Encyclopaedia Biblica/Maaziah-Machi

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(liTTrp, Yahwe is a refuge ? the name may, however, be a corruption of iTpnp ; see MAA SEIAH i. ), the name of a (post-exilic) priestly family, to which was assigned one of the twenty-four courses, 1 Ch. 24:18 (MAACAI [B], MOOZ&\ [A], MOOZIA [L]). Represented amongst the signatories to the covenant (see EZRA i. ,7); Neh. 10:8 [9] (,rij,-n, vadeia [B], afeia [N], /uaafaa [A], juaaftas [L]); cp MAADIAH.


(MA/V\AAI [B], MANAAI [A]), i Esd. 9:34 = Ezra 10:35, BENAIAH, 9.


([eK]MAKA.AooN [BA]), i Esd. 5:21 = Ezra 2:27, MICHMAS. See MICHMASH.


  • Name Maccabee (1).
  • Name Hasmonsean (2).
  • Uprising (3).
  • Genealogy (3).
  • Judas ( 4).
  • Jonathan ( 5).
  • Simon (6).
  • John Hyrcanus (7).
  • Bibliography (8).

1. The name 'Maccabee'.[edit]

The name Maccabaeus (MAKKABAIOC ; Lat. MachabcEus ; Syr. wOkjaaD ) was originally a name of the third son of Mattathias (see 3), commonly called Judas, and in the books of Maccabees is applied only to him.

( lovoas 6 Ka\ovfj.(;vos MaKKa^aios i Mace. 24 3i; lovS. [6] MaKK. 2, 66 ; lovS. o MaxK. 5 24 2 Mace. 2 19 8 i ; 6 MaK. i Mace. 5 34 [A], 2 Mace. 8 5 16 10 19^ ; or simply MaKK. i Macc. 5:34 [NV] 2 Macc. 10:1.) 1 It thus makes the impression of being a surname ; see, however, below.

As Maccabaeus was the central figure in the struggle for Jewish independence, it was natural that his name should be used at a later day (so, e.g. , in Origen) to designate the other members of the family to which he belonged (also called Hasmonaeans ; see below, 2), or even in a wider sense, to apply to all those who were in any way associated with him or his brethren. Similarly, certain writings which are concerned directly or indirectly with the deeds or the times of these leaders have been entitled Books of Maccabees (MaK/ca/Scuaw, or Ma/v/ca/3aiKa ; properly, the Maccabasan history or times ; cp BatrtXettDr, etc. ). See below on the titles of 3 Macc. and 4 Macc.

The form and the meaning of the Hebrew (or Aramaic) original of the name Maccabaeus are alike uncertain. The Greek transcription points to a form with k (p). Against this, the Latin machabaeus (cA = 3 [/]) has been urged, but without sufficient reason.

The argument in favour of the form ^-D has been presented with great thoroughness and ingenuity by S. I. Curtiss (The Name Machabce, Leipsic, 1876), who attempts to give the Latin form Machaba;us direct connection with the Hebrew, through Jerome. The argument breaks down completely at that point, however, even if we let Jerome s indefinite Macha- bfeorum primum librum Hebraicum reperi (in Pro!. G a/.) mean all it can, and believe that he had actually seen a Hebrew i Mace. 2 There is not the slightest probability that the old Latin translation of i Mace, was revised by Jerome ; on the contrary, all the evidence is strongly opposed to this view.

So far, therefore, as the testimony of the old versions is concerned, we have to guide us only the undoubted fact that the Greek form of the name is derived from a translation of the book made with painstaking accuracy directlyfrom the Hebrew(see below, MACCABEES, FIRST, 3), whilst the Latin form of the name is found in a version made from the Greek. 3

1 [The spelling of the name occasionally varies in

2 There is justification for the suspicion that this statement of Jerome s was based simply on Origen s testimony to the existence of a Semitic i Mace. See col. 2857, i ; and col. 2866, ii.

3 All other forms of the name, even those which appear in (late) Jewish writings Oapd 330 N33c)> are derived either from the Greek or from the Latin.

The favourite interpretation of the name has con nected it with the Hebrew makkebeth (see HAMMER, i); Aram, makkaba. Judas would thus have been called The Hammerer, presumably because of his prowess in battle. To this, however, there are objections :

1. The form of the word apparently an adjective ending in ai or i which the Greek naturally suggests. We should hardly expect an adjective to be used in such a case.

2. The kind of hammer designated by the Hebrew mp!3 (see Curtiss, 22 f.). Both Hebrew and Aramaic have words in common use for heavy hammer, sledge-hammer, whilst Q is the smaller workman s tool. Especially in view of the familiar passages Jer. 50:23 (cp Berakhoth, 28b) 51:20, the hammer theory of Judas name seems hardly credible.

3. It is by no means certain that the name Maccabee was given to Judas because of his valour. There is no hint of such an origin of the name in our oldest sources,! and it is evident that the interpretations of this nature found in later writings (e.g., in Gorionides) are mere guesses.

It is to be observed that not only Judas, but also each of his brothers, has a double name. In the passage i Macc. 2:2-5, John is said to have been called Gaddi (see col. 2853, n. i) ; Simon, Thassi ; Judas, Mac- cabaeus; 2 Eleazar, Avaran ; Jonathan, Apphus. It has commonly been supposed that these surnames are all descriptive of the character or exploits of those to whom they are applied (thus Eleazar s name, Avaran, has been explained from the incident of his boring a hole (root iin) in the elephant) ; but the fact that not one of the names lends itself to any such interpretation should be con clusive against this theory.

On the contrary, the surnames have rather the appearance of names given at birth (Gaddi is a familiar Jewish name ; see below, 3 i) ; and when the list Simeon, Judah, Eleazar, etc., is put over against the corresponding list Thassi, Maccabi, Avaran, etc., the probability at once suggests itself that the latter were the names originally given by Mattathias to his five sons, whilst the former were the names which they received later as the princes of the Jewish people (in the way that has been so generally customary, with kings, popes, caliphs, etc.).

It is a precisely similar case when Josephus (Ant. xiii. 4 8) writes : AAe f ai>6pos 6 BoAa? Aeyo^iero?, although Balas was the original name of this king, and Alexander the later official name which came to him with his elevation in rank (see Schiir. GJV\ 178; ET 1 i, p. 240). Cp also the names of the queen Alexandra, whose Hebrew name had been Salome : AAefdi/6pa ^ icai 2aAiVa (Eusebius) ; Alexandra qute et Salina vocabatur (Jerome, Coinm. on Dan. 9 24^) ; by Josephus called only Alexandra.

It is doubtful, therefore, whether much help is to be gained from the side of etymology in determining the Hebrew form and meaning of Maccaboeus.

For the various conjectures that have been made, see Curtiss, 12-24 I Wace's Apocrypha, 1 2 47 / ; Schurer, GjyV) 1 158 ; ET 1:1, p. 212 f.

As for the form, the evidence decidedly favours apn (with single p?) ; 3 the possibility of a form with 3 must, however, be admitted.

1 If the author of i Macc, had thus understood the name, how could he have failed to make some use of the figure in 3 3-5 ?

2 That Judas name is written with the Greek adjective end ing -ouos, and not simply transliterated, like YaS&i (see 3, i), etc., is of course due to the fact that it had already become a household word among the Greek-speaking Jews.

3 In favour of the single rather than the double n, the follow ing considerations may be urged : (i) The possibility that Josephus wrote the name with a single K (so generally in Niese s ed.). (2) The occasional employment of KK to represent a single p. Thus, A.Kieap<av for jnpy ; Noxitapei/n for c"lpj (Am. 1 1 [unless we should point nakkaiiini}), etc. (3) The Latin form, which may well have become fixed in use before the translation from our Greek version was made.

4 In this passage, certain chambers (nipe-S) Belonging to the temple are described. Of one of them it is said : rTJISS rrmiD

Dispc-B- naion :ax rm (var. jioe-n) tuispn 33 ina m

}V 370 ; In he NE. chamber the Haimonaeans laid away the stones of the altar which the Grecian kings had defiled. Cp i Mace. 4 46.

2. The name Hasmonaean.[edit]

The Jews do not seem to have applied the name Maccabee either to the members of the dynasty or to the books dealing with the events of their time. Instead, they used for both the adjective 'Hasmoniean' (Asmonaean, JISBTI. "Acra/u.wi aros), which seems to have been the family name of the house of Mattathias.

'Hasmonaean' does not occur in the books of Maccabees, but is frequently used by Josephus (see the references, below), and appears once in the Mishna (Middoth 1 6), 4 where Judas and his brethren are called NyiCpn 33- Similarly Targ. 1 S. 2:4 On JV3). and many passages in the Gemara and later Jewish literature. For the complete list of references, see Gaster, 'The Scroll of the Hasmoneans' (Transs. <)th Orient. Congress, Lond., 1892), p. 7 ; Levy, Neuhebr. unit chald. \V8rter. buch, s.v.). The Hebrew form Q jlCB n also occurs.

