1883 Haydock Douay Rheims Bible

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II Maccabees 1:1 To the brethren, the Jews that are throughout Egypt; the brethren, the Jews that are in Jerusalem, and in the land of Judea, send health and good peace.

Egypt. They are invited to worship at Jerusalem. (Menochius) --- It seems these were most considered; perhaps being more numerous. (Calmet) --- They had also a schismatical temple. (Haydock)
II Maccabees 1:2 May God be gracious to you, and remember his covenant that he made with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, his faithful servants:

II Maccabees 1:3 And give you all a heart to worship him, and to do his will with a great heart, and a willing mind.

II Maccabees 1:4 May he open your heart in his law, and in his commandments, and send you peace.

II Maccabees 1:5 May he hear your prayers, and be reconciled unto you, and never forsake you in the evil time.

II Maccabees 1:6 And now here we are praying for you.

II Maccabees 1:7 When Demetrius reigned, in the year *one hundred and sixty-nine, we Jews wrote to you in the trouble and violence that came upon us in those years, after Jason withdrew himself from the holy land, and from the kingdom.

Year of the World 3861, Year before Christ 143. Demetrius Nicator. The date refer to what goes before. --- Nine. This author dates from autumn, whereas the preceding begins the era of Seleucides, in spring, which accounts for the apparent contradictions. (Calmet) --- Trouble. As they had written when in distress, so they now testify their joy and gratitude to God, begging their brethren to keep the dedication of the new altar. (Worthington) --- This first letter, sent during the heat of the persecution raised by Epiphanes, is lost. --- Kingdom. Judea was then tributary to Egypt; yet Jason applied to the Syrian monarch, and instead of waiting for the death of Onias III, wished to purchase his dignity, and to change the manners of the people. Josephus gives contradictory accounts of these affairs, (Calmet) if he be really the author of 4 Machabees. (Haydock)
II Maccabees 1:8 They burnt the gate, and shed innocent blood: then we prayed to the Lord, and were heard, and we offered sacrifices, and fine flour, and lighted the lamps, and set forth the loaves.

Flour, (mincha) including corn, etc. After Judas had purified the temple, the usual sacrifices were offered. (Calmet)
II Maccabees 1:9 And now celebrate ye the days of scenopegia, in the month of Casleu.

Scenopegia; viz., the encenia, or feast of the dedication of the altar, called here scenopegia, or feast of the tabernacles, from being celebrated with the like solemnity. (Challoner) (Chap. 10:6.) --- The real feast occurs in the month of Tisri. (Calmet)
II Maccabees 1:10 In the year *one hundred and eighty-eight, the people that is at Jerusalem, and in Judea, and the senate, and Judas, to Aristobolus, the preceptor of king Ptolemee, who is of the stock of the anointed priests, and to the Jews that are in Egypt, health and welfare.

Year of the World 3880, Year before Christ 124. Eight. Thus the preceding letter is dated, according to many, (Menochius) as there was no Judas or Aristobolus known at this time. But Judas, the Essene prophet, (chap. 2:14.; Worthington) must have flourished about that period; (Josephus, Antiquities 13:19.; Calmet) and one Aristobolus wrote something in the Scripture for Philometor. (Clement [of Alexander], Strom. v.; Eusebius, Hist. 2:17.) --- After Philadelphus, the kings of Egypt had commonly Jews among their preceptors. (Rupert, Vict. 10:15.) --- This person is supposed to have instructed Physcon. (Calmet)
II Maccabees 1:11 Having been delivered by God out of great dangers, we give him great thanks, forasmuch as we have been in war with such a king.

King. Antiochus Sidetes, who began to make war upon the Jews, while Simon was yet alive; (1 Machabees 15:39.) and afterwards besieged Jerusalem, under John Hircanus. So that the Judas here mentioned (ver. 10.) is not Judas Machabeus, who was dead long before the year 188 of the kingdom of the Greeks, for he died in the year 146 of that epoch; (see above, 1 Machabees 2:70., also the note on 2 Machabees 1:2.) but either Judas, the eldest son of John Hircanus, or Judas the Essene, renowned for the gift of prophecy, who flourished about that time. (Challoner) --- Epiphanes may as well be meant. The ancestors of those who wrote resisted him.
II Maccabees 1:12 For he made numbers of men swarm out of Persia, that have fought against us, and the holy city.

Persia. This country is not specified in the Roman and Alexandrian Septuagint. Other copies have, "He God made them who attacked the holy city flee in swarms to Persia." (Syriac; Vatable) --- The name of Persia now comprised all the dominions of Antiochus; Rupert understands Sidetes. (Calmet)
II Maccabees 1:13 For when the leader himself was in Persia, and with him a very great army, he fell in the temple of Nanea, being deceived by the counsel of the priests of Nanea.

Nanea. A Persian goddess, which some have taken for Diana, others for Venus. (Challoner) --- Her temple at Ecbatana was renowned, 1 Machabees 6:1.
II Maccabees 1:14 For Antiochus, with his friends, came to the place as though he would marry her, and that he might receive great sums of money under the title of a dowry.

Dowry. Thus the pagans played with religion. (Menochius) --- Anthony having espoused the Minerva of Athens, required the city to give him 1000 talents for her portion. (Dion. Seneca, suasov. 1.) --- Heliogabalus and Caligula pretended to marry the celestial Venus or the moon. (Calmet)
II Maccabees 1:15 And when the priests of Nanea had set it forth, and he with a small company had entered into the compass of the temple, they shut the temple,

II Maccabees 1:16 When Antiochus was come in: and opening a secret entrance of the temple, they cast stones and slew the leader, and them that were with him, and hewed them in pieces; and cutting off their heads they threw them forth.

Slew. Literally, "struck." Greek, "stoned." Yet Epiphanes escaped, (chap. 10:9., and 1 Machabees vi.) having received some wounds. But a fall from his chariot, and vexation, hastened his death. (Haydock) --- Some of his followers, who had advanced farther into the temple, perished. (Calmet)
II Maccabees 1:17 Blessed be God in all things, who hath delivered up the wicked.

II Maccabees 1:18 Therefore, whereas we purpose to keep the purification of the temple on the five and twentieth day of the month of Casleu, we thought it necessary to signify it to you: that you also may keep the day of scenopegia, and the day of the fire, that was given when Nehemias offered sacrifice, after the temple and the altar was built.

Scenopegia. The dedication was observed by the people bearing branches, in memory of their late forlorn condition on the mountains. (Haydock) --- See ver. 2. --- Fire. This feast occurred in Tisri, 2 Esdras 8:1, 14. (Calmet)
II Maccabees 1:19 For when our fathers were led into Persia, the priests that then were worshippers of God, took privately the fire from the altar, and hid it in a valley where there was a deep pit without water, and there they kept it safe, so that the place was unknown to all men.

Persia. Babylonia, called here Persia, from being afterwards a part of the Persian empire. (Challoner) --- Thus St. Chrysostom (H. 6. in Mat.) says, the Jews were delivered from "the Persian captivity." (Worthington) --- All beyond the Euphrates [River] was now called Persia. --- Valley of Topheth, where (Calmet) it is still shewn. (Doubdan.) --- The miraculous pit was enclosed by Artaxerxes, 2 Machabees 5:33. (Haydock) --- Four miracles occurred respecting this fire, ver. 20, 22, 32. (Worthington)
II Maccabees 1:20 But when many years had passed, and it pleased God that Nehemias should be sent by the king of Persia, he sent some of the posterity of those priests that had hid it, to seek for the fire: and as they told us, they found no fire, but thick water.

II Maccabees 1:21 Then he bade them draw it up, and bring it to him: and the priest, Nehemias, commanded the sacrifices that were laid on, to be sprinkled with the same water, both the wood, and the things that were laid upon it.

The priest. Greek, "Nehemias ordered the priests to sprinkle with the water both," etc. (Haydock) --- Modern Jews say the sacred fire was not in the second temple. But Gorionides and 4 Machabees admit this fact. (Calmet) --- Elias obtained fire upon his sacrifice nearly in the same manner. (Haydock)
II Maccabees 1:22 And when this was done, and the time came that the sun shone out, which before was in a cloud, there was a great fire kindled, so that all wondered.

II Maccabees 1:23 And all the priests made prayer, while the sacrifice was consuming, Jonathan beginning, and the rest answering.

Jonathan, one of the chief priests; perhaps Joiada, Eliasib's son. (Calmet)
II Maccabees 1:24 And the prayer of Nehemias was after this manner: O Lord God, Creator of all things, dreadful and strong, just and merciful, who alone art the good king,

II Maccabees 1:25 Who alone art gracious, who alone art just, and almighty, and eternal, who deliverest Israel from all evil, who didst choose the fathers, and didst sanctify them:

II Maccabees 1:26 Receive the sacrifice for all thy people Israel, and preserve thy own portion, and sanctify it.

II Maccabees 1:27 Gather together our scattered people, deliver them that are slaves to the Gentiles, and look upon them that are despised and abhorred: that the Gentiles may know that thou art our God.

II Maccabees 1:28 Punish them that oppress us, and that treat us injuriously with pride.

II Maccabees 1:29 Establish thy people in thy holy place, *as Moses hath spoken.

Deuteronomy 30:3-5.; 2 Machabees 2:18.
Spoken, promising these favours, Deuteronomy 30:3. (Haydock)
II Maccabees 1:30 And the priests sung hymns till the sacrifice was consumed.

II Maccabees 1:31 And when the sacrifice was consumed, Nehemias commanded the water that was left to be poured out upon the great stones.

II Maccabees 1:32 Which being done, there was kindled a flame from them: but it was consumed by the light that shined from the altar.

Altar. This second flame came immediately from heaven, and overpowered that proceeding from the mud. (Calmet)
II Maccabees 1:33 And when this matter became public, it was told to the king of Persia, that in the place where the priests that were led away, had hid the fire, there appeared water, with which Nehemias and they that were with him had purified the sacrifices.

II Maccabees 1:34 And the king considering, and diligently examining the matter, made a temple for it, that he might prove what had happened.

A temple. That is, an enclosure or a wall round about the place where the fire was hid, to separate it from profane uses, to the end that it might be respected as a holy place. (Challoner) --- Such open enclosures are often styled temples. (Calmet) --- Greek, "But the king enclosing it, made it sacred, (ieron) having examined the fact." (Haydock)
II Maccabees 1:35 And when he had proved it, he gave the priests many goods, and divers presents, and he took and distributed them to them with his own hand.

Hand. The copies vary much. (La Haye.)
II Maccabees 1:36 And Nehemias called this place Nephthar, which is interpreted purification. But many call it Nephi.

Nephthar, or rather Necphar. (Grotius) --- Nephi. Greek has the former word. Roman copy and Syriac, Naphtai; may be derived from Chaldean phetir, "pure, unmixed." (Calmet) --- Nephthar may signify "deliverance," as sacred things are rescued from common use. (Worthington)
II Maccabees 2:0 A continuation of the second letter. Of Jeremias's hiding the ark at the time of the captivity. The author's preface.

II Maccabees 2:1 Now it is found in the descriptions of Jeremias, the prophet, that he commanded them that went into captivity, to take the fire, as it hath been signified, and how he gave charge to them that were carried away into captivity.

The descriptions. That is, the records or memoirs of Jeremias, a work that is now lost. (Challoner) --- It was extant, the year before Christ 142. (Calmet) --- St. Ambrose (Of. 3:14.) writes at large concerning this miracle. (Worthington)
II Maccabees 2:2 And how he gave them the law, that they should not forget the commandments of the Lord, and that they should not err in their minds, seeing the idols of gold, and silver, and the ornaments of them.

Of them. He alludes to his epistle, (Calmet) Baruch 6:11. (Worthington)
II Maccabees 2:3 And with other such like speeches, he exhorted them that they would not remove the law from their heart.

II Maccabees 2:4 It was also contained in the same writing, how the prophet, being warned by God, commanded that the tabernacle and the ark should accompany him, till he came forth to the mountain *where Moses went up, and saw the inheritance of God.

Deuteronomy 34:1.
And the ark. These were not taken by the Chaldeans, Jeremias lii. (Menochius) --- Whether they were removed before or after the capture of the city, is disputed. (Salien, the year [of the world] 3446.) --- Besides the authority of this book, it is most probabe that Jeremias should have preserved them, as he was high in favour, Jeremias 39:11. (Worthington) --- Hence most believe that Nabuzardan granted him leave. (Calmet) --- Eupolemus says Nabuchodonosor did this after he took the city. (Eusebius, praep. 9:39.) --- Others think the prophet removed them under Joakim, having informed only a few of the priests. (N. Alex.) --- Mountain; Nebo, Deuteronomy 32:49.
II Maccabees 2:5 And when Jeremias came thither he found a hollow cave: and he carried in thither the tabernacle, and the ark, and the altar of incense, and so stopped the door.

II Maccabees 2:6 Then some of them that followed him, came up to mark the place: but they could not find it.

II Maccabees 2:7 And when Jeremias perceived it, he blamed them, saying: The place shall be unknown, till God gather together the congregation of the people, and receive them to mercy.

Mercy. Whether the ark, etc., were in the second temple, as this seems to insinuate, has been much debated. The negative seems best established and these promises refer to the Messias, prefigured by the ark. God wished to withdraw the Jews by degrees from their attachment to these sensible things, and to raise their minds to those of a more spiritual nature. (St. Ambrose) (Rupert, etc.) (Calmet, Diss.) --- Salien (the year [of the world] 3609) proves at large, that the ark was discovered at the same time as the sacred fire. (Menochius) --- Yet Josephus (Jewish Wars 6:6.) testifies, that nothing was found in the holy of holies when the Romans took it. Hence others think that the ark will be produced to the Jews by Enoch and Elias. (Ribera, in Aggeus i.) (Tournemine) --- The first opinion gives most satisfaction. When Christ collected his disciples, he received testimony from the Father and from the Holy Ghost in a bright cloud. The figures of the law are at an end, and there will be no need of restoring them at the consummation of all things. (Haydock)
II Maccabees 2:8 And then the Lord will shew these things, and the majesty of the Lord shall appear, and there shall be a cloud as it was also shewed to Moses, *and he shewed it when Solomon prayed that the place might be sanctified to the great God.

3 Kings 8:11.; 2 Paralipomenon 6:14.
II Maccabees 2:9 For he treated wisdom in a magnificent manner: and like a wise man, he offered the sacrifice of the dedication, and of the finishing of the temple.

Treated. Greek, "He was manifested, and like one possessing wisdom, he," etc. (Haydock) --- On this occasion, Solomon chiefly displayed his wisdom, praying aloud.
II Maccabees 2:10 *And as Moses prayed to the Lord, and fire came down from heaven, and consumed the holocaust: **so Solomon also prayed, and fire came down from heaven and consumed the holocaust.

Leviticus 9:24. --- ** 2 Paralipomenon 7:1.
As. Both dedications lasted eight days, and fire descended, Leviticus 9:23., and 2 Paralipomenon 7:1.
II Maccabees 2:11 And Moses said: *Because the sin-offering was not eaten, it was consumed.

Leviticus 10:16-17.
Consumed. He alludes to what Moses said after the death of Nadab, Leviticus 10:16. (Calmet) --- Fire consumed the sin-offering as well as the rest.
II Maccabees 2:12 So Solomon also celebrated the dedication eight days.

II Maccabees 2:13 And these same things were set down in the memoirs, and commentaries of Nehemias: and how he made a library, and gathered together out of the countries, the books both of the prophets, and of David, and the epistles of the kings, and concerning the holy gifts.

Set down. Greek, "explained." --- Books. The Scriptures were not lost. (Menochius) --- Perhaps before this time no complete collection of them had been made. Esdras would point out and help to discover what had been written. (Calmet) --- The senate of the nation was also present. (Simon Crit. 1:1.) --- David: the psalms. All the other books may be designated under the name of prophets. (Haydock) --- Kings; Cyrus, etc., 1 Esdras 6:3., etc. Josephus has inserted many such letters in his work. They were like the title-deeds of the nation. (Calmet) --- And. Greek, "regarding the presents;" anathematon. (Haydock)
II Maccabees 2:14 And in like manner Judas also gathered together all such things as were lost by the war we had, and they are in our possession.

Judas. This seems to be the Essene, who with others wrote this epistle; (chap. 1:10.; Worthington) or rather (Haydock) the Machabee, who was as solicitous to preserve the sacred books as Antiochus was to destroy them, 1 Machabees 1:59., and 2:48. It is said that another assembly met to admit such books into the canon as had been written since the days of Nehemias.
II Maccabees 2:15 Wherefore, if you want these things, send some that may fetch them to you.

Things, collected by Judas. The Bible had been translated into Greek before. But some records might still be wanted by the Jews in Egypt. (Calmet)
II Maccabees 2:16 As we are then about to celebrate the purification, we have written unto you: and you shall do well, if you keep the same days.

The purification. This is the feast of the purifying or cleansing of the temple, (Challoner) the 25th of Casleu, 2 Machabees 1:9, 18.
II Maccabees 2:17 And we hope that God, who hath delivered his people, and hath rendered to all the inheritance, and the kingdom, and the priesthood, and the sanctuary,

II Maccabees 2:18 *As he promised in the law, will shortly have mercy upon us, and will gather us together from every land under heaven into the holy place.

Deuteronomy 30:3-5.; 2 Machabees 1:29.
Place. They had now liberty to return. What, therefore, can they mean but the coming of the Messias, who was shortly expected? (Calmet) --- Many Jews at this time were scattered in other countries, and did not chose to return, like those of Egypt. The people of Judea wish all would live together, as they had done under Solomon. (Haydock)
II Maccabees 2:19 For he hath delivered us out of great perils, and hath cleansed the place.

Place. Read 2 Machabees 15:38. After the author had written this appendix to the former book, he resolved to add an epitome of the history. Hence in this preface he informs us of the subject, method, reason, and diligence of his short work, ver. 20, 24, 25, 26, 29. (Worthington) --- This piece is very elegant, and contains several rules for writing history. The author was a Jew as well as Jason, ver. 24.
II Maccabees 2:20 Now as concerning Judas Machabeus. and his brethren, and the purification of the great temple, and the dedication of the altar:

II Maccabees 2:21 As also the wars against Antiochus, the illustrious, and his son, Eupator:

II Maccabees 2:22 And the manifestations that came from heaven to them, that behaved themselves manfully on the behalf of the Jews, so that, being but a few they made themselves masters of the whole country, and put to flight the barbarous multitude:

Manifestations: heavenly apparitions, 2 Machabees 3:25., and 5:2. (Calmet)
II Maccabees 2:23 And recovered again the most renowned temple in all the world, and delivered the city, and restored the laws that were abolished, the Lord with all clemency shewing mercy to them.

II Maccabees 2:24 And all such things as have been comprised in five books by Jason, of Cyrene, we have attempted to abridge in one book.

II Maccabees 2:25 For considering the multitude of books, and the difficulty that they find that desire to undertake the narrations of histories, because of the multitude of the matter,

Multitude. Greek also, "confusion of numbers, and the difficulty attending those who wish to dive into eiskukleisthan, (Haydock) or to include much (Calmet) historical relations on account of the quantity of matter." (Haydock)
II Maccabees 2:26 We have taken care for those indeed that are willing to read, that it might be a pleasure of mind: and for the studious, that they may more easily commit to memory: and that all that read might receive profit.

II Maccabees 2:27 And as to ourselves indeed, in undertaking this work of abridging, we have taken in hand no easy task; yea, rather a business full of watching and sweat.

No easy task, etc. The spirit of God, that assists the sacred penman, does not exempt them from labour in seeking out the matter which they are to treat of, and the order and manner in which they are to deliver it. So St. Luke wrote the gospel, having diligently attained to all things, Luke 1:3. (Challoner) --- This evangelist had to inquire of others. (Worthington) --- Inspiration preserves from all danger of mistake. When something future is revealed, there is less difficulty, as God must then dictate the very words. Hence Jeremias wrote with the utmost ease, as Baruch testified, Jeremias 36:18, 32. (Haydock) --- The prophets had, therefore, only to write or speak from the mouth of God. Others were excited by him to treat of history, etc., and were preserved from error, but not from labour. (Bellarmine, Verb. 1:15.) --- In vain then do our adversaries attempt to prove that this book is not inspired. (Menochius)
II Maccabees 2:28 But as they that prepare a feast, and seek to satisfy the will of others: for the sake of many, we willingly undergo the labour.

