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A. M.3596. A. C. 408; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 8070. A. C. 341. 1 MAC. 1-vi.7, 2.MAC.ii-X. JOS. HIST.b. xi. c. 7–6.xli. c. 14. forced at last to submit to the weight of 146 years ; but in the same manner as his father had done, destroying before his death,' be called his five sons together, and, every where all utensils and implements of idolatry; baving exhorted e them to stand up valiantly for the law slaying all idolaters and apostate Jews ; rescuing the of God, and, with a steady courage and constancy, to true worshippers of God from the hands of their oppresfight the battles of Israel against the present persecutors, sors ; and for their better security for the future, fortifyhe appointed Judas to be their captain in his stead, and ing their towns, rebuilding their fortresses, and placing Simeon to be their counsellor; and so, giving up the strong garrisons in them. These proceedings gave the ghost, he was buried at Modin, in the sepulchres of his Syrian court some umbrage; and therefore Antiochus ? forefathers, and all the faithful in Israel made great ordered Apollonius, bis governor in Samaria, to raise lamentation for him.
forces, and go against him; but Judas having defeated Judas, who is surnamed Maccabæus, as he had taken and slain him, made a great havock among his troops, upon him the command, went round the cities of Judea, and, finding the governor's sword among the spoils, he
took it for his own use, and generally fought with it all
his life after. Seron, the deputy governor of some part Mac, ii. 49, &c.; Jewish Antiq. b. xii. c. 8. of Celo-Syria, hearing of Apollonius's defeat, got to• The speech which Josephus puts in the mouth of old Matta- gether all the forces that were under his command, and, thias upon this occasion, is widely different from what we find in in hopes of gaining himself honour, came in pursuit of 1 Mac. ii. 49, &c., but not undeserving of our observatiot. Judas; but, instead of that, he met with the same fate,
My dear sons," says he, “my life is drawing to an end; I am to charge you, upon my blessing, before I leave you, that being vanquished and slain in the manner that Apollo you stand firm to the cause that your father has asserted before nius was. you without any staggering or shrinking. Remember what I Enraged at these two defeats, Antiochus sent three have told you, and do as I have advised you. Do your utmost
eminent commanders, Ptolemy-Macron, Nicanor, and to support the rights and laws of your country, and to restore the Gorgias, to manage the war against the Jews; who, order of a nation that wants but very little of being swallowed up in confusion. Have nothing to do with those that, either for with an army of forty thousand foot, and seven thousand lear or for interest, have betrayed it. Show yourselves to be horse, together with a great number of auxiliaries from sons worthy of such a father; and, in contempt of all force and neighbouring nations, and renegado Jews,* came, and with comfort, if any occasion should require it, in defence of encamped at Emmaus, & not far from Jerusalem. Judas, your country; computing with yourselves, that this is the way on the other hand, marched with his men to Mizpeh, . to preserve yourselves in God's favour, and that, in consideration where, having implored God's merciful assistance in of so unshaken a virtue, he will in time restore you to the liberty this time of distress, and f encouraged them in words of your former life and manners. Our bodies, it is true, are mortal ; but great and generous actions will make us immortal in our memory; and that is the glory I would that you aspire
31 Mac. iii. 10; Jewish Antiq. b. xi. c. 10. to, that is to say, the glory of making the history of your lives famous to after ages by your illustrious actions." The rest of
1 Mac. iii. 13, &c.; Jewish Antiq. b. xii. c. 10. his speech agrees with what we find in the book of Mattathias,
• 1 Mac. iji, 39, &c., and Josephus, ibid. wherein he distributes to each son the office that he knew him in the number and splendour of his victories, to exceed all those hest qualified for; and then concludes, " Do but mind your busi- recorded of a Joshua and a Jephthah, a Barak and a Gideon: Dess, and depend upon it, that all men of honour and piety will with this difference, that, in the former, the Israelites obtained join with you."-Jewish Antiq, b. xii, c. 8.
