2 Macc 81 In truth, Judas Maccabeus, and those who were with him, went secretly into the villages, and, calling together their relatives and friends, and accepting among them those who persevered in Judaism, they brought six thousand men together. 2 And they called upon the Lord: to look upon his people, who were down trodden by all; and to take pity on the temple, which was defiled by the impius; 3 and even to take pity on the city by utter destruction, for it was willing to be immediately leveled to the ground; and to hear the voice of the blood that was crying out to him, 4 so that he would remember also the most iniquitous deaths of the innocent little ones, and the blasphemies brought upon his name; and to show his indignation over these things. 5 And so Maccabeus, having gathered together a multitude, could not be withstood by the Gentiles. For the wrath of the Lord had turned into mercy. 6 And so, overwhelming the towns and cities unexpectedly, he set them on fire. And, occupying strategic positions, he made no small slaughter of the enemies. 7 Moreover, especially in the nights, he carried out expeditions in this way. And the fame of his virtuous strength was spread abroad everywhere. 8 Then Philip, seeing that the man gained ground little by little, and that things frequently fell out in his favor, wrote to Ptolemy, governor of Coelesyria and Phoenicia, to send auxiliaries to carry out the work of the king. 9 And so, he quickly sent Nicanor, son of Patroclus, from his foremost friends, providing him with no less than twenty thousand armed men from throughout the Gentiles, to wipe out the entire race of the Jews, joining with him Gorgias, a military man with very great experience in the things of warfare. 10 Moreover, Nicanor decided to raise a tribute for the king of two thousand talents, which was to be given to the Romans, and which would be supplied by means of the captivity of the Jews. 11 And immediately he sent to the maritime cities, calling them to the auction of the Jewish slaves, promising them a parcel of ninety slaves for one talent, not reflecting on the vengeance which would befall him subsequently from the Almighty. 12 Then, when Judas learned that Nicanor was approaching, he revealed it to those Jews who were with him. 13 And certain ones among them, being afraid and not trusting in the justice of God, turned and fled away. 14 In truth, others sold all that was in excess, and together beseeched the Lord, that he would rescue them from the impious Nicanor, who had sold them before he even came near them, 15 and if not for their sakes, then for the sake of the covenant which was made with their fathers, and for the sake of the invocation of his holy and magnificent name over them. 16 But Maccabeus, calling together seven thousand who were with him, asked them not to be reconciled to the enemies, and not to fear the multitude of the enemies who came against them unjustly, but to struggle with fortitude, 17 holding before their eyes the contempt that had been brought upon the holy place by them, and likewise also the mockery which they held to the injury of the city, even to the extent of overthrowing the institutions of old. 18 For he said that these, indeed, trust in their weapons, as well as in their boldness; but we trust in the Almighty Lord, who is able to wipe out both those coming against us, and even the whole world, with one nod. 19 Moreover, he reminded them also of the assistance of God which their parents had received; and how, under Sennacherib, one hundred and eighty-five thousand had perished; 20 and of the battle by them, which was against the Galatians in Babylonia, how, when the event had arrived and the allies of the Macedonians hesitated, though they were only six thousand in all, yet they slew one hundred and twenty thousand, because of the help provided to them from heaven; and how, for the sake of these things, very many benefits followed. 21 By these words, they were brought to constancy and were prepared to die for the laws and their nation. 22 And so, he appointed his brothers as leaders over each division: Simon, and Joseph, and Jonathan, subjecting one thousand and five hundred men to each of them. 23 And at that point, the holy book having been read to them by Esdras, and having given them a sign of the assistance of God, with himself leading the first point, he joined battle with Nicanor. 24 And, with the Almighty as their helper, they slew over nine thousand men. Furthermore, having wounded and disabled the greater part of the army of Nicanor, they forced them to take flight. 25 In fact, they took away the money from those who came to buy them, and they pursued them everywhere. 26 But they turned back at the close of the hour, for it was before the Sabbath. For this reason, they did not continue the pursuit. 27 But, having gathered together their weapons and spoils, they kept the Sabbath, blessing the Lord who had delivered them in that day, showering the beginning of mercy on them. 28 In truth, after the Sabbath, they divided the spoils to the disabled, and the orphans, and the widows, and the remainder they kept for themselves and their own. 29 And so, when these things were done, and supplication was made by all in common, they asked the merciful Lord to be reconciled to his servants unto the end. 30 And, among those who were fighting against them with Timothy and Bacchides, they slew more than twenty thousand, and they obtained the high fortresses, and they divided many spoils, making equal portions for the disabled, the fatherless, and the widows, and even the aged. 31 And when they had carefully collected their weapons, they stored them all in strategic places, and, in truth, the remainder of the spoils they carried to Jerusalem. 32 And they put to death Philarches, a wicked man, who was with Timothy, who had brought many afflictions upon the Jews. 33 And when they celebrated the song of victory at Jerusalem, they burned him who had set fire to the sacred doors, that is, Callisthenes, when he had taken refuge in a certain house, repaying him a worthy reward for his impieties. 34 But as for that most vicious Nicanor, who had led in a thousand merchants for the sale of the Jews, 35 he was brought low with the help of the Lord, and by those whom he considered to be worthless. Putting aside the glorious vestments, fleeing by an inland route, he arrived alone at Antioch, having been brought to the greatest unhappiness by the destruction of his army. 36 And he who had promised to pay a tribute to the Romans from the captives of Jerusalem, now professed that the Jews had God as their protector, and, for this reason, they were invulnerable, because they followed the laws established by him.
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