed. The first is that the present text represents a misreading of an original Hebrew text that referred not to ’ašdôd but rather to ’ašdôt, “slopes,” in which case the text referred to a pursuit “until the slopes of the mountain” (so Abel [1949, 162, n. 35], who actually emends the Greek text here to ασηδωθ τοῦ ὄρους),

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which is either the name of a specific place (as perhaps in Josh 13:20) or, more generally, a reference to the slopes of some mountain where pursuit became more difficult (cf. Num 21:15). The other solution assumes that the present consonantal text is fine but that, with van Henten 1983, we should take ὄρους not (as usual) as the genitive singular of τὸ ὄρος (mountain) but rather, with rough breathing, as the accusative plural of ὁ ὅρος (border). In the latter case, the text would be reporting a pursuit “until the border of Azotus,” similar to other cases reported in this book (4:15, 16:10). This interpretation is attractive, and I have adopted it here, not without some reservation due to the rare use of the accusative (see van Henten 1983, 47–49) and to the fact that, while ὅρος = “border” is well-documented in Greek (LSJ, 1255, s.v.), 1 Maccabees always (twenty-one times) uses ὅριον (or actually the plural, ὅρια [as is emphasized by Melamed 1932, 470]) with an iota, for “border(s)”; note especially 14:34, τὴν ἐπὶ τῶν ὁρίων Ἀζώτου. In fact, ὅρος appears only twice in the Septuagint, never of “border,” while ὅριον appears frequently; see Muraoka 2009, 505–507. For discussion, see especially Keil 1875, 151; Abel 1923–1926b, 285–286; van Henten 1983; and Bar-Kochva 1989, 395–398. 9:17. of these and of those, ἐκ τούτων καὶ ἐκ τούτων. On this Hebraism, see the Note on 8:30, these or those. 9:19. Jonathan and Simon. The reference to Simon is puzzling. If the point were to refer to Judas’s heir, it would have been enough to refer to Jonathan, especially in light of v. 29, which says that there was no one else like Jonathan. If, on the other hand, the point were to refer to the remaining brothers, it is strange that John is not mentioned. Therefore it seems that this should be viewed as the first of several passages in which the author has inserted Simon alongside Jonathan because it is Simon and his progeny that the book is meant, in the end, to glorify. See the Note on v. 33, Jonathan and his brother Simon. in Modiin. See 2:70 and 13:25–30. 9:21. “How has there fallen . . .”—echoing David’s lament for Saul, the first king of Israel, at 2 Sam 1:19, 25. 9:22. and the wars and acts of valor that he did, καὶ τῶν πολέμων καὶ τῶν ἀνδραγαθιῶν, ὧν ἐποίησε—the same formulation as in 10:15 and 16:23. These are the credentials of the compleat Hasmonean, as other great rulers; cf. 1 Kgs 22:46 and 2 Kgs 14:15. The second noun probably reflects gəbûrôt, as in Esth 10:2, and indeed may well be playing with that verse: while it was possible to write down all the acts of valor of King Ahasuerus, it was not possible to do the same for Judas. For other echoes of Esther in this book, see the Note on 7:26, one who hated . . . and was hostile. For the hypothesis that this verse points to the use of a source about Judas, see Introduction 3, n. 32. 9:23. all the workers of injustice sprouted up again, καὶ ἀνέτειλαν πάντες οἱ ἐργαζόμενοι τὴν ἀδικίαν, apparently echoing Ps 92:7 (“though the wicked sprout like grass and all evildoers flourish”). Cf. the Septuagint (91:8): ἐν τῷ ἀνατεῖλαι τοὺς ἁμαρτωλοὺς ὡς χόρτον καὶ διέκυψαν πάντες οἱ ἐργαζόμενοι τὴν ἀνομίαν. These are those termed “impious men” in v. 25, the kind of “renegades” condemned at 1:11—15, who were still doing their best; cf. 7:5. throughout the borders of Israel, ἐν πᾶσιν τοῖς ὁρίοις Ισραηλ. This expanded version of the phrase at 2:46 reflects the growth of the nascent state.

