1-Maccabees - 4:1-61

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The Jewish Temple is Reclaimed, Hanukkah is Born

      1 Then Gorgias took five thousand men and a thousand chosen horsemen, and they moved out of the camp by night, 2 so that they might set upon the camp of the Jews and strike them suddenly. And the sons who were from the stronghold were their guides. 3 And Judas heard of it, and he rose up, with his powerful men, to strike the force from the king's army that was in Emmaus. 4 For the army was still dispersed from the camp. 5 And Gorgias came by night, into the camp of Judas, and found no one, and he sought them in the mountains. For he said, "These men flee from us." 6 And when it had become day, Judas appeared in the plain with only three thousand men, who had neither armor nor swords. 7 And they saw the strength of the camp of the Gentiles, and the men in armor, and the horsemen surrounding them, and that these were trained to fight. 8 And Judas said to the men who were with him: "Do not be afraid of their multitude, and do not dread their attack. 9 Remember in what way salvation came to our fathers in the Red Sea, when Pharaoh pursued them with a great army. 10 And now, let us cry out to heaven, and the Lord will have mercy on us, and he will remember the covenant of our fathers, and he will crush this army before our face this day. 11 And all nations shall know that there is One who redeems and frees Israel." 12 And the foreigners lifted up their eyes, and they saw them coming against them. 13 And they went out of the camp into battle, and those who were with Judas sounded the trumpet. 14 And they came together. And the Gentiles were crushed, and they fled into the plains. 15 But the last of them all fell by the sword, and they pursued them even to Gazara, and even to the plains of Idumea, and Azotus, and Jamnia. And there fell from them as many as three thousand men. 16 And Judas returned, with his army following him. 17 And he said to the people: "Do not desire the spoils; for there is war before us. 18 And Gorgias and his army are near us on the mountain. But stand firm now against our enemies, and fight against them, and you shall take the spoils afterwards, securely." 19 And while Judas was speaking these words, behold, a certain part of them appeared, looking out from the mountain. 20 And Gorgias saw that his men were put to flight, and that they had set fire to the camp. For the smoke that he saw declared what had happened. 21 When they had seen this, they became very afraid, seeing at the same time both Judas and his army in the plains prepared to do battle. 22 So they all fled away into the encampment of the foreigners. 23 And Judas returned to take the spoils of the camp, and they obtained much gold and silver, and hyacinth, and purple of the sea, and great riches. 24 And returning, they sang a canticle, and they blessed God in heaven, because he is good, because his mercy is with every generation. 25 And so, a great salvation occurred in Israel in that day. 26 But those among the foreigners who escaped went and reported to Lysias all that had happened. 27 And when he heard these things, he was discouraged, being alarmed to his very soul. For things had not occurred in Israel according to his wishes, nor as the king had commanded. 28 And, in the following year, Lysias gathered together sixty thousand chosen men and five thousand horsemen, so that he might defeat them in warfare. 29 And they came into Judea, and they positioned their camp in Bethzur, and Judas met them with ten thousand men. 30 And they saw the strength of the army, and so he prayed, and he said: "Blessed are you, Savior of Israel, who crushed the assault of the powerful by the hand of your servant David, and who delivered up the camp of the foreigners into the hand of Jonathan, the son of Saul, and his armor bearer. 31 Enclose this army in the hand of your people Israel, and let them be confounded in their soldiers and their horsemen. 32 Strike them with dread, and melt away the boldness of their strength, and let them shudder in their grief. 33 Cast them down with the sword of those who love you, and let all who know your name praise you with hymns." 34 And they went forth to battle, and there fell from the army of Lysias five thousand men. 35 But Lysias, seeing their flight and the boldness of the Jews, and that they were prepared either to live or to die with fortitude, went to Antioch and chose soldiers, so that they might come back to Judea with greater numbers. 36 Then Judas and his brothers said: "Behold, our enemies have been crushed. Let us go up now to cleanse and renew the holy places." 37 And all the army gathered together, and they ascended to Mount Zion. 38 And they saw the sanctuary deserted, and the altar profaned, and the gates burned, and weeds growing up in the courts, as in a forest or as on the mountains, and the adjoining chambers demolished. 39 And they rent their garments, and they made a great wailing, and they placed ashes on their heads. 40 And they fell to the ground on their faces, and they sounded the trumpets of alarm, and they cried out toward heaven. 41 Then Judas numbered men to fight against those who were in the stronghold, until they had cleansed the holy places. 42 And he chose priests without blemish, whose will held to the law of God. 43 And they cleansed the holy places, and they took away the stones of defilement to an unclean place. 44 And he considered the altar of holocausts, which had been profaned, as to what he should do with it. 45 And a good counsel fell upon them, to destroy it, lest it might become a reproach to them, because the Gentiles had defiled it; so they demolished it. 46 And they stored the stones in the mountain house, in a fitting place, until there should come a prophet, who would provide an answer about these. 47 Then they took whole stones, according to the law, and they built a new altar, according to that which was before. 48 And they rebuilt the holy places and the things that were in the inner parts of the temple, and they sanctified the temple and the courts. 49 And they made new holy vessels, and they brought the lampstand, and the altar of incense, and the table into the temple. 50 And they placed incense on the altar, and they lit the lamps, which were on the lampstand, and they gave light in the temple. 51 And they placed the bread on the table, and they hung up the veils, and they completed all the works which they had begun. 52 And they arose before the morning, on the twenty-fifth day of the ninth month, (which is the month of Kislev) in the one hundred and forty-eighth year. 53 And they offered sacrifice, according to the law, on the new altar of holocausts that they made. 54 According to the time and according to the day, on which the Gentiles had contaminated it, on the same day, it was renewed with canticles, and lutes, and lyres, and cymbals. 55 And all the people fell upon their faces, and they adored, and they blessed, toward heaven, him that had prospered them. 56 And they kept the dedication of the altar for eight days, and they offered holocausts with joy, and sacrifices of salvation and praise. 57 And they adorned the face of the temple with crowns of gold and small shields. And they dedicated the gates and the adjoining chambers, and they set up doors on them. 58 And there was very great rejoicing among the people, and the disgrace of the Gentiles was averted. 59 And Judas, and his brothers, and all the assembly of Israel decreed that the day of the dedication of the altar must be kept in its time, from year to year, for eight days, from the twenty-fifth day of the month of Kislev, with joy and gladness. 60 And they built up, at that time, Mount Zion, with high walls and strong towers all around, lest the Gentiles should at any time come and trample upon it, as they did before. 61 And he stationed a garrison there, to keep it, and he fortified it, in order to guard Bethzur, so that the people might have a fortification opposite the face of Idumea.

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