peace and rest in consequence of divine interpositions, whilst, iu 6 Why Judas and his successors were called Maccabees is the latter, such were wholly unavailing, till the growing weake uncertain. The book from which this epithet is derived, being ness of the Syrian power, and the frequent political struggles for written in Greek, we have no certainty which were the original the crown among the worthless descendants of Seleucus, enabled letters of the word. It might seem, at first sight, to be derived the Jews gradually to throw off the yoke of their pagan rulers, from the Hebrew term macchabeh, a word which signifies hid, and secure their independence.--Bell's Rollin, vol. ii. p. 609. as a contemptuous epithet bestowed on them by their adversaries, LED. or their apostate countrymen, because they concealed themselves c This, in all probability, was the same Apollonius whom in caves and rocks; but who having afterwards wiped off that Antiochus sent at first to plunder Jerusalem, and afterwards to reproach by their bravery, still retained that appellation in set up the statue of Jupiter Olympius, and to compel the Jews memory of their former concealment; or, from the word mak. to relinquish their religion.-Calmet's Commentary. kebah, a cavern; and so, they might be called caverners, or d This was a village lying to the west of Jerusalem, and bethose who Jurked io caverns. The book itself, which contains tween seven and eight miles from it. It was honoured with our the history of Judas and his successors, down to the death of the Saviour's presence after his resurrection, and therein were hot high priest Simona period of forty years, was originally writ. baths, for Emmaus comes from the Hebrew Chamath, which ten in that dialect of the Hebrew which the Jews used after signifies baths of hot water, that were very beneficial to those their return from the Babylonish captivity, but of which book that used them.-Calmet's Dictionary under the word. we now possess only the Greek version; but by whom the trans- e At this time Jerusalem was in the hands of the heathen; lation was made, or the original composed, is unknown. It is and the sanctuary trodden under foot; so that Judas could not plain, however, that the author of this book has forfeited all title assemble his men there, to implore the assistance of God in this to an honest veracious historian; his exaggerations are so mon- time of imminent danger; and therefore he repaired to Mizpeh, strous, and his discrepancies so manifest. I by no means dis- a place where the people oftentimes used to assemble for prayer, pute the fact, that a number of faithful Jews stood out against (Jud. xx. 1. 1 Kings xv. 22. 2 Chron. xvi. 6.) Here he and the invaders of their country, and were zealous for the God of all his army addressed themselves to God, in solemn fasting and their fathers. I as really believe this, as I believe in the exist- prayer, for his assistance and protection: and herein he acted ence of Wallace, the hero of Scottish romance. It is the the part of a wise and religious commander, as knowing that the tissue of gross exaggeration which runs through the whole nar- battle was the Lord's, and that therefore it would be impious to tative of the Jewish hero's exploits, with which fault is here begin any such enterprise, without first imploring the divine found. Of this I am firmly persuaded, that no sensible, well-aid.—Prideaux's Connection, anno 166. informed man, will ever place such a romantic history as that The speech which Judas makes to his men upon this occaof the first book of the Maccabees on a level with the historical sion, as we have it in Josephus, is a very excellent one:—"We books of the Old Testament; as the facts there narrated bear shall never have,” says he, " my fellow soldiers and companions, internal evidence of their truth, and are perfect sobriety com- such an opportunity again of showing our bravery in the defence pared with the deeds of a hero, whom his biographer has made; of our country, and the contempt of all dangers, as we have now A. M. 3596. a. C. 108; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 5070, A. C. 341. 1 MAC. i-vi. 7. 2 MAC. iii-A, JO. Hisi,b. xi,c.imb. xii.c.lu proper on such an occasion to fight for their religion, together, in order to invade him, marched directly laws, and liberties, with a courage undaunted, and, as against them; and, having overthrown them in a great the cause was God's, with a firm assurance of success, battle, slew above twenty thousand of their men, enriched he led them forth to the engagement. But, having first his army with their spoils, and, out of them, provided caused proclamation to be made, that all such as had himself with arms, and other things necessary for the that year built houses, planted vineyards, betrothed wives, future carrying on of the war. or were in any degree fearful, should depart, his six 5 Lysias, whom the king, when he went upon his thousand
which he bad at first, were reduced to expedition into Persia, bad constituted chief governor three thousand.