The origin of the name is wholly obscure. It was probably borne originally either by Mattathias himself, or by one of his ancestors ; but we are quite destitute of information on this point. In 1 Macc. 2:1, Mattathias is called the son of John, son of Simeon (MarTaflias Iwavvov TOV ^,v/j.wv) j 1 Josephus, Ant. xii. 61, carries the line one step farther back, adding TOV Affa/juavaiov (cp xiv. 164 xvi. 7 i) ; but it is not likely that he had any authority for this. 2 The adjective may have originated in the name of a man, Hasmon (cp the Chronicler s ot?n ; see HASHUM) ; or, more probably, in the name of a place (cp P's pceri, Josh. 16:27 and ruiDBTi, Nu. 33:29-30 see HESHMON, HASHMONAH); or even in an appellative, though the absence of a root Dt?n in the Hebrew-Aramaic literature known to us makes this very unlikely.

The fanciful etymology connecting the name with the air. Ay. B JCB n, Ps. 68:32 (the result of a scribe's blunder), which is then explained by the Arabic hasi(!), fatness, should be put aside once for all.

1 Wellh.. Ph. 11. Sadti. 94 n., wished to read Hasmon in place of Simeon.

2 Similarly Josephus speaks of the members of this family in a few places as oi Acra/uioroiov iralS; (I ft. 1 ; Ant. xx. 8 n 20 10), as well as oi "Ao-ajiiocatoi and TO Ao-a^wvaiW yeVos. See Schurer, 1 108 ; ET 1 i, p. 266.

3 [See Che. OPs. 56 n., and ASSIDEANS ; and on the further development of the two opposing parties, see PHARISEES and SADDUCEES.]

3. Uprising under Mattathias.[edit]

While Palestine was under the Egyptian rule, the Jews were not directly interfered with in the exercise of their religion and customs. Even then, however, Greek cities were springing up in all parts of the land, and a strong pressure was gradually being brought to bear on Judaism by the rapid encroachment of Greek thought and culture. After the beginning of the Seleucid rule (198 B.C., under Antiochus III., the Great) this pressure was vastly increased, both from without and from within. The Syrian kings did not find it easy to hold together the heterogeneous elements of their domain, and it was to their interest to dis courage the exclusive Jewish religion. To the Jews themselves, the struggle against Hellenism might well have seemed a losing one. There was a strong party in Judeea that openly favoured union with the Gentiles and the adoption of the new culture. See, e.g. , I Macc. 1:11, 1:14, 1:15, 2 Macc. 4:7-15; etc. On the other hand, as was natural, those who held to the national religion redoubled their zeal. At the head of these was the well-defined extreme legalistic party of the Pious * (o Ton, "Ao-tSatoi, see LOVING-KINDNESS). Soon after the beginning of the reign of Antiochus (IV.) Epiphanes (175-164 B.C.) matters came to a crisis (see ISRAEL, 70+ ; ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION). It was not, however, at Jerusalem, but in one of the smaller towns of Judaea that the revolt broke out. When the king s officer, who compelled the people to sacrifice to the heathen gods, came to Modein (MwSe tV; see MODIN), a village in the mountains near Lydda, a man of that place named Mattathias ( rrnnp, Gift f Yahwe ; see MATTITHIAH), son of John, a priest of the order of Joarib (1 Macc. 2:1), offered resistance to the king's command ; he slew the officer and a Jew who was offering the sacrifice, pulled down the altar, and fled, with his five sons and many others who joined them, into the mountains. Multitudes followed, and the revolt very soon assumed formidable proportions. Mat tathias and his companions also went through the land, pulling down the heathen altars, putting to death the apostates, and stirring up the remainder of the people to insurrection. In this same year, however (Sel. 146 ; 167, 166 B.C. ), Mattathias died ; first having committed the leadership of the insurgent people to his son Judas. Thus began the supremacy of the Hasmomean, or Maccabnean, house which was to play such an important part in Jewish history. Cp HISTORICAL LITERATURE, 17. Two of the five sons, John and Eleazar, did not long survive their father.

1. John, the eldest, originally (? see i) called Gaddi, HJ,! was captured and slain by a marauding Arab tribe, in 161, while he was engaged in carrying the property of the Maccabasan party into the country of the Nabataeans for safe keeping (i Macc. 9:35-42). 2 As this was after Jonathan had succeeded Judas in the leader ship, and no other mention is made of him, we may conclude that he was recognised as inferior to his brethren.

2. Eleazar, the fourth son, who also bore the name A varan * (see i), is the hero of the battle (lost by the Jews) against the forces of Lysias at Beth-Zechariah, in 162. Seeing that one of the elephants of the enemy s host was furnished with the royal trappings, and believing therefore that the king rode upon it, he crept under the animal and stabbed it, and was crushed by its weight (1 Macc. 6:43-46). He receives no further mention in the books of Maccabees.

The following table exhibits the genealogy of the Hasmonaeans, with the date at which each died (as given in Schurer) :

Mattathias (167-166)
r-------------------- -----------T----------- -----------+----------- -----------T----------- --------------------¬
John (161) Simon (135) Judas (161) Eleazar (162) Jonathan (143)
John Hyrcanus I. (105)
r-------------------- -----------^----------- --------------------¬
Aristobulus I. (104) Alexander Jannaeus (78) ======================== Salome Alexandra (69)
r-------------------- ---------------------- -----------^----------- --------------------¬
Hyrcanus II. (40) Aristobulus II. (63)
l r-------------------- -----------^----------- --------------------¬
Alexandra ======================== Alexander [did not reign] (49) Antigonus (37)
r-------------------- -----------^----------- --------------------¬
Aristobulus [high-priest] (35) Iariamme [wife of Herod] (29)

1 The name <-|j, which has a distinctly heathen sound (see NAMES, 57, and Kerber, Hebriiiscke Eigennanien, 1897, P- 67 ; cp GAD, i) was not uncommon among the Jews. The Greek form TaSSis given by many MSS in i Mace. 22 received its last letter from the following word.

2 [In 2 Macc. 8:22, 10:19, by an ancient false reading (?) he is called Joseph.]

3 The original form and meaning of the name, which occurs in two places, 1 Macc. 2:5 and 6:43, are quite uncertain. Many Greek MSS give the form 2auapaj> (i.e., EAea^ap 6 2auapa>> side by side with EAeafapos Avapai<), which is also possible. The Syriac, indeed, writes the word with initial pt ; but it may be questioned whether this fact should be allowed any weight. As in the case of the name Makkabi, it seems probable that the Syrian translator can have had nothing but the Greek to guide him.

4. Judas Maccabaeus.[edit]

Judas (rrnrr), the third son of Mattathias, and the leader of the Jewish people in their struggle for religious freedom, is one of the most heroic figures in all the history of the nation. On his name Makkabi, Maccabaeus, see s. 1. If the view there advocated, that this was his original name, and that he and his brethren were given special names as the princes of Israel, is correct, it is not unlikely that he received the name Judah because of his military prowess (cp Gen. 49:9, etc. ). According to the account given in 1 Macc. 2:66, Mattathias at the time of his death appointed Judas captain of the hosts of Israel, because he had been strong and mighty from his youth. The army which he commanded at first was not made up chiefly of the adherents of a single party, as seems to be asserted in 2 Macc. 14:6, but was recruited from all classes and parties in Judcea. It is true, the AtriSaiot (see the preceding ) were foremost in the movement which Judas led ; but neither he nor his brethren were ever identified with that sect.

Marvellous success attended Judas from the first. After gaining a series of brilliant victories over the Syrian hosts sent against him, he was enabled in 165 to purify the temple and restore its worship. His armies, no longer made up merely of religious enthusiasts, were now employed for campaigns against the Edomites and the Ammonites ; also in Galilee, Gilead, and the Philistine territory. Judas thus made himself the champion, in the wider sense, of the Jewish nation, not merely of its religious rights. In 163, the object sought by the Jews in the beginning of the struggle was actually attained. They were given full religious liberty, in return for their submission to the king, now Antiochus (V.) Eupator. (For the circumstances, see 1 Macc. 6:48-63, and the summary of the history given below under MACCABEES, FIRST, 2.)

Judas career as a military leader was by no means ended. From this time on, the Jews were engaged in a fateful struggle among themselves ; the Hellenising party contending for supremacy with the national party, of which Judas and his brethren were the leaders. Certain adherents of the king, notably one Alcimus, who became high priest (see ALCIMUS), succeeded through mis representations in calling in the help of a Syrian army. Judas valour as a military captain, however, was again displayed, and the Jewish arms triumphed. After the decisive battle near Beth-horon, in 161, Judas was again virtually the political head of the Jewish people, with more power than ever before. It does not appear, however, that he exercised the office of high priest, as his successors did. Probably it did not occur to him to do so.

It was at this time that Judas took at last the momentous step of asserting the political independence of the Jewish nation. Two ambassadors were sent to Rome ( 1 Macc. 8:1+, 8:17+ ), in the not unreasonable hope of gaining the support of the Romans against the Syrians, and thus securing the permanent triumph of the Jewish national party. The Romans did in fact return a favourable answer (1 Macc. 8:21+), but it came too late to be of any assistance to the Jews. Only about two months after the victory which Judas had gained over the Syrian captain Nicanor near Beth-horon, the king (Demetrius I.) sent against him an army in com parison with which the Jewish forces were but a handful. Judas refused to retire from the field without a battle, and fought desperately ; but his army was utterly routed, and he himself was slain (i Macc. 9:1-19). The cause of the loyal Jews seemed to have fallen with him.

