Thoughts and Reflections
Today we read that Mattathias is told by the Greeks to offer sacrifice to lead others in this practice. He is promised that they will be friends of the king and that his sons will be honored with gifts. Mattathias refuses to do so. When a fellow Jew comes forward to offer the sacrifice, Mattathias is roused by anger and kills him. He then kills the king’s ambassador. Maccabees begin to wage war on the Greeks. Mattathias dies at the end of chapter 2. Before he dies, he entrusts responsibilities to two of his sons. Simeon is wise in counsel and he will be a father figure. Judas Maccabees is a warrior and he will command the army.
About This Project
For the year 2022, I decided that my New Year’s Resolution was to read the whole Bible following the Bible in the Year plan presented by Fr. Mike Schmitz. It is a big and bold undertaking. You can follow along by subscribing. Feel free to look at previous day’s post and comment. It’s something we can all learn from together!
1 Maccabees 2
2 He had five sons, John known as Gaddi,
5 Eleazar, called Avaran, and Jonathan called Apphus.
7 he said, ‘Alas that I should have been born to witness the ruin of my people and the ruin of the Holy City, and to sit by while she is delivered over to her enemies, and the sanctuary into the hand of foreigners.
8 ‘Her Temple has become like someone of no repute,
9 the vessels that were her glory have been carried off as booty, her babies have been slaughtered in her streets, her young men by the enemy’s sword.
12 See how the Holy Place, our beauty, our glory, is now laid waste, see how the gentiles have profaned it!
15 The king’s commissioners who were enforcing the apostasy came to the town of Modein for the sacrifices.
16 Many Israelites gathered round them, but Mattathias and his sons drew apart.
17 The king’s commissioners then addressed Mattathias as follows, ‘You are a respected leader, a great man in this town; you have sons and brothers to support you.
18 Be the first to step forward and conform to the king’s decree, as all the nations have done, and the leaders of Judah and the survivors in Jerusalem; you and your sons shall be reckoned among the Friends of the King, you and your sons will be honoured with gold and silver and many presents.’
19 Raising his voice, Mattathias retorted, ‘Even if every nation living in the king’s dominions obeys him, each forsaking its ancestral religion to conform to his decrees,
20 I, my sons and my brothers will still follow the covenant of our ancestors.
23 As he finished speaking, a Jew came forward in the sight of all to offer sacrifice on the altar in Modein as the royal edict required.
24 When Mattathias saw this, he was fired with zeal; stirred to the depth of his being, he gave vent to his legitimate anger, threw himself on the man and slaughtered him on the altar.
25 At the same time he killed the king’s commissioner who was there to enforce the sacrifice, and tore down the altar.
32 A strong detachment went after them, and when it came up with them ranged itself against them in battle formation, preparing to attack them on the Sabbath day,
33 and said, ‘Enough of this! Come out and do as the king orders and you will be spared.’
41 So then and there they came to this decision, ‘If anyone attacks us on the Sabbath day, whoever he may be, we shall resist him; we must not all be killed, as our brothers were in the hiding places.’
43 All the refugees from the persecution rallied to them, giving them added support.
44 They organised themselves into an armed force, striking down the sinners in their anger, and the renegades in their fury, and those who escaped them fled to the gentiles for safety.
47 They hunted down the upstarts and managed their campaign to good effect.
52 Was not Abraham tested and found faithful, was that not considered as justifying him?
57 David for his generous heart inherited the throne of an everlasting kingdom.
64 My children, be resolute and courageous for the Law, for it will bring you glory.
65 ‘Here is your brother Simeon, I know he is a man of sound judgement. Listen to him all your lives; let him take your father’s place.
66 Judas Maccabaeus, strong and brave from his youth, let him be your general and conduct the war against the gentiles.
70 He died in the year 146 and was buried in his ancestral tomb at Modein, and all Israel mourned him deeply.
1 Fame is preferable to great wealth, favour, to silver and gold.
2 Rich and poor rub shoulders, Yahweh has made them both.