of all the country from Euphrates to Egypt, being vexed 2 With this handful of men, however, he was resolved and ashamed at all these defeats, put himself at the to give the enemy battle. But hearing that Gorgias bead of an army of sixty thousand foot, and five thousand was detached from them with five thousand foot, and a borse ; and marched into Judea, with a full intent to thousand horse, to surprise his camp by night, he coun- destroy the country, and all its inhabitants, he pitched termined his plot by another of the same kind : for, his camp at Bethzura,a strong place lying to the south quitting his own camp, and marching towards the enemy, of Jerusalem, near the confines of Idumea. There he fell upon them, while Gorgias with the best of his Judas met him with ten thousand men only; and having forces was absent, and put them into such a surprise and engaged his numerous army, and slain five thousand of confusion, that they took to their heels, and fled, leav- them, the rest he put to flight, and sent Lysias back ing him master of their camp, and three thousand of their again with his baffled forces to Antioch, but with a purmen dead upon the spot.
pose to come again with a greater strength another Gorgias, coming to the Jewish camp, found it empty; year. and concluding from thence, that Judas had fled into By this retreat of his, Judas having made himself the mountains for fear, he pursued him thither ; but, master of all Judea, thought it his duty to purge the when he found him not, and was returning to his own house of the Lord, and to remove those profanations, camp, he understood that it had been entered and which for three years last past it had been forced to burned ; that the main army was broken and fled; and submit to. To this purpose, he appointed a certain that Judas was ready in the plains to give him a warm number of priests to cleanse the sanctuary, to pull down reception. Hereupon he could no longer keep his men the altar which the heathens had set up, and to build together; for, seized with a panic fear, they flung down another of 6 unhewn stones, to consecrate the courts their arms, and tied: when Judas, putting himself in anew, and to make all things again fit and commodious pursuit of them, slew great numbers more, so that the for the service of God. whole announted to nine thousand, and of those that Antiochus, in his sacrilegious pillage of the temple, escaped from the battle, most were sorely wounded and which we have related, had taken away the altar of maimed. Judas, 3 with his victorious arny, returning incense, the table of the showbread, the golden candlefrom the chase, entered the enemy's camp, where he stick, and several other vessels and utensils, without found plenty of rich plunder; and so proceeding in which the service could not regularly be performed ; but triumph to Jerusalem, celebrated the next day, which out of the spoils i which Judas had taken from the enewas the Sabbath, with great devotion, rejoicing and my he was able to have all these things made anew, oi praising God for this signal and merciful deliverance. the same metal, and in the same manner as they were
Judas, after this, having intelligence, that Tiinotheus, before ; and having thus put all things in their proper A governor of the country beyond Jordan, and Bacchides, another lieutenant in those parts, were drawing forces
5 Mac. iv. 26, &c.; Jewish Antiq. b. xi. c. 10.
* Exod. xx. 25; Deut. xxviii. 5; Jusi, viii. 31. Deut. xx. 7, 8. ? | Mac. iv. 1, &c.
7 1 Mac. iv, 49. 31 Mac, iv. 23. &c.; Jewish Antiq. b. xi. c. 10.
a It had been fortified by king Rehoboam, (2 Chron. xi. 20) • Mac, viii, 30, 31.
