Thoughts and Reflection
Today we read about Judas Maccabeus coming into Jerusalem. The desolation of the Temple is one of the greater offenses to the Lord. Today we read about it’s restoration and the origin of the Feast of Hanukkah. Maccabeus’ men have faith in the Lord as they go forward to fight against Timothy.
The people’s courage comes from their knowledge that the Lord is real and fighting for them. This should be our source of courage as well.
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!
2 Maccabees 10
1 Maccabaeus and his companions, under the Lord’s guidance, restored the Temple and the city,
3 They purified the sanctuary and built another altar; then, striking fire from flints and using this fire, they offered the first sacrifice for two years, burning incense, lighting the lamps and setting out the loaves.
4 When they had done this, prostrating themselves on the ground, they implored the Lord never again to let them fall into such adversity, but if they should ever sin, to correct them with moderation and not to deliver them over to blasphemous and barbarous nations.
6 They kept eight festal days with rejoicing, in the manner of the feast of Shelters, remembering how, not long before at the time of the feast of Shelters, they had been living in the mountains and caverns like wild beasts.
8 They also decreed by public edict, ratified by vote, that the whole Jewish nation should celebrate those same days every year.
10 Our task now is to unfold the history of Antiochus Eupator, son of that godless man, and briefly to relate the evil effects of the wars.
13 Denounced, in consequence, to Eupator by the Friends of the King, he heard himself called traitor at every turn: for having abandoned Cyprus, which had been entrusted to him by Philometer, for having gone over to Antiochus Epiphanes, and for having shed no lustre on his illustrious office: he committed suicide by poisoning himself.
14 Gorgias now became general of the area; he maintained a force of mercenaries and a continual state of war with the Jews.
15 At the same time, the Idumaeans, who controlled important fortresses, were harassing the Jews, welcoming outlaws from Jerusalemand endeavouring to maintain a state of war.
17 Vigorously pressing home their attack, they seized possession of these vantage points, beating off all who fought on the ramparts; they slaughtered all who fell into their hands, accounting for no fewer than twenty thousand.
19 whereupon, Maccabaeus left Simon and Joseph, with Zacchaeus and his forces, in sufficient numbers to besiege them, and himself went off to other places requiring his attention.
24 Timotheus, who had been beaten by the Jews once before, now assembled an enormous force of mercenaries, mustering cavalry from Asia in considerable numbers, and soon appeared in Judaea, expecting to conquer it by force of arms.
26 Prostrating themselves on the terrace before the altar, they begged him to support them and to show himself the enemy of their enemies, the adversary of their adversaries, as the Law clearly states.
28 As the first light of dawn began to spread, the two sides joined battle, the one having as their pledge of success and victory not only their own valour but their recourse to the Lord, the other making their own ardour their mainstay in the fight.
29 When the battle was at its height, the enemy saw five magnificent men appear from heaven on horses with golden bridles and put themselves at the head of the Jews;
30 surrounding Maccabaeus and screening him with their own armour, they kept him unscathed, while they rained arrows and thunderbolts on the enemy until, blinded and confused, they scattered in complete disorder.
35 At daybreak on the fifth day, twenty young men of Maccabaeus’ forces, fired with indignation at the blasphemies, manfully assaulted the wall, with wild courage cutting down everyone they encountered.
36 Others, in a similar scaling operation, took the defenders in the rear, and set fire to the towers, lighting pyres on which they burned the blasphemers alive. The first, meanwhile, breaking open the gates, let the rest of the army in and, at their head, captured the town.
1 ‘God of our ancestors, Lord of mercy, who by your word have made the universe,
2 and in your wisdom have fitted human beings to rule the creatures that you have made,
6 Indeed, were anyone perfect among the sons of men, if he lacked the Wisdom that comes from you, he would still count for nothing.
8 You have bidden me build a temple on your holy mountain, and an altar in the city where you have pitched your tent, a copy of the holy Tent which you prepared at the beginning.
12 Then all I do will be acceptable, I shall govern your people justly and be worthy of my father’s throne.
13 ‘What human being indeed can know the intentions of God? And who can comprehend the will of the Lord?
14 For the reasoning of mortals is inadequate, our attitudes of mind unstable;
15 for a perishable body presses down the soul, and this tent of clay weighs down the mind with its many cares.
2 and gave him the strength to subjugate all things.
3 But when in his wrath a wicked man deserted her, he perished in his fratricidal fury.
5 Again, when, concurring in wickedness, the nations had been thrown into confusion, she singled out the upright man, preserved him blameless before God and fortified him against pity for his child.
6 She it was who, while the godless perished, saved the upright man as he fled from the fire raining down on the Five Cities,
9 But Wisdom delivered her servants from their ordeals.
10 The upright man, fleeing from the anger of his brother, was led by her along straight paths. She showed him the kingdom of God and taught him the knowledge of holy things. She brought him success in his labours and gave him full return for all his efforts;
13 She did not forsake the upright man when he was sold, but snatched him away from sin;
14 she accompanied him down into the pit, nor did she abandon him in his chains until she had brought him the sceptre of a kingdom and authority over his despotic masters, thus exposing as liars those who had traduced him, and giving him honour everlasting.
15 It was Wisdom who delivered a holy people, a blameless race, from a nation of oppressors.
21 for Wisdom opened the mouths of the dumb and made eloquent the tongues of babes.
4 From silver remove the dross and it emerges wholly purified;
5 from the king’s presence remove the wicked and on uprightness his throne is founded.