There is but one estimate of the character of Judas. He was a true patriot and a born captain. The enthusi asm of the writer of 1 Macc. (3:3-9) is shared by the writer of 2 Macc. , who had otherwise no interest in the Hasmonnean house. Devout and zealous for the law, as his father had been, prompt of action and brave to rashness, Judas was able to inspire confidence in those whom he led, and to gain surprising results with small means. It was as the fruit of his example and achieve ments, made possible by a peculiar combination of cir cumstances, that the Jewish nation under the Hasmon- asans achieved such successes in the decades following ; though these later gains also were due chiefly to the political situation in the Syrian kingdom (see below, 5), and were necessarily only temporary.

1 In i Macc. 9:24 read : 'in those days their iniquity (DPI instead of 2jn, 'famine' ) waxed exceedingly great', etc.

5. Jonathan.[edit]

Jonathan ( luvadav, frm,v), the fifth son of Mattathias, bore also the name Apphus, A5r0oi>s, 1 Mace. 2:5 (see 1). The original form and meaning of the latter name are quite unknown.

We have no means of knowing with what guttural letter the word began, or what Semitic consonant the Greek 9 represents. On the Syriac transcription DISH no reliance whatever can be placed ; see preceding col., n. 3.

Jonathan is mentioned occasionally in i Macc. (5:17, 5:24, 5:55) in connection with Judas and Simon as taking a prominent part in the earlier Maccabcean campaigns ; and upon the death of Judas, he was unanimously chosen to succeed him as leader of the national party (i Macc. 9:28-31).

His opponents had at that time decidedly the upper hand. The Hellenising party was triumphant 1 (see the preceding ), and, aided by the Syrians, used every means to secure its advan tage (i Macc. 9:23-26). Many former adherents abandoned the Maccabaean cause (v. 24b), and those who remained faithful were subjected to intimidation and even violence (v. 26). Jona than, with his comparatively few followers, was compelled for some years to keep in the background ; at first, as a freebooter, making raids in various parts of the land, and at one time (158 B.C.) unsuccessfully pursued by a Syrian army (i Macc. 9:58-72) ; then, at the head of a sort of rival government at Michmash, a short distance N. of Jerusalem, where his party seems to have steadily gained in numbers and in power (ibid. v. 73). This was undoubtedly due largely to his own ability, as well as to the truly popular cause which he represented, and to the fact that the Hellenising party sin~2 the death of Alcimus (159 B.C.) was without a leader.

At length the scales were turned completely in Jonathan s favour in an unexpected way. Demetrius was compelled to contest the possession of the Syrian throne with a powerful rival, Alexander Balas. Both saw the necessity of making overtures to Jonathan, who finally espoused the cause of Balas, in return for which service he was made the head of the Jewish people, with considerable power, and was also appointed high priest of the nation. This (153 B.C.) was the real beginning of the Hasmonasan rule in Jerusalem. Jonathan con tinued to hold the office of high priest (vacant, ap parently, since the death of Alcimus), and to increase, little by little, the advantage already gained. He was confirmed in his authority by Balas, when the latter became king (1 Macc. 10:65); was received with high honours at Ptolemais by Balas and Ptolemy Philometor, king of Egypt (ibid. v. 59+); and finally, when Deme trius II. became king of Syria, succeeded by a daring stroke in obtaining a series of most important con cessions to Judaea. See the interesting account in 1 Macc. 11:29-37 ; and cp Schurer, GJVW \ 182 ff. ET1245/:

During all this time Jonathan showed himself a wise and bold leader, both in peace and in war. The Syrian power continued to be divided among rival aspirants to the throne, so that not only Jonathan, but also his successors, were enabled to maintain their power by making shrewd use of the situation. The purpose of completely throwing off the Syrian yoke a purpose already cherished by Judas was not lost sight of by Jonathan. He sent ambassadors with letters of friend ship to Rome, Sparta, and other places (144 B.C.?), at the same time working diligently to strengthen Judeea in every possible way (see esp. i Macc. 11:55-56 / 12:32-38). Soon after this, however, Jonathan fell a victim to Syrian treachery. Trypho, the chief captain of the young Antiochus VI. who was now contending with Demetrius II. for the supremacy, became himself an aspirant to the throne. Fearing Jonathan for some reason, and wishing to put him out of the way, Trypho enticed him into Ptolemais and there put him to death (1 Mace. 12:39-53). This was at the close of 143.

1 In the OT <B Sinewy, Eng. Simeon.

2 For a possible explanation of this, see col. 2860, par. (3).

6. Simon[edit]

Simon (St/awv, 1 pyoe-) was the second son of Mattathias ; according to 1 Macc. 2:3 called also Thassi ( 9a<r<n ) ; see s. 1. The Semitic form and original meaning of the name Thassi can no longer be determined. In 1 Macc. he is frequently mentioned with honour in the account of the times of Judas and Jonathan, as an able military leader. Thus 5:17, 5:21+, 9:6-8, 11:65-66, 12:33-34, 12:38-39. During the reign of Jonathan, Antiochus VI. appointed Simon general (<TT partly jj) over an important district (11:59). In 26:5 Mattathias is represented as singling him out as the wisest of the brethren, and appointing him their counsellor. 2 Simon seems to have been in all respects a worthy successor of Judas and Jonathan.

Upon the death of Jonathan, Simon promptly took his place at the head of the nation, both as captain and as high priest, being confirmed in this by all the people. He continued to carry out with energy the policy pursued by Jonathan, building up and fortifying Jerusalem and the other strongholds of Judaea (13:10, 13:33, 13:43-48, 13:52, 14:7, 14:32-34), extending the territory of the Jews, taking every ad vantage of the Syrian dissensions, and sending embassies abroad. In all these things he was enabled by the circumstances to attain much more than had been possible for his predecessors, so that his reign was a glorious one for the Jewish people.

In 142, soon after the accession of Simon, the Syria* yoke was at last removed from Israel. Demetrius II., yielding to Simon s demand, formally recognised the independence of Judaea (see the triumphant words of the historian, 1 Macc. 12:41-42). Soon after this, Simon succeeded in gaining possession of the Acra, or citadel of Jerusalem, which had been occupied by a Syrian garrison for twenty-six years, ever since the beginning of the Maccabasan struggle 1 (13:49-53). In the brief season of peace and prosperity which followed ( 1 Macc. 14:4-15), Simon s services to his people were given im portant recognition. A solemn assembly held at Jerusalem in 141 confirmed him in the offices of governor and high priest, 3 and made both these offices hereditary. Thus, a Hasmonasan dynasty was formally established. An inscription in Simon s honour was composed and put in a conspicuous place. 4 At about this time, also, embassies were sent to Rome and to the Spartans (ib.), which resulted successfully, 1 Mace. 14:16-24, 15:15-24. Soon, however, Simon became involved in other wars, as the Syrian throne changed hands and his help was needed. Moreover, Antiochus (VII. ) Sidetes sent an army against Judasa, in the hope of recovering some of the posses sions which the Jews had gained ; but his captain was defeated and driven from the country by two of Simon s sons, Judas and John. Near the beginning of 135, Simon fell a victim to the plot of his own son-in-law, Ptolemy, captain of the plain of Jericho, who wished to obtain the power for himself. With two of his sons, Mattathias and Judas, Simon was received by Ptolemy into the fortress DDK (q.v. ), near Jericho, and there treacherously murdered. 5

7. John Hyrcanus.[edit]

John, son of Simon, generally called Hyrcanus, T/3/fav6s, 6 is said in 1 Mace. 13:53 to have been put in charge of the fortress Gazara by his father in 142. John also took a prominent part in the defeat of the Syrian general Cendeboeus (16:2+). Immediately after the murder of Simon, Ptolemy sent men to Gazara to kill John, who was now the legitimate successor to the leadership of Israel. John was informed of the plot, however, and with true Maccabaean promptness slew the messengers and made all speed to Jerusalem, where he arrived in advance of his rival, and made his position secure. His reign of thirty years, though by no means peaceful, was decidedly successful politically. In the first year after his accession, he was temporarily humbled by Antiochus Sidetes, who besieged Jerusalem with success, obtaining important concessions from the Jews, besides breaking down the city wall. These losses were soon repaired, however, as the Syrian government was again involved in sore difficulties. Hyrcanus rebuilt the city wall (1 Macc. 16:23), and began in 128, immediately upon the death of Antiochus, a series of important campaigns, one fruit of which was the humbling of the Samaritans and the destruction of their temple. The territory of the Jews was very considerably extended (reaching such an extent as it had not had for many centuries), and their independence completely restored.