and was, at this time, a very important fortress, as being one before us; for, upon the issue of to-morrow's combat depends, the keys of Judea on the south side of Iduinea.-Universal tist. not only our liberty, but all the comforts and advantages that b. ii. c. II. attend it; and, over and above the blessing of such a freedom, our 6 Wherever the name of Idumea, or the land of Edom, cerurs very religion lies at stake with it loo, and we cannot secure the in any of the writings of the Old Testament, it is to be underone but by preserving the other. Bethink yourselves well, stvod of that Idumea, or land of Edum, which lay between the therefore, what it is you are to contend for, and you will find it Lake of Sodom and the Red Sea, and was afterwards called to be no less than the sum and substance of the greatest happi- Arabia Petræa. But the inhabitants of this country, being ness that you have ever enjoyed, that is to say, in the peaceable driven out by the Nabathæans, while the Jews were in uw Babypossession of your ancient laws, rites and discipline. Now, lonish captivity, and their land laid desolate, they then took pesa whether you will rather choose to perish with infamy, and to session of as much of the southern part of it as contained what involve the miserable remainder of all your country men in the had formerly been the whole inheritadce of the tribe of Simean, same ruin, or to venture one generous push for the redemption and half of the tribe of Judah, where, at this time, they dwell, of yourselves and your friends, that is the single question. Death but bad not as yet embraced the Jewish religion. And this is is the same to the coward that it is to the valiant man, and as the ouly Idumea, and the inhabitants of it the only Idumeals, er certaiu to the one as the other; but there is great difference in Edomites, which are any where spoken of after the Babylonish point of honour, and everlasting fame, between a gallant man, captivity. After their coming into this country, Hebron, which that falls in vindication of bis religion, liberties, laws, and coun- had formerly been the metropolis of the tribe of Judah, berame try, and a scoundrel that abandons all for fear of losing a life the capital of Idumea, and between that and Jerusalem lay which he cannot save at last. Take these things into your Bethzura, a strong fortress, which the author of the second book thoughts, and make this use of the meditation. You have no- of Maccalves, (ch. xi. 5.) places at no more than five furlongs' thing to trust to but God's providence, and your own concurring distance from Jerusalem; but this is a visible mistake; for resolutions, and, at the worst, while we contend for victory, we Eusebius makes it, at least, twenty miles distant from it.can never fail of glory." --Jewish Antiq. b, xii. c. 11.
Prideaux's Cunnu cliun, anno 165.
in such a manner,
A.M. 3596. A.C. 408; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A.M. 5070. A. C. 341. 1 MAC. i-vi. 7.2 MAC. iii-I. JOS. HIST. b. xi. c. 7–6. xii. c. 14. order, he bad the temple dedicated again, with as much successful as he expected : for, ' being informed that solemnity as the present state of affairs would permit, Elymais, a city in that country, was an opulent place, and in commemoration hereof, appointed a festival « of wherein stood the temple of Diana, © where immense eight days' continuance, which began on the fifth of the riches were to be found, he marched his army thither, month Chisleu, much about the twentieth of our Novem- with an intent to plunder both it and the temple : but ber, to be annually observed.
the country round about, taking the alarm, joined with But though the temple was recovered and restored to the inhabitants in the defence of the city and temple, its former use, yet Apollonius, at his taking Jerusalem, and having beat him oft', they obliged him to return to had erected a fortress on mount Acra, which com- Ecbatan in Media, where, with shame and confusion, manding the mountain of the temple, and being still in having received news of the ill success of his arms in the hands of the enemy, gave him the advantage of Judea, and how the Jews had pulled down the images annoying all those who went up to the temple to wor- and altars that he had erected, recovered their temple ship. To remedy this inconvenience, Judas at first at Jerusalem, and restored that place to its former worblocked up the fortress ; but finding that he could not ship, he made all the haste home he possibly could, conveniently spare such a number of men as were neces- threatening, as he went along, utterly to destroy the sary for that purpose,' he caused the mountain of the whole nation, and make Jerusalem the common place of temple to be fortified with strong walls and high towers, sepulpture to all the Jews. But · while these proud and placed therein a sufficient garrison, both to defend words were in his mouth, the judgments of God overtook it, and protect those who went up to worship.
