1 Maccabees, 2
1. In those days, there rose up Mattathias, the son of John, the son of Simeon, a priest of the sons of Joarib from Jerusalem, and he settled on the mountain of Modin.
2. And he had five sons: John, who was surnamed Gaddi,
3. and Simon, who was surnamed Thassi,
4. and Judas, who was called Maccabeus,
5. and Eleazar, who was surnamed Avaran, and Jonathan, who was surnamed Apphus.
6. These saw the evils that were done among the people of Judah and in Jerusalem.
7. And Mattathias said: “Woe to me, for why was I born to see the grief of my people and the grief of the holy city, and to sit there, while it is given into the hands of the enemies?
8. The holy places have fallen into the hands of outsiders. Her temple is like a man without honor.
9. The vessels of her glory have been taken away captive. Her old men have been butchered in the streets, and her young men have fallen by the sword of the enemies.
10. What nation has not inherited her kingdom and taken from her spoils?
11. All her beauty has been taken away. She who was free, has become a slave.
12. And behold, our sanctuary, and our beauty, and our splendor has been desolated, and the Gentiles have defiled them.
13. Therefore, what is it to us that we still live?”
14. And Mattathias and his sons tore their garments, and they covered themselves with haircloth, and they lamented greatly.
15. And those who had been sent from king Antiochus came to that place, to compel those who fled into the city of Modin to immolate, and to burn frankincense, and to depart from the law of God.
16. And many of the people of Israel consented and came to them. But Mattathias and his sons stood firm.
17. And those who had been sent from Antiochus, responding, said to Mattathias: “You are a ruler, and very splendid and great in this city, and you are adorned with sons and brothers.
18. Therefore, approach first, and carryout the order of the king, as all the nations have done, and the men of Judah, and those who remained in Jerusalem. And you and your sons will be among the friends of the king, and enriched with gold and silver and many gifts.”
19. And Mattathias responded, and he said with a loud voice: “Even if all nations obey king Antiochus, so that each one departs from the service of the law of his fathers and consents to his commandments,
20. I and my sons and my brothers will obey the law of our fathers.
21. May God be forgiving to us. It is not useful for us to abandon the law and the justices of God.
22. We will not listen to the words of king Antiochus, nor will we sacrifice, transgressing the commandments of our law, so as to set out on another way.”
23. And, as he ceased speaking these words, a certain Jew approached in the sight of all to sacrifice to the idols upon the altar in the city of Modin, according to the order of the king.
24. And Mattathias saw, and he grieved, and his temperament trembled, and his fury was enkindled according to the judgment of the law, and leaping up, he slaughtered him on the altar.
25. Moreover, the man whom king Antiochus had sent, who compelled them to immolate, he killed at the same time, and he destroyed the altar,
26. and he was zealous for the law, just as Phinehas did to Zimri, the son of Salomi.
27. And Mattathias exclaimed with a loud voice in the city, saying, “All who hold zeal for the law, maintaining the covenant, let them follow me.”
28. And he and his sons fled to the mountains, and they left behind whatever they had in the city.
29. Then many who sought judgment and justice went down into the desert.
30. And they camped there, with their sons, and their wives, and their herds, because evils had overwhelmed them.
31. And it was reported to the king’s men, and to the army that was in Jerusalem, in the city of David, that certain men, who had cast aside the commandment of the king, had departed into the hidden places in the desert, and that many had followed after them.
32. And immediately, they went out to them, and they arranged a battle against them, on the day of the Sabbath.
33. And they said to them: “And now, do you still resist? Go out and act according to the word of king Antiochus, and you will live.”
34. And they said, “We will not go out, and we will not do the king’s word, so as to profane the day of the Sabbath.”
35. And they rushed against them in battle.
36. But they did not respond, nor did they cast a stone at them, nor did they barricade the hidden places,
37. for they said, “Let us all die in our simplicity. And heaven and earth will testify for us, that you destroyed us unjustly.”
38. So they carried out a battle on the Sabbath. And they were put to death, with their wives, and their sons, and their cattle, even to the number of a thousand souls of men.
39. And Mattathias and his friends heard of it, and they held a very great lamentation for them.
40. And every man said to his neighbor, “If we all do just as our brothers have done, and if we do not fight against the Gentiles for the sake of our lives and our justifications, then they will quickly eradicate us from the earth.”
41. And they decided, on that day, saying: “Every man, who will come against us in warfare on the day of the Sabbath, we will fight against him. And we will not all die, like our brothers who were put to death in the hidden places.”
42. Then there was assembled before them the synagogue of the Hasideans, strong men from Israel, each one with a will for the law.
43. And all those who fled from the evils added themselves to them, and they became a firmament to them.
44. And they gathered together an army, and they struck down the sinners in their wrath and the wicked men in their indignation. And the others fled to the nations, so as to escape.
45. And Mattathias and his friends traveled around, and they destroyed the altars.
46. And they circumcised all the uncircumcised boys, whom they found within the limits of Israel, and they acted with fortitude.
47. And they pursued the sons of arrogance, and the work was prosperous in their hands.
48. And they obtained the law from the hands of the Gentiles, and from the hands of the kings. And they did not surrender the horn to the sinner.
49. Then the days drew near when Mattathias would die, and he said to his sons: “Now arrogance and chastisement have been strengthened, and it is a time of overturning and of the wrath of indignation.
50. Now therefore, O sons, be imitators of the law, and give your lives for the sake of the covenant of your fathers.
51. And call to mind the works of the fathers, which they have done in their generations. And you will receive great glory and an eternal name.
52. Was not Abraham found to be faithful in temptation, and so it was accounted to him as justice?
53. Joseph, in the time of his anguish, kept the commandment, and he was made ruler of Egypt.
54. Phinehas our father, being zealous in the zeal of God, received the covenant of an eternal priesthood.
55. Jesus, since he fulfilled the word, was made a commander in Israel.
56. Caleb, since he testified in the assembly, received an inheritance.
57. David, in his mercy, obtained the throne of a kingdom for all generations.
58. Elijah, since he was zealous with a zeal for the law, was received into heaven.
59. Hananiah and Azariah and Mishael, by believing, were delivered from the flame.
60. Daniel, in his simplicity, was delivered from the mouth of the lions.
61. And so, consider that, through generation after generation of all those who trusted in him, none have failed in strength.
62. And fear not the words of a sinful man, for his glory is dung and worms.
63. Today he is extolled, and tomorrow he will not be found, because he has returned into his earth and his thinking has perished.
64. Therefore, you sons, be strengthened and act manfully in the law. For by it, you shall become glorious.
65. And behold, I know that your brother Simon is a man of counsel. Heed him always, and he will be a father to you.
66. And Judas Maccabeus, who has been strong and resourceful from his youth, let him be the leader of your militia, and he will manage the war of the people.
67. And you shall add to yourselves all who observe the law, and you shall claim the vindication of your people.
68. Render to the Gentiles their retribution, and pay attention to the precepts of the law.”
69. And he blessed them, and he was added to his fathers.
70. And he passed away in the one hundred and forty-sixth year, and he was buried by his sons in the sepulchers of his fathers, in Modin, and all Israel mourned for him with a great mourning.