In several respects the reign of Hyrcanus marks a departure from the simpler ways (and perhaps the ideals) of his predecessors. Hyrcanus waged war with the aid of foreign mercenaries, for example, and had his own name engraved on the coins of his reign. It is an especially interesting and significant fact that he cut loose from the Pharisees, and identified himself with the Sadducees (see SCRIBES AND PHARISEES, SADDUCEES, and Che. OPs. 24 f. 39). Concerning the events of the latter part of his reign we have little information. He died in 105 B.C.

1 [On i Macc. 13:47-50. 14:14, 14:36, see Che. OPs. 68 80, n." ; and on 13:51, see OFs. n, and references in p. 40, n.u. ED.].

2 [See Che. OTs. 2 3 .-En.]

3 It must be remembered that Jonathan received the office of high priest, not from the people, but from the Syrian king.

4 [See Stade-Holtzmann, GVI 2382; but cp Wellh. /JG<\), 222 f. ; ( 4 >, 273. ED.)

8 [On Simon, cp Che. OPs. n, 24^!, 68. ED.]

6 For attempts to explain this name, which had already been in use for some time among the Jews, see Schurer, 1 204 (ET i. 1, P- 273/)-

8. Literature.[edit]

Many of the works dealing with the history of this period are referred to below (MACCABEES [BOOKS]). Here may be men tioned : Clinton, fr asti Hellenici, vol. iii. I 2 ), 1851, pp. 310-350; Flathe, Gesch. Mace- doniens, ii. (1834) ; J. Derenbourg, ssai sur fkitt. et la geogr.de la J al., 1867; Madden, Coins of the Jews, 1881 ; De Saulcy, Hist, des Machabees ou princes de la dyn. asinoneenne, 1880; Pauly s Real-enc. der class. Alter- t/iumswiss.P), s.v. Antiochus IV. ; Schiirer, GJW)\ 127-241; ET i. 1 169-290 (in the introductory part of the vol. there is an excellent account of the sources) ; Ewald, GVl$)\ 287-543 ; ET, 1867-1886, 6286-394 ! Gratz, Gesch. derjuden, vols. 223; Stade- Holtzmann, GVI 2 28677: ; Wellh. fJG(*) 25677: See also the works referred to in Schiirer, 1 4-9 127^! ; ET 16-12, 170.

C. C. T.



  • Title, Contents (1-2).
  • Language (3).
  • Author, Dated (4-5).
  • Literary character (6).
  • Religious standpoint (7).
  • Sources (8).
  • Integrity (9).
  • Historicity (10).
  • Text (11).
  • Bibliography (12).
  • Contents (1).
  • Sources (2).
  • Historicity (3).
  • Literary character (4).
  • Religious character (5).
  • Author, Date(6).
  • Prefixed letters (7a, 7b).
  • Attestation, Text (8).
  • Bibliography (9).
  • Title (1).
  • Contents (2).
  • Beginning lost (3).
  • Language, Style (4).
  • Historicity (5).
  • Author, Date (6).
  • Attestation (7).
  • Bibliography (8).
  • Title (1).
  • Contents (2).
  • Integrity (3).
  • Author, Date (4).
  • Literary character (5).
  • Language, Style (6).
  • Thought (7).
  • Attestation, Text (8).
  • Bibliography (9).


1. Title.[edit]

By far the most important of the several writings known as the 'Books of the Maccabees' (Ma.KKaf3a.iuv P PMa-i or Ma/cKu/3cuVcci) is the history commonly entitled 'Maccabees'. The title borne by the book in its original Hebrew form (see below, 3) is not known.

Many scholars have tried to recognise it in a well-known passage quoted by Eusebius (HE t> 25) from Origen. Origen enumerates the (twenty -two) books of the Hebrew canon, giving the Hebrew names in Greek transliteration, and then adds : Besides these there is" the Maccaba ica," which is entitled Sarbeth Sabanaiel. l It is beyond doubt that the reference is to a Hebrew or Aramaic i Mace., whose title is transliterated. All attempts to explain this title from the Hebrew, however, have hitherto been futile (see the comms., and especially Curtiss, The Name Machabee, 1876, p. 30). 2 On the other hand, the solution proposed by Dalman (Gramm. 6), according to which the two strange words in their original form stood for the Aramaic WCt? H n 3 1SD. seems very plausible. The title Book of the Hasmonaeans would be eminently suitable for i Mace, (cp 562, and the actual superscription of the later Aramaic composition dealing with the history of this time : see below, n) ; and it is easy to see how, by the aid of common scribal blunders, 3 the form in Eusebius could have been reached. It may be doubted, however, whether even this can give us any sure clue to the riginal title of i Macc. This plainly Aramaic form of words is not likely to have been the superscription of a work written in Hebrew ; it is much more probable that the work known (by hearsay only?) to Origen was an Aramaic translation, such as must have been made very early. As will appear in the sequel ( 1 1), all the evidence goes to show that the Hebrew i Macc, was current only for a very brief period. If we suppose, then, that the above explanation of the name recorded by Origen is correct, there would still remain the possibility that (as frequently happened) the title borne by the translation was quite inde pendent of that borne by the original.

J efu Se rovrtav eori TOL MaxKajSai fca, a?rep en-tyeypairTai Xapr;0 Sa^arateA. See also the superscription of the Syriac i Macc. (Lagarde s Apocrypha Syriace), which was evidently derived from these words of Origen.

2 Of all these attempts it may be said, that they have an ex ceedingly improbable sound. Most of them rest on the reading 2apaveeA, which has been in vogue since the sixteenth century, but without any good authority.

3 The correct transliteration would be <r<f>a.p j3>)0 aa-a./j.uii ai.e.

2. Contents.[edit]

The book is a history of the Jewish struggle for religious freedom and for independence under the Maccabees. It covers the period of forty years beginning with the accession of Antiochus (IV. ) Epiphanes, 175 B.C., and ending with the death of Simon, the third of the Maccaboean leaders, 135 B.C. It is for the most part a narrative of events in their chronological order, attention being given chiefly to military and political affairs, and, in fact, to all that concerned the relation of the Jews to other nations.

The narrative is continuous, and the treatment uniform throughout the book. The material may be divided conveniently as follows :-

  • 1. (1:1-9) The briefest possible introduction, beginning with the conquest of Alexander, and describing in general terms the origin of the Seleucid empire.
  • 2. (1:10-64) Desperate condition of the Jews under Antiochus Epiphanes. His attempts to abolish the Jewish religion.
  • 3. (2:1-70) The uprising at Modein (167 B.C.) and the growth of the rebellion led by Mattathias.
  • 4. (3:1-4:35) The first victories gained by the Jews under the leadership of Judas Maccabaeus.
  • 5. (4:36-61) Purification of the temple and dedication of the new altar (165 B.C.).
  • 6. (5:1-68) Campaigns conducted by Judas against the surrounding nations.
  • 7. (6:1-17) Death of Epiphanes, in Persia, and accession of Eupator (164 B.C.).
  • 8. (6:18-63) Further wars with the Syrians. Concession of religious freedom to the Jews, in return for their submission.
  • 9. (7:1-50) Demetrius gains possession of the throne (162 B.C.). Death of Nicanor.
  • 10. (8:1-9:22) Treaty with the Romans. Death of Judas (161 B.C.).
  • 11. (9:23-10:66) Jonathan succeeds Judas as military leader of the Jews. Supported by the pretender Alexander Balas, he becomes the high priest of the nation (153 B.C.). He is received in state by Alexander and Ptolemy (Philometor), King of Egypt, at Ptolemais.
  • 12. (10:67-11:74) further battles fought by Jonathan ; and his relations with the Syrian kings.
  • 13. (12:1-53) Embassies to Rome and Sparta. Death of Jonathan (end of 143 B.C.).
  • 14. (13:1-14:15) Fortunes of the Jews under Simon. They secure their political independence (142 B.C.). The Syrians are driven from the castle in Jerusalem. Peace in the land.
  • 15. (14:16-49) Renewal of friendly relations with the Spartans and with Rome. A formal record is drawn up by the people and put in a conspicuous place in honour of Simon, who is thus publicly declared ruler of the Jews (141 B.C.).
  • 16. (15:1-16:24) Relations of Simon with Antiochus Sidetes. His two sons defeat the Syrian general. Murder of Simon (135 B.C.).

3. Original language.[edit]

As to the language in which 1 Macc, was written, there is no room for doubt. Mention has been made of the testimony of Origen (1) and Jerome (col. 2850, towards end), which testimony, though less valuable than it at first appears to be, shows at least that each of those great scholars regarded it as an undisputed fact that the book was written in Hebrew. Internal evidence proves beyond question that this opinion (or church tradition) was correct.

