1 Maccabees, 3
1. And his son Judas, who was called Maccabeus, rose up in his place.
2. And all his brothers assisted him, along with all those who had joined themselves to his father. And they fought the battle of Israel with rejoicing.
3. And he expanded the glory of his people, and he clothed himself with a breastplate like a giant, and he surrounded himself his weapons of war in battles, and he protected the camp with his sword.
4. In his actions, he became like a lion, and like a young lion roaring in the hunt.
5. And he pursued the wicked and tracked them down. And those who disturbed his people, he burned with fire.
6. And his enemies were repelled by the fear of him, and all the workers of iniquity were troubled. And salvation was well-directed in his hand.
7. And he provoked many kings, and he gave joy to Jacob by his works, and his memory will be a blessing for all generations.
8. And he traveled through the cities of Judah, and he destroyed the impious out of them, and he turned wrath away from Israel.
9. And he was renowned, even to the utmost part of the earth, and he gathered together those who were perishing.
10. And so Apollonius gathered together the Gentiles, with a numerous and great army from Samaria, to make war against Israel.
11. And Judas knew about it, and he went forth to meet him. And he struck him and killed him. And many fell down wounded, and the rest fled away.
12. And he took away their spoils. And Judas took possession of the sword of Apollonius, and he fought with it during all his days.
13. And Seron, the leader of the army of Syria, heard that Judas had gathered together a company of the faithful and an assembly with him.
14. And he said, “I will make a name for myself, and I will be glorified in the kingdom, and I will defeat Judas in warfare, and those who are with him, who have spurned the word of the king.”
15. And he prepared himself. And the camp of the impious went up with him, with strong auxiliaries, so as to act with vengeance upon the sons of Israel.
16. And they approached even as far as Bethhoron. And Judas went forth to meet him, with a few men.
17. But when they saw the army coming to meet them, they said to Judas, “How will we few be able to fight against so great and so strong a multitude, even though we are weakened by fasting today?”
18. And Judas said: “It is easy for many to be enclosed in the hands of a few, for there is no difference in the sight of the God of heaven to liberate by means of many, or by means of few.
19. For victory in warfare is not in the multitude of the army, but in the strength from heaven.
20. They come to us with a contemptuous multitude and with arrogance, in order to destroy us, with our wives and our sons, and to despoil us.
21. In truth, we will fight on behalf of our souls and our laws.
22. And the Lord himself will crush them before our face. But as for you, do not fear them.”
23. And as soon as he had ceased speaking, he attacked them suddenly. And Seron and his army were crushed in his sight.
24. And he pursued him from the descent of Bethhoron, even to the plains. And eight hundred of their men were cut down, but the rest fled into the land of the Philistines.
25. And the fear and dread of Judas, as well as his brothers, fell upon all the nations around them.
26. And his name reached even to the king, and all the nations told stories of the battles of Judas.
27. But when king Antiochus heard these accounts, he was angry to his very soul. And he sent and gathered together forces from his entire kingdom, a very strong army.
28. And he opened his treasury, and he gave out stipends to the army for a year. And he commanded them to make ready for all things.
29. And he saw that the money from his treasures had failed, and that the tributes of the country were small, because of the dissension and the scourging that he had caused on earth in order to take away the legitimate laws, which had been since the first days.
30. And he feared, lest he not have enough the second time as the first, for expenses and gifts, which he had given before with a liberal hand. For his excesses were more than the kings who had been before him.
31. And he was alarmed to his very soul, and he intended to go into Persia, and to take tributes from the regions, and to gather together much money.
32. And he left behind Lysias, a nobleman of royal family, to preside over the kingdom from the river Euphrates, even to the river of Egypt,
33. and to raise his son, Antiochus, until he would return.
34. And he handed over to him half of the army, and the elephants. And he commanded him concerning all that he wanted, and concerning the inhabitants of Judea and Jerusalem:
35. so that he would send an army against them to crush and to root out the virtue of Israel and the remnant of Jerusalem, and to take away the memory of them from that place,
36. and so that he would establish dwelling places for the sons of foreigners in all their parts, and would distribute their land by lot.
37. And so, the king took the remaining part of the army, and he went forth from Antioch, the city of his kingdom, in the one hundred and forty-seventh year. And he crossed over the river Euphrates, and he traveled through the upper regions.
38. Then Lysias chose Ptolemy, the son of Dorymenes, and Nicanor and Gorgias, powerful men from among the king’s friends.
39. And he sent them with forty thousand men, and seven thousand horsemen, to enter into the land of Judah, and to destroy it, according to the word of the king.
40. And so, they proceeded with all their power, and they arrived and took a position near Emmaus, in the land of the plains.
41. And the merchants of the regions heard of their name. And they took very much silver, and gold, and servants, and they came into the camp to take the sons of Israel into servitude. And armies from Syria and from the lands of foreigners were added to them.
42. And Judas and his brothers saw that evils were being multiplied, and that armies had been positioned near their borders. And they knew the words of the king, which ordered the people to be put to death and to be utterly consumed.
43. And they said, each one to his neighbor, “Let us relieve the dejection of our people, and let us fight on behalf of our people and our sacred places.”
44. And an assembly was gathered together, so that they would be prepared for battle, and so that they could pray and ask for mercy and compassion.
45. Now Jerusalem was not inhabited, but was like a desert. There was no one who entered or exited from among her children. And the sanctuary was trampled upon, and the sons of foreigners were in the stronghold. This place was the habitation of the Gentiles. And delight was taken away from Jacob, and the music of flute and harp ceased in that place.
46. And they gathered together and came to Mizpah, opposite Jerusalem. For a place of prayer was in Mizpah, in the former Israel.
47. And they fasted on that day, and they clothed themselves with haircloth, and they placed ashes on their heads, and they tore their garments.
48. And they laid open the books of the law, in which the Gentiles searched for the likeness of their idols.
49. And they brought the priestly ornaments, and the first fruits and tithes, and they roused the Nazirites, who had fulfilled their days.
50. And they cried out with a loud voice toward heaven, saying: “What shall we do with these, and where shall we take them?
51. For your holy things have been trampled and defiled, and your priests have been in mourning and in humiliation.
52. And behold, the Nations gather together against us, to destroy us. You know what they intend against us.
53. How shall we be able to stand before their face, unless you, O God, assist us?”
54. Then they sounded the trumpets with a loud call.
55. And after this, Judas appointed commanders over the people: over thousands, and over hundreds, and over fifties, and over tens.
56. And he said to those who were building houses, or who had betrothed wives, who were planting vineyards, or who were terribly afraid, that they should return, each one to his own house, according to the law.
57. So they moved the camp, and relocated to the south of Emmaus.
58. And Judas said: “Gird yourselves, and be sons of power, and be ready in the morning, so that you may fight against these nations that have assembled against us, so as to destroy us and our sacred things.
59. For it is better for us to die in battle, than to see evils come to our nation and to the sacred places.
60. Nevertheless, as it shall be willed in heaven, so let it be.”