The First Book of Maccabees

MACHABEUSZE - Wojciech Stattler 18421 Maccabees is a deuterocanonical book of the Bible which was written by a Jewish author, probably about 100 BC, after the restoration of an independent Jewish kingdom. It is included in the Christian Catholic and Eastern Orthodox canons. Protestants and Jews regard it as generally reliable historically but not a part of Scripture.

Some Protestants consequently regard 1 Maccabees as part of the Apocrypha, useful for reading in the church though not canonical.

The apocryphal and historical book of 1 Maccabees provides insight into the prophecies of Daniel as well as the historical background of the celebration of Channukah.




The Last Days of Antiochus Epiphanes

6 King Antiochus was going through the upper provinces when he heard that Elymais in Persia was a city famed for its wealth in silver and gold. 2 Its temple was very rich, containing golden shields, breastplates, and weapons left there by Alexander son of Philip, the Macedonian king who first reigned over the Greeks. 3 So he came and tried to take the city and plunder it, but he could not because his plan had become known to the citizens 4 and they withstood him in battle. So he fled and in great disappointment left there to return to Babylon.

Expedition of Bacchides and Alcimus

7 In the one hundred fifty-first year Demetrius son of Seleucus set out from Rome, sailed with a few men to a town by the sea, and there began to reign. 2 As he was entering the royal palace of his ancestors, the army seized Antiochus and Lysias to bring them to him. 3 But when this act became known to him, he said, "Do not let me see their faces!" 4 So the army killed them, and Demetrius took his seat on the throne of his kingdom.

A Eulogy of the Romans

8 Now Yehudah heard of the fame of the Romans, that they were very strong and were well-disposed toward all who made an alliance with them, that they pledged friendship to those who came to them, 2 and that they were very strong. He had been told of their wars and of the brave deeds that they were doing among the Gauls, how they had defeated them and forced them to pay tribute, 3 and what they had done in the land of Spain to get control of the silver and gold mines there, 4 and how they had gained control of the whole region by their planning and patience, even though the place was far distant from them. They also subdued the kings who came against them from the ends of the earth, until they crushed them and inflicted great disaster on them; the rest paid them tribute every year. 5 They had crushed in battle and conquered Philip, and King Perseus of the Macedonians 1 and the others who rose up against them.


1. Or Kittim [back]

Bacchides Returns to Judea

9 When Demetrius heard that Nicanor and his army had fallen in battle, he sent Bacchides and Alcimus into the land of Judea a second time, and with them the right wing of the army. 2 They went by the road that leads to Gilgal and encamped against Mesaloth in Arbela, and they took it and killed many people. 3 In the first month of the one hundred fifty-second year 1 they encamped against Yerushalayim; 4 then they marched off and went to Berea with twenty thousand foot soldiers and two thousand cavalry.


1. 160 B.C.E. [back]

Revolt of Alexander Epiphanes

10 In the one hundred sixtieth year Alexander Epiphanes, son of Antiochus, landed and occupied Ptolemais. They welcomed him, and there he began to reign. 2 When King Demetrius heard of it, he assembled a very large army and marched out to meet him in battle. 3 Demetrius sent Yonatan a letter in peaceable words to honor him; 4 for he said to himself, "Let us act first to make peace with him {footnote}Greek: them{/footnote} before he makes peace with Alexander against us, 5 for he will remember all the wrongs that we did to him and to his brothers and his nation." 6 So Demetrius {footnote}Greek: he{/footnote} gave him authority to recruit troops, to equip them with arms, and to become his ally; and he commanded that the hostages in the citadel should be released to him.

Torah Portion

בֹּא (Bo)



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Yom Sheni, 5 Shevat, 5781

Monday, January 18, 2021


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