That the language was Semitic is evident. Semitic idioms follow one another in such number and variety as would be in explicable in a Greek composition ; see, for example, 1:29 (cp Gen. 41:1, etc.), 1:36, 1:58, ItrparjA TOW eupricoju.eVois = ^XIE"? C Ni C^n (incorrectly punctuated by Swete, and frequently mis- uriderstood), 2:40, 4:2, 5:30-33, 6:21 (ef airwi/ [NV] as subject of the verb; so also 7:33), 8:1, 9:44 etc.; and such passages as 3:15-26 5:1-8, 5:28-34. The form of many of the proper names shows that they are transliterated from a Semitic text ; thus 4>vAioriei/ot ; the names in 11:34 (Schiir. GJV\ 183 ; ET 12457:); IfioAKoue [XV] for 13*?D , 11:39 (seeSchur. I.e. ; We. //(<), 270), etc. In 14:27, i><ropa(ifA [A, i>ao-apaju.eA (NV)] (cp now Exp. T 11:523+) is plainly the transliteration of some word or words which the translator did not understand. Cp also \a^>ei>a.0a., 12:37. The weighty evidence afforded by occasional mis translation, or by renderings which can only be explained as the result of misunderstanding or accidental corruption of the original Semitic text, is not wanting. Thus 8:29, ian\aa.v (mis translating the Hebrew perfect tense : the Romans hereby make agreement ; see the following verses, and cp the similar mistake in 14:28, iyvu>pi.<T(v r)Hiv for i:jnin ; 'we make proclamation' ) ; 9:24, Aijuos(ayi for QV1); 10:1, 10:6 En-i^ai/ijs instead of TOU ETTI- 0afoC?, a mistranslation made very easy by the Semitic usage in regard to such adjectives ; 10:72, oi jraTe pes aov (-pni3K instead f TTP3X [f r "] niK3!l, thine armies ); 14:9, oroAas no\(fiov (!) (reading NQX instead of <;]$, gay apparel ).!

That the Semitic language was Hebrew, not Aramaic, is everywhere manifest.

See the evidence furnished by many of the passages cited above ; and add further, 2:39, 3:19 (QN -3 ; also 9:6), 5:40, 7:35, and the remarkable succession of Hebrew idioms in 5:1-8.

4. Author.[edit]

Nothing is known concerning the author of 1 Macc. , beyond the facts that can be gathered by inference from his book. He was certainly a devout and patriotic Jew.

It can hardly be doubted, moreover, that the author lived and wrote in Palestine. It is plain from every part of the book that his personal interests were all in that land.

His acquaintance with the geography and topography of the country is strikingly minute ; when, on the contrary, he has occasion to mention foreign lands, he shows himself much less accurately informed. In his narrative he frequently introduces such details as would have no importance for one living at a distance from the scenes and events described. See, for example, 3:24. 7:19, 8:19, 9:2-4, 9:33, 9:34, 9:43, 12:10-11, 13:22-23, 16:5, 16:6.

The writer of this history, furthermore, must have stood near to the centre of Jewish political affairs.

There is, to be sure, nothing to require us to suppose that he himself took an active part in the events he records; but he is most plainly in his element when he is dealing with affairs of state, military movements, and court intrigues. He must have been a man of rank, and personally acquainted with the leaders of his people.

The author shows himself a loyal adherent of the Hasmonrean house ; it was to this family that Israel owed its rescue and its glory ; see especially 56:2, and cp 13:3 14:18, 14:26, 16:2. That he should extol the char acter and deeds of Judas was of course to be expected, but his admiration of the other Hasmoncean leaders is hardly less emphatically expressed.

See what he says of Jonathan, 9:73, 10:15-21, 10:59-66, 11:20-27, 11:71, 12:35, 12:52-53. (notice also 10:61, 11:25); of Simon, 13:3+, 13:47-48, 14:4-15, 16:14; and of John, 15:53, 16:23-24.

When in addition to these facts it is observed in what a favourable light the Jewish priesthood is exhibited throughout the book the renegade high priests Jason and Menelaus, for example, are not mentioned at all (contrast 2 Mace. 4 7-5 23) the conjecture of Geiger (Ursckrift, 206 ff. ) that the author of i Mace, was a Sadducee seems not improbable (see SADDUCKEs). 2

1 The same confusion of these two words more than once in Daniel ; see Moore in JBL, 1896, pp. 195, 197.

2 Geiger was certainly wrong, however, in regarding the book as a party document.

5. Date.[edit]

i. The date of the composition of 1 Macc, can be determined approximately. If we assume the book to be the work of a single writer, as seems necessary (see below, 9), it is plain from 16:ll-24 that it must have been finished after the beginning of the reign of John Hyrcanus (135-106 B.C.). It is also evident from the way in which the writer speaks of the Romans that the days of Pompey and the Roman rule were not yet dreamed of : he emphasises chiefly the Romans fidelity as allies (8:1, 8:12, 12:1, 14:40), and implies everywhere that they are friends to be proud of, although outside the horizon of ordinary Jewish affairs (8:1+, 8:19). The book must, therefore, have been completed before the year 63 B.C.

ii. There are grounds for bringing the date of composition within narrower limits.

(1) The passage 16:23-24 , in particular, has afforded a basis for argument. It reads as follows :

Now the rest of the acts of John, and of his wars, and of his valiant deeds which he did, and of the building of the walls which he built, and of his doings, behold they are written in the chronicles of his high-priesthood, from the time that he was made high priest after his father.

It has been customary to conclude from this mention of the 'rest of the deeds' of John, and especially from the reference to the 'chronicle of his high-priesthood', that his reign must have been far advanced, 1 or even ended (so most scholars since Eichhorn), at the time when these words were written. The cogency of this reasoning may be doubted, however ; the more so, as every particle of the remaining evidence points to a different conclusion.

It is evident that the writer wished to bring his history to an end with the close of Simon's reign. If this had been his only purpose, however, he would hardly have followed 16:17 with just these concluding verses 18-22, which tell only half of what was necessary to be told, if the escape of John was to be narrated at all, and leave the history of the Hasmonaean house and of Jerusalem (see v. 20) in suspense. To suppose that these verses were intended merely to serve as the necessary bridge from the reign of Simon to that of John, does not explain them satis factorily ; and the greater the interval of time supposed to have elapsed between these events and the writing of the history, the greater the difficulty becomes.

On the supposition that the historian finished his work soon after the beginning of the reign of Hyrcanus, and wished to conclude it with complimentary mention of his sovereign, every part of the closing passage 16:18-24 is at once satisfactorily explained.

It is all precisely what we should expect. The events follow ing Simon s death were then familiar to every one ; it was only necessary to lead up to the statement of John s prompt action (v. 22), and then to add the customary formula : the rest of his great deeds, etc. For the only deeds that are specially mentioned the carrying on of war, and the building of walls we have no need to look further than the earlier years of his reign ; the wars that brought him his chief glory, and the re building of the wall that had been razed by Antiochus Sidetes, were both begun, it would seem, during or immediately after the year 128 (see col. 2856, 7). As for the chronicle of his high-priesthood (if we suppose the words to be more than a mere compliment),- the historian could have referred to it equally well at any time after the beginning of the reign. If there really was such a chronicle, it was probably the continua tion of the record of the preceding reigns ; see the latter part of v. 24 (see also below, 8).

(2) The impression thus gained from the closing verses of the book, that it was completed during the reign of John Hyrcanus, is confirmed by the tone of security and political self-respect that is so evident in all parts of the history. With the beginning of the last century B. c. came a marked decline.

(3) On the other hand, there are indications that the historian began his work during the reign of Simon.

The striking passage 14:4-15, in particular, points distinctly in this direction. So, too, does the much discussed verse 1:142. Even if documents and coins (?) were dated in this way (see Schur. GJl 1 iqtff. , ET 1 257 ff.), the custom can have con tinued only for a very short time. The only historians who would be likely to write such a verse as this would be those of Simon's own day. Cp on the other hand 14:27, which is equally significant whether written by the author of 1 Macc, or by some one else. The compliment paid to Simon in 2:65 may also be taken as evidence ; there is nowhere in the sequel anything that could be regarded as especially illustrating the quality here ascribed to him, or as implying that he was looked upon as the counsellor of his brethren.

iii. The theory best accounting for all the facts (see also below) and no really plausible argument can be urged against it would seem to be, that the greater part of this history was composed and written under the inspiration of Simon s glorious reign, and that it was finished in the early part of the reign of John Hyrcanus. That is, the book was probably written between 140 and 125 B.C.

The passage 13:30 can give us no additional help. The words unto this day are the indispensable (OT) formula added to the account of such monuments, and would have been used in any case, whether the time that had elapsed were two years or twenty. This is simply one of the many illustrations of the way in which the writer models his history after the pattern of the older Hebrew scriptures ; the use of the formula here serving to show his sense of the importance of the monument (cp 9:22, 16:23-24).i

1 See the advocates of this view cited in Grimm, Cotntn. 24. - It is not probable, however, that they are anything more than this. See below, 8.

6. Literary characteristics.[edit]

Viewed from the literary point of view, i Macc. makes a most favourable impression. Its author was evidently a writer of unusual talents as well as of considerable experience. His narrative is constructed with a true sense of proportion and with skill in the arrangement of the material. The style, which is strongly marked, is plainly his own, though formed on the classical Hebrew models. Reminiscences of OT phrase ology are of course frequent, and certain familiar formulas from the older Hebrew history are occasionally intro duced (e.g. , 2:69-70, 9:20-22, 13:26, 16:23-24); but there is no further evidence of any imitation, conscious or uncon scious, of the older writers. The chief characteristics of the style are terseness and simplicity. At the same time, the narrative is full of lively details, and is never suffered to lag.