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9:24. very severe famine, λιμὸς μέγας. This passage has attracted emendations, on the assumption that the translator read rā‘āb (“famine,” “hunger”), which does not fit the context. Torrey (1902, 2859) suggested that the original read R‘M, that is, ra‘am, “thunder” (apparently he took it to be a metaphorical way of referring to the land’s protest against the wicked mentioned in v. 23); and Šanda (1931/32, 288), who posited that same original consonantal text, argued that it should be vocalized as rō‘ām (“their wickedness”), “was einzig zum Kontext passt.” Torrey’s emendation was adopted by various scholars, including Oesterley (1913, 98, with a long note), who renders this and the next words as “in those days there arose exceeding great murmuring that the land made peace with them,” explaining that “by ‘the land’ is meant everyone excepting the faithful, who were now obviously in a minority,” so the verse means that there was, amidst members of that faithful minority, great murmuring that expressed resentment at the fact that “the land” made peace with Bacchides. But Torrey’s translation is hardly intelligible, and, as Abel observed (1949, 165), for Torrey’s emendation to be convincing we would prefer the clauses of this verse were reversed (first the unfaithful made their peace with the enemy, and that caused the faithful to “murmur”); beyond that, it is a significant stretch first to emend “famine” to ra‘am and then to interpret the latter as “murmuring.” As for Šanda’s suggestion, it does not account for μέγας, and as Jonathan Howard points out, biblical usage would lead us to expect not rō‘ām but rā‘ātām (e.g., Jer 1:16, 14:16; Jonah 1:2); while rōa‘ is used in the construct state of wicked actions (e.g., Deut 28:20, Isa 1:16, Hos 9:15) and wicked hearts (1 Sam 17:28), when used independently (which is rare in the Bible), as Šanda posits here, it refers not to wickedness but rather to poor quality (see Gen 41:19 and Jer 24:2, 29:17). Moreover, it seems that a reference to famine does work well in the present context, insofar as the text is indicating just how bad things were at the present juncture. On this famine, see especially Pastor 2007. the country deserted with them, καὶ αὐτομόλησεν ἡ χώρα μετ’ αὐτῶν. That is, the famine is interpreted as if the country itself betrayed the rebels and went over to the side of the villains mentioned in v. 23, the “impious men” mentioned in v. 25. The idea is the same as that at 1:28a (as also, in the other direction, at 14:8: when things go well, the land also contributes its part). True, commentators tend, probably because of the use of αὐτομολέω (“desert”), to take the author to mean that many rebels gave up or even made their peace with Bacchides and Alcimus; in that context, the reference to the famine is taken to excuse their behavior. So, for example, Sievers 1990, 73; also J. Goldstein 1976, 376–377, as well as many surveyed by Pastor 2007, 32–34. Indeed, such a development could easily be understood and is in evidence elsewhere in this book (at 6:49 and 13:49–50). Here, however, it is the land (χώρα) that is said to have deserted, and it is not accurate to say that “at least twice 1 Maccabees uses chora in the sense of the ‘people,’ in 9:53; and in 14:28” (Pastor 2007, 34), for in both passages, there is a separate noun that refers to the people, who are defined by their relationship to the chora (“the leaders of the land”; “elders of the land”). That is, the author does not claim (or admit) here that supporters of the Hasmoneans deserted their cause. 9:27. since the day that, ἀφ ἧς ἡμέρας. For the formulation, cf. 1:11. Note that the text does not mean “since the day since that” but only, apparently, “since the day on which.” This leads Levison (1997, 39–41, 46) to argue that “the author of 1 Maccabees compares a contemporary crisis with a day of crisis in the past, on which no prophet ap-

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peared,” but he does not claim that prophecy was not renewed since then, an issue that does not concern the author here. The latter point is true. It does not suggest, however, that the opposite—that the author thought prophecy had since been renewed—is true. Moreover, the fact that we know of no particular day when no prophet appeared and it was taken to be a catastrophe suggests that perhaps the catastrophe was the very failure of a prophet to appear—but this itself implies that prophets ceased to appear. no prophet appeared to them, οὐκ ὤφθη προφήτης αὐτοῖς. At Ant. 13.5, Josephus takes this to refer to the time of the return from Babylonia, but probably he is referring more generally to the first generation(s) thereafter—the days of the last canonical prophets: Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. This would conform to Josephus’s statement at Ag. Ap. 1.37–43 that prophecy continued only until the days of Artaxerxes; on the precise sense of his claim, see S. Mason 2019. For rabbinic evidence for the same view, see Introduction 5, n. 22. For the suggestion that the text here refers specifically to the Babylonian exile, see Cook 2011, 68–70. But that would require us to conclude that the author denies the canonicity of the postexilic prophets mentioned above, also that the author contradicted himself in v. 54. So probably Josephus’s interpretation is more reasonable. For this book’s presumption that the era of prophecy was over, see also 4:46 and 14:41. As the latter passage shows, as long as that situation did not change, it did not cost the Hasmoneans’ mouthpiece anything to give lip service to the view that it constituted a “great affliction,” and by doing that he threw a bone to potential opponents; see Introduction 4, at n. 73. 9:28. there gathered together, ἠθροίσθησαν. On the translation, see the Note on 2:16, stuck together. 9:29. and (all) those who are hostile to our people, καὶ ἐν τοῖς ἐχθραίνουσιν τοῦ ἔθνους ἡμῶν; so most witnesses, Rahlfs, Kappler, and Abel. It seems that already some ancient scribes inferred, from the preceding reference to enemies and Bacchides, that the present words must refer to Judeans; therefore, some Lucianic witnesses and a Syriac version add ἀπό before τοῦ, yielding “and our enemies from among our own people.” This makes sense (and is followed by the RSV [“and to deal with those of our nation who hate us”] and by J. Goldstein [1976, 377]), but, as usual, when a late reading makes sense, one has to suspect that it is an alleviating correction—one that, in this case, bespeaks a desire to make the author of 1 Maccabees distinguish more clearly between Judean and Gentile enemies than he seems in fact to do. Cf. the Notes on 2:44, sin