2-Maccabees contains a collection of stories exalting the deeds of Judas Maccabeus in their struggle for religious, cultural, and political freedom in Judah. It covers about fifteen years ending in Judas's defeat and killing of Nicanor in 161 BCE. It is a more religious and less historical account than is written in 1-Maccabees.
From the Hasmonean Kingdom the Jewish priest and leader Judas Maccabaeus' family and followers are known as the Maccabees. Derived from the Aramaic and Hebrew words for "hammer" in reference to their fierceness in battle. Also as an acronym from Exodus 15:11 of "Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods?" (mi chamochah baelim Yehovah, me-cha-bae-Yod, Mem-Kaf-Bet-Yud, Macabee Juda)
Unidentified writer in Koine Greek with probably no Hebrew antecedent. In 2-Maccabees 2:24 he claims the texts "have been comprised in five books by Jason the Cyrenean, we have attempted to abridge into one volume".