2 Macc 51 At the same time, Antiochus prepared for a second journey into Egypt. 2 But it happened, throughout the entire city of Jerusalem, that there were seen, for forty days, horsemen rushing through the air, having golden robes, and armed with spears, like a cohort of soldiers, 3 and horses, set in order by ranks, running, coming together to engage in close combat, and the shaking of shields, and a helmeted multitude stretching forth swords, and the casting of darts, and the splendor of golden armor, and all kinds of breastplates. 4 Because of this, everyone begged that these prodigies might be turned to good. 5 But when a false rumor went out, as though the life of Antiochus had expired, Jason, taking with him no less than one thousand men, suddenly assaulted the city. And, though the citizens together rushed to the wall, the city at last was taken, and Menelaus fled into the stronghold. 6 Truly, Jason did not spare his citizens from the slaughter; not realizing that success at the expense of kin is a very great evil, he considered those over whom he was victorious to be enemies, and not citizens. 7 And so, he certainly did not obtain the leadership, but truly, in the end, received confusion for his betrayals, and he departed again to take refuge among the Ammonites. 8 In the end, to his ruin, he was enclosed by Aretas, the sovereign of the Arabs. And then, fleeing from city to city, hated by all as a detestable fugitive from the laws, and as an enemy of his own nation and citizens, he was expelled into Egypt. 9 And he who had expelled many from their native land perished abroad, starting out toward the Lacedaemonians, as if, for the sake of kinship, he should have refuge there. 10 And he who cast out many, unburied, was himself also cast out, both unlamented and unburied, and without having use of either foreign burial or a share of the sepulcher of his fathers. 11 And so, when these things were done, the king suspected that the Jews would desert the alliance. And because of this, departing from Egypt with a raging soul, he indeed took the city by force. 12 Moreover, he ordered the military to execute, and not to spare, anyone they met, and to ascend through the houses to slay. 13 Therefore, a massacre occurred of youths and elders, an extermination of women and children, a killing of virgins and little ones. 14 And so, over three whole days, eighty thousand were executed, forty thousand were imprisoned, and no small number were sold. 15 But, as if this were not enough, he even presumed to enter into the most holy temple in the entire world, with Menelaus, that traitor to the law and to his own nation, as his guide. 16 And, taking in his wicked hands the holy vessels, which were given by other kings and cities for the adornment and glory of the place, he unworthily handled and contaminated them. 17 So Antiochus, having gone astray in mind, did not consider that, because of the sins of the inhabitants of the city, God had become angry for a while, and so, for this reason, contempt had fallen upon the place. 18 Otherwise, if it had not happened that they were involved in so many sins, as with Heliodorus, who was sent by king Seleucus to plunder the treasury, so also this one, as soon as he had arrived, certainly would have been scourged and driven away from his audacity. 19 Truly, God did not choose the people because of the place, but the place because of the people. 20 And therefore, the place itself also became a participant in the evils of the people. But afterwards, it shall be a companion to what is good. And she who was abandoned to the wrath of Almighty God shall be exalted again with the greatest glory, at the reconciliation of the great Lord. 21 Therefore, when Antiochus had taken away from the temple one thousand eight hundred talents, he quickly returned to Antioch, thinking, in his arrogance, to navigate the earth, even by finding a passage leading across the open ocean: such was the elation of his mind. 22 Yet he left behind rulers to afflict the people. In fact, at Jerusalem, Philip was by birth a Phrygian, but he was in manners more cruel than he who had appointed him. 23 Yet Andronicus and Menelaus hung a heavier weight over the citizens at Garizim than the others. 24 And when he had been appointed over the Jews, he sent that hateful leader, Apollonius, with an army of twenty-two thousand, instructing him to execute all men in the prime of life, and to sell the women and the youths. 25 When he had arrived at Jerusalem, feigning peace, he remained quiet until the holy day of the Sabbath. And then, when the Jews were taking rest, he instructed his own to take up arms. 26 And he slaughtered all those who were seen going out. And rushing throughout the city with armed men, he destroyed a vast multitude. 27 But Judas Maccabeus, who was the tenth, had withdrawn himself to a deserted place, and there he lived life among the wild beasts in the mountains, with his own. And they remained there, consuming herbs as food, lest they be partakers in the defilement.
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