Others. Greek, "have no easy task, so," etc. (Haydock) --- He alludes to the custom of choosing a master of the feast, who had to strive to give general satisfaction, Ecclesiasticus 32:1., and Esther 1:8. (Calmet)
II Maccabees 2:29 Leaving to the authors the exact handling of every particular, and as for ourselves, according to the plan proposed, studying to be brief.

Authors. Greek, "the writer." (Haydock) --- Jason resembles an excellent painter, of whose work we desire to give a copy (Calmet) in miniature, (Haydock) relying entirely on his veracity. (Sa) --- Yet as the Church esteems this work to be canonical, what is extracted must be true, and inspired, though the writer seems not to have known that he had such a privilege. God might still guide his pen. (Menochius) --- The original might also be the work of a sacred writer, as many such appear to have been lost. If it were not, what is here selected cannot be questioned. St. Paul quotes some passages even from heathen poets, which in those cases were true, and thus became part of the word of God. (Haydock)
II Maccabees 2:30 For as the master builder of a new house must have care of the whole building: but he that taketh care to paint it, must seek out fit things for the adorning of it: so must it be judged for us.

Master. Such is Jason. I only paint some parts. (Calmet) --- Paint. Greek, "to burn in and represent to the life, must," etc. (Haydock) --- The ancients painted the walls, preparing them by fire, etc. (Vitruvius 7:5.; Josephus, Antiquities 17:12.) (Calmet)
II Maccabees 2:31 For to collect all that is to be known, to put the discourse in order, and curiously to discuss every particular point, is the duty of the author of a history:

II Maccabees 2:32 But to pursue brevity of speech, and to avoid nice declarations of things, is to be granted to him that maketh an abridgment.

Nice. Greek exergastikon, "elaborate disquisitions." Both must equally seek the truth: but long details are not expected in abridgments as they are in a full history. (Haydock)
II Maccabees 2:33 Here then we will begin the narration: let this be enough by way of a preface: for it is a foolish thing to make a long prologue, and to be short in the story itself.

Itself. The account of Alexander [the Great] should be read next, 1 Machabees 1:(Worthington)
II Maccabees 3:0 Heliodorus is sent by king Seleucus to take away the treasures deposited in the temple. He is struck by God, and healed by the prayers of the high priest.

II Maccabees 3:1 Therefore, when the holy city was inhabited with all peace, and the laws as yet were very well kept, because of the godliness of Onias, the high priest, and the hatred his soul had of evil,

City. Three things contribute to the well ordering of a state: first, the agreement of the principal men; secondly, the observance of the laws; and thirdly, the eminent virtue of the ruler. While three other things disturb it: first, the obstinacy of transgressors who refuse correction; secondly, their malice, seeking revenge against superiors; and thirdly, the avarice of princes, endeavouring to rob the public treasury, ver. 4. (Worthington) --- Onias III, son of Simon II, 2 Machabees 15:12. (Calmet)
II Maccabees 3:2 It came to pass that even the kings themselves, and the princes esteemed the place worthy of the highest honour, and glorified the temple with very great gifts:

Place; city. (Haydock) --- See the letter of Antiochus the great. (Josephus, Antiquities 12:3.) (Calmet)
II Maccabees 3:3 So that Seleucus, king of Asia, allowed out of his revenues all the charges belonging to the ministry of the sacrifices.

Seleucus, son of Antiochus the great, and elder brother of Antiochus Epiphanes. (Challoner) --- His sending Heliodorus has tarnished his memory.
II Maccabees 3:4 But one Simon, of the tribe of Benjamin, who was appointed overseer of the temple, strove in opposition to the high priest, to bring about some unjust thing in the city.

Overseer for repairs, which laics might be; (2 Paralipomenon 34:8.; Calmet) or Simon was advocate, (Grotius) like the Church defenders, so often mentioned in the councils. (Calmet) --- To bring. Greek, "about disorder in the city." (Haydock)
II Maccabees 3:5 And when he could not overcome Onias, he went to Apollonius, the son of Tharseas, who at that time was governor of Celosyria, and Phenicia:

Apollonius, whom Jonathas defeated, 1 Machabees 10:69.
II Maccabees 3:6 And told him, that the treasury in Jerusalem was full of immense sums of money, and the common store was infinite, which did not belong to the account of the sacrifices: and that it was possible to bring all into the king's hands.

Store. He knew that the king provided victims. As Philopator was then in want of money, to pay the tribute imposed by the Romans on his father, he easily persuaded himself that he might seize such a common stock, the state requiring (Calmet) that individuals or cities (Haydock) should not be too rich.
II Maccabees 3:7 Now when Apollonius had given the king notice concerning the money that he was told of, he called for Heliodorus, who had the charge over his affairs, and sent him with commission to bring him the foresaid money.

Affairs. Roman Greek. Some copies read "effects," or money. All this is related of Apollonius. (4 Machabees i.)
II Maccabees 3:8 So Heliodorus forthwith began his journey, under a colour of visiting the cities of Celosyria and Phenicia, but indeed to fulfill the king's purpose.

II Maccabees 3:9 And when he was come to Jerusalem, and had been courteously received in the city by the high priest, he told him what information had been given concerning the money: and declared the cause for which he was come: and asked if these things were so indeed.

II Maccabees 3:10 Then the high priest told him that these were sums deposited, and provisions for the subsistence of the widows and the fatherless:

And provisions is not in Greek or Syriac. (Calmet) --- Something was to be given for such feasts; (Deuteronomy 14:23.; Lyranus; Menochius) or people deposited in the temple their treasures; as all nations have judged that they would be there most secure. (Grotius; Tirinus; Calmet)
II Maccabees 3:11 And that some part of that which wicked Simon had given intelligence of, belonged to Hircanus, son of Tobias, a man of great dignity; and that the whole was four hundred talents of silver, and two hundred of gold:

Tobias, or rather "son of Joseph and grandson of Tobias." (Josephus, Antiquities 12:4.)
II Maccabees 3:12 But that to deceive them who had trusted to the place and temple which is honoured throughout the whole world, for the reverence and holiness of it, was a thing which could not by any means be done.

Done. It was contrary to justice.
II Maccabees 3:13 But he, by reason of the orders he had received from the king, said, that by all means the money must be carried to the king.

II Maccabees 3:14 So on the day he had appointed, Heliodorus entered in to order this matter. But there was no small terror throughout the whole city.

II Maccabees 3:15 And the priests prostrated themselves before the altar in their priests' vestments, and called upon him from heaven, who made the law concerning things given to be kept, that he would preserve them safe, for them that had deposited them.

II Maccabees 3:16 Now whosoever saw the countenance of the high priest, was wounded in heart: for his face, and the changing of his colour, declared the inward sorrow of his mind.

II Maccabees 3:17 For the man was so compassed with sadness and horror of the body, that it was manifest to them that beheld him, what sorrow he had in his heart.

II Maccabees 3:18 Others also came flocking together out of their houses, praying and making public supplication, because the place was like to come into contempt.

II Maccabees 3:19 And the women, girded with haircloth about their breasts, came together in the streets. And the virgins also that were shut up, came forth, some to Onias, and some to the walls, and others looked out of the windows.

Shut up. Hence they were styled alamoth, "hidden," till they were married. Nothing could give a better idea of the distress of the city. (Calmet) --- These virgins remained in places near the temple, spending their time in prayer, fasting, and works of piety, till they were espoused, 1 Kings 2:22. (St. Ambrose, virg. 1.; St. Nys.[St. Gregory of Nyssa?] or Nativ.; St. Damas[St. John Damascene?] 4:13.) (Worthington) --- There also pious widows dwelt. --- Walls of the temple, which they were not allowed to pass. (Menochius) --- The city seemed to be taken by an enemy. (Calmet)
II Maccabees 3:20 And all holding up their hands towards heaven, made supplication.

II Maccabees 3:21 For the expectation of the mixt multitude, and of the high priest, who was in an agony, would have moved any one to pity.

Expectation. Greek, "prostration." (Haydock) It was not unusual to see the Jews fall prostrate on such occasions, to move God or the enemy to pity, ver. 15., and Judith 4:9. (Calmet)
II Maccabees 3:22 And these indeed called upon almighty God, to preserve the things that had been committed to them, safe and sure for those that had committed them.

II Maccabees 3:23 But Heliodorus executed that which he had resolved on, himself being present in the same place with his guard about the treasury.

II Maccabees 3:24 But the spirit of the Almighty God gave a great evidence of his presence, so that all that had presumed to obey him, falling down by the power of God, were struck with fainting and dread.

Obey. Greek, "attend." They designed to plunder, but in vain. (Haydock)
II Maccabees 3:25 For there appeared to them a horse, with a terrible rider upon him, adorned with a very rich covering: and he ran fiercely and struck Heliodorus with his fore-feet, and he that sat upon him seemed to have armour of gold.

Horse. Fiery horses took Elias from the earth, (4 Kings 2:11.) and the mountain where Eliseus was seemed full of such, (Ibid.[4 Kings] 6:17.) which is not less wonderful than what we read here. See St. Ambrose (Of. 1:29.) treating of this history. (Worthington)
II Maccabees 3:26 Moreover there appeared two other young men, beautiful and strong, bright and glorious, and in comely apparel: who stood by him, on either side, and scourged him without ceasing with many stripes.

II Maccabees 3:27 And Heliodorus suddenly fell to the ground, and they took him up, covered with great darkness, and having put him into a litter they carried him out.

II Maccabees 3:28 So he that came with many servants, and all his guard, into the aforesaid treasury, was carried out, no one being able to help him, the manifest power of God being known.

II Maccabees 3:29 And he indeed, by the power of God, lay speechless, and without all hope of recovery.

II Maccabees 3:30 But they praised the Lord because he had glorified his place: and the temple, that a little before was full of fear and trouble, when the Almighty Lord appeared, was filled with joy and gladness.

II Maccabees 3:31 Then some of the friends of Heliodorus forthwith begged of Onias, that he would call upon the Most High to grant him his life, who was ready to give up the ghost.

II Maccabees 3:32 So the high priest, considering that the king might perhaps suspect that some mischief had been done to Heliodorus by the Jews, offered a sacrifice of health for the recovery of the man.

II Maccabees 3:33 And when the high priest was praying, the same young men in the same clothing stood by Heliodorus, and said to him: Give thanks to Onias the priest: because for his sake the Lord hath granted thee life.

II Maccabees 3:34 And thou having been scourged by God, declare unto all men the great works and the power of God. And having spoken thus, they appeared no more.

II Maccabees 3:35 So Heliodorus, after he had offered a sacrifice to God, and made great vows to him, that had granted him life, and given thanks to Onias, taking his troops with him, returned to the king.

II Maccabees 3:36 And he testified to all men the works of the great God, which he had seen with his own eyes.

II Maccabees 3:37 And when the king asked Heliodorus, who might be a fit man to be sent yet once more to Jerusalem, he said:

II Maccabees 3:38 If thou hast any enemy or traitor to thy kingdom, send him thither, and thou shalt receive him again scourged, if so be he escape: for there is undoubtedly in that place a certain power of God.

II Maccabees 3:39 For he that hath his dwelling in the heavens, is the visitor and protector of that place, and he striketh and destroyeth them that come to do evil to it.

Visiter. Greek, "epopt," (Haydock) or inspector. (Calmet) --- So those who had the care of a thing were styled. (Menochius)
II Maccabees 3:40 And the things concerning Heliodorus, and the keeping of the treasury, fell out in this manner.

II Maccabees 4:0 Onias has recourse to the king. The ambition and wickedness of Jason and Menelaus. Onias is treacherously murdered.

II Maccabees 4:1 But Simon, of whom we spoke before, who was the betrayer of the money, and of his country, spoke ill of Onias, as though he had incited Heliodorus to do these things, and had been the promoter of evils:

Evils. Thus traitors generally calumniate good governors. The best remedy on such occasions is to apply to those in higher power, rather than to the people, who are but too often prone to favour the factious. (Worthington)
II Maccabees 4:2 And he presumed to call him a traitor to the kingdom, who provided for the city, and defended his nation, and was zealous for the law of God.

To the. Greek, "of the affairs, who was the benefactor of the city." (Haydock)
II Maccabees 4:3 But when the enmities proceeded so far, that murders also were committed by some of Simon's friends:

Friends. He had gone to Apollonius.
II Maccabees 4:4 Onias, considering the danger of this contention, and that Apollonius, who was the governor of Celosyria and Phenicia, was outrageous, which increased the malice of Simon, went to the king,

King. Philopator, (Menochius) who knew the real state of the matter.
II Maccabees 4:5 Not to be an accuser of his countrymen, but with a view to the common good of all the people.

II Maccabees 4:6 For he saw that, except the king took care, it was impossible that matters should be settled in peace, or that Simon would cease from his folly.

II Maccabees 4:7 But after the death of Seleucus, when Antiochus, who was called the Illustrious, had taken possession of the kingdom, Jason, the brother of Onias, ambitiously sought the high priesthood:

Antiochus Epiphanes, who usurped the crown, 2 Machabees 1:11.
II Maccabees 4:8 *And went to the king, promising him three hundred and sixty talents of silver, and out of other revenues fourscore talents.

Year of the World 3829, Year before Christ 175. Sixty. We find 3660 in 4 Machabees, which sum is quite exorbitant.
II Maccabees 4:9 Besides this he promised also a hundred and fifty more, if he might have licence to set him up a place for exercise, and a place for youth, and to entitle them, that were at Jerusalem, Antiochians.

Youth, under fourteen, to exercise. (Vitruvius 5:11.) --- Men did the like naked in the gymnasium, as women did apart at Lacedemon. Jason wished to make his countrymen adopt the pagan customs, which tended to corrupt their morals, ver. 12. (Calmet) --- Antiochians, to please the vanity of Antiochus, (Serarius) or that they might enjoy the like privileges. (Salien) (Mennochius)
II Maccabees 4:10 *Which when the king had granted, and he had gotten the rule into his hands, forthwith he began to bring over his countrymen to the fashion of the heathens.

Year of the World 3830. Rule, as high priest, ver. 21., and 50.
II Maccabees 4:11 And abolishing those things, which had been decreed of special favour by the kings in behalf of the Jews, by the means of John, the father of that Eupolemus, who went ambassador to Rome to make amity and alliance, he disannulled the lawful ordinances of the citizens, and brought in fashions that were perverse.

Alliance, afterwards under Judas, 1 Machabees 8:17. (Calmet) --- John had procured real advantages for the city. (Menochius)
II Maccabees 4:12 For he had the boldness to set up, *under the very castle, a place of exercise, and to put all the choicest youths in brothel houses.

1 Machabees 1:15.
Houses. Greek, "he led them under the cap;" petasus, sacred to Mercury, or rather to Bacchus, and the emblem of liberty. (Calmet)
II Maccabees 4:13 Now this was not the beginning, but an increase, and progress of heathenish and foreign manners, through the abominable and unheard of wickedness of Jason, that impious wretch, and no priest.

Now. Greek, "Thus it was the height of hellenism, and the increase of foreign customs through," etc. --- No priest. He did not deserve the title, though he was really a descendant of Aaron. Greek, "not high priest." (Haydock)
II Maccabees 4:14 Insomuch that the priests were not now occupied about the offices of the altar, but despising the temple and neglecting the sacrifices, hastened to be partakers of the games, and of the unlawful allowance thereof, and of the exercise of the discus.

Temple. Where true religion is abolished, most people follow none; but rather apply themselves to vanity and worse sins. (Worthington) --- Allowance. They contributed money, (Grotius) or rather strove to obtain the prize. (Calmet) --- Discus: "a round stone, with a hole in the middle." (Protestant marginal note) (Haydock) --- People threw it as high or as far as they could, having one foot up and the other upon something resembling a pine-apple. This game was very ancient. (Homer, Odyssey th.; Ovid, Metam. x.) --- Greek, "after the invitation of the discus:" the prize was placed in the midst to excite emulation.
II Maccabees 4:15 And setting nought by the honours of their fathers, they esteemed the Grecian glories for the best:

Glories; the honour of being gymnasiarch, or agonothete. (Calmet) --- They sought after corruptible crowns, while many pay no regard to heaven, 1 Corinthians 9:25. (Haydock)
II Maccabees 4:16 For the sake of which they incurred a dangerous contention, and followed earnestly their ordinances, and in all things they coveted to be like them, who were their enemies and murderers.

Dangerous. Greek, "misery, and those whose institutes they zealously adopted, and whom in all they wished to resemble, the same they found their enemies and chastisers." (Haydock) --- God thus punished (Calmet) their perfidy. (Haydock)
II Maccabees 4:17 For acting wickedly against the laws of God doth not pass unpunished: but this the time following will declare.

II Maccabees 4:18 Now when the game that was used every fifth year was kept at Tyre, the king being present,

Fifth; perhaps in imitation of the Olympic games, (Menochius) first instituted at Elea, and afterwards at Alexandria, Athens, etc. (Grotius) (Calmet)
II Maccabees 4:19 The wicked Jason sent from Jerusalem sinful men, to carry three hundred didrachmas of silver for the sacrifice of Hercules; but the bearers thereof desired it might not be bestowed on the sacrifices, because it was not necessary, but might be deputed for other charges.

Sinful. Greek, "spectators, being Antiochians, to carry 300 drachmas. (Haydock) --- Didrachmas, or double drachmas of Alexandria, which amount only to one Roman. Hence Greek interpreters generally express thus the half sicle. --- Silver, or money; (Calmet) gold. (Menochius) --- Thus the value would be fourteen times greater. (Calmet) --- In a manuscript of Arundel, 3300 occurs, (Usher) as well as in the Syriac. (Calmet) --- Necessary. Literally and Greek, "proper." Grabe supplies this as far as but, ver. 20. (Haydock)
II Maccabees 4:20 So the money was appointed by him that sent it to the sacrifice of Hercules: but because of them that carried it was employed for the making of galleys.

Galleys, or adorning them for the sports. The deputies were ashamed to comply with Jason's order; or they judged this use of the money more agreeable to the king. (Calmet) --- Go to 1 Machabees 1:17. (Worthington)
II Maccabees 4:21 Now when Apollonius, the son of Mnestheus, was sent into Egypt to treat with the nobles of king Philometor, and Antiochus understood that he was wholly excluded from the affairs of the kingdom, consulting his own interest, he departed thence and came to Joppe, and from thence to Jerusalem.

Treat. Greek, "when king Ptolemy Philometor ascended the throne;" protoklisia. (Haydock) --- Grotius would substitute protokouria, "the first hair cutting," which was a great festival, the hair being presented to some deity. Apollonius was sent under the pretence of honouring Philometor, but in reality to sound the dispositions of the nobility respecting the claims of Epiphanes to be the king's tutor. Cleopatra died this year, the year [of the world] 3831. The regents of Egypt demanded Celosyria, her portion, and war commenced. (Calmet) --- Epiphanes pretended to defend Philometor against his younger brother, (Livy xliv.) but he wished to seize the kingdom, 1 Machabees 1:17. (Worthington)
II Maccabees 4:22 Where he was received in a magnificent manner by Jason, and the city, and came in with torch lights, and with praises, and from thence he returned with his army into Phenicia.

Lights, usual in testimony of joy. (Calmet) --- The roofs at Athens were all illuminated when Anthony entered; (Plutarch) and Caesar ascended the capitol, while forty elephants on each side bore torches. (Suetonius xxxvii.)
II Maccabees 4:23 Three years afterwards Jason sent Menelaus, brother of the aforesaid Simon, to carry money to the king, and to bring answers from him concerning certain necessary affairs.