The reserve of the writer is worthy of especial notice. Though it is evident that he is intensely interested in all the history he is recording, he generally contents himself with giving a purely objective view of the course of events, keeping his reflections to himself. He writes as a loyal and devout Jew, yet without indulging in such abuse of his enemies as is so common, for example, in 2 Macc. 2 It cannot be said, however, that he does not display enthusiasm. It breaks out into momentary expression again and again, all through the book.

See, for example, 2:48, 3:3-9, 4:24, 58, 5:63-64, 11:51, 14:8+, etc. On such occasions as these, and in fact wherever the writer, for one reason or another, wishes to make his story especially impressive, or is carried away by his feeling, he rises to poetry in the true Semitic manner. Examples are 1:25-28, 1:37-40, 3:3-9, 3:45, 9:41 {3}, 14:4-15. Similarly, the impassioned utterances of Mattathias in 2:7-13, 2:49-68, of the people in 3:50+, and of Antiochus in 6:10+., are expanded in poetic form ; cp also the two addresses, of Judas to his army 3:18-22, 4:5-11.

In all parts of the book we meet the same striking combination of dignity and naivete, the same excellences of style. We may well believe that in its original form it was a fine specimen of Hebrew prose.

1 Even if this were not the case, the attempt to determine the time that must have elapsed before a writer could use the phrase unto this day (i.e., where it still stands ) must be wholly fruitless. To many writers, ten years, or even five, would seem a long interval. Especially in those eventful times, when nothing was long secure, and hostile armies were marching through the land, a historian might well have expressed his gratitude that the conspicuous monument at Modein had been allowed to stand for even a very brief period.

2 The description of Antiochus Epiphanes as pi<Ja a;uapT(oAd< (1:10), and of Alcimus by the adjective <i<re/3/js (7:9), are certainly examples of moderation.

3 The grim humour of the passage 9:37-42 is not to be lost sight of.

4 Cp Dan. 1 8.

5 The fact that the writer puts these utterances into the mouth of his heroes, Mattathias, Judas, Jonathan, and Simon, renders them no less his own, of course.

  • It is doubtful how much significance should be attached to

this phrase in its various forms. See Jerus. Kiddi ishlm, 4 [near the beginning].

7. Religious character.[edit]

Regarding the religious standpoint of the author, it is to be said that in this respect also the book deserves to hold a high place in Jewish literature. There is nowhere any room for doubt as to his patriotism, in the best sense of the word. He believes in Israel as the people chosen of God.

The author is zealous for all the time-honoured institutions ; for the law and the ordinances (1:11, 1:15, 1:43, 1:49, 1:54+, 1:62+, 2:20+, 2:27, 2:42, 2:48, 3:21, 14:14-15 etc.), for the holy scriptures (1:56, 3:48, 12:9), for Jerusalem and the sanctuary (1:21, 1:37-38, 2:7-8, 3:43, 3:45, 3:51, 4:38, 4:59, 7:37, 7:42, 9:54-55). He refers repeatedly to God's deliverance of Israel in the past (2:59-60, 4:9+, 4:30, 7:41), and expresses his firm faith that he is ready to hear and help now also, as of old (3:18-19, 4:10-11, 9:46, 16:3); 'none that put their trust in him shall want for strength' (2:6i). 5 In 4:55 (cp v. 24-25, 3:44 etc.) 12:15 the successes achieved by the Jews under the Maccabsean leaders are ascribed to the divine help; as in 1:64 (cp 3:3) the evils that had come upon the nation are said to be God s punishment for its sin. Help through miraculous intervention, indeed, is neither asked nor expected the day of wonders, and of prophets with super human power and wisdom, is past (9:27 ; cp 4:46, 14:41, Ps. 74:9, Dan. 3:38 (Song of the Three Children, v. 14], Ezra 2:63 [Neh. 7:65]) ; 6 but God now works deliverance for his people through the strength he gives to those who call upon him (4:33). In 11:70-72 Jonathan's desperate valour, which wins the day, is the result of superhuman strength given him in answer to prayer.

It is remarkable, in view of such genuine faith and religious devotion as the writer everywhere manifests, that the book from beginning to end should avoid all direct designations of God.

Neither 'God' (rd ii), nor 'Lord' (icu pios), nor any of the titles occasionally employed in the OT are to be found here.* Instead, the writer makes use of the term heaven (oiipai/os, c CBO, which is so employed as to be the full equivalent of the name God ; thus, 3:18-19, 3:50, 4:10, 4:40, 4:55, 9:46, 12:15, 16:3; cp also 3:60. In some of these passages, this use of the word heaven is followed by the personal pronoun in a most signifi cant manner ; see 3:22, 3:51+, 4:10, 4:55. In two passages (7:37, 7:41-42) where God is directly addressed, the pronoun thou is used without being preceded by any noun. Similarly, in 2:61 the pronoun of the third person is employed, with only the context to show that God is meant ; in 16:3, by the mercy, not even a pronoun is used.

As the tendency thus illustrated begins to appear among the Jews before the time of the Maccabees, and plays an important part in the later literature, it is hardly safe to draw conclusions from these facts as to the personal characteristics of this writer.

The use of the OT in the book may be noticed, finally. The repetition of certain formulas from the historical books has already received mention. Apart from these, there are allusions in 2:52-60 to Genesis, Numbers, Joshua, Samuel, Kings, Daniel; in 14:12 the words of Mic. :44 are repeated ; 4:24 contains a familiar verse from the Psalms, cp 1 Ch. 16:34, 16:41, Ezra 3:11 ; in 7:17, Ps. 79:2-3 is formally cited. Other quotations or allusions are found in 2:26, 4:9, 4:30+, 7:37.

8. Sources.[edit]

Those who suppose that the author of this history wrote in the early decades of the last century B.C., find it necessary to assume that he made considerable use of written sources. * It is indeed quite out of the question to suppose that an account so vivid and accurate, and of such uniform fulness of detail, even in the narrative of the first years of the uprising, could have been written merely on the basis of oral tradition and personal recollection, after such a lapse of time. Nor would the hypothesis that the written sources used by the author were merely scattered official and private documents, of no great extent, be at all adequate to account for the work before us. It is very difficult to suppose the existence of such documents as this theory calls for, or to believe that a Jewish historian of that day could have combined them with such marvellous skill. Nor would any such pro cess have produced this book. If, however, as has been argued above, the book was written soon after the middle of the second century, the necessity of postulating ex tensive documentary sources is removed. Moreover, both the lack of evidence of any such sources in the book itself, and the character and manner of the whole narrative, make it by far the most probable theory that what we have here is the account of one who had wit nessed the whole Maccabaean struggle from its beginning, and had had exceptional opportunities of information.

The only passages in 1 Macc, in which there might appear to be reference to written sources known to the author are 9:22 and 15:24. In both cases the writer is making use of the familiar OT formula used in closing the history of a king : The rest of his acts, and his mighty deeds, behold, they are written, etc. The reason for his employing it in only these two places is obvious. The compliment is paid to Judas, as the great hero of these times ; to John, because of the time and manner in which the book was finished (see above, 5). Accordingly, when it is^said of Judas, that the rest of his acts were not written down, the natural inference is this, that the writer knew of no record other than his own of the events of Judas time ; this was, therefore, the only way in which he could conclude the formula. Again, when he has occasion to apply the formula to the reign of John, which had only recently begun, it is hard to see what form of words he could have completed other than that which he actually used. That such a 'book of the records' of John's reign had already been written, is therefore neither said nor implied; only this, that it was one whose deeds would certainly be recorded*

1 The words God and Lord have frequently been inserted, however, both in many of the Greek texts and in the versions. Thus, e.g., in the English AV, 2:21, 2:26, 3:18, 3:53, 3:60, 4:55, 9:10.

2 See, e.g., Schurer, 6/^2579 (ET 56).

As for the question abate we may not find in these words at test a hint as to one of the sources at the command of the writer, namely, a chronicle of the reign of Simon (and possibly also of the reign of Jonathan). the answer must be :

  • (1) We are not warranted in drawing any such conclusion from the words of this stock phrase,
  • (2) There is not a grain of evidence, nor any great intrinsic probability, that the record of any of the Hasmonaean reigns was officially kept 1
  • (3) There is nothing whatever to indicate that the sources used by the writer for his account of the reign of Simon were in any way different from the sources at his disposal for the history of Judas.

It may be added, though the fact has little significance, that the only Jewish source for the history of these Hasmonaean rulers known to Josephus was our 1 Macc. Moreover, regarding the history of the period 175-161 B.C. there is no evidence that 1 Macc, and 2 Macc. (Jason of Cyrene made use of any common source, or that the latter had any extensive documents at his disposal (see MACCABEES. SECOND, 2)

In connection with this lack of evidence for the exist- ence of other important records of the Maccabrean period, it should be observed further, that 1 Macc. shows no sign of being a compilation : it is, on the contrary, remarkably homogeneous in all its parts. It would be difficult to imagine greater uniformity of style and method, from beginning to end. in a work of this nature.*

As for the many official documents which are embodied in the history, it is not likely that the author of i Mace, took them from a collection already made. It seems much more probable, from their character, and the way in which they are used, that they were partly collected by him. but chiefly composed or freely reproduced by him in accordance with his own taste aided by memory. On these documents, see also s. 9-10.