him; for he was instantly seized with a pain in his bowels, When the neighbouring nations came to understand and a grievous torinent in his inward parts, which no that the Jews had recovered the city and temple of Jeru- remedy could assuage. Being resolute however in his salem, and again restored the worship of God in that place, revenge, he ordered his charioteer to double his speed; *they were moved with such envy and hatred against but in the rapid motion, the chariot was overturned, and them, that they proposed to join with Antiochus in the he thrown to the ground with such violence, as sorely extirpation of the whole nation; and accordingly had bruised his whole body, and 'mashed, as it were,
bis put all to death whom they found sojourning among limbs with the fall; so that being able to travel no farthem : but Judas having first fortified Bethzura, to be a ther, he was forced to put in at Tabæ, a little town in barrier against the Idumæans, who, at this time, were the confines of Persia and Babylonia, where he suffered bitter enemies to the Jews, made war against them, and most exquisite torments both of body and mind. In his all the other nations that had confederated against him, body, a filthy ulcer broke out in his privy parts, where
and with such success, as shall here in were bred an innumerable quantity of vermin, conafter be related.
tinually flowing from it, and such a stench proceeding Antiochus, in his expedition into Persia, was not so from thence, as neither those that attended him, nor even
he himself could well bear : and in this condition he lay, 1 Mac, iv. 60; Jewish Antiq. b. xii. c. 11.
languishing and rotting, till he died. In his mind, his I Mac, v. 1, &c.
torments were no less, by reason of the several spectres a This festival is commemorated in the gospel, (John ii. 23.) and apparitions of evil spirits which he imagined were and our blessed Saviour, we are told, came up to Jerusalem on continually about him, reproaching and stinging his conpurpose to bear a part in the solemnizing of it. Some indeed are science with accusations of the evil deeds which he had of opinion, that it was another dedication-feast, which Christ thus honoured with his presence: but besides that the dedications both been guilty of. Being made sensible at length by his of Solomon's and Žerubbabel's temples, who, though they were very solemnly celebrated at the first erection of these temples,
31 Mac. vi. 1, &c."
* 2 Mac, ix. 5, &c. had never any anniversary feast afterwards kept in commemoration of them, the very history of the gospel, which tells us that c Other authors agree with the account in the first book of it was kept in winter, confines us to this dedication of Judas Maccabees, that the temple of Elymais was prodigiously rich; only. That of Solomon was on the seventh month, which fell and both Polybius and Djodorus Siculus (as they are eited by about the time of the autumnal equinox: and that of Zerubbabel St Jerome, on Dan. xi.) mention this attempt of the king of Syria was on the twelfth month, which fell in the beginning of the to plunder it. But the manner in which he came to be disapspring; but that of Judas Maccabeus was on the twenty-fifth day pointed, is related quite differently in the second book of Maccaof the ninth month, which fell in the middle of winter. So that bees. For therein we are told, that when Antiochus, pretending the feast of the dedication which Christ was present at in Jeru- that he would marry the goddess of the temple, whose name salem, was no other than that which was instituted by Judas, in was Nanea, that thereby he might have the better title to the commemoration of his dedication of the temple anew, after that riches of it, by way of dowry, was let into the temple, to take it had been cleansed from idolatrous pollutions; and from hence possession of them, the priests opened a secret door that was in Grotius, in his commentary on the gospel of St John, (ch. x. 22.) the ceiling, and from thenee threw upon him and his attendants very justly observes, that festival days, in memory of public such a shower of stones as quite overwhelmed them, and so cut blessings, may be piously instituted by persons in authority, ofl' their heads, and cast them out, (2 Mac. i. 13, &c.); but without a divine command.- Prideuux's Connection, anno 166. who the goddess Nanea, who had this temple at Elymais, was,
The word Acra, which is of Greek original, signifies in the conjectures of the learned are various, since some will have general a citadel, in which sense the Syrians and Chaldeans used her to be Venus, and others Cybele the mother of the gods, beit; but when Antiochus gave orders for the building of a citadel cause the word in the Persian language signifies mother, though on the north side of the temple upon an eminence, that command the most common opinion is, that she was Diana, or the moon, ed it, the hill itself was called by the name of Acra; which, ac- the same that Strabo calls Anais, or Anaitis : for that she was cording to Josephus, (b. xii. c. 7, and 14.) was in the form of a held to be a virgin goddess is plain, because Antiochus pretended semicircle. John Maccabæus took it out of the hands of the to espouse her, and that she was a chaste goddess, Plutarch Syrians, who there kept a garrison, and pulled down its fortifica(de Artarerxes) seems to intimate, when he tells us, that Artations, and in their room were afterwards built the palace of xerxes took the beautilut Aspasia, with whom he himself was Helena, and that of Agrippa, a place where the public records in love, from his son Darius, and devoted her to a perpetual virwere kept, and another where the magistrates of Jerusalem as ginity, in the service of Anais, the goddess of Eclatan.- Cata &embled. - Calmet's Dilionary under the word.
met's Commentary on 1 Mac. vi. I.