Brother, and of course a Benjamite, so that the usurpation was doubly criminal. (Tirinus) --- But St. Thomas Aquinas, Petau, etc., suppose that he resembled Simon in guilt, or was his brother-in-law. Josephus informs us that Menelaus was brother of Onias and of Jason; though his authority is not great, as he contradicts himself, (Antiquities 12:6., and xv.; see 2 Machabees 1:7.; Calmet) though not in this point. (Haydock) --- By the law, those of the tribe of Benjamin could not be priests. Thus the succession was broken and restored in Mathathias, 1 Machabees 2:(Worthington)
II Maccabees 4:24 But he being recommended to the king, when he had magnified the appearance of his power, got the high priesthood for himself, by offering more than Jason by three hundred talents of silver.

II Maccabees 4:25 So having received the king's mandate, he returned, bringing nothing worthy of the high priesthood: but having the mind of a cruel tyrant, and the rage of a savage beast.

II Maccabees 4:26 Then Jason, who had undermined his own brother, being himself undermined, was driven out a fugitive into the country of the Ammonites.

II Maccabees 4:27 So Menelaus got the principality: but as for the money he had promised to the king, he took no care, when Sostratus, the governor of the castle, called for it.

II Maccabees 4:28 *For to him appertained the gathering of the taxes: wherefore they were both called before the king.

Year of the World 3834, Year before Christ 170.
II Maccabees 4:29 And Menelaus was removed from the priesthood, Lysimachus, his brother, succeeding: and Sostratus was made governor of the Cyprians.

Succeeding to the high priesthood, (Greek; Haydock) after the death of Menalaus[Menelaus?]. (Josephus) --- Yet some think he was only his "vicar," diadochon, (Grotius; Usher) and he seems never to have been recognised. (Calmet) --- Was. Greek, "left Crates, who was over the Cyprians," to act for him, while he sent to arraign Menelaus, or to testify that he had demanded the money in vain. (Haydock)
II Maccabees 4:30 When these things were in doing, it fell out that they of Tharsus, and Mallos, raised a sedition, because they were given for a gift to Antiochis, the king's concubine.

Mallos, in Cilicia. The Greek cities were more delicate in this respect than those of Persia, which were frequently given to the king's wives or friends.
II Maccabees 4:31 The king, therefore, went in all haste to appease them, leaving Andronicus, one of his nobles, for his deputy.

II Maccabees 4:32 Then Menelaus supposing that he had found a convenient time, having stolen certain vessels of gold out of the temple, gave them to Andronicus, and others he had sold at Tyre, and in the neighbouring cities:

Temple. He was no longer there, but Lysimachus complied with his orders, (Calmet) ver. 39., or Menelaus had taken the vessels with him. (Haydock)
II Maccabees 4:33 Which when Onias understood most certainly, he reproved him, keeping himself in a safe place at Antioch, beside Daphne.

Daphne. This was a famous asylum, to which Onias retreated without worshipping Apollo. He had gone to Antioch to answer the calumnies of Simon; and though Jason got his place, (Calmet) the king could not help respecting him, (Haydock) and wept at his death. This it the highest praise of Onias, as even such a monster acknowledged his merit. (Calmet) --- Caesar wept when the head of Pompey was shewn to him. (V. Max. 1:5.)
II Maccabees 4:34 Whereupon Menelaus coming to Andronicus, desired him to kill Onias. And he went to Onias, and gave him his right hand with an oath, and (though he were suspected by him) persuaded him to come forth out of the sanctuary, and immediately slew him, without any regard to justice.

II Maccabees 4:35 For which cause not only the Jews, but also the other nations, conceived indignation, and were much grieved for the unjust murder of so great a man.

Man. The people, (Worthington) and even the king, admired his solid piety. Thus (Haydock) the Tyrians buried the innocent, ver. 49. (Worthington)
II Maccabees 4:36 And when the king was come back from the places of Cilicia, the Jews that were at Antioch, and also the Greeks, went to him: complaining of the unjust murder of Onias.

II Maccabees 4:37 Antiochus, therefore, was grieved in his mind for Onias, and being moved to pity, shed tears, remembering the sobriety and modesty of the deceased.

II Maccabees 4:38 And being inflamed to anger, he commanded Andronicus to be stripped of his purple, and to be led about through all the city: and that in the same place wherein he had committed the impiety against Onias, the sacrilegious wretch should be put to death, the Lord repaying him his deserved punishment.

II Maccabees 4:39 Now when many sacrileges had been committed by Lysimachus in the temple, by the counsel of Menelaus, and the rumour of it was spread abroad, the multitude gathered themselves together against Lysimachus, a great quantity of gold being already carried away.

II Maccabees 4:40 Wherefore the multitude making an insurrection, and their minds being filled with anger, Lysimachus armed about three thousand men, and began to use violence, one Tyrannus being captain, a man far gone both in age and in madness.

Tyrannus. One of this name occurs [in] Acts 19:9. Greek, "Auranus," (Haydock) or one from Auran, near Damascus.
II Maccabees 4:41 But when they perceived the attempt of Lysimachus, some caught up stones, some strong clubs: and some threw ashes upon Lysimachus.

Ashes. Greek adds, "lying there," (Haydock) in the temple, near the altar, or in the place assigned for them, Leviticus 1:16. (Calmet)
II Maccabees 4:42 And many of them were wounded, and some struck down to the ground, but all were put to flight: and as for the sacrilegious fellow himself, they slew him beside the treasury.

II Maccabees 4:43 Now concerning these matters, an accusation was laid against Menelaus.

II Maccabees 4:44 And when the king was come to Tyre, three men were sent from the ancients to plead the cause before him.

II Maccabees 4:45 But Menelaus being convicted, promised Ptolemee to give him much money to persuade the king to favour him.

Ptolemee, the son of Dorymenus, a favourite of the king, (Challoner) whose perfidy had procured him the government of Celosyria, 2 Machabees 10:3., and 1 Machabees 3:38.
II Maccabees 4:46 So Ptolemee went to the king in a certain court where he was, as it were to cool himself, and brought him to be of another mind:

Court. Greek, "peristyle," or gallery supported by pillars. (Calmet)
II Maccabees 4:47 So Menelaus, who was guilty of all the evil, was acquitted by him of the accusations: and those poor men, who, if they had pleaded their cause even before Scythians, should have been judged innocent, were condemned to death.

II Maccabees 4:48 Thus they that prosecuted the cause for the city, and for the people, and the sacred vessels, did soon suffer unjust punishment.

II Maccabees 4:49 Wherefore even the Tyrians being moved with indignation, were very liberal towards their burial.

II Maccabees 4:50 And so through the covetousness of them that were in power, Menelaus continued in authority, increasing in malice to the betraying of the citizens.

II Maccabees 5:0 Wonderful signs are seen in the air. Jason's wickedness and end. Antiochus takes Jerusalem, and plunders the temple.

II Maccabees 5:1 At *the same time Antiochus prepared for a second journey into Egypt.

Year of the World 3834, Year before Christ 170. Second. After he had sent Apollonius, he proceeded no farther then Joppe and Jerusalem; being perhaps afraid of the Romans, 2 Machabees 4:21. Three years after, as the regents of Egypt demanded Celosyria, he went to meet them in their own country. (The year [of the world] 3834.)
II Maccabees 5:2 And it came to pass, that through the whole city of Jerusalem, for the space of forty days, there were seen horsemen running in the air, in gilded raiment, and armed with spears, like bands of soldiers.

Days. These things were not seen only by people inclined to superstition, or for a short time. There must be true prodigies, as so many false ones have been published. Josephus records what happened before the last siege of Jerusalem, in Jewish Wars 7:12. (Calmet) --- Miraculous visions foreshew the wrath of God against sinners, and admonish all to repent, as the emperor Charlemagne interpreted the appearance of a great comet. (Fascic. rerum.) (Worthington) --- Yet such things are sometimes only natural effects, which the ignorant misapply. This was not here the case. (Haydock)
II Maccabees 5:3 And horses set in order by ranks, running one against another, with the shakings of shields, and a multitude of men in helmets, with drawn swords, and casting of darts, and glittering of golden armour, and of harnesses of all sorts.

II Maccabees 5:4 Wherefore all men prayed that these prodigies might turn to good.

II Maccabees 5:5 Now when there was gone forth a false rumour, as though Antiochus had been dead, Jason taking with him no fewer than a thousand men, suddenly assaulted the city: and though the citizens ran together to the wall, the city at length was taken, and Menelaus fled into the castle.

Dead. This rumour caused much evil to the Jews. Antiochus was informed that they had rejoiced at the news, and therefore fell upon the city.
II Maccabees 5:6 But Jason slew his countrymen without mercy, not considering that prosperity against one's own kindred, is a very great evil, thinking they had been enemies, and not citizens, whom he conquered.

Evil, as the numbers are thus lessened. Thus Tacitus, speaking of the civil wars between Otho and Vitellius, says, detestanda vota, inter duos quorum bello solum id scires deteriorem fore qui vicisset.
II Maccabees 5:7 Yet he did not get the principality, but received confusion at the end, for the reward of his treachery, and fled again into the country of the Ammonites.

II Maccabees 5:8 At the last, having been shut up by Aretas, the king of the Arabians, in order for his destruction, flying from city to city, hated by all men, as a forsaker of the laws, and execrable, as an enemy of his country and countrymen, he was thrust out into Egypt:

Shut up in prison, out of which he escaped to Egypt; (Menochius) or he was hard pressed, (Calmet) or accused. (Grotius)
II Maccabees 5:9 And he that had driven many out of their country, perished in a strange land, going to Lacedemon, as if for kindred sake he should have refuge there:

Lacedemon. Literally, "the Lacedemonians," (Haydock) who served in the army of Philometor. (Grotius) --- It is certain that this nation was then part of the Achean league, in alliance with Egypt. (Polybius) (Calmet) --- Kindred. The Spartans sprung from Abraham, 1 Machabees 12:2, (Worthington) 21. (Calmet)
II Maccabees 5:10 But he that had cast out many unburied, was himself cast forth both unlamented and unburied, neither having foreign burial, nor being partaker of the sepulchre of his fathers.

Burial. Such as was not refused to strangers. The thirty pieces of silver purchased ground for that purpose, Matthew 27:7. (Calmet)
II Maccabees 5:11 Now when these things were done, the king suspected that the Jews would forsake the alliance: whereupon departing out of Egypt with a furious mind, he took the city by force of arms,

Alliance with him, or refuse to submit. (Haydock) --- The enterprise of Jason, and the account of their rejoicing, made him form this judgment. --- Arms. Josephus (B.[Jewish Wars?] 1:1., and vi. p. 929) says the Jews came to meet him, and that he besieged and took the city. But (Antiquities 12:7.) he asserts that his partisans opened the gates without fighting. How shall we reconcile these things!
II Maccabees 5:12 And commanded the soldiers to kill, and not to spare any that came in their way, and to go up into the houses to slay.

II Maccabees 5:13 Thus there was a slaughter of young and old, a destruction of women and children, and killing of virgins and infants.

II Maccabees 5:14 And there were slain in the space of three whole days fourscore thousand, forty thousand were made prisoners, and as many sold.

Slain, or sold, the latter amounting to one-half of the 80,000.
II Maccabees 5:15 But this was not enough; he presumed also to enter into the temple, the most holy in all the world, Menelaus, that traitor to the laws, and to his country, being his guide.

II Maccabees 5:16 And taking in his wicked hands the holy vessels, which were given by other kings and cities, for the ornament and the glory of the place, he unworthily handled and profaned them.

II Maccabees 5:17 Thus Antiochus going astray in mind, did not consider that God was angry for a while, because of the sins of the inhabitants of the city: and therefore this contempt had happened to the place:

II Maccabees 5:18 Otherwise had they not been involved in many sins, *as Heliodorus, who was sent by king Seleucus to rob the treasury, so this man also, as soon as he had come, had been forthwith scourged, and put back from his presumption.

2 Machabees 3:25-27.;
Year of the World 3834, Year before Christ 170.
II Maccabees 5:19 But God did not choose the people for the place's sake, but the place for the people's sake.

Place. Temples and victims are for our own advantage, Isaias 1:11., Jeremias 6:20., and 3 Kings 8:27. God has often suffered sacred places to be profaned, when piety had been disregarded. (Calmet) --- All religious rites are designed for God's glory and men's welfare; and hence, when they cease to serve God, the holy things are destroyed or taken away. (Worthington)
II Maccabees 5:20 And therefore, the place also itself was made partaker of the evils of the people: but afterwards shall communicate in the good things thereof, and as it was forsaken in the wrath of Almighty God, shall be exalted again with great glory, when the great Lord shall be reconciled.

II Maccabees 5:21 So when Antiochus had taken away out of the temple a thousand and eight hundred talents, he went back in all haste to Antioch, thinking through pride, that he might now make the land navigable, and the sea passable on foot: such was the haughtiness of his mind.

Foot. These are hyperbolical expressions, denoting the extravagance of Epiphanes after victory. Thus Xerxes made a bridge to join Asia and Europe together; and Caligula made one on the Lucrine lake, that he might have the pleasure of riding upon it. (Just. 2.; Suetonius) --- Epiphanes had met with little resistance, so that he had no reason to boast.
II Maccabees 5:22 He left also governors to afflict the people: at Jerusalem, Philip, a Phrygian by birth, but in manners more barbarous than he that set him there:

II Maccabees 5:23 And in Garizim, Andronicus and Menelaus, who bore a more heavy hand upon the citizens than the rest.

Garizim, or the country of Samaria, over which Andronicus alone was governor. --- Who bore. Greek and Syriac read in the singular, as this regards Menelaus.
II Maccabees 5:24 And whereas he was set against the Jews, he sent that hateful prince, Apollonius, with an army of two and twenty thousand men, commanding him to kill all that were of perfect age, and to sell the women and the younger sort.

He. Syriac, "Epiphanes." --- Hateful. Greek musarchen, (Haydock) "prince of Mysia," (Grotius) or of sinners. (Haydock)
II Maccabees 5:25 Who, when he was come to Jerusalem, pretending peace, rested till the holy day of the sabbath: and then the Jews keeping holiday, he commanded his men to take arms.

II Maccabees 5:26 And he slew all that were come forth to see: and running through the city with armed men, he destroyed a very great multitude.

To see, or celebrate the festival, 1 Machabees 1:30., etc. (Calmet)
II Maccabees 5:27 But Judas Machabeus, who was the tenth, had withdrawn himself into a desert place, and there lived amongst wild beasts in the mountains with his company: and they continued feeding on herbs, that they might not be partakers of the pollution.

Was the tenth. That is, he had nine others in his company. (Challoner) --- He was the tenth lawful pontiff, under the Greeks. (Worthington) --- Judas is specified, because he was the most renowned. His father and five sons, joined by four others retired into desert places, and eat what they could find. (Calmet) --- These ten dwelt in the mountains. (Salien) --- They were conducted to battle by Judas, (Haydock) the Decurio. (Menochius)
II Maccabees 6:0 Antiochus commands the law to be abolished, sets up an idol in the temple, and persecutes the faithful. The martyrdom of Eleazar.

II Maccabees 6:1 But not long after the king sent *a certain old man of Antioch, to compel the Jews to depart from the laws of their fathers and of God:

Year of the World 3837, Year before Christ 167. After, the year [of the world] 3837. --- Old, or senator. Greek, "Atheneus," or "an Athenian senator."
II Maccabees 6:2 And to defile the temple that was in Jerusalem, and to call it the temple of Jupiter Olympius: and that in Garizim, of Jupiter Hospitalis, according as they were that inhabited the place.

Olympius. They thought this idol agreed best with the idea of the God of heaven, changing the names of the deities, where they had dominion. Other nations made no resistance: but the Jews knew better. (Calmet) --- Garizim; viz., the temple of the Samaritans. And as they were originally strangers, the name of Hospitalis (which signifies of or belonging to strangers) was applicable to the idol set up in their temple. (Challoner) --- The Samaritans in time of danger, denied that they had any thing to do with the Jews, pretending to be of Sidonian extraction. They even requested that their temple might be dedicated to the Greek Jupiter. (Josephus, Antiquities 12:7.) --- Yet Epiphanes chose "the Hospitaller." (Calmet) --- Sannaballat procured this temple to be erected in the days of Alexander; and Ananias built another in Egypt, under Philometor. Both were schismatical. (Josephus, Antiquities 11:8., and 15:6. (Worthington)
II Maccabees 6:3 And very bad was this invasion of evils, and grievous to all.

II Maccabees 6:4 For the temple was full of the riot and revellings of the Gentiles: and of men lying with lewd women. And women thrust themselves of their accord into the holy places, and brought in things that were not lawful.

Lewd. Priests on duty were not even allowed to approach to their wives, and the most pure women had no right to go into the interior of the temple. (Calmet) And. Greek, "in the courts, and also bringing in improper things." (Haydock)
II Maccabees 6:5 The altar also was filled with unlawful things, which were forbidden by the laws.

II Maccabees 6:6 And neither were the sabbaths kept, nor the solemn days of the fathers observed, neither did any man plainly profess himself to be a Jew.

Jew. None did this except he were legally questioned. It would have unnecessarily brought on a persecution. (Haydock) --- The very name was become criminal, as that of Christian was afterwards. (Calmet)
II Maccabees 6:7 But they were led by bitter constraint on the king's birth-day to the sacrifices: and when the feast of Bacchus was kept, they were compelled to go about crowned with ivy in honour of Bacchus.

Sacrifices. Greek, "each month, to the sacrifice (and feast) of entrails," (Haydock) which were given back to him who presented the victim. (Grotius) --- The eastern kings celebrated their birth-days; Epiphanes did it every month, 1 Machabees 1:61., and Matthew 14:6. --- About. Greek, "to follow the march;" pompeuein. (Calmet) --- Protestants, "to go in procession to Bacchus, carrying ivy." Ward (Err. p. 114) reads pompaduein, and refers the reader to the lexicon to see if there be any thing in it like the Catholic processions, or whether it signify so much as "to go about," as other Protestant Bibles translate it. These interpreters frequently use Catholic terms, where they might render them odious. (Id.[Ward, Err. p. 114.?]) (Haydock)
II Maccabees 6:8 And there went out a decree into the neighbouring cities of the Gentiles, by the suggestion of the Ptolemeans, that they also should act in like manner against the Jews, to oblige them to sacrifice:

Ptolemeans, who resided at Ptolemais. (Calmet) --- Most Greek copies have Ptolemee, 2 Machabees 4:45. (Haydock) --- We find that many of the neighbouring nations invaded the Jews, but were repressed by Judas, 1 Machabees 5:15.
II Maccabees 6:9 And whosoever would not conform themselves to the ways of the Gentiles, should be put to death: then was misery to be seen.

II Maccabees 6:10 *For two women were accused to have circumcised their children: whom, when they had openly led about through the city, with the infants hanging at their breasts, they threw down headlong from the walls.

1 Machabees 1:68.
Women. See 1 Machabees 1:64., etc. (Calmet) --- Besides the former massacres, (chap. 5.) four great martyrdoms are here recorded: first, of two women, with their children; second, of others keeping the sabbath; third, of Eleazar, ninety years old; and fourthly, of the seven brethren, with their mother, 2 Machabees 7. (Worthington)
II Maccabees 6:11 And others that had met together in caves that were near, and were keeping the sabbath day privately, being discovered by Philip, were burnt with fire, because they made a conscience to help themselves with their hands, by reason of the religious observance of the day.

Philip, the governor of Jerusalem. (Challoner) --- 2 Machabees 5:22. (Haydock) --- See 1 Machabees 2:31. (Calmet)
II Maccabees 6:12 Now I beseech those that shall read this book, that they be not shocked at these calamities, but that they consider the things that happened, not as being for the destruction, but for the correction of our nation.

Now. A necessary caution for the weak in times of persecution. (Worthington) --- See 2 Machabees 7:32., and Judith 8:22., and 1 Machabees 2:52.
II Maccabees 6:13 For it is a token of great goodness, when sinners are not suffered to go on in their ways for a long time, but are presently punished.