1. See Schurer, GJV 2:584-585

2. The greater frequency of poetical passages in the first half of the book, noticed by Westcott (Smith's DH), is simply due to the difference in character of the subject matter and the narrative (see above, 6), and cannot be used as an argument for diversity of authorship.

9. Integrity.[edit]

By the earlier investigators of 1 Macc. the integrity of the book was generally unquestioned. In recent times, however, the attempt has been made by some scholars to show that the history as we have it is not in its original form. The question has been raised whether certain of the letters, edicts, and other documents contained in the book can have originally formed a part of it.

(a) Some have gone so far as to claim that the whole concluding portion, from near the beginning of the fourteenth chapter to the end of the book, is a later addition by another hand.

Destinon, Die Quellen des Josephus, 1882, pp. 80+, argued that the form of 1 Macc, known to Josephus did not contain chaps. 14-16. He also advocated the theory, formerly held by J. D. Michaelis that Josephus used a Hebrew 1 Macc, (the original form) differing in other important particulars from our Greek version (i.e. pp. 61-80).

As for the form of 1 Macc, which is reproduced in the Antiquities, it may be regarded as certain, in spite of the arguments of Destinon and others, that it was identical with our Greek version.

See. for example, the weighty evidence incidentally noted in 8, 11, below. The reason urged by Destinon for regarding the last three chapters as secondary is the haste with which Josephus passes over this portion of the history, giving it hardly any space at all, although these chapters contain abundant material of the sort that would seem to serve his purposes especially well, in as much as it is his manifest aim to magnify the political importance of the Jews, and to make as much as possible of their friendly relations with the Romans. The argument certainly deserves notice; but it may be doubted whether it should be given any great weight (see Schur. TLZ, 1882, p. 390). It is hardly safe to rely on the methods of such a writer as Josephus, even in a matter of this nature ; it must be remembered, too, that one chief consideration in the composition of his work was the striving after brevity and condensation. A Gentile historian would have found little or nothing of importance in these chapters of i Macc., and it is not dificult to believe that Josephus could have nude up his mind to omit them. 1 Nor has the theory that the book originally ended near the beginning of chap. 14 ( 'at about the 15th verse' ) We. //<? l1 , *xtf., n.; <*. 157 n. ; IPX *0 a. ; sentence omitted in LXX, IT; a.) any further argument in its favour : while on the other hand there are many and weighty considerations against it.

In style and manner, as in contents, chaps. 14-16 are in perfect harmony with the rest of the book. 16:17, to take a single instance, cannot fail to remind the reader of the author of the earlier chapters. See also what has been said above ( 5, 8) regarding the close of the book.

(b;) The question of the document 14:17-47, the inscription in honour of Simon, is more difficult. The manner in which its representation of die coarse of events seems to run counter to that contained in the preceding and the following portions of die history has long attracted attention.* It is urged that there is a serious contra diction here in regard to die order of events, the chief point of difference being die account of Simon s embassy to Rome.

According to the document (v. 40) this would seem to have occurred before the time when Demetrius recognised the authority of Simon, and to have been one of the things that led him to take that step. In the earlier nut of this same chapter, on the other hand, the beginning of Demetrius long captivity among the Parthian*, is narrated (l4:1-3) before the account of the embassy is given (v. 24) ; and in chap 15. the return of Numeruus with the answer of the Romans (v. 15) would seem, from the connection in which it stands, to have occurred in the year 139, at the beginning of the reign of Antiochus (VII.) Sidetes.

It is by no means certain, however, that the author of 1 Macc, should be cited as dating the events of 14:1-3 earlier than those of vv. 16+, 24+. Nor are we justified in any case in giving such weight to a verse of the nature of 14:40, belonging to a document whose chief aim was by no means to record history exactly, but rather to glorify Simon in every possible way. The whole question of the dates and order of events of these few years, more over, is one of exceeding difficulty ; * and even on the supposition that we have here a true copy of the procla mation that was put in the court of the temple, the difficulty might still be adjusted by supposing the author of 1 Macc, to have been mistaken in regard to the date in 14:1 {4} It is for more likely, however, that what we have here (v. 27-49) is a free reproduction of die substance of the proclamation, after the manner customary through out thus book in incorporating official documents (see next section). The difficulty with the statement in 14:40 is thus most probably to be charged to the author's own inaccuracy, which is of a kind that is very easy of explanation, under the circumstances. There is. there fore, no sufficient reason for regarding 14:15-49 as a later interpolation. 5 Notice also the fact that this pass age formed a part of the Hebrew 1 Macc. ; see especially v. 27-28 (above. 3) .

(c) The section 15:15-24. which narrates the return of the above mentioned embassy, and contains the letter sent by the Romans in the year 139 B.C.. to Ptolomy Physkon and Simon, has also been suspected of being an interpolation (see Wellh. ibid. ; Willrich. Juden u. Griechen, 69+)

I It was the easier for him to omit the account of the Roman embassy here, in as much as he manages to introduce the most imposing features of it later, on a similar occasion (see below, c).

2 See the note in Grimm. Comm. at the end of chap 14.; Destinom, 86+; Well. op. cit. 222-223, n. ; Willrich, Juden u. Griechen, 70.

3. See, e.g. Schurer, 1:132+; ET 1:176+

4 Another alternative would be to regard v. 40 as the interpolation of some scribe.

5 The difficulties which some have found in the form of the document (e.g, Wellh. i.c.), are due in part to the translation and transcription, as well as to the fact that the whole is freely reproduced. In v. 28 the original reading was 'We hereby proclaim'(see s. 3). In v.41, the word Lrr was certainly secondary.

It is generally assumed that this alleged Roman edict is identical with that given in Jos. Ant. xiv. 8:5 (in the time of Hyrcanus II.), the resemblances being too striking to be accidental. See the very extensive literature of the subject, in Schurer, 1:199-200, 1:279-280 ; ET 1:1, pp. 267+, 378-379. It has been proved by Mommsen ( Der Senatsbeschluss bei Josephus Ant. xiv. 8:5 Hermes, 9 [i875] pp. 281-291) that the document in Jos. really belongs, at least in part, to the time of Hyrcanus II. 1 But Mommsen also argued at length (I.c.) and for weighty reasons, that the edict in 1 Macc. lf is not identical with that in Jos. His arguments have failed to convince most scholars, because of the still unexplained fact that 'Numenius, son of Antiochus' and the golden shield of a thousand pounds weight appear in both documents. The explanation of this latter fact, however, is certainly this : Josephus, for the reasons given already (above, a) omitted the portion of i Mace, containing the mention of Numenius and the golden shield, but took occasion to introduce tbis important name, and the most interesting details, at the nrxt opportunity. The two documents were thus originally quite distinct. The fact must also be emphasised that the passage 16:15-24 bears striking evidence of having been written very soon after the time when these events occurred. The consul Lucius (Afi/Kios ujraro?) of v. 16 can be no other (Kitsch!, Rhein. Museum, vol. 28, 1873; Mommsen, /.<:.) than L. Calpurnius Piso, who was Roman consul in 139. The edict was sent to Demetrius (A))/oi>)Tpi u> TU> jSatriAfi), which shows that the Romans wrote - as must in fact have been the case - before hearing of the captivity of Demetrius and the accession of Antiochus Sidetes. This again is striking evidence that we have here the account of a contemporary (so Grimm, Comni.); so also is the manner in which this narrative is inserted in the midst of events of the reign of Sidetes, in spite of v. 22, and the way in which the story of the military operations at Dor is interrupted. An interpolator could not possibly have introduced it here (as argued by Wellhausen, I.c.); on the contrary, the author of 1 Macc. must have written from his own recollection of the actual order of events.

The historical accuracy of the whole account, as well as the fact that it formed a part of the original i Mace., would therefore seem to Ixj beyond question. That we have in this document the actual words of a Roman edict, however, may be strongly doubted. The only conclusion that can certainly be drawn is that the Romans, under L. C. Piso, accepted the present of the Jewish ambassadors, and returned an answer that was at least polite and was addressed to King Demetrius.

(d) Still other of the incorporated documents have occasionally been suspected of being interpolations, the suspicion being probably due in all cases to a mistaken idea of the purpose and method of a historian of that day in reproducing letters, speeches of military leaders, and the like (see next section).

In the case of the document 10:25-45, f r example, it has justly been observed (Wellh. op. cit. -Ji8, n. ; cp Willrieh, 70) that it cannot be regarded as a genuine letter of Demetrius. But we are certainly not therefore justified in concluding that it was not put in its present place by the careful and conscientious author of 1 Macc. On the contrary, it was probably composed by him on the basis of his knowledge of the attitude of Demetrius, of which it undoubtedly gives a fair idea, in the main. Whether any considerable portion of its contents may be regarded as reproducing actual utterances of the king, is quite another question.

