Thoughts and Reflection
Today we read in Maccabees 14 “Each man sat under his vine and his fig tree and there was none to make them afraid.” The people fight for their sovereignty which they will not hold onto it for long. They think this is a time when God will restore the kingdom that he allowed to fall due to their sinfulness. They long for a descendant of David but he does not come.
Instead, the Romans come and Israel does not become a powerful nation. They follow at the hands of Rome.
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 14
1 In the year 172, King Demetrius assembled his forces and marched into Media to raise help for the fight against Trypho.
4 The country was at peace throughout the days of Simon. He sought the good of his nation and they were well pleased with his authority, as with his magnificence, throughout his life.
7 resettling a host of captives. He conquered Gezer, Beth-Zur and the Citadel, ridding them of every impurity, and no one could resist him.
12 Each man sat under his own vine and his own fig tree, and there was no one to make them afraid.
13 No enemy was left in the land to fight them, the very kings of those times had been crushed.
14 He encouraged the afflicted members of his people, suppressing every wicked man and renegade. He strove to observe the Law,
17 But as soon as they heard that his brother Simon had succeeded him as high priest and was master of the country and the cities in it,
20 This is the copy of the letter sent by the Spartans: ‘The rulers and the city of Sparta, to Simon the high priest and to the elders and priests and the rest of the people of the Jews, greetings.
21 ‘The ambassadors whom you sent to our people have informed us of your glory and prosperity, and we are delighted with their visit.
22 We have recorded their declarations in the minutes of our public assemblies, as follows, “Numenius son of Antiochus, and Antipater son of Jason, ambassadors of the Jews, came to us to renew their friendship with us.
23 And it was the people’s pleasure to receive these personages with honour and to deposit a copy of their statements in the public archives, so that the people of Sparta might preserve a record of them. A copy was also made for Simon the high priest.” ‘
24 After this, Simon sent Numenius to Rome as the bearer of a large golden shield weighing a thousand mina, to confirm the alliance with them.
25 When these events were reported to our people, they said, ‘What mark of appreciation shall we give to Simon and his sons?
26 He stood firm, he and his brothers and his father’s house: he fought off the enemies of Israel and secured its freedom.’ So they recorded an inscription on bronze tablets and set it up on pillars on Mount Zion.
29 ‘When there was almost incessant fighting in the country Simon, son of Mattathias, a priest of the line of Joarib, and his brothers courted danger and withstood their nation’s enemies to safeguard the integrity of their sanctuary and of the Law, and so brought their nation great glory;
33 fortifying the towns of Judaea, as well as Beth-Zur on the Judaean frontier where the enemy arsenal had formerly been, and stationing in it a garrison of Jewish soldiers;
34 fortifying Joppa on the coast, and Gezer on the borders of Azotus, a place formerly inhabited by the enemy, founding a Jewish colony there, and providing the settlers with everything they needed to set them on their feet;
35 ‘In consequence of which, the people, aware of Simon’s loyalty and of the glory which he was determined to win for his nation, have made him their ethnarch and high priest, for all his services and for the integrity and loyalty which he has shown towards his nation, and for having by every means sought to enhance his people’s power;
36 ‘It has fallen to him in his time to expel the foreigners from his country, including those in the City of David in Jerusalem, who had converted it into a citadel for their own use, from which they would sally out to defile the surroundings of the sanctuary and to violate its sacred character;
37 to station Jewish soldiers there instead for the security of the country and the city; and to heighten the walls of Jerusalem;
43 he is to have personal charge of the sanctuary, and to be obeyed by all; all official documents in the country must be drawn up in his name; and he may assume the purple and may wear golden ornaments;
44 ‘Furthermore, it is against the law for any member of the public or of the priesthood to contravene any of these enactments or to contest his decisions, or to convene a meeting anywhere in the country without his permission, or to assume the purple or wear the golden brooch;
46 ‘And since the people have unanimously agreed to grant Simon the right to act as aforesaid, and
47 since Simon, for his part, has given his assent, and has consented to assume the high-priestly office and to be commander-in-chief and ethnarch of the Jews and their priests, and to preside over all:
22 Listen to your father from whom you are sprung, do not despise your mother in her old age.
23 Purchase truth — never sell it-wisdom, discipline, and discernment.
25 Your father and mother will be happy, and she who bore you joyful.