Punished, lest they should become incorrigible. When God neglects to do this, his anger is most terrible, Ezechiel 16:42. (Calmet)
II Maccabees 6:14 For, not as with other nations, (whom the Lord patiently expecteth, that when the day of judgment shall come, he may punish them in the fulness of their sins)

Sins. God seems at present to take no notice of the crimes of the Gentiles, or he exterminates them at once, as he did the Chanaanites, Sodom, etc. But the Jews he corrects for their amendment and trial. The sages of paganism never inculcated such excellent maxims.
II Maccabees 6:15 Doth he also deal with us, so as to suffer our sins to come to their height, and then take vengeance on us.

II Maccabees 6:16 And therefore he never withdraweth his mercy from us: but though he chastise his people with adversity, he forsaketh them not.

II Maccabees 6:17 But let this suffice in a few words for a warning to the readers. And now we must come to the narration.

II Maccabees 6:18 Eleazar, one of the chief of the scribes, a man advanced in years, and of a comely countenance, was pressed to open his mouth to eat swine's flesh.

Scribes; a priest. (St. Ambrose) --- He suffered at Antioch, before the king, 2 Machabees 7:1. (Josephus, [Antiquities?] 50:2.) --- The Fathers highly extol his fortitude and virtue, styling him the father of the seven brothers, and the protomartyr of the old law. (Calmet) --- Yet we find others unnamed suffering before him, ver. 10. (Haydock) --- Eleazar was learned in the Scriptures, and in all divine and human knowledge. (Worthington)
II Maccabees 6:19 But he, choosing rather a most glorious death than a hateful life, went forward voluntarily to the torment.

Hateful. Greek, "criminal life, and went first of his own accord to be bastinaded;" tumpanizesthai. (Haydock) --- St. Paul probably alluded to this torment, Hebrews 11:35. It was used among the Jews. (Calmet, Diss.)
II Maccabees 6:20 And considering in what manner he was come to it, patiently bearing, he determined not to do any unlawful things for the love of life.

Life. He would not eat swine's flesh to save it. Greek, "But spitting it out, (as those ought to come forward who expect to be tortured; or avenged. amunesthai) of which things it is not lawful to taste through love of life." (Haydock)
II Maccabees 6:21 But they that stood by, being moved with wicked pity, for the old friendship they had with the man, taking him aside, desired that flesh might be brought, which it was lawful for him to eat, that he might make as if he had eaten, as the king had commanded, of the flesh of the sacrifice:

Wicked pity. Their pity was wicked, in as much as it suggested that wicked proposal of saving his life by dissimulation. (Challoner) --- To feign or make outward shew of consenting to a false religion, is never lawful. (Worthington) --- Greek, "They were set over that wicked feast or sacrifice," splagchnismo, (Haydock) in which the entrails were eaten. (Calmet) --- In this sense the term is used [in] ver. 7 and 8 by the Vulgate. Here Pity is preferred, as the man seemed to be actuated by it. (Haydock) --- This generous martyr would not scandalize the weak, by doing a thing in itself lawful, which would have been deemed a prevarication. He was guided by those excellent maxims which Christ, St. Paul, and St. Saba (Mart. Ap. xii.) have inculcated and practised, Matthew 18:7., and Romans 14:14., and 1 Corinthians 8:4, 10. (Calmet)
II Maccabees 6:22 That by so doing he might be delivered from death; and for the sake of their old friendship with the man, they did him this courtesy.

II Maccabees 6:23 But he began to consider the dignity of his age, and his ancient years, and the inbred honour of his grey head, and his good life and conversation from a child; and he answered without delay, according to the ordinances of the holy law made by God, saying, that he would rather be sent into the other world.

The other. Literally, "hell," or the grave. (Haydock) --- Under the old law the saints could not enter heaven, but at their departure were detained in limbo. (Worthington) --- Some holy doctors have declared that they would rather go to hell than commit a sin. (St. Anselm) --- They understand by hell the torments of that place, but not the opposition to God's will, which is found in the damned, and constitutes one of the greatest of their pains. (Haydock)
II Maccabees 6:24 For it doth not become our age, said he, to dissemble: whereby many young persons might think that Eleazar, at the age of fourscore and ten years, was gone over to the life of the heathens:

Age. "Old age ought to be the haven, not the shipwreck, of a former life." (St. Ambrose, de Jacob.) (Worthington)
II Maccabees 6:25 And so they, through my dissimulation, and for a little time of a corruptible life, should be deceived, and hereby I should bring a stain and a curse upon my old age.

II Maccabees 6:26 For though, for the present time, I should be delivered from the punishments of men, yet should I not escape the hand of the Almighty neither alive nor dead.

Dead. Nothing could be more express for the torments after death. As the time of the Messias drew near, these truths were more developed, 2 Machabees 7:9., and Wisdom 5:16., and Psalm 1:6. (Calmet) (Grotius) (Matthew 12:32.)
II Maccabees 6:27 Wherefore, by departing manfully out of this life, I shall shew myself worthy of my old age:

II Maccabees 6:28 And I shall leave an example of fortitude to young men, if with a ready mind and constancy I suffer an honourable death, for the most venerable and most holy laws. And having spoken thus, he was forthwith carried to execution.

II Maccabees 6:29 And they that led him, and had been a little before more mild, were changed to wrath for the words he had spoken, which they thought were uttered out of arrogancy.

II Maccabees 6:30 But when he was now ready to die with the stripes, he groaned, and said: O Lord, who hast the holy knowledge, thou knowest manifestly that whereas I might be delivered from death, I suffer grevious pains in body: but in soul am well content to suffer these things, because I fear thee.

Pains. Some of the martyrs seem not to have felt their torments. God made them suffer no more than they could bear. (Haydock)
II Maccabees 6:31 Thus did this man die, leaving not only to young men, but also to the whole nation, the memory of his death, for an example of virtue and fortitude.

II Maccabees 7:0 The glorious martyrdom of the seven brethren and their mother.

II Maccabees 7:1 It *came to pass also, that seven brethren, together with their mother, were apprehended, and compelled by the king to eat swine's flesh against the law, for which end they were tormented with whips and scourges.

Year of the World 3837, Year before Christ 167. Scourges, made of leather thongs; taureis. (Haydock) --- These brethren are styled Machabees; as Judas rendered this name so famous, that all who suffered or fought valiantly for religion in those times, went by this appellation. Josephus has much embellished this history, and Erasmus still more. The tombs of these martyrs were shewn at Antioch. (Calmet) --- Their names are not known. (Haydock) --- Those who wish to see more, may consult the large discourse of Josephus on the Machabees, (Worthington) though this work be contested, and St. Cyprian 4:ep. 6; St. Ambrose 1:of. 40.; St. Chrysostom; St. Augustine; St. Leo, etc. (Worthington)
II Maccabees 7:2 But one of them, who was the eldest, said thus: What wouldst thou ask, or learn of us? we are ready to die, rather than to transgress the laws of God, received from our fathers.

II Maccabees 7:3 Then the king being angry, commanded frying-pans, and brazen cauldrons to be made hot: which forthwith being heated,

II Maccabees 7:4 He commanded to cut out the tongue of him that had spoken first: and the skin of his head being drawn off, to chop off also the extremities of his hands and feet, the rest of his brethren and his mother looking on.

II Maccabees 7:5 And when he was now maimed in all parts, he commanded him, being yet alive, to be brought to the fire, and to be fried in the frying-pan: and while he was suffering therein long torments, the rest, together with the mother, exhorted one another to die manfully,

II Maccabees 7:6 Saying: The Lord God will look upon the truth, and will take pleasure in us, *as Moses declared in the profession of the canticle; And in his servants he will take pleasure.

Deuteronomy 22:36.
Pleasure. Literally, "be comforted," as the Septuagint translate, (Haydock) Deuteronomy 32:36. It may imply that God will avenge or chastise his servants, and then restore them to favour. This latter sense is here adopted, ver. 35.
II Maccabees 7:7 So when the first was dead after this manner, they brought the next to make him a mocking-stock: and when they had pulled off the skin of his head with the hair, they asked him if he would eat, before he were punished throughout the whole body in every limb.

II Maccabees 7:8 But he answered in his own language, and said: I will not do it. Wherefore he also, in the next place, received the torments of the first:

Language. The Jews have always been very attentive to their own language, though they be forced to learn others for the sake of commerce, and to hold conversation with those among whom they live. This young man, no doubt, understood Greek, in which language his brother had probably spoken. The mother addressed her children in the Hebrew or Syriac tongue, ver. 21, 27. (Calmet)
II Maccabees 7:9 And when he was at the last gasp, he said thus: Thou indeed, O most wicked man, destroyest us out of this present life: but the King of the world will raise us up, who die for his laws, in the resurrection of eternal life.

Most wicked. The martyrs have sometimes been inspired by God to speak in harsh language to magistrates; though their office generally commands respect. (Haydock) --- Life. The resurrection is clearly specified in all these answers. The Redeemer was near at hand. (Calmet) --- Christiani fuerunt....factis. (St. Augustine, ser. 1:2.)
II Maccabees 7:10 After him the third was made a mocking-stock, and when he was required, he quickly put forth his tongue, and courageously stretched out his hands:

II Maccabees 7:11 And said with confidence: These I have from heaven, but for the laws of God I now despise them, because I hope to receive them again from him.

II Maccabees 7:12 So that the king, and they that were with him, wondered at the young man's courage, because he esteemed the torments as nothing.

II Maccabees 7:13 And after he was thus dead, they tormented the fourth in the like manner.

II Maccabees 7:14 And when he was now ready to die, he spoke thus: It is better, being put to death by men, to look for hope from God, to be raised up again by him; for, as to thee, thou shalt have no resurrection unto life.

II Maccabees 7:15 And when they had brought the fifth, they tormented him. But he, looking upon the king,

II Maccabees 7:16 Said: Whereas thou hast power among men, though thou art corruptible, thou dost what thou wilt: but think not that our nation is forsaken by God.

Power. Nothing could be more free than this answer, which greatly resembles that of Christ, John 19:11. (Calmet)
II Maccabees 7:17 But stay patiently a while, and thou shalt see his great power, in what manner he will torment thee and thy seed.

II Maccabees 7:18 After him they brought the sixth, and he being ready to die, spoke thus: Be not deceived without cause: for we suffer these things for ourselves, having sinned against our God, and things worthy of admiration are done to us:

II Maccabees 7:19 But do not think that thou shalt escape unpunished, for that thou attempted to fight against God.

II Maccabees 7:20 Now the mother was to be admired above measure, and worthy to be remembered by good men, who beheld seven sons slain in the space of one day, and bore it with a good courage, for the hope that she had in God:

Seven. The last was not yet dead: but he was before this was written, so that the mother's praise was perfect. (Haydock)
II Maccabees 7:21 And she bravely exhorted every one of them in her own language, being filled with wisdom; and joining a man's heart to a woman's thought,

II Maccabees 7:22 She said to them: I know not how you were formed in my womb; for I neither gave you breath, nor soul, nor life, neither did I frame the limbs of every one of you.

Womb. This has always astonished the learned, the infant being formed often against the woman's desire, Job 10:10., and Wisdom 7:2. (St. Augustine, anima 1:15.) (Calmet)
II Maccabees 7:23 But the Creator of the world, that formed the nativity of man, and that found out the origin of all, he will restore to you again, in his mercy, both breath and life, as now you despise yourselves for the sake of his laws.

II Maccabees 7:24 Now Antiochus, thinking himself despised, and withal despising the voice of the upbraider, when the youngest was yet alive, did not only exhort him by words, but also assured him with an oath, that he would make him a rich and a happy man, and, if he would turn from the laws of his fathers, would take him for a friend, and furnish him with things necessary.

Despising. Literally, "despising the voice of the insulter." Greek, "fearing or perceiving that the speech was reproachful." (Haydock) --- Syriac, "turned aside not to hear the reproaches," etc. He did not understand Hebrew; but perceiving the constancy of the young men, he thought that their mother exhorted them to refuse compliance. (Calmet) --- Happy. This is beyond the power of riches or of any king. (Haydock)
II Maccabees 7:25 But when the young man was not moved with these things, the king called the mother, and counselled her to deal with the young man to save his life.

II Maccabees 7:26 And when he had exhorted her with many words, she promised that she would counsel her son.

Promised. A promise regards something good; so that if a person should even bind himself by an oath to do evil, he must refrain, as to comply would he another sin. (Worthington) --- This woman promised to counsel, but not as the king wished, (Haydock) to gain a prolongation of life and worldly honours for her son. (Menochius) --- Such an equivocation was lawful. (Worthington) --- The king might blame himself if he was deceived. (Haydock)
II Maccabees 7:27 So bending herself towards him, mocking the cruel tyrant, she said in her own language: My son, have pity upon me, that bore thee nine months in my womb, and gave thee suck three years, and nourished thee, and brought thee up unto this age.

Three years. So long physicians judged it best for children to suck, till they could take solid meat. (Vales. lxxxiii.) (Genesis 21:8.) (Calmet) --- "Chrysippus assigns three years for the nurse." (Quint. 1:1.)
II Maccabees 7:28 I beseech thee, my son, look upon heaven and earth, and all that is in them, and consider that God made them out of nothing, and mankind also:

Nothing, not out of pre-existent and eternal matter. (St. Augustine, Nat. boni xxvi.) (Romans 4:17.) --- So God can reduce all to nothing, 2 Machabees 8:18.
II Maccabees 7:29 So thou shalt not fear this tormentor, but being made a worthy partner with thy brethren, receive death, that in that mercy I may receive thee again with thy brethren.

Mercy, in eternity of bliss, ver. 23. (Syriac) (Calmet)
II Maccabees 7:30 While she was yet speaking these words, the young man said: For whom do you stay? I will not obey the commandment of the king, but the commandment of the law which was given us by Moses.

II Maccabees 7:31 But thou that hast been the author of all mischief against the Hebrews, shalt not escape the hand of God.

II Maccabees 7:32 For we suffer thus for our sins.

II Maccabees 7:33 And though the Lord, our God, is angry with us a little while, for our chastisement and correction, yet he will be reconciled again to his servants.

II Maccabees 7:34 But thou, O wicked, and of all men most flagitious, be not lifted up without cause with vain hopes, whilst thou art raging against his servants.

II Maccabees 7:35 For thou hast not yet escaped the judgment of the Almighty God, who beholdeth all things.

II Maccabees 7:36 For my brethren having now undergone a short pain, are under the covenant of eternal life: but thou, by the judgment of God, shalt receive just punishment for thy pride.

Life. Greek, "short labour of eternal life, are fallen under the covenant of God." (Haydock) --- They enjoy that life which God promised.
II Maccabees 7:37 But I, like my brethren, offer up my life and my body for the laws of our fathers: calling upon God to be speedily merciful to our nation, and that thou by torments and stripes mayst confess that he alone is God.

God. This was accomplished, ver. 17., and 2 Machabees 9:15.
II Maccabees 7:38 But in me, and in my brethren, the wrath of the Almighty, which hath justly been brought upon all our nation, shall cease.

Cease. The persecution was severe, but short. Judas the next year (the year [of the world] 3838.; Calmet) began to liberate the nation, (Haydock) by God's mercy, 2 Machabees 8:5, 27.
II Maccabees 7:39 Then the king being incensed with anger, raged against him more cruelly than all the rest, taking it grievously that he was mocked.

II Maccabees 7:40 So this man also died undefiled, wholly trusting in the Lord.

Undefiled, by idolatry. We read [in] 4 Machabees that he threw himself into a boiling cauldron; (Calmet) and Josephus says his mother "jumped into the fire that she might not be touched by any." But this is uncertain. The Church honours St. Apollonia, who acted thus; (Feb.[February?] ix.) it is supposed by divine inspiration. (Haydock)
II Maccabees 7:41 And last of all, after the sons, the mother also was consumed.

Consumed. Greek, "died" (Haydock) of joy: (Sixth. Bib. V. Victoria) she placed herself amid the dead bodies, and begged of God to release her soul; which was granted. (Arabic) (Grotius) --- But most believe that she suffered martyrdom immediately after her children. (Josephus, etc.) --- The Church honoured these martyrs from the earliest ages, and before any other of the Old Testament. We may justly style them the martyrs of the resurrection, as none at that time had spoken of it so distinctly. Sts. Naz.[Gregory of Nazianzus?], Max. of Turin, Gaudentius, etc., have pronounced panegyrics upon them.
II Maccabees 7:42 But now there is enough said of the sacrifices, and of the excessive cruelties.

Sacrifices. Greek splagchnismous, 2 Machabees 6:21. (Haydock) --- Read 1 Machabees 2:1., where the wars begun by Mathathias, and persecuted by Judas, are recorded. (Worthington)
II Maccabees 8:0 Judas Machabeus gathering an army, gains divers victories.

II Maccabees 8:1 But *Judas Machabeus, and they that were with him, went privately into the towns: and calling together their kinsmen and friends, and taking unto them such as continued in the Jews' religion, they assembled six thousand men.

Year of the World 3838, Year before Christ 166. Towns. Literally, "castles." Greek, "villages." It also means a town or village; and at this time, Judas chiefly dwelt in the deserts. (Haydock) --- Many particulars of this war are found [in] 1 Machabees 3:(Calmet)
II Maccabees 8:2 And they called upon the Lord, that he would look upon his people that was trodden down by all, and would have pity on the temple, that was defiled by the wicked:

Lord. Prayer is particularly requisite before battle. (Worthington)
II Maccabees 8:3 That he would have pity also upon the city that was destroyed, that was ready to be made even with the ground, and would hear the voice of the blood that cried to him:

Blood of the Jews unjustly slain. (Menochius) --- The voice of Abel's and of Christ's blood is very different, Genesis 4:10., and Hebrews 12:24.
II Maccabees 8:4 That he would remember also the most unjust deaths of innocent children, and the blasphemies offered to his name, and would shew his indignation on this occasion.

II Maccabees 8:5 Now when Machabeus had gathered a multitude, he could not be withstood by the heathens: for the wrath of the Lord was turned into mercy.

II Maccabees 8:6 So coming unawares upon the towns and cities, he set them on fire, and taking possession of the most commodious places, he made no small slaughter of the enemies:

II Maccabees 8:7 And especially in the nights he went upon these expeditions, and the fame of his valour was spread abroad every where.

II Maccabees 8:8 Then Philip seeing that the man gained ground by little and little, and that things for the most part succeeded prosperously with him, *wrote to Ptolemee, the governor of Celosyria and Phenicia, to send aid to the king's affairs.

Year of the World 3839. Philip seeing, etc. The governor of Jerusalem found himself unable to contend with Judas, especially after the victories he had obtained over Apollonius and Seron, 1 Machabees 3:(Challoner) --- He was left two years before (Calmet) to afflict the Jews. (Worthington)
II Maccabees 8:9 And he with all speed sent Nicanor, the son of Patroclus, one of his special friends, giving him no fewer than twenty thousand armed men of different nations, to root out the whole race of the Jews, joining also with him Gorgias, a good soldier, and of great experience in matters of war.

Twenty thousand. The whole number of the forces sent at that time into Judea, was 40,000 footmen and 7,000 horsemen; (1 Machabees 3:30.) but only 20,000 are here taken notice of, because there were no more with Nicanor at that time of the battle. (Challoner)
II Maccabees 8:10 And Nicanor purposed to raise for the king the tribute of two thousand talents, that was to be given to the Romans, by making so much money of the captive Jews:

Talents. So much the king was in arrear, owing to his prodigality. For which reason he was gone beyond the Euphrates [River] to raise money. His father had to pay the Romans 15,000 talents in twelve years.
II Maccabees 8:11 Wherefore he sent immediately to the cities upon the sea coast, to invite men together to buy up the Jewish slaves, promising that they should have ninety slaves for one talent, not reflecting on the vengeance which was to follow him from the Almighty.