A. M. 3596. A. C. 408; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 5070. A. C. 341. 1 MAC. i—vi. 7. 2 MAC. iii-x. JOS. HIST. b. xi. c. 7-b. xi, c. 14. aflictions, that all his sufferings were from the hand of brained creature as this, had seldom any serious thought God, for his plundering and profanation of his temple at of establishing an uniformity in religion, though that Jerusalem, and for his hatred and cruelties to his ser- religion, by the bye, was impious, in his dominions ; but vants, who worshipped there,' he made an ample ac- that, to justify the depredations that he made upon the knowledgment of this before he died, and many vows Jews, and to revenge the defeats which they had so freand solemn promises of a full reparation, in case he re- quently given to his armies, these were the true reasons covered. But his repentance a came too late: and there of his exasperation against them; because it is not confore, after having languished out a while in this miserable ceivable, how he could have any sober sense of religion, condition, and under these horrid torments of body and who, to satisfy his greedy avarice, was not afraid to rob mind, at length, being half consumed with the rottenness the temple of Diana. of his ulcer, he gave up the ghost, and died, after be This robbing of temples, in the opinion of all sober had reigned eleven years.
heathens, was accounted a crime of so heinous a nature as justly deserved the vengeance of heaven; and therefore Polybius, ' as well as the author of the Maccabees,
informs us, that Antiochus, before he died, was scared CHAP. II.-Objections answered.
with visions, and apparitions of evil spirits; but then he
supposes, that it was the goddess Diana, that thus haunted Of what weight and authority both the history of the him, for his attempting to pillage her temple at Elymais ; Maccabees, and that of the Jews by Josephus ought to whereas he himself, in the presence of all his friends, be accounted, we shall have occasion to inquire in the openly declares, that these troubles were come upon two following chapters, and need only here observe, that him, because he had taken all the vessels of gold and what the Maccabæan history has recorded of Antiochus silver that were in Jerusalem,' and had destroyed the Epiphanes is, in a great measure confirmed by the testi- inhabitants of Judea without a cause.' mony of Polybius, an exact historian, who was con- The sacrilege at Elymais was only intended, not exetemporary with him, and could not therefore be at a loss cuted: but that at Jerusalem was committed, with horrid for proper instructions in what he wrote, Epiphanes, ac-i impiety against God, and as horrid cruelty against all cording to ? him, was a man of great expense, and those that served him there. But even if the former bad squandered away vast sums in the gratification of his been committed, it was only against a false deity; wherelusts and amours, in the gifts he bestowed upon his fa- as the latter was against the true God, the great and alvourites, and the entertainments he made for the people : mighty Creator of heaven and earth : and therefore we but then Athenæus informs us, “ that all these expenses need less wonder, that the marks of a divine infliction were made, partly out of the gifts which his friends sent were so visible in the nature of his disease. Appian" and him, partly out of the prey which he took from Ptolemy Polybius, 12 as well as Josephus, and the author of the king of Egypt, when he was a minor; but chiefly out of books of Maccabees, have informed us, that he died with the spoils of the many temples which he sacrilegiously ulcers, and putrefying sores in his secret parts ; and, robbed.”