Ninety. Often (Calmet) a talent was paid for one slave. (Josephus, Antiquities 12:4.)
II Maccabees 8:12 Now when Judas found that Nicanor was coming, he imparted to the Jews that were with him, that the enemy was at hand.

II Maccabees 8:13 And some of them being afraid, and distrusting the justice of God, fled away:

Justice. Greek diken, "vengeance" (Haydock) against the enemies. (Calmet)
II Maccabees 8:14 Others sold all that they had left, and withal besought the Lord, that he would deliver them from the wicked Nicanor, who had sold them before he came near them:

II Maccabees 8:15 And if not for their sakes, yet for the covenant that he had made with their fathers, and for the sake of his holy and glorious name that was invoked upon them.

Covenant. A just and religious cause is the best help in war. (Worthington)
II Maccabees 8:16 But Machabeus, calling together seven thousand that were with him, exhorted them not to be reconciled to the enemies, nor to fear the multitude of the enemies who came wrongfully against them, but to fight manfully:

Seven thousand. In the Greek it is six thousand. But then three thousand of them had no arms, 1 Machabees 4:6. (Challoner) --- If the army was divided into four companies of 1,500, there would be only 6,000. But if Judas had with him 3,000, it would consist of 7,500. (Calmet) --- Reconciled. Greek, "consternated at," etc. (Haydock)
II Maccabees 8:17 Setting before their eyes the injury they had unjustly done the holy place, and also the injury they had done to the city, which had been shamefully abused, besides their destroying the ordinances of the fathers.

II Maccabees 8:18 For, said he, they trust in their weapons, and in their boldness: but we trust in the Almighty Lord, who at a beck can utterly destroy both them that come against us, and the whole world.

II Maccabees 8:19 Moreover, he put them in mind also of the helps their fathers had received from God: *and how, under Sennacherib, a hundred and eighty-five thousand had been destroyed.

4 Kings 19:35.; Tobias 1:21.; Ecclesiasticus 48:24.; Isaias 37:36.; 1 Machabees 7:41.
II Maccabees 8:20 And of the battle that they had fought against the Galatians, in Babylonia; how they, being in all but six thousand, when it came to the point, and the Macedonians, their companions, were a stand, slew a hundred and twenty thousand, because of the help they had from heaven, and for this they received many favours.

Galatians. That is, the Gauls, who having ravaged Italy and Greece, poured themselves in upon Asia in immense multitudes, where also they founded the kingdom of Galatia, or Gallo-Graecia. (Challoner) --- This battle is nowhere else recorded in Scripture. But it seems to allude to the aid given to Soter by the Jews, (Worthington) when he repulsed the Galatians. (Appian.) --- Antiochus the great rewarded them for their valour shewn in behalf of his father. (Josephus, [Antiquities?] 12:3.) (Worthington) --- Six. Greek, 8,000. --- When. Greek, "with 4,000 Macedonians; when the Macedonians being at a stand, the 6,000 (Grabe substitutes 8,000) slew twelve myriads," etc. (Haydock) --- Historians have not specified this irruption, as it had no farther consequences. The Galatians were very powerful under Antiochus the great, and sided with him. The consul, Manlius, made them promise to keep within their own territories. But they did not observe this agreement, since they attacked Eumenes while Epiphanes persecuted the Jews. It is not agreed when they made the invasion of Babylonia, then defended by Jewish and Macedonian troops under the king of Syria.
II Maccabees 8:21 With these words they were greatly encouraged, and disposed even to die for the laws and their country.

II Maccabees 8:22 So he appointed his brethren captains over each division of his army; Simon, and Joseph, and Jonathan, giving to each one fifteen hundred men.

Joseph; perhaps the same with John Gaddis, or simply a relation.
II Maccabees 8:23 And after the holy book had been read to them by Esdras, and he had given them for a watch-word, The help of God: himself leading the first band, he joined battle with Nicanor:

Esdras. Greek and Syriac, "Eleazar;" probably the brother of Judas. Grotius thinks that the latter read the account of the death of Eleazar, which must be understood of the martyr, (chap. 5.) as the brother of Judas was slain under Eupator. Perhaps the law regarding people going to fight was read; (Deuteronomy 20:6., and 1 Machabees 3:56.) or as Judas prepared for battle by prayer and fasting, some portions of Scripture might be selected while they were at Maspha. --- Help. So he specifies the victory of God, 2 Machabees 13:15. (Calmet)
II Maccabees 8:24 And the Almighty being their helper, they slew above nine thousand men: and having wounded and disabled the greater part of Nicanor's army, they obliged them to fly.

Above nine thousand, viz., including the three thousand slain in the pursuit. (Challoner) --- Three thousand fell on the field of battle, 1 Machabees 4:15.
II Maccabees 8:25 And they took the money of them that came to buy them, and they pursued them on every side.

II Maccabees 8:26 But they came back for want of time: for it was the day before the sabbath: and therefore they did not continue the pursuit.

Time. They wished to be in the camp before the sabbath, having designed to collect the spoils.
II Maccabees 8:27 But when they had gathered together their arms and their spoils, they kept the sabbath: blessing the Lord who had delivered them that day, distilling the beginning of mercy upon them.

II Maccabees 8:28 Then after the sabbath they divided the spoils to the feeble and the orphans, and the widows: and the rest they took for themselves and their servants.

Widows. Judas follows the spirit rather than the letter of the law, Numbers 31:27., and Deuteronomy 14:29.
II Maccabees 8:29 When this was done, and they had all made a common supplication, they besought the merciful Lord, to be reconciled to his servants unto the end.

II Maccabees 8:30 Moreover, they slew above twenty thousand of them that were with Timotheus and Bacchides, who fought them, and they made themselves masters of the high strong holds: and they divided amongst them many spoils, giving equal portions to the feeble, the fatherless, and the widows; yea, and the aged also.

Timotheus. 2 Machabees 10:24. The particulars of this war are not given. It seems to have taken place after the temple was purified, ver. 31. We must distinguish this first war from another mentioned, 2 Machabees 10:24., and 1 Machabees 5:5. Judas defeated another Timotheus beyond the Jordan [River], 2 Machabees 12:10., and 1 Machabees 5:11, 34, 37.
II Maccabees 8:31 And when they had carefully gathered together their arms, they laid them all up in convenient places, and the residue of their spoils they carried to Jerusalem:

Jerusalem. They had taken all but the citadel, 2 Machabees 10:1.
II Maccabees 8:32 They slew also Philarches, who was with Timotheus, a wicked man, who had many ways afflicted the Jews.

II Maccabees 8:33 And when they kept the feast of the victory at Jerusalem, they burnt Callisthenes, that had set fire to the holy gates, who had taken refuge in a certain house, rendering to him a worthy reward for his impieties:

II Maccabees 8:34 But as for that most wicked man, Nicanor, who had brought a thousand merchants to the sale of the Jews,

II Maccabees 8:35 Being, through the help of the Lord, brought down by them, of whom he had made no account, laying aside his apparel of glory, fleeing through the midland country, he came alone to Antioch, being rendered very unhappy by the destruction of his army.

Apparel, as a general. (Calmet) --- Fleeing. Greek, "like a fugitive, having rendered himself destitute, he came through the midland country to Antioch above all being fortunate himself in," etc. (Haydock) --- He was too happy in having escaped. The Roman edition and Syriac agree with us, "being very unhappy," etc., (Calmet) which is substituted by Grabe. (Haydock)
II Maccabees 8:36 And he that had promised to levy the tribute for the Romans, by the means of the captives of Jerusalem, now professed that the Jews had God for their protector, and therefore they could not be hurt, because they followed the laws appointed by him.

II Maccabees 9:0 The wretched end, and fruitless repentance of king Antiochus.

II Maccabees 9:1 At that time Antiochus returned with dishonour out of Persia.

At. Read 1 Machabees 4:28. (Worthington) --- Time. The year [of the world] 3840. The motives and ill success of this journey are given [in] 1 Machabees 3:31., and 6:1. (Calmet)
II Maccabees 9:2 For he had entered into the city called Persepolis, and attempted to rob the temple, and to oppress the city; but the multitude running together to arms, put them to flight: and so it fell out that Antiochus being put to flight, returned with disgrace.

Persepolis; otherwise called Elymais, (Challoner) a chief (Worthington) "city of Persia." Hence Elymais may be called Persepolis. (Haydock) --- The famous city of this name, where Cyrus had built a palace to the astonishment of the world, had been (Calmet) burnt by Alexander when intoxicated, and urged on by a harlot. (Curtius 5:15.) --- Noble ruins still remain on the Araxes.
II Maccabees 9:3 Now when he was come about Ecbatana, he received the news of what had happened to Nicanor and Timotheus.

Ecbatana, capital of Media. (Calmet) --- See 2 Machabees 1:16. (Haydock)
II Maccabees 9:4 And swelling with anger, he thought to revenge upon the Jews the injury done by them that had put him to flight. And therefore he commanded his chariot to be driven, without stopping in his journey, the judgment of heaven urging him forward, because he had spoken so proudly, that he would come to Jerusalem, and make it a common burying-place of the Jews.

Forward. He felt a violent fit of the cholic.
II Maccabees 9:5 *But the Lord, the God of Israel, that seeth all things, struck him with an incurable and an invisible plague. For as soon as he had ended these words, a dreadful pain in his bowels came upon him, and bitter torments of the inner parts.

2 Paralipomenon 16:9.
II Maccabees 9:6 And indeed very justly, seeing he had tormented the bowels of others with many and new torments, albeit he by no means ceased from his malice.

II Maccabees 9:7 Moreover, being filled with pride, breathing out fire in his rage against the Jews, and commanding the matter to be hastened, it happened as he was going with violence, that he fell from the chariot, so that his limbs were much pained by a grievous bruising of the body.

II Maccabees 9:8 Thus he that seemed to himself to command even the waves of the sea, being proud above the condition of man, and to weigh the heights of the mountains in a balance, now being cast down to the ground, was carried in a litter, bearing witness to the manifest power of God in himself:

Man. He seems to have claimed divine honours, ver. 12., and 2 Machabees 5:21., and 9:8., and Daniel 11:36. (Arabic) (Calmet)
II Maccabees 9:9 So that worms swarmed out of the body of this man, and whilst he lived in sorrow and pain, his flesh fell off, and the filthiness of his smell was noisome to the army.

II Maccabees 9:10 And the man that thought a little before he could reach to the stars of heaven, no man could endure to carry, for the intolerable stench.

II Maccabees 9:11 And by this means, being brought from his great pride, he began to come to the knowledge of himself, being admonished by the scourge of God, his pains increasing every moment.

II Maccabees 9:12 And when he himself could not now abide his own stench, he spoke thus: It is just to be subject to God, and that a mortal man should not equal himself to God.

II Maccabees 9:13 Then this wicked man prayed to the Lord, of whom he was not like to obtain mercy.

Not like. Because his repentance was not for the offence committed against God, but barely on account of his present sufferings. (Challoner) --- For these he really grieved, 1 Machabees 6:11. Yet was not sorry for the offence against God and men. So the damned acknowledge that their punishments are inflicted on account of their sins, yet have not true repentance. (Worthington) --- In like manner Esau repented for the loss of his birthright, Hebrews 12:17. (Menochius) --- Epiphanes had abandoned God, who now laughs at him, (Proverbs 1:26.) as some of the Machabees had threatened, 2 Machabees 7:14, 7, 9, 31, 2, 5, 6.[14, 17, 19, 31, 32, 35, 36.?] He is the model of false penitents, who are actuated by servile fear.
II Maccabees 9:14 And the city, to which he was going in haste to lay it even with the ground, and to make it a common burying-place, he now desireth to make free.

Free and independent, (Calmet) like Antioch. (Pliny, [Natural History?] 5:21.)
II Maccabees 9:15 And the Jews, whom he said he would not account worthy to be so much as buried, but would give them up to be devoured by the birds and wild beasts, and would utterly destroy them with their children, he now promiseth to make equal with the Athenians.

Athenians. This seems to have been put for Antiochians, 2 Machabees 4:9., in Greek; which name would suit better here, as Epiphanes had no power over Athens. (Grotius; Calmet) --- Yet it was highly privileged (Haydock) above all the cities of Greece. (Menochius) --- Jason had obtained for the citizens of Jerusalem to be called Antiochians, 2 Machabees 6:1. But this grant had been revoked, or not carried into effect since the late troubles. (Calmet) --- Here the privilege is to be extended to all the Jews. (Haydock) --- Ptolemais and Calliroe enjoyed the same. (Harduin.)
II Maccabees 9:16 The holy temple also, which before he had spoiled, he promiseth to adorn with goodly gifts, and to multiply the holy vessels, and to allow out of his revenues the charges pertaining to the sacrifices.

Sacrifices, as Darius, Philometor, and afterwards (1 Machabees 10:39.) Nicator did, 1 Esdras 6:9. (Calmet)
II Maccabees 9:17 Yea also, that he would become a Jew himself, and would go through every place of the earth, and declare the power of God.

II Maccabees 9:18 But his pains not ceasing, (for the just judgment of God was come upon him) despairing of life, he wrote to the Jews, in the manner of a supplication, a letter in these words:

II Maccabees 9:19 To his very good subjects, the Jews, Antiochus, king and ruler, wisheth much health, and welfare, and happiness.

Subjects. Literally, "citizens." (Haydock) --- Similar addresses (ver. 20.) were sent by the emperors to the Romans; and by Caesar and Anthony to their allies. (Josephus, Antiquities 14:17., and 22.; Tull. Epist.)
II Maccabees 9:20 If you and your children are well, and if all matters go with you to your mind, we give very great thanks.

II Maccabees 9:21 As for me, being infirm, but yet kindly remembering you, returning out of the places of Persia, and being taken with a grievous disease, I thought it necessary to take care for the common good:

II Maccabees 9:22 Not distrusting my life, but having great hope to escape the sickness.

II Maccabees 9:23 But considering that my father also, at what time *he led an army into the higher countries, appointed who should reign after him:

Year of the World 3817, Year before Christ 187. Father: Antiochus the great. The Persian monarchs generally took this precaution. --- Countries. So profane authors style the provinces beyond the Euphrates [River]. Diodorus, St. Jerome (in Daniel xi.) and others, inform us that Antiochus attempted to plunder the temple of Belus, at Elymais, and took off a vast sum of money under pretext of paying the tribute to the Romans. But the neighbouring nations fell upon him, and cut him with his army to pieces. Philopator succeeded to the throne.
II Maccabees 9:24 To the end that if any thing contrary to expectation should fall out, or any bad tidings should be brought, they that were in the countries, knowing to whom the whole government was left, might not be troubled.

II Maccabees 9:25 Moreover, considering that neighbouring princes, and borderers, wait for opportunities, and expect what shall be the event, I have appointed my son, Antiochus, king, whom I often recommended to many of you, when I went into the higher provinces: and I have written to him what I have joined here below.

Antiochus Eupator, nine years old. --- Below. This is lost.
II Maccabees 9:26 I pray you, therefore, and request of you, that, remembering favours both public and private, you will every man of you continue to be faithful to me and to my son.

Favours. He must have been deranged. (Calmet)
II Maccabees 9:27 For I trust that he will behave with moderation and humanity, and following my intentions, will be gracious unto you.

II Maccabees 9:28 Thus the murderer and blasphemer being grievously struck, as himself had treated others, *died a miserable death in a strange country, among the mountains.

Year of the World 3839. Mountains, at Tabes, (Polybius) in Patacene. (Curtius v.) --- Historians relate that he lost his senses, (daimonesas) being terrified by a demon, on account of his criminal attempt against the temple of Diana. (Polybius, excerp. Vales.) (St. Jerome) --- This was a real crime in him, as he took the idol for a deity. But his conduct towards the temple and nation of the Jews would probably weigh heavier upon his conscience. (Calmet) --- St. Cyprian (exhort.) styles him "an inveterate enemy to all good; nay, in Antiochus antichrist is expressed." (Worthington)
II Maccabees 9:29 But Philip, that was brought up with him, carried away his body: and out of fear of the son of Antiochus, went into Egypt to Ptolemee Philometor.

That was. Syriac, "son of his nurse," appointed regent. --- Philometor Lysias asserted his title to the regency, and had the young king, so that Philip applied to the Egyptians to help in the execution of the last will of the deceased. (Calmet) --- Read 1 Machabees 6:17. (Worthington)
II Maccabees 10:0 The purification of the temple and city. Other exploits of Judas. His victory over Timotheus.

II Maccabees 10:1 But *Machabeus, and they that were with him, by the protection of the Lord, recovered the temple and the city again.

Year of the World 3840, Year before Christ 164. City. He had done both before the death of Epiphanes, (Calmet) after the fourth battle against Lysias, 1 Machabees 4:(Worthington) --- The author has given the journey and death of Antiochus together, and now returns to his subject.
II Maccabees 10:2 But he threw down the altars, which the heathens had set up in the streets, as also the temples of the idols.

Altars. Such were erected before the houses, 1 Machabees 1:50., and Jeremias 11:13.
II Maccabees 10:3 And having purified the temple, they made another altar: and taking fire out of the fiery stones, they offered sacrifices after two years, and set forth incense, and lamps, and the loaves of proposition.

Stones; "heated," (Greek; Syriac; Serarius) or by miracle, (Arabic; Gorionides; Tirinus) or striking fire with a flint upon tinder. In this manner the Church still renews fire on Holy Saturday. The Jews could not use profane fire in the temple, Leviticus 10:1. God restored the sacred fire by miracle, 2 Machabees 1:18., etc. Pagans have had many superstitious customs with regard to fire. (Calmet) Adde quod arcana fieri novus ignis in aede Dicitur et vires flamma reflecta capit. (Ovid, Fast. iii.) --- They obtained fire by means of a burning glass. (Calmet) --- If the vestal suffered it to go out, she was scourged by the pontiff. (Sextus.) --- Two, dating from the administration of Judas, and three since the temple was defiled. (Usher, the year [of the world] 3840.)
II Maccabees 10:4 And when they had done these things, they besought the Lord, lying prostrate on the ground, that they might no more fall into such evils; but if they should at any time sin, that they might be chastised by him more gently, and not be delivered up to barbarians and blasphemous men.

II Maccabees 10:5 Now upon the same day that the temple had been polluted by the strangers, on the very same day it was cleansed again; to wit, on the five and twentieth day of the month of Casleu.

II Maccabees 10:6 And they kept eight days with joy, after the manner of the feast of the tabernacles, remembering that not long before they had kept the feast of the tabernacles, when they were in the mountains, and in dens like wild beasts.

Manner, with the like ceremonies and solemnity. (Calmet) --- Green branches might be procured in November and December, as those months in Palestine are as fine as our spring. (Roger.)
II Maccabees 10:7 Therefore they now carried boughs, and green branches, and palms, for him that had given them good success in cleansing his place.

Green. Greek, "beautiful;" probably the orange tree, Leviticus 23:40. See diss.[dissertation?] on mandrakes. (Calmet) (Haydock)
II Maccabees 10:8 And they ordained by a common statute, and decree, that all the nation of the Jews should keep those days every year.

Days. Beza allows that Christ complied, John 10. It is wonderful then that Protestants should reject this book.
II Maccabees 10:9 And this was the end of Antiochus, that was called the Illustrious.

Illustrious. Go to 1 Machabees 5:1. (Worthington)
II Maccabees 10:10 But now we will relate the acts of Eupator the son of that wicked Antiochus, abridging the account of the evils that happened in the wars.

II Maccabees 10:11 For when he was come to the crown, he appointed over the affairs of his realm one Lysias, general of the army of Phenicia and Syria.

Appointed. So Lysias gave out, 2 Machabees 9:29. He had been governor before the journey of Epiphanes, 1 Machabees 3:32.
II Maccabees 10:12 For Ptolemee, that was called Macer, was determined to be strictly just to the Jews, and especially by reason of the wrong that had been done them, and to deal peaceably with them.

Macer, "lean." Greek makros, "tall." See 2 Machabees 4:45., and 8:8. Polybius styles him "a prudent and active man." (Calmet)
II Maccabees 10:13 But being accused for this to Eupator by his friends, and being oftentimes called traitor, because he had left Cyprus, which Philometor had committed to him, and coming over to Antiochus the Illustrious, had revolted also from him, he put an end to his life by poison.

Revolted. So they interpreted (Haydock) his disapprobation of the cruelties exercised upon the Jews. (Calmet) --- Greek, "had not yet any honourable place o[][of?] power entrusted to him, being dispirited, he," etc. (Haydock) --- It is never a proof of fortitude, but of pusillanimity, to kill oneself to get rid of temporal misery. But it is very heroical to die willingly for God's glory.
II Maccabees 10:14 But Gorgias, who was governor of the holds, taking with him the strangers, often fought against the Jews.

Gorgias, who had been defeated, 1 Machabees 4:(Worthington) --- He was an experienced captain in Idumea, and the country south of Carmel. (Calmet) --- Fought. Greek, "prolonged the war." (Grotius)
II Maccabees 10:15 And the Jews that occupied the most commodious hold, received those that were driven out of Jerusalem, and attempted to make war.

The Jews, etc. He speaks of them that had fallen from their religion, and were enemies of their country, who joining with the Idumeans or Edomites, kept possession of the strong holds, and from thence annoyed their countrymen. (Challoner) --- Greek and Syriac, "Idumeans," who appear in the sequel.
II Maccabees 10:16 Then they that were with Machabeus, beseeching the Lord by prayers to be their helper, made a strong attack upon the strong holds of the Idumeans:

II Maccabees 10:17 And assaulting them with great force, won the holds, killed them that came in the way, and slew altogether no fewer than twenty thousand.

II Maccabees 10:18 And whereas some were fled into very strong towers, having all manner of provision to sustain a siege,

Some; probably the sons of Bean, 1 Machabees 5:4.
II Maccabees 10:19 Machabeus left Simon and Joseph, and Zacheus, and them that were with them, in sufficient number to besiege them, and departed to those expeditions which urged more.

II Maccabees 10:20 Now they that were with Simon, being led with covetousness, were persuaded for the sake of money by some that were in the towers: and taking seventy thousand didrachmas, let some of them escape.

II Maccabees 10:21 But when it was told Machabeus what was done, he assembled the rulers of the people, and accused those men that they had sold their brethren for money, having let their adversaries escape.

II Maccabees 10:22 So he put these traitors to death, and forthwith took the two towers.

II Maccabees 10:23 And having good success in arms, and in all things he took in hand, he slew more than twenty thousand in the two holds.

Holds; strong places, defended with towers. Some Judas burnt. (Calmet)
II Maccabees 10:24 But Timotheus, who before had been overcome by the Jews, *having called together a multitude of foreign troops, and assembled horsemen out of Asia, came as though he would take Judea by force of arms.

1 Machabees 5:6.
Timotheus, who had been defeated (1 Machabees 8:30.; Worthington) soon after Nicanor.
II Maccabees 10:25 But Machabeus, and they that were with him, when he drew near, prayed to the Lord, sprinkling earth upon their heads, and girding their loins with haircloth,

II Maccabees 10:26 And lying prostrate at the foot of the altar, besought him to be merciful to them, and to be an enemy to their enemies, and an adversary to their adversaries, as the law saith.

Altar, between it and the porch, Joel 2:17. --- Law. Exodus 23:22., Leviticus 26:7., and Deuteronomy 7:15. (Calmet)
II Maccabees 10:27 And so after prayer taking their arms, they went forth further from the city, and when they were come very near the enemies they rested.

II Maccabees 10:28 But as soon as the sun was risen both sides joined battle: the one part having, with their valour, the Lord for a surety of victory, and success: but the other side making their rage their leader in battle.

II Maccabees 10:29 But when they were in the heat of the engagement, there appeared to the enemies from heaven five men upon horses, comely, with golden bridles, conducting the Jews:

II Maccabees 10:30 Two of them took Machabeus between them, and covered him on every side with their arms, and kept him safe; but cast darts and fire-balls against the enemy, so that they fell down, being both confounded with blindness, and filled with trouble.

II Maccabees 10:31 And there were slain twenty thousand five hundred, and six hundred horsemen.

II Maccabees 10:32 But Timotheus fled into Gazara, a strong hold, where Chereas was governor.

Gazara, different from Gaza, which is so called elsewhere. (Menochius) --- This Gazara was a fortress against the inroads of the Idumeans. --- Chereas, brother of Timotheus. (Calmet)
II Maccabees 10:33 Then Machabeus, and they that were with him, cheerfully laid siege to the fortress four days.

II Maccabees 10:34 But they that were within, trusting to the strength of the place, blasphemed exceedingly, and cast forth abominable words.

II Maccabees 10:35 But when the fifth day appeared, twenty young men of them that were with Machabeus, inflamed in their minds, because of the blasphemy, approached manfully to the wall, and pushing forward with fierce courage, got up upon it:

Men. Gorionides (III. 13.) says they were Assideans, mentioned before [in] 1 Machabees 2:42., and 7:13. (Worthington) --- Got. Greek, "slew every one they met." (Haydock)
II Maccabees 10:36 Moreover, others also getting up after them, went to set fire to the towers and the gates, and to burn the blasphemers alive.

After. Greek, "by a back way (Haydock; undefended, perispasmo. Grotius) to those within, burnt the towers, and kindling fires burnt the blasphemers alive. But these cut down the gates; and giving entrance to the rest of the army, took the city and killed Timotheus, who had hidden in a hole," (Haydock) or cistern; lakko. (Calmet) --- Vulgate had perhaps lacu. (Sa) (Menochius)
II Maccabees 10:37 And having for two days together pillaged and sacked the fortress, they killed Timotheus, who was found hid in a certain place: they slew also his brother, Chereas, and Apollophanes.

II Maccabees 10:38 And when this was done, they blessed the Lord with hymns and thanksgiving, who had done great things in Israel, and given them the victory.

II Maccabees 11:0 Lysias is overthrown by Judas. He sues for peace.

II Maccabees 11:1 A short time after this *Lysias, the king's lieutenant, and cousin, and who had chief charge over all the affairs, being greatly displeased with what had happened,

Year of the World 3841, Year before Christ 163. Cousin. He was of the blood royal and governor, (ver. 22., and 1 Machabees 11:18.) having supplanted Philip. (Calmet) --- Lysias had been vanquished already, 1 Machabees 4:28. (Worthington) (Calmet)
II Maccabees 11:2 Gathered together fourscore thousand men, and all the horsemen, and came against the Jews, thinking to take the city, and make it a habitation of the Gentiles:

II Maccabees 11:3 And to make a gain of the temple, as of the other temples of the Gentiles, and to set the high priesthood to sale every year:

Temple, as of a farm, by selling offices and requiring money of those who offered victims, 1 Machabees 10:42. (Calmet)
II Maccabees 11:4 Never considering the power of God, but puffed up in mind, and trusting in the multitude of his foot soldiers, and the thousands of his horsemen, and his fourscore elephants.

II Maccabees 11:5 So he came into Judea, and approaching to Bethsura, which was in a narrow place, the space of five furlongs from Jerusalem, he laid siege to that fortress.

Narrow. Greek, "secure." Protestants, "strong town." --- Furlongs. Greek, "schoenus," (Haydock) 625 paces. Yet Eusebius and St. Jerome say it was twenty miles distant, towards Hebron, (Josue 15:58.) which seems more accurate. (Calmet) --- Some figure may easily have been changed. (Haydock)
II Maccabees 11:6 But when Machabeus, and they that were with him, understood that the strong holds were besieged, they and all the people besought the Lord with lamentations and tears, that he would send a good angel to save Israel.

Angel. Knowing that the patriarchs and Moses had often received such aid, the Machabees prayed that their good cause might be espoused by the angels; and their request was granted, though they were forced to co-operate. Sometimes God gave victory without the interference of men, Exodus xiv., and 4 Kings xix. (Worthington)
II Maccabees 11:7 Then Machabeus himself first taking his arms, exhorted the rest to expose themselves together with him, to the danger, and to succour their brethren.

II Maccabees 11:8 And when they were going forth together with a willing mind, there appeared at Jerusalem a horseman going before them in white clothing, with golden armour, shaking a spear.

Horseman, in appearance, but really (Haydock) an angel, as five came before, 2 Machabees 10:29.
II Maccabees 11:9 Then they all together blessed the merciful Lord, and took great courage: being ready to break through not only men, but also the fiercest beasts, and walls of iron.

II Maccabees 11:10 So they went on courageously, having a helper from heaven, and the Lord, who shewed mercy to them.

II Maccabees 11:11 And rushing violently upon the enemy, like lions, they slew of them eleven thousand footmen, and one thousand six hundred horsemen:

II Maccabees 11:12 And put all the rest to flight; many of them being wounded, escaped naked: Yea, and Lysias himself fled away shamefully, and escaped.

II Maccabees 11:13 And as he was a man of understanding, considering with himself, the loss he had suffered, and perceiving that the Hebrews could not be overcome, because they relied upon the help of the Almighty God, he sent to them:

II Maccabees 11:14 And promised that he would agree to all things that are just, and that he would persuade the king to be their friend.

II Maccabees 11:15 Then Machabeus consented to the request of Lysias, providing for the common good in all things; and whatsoever Machabeus wrote to Lysias, concerning the Jews, the king allowed of.

II Maccabees 11:16 For there were letters written to the Jews from Lysias, to this effect: Lysias to the people of the Jews, greeting.

II Maccabees 11:17 John, and Abesalom, who were sent from you, delivering your writings, requested that I would accomplish those things which were signified by them.

Delivering; (Syriac) but Greek has, "seeing the oracle subscribed, (or underwritten) made a petition concerning the things declared in it." (Haydock) --- Kings' decrees were often styled oracles; and this might contain leave for Lysias to treat with the Jews, (Grotius) or the last injunction of Epiphanes, (chap. 9:19.) or the resolution of Judas. (Calmet)
II Maccabees 11:18 Therefore whatsoever things could be reported to the king, I have represented to him: and he hath granted as much as the matter permitted.

II Maccabees 11:19 If, therefore, you will keep yourselves loyal in affairs, hereafter also I will endeavour to be a means of your good.

II Maccabees 11:20 But as concerning other particulars, I have given orders by word both to these, and to them that are sent by me, to commune with you.

II Maccabees 11:21 Fare ye well. In the year one hundred and forty-eight, *the four and twentieth day of the month of Dioscorus.

Year of the World 3841. In the year one hundred and forty-eight; viz., according to the computation of the Greeks, which was different from that of the Hebrews, followed by the writer of the first book of Machabees. However by this date, as well as by other circumstances, it appears that the expedition of Lysias, mentioned in this chapter, is different from that recorded [in] 1 Machabees 6:16. (Challoner) --- Dioscorus. Syriac, "the last of Tisri." Greek, "Jupiter of Corinth," which is more unintelligible. There was no month called Dioscorus among the Greeks. (Calmet) --- It might be put for Dius, (Grotius) or Distrus, (Serarius; Tirinus) or it was an intercalary month, between March and April, (Salien) or the Macedonians had two names for some months. (Haydock)
II Maccabees 11:22 But the king's letter contained these words: King Antiochus to Lysias, his brother, greeting.

Brother. So he is styled for honour, ver. 35. (Menochius)
II Maccabees 11:23 Our father being translated amongst the gods, we are desirous that they that are in our realm should live quietly, and apply themselves diligently to their own concerns.

Gods. This impious custom began in the East, and was abolished by Christianity. (Calmet) --- Epiphanes had affected to be a god, but at last saw his folly, 2 Machabees 9. (Haydock)
II Maccabees 11:24 And we have heard that the Jews would not consent to my father to turn to the rites of the Greeks, but that they would keep to their own manner of living, and therefore that they request us to allow them to live after their own laws.

II Maccabees 11:25 Wherefore being desirous that this nation also should be at rest, we have ordained and decreed, that the temple should be restored to them, and that they may live according to the custom of their ancestors.

Restored. It was already occupied by the Jews, but they were much disturbed by the garrison. Now their rights are admitted.
II Maccabees 11:26 Thou shalt do well, therefore, to send to them, and grant them peace, that our pleasure being known, they may be of good comfort, and look to their own affairs.

II Maccabees 11:27 But the king's letter to the Jews was in this manner: King Antiochus to the senate of the Jews, and to the rest of the Jews, greeting.

Senate. The constitution was aristocratical.
II Maccabees 11:28 If you are well, you are as we desire: we ourselves also are well.

II Maccabees 11:29 Menelaus came to us, saying that you desired to come down to your countrymen, that are with us.

Menelaus. He was at Antioch, and was reputed high priest, being established by the king. But the Jews would not receive him, having chosen Judas. (Calmet)
II Maccabees 11:30 We grant, therefore, a safe conduct to all that come and go, until the thirtieth day of the month of Xanthicus,

Day, or for fifteen days, ver. 33. (Menochius)
II Maccabees 11:31 That the Jews may use their own kind of meats, and their own laws, as before: and that none of them any manner of ways be molested for things which have been done by ignorance.

Ignorance. He excuses them, and grants an amnesty, 1 Machabees 13:39. (Calmet)
II Maccabees 11:32 And we have sent also Menelaus to speak to you.

II Maccabees 11:33 Fare ye well. In the year *one hundred and forty-eight, the fifteenth day of the month of Xanthicus.

Year of the World 3841.
II Maccabees 11:34 The Romans also sent them a letter, to this effect. Quintus Memmius, and Titus Manilius, ambassadors of the Romans, to the people of the Jews, greeting.

Romans. Others were sent soon after to burn the ships and maim the elephants, which Eupator had more than had been agreed upon. (Usher, the year [of the world] 3841.) --- They undertake to promote the welfare of their allies. Yet the peace was of short duration, and perhaps never ratified.
II Maccabees 11:35 Whatsoever Lysias, the king's cousin, hath granted you, we also have granted.

II Maccabees 11:36 But touching such things as he thought should be referred to the king, after you have diligently conferred among yourselves, send some one forthwith, that we may decree as it is convenient for you: for we are going to Antioch.

II Maccabees 11:37 And therefore make haste to write back, that we may know of what mind you are.

II Maccabees 11:38 Fare ye well. In the year one hundred and forty-eight, the fifteenth day of the month of Xanthicus.

II Maccabees 12:0 The Jews are still molested by their neighbours. Judas gains divers victories over them. He orders sacrifice and prayers for the dead.

II Maccabees 12:1 When *these covenants were made, Lysias went to the king, and the Jews gave themselves to husbandry.

Year of the World 3841, Year before Christ 163.
II Maccabees 12:2 But they that were behind, viz. Timotheus, and Apollonius, the son of Genneus, also Hieronymus, and Demophon, and besides them Nicanor, the governor of Cyprus, would not suffer them to live in peace, and to be quiet.

Timotheus and Apolloinus. Others of the same name were slain before, 2 Machabees 10:37., and 1 Machabees 3:11. (Worthington) (Calmet)
II Maccabees 12:3 The men of Joppe also were guilty of this kind of wickedness: they desired the Jews, who dwelt among them, to go with their wives and children into the boats, which they had prepared, as though they had no enmity to them.

II Maccabees 12:4 Which when they had consented to, according to the common decree of the city, suspecting nothing, because of the peace: when they were gone forth into the deep, they drowned no fewer than two hundred of them.

II Maccabees 12:5 But as soon as Judas heard of this cruelty done to his countrymen, he commanded the men that were with him: and after having called upon God, the just judge,

II Maccabees 12:6 He came against those murderers of his brethren, and set the haven on fire in the night, burnt the boats, and slew with the sword them that escaped from the fire.

II Maccabees 12:7 And when he had done these things in this manner, he departed as if he would return again, and root out all the Joppites.

II Maccabees 12:8 But when he understood that the men of Jamnia also designed to do in like manner to the Jews that dwelt among them,

Designed. The heart is the source of sin, and God thus punished the intentions of the Jamnites. (Haydock)
II Maccabees 12:9 He came upon the Jamnites also by night, and set the haven on fire, with the ships, so that the light of the fire was seen at Jerusalem, two hundred and forty furlongs off.

Off, or ten leagues. Jerusalem was on elevated ground. (Calmet) --- A furlong is about the eighth part of a mile, (others say the fifth, or a thousand feet) so that the fire was seen at the distance of thirty or forty-eight miles. (Worthington)
II Maccabees 12:10 And when they were now gone from thence nine furlongs, and were marching towards Timotheus, five thousand footmen, and five hundred horsemen of the Arabians, set upon them.

II Maccabees 12:11 And after a hard fight, in which, by the help of God, they got the victory, the rest of the Arabians being overcome, besought Judas for peace, promising to give him pastures, and to assist him in other things.

Rest. Greek, "the Nomades," (Haydock) who dwelt in tents, and lived on plunder, (Strabo xvi.) like Ismael, Genesis 16:12.
II Maccabees 12:12 And Judas thinking that they might be profitable indeed in many things, promised them peace, and after having joined hands, they departed to their tents.

II Maccabees 12:13 He also laid siege to a certain strong city, encompassed with bridges and walls, and inhabited by multitudes of different nations, the name of which is Casphin.

Casphin; Chasbon, or Hesebon, 1 Machabees 5:26., and Numbers 21:25. It was famous for its waters.
II Maccabees 12:14 But they that were within it, trusting in the strength of the walls, and the provision of victuals, behaved in a more negligent manner, and provoked Judas with railing and blaspheming, and uttering such words as were not to be spoken.

Spoken. The enemy generally reviled the Jews.
II Maccabees 12:15 But Machabeus calling upon the great Lord of the world, who without any rams or engines of war threw down the walls of Jericho, *in the time of Josue, fiercely assaulted the walls.

Josue 6:20.
World. Thus setting a pattern to virtuous generals.
II Maccabees 12:16 And having taken the city by the will of the Lord, he made an unspeakable slaughter, so that a pool adjoining, of two furlongs broad, seemed to run with the blood of the slain.

II Maccabees 12:17 From thence they departed seven hundred and fifty furlongs, and came to Characa, to the Jews that are called Tubianites.

Characa, or Carcar, Judges 8:10., and 11:3. (Calmet) --- Tubianites, "religiously good;" probably the Assideans, (1 Machabees 2:42.; Worthington) or inhabitants of Tob. (Haydock)
II Maccabees 12:18 But as for Timotheus, they found him not in those places, for before he had dispatched any thing he went back, having left a very strong garrison in a certain hold:

Things. The Jews had retired to Characa or Dathema, so that he ravaged the country and left garrisons, which were cut in pieces. Judas soon after with 6000 routed Timotheus, though he had 122,500 men, 1 Machabees 5:8, 27, 43.
II Maccabees 12:19 But Dositheus, and Sosipater, who were captains with Machabeus, slew them that were left by Timotheus in the hold, to the number of ten thousand men.

II Maccabees 12:20 And Machabeus having set in order about him six thousand men, and divided them by bands, went forth against Timotheus, who had with him a hundred and twenty thousand footmen, and two thousand five hundred horsemen.

II Maccabees 12:21 Now when Timotheus had knowledge of the coming of Judas, he sent the women and children, and the other baggage, before him into a fortress, called Carnion: for it was impregnable, and hard to come at, by reason of the straitness of the places.

Carnion, or Asteroth Carnaim.
II Maccabees 12:22 But when the first band of Judas came in sight, the enemies were struck with fear, by the presence of God, who seeth all things, and they were put to flight one from another, so that they were often thrown down by their own companions, and wounded with the strokes of their own swords.

II Maccabees 12:23 But Judas was pursued them close, punishing the profane, of whom he slew thirty thousand men.

II Maccabees 12:24 And Timotheus himself fell into the hands of the band of Dositheus and Sosipater, and with many prayers he besought them to let him go with his life, because he had the parents and brethren of many of the Jews, who, by his death, might happen to be deceived.