upon this occasion, we cannot forbear remarking, that * * I was bountiful, and beloved in my power, and 1 most of the great persecutors of the church of God have have done great benefits,' both public and private, to the been smitten in the like manner ; that thus died Herod, Jews. These were the vain boasts of the dying tyrant : the great persecutor of Christ, and the infants at Bethbut since the same Polybius tells us, that his distemper lehem; thus Galerius Maximianus, the author of the so far grew upon him, as to come to a constant delirium, tenth, and greatest, persecution against the Christians ; or state of madness, these expressions, we may suppose, and thus Philip the second, king of Spain, who was as came from him,' when he was in that condition. For infamous for the cruelty of his persecution, and the numwe know no instance of his kindness, but many of his bers destroyed by it, as any of the other three. " It is cruelty to the people of God; and, as to his bounty, as no small confirmation therefore of what the Jewish he calls it, this he usually committed in his drunken writers relate concerning the judgments of God upon frolics, in which he spent a great part of his revenues, Antiochus, that these heathen authors, whose credit is and used often to go out into the streets, and to scatter thought indubitable, do agree with them as to the matter his money in handsuls among the rabble. We may of fact, though they differ from them, in assiguing a therefore reasonably suppose, that such a wild, crack- wrong cause for it.
14 • If you will walk in my statutes, and keep my com' 1 Mac. vi. 12, 13; 2 Mac. ix. 11, 18; Joseph. Antiq. b. xii. mandments, and do them, ye shall chase your enemies, c. 13.
and they shall fall before you: five of you shall chase 2 Deipnosoph. b. vi.
3 Apud Athenæum, b. v. an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thou41 Mac. vi. II. 5 2 Mac. ix. 26.
sand to flight, and your enemies shall fall before you 6 In the Extracts of Valesius. ? Calmet's Commentary.
by the sword.' This is the promise which God made to Athenxus, b. x. a This wicked king is an example of all hardened sinners, of Canaan; and, in virtue of this promise, we find tsat
the children of Israel, upon their entrance into the land and false penitents, whose only motive of turning to God, is their fear, or feeling of punishment. The Maccabxar martyrs their leader Joshua was so very successful, that, after be had threatened, or rather foretold, that through the judgment bad relieved the city of Gibeon, destroyed twelve kings, of God, he should receive a just punishment for his pride,' (2 Mac. vii. 36.), and, therefore, “when he called, God would not answer;' hut, as the royal penman expressed, laughed at 9 In the Extracts of Valesius, 10 1 Mac. vi. 12. 13. his calamity, and mocked when his distress and anguish came
1 lu Syriacis.
19 In the Extracts of Valesius upon him,' Pruv. i. 26, 27.
13 Prideau's Connection, anno 16). 14 Ler. xxvi. 3, &c. his successes ; insomuch, that this, over the Jews, was things so punctual, and so well acquainted with the aflairs of Asia, should make no mention of the Maccabees, nor of the wars been, not to suffer the profaners of his sanctuary to go which they maintained with so much glory against Antiochus, unpunished ! and his successors, especially since he describes the wars of the same Antiochus, in other respects, with all the care and exact- • Calmet's Commentary.
A. M. 3596. A.C. 408; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 5070. A. C. 341. 1 MAC. i-vi. 7. 2 MAC. iii-X. JOS. HIST. b. xi. c. 7–b. xii. c. 14. and made himself master of their dominions, in one fore imagine, that there never were any such things, campaign only, it is said of him, that he returned, and because very good reasons may be given why God should all Israel with him, unto the camp to Gilgal;' and there exhibit them : and, as to the phenomena that * are now fore we need less wonder, that the Jews, who at this under consideration, they certainly have all the marks time were under the conditions of God's promise, nay, of credibility in them that we can well desire. For they under a state of persecution upon the account of their are related by an author that was contemporary, or very religion, and were consequently the proper objects near contemporary, with them. They were seen, not of his more immediate care and compassion, should transiently, and by a few weak superstitious people ; come off victorious, even though they were but poorly but, for forty days together, they appeared to the view armed, and sometimes without the loss of one man, hav- of a whole city, wherein were above an hundred thousand ing the Lord of hosts on their side, both to inject terror inhabitants, most of sound intellects, and some of them into their enemies, and to cover their heads in the day of so little superstition, as to abandon the laws and of battle ;' but, even without this supposition of a divine customs of their country for fear of persecution. interposal, might there not be some remarkable difference The Jews have a tradition, founded upon what we in the soldiers and generals themselves ?