Deceived. Greek, "if they slew him, would not be regarded," (Haydock) but slain without mercy. (Calmet)
II Maccabees 12:25 And when he had given his faith that he would restore them according to the agreement, they let him go without hurt, for the saving of their brethren.

II Maccabees 12:26 Then Judas went away to Carnion, where he slew five and twenty thousand persons.

Carnion. Greek adds, "and the temple of Astergata," (Haydock) the idol Astarte, or Derceto of the Philistines.
II Maccabees 12:27 And *after he had put to flight and destroyed these, he removed his army to Ephron, a strong city, wherein there dwelt a multitude of divers nations: and stout young men standing upon the walls, made a vigorous resistance: and in this place there were many engines of war, and a provision of darts.

Year of the World 3841, Year before Christ 163.
II Maccabees 12:28 But when they had invocated the Almighty, who with his power breaketh the strength of the enemies, they took the city: and slew five and twenty thousand of them that were within.

II Maccabees 12:29 From thence they departed to Scythopolis, which lieth six hundred furlongs from Jerusalem.

Scythopolis. Formerly called Bethsan, (Challoner) near the lake of Tiberias.
II Maccabees 12:30 But the Jews that were among the Scythopolitans testifying that they were used kindly by them, and that even in the times of their adversity they had treated them with humanity:

II Maccabees 12:31 They gave them thanks, exhorting them to be still friendly to their nation, and so they came to Jerusalem, the feast of the weeks being at hand.

Weeks of Pentecost, celebrated seven weeks after the Passover, Leviticus 23:15. (Calmet)
II Maccabees 12:32 And after Pentecost they marched against Gorgias, the governor of Idumea.

Gorgias, who had been twice defeated, 2 Machabees 10:14., and 1 Machabees 4:1. (Worthington) --- Idumea. Grotius would read Jamnia. But he might govern the southern parts of Juda, (Calmet) then occupied by the Idumeans. (Haydock)
II Maccabees 12:33 And he came out with three thousand footmen, and four hundred horsemen.

II Maccabees 12:34 And when they had joined battle, it happened that a few of the Jews were slain.

II Maccabees 12:35 But Dositheus, a horseman, one of Bacenor's band, a valiant man, took hold of Gorgias: and when he would have taken him alive, a certain horseman of the Thracians came upon him, and cut off his shoulder: and so Gorgias escaped to Maresa.

Maresa. Syriac, "Samaria," as the Vulgate has, 1 Machabees 5:66.
II Maccabees 12:36 But when they that were with Esdrin had fought long, and were weary, Judas called upon the Lord to be their helper, and leader of the battle:

II Maccabees 12:37 Then beginning in his own language, and singing hymns with a loud voice, he put Gorgias's soldiers to flight.

II Maccabees 12:38 So Judas having gathered together his army, came into the city Odollam: and when the seventh day came, they purified themselves according to the custom, and kept the sabbath in the same place.

Place. Probably without the walls, Numbers 19:2, 17., and 31:19.
II Maccabees 12:39 And the day following Judas came with his company, to take away the bodies of them that were slain, and to bury them with their kinsmen, in the sepulchres of their fathers.

Following, on Saturday evening, or on Sunday. --- Fathers, with those of the same nation.
II Maccabees 12:40 And they found under the coats of the slain, some of the donaries of the idols of Jamnia, *which the law forbiddeth to the Jews: so that all plainly saw, that for this cause they were slain.

Deuteronomy 7:25.
Of the donaries, etc. That is, of the votive offerings, which had been hung up in the temples of the idols, which they had taken away when they burnt the port of Jamnia, (ver. 9.) contrary to the prohibition of the law, Deuteronomy 7:25. (Challoner) --- All such things should have been destroyed, (Josue vii., and 1 Kings xv.; Worthington) or melted down. Perhaps the soldiers intended to bring them to Judas. He excused them charitably, and hoped that their temporal chastisement might have served to expiate their fault.
II Maccabees 12:41 Then they all blessed the just judgment of the Lord, who had discovered the things that were hidden.

II Maccabees 12:42 And so betaking themselves to prayers, they besought him, that the sin which had been committed might be forgotten. But the most valiant Judas exhorted the people to keep themselves from sin, forasmuch as they saw before their eyes what had happened, because of the sins of those that were slain.

Forgotten. Syriac, "imperfect." Greek, "effaced." (Calmet) --- Some copies, "that they might not, on account of the sin committed, be entirely blotted out." (Aldus; Usher) --- They were convinced that some sins might be forgiven in the other world, particularly when the living interceded. (Calmet) --- The Jews began to pray for the dead after the captivity, (Grotius) when the prophets had more clearly explained what took place after death. (Calmet) --- Yet the doctrine and practice might still be as ancient as the world. (Haydock) --- If it had not prevailed before, Judas would never have entertained such sentiments. (Worthington) --- The Jews admit a sort of purgatory for "the prevaricators of Israel," which differs from hell only in duration. They assert that the damned of their nation are exempt from suffering on the sabbath. (Bartolocci; Leo 5:10.; Tirinus; Estius) --- Some Christians have supposed that the sin here specified was mortal, and the deceased in hell, yet prayer might be of service to them. Origen (Prin. 3:6.) thought that even the devils would one day be liberated. St. Augustine (Ench. 110:29.) says prayers "are of service, either that the remission may be entire, or surely that damnation itself may be more tolerable." Most understand this of purgatory: but several explain it of the damned. (Rrot. Bened.) --- A mass was formerly composed for this purpose, tolerabilia fiant ipsa tormenta: and some monks prayed for certain robbers slain, "that their pains might be diminished by the severe judge." (Aldrev. xxi) Excommunication might be taken off from the deceased. (St. Gregory, Dial. 2:29.) --- Purgatory is for venial sins. (Ibid.[St. Gregory, Dial.] 4:39.) This doctrine is proved beyond reply by various controvertists. (Calmet)
II Maccabees 12:43 And making a gathering, he sent twelve thousand drachms of silver to Jerusalem for sacrifice to be offered for the sins of the dead, thinking well and religiously concerning the resurrection.

Twelve. Greek, "two." Syriac, "three." St. Prosper. reads "12,000 talents." Sacrifices for the dead were not enjoined, but the practice was then established, and this author takes every opportunity of proving the resurrection against the Sadducees, who then began to appear. The Church of Christ has adopted the same practice. See Bellarmine, Serarius, etc. Our adversaries confess that such was the opinion of the Jews, and of the ancient doctors of the Church. But they declare it superstitious, and deny the authority of these books, which has been sufficiently established. Could such holy personages authorize superstition? Would Christ and his apostles have tolerated it? St. Paul prayed for Onesiphorus after his decease, 2 Timothy 1:16. See Matthew 12:33., and Luke 16:9., and 1 Corinthians 3:13., and 15:29.; Eusebius, Life of Constantine iv.; St. Epiphanius, haer. lxxv.; St. Cyprian 1:ep. 9.; Tertullian, etc. (Calmet)
II Maccabees 12:44 (For if he had not hoped that they that were slain should rise again, it would have seemed superfluous and vain to pray for the dead)

II Maccabees 12:45 And because he considered that they who had fallen asleep with godliness, had great grace laid up for them.

With godliness. Judas hoped that these men who died fighting for the cause of God and religion, might find mercy; either because they might be excused from mortal sin by ignorance, or might have repented of their sin at least at their death. (Challoner) --- Charity requires us to judge thus, when there are no positive proofs to the contrary. (Calmet) --- Pope John VIII answered the bishops of France, that those who died fighting against infidels were saved. (Mabil. T. 3:An. Ben.) --- Judas might entertain the like hopes, though they are not always well grounded. (Haydock)
II Maccabees 12:46 It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins.

Holy. This text is so clear, that our adversaries judge it best to deny the book to be canonical. As that has been authentically proved, (Preface) we shall only add that the Greek version, though differing in many points, is here as express as the Vulgate, (Worthington) 45. "considering that the best grace is laid up for those who sleep in piety. Holy and pious is the thought. (Haydock) Wherefore he made reconciliation (or expiation) for the dead, that they might be delivered from sin," or punishment due to it. (Worthington) --- Sin is often taken for the punishment; and this effect of mortal sin may be remitted in purgatory, when the person has sincerely repented in this life. (Haydock) --- To pass over other proofs, we will only mention St. Augustine (haer. liii.) and St. Bernard, (Cant. lxvi.) who plainly account those "heretics," who deny purgatory. It is also worthy of notice that Judas, who acted thus charitably, was the high priest and defender of the true faith; and that the Jews still pray for the dead, as the book Mahzor, published by Genebrard, 1569, evinces. There they say, "Let him rest in peace," and "ye angels of peace come forth to meet him." But this is acknowledged by Munster and Fagius, (in Deuteronomy xiv.) and by Whitaker. --- Sins. Go to 1 Machabees 6:18. (Worthington)
II Maccabees 13:0 Antiochus and Lysias again invade Judea. Menelaus is put to death. The king's great army is worsted twice. The peace is renewed.

II Maccabees 13:1 In *the year one hundred and forty-nine, Judas understood that Antiochus Eupator was coming with a multitude against Judea,

Year of the World 3841, Year before Christ 163. Eupator. Several of his generals had been already defeated. He therefore comes in person, 1 Machabees 6:28. (Calmet) --- He was not above ten years old. But Lysias thought that his presence would animate the soldiers. (Haydock)
II Maccabees 13:2 And with him Lysias, the regent, who had charge over the affairs of the realm, having with him a hundred and ten thousand footmen, five thousand horsemen, twenty-two elephants, and three hundred chariots armed with hooks.

A hundred and ten thousand, etc. The difference between the numbers here set down and those recorded [in] 1 Machabees iv., is easily accounted for, if we consider that such armies as these are liable to be at one time more numerous than at another, either by sending away large detachments, or being diminished by sickness, or increased by receiving fresh supplies of troops, according to different exigencies or occurrences. (Challoner) --- There are many such difficulties in the Books of Kings, etc. Only some of the troops were permanent. (Worthington) --- Most were auxiliaries, so that the number might often vary. Nothing is said of the chariots, 1 Machabees 6:30.
II Maccabees 13:3 Menelaus also joined himself with them: and with great deceitfulness besought Antiochus, not for the welfare of his country, but in hopes that he should be appointed chief ruler.

Country. He had continued at Antioch, as the Jews would not receive him, 2 Machabees 4:24. (Calmet) --- Yet now he pretended to be solicitous for their welfare, (Haydock) only that he might obtain power.
II Maccabees 13:4 But the King of kings stirred up the mind of Antiochus against the sinner, and upon Lysias suggesting that he was the cause of all the evils, he commanded (as the custom is with them) that he should be apprehended and put to death in the same place.

Evils. The ambition of Jason and of Menelaus had brought on all these disturbances, 2 Machabees 4:7., etc., and 1 Machabees 1:12. --- Place. It would seem on the journey to Judea: but Josephus says he was slain after the king's return, at Antioch. The sacred historian relates what concerns him together. (Calmet) --- In the. Greek, "conducting him to Berea." (Haydock)
II Maccabees 13:5 Now there was in that place a tower fifty cubits high, having a heap of ashes on every side: this had a prospect steep down.

Down. A beam was laid across the walls, on which the criminal, having been well regaled with wine, was placed till he fell among the ashes. (V. Max. 9:2.) --- Hystaspes invented this punishment. (Calmet) --- Prospect. Greek, "organ, (or round instrument)" (Protestants) like a wheel, (Calmet) "hanging (or whirling a person) on all sides headlong over the ashes. Thence all pushed him who was guilty of sacrilege, or of other crimes, forward to ruin." (Haydock) --- Syriac passes over ver. 5 and 6. (Calmet)
II Maccabees 13:6 From thence he commanded the sacrilegious wretch to be thrown down into the ashes, all men thrusting him forward unto death.

II Maccabees 13:7 And by such a law it happened that Menelaus, the transgressor of the law, was put to death: not having so much as burial in the earth.

II Maccabees 13:8 And indeed very justly, for insomuch as he had committed many sins against the altar of God, the fire and ashes of which were holy: he was condemned to die in ashes.

II Maccabees 13:9 But the king, with his mind full of rage, came on to shew himself worse to the Jews than his father was.

With. Greek, "rendered barbarous by his designs," (Haydock) intending to punish the Jews worse than his father.
II Maccabees 13:10 Which when Judas understood, he commanded the people to call upon the Lord day and night, that as he had always done, so now also he would help them:

II Maccabees 13:11 Because they were afraid to be deprived of the law, and of their country, and of the holy temple: and that he would not suffer the people, that had of late taken breath for a little while, to be again in subjection to blasphemous nations.

II Maccabees 13:12 So when they had all done this together, and had craved mercy of the Lord with weeping and fasting, lying prostrate on the ground for three days continually, Judas exhorted them to make themselves ready.

II Maccabees 13:13 But he, with the ancients, determined before the king should bring his army into Judea, and make himself master of the city, to go out, and to commit the event of the thing to the judgment of the Lord.

Ancients. The people were not convoked. (Calmet)
II Maccabees 13:14 So committing all to God, the Creator of the world, and having exhorted his people to fight manfully, and to stand up even to death for the laws, the temple, the city, their country, and citizens: he placed his army about Modin.

II Maccabees 13:15 And having given his company for a watchword, The victory of God, with most valiant chosen young men, he set upon the king's quarter by night, and slew four thousand men in the camp, and the greatest of the elephants, with them that had been upon him,

Watchword that night. (Worthington) --- He usually gave some pious sentence, chap 7:23. --- Quarter. Literally, "hall," (Haydock) a praetorium, or tent. --- Four. Some Greek and Latin copies have "two." Syriac, "three," though the old edition of the Vulgate read, 14,000. --- Greatest, carrying thirty-two men, 1 Machabees 6:37. Greek also, "the chief over the elephants, with all his troop in the house," (Haydock) or the servants. (Calmet) --- Protestants, "will all that were upon him." (Haydock) --- This office was very considerable, 2 Machabees 14:12. (Grotius) (Calmet)
II Maccabees 13:16 And having filled the camp of the enemies with exceeding great fear and tumult, they went off with good success.

II Maccabees 13:17 Now this was done at the break of day, by the protection and help of the Lord.

II Maccabees 13:18 But the king having taken a taste of the hardiness of the Jews, attempted to take the strong places by policy:

II Maccabees 13:19 And he marched with his army to Bethsura, which was a strong hold of the Jews: but he was repulsed, he failed, he lost his men.

II Maccabees 13:20 Now Judas sent necessaries to them that were within.

II Maccabees 13:21 But Rhodocus, one of the Jews' army, disclosed the secrets to the enemies, so he was sought out, and taken up, and put in prison.

Prison. This traitor was either in the camp or at Bethsura. (Calmet)
II Maccabees 13:22 Again the king treated with them that were in Bethsura: gave his right hand: took theirs: and went away.

Away. Caesar said in the same laconic style, Veni, vidi, vici. (Haydock)
II Maccabees 13:23 He fought with Judas: and was overcome. And when he understood that Philip, who had been left over the affairs, had rebelled at Antioch, he was in a consternation of mind, and entreating the Jews, and yielding to them, he swore to all things that seemed reasonable, and, being reconciled, offered sacrifice, honoured the temple, and left gifts.

Overcome. Hence Eleazar signalized himself, 1 Machabees 6:43. --- Rebelled. Lysias persuaded him to treat the just exertions of Philip in this light. He was himself the usurper of the regency. He easily persuaded the young prince that peace was now most expedient; and conditions were granted to the Jews, which would have been very advantageous if they had been observed. But the king having offered sacrifice by the hands of the priests, and seeing the strength of the wall round Sion, ordered them to be demolished. (Calmet)
II Maccabees 13:24 He embraced Machabeus, and made him governor and prince from Ptolemais unto the Gerrenians.

Gerrenians. Gerrus was on the frontiers of Egypt. (Ptol.) --- It was formerly called Gerara, Genesis 20:1. The successors of Judas afterwards possessed this government. (Calmet) --- Greek, "He made Hegemonides governor from," etc. (Usher, the year [of the world] 3841.)
II Maccabees 13:25 But when he was come to Ptolemais, the men of that city were much displeased with the conditions of the peace, being angry for fear they should break the covenant.

Of the. They disliked a Jewish governor, being always bitter against that nation, 2 Machabees 6:8., and 1 Machabees 5:15., and 12:48. (Calmet) --- Greek, "they or he raged, because they would break the agreements" (Haydock) with the Jews, (Calmet) or would revolt. (Syriac) (Grotius)
II Maccabees 13:26 Then Lysias went up to the judgment-seat, and set forth the reason, and appeased the people, and returned to Antioch: and thus matters went with regard to the king's coming and his return.

II Maccabees 14:0 Demetrius challenges the kingdom. Alcimus applies to him to be made high priest: Nicanor is sent into Judea: his dealings with Judas: his threats. The history of Razias.

II Maccabees 14:1 But *after the space of three years Judas, and they that were with him, understood that Demetrius, the son of Seleucus, was come up with a great power, and a navy by the haven of Tripolis, to places proper for his purpose,

Year of the World 3842, Year before Christ 162. But. Read 1 Machabees 7:1. (Worthington) --- Years of Eupator's reign, or dating from the purification of the temple. --- Demetrius, to whom the crown belonged, 1 Machabees 7:1.
II Maccabees 14:2 And had made himself master of the countries against Antiochus, and his general, Lysias.

II Maccabees 14:3 Now one Alcimus, who had been chief priest, but had wilfully defiled himself in the time of mingling with the heathens, seeing that there was no safety for him, nor access to the altar,

Priest, after Menelaus, (1 Machabees 7:5.) but never recognized, as Judas was then pontiff. He had, moreover, voluntarily defiled himself during the times of persecution; or, according to most Greek copies, (Calmet) when there was "no mixture" of Gentiles in the land to instigate him. (Haydock) --- Though he was of Aaron's stock, this apostacy rendered him ineligible; Mathathias was chosen, being also descended from Aaron, and more sincere in religion. (Worthington)
II Maccabees 14:4 Came to king Demetrius in the year *one hundred and fifty, presenting unto him a crown of gold, and a palm, and besides these, some boughs which seemed to belong to the temple. And that day indeed he held his peace.

Year of the World 3843. Fifty, according to the Chaldean reckoning, 2 Machabees 2:21. (Menochius) --- Boughs; probably (Haydock) of gold, (Worthington) or adorned with leaves of that metal. People presented what they thought proper to the temple. The apostles admired these gifts, as well as the stones of that fabric, Luke 21:5.
II Maccabees 14:5 But having gotten a convenient time to further his madness, being called to counsel by Demetrius, and asked what the Jews relied upon, and what were their counsels,

II Maccabees 14:6 He answered thereunto: They among the Jews that are called Assideans, of whom Judas Machabeus is captain, nourish wars, and raise seditions, and will not suffer the realm to be in peace.

\f + \fr 14:6-11\ft Assideans: the most zealous defenders of the faith. Alcimus had slain sixty of them, 1 Machabees 7:12, 19. (Calmet) --- This description, given by enemies through malice, serves to shew the zeal and sincerity of these people in promoting God's law and virtue. --- Him. See 1 Machabees 7:26. (Worthington) --- Alcimus was guilty of much falsehood. He was not of the family to which the high priesthood belonged, and he had rendered himself unworthy of it, ver. 3, 7.
II Maccabees 14:7 For I also being deprived of my ancestor's glory (I mean of the high priesthood) am now come hither:

II Maccabees 14:8 Principally indeed out of fidelity to the king's interests, but in the next place also to provide for the good of my countrymen: for all our nation suffereth much from the evil proceedings of those men.

II Maccabees 14:9 Wherefore, O king, seeing thou knowest all these things, take care, I beseech thee, both of the country, and of our nation, according to thy humanity which is known to all men,

II Maccabees 14:10 For as long as Judas liveth it is not possible that the state should be quiet.

II Maccabees 14:11 Now when this man had spoken to this effect, the rest also of the king's friends, who were enemies of Judas, incensed Demetrius against him.

II Maccabees 14:12 And forthwith he sent Nicanor, the commander over the elephants, governor into Judea:

Nicanor; perhaps the same who had been defeated, 2 Machabees 8:21., and 1 Machabees 4:8.
II Maccabees 14:13 Giving him in charge, to take Judas himself: and disperse all them that were with him, and to make Alcimus the high priest of the great temple.

Great temple. Such was the pagan's idea of it, ver. 31.
II Maccabees 14:14 Then the Gentiles who had fled out of Judea, from Judas, came to Nicanor by flocks, thinking the miseries and calamities of the Jews to be the welfare of their affairs.

Gentiles and apostate Jews. (Calmet) --- Such people and politicians advanced themselves by pillaging the faithful. (Worthington)
II Maccabees 14:15 Now when the Jews heard of Nicanor's coming, and that the nations were assembled against them, they cast earth upon their heads, and made supplication to him who chose his people to keep them for ever, and who protected his portion by evident signs.

II Maccabees 14:16 Then at the commandment of their captain, they forthwith removed from the place where they were, and went to the town of Dessau, to meet them.

II Maccabees 14:17 Now Simon, the brother of Judas, had joined battle with Nicanor, but was frightened with the sudden coming of the adversaries.

Coming. Greek, "silence," (Bodwell) fearing some stratagem.
II Maccabees 14:18 Nevertheless Nicanor hearing of the valour of Judas' companions, and the greatness of courage, with which they fought for their country, was afraid to try the matter by the sword.

II Maccabees 14:19 Wherefore he sent Posidonius, and Theodotius, and Matthias before to present and receive the right hands.

II Maccabees 14:20 And when there had been a consultation thereupon, and the captain had acquainted the multitude with it, they were all of one mind to consent to covenants.

Captain. Judas laid the proposals before all the people.
II Maccabees 14:21 So they appointed a day upon which they might commune together by themselves: and seats were brought out, and set for each one.

II Maccabees 14:22 But Judas ordered armed men to be ready in convenient places, lest some mischief might be suddenly practised by the enemies: so they made an agreeable conference.

II Maccabees 14:23 And Nicanor abode in Jerusalem, and did no wrong, but sent away the flocks of the multitudes that had been gathered together.

II Maccabees 14:24 And Judas was always dear to him from the heart, and he was well affected to the man.

From the heart; sincerely. (Calmet) --- Greek, "he had Judas always in sight." (Haydock) --- His love was only apparent. (Tirinus) --- Yet this is contrary to the text, (Haydock) and to the common opinion.
II Maccabees 14:25 And he desired him to marry a wife, and to have children. So he married: he lived quietly, and they lived in common.

II Maccabees 14:26 But Alcimus seeing the love they had one to another, and the covenants, came to Demetrius, and told him that Nicanor assented to the foreign interest, for that he meant to make Judas, who was a traitor to the kingdom, his successor.

His successor, so as to keep Alcimus out of his office. (Calmet)
II Maccabees 14:27 Then the king, being in a rage, and provoked with this man's wicked accusations, wrote to Nicanor, signifying that he was greatly displeased with the covenant of friendship: and that he commanded him nevertheless to send Machabeus prisoner in all haste to Antioch.

II Maccabees 14:28 When this was known, Nicanor was in a consternation, and took it grievously that he should make void the articles that were agreed upon, having received no injury from the man.

II Maccabees 14:29 But because he could not oppose the king, he watched an opportunity to comply with the orders.

The king. Nicanor was a worldly politician, like Pilate and other judges who have no zeal for religion, (Worthington) or for justice, being disposed to sacrifice all to their own interest. (Haydock)
II Maccabees 14:30 But when Machabeus perceived that Nicanor was more stern to him, and that when they met together as usual he behaved himself in a rough manner; and was sensible that this rough behaviour came not of good, he gathered together a few of his men, and hid himself from Nicanor.

A few. Greek and Syriac, "not a few." (Haydock) --- Nicanor attacked him, and lost 5000 men, 1 Machabees 12:27. (Calmet)
II Maccabees 14:31 But he finding himself notably prevented by the man, came to the great and holy temple: and commanded the priests that were offering the accustomed sacrifices, to deliver him the man.

II Maccabees 14:32 And when they swore unto him, that they knew not where the man was whom he sought, he stretched out his hand to the temple,

Knew not. This was true, and they would not seek for him (Worthington) if it had been required.
II Maccabees 14:33 And swore, saying: Unless you deliver Judas prisoner to me, I will lay this temple of God even with the ground, and will beat down the altar, and I will dedicate this temple to Bacchus.

Bacchus: a very suitable temple, when beaten to the ground! (Haydock) --- He is styled Liber, and accounted the inventor of wine: hence drunkards dedicate temples to him. (Worthington)
II Maccabees 14:34 And when he had spoken thus, he departed. But the priests stretching forth their hands to heaven, called upon him that was ever the defender of their nation, saying in this manner:

II Maccabees 14:35 Thou, O Lord of all things, who wantest nothing, wast pleased that the temple of thy habitation should be amongst us.

II Maccabees 14:36 Therefore now, O Lord, the holy of all holies, keep this house for ever undefiled, which was lately cleansed.

II Maccabees 14:37 Now Razias, one of the ancients of Jerusalem, was accused to Nicanor, a man that was a lover of the city, and of good report, who for his kindness was called the father of the Jews.

Jews. No crime could be laid to his charge, but his love for religion and his country.
II Maccabees 14:38 This man, for a long time, had held fast his purpose of keeping himself pure in the Jews' religion, and was ready to expose his body and life, that he might persevere therein.

Had held. Greek, "when they were unmixed, had been judged for Judaism; (Haydock) or been brought to judgment for keeping others from idolatry. (Syriac) (Calmet)
II Maccabees 14:39 So Nicanor being willing to declare the hatred that he bore the Jews, sent five hundred soldiers to take him.

II Maccabees 14:40 For he thought by ensnaring him to hurt the Jews very much.

II Maccabees 14:41 Now as the multitude sought to rush into his house, and to break open the door, and to set fire to it, when he was ready to be taken, he struck himself with his sword:

He struck himself, etc. St. Augustine (Epist. lxi. ad Dulcitium et lib. 2. cap. 23. ad Epist. 2. Gaud.) discussing this fact of Razias, says that the holy Scripture relates it, but doth not praise it, as to be admired or imitated, and that it was not well done by him, or at least not proper in this time of grace. (Challoner) --- Whether he was thus inspired or not, we dare not decide. The Jews infer form the conduct of Samson, Saul, and Razias, that suicide is lawful when a person fears being overcome by torments, or giving occasion to other's blasphemy. But Christianity lays down better maxims; (Romans 3:8.) and St. Augustine, (contra Gaud. 1:31., and ep. 61 or 204) St. Thomas Aquinas, ([Summa Theologiae] 2:2. q. 64. a. 5.) and others, disapprove of this action, observing that it is recorded and not praised, though other virtues of Razias be commended. (Calmet) --- It was either not well done, or not to be imitated in this time of grace. (St. Augustine, 2:23. contra ep. 2. Gaud.) (Worthington) --- Yet this holy doctor excuses Samson and some Christian virgins, by saying that they acted by the direction of the Holy Spirit. (Sup. and City of God 1:21.) (Haydock) (Lyranus) Tirinius) --- This seems to be here the case, as the fact appears to be commended. (Menochius)
II Maccabees 14:42 Choosing to die nobly rather than to fall into the hands of the wicked, and to suffer abuses unbecoming his noble birth.

II Maccabees 14:43 But whereas through haste he missed of giving a sure wound, and the crowd was breaking into the doors, he ran boldly to the wall, and manfully threw himself down to the crowd:

II Maccabees 14:44 But they quickly making room for his fall, he came upon the midst of the neck.

Neck. Venit per medium cervicem. --- In the Greek it is keneona, which signifies a void place, where there is no building; (Challoner; Grotius) and also "the belly," which accounts for his not being killed on the spot. (G.[Calmet?])
II Maccabees 14:45 And as he had yet breath in him, being inflamed in mind, he arose: and while his blood ran down with a great stream, and he was grievously wounded, he ran through the crowd:

II Maccabees 14:46 And standing upon a steep rock, when he was now almost without blood, grasping his bowels, with both hands he cast them upon the throng, calling upon the Lord of life and spirit, to restore these to him again: and so he departed this life.

II Maccabees 15:0 Judas, encouraged by a vision, gains a glorious victory over Nicanor. The conclusion.

II Maccabees 15:1 But *when Nicanor understood that Judas was in the places of Samaria, he purposed to set upon him with all violence, on the sabbath day.

1 Machabees 7:26.
Year of the World 3843, Year before Christ 161. But. Read here 1 Machabees 7:39. (Worthington) --- Samaria. Arabic, "Sebaste," which is the same. Yet Judas was at Adarsa, in the tribe of Ephraim. (Calmet) --- Sabbath. The profane take advantage of people's tender consciences. But Judas being well-informed, fought on the sabbath, 1 Machabees 3:40.
II Maccabees 15:2 And when the Jews that were constrained to follow him, said: Do not act so fiercely and barbarously, but give honour to the day that is sanctified: and reverence him that beholdeth all things:

II Maccabees 15:3 That unhappy man asked, if there were a mighty One in heaven, that had commanded the sabbath day to be kept.

II Maccabees 15:4 And when they answered: There is the living Lord himself in heaven, the mighty One, that commanded the seventh day to be kept.

II Maccabees 15:5 Then he said: And I am mighty upon the earth, and I command to take arms, and to do the king's business. Nevertheless he prevailed not to accomplish his design.

Earth. O Luciferian blasphemy! (Worthington) --- He seems to place himself above the Lord of heaven. (Calmet)
II Maccabees 15:6 So Nicanor being puffed up with exceeding great pride, thought to set up a public monument of his victory over Judas.

Public. Greek, "common trophy over all the men of Judas." (Haydock) --- Syriac, "he fortified himself exceedingly." A trophy consisted of the trunk of a tree hung round with arms.
II Maccabees 15:7 But Machabeus ever trusted with all hope that God would help them.

II Maccabees 15:8 And he exhorted his people not to fear the coming of the nations, but to remember the help they had before received from heaven, and now to hope for victory from the Almighty.

II Maccabees 15:9 And speaking to them out of the law, and the prophets, and withal putting them in mind of the battles they had fought before, he made them more cheerful:

II Maccabees 15:10 Then after he had encouraged them, he shewed withal the falsehood of the Gentiles, and their breach of oaths.

Oaths, of which Eupator had lately given an instance. Apollonius and the people of Joppe had acted perfidiously. (Calmet)
II Maccabees 15:11 So he armed every one of them, not with defence of shield and spear, but with very good speeches and exhortations, and told them a dream worthy to be believed, whereby he rejoiced them all.

Not with, not only, or so much with, etc. (Haydock) --- Dream. He knew it was supernatural (Calmet) by God's light, as St. Joseph did, Matthew 1:20. (Worthington)
II Maccabees 15:12 Now the vision was in this manner: Onias, who had been high priest, a good and virtuous man, modest in his looks, gentle in his manners, and graceful in speech, and who from a child was exercised in virtues, holding up his hands, prayed for all the people of the Jews:

Onias III, who had been slain (Calmet) at Daphne, 2 Machabees 4:34. (Haydock) --- The Jewish and Christian Churches never doubted that the saints interceded in the other world for the living, in whose concerns they take part. (Calmet) --- Protestants evade this text by denying the canonicity of the book. Yet the same is proved [in] Genesis xlviii., Exodus xxxii., Jeremias xv., Luke xvi., Apocalypse 5:6, 8., and 2 Peter i., and we have a right to produce the authority of this book, as Origen, (18 in Jo.) St. Bernard, (76 in Cant. et ser. 3. Nat., etc.) have done. Onias and Jeremias, in limbo, interested themselves for the faithful on earth, and no doubt the saints in glory will do as much. (Worthington)
II Maccabees 15:13 After this there appeared also another man, admirable for age, and glory, and environed with great beauty and majesty:

II Maccabees 15:14 Then Onias answering, said: This is a lover of his brethren, and of the people of Israel: this is he that prayeth much for the people, and for all the holy city, Jeremias, the prophet of God.

II Maccabees 15:15 Whereupon Jeremias stretched forth his right hand, and gave to Judas a sword of gold, saying:

Gold, such as kings and chief officers of Persia used. (Calmet) --- Jeremias (xxxviii. 17.) had formerly dissuaded war: now he encourages it; as it also has a time, Ecclesiastes 3:8. (Worthington)
II Maccabees 15:16 Take this holy sword, a gift from God, wherewith thou shalt overthrow the adversaries of my people, Israel.

II Maccabees 15:17 Thus being exhorted with the words of Judas, which were very good, and proper to stir up the courage, and strengthen the hearts of the young men, they resolved to fight, and to set upon them manfully: that valour might decide the matter, because the holy city, and the temple were in danger.

Fight. Greek, "not to fortify the camp," (Calmet) or "remain there:" (Haydock) me stratopedeuesthai. (Calmet) --- Grabe reads strateuesthai, "to act as soldiers." (Haydock) --- Syriac, "not to trust in troops set in array, but to take courage, and to expose their lives, in this extremity, for their country and for the temple."
II Maccabees 15:18 For their concern was less for their wives, and children, and for their brethren, and kinsfolks: but their greatest and principal fear was for the holiness of the temple.

II Maccabees 15:19 And they also that were in the city, had no little concern for them that were to be engaged in battle.

II Maccabees 15:20 And now when all expected what judgment would be given, and the enemies were at hand, and the army was set in array, the beasts and the horsemen ranged in convenient places,

II Maccabees 15:21 Machabeus considering the coming of the multitude, and the divers preparations of armour, and the fierceness of the beasts, stretching out his hands to heaven, called upon the Lord, that worketh wonders, who giveth victory to them that are worthy, not according to the power of their arms, but according as it seemeth good to him.

II Maccabees 15:22 And in his prayer he said after this manner: *Thou, O Lord, who didst send thy angel in the time of Ezechias, king of Juda, and didst kill a hundred and eighty-five thousand of the army of Sennacherib:

2 Machabees 8:19.
II Maccabees 15:23 Send now also, O Lord of heaven, thy good angel before us, for the fear and dread of the greatness of thy arm,

II Maccabees 15:24 That they may be afraid, who come with blasphemy against thy holy people. And thus he concluded his prayer.

II Maccabees 15:25 But Nicanor, and they that were with him came forward, with trumpets and songs.

Songs. Greek, "pean," sung in honour of Apollo. (Calmet) --- Before battle his aid was thus invoked, and he was thanked with songs after a victory. (Grotius)
II Maccabees 15:26 But Judas, and they that were with him, encountered them, calling upon God by prayers:

II Maccabees 15:27 So fighting with their hands, but praying to the Lord with their hearts, they slew no less than five and thirty thousand, being greatly cheered with the presence of God.

Five. Josephus has only 30,000. (Antiquities 12:17.) (Calmet) --- Presence. He had granted them victory. (Menochius)
II Maccabees 15:28 And when the battle was over, and they were returning with joy, they understood that Nicanor was slain in his armour.

Armour, at the beginning of the battle, 1 Machabees 7:44.
II Maccabees 15:29 Then making a shout, and a great noise, they blessed the Almighty Lord in their own language.

Language, composing a canticle in Hebrew or using such as had been written (Calmet) by David, etc. (Haydock)
II Maccabees 15:30 And Judas, who was altogether ready, in body and mind, to die for his countrymen, commanded that Nicanor's head, and his hand, with the shoulder, should be cut off, and carried to Jerusalem.

Shoulder. Thus his bust was set up. But the right arm was hung over-against the temple, ver. 33., and 1 Machabees 7:47. (Calmet)
II Maccabees 15:31 And when he was come thither, having called together his countrymen, and the priests to the altar, he sent also for them that were in the castle,

II Maccabees 15:32 And shewing them the head of Nicanor, and the wicked hand, which he had stretched out, with proud boasts, against the holy house of the Almighty God,

II Maccabees 15:33 He commanded also, that the tongue of the wicked Nicanor, should be cut out and given by pieces to birds, and the hand of the furious man to be hanged up over-against the temple.

II Maccabees 15:34 Then all blessed the Lord of heaven, saying: Blessed be he that hath kept his own place undefiled.

Blessed. Greek, "raising their voices, (Menochius) or looking towards heaven, praised the Lord, who had made himself manifest:" epiphane kurion. (Haydock)
II Maccabees 15:35 And he hung up Nicanor's head in the top of the castle, that it might be an evident and manifest sign of the help of God.

II Maccabees 15:36 And they all ordained by a common decree, by no means to let this day pass without solemnity:

II Maccabees 15:37 But to celebrate the thirteenth day of the month of Adar, called in the Syrian language, the day before Mardochias' day.

Adar; our February and March. The 13th was the feast, "of lots," Esther 9:23. (Calmet)
II Maccabees 15:38 So these things being done with relation to Nicanor, and from that time the city being possessed by the Hebrews, I also will here make an end of my narration.

So. Read 1 Machabees 8:1., where more on this subject is written. After other persecutors were overcome, the land was at rest, and the author adds this general conclusion. (Worthington)
II Maccabees 15:39 Which if I have done well, and as it becometh the history, it is what I desired: but if not so perfectly, it must be pardoned me.

So. Greek, "If in a frugal and middling style, this is as well as I was able." (Haydock) --- Perfectly. This is not said with regard to the truth of the narration, but with regard to the style and manner of writing, which in the sacred penmen is not always the most accurate. See St. Paul, 2 Corinthians 11:6. (Challoner) --- The style was frequently left to their choice. (Haydock) --- Inspiration did not exclude natural acquirements. (Calmet) --- The author is not afraid of having said any thing erroneous, though he might be less polished, like St. Paul: imperitus sermone sed non scientia. But we, having now come to the end of the Old Testament, must crave pardon for any mistakes into which we may have fallen, in the execution of this work, which is dedicated to the English (Worthington) and to all his majesty's Catholic subjects, for whose benefit chiefly and for the sake of religion it has been undertaken. The many things hard to be understood, [2 Peter 3:16.] which we did not wish to pass over, have swelled this work to a larger volume than was at first intended; larger, perhaps, than the purses of the poor and middle ranks, in the late hard times, could bear. But now the prospect is more cheering; and it is hoped that this profusion on a subject of such vast importance will be pardoned, particularly as we had also to comply with the desires of the more affluent, who repeatedly requested that the notes might be rather "more ample." As they that prepare a feast, and seek to satisfy the will of others, so we, for the sake of many, willingly undergo the labour, 2 Machabees 2:28. The variety of matter and of style may well be compared to a mixture of wine and water, ver. 40. Yet our aim has not been merely to please, but rather to counteract the baneful influences of heresy and infidelity. Thomas Paine (Age of Reason, part 2nd) having touched upon a few difficulties in some of the books of Scripture, says exultingly: "I have gone through the Bible as a man would go through a wood, with an axe on his shoulders, and fell trees; here they lie, and the priests, if they can, may replant them. They may perhaps stick them in the ground, but they will never grow." Yes, they will grow, and brave the fury of tempests, because they have been planted not by priest, but by the hand of God. The Scriptures and the Church will stand and support each other till time shall be no more. The true faith has been preserved from Adam through all succeeding generations, and antichrist himself will not be able to destroy it. My WORD shall not pass away, [Mark 13:31.] says our divine Master. As we have repeatedly proved this assertion in the foregoing notes, which are already perhaps too copious, we shall refer the more inquisitive reader to the remarks of Dr. Worthington on the six ages, in the Douay Bible.
II Maccabees 15:40 For as it is hurtful to drink always wine, or always water, but pleasant to use sometimes the one, and sometimes the other: so if the speech be always nicely framed, it will not be grateful to the readers. But here it shall be ended.

Always. Greek, "only." (Haydock) --- Readers delight in variety. A middle style is adopted. (Calmet) --- But. Greek, "But as wine mixed with water is pleasant, and affords delight, so the preparation (or style) of a discourse pleases the ears of those who read what is collected. But here shall be an end." (Haydock)