read in the second book of the Maccabees, - namely, Judas Maccabæus, an excellent commander, bold and that, some time before the Babylonish captivity, the enterprising, with a small body of men, but all deter- prophet Jeremial received instructions from God to mined to conquer or die, attacks one of no capacity, hide the ark of the covenant in a cave in Mount Nebo, with a much larger army indeed, but made up chiefly of which accordingly he did, and at the same time declared raw men, and forces levied in haste. He attacks him, I that the place should not be discovered until the people's say, and defeats him; and are not miracles of this kind return from their captivity; that, after the people's revery common? Do not both ancient and modern bistory turn, in the time of Nehemiah, this ark was found out, furnish us with victories in great abundance of this sort, and replaced in the sanctuary of the temple ; that when and much more surprising than any obtained by the Mac- Pompey entered the sanctuary, he saw an ark and cabees ? ? The contempt of a weak enemy, whose forces cherubim, like those which Moses had made; and that, are so disproportionate to the numerous army which some time after, the same ark was carried before Vescomes against them, is one of the greatest errors, as pasian, when, from the Jewish wars, he returned to well as dangers, that can happen in war; because in Rome in triumph. this case people are less upon their guard, not thinking Now, upon the supposition that there is any truth in the enemy capable of daring to undertake any thing this tradition, and the ark of the covenant was in fact against them, until they are surprised in their security; replaced in the second temple, the history of Uzzah will and an army surprised in their camp, we know, is an inform us of what sacred account, in the esteem of God, army half conquered.
this repository of the divine covenant was, and how Though therefore the Jews, under the command of the severely God, in his case, was pleased to avenge the gallant Judas, were always fewest in number, yet, con- least violation of it. For, if the anger of the Lord was sidering the boldness of their undertakings, and the kindled against Uzzah,' so that he smote him dead upon prudence of their conduct, their skill in the military the spot ' for his rashness in taking hold of the ark, art, a and the providence of God, which attended and even because he was no priest, no descendant of the prospered their arms, the wonder is not much, that they house of Aaron; why should it be thought a strange were, in a manner, always superior to their enemies. thing, that God should show some tokens of his dis
* There shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, pleasure against an heathen prince, intruding into the and in the stars,' that is, in the heavens, where they place which he had consecrated for his own presence move,' and upon the earth distress of nations, with per- and inhabitation ? Or, if we suppose, that the shekinah, plexity :' these were the presages, which our Saviour or presence of God, was not resident in the second foretold ; and, accordingly Josephus 3 informs us, that, temple ; yet still the holy of holies was reserved for before the last siege of Jerusalem, there were seen in the entrance of none but the high priest ; and therethe air, a little before sunset, for some days together, fore it is no more than what might be expected, that chariots and armed men, passing along the clouds, he, who, in contempt of the divine command, and the round about the city ;“ which I would hardly venture to remonstrances of all about him, would intrude into it, report,” says he,“ but that I can produce sundry eye- should meet with some severe rebuke, that thereby he witnesses, that are still alive, to confirm the truth of it.” might be convinced of the power of the God of Israel, Several accounts of this kind we have in Livy and and of the divine institution of their religion. And, Suetonius : and though it must be owried, that too great though it be acknowledged that Pompey met with no a credulity in some historians may possibly have enlarg- remarkable judgment, in the instant when he was guilty ed, or multiplied these prodigies, yet we must not there of the like profanation, yet’ our learned connector of Josh. x. 43. ? Calmet’s Dictionary, under the word Bethzur. this act he never prospered ; that this put an end to all
the sacred and profane history has observed, that after 3 On the Jewish Wars, b. vii, c. 12. a It is indeed surprising, that Polybius, an historian, in other the last of his victories. So mindful has God all along
Chap. ii. 4-9. ness that can be desired..-Calmet's Dictionary, under the 6 Calmet's Dissert. on the Ark of the Covenant. word Modin,
* Aggo 61.