1 See his concluding words, 291 ; and the comments in Will- rich, 71.

2 For the earlier discussions of this question, especially in the eighteenth century, see Grimm, Comm. p. xxxivyC

10. Historical value.[edit]

The great importance of 1 Macc, as a source for the history of the Jews is now generally acknowledged. 2 Besides being the only detailed account which we have of the events of the greater part of this most important period, the book has proved itself worthy to hold the highest rank as trustworthy history. In the first place, all of the most important events are dated accord ing to the Seleucid era (reckoned from the spring of 312 B.C. ; see Schurer, 1:33, KT 1:44), the accuracy of the dates given being in the main beyond all question. We thus have here for the first time a Jewish history with a satisfactory chronology. The same verdict of trustworthiness must be accorded to the book as a whole. Both in the account which it gives of the general course of events, and in its narrative of details, it bears the unmistakable stamp of truth. In the pre ceding paragraphs ( 4, 5, 8) we have maintained the view that the author of 1 Macc, records in this book events of his own lifetime, which he had had ex ceptional opportunities of observing. There are, in fact, many indications of this apart from those already mentioned. 1 For example, the details given in 6:39-40, 7:33 etc., and especially in 8:19 (the long journey of the ambassadors to Rome), 9:34-43 (where 'on the Sabbath day' has no significance at all for the nar rative), were plainly recorded by a contemporary of these events. In all parts of the book, the narrative has this same vivid and circumstantial character, the details being frequently such as one who had not witnessed the events, or who wrote a considerable time after their occurrence, could have had no reason for adding. It is plain that the author was excellently well informed as to the progress of affairs in general, the character and movements of the chief actors in these scenes (see above, 4), and even as to minor circum stances of time, place, and manner. It is to be added that he shows himself a true historian both in the choice of his material and in the manner of using it. In the choice of material, especially, his pre-eminence appears. It cannot be said of him that he purposely distorts facts, or invents them. It is true that he was a warm adherent of the Hasmonaean house, and probably a personal friend of its leaders, as well as a sincere patriot ; but his history is not written in a partisan spirit. 2 No one will blame him for passing over in silence the shameful conduct of the high priests Jason and Menelaus, or for making only brief mention of the defeats suffered by the Jews. To turn such defeats into victories, as is done, for example, in 2 Macc. 13:9-24 (con trast 1 Macc. 6:28-63), would never have occurred to him. His statements cannot always be believed, it is true ; they must occasionally be pronounced mistaken, or inaccurate. Especially when he has occasion to touch upon the geography or political conditions of foreign countries (e.g., 1:1, 8:1-16, 14:16, etc.), he exhibits a naive ignorance which is all the more noticeable because of the very exact knowledge of Palestine which he every where displays. That his numerical estimates (size of armies, number of the slain, etc.) are often exaggerated, is a matter of course. Such statements were generally the merest guesses, in the early histories. Regarding the incorporated documents the case is somewhat similar. They are not to be taken too seriously. There was no thought of authenticity here, any more than in the matter of recording the speeches made by Mattathias to his sons, or by Judas on the field of battle. The composition, or at least the free reproduction, of such speeches and documents belonged to the task of the historian. In general it may be said of those in i Macc, that they may be used only with the greatest caution ; though it is probable that in the most of them veritable documents are reproduced, in substance if not in form. On the whole, the book must be pronounced a work of the highest value, comparing favourably, in point of trustworthiness, with the best Greek and Roman histories.

1 See above, esp. 4/, col. 28s9/.

2 See the excellent characterisation of his work in this respect, in Schlatter, Jason von Kyrene, 55.

11. Text and versions.[edit]

i. Hebrew text of 1 Macc. The original Hebrew text of 1 Macc, seems to have disappeared at a very early date. There is no evidence of its use by any early writer, not even by Josephus. Nor is there any sure testimony to its existence after the time when the Greek translation was made (regarding the equivocal words of Origen and Jerome, see above, i, 3). What is more important, there is no evidence of correction from the Hebrew, either in the Greek or in any other of the versions (all of which were made from the Greek). On the contrary, our Greek version is plainly seen to be the result of a single translation from a Hebrew MS which was not free from faults. It hardly seems pro bable that the Hebrew 1 Macc, can have been widely circulated at any time ; there was certainly never any tendency among the Palestinian Jews to include it in the collection of sacred writings. [See further, iv. below, on later Hebrew writings.]

ii. Translations of 1 Macc,

(a) Greek. Fortunately, the Greek translation is an excellent piece of work of its kind. It aims first of all at giving a closely literal render ing of the Hebrew ; but the translator has chosen his words so well, and interpreted so clearly, that the result makes very pleasant reading. Most manuscripts of the LXX, including the three uncials N, A, and V, contain the book. B, on the other hand, contains none of the books of Maccabees. The MSS show no great variation among themselves ; in general, the text represented by N and V (which resemble one another closely) seems to be the oldest and best. 1 Many passages furnish evidence of the fact that all our texts and versions of the book come from a single Greek MS whose text had suffered corruption.

Thus, in 8:9 <cai <rui rjyayej> ajroAAujueVovs, which makes no good sense here, is plainly a doublet of the following KO.L crui^jyayei ATroAAwFios : the blunder being found in all MSS and versions. In 9:5 EAao-a or AAaaa should probably be \Sa<ra (A for A); cp 7:40. Similarly in 9:2 Mcu<raA<o# or MecnraAwO should be Meo-aSwfl (Wellh. IJG(*\ 266, n.). In all these cases, our witnesses agree in giving the corrupt form. In like manner, all show the same evidence of a confused text, with some words accidentally omitted, or repeated, in 9:14, 9:32-35, 9:43. There are many other examples.

It is especially to be noticed that in the most of these cases Josephus also contains the corrupt reading.

(b} Latin. There are two Latin versions of 1 Macc. ; the one represented by the Vulgate, and the other (ex tending as far as the end of chap. 13) contained in a single MS (Sangermanensis}.2

The Vulgate version is in the main a faithful render ing of the Greek ; the Sangermanensis version is the result of a recension designed to conform to the Greek as closely as possible (cp the two Latin versions of 2 Macc. ).

(c) Syriac. There are likewise two Syriac recensions of the book.

The common version printed in the Paris Polyglot, vol. ix., the London Polyglot vol. iv. (variant readings in vol. vi.), and Lagarde's Apocrypha. Syriace (1861) ; and another (extending as far as 14:25)* found in the cod. Ambrosianus of the Peshitta (publ. by Ceriani, 1876-1883). Trendelenburg (in Eichhorn's Repertorium, l5 [1784] pp. 58+) proved conclusively that the common version is a translation from the Greek. It is careful, and very old. Its readings correspond in general with those of codd. 19, 64, 93 (H and P), generally recognised as 'Lucian' MSS; and it must be regarded as forming with these a separate recen sion. See especially G. Schmidt, Die beid. syr. Ucbers. des ersten Maccabdcrbuches, in ZATW 17:1-47, 17:233-262 (1897). Schmidt concludes (17:234-235) that the version of the cod. Ambros. is the result of a revision of the older Syriac according to the common Greek text.

These are the only important versions of the book. According to Dillmann, 1 * the Ethiopic version of 1 and 2 Macc, (not yet published) was made from the Latin Vulgate in the sixteenth or the seventeenth century.

iii. Translations of 2 Macc. What is said of the Greek MSS and the versions of 1 Macc, applies in general to 2 Macc, also ; for the two are usually found together, and the history of their transmission seems to have been nearly always the same. Cod. N, how ever, contains 1 Macc. , but not 2 Macc.

1 See also on the Syriac versions, and their affinities, below (c).

2 Published in Sabatier, Bibliorum sacrorumLatinifversiones antiqufp, vol. ii. , 1743.

t The text of the remainder, 14 26-1624, s tne common version.
  • Libri VT Apocryphi ,-Ethiopice, 1894, preface.

5 See also Schiirer, 1 123 (ET, i. 1 165).

iv. Later-works based on Macc. Mention may also be made here of certain later versions of the Maccabaean history, for the most part based on the books of the Maccabees, but having little or no independent value.

i. The Aramaic DDva^x nSjO. Megillath Antiochus ; or wiarn 33 n rjD, Scroll of the Hasmonaeans. See especially Gaster, The Scroll of the Hasmontrans (Transs. 9th Internal. Congr. of Orientalists, London, 2:1-32), where the (Aramaic) text is printed, with a translation, and very full references to the literature are given. 8 The Hebrew text (trans, from the Aramaic) is printed, e.g., in Jellinek, Bit ha-Midrash, 1 (1853), where also another form of the Aramaic text is given (vol. vi., 1877).

The book is a very brief Midrashic composition, not based directly on 1 Macc. , nor (apparently) on any other written source. It is evident from its internal character that it was written long after the Maccabaean age. 1

2. The Jewish history of Joseph ben Gorion (Josippus). This work (of about the 10th cent. ?) con tains a history of the Jews from Adam down to the time of the destruction of the Temple by Titus.

Wellhausen (Der arabischc Josippus, Berl., 1897) concludes that its original extent was the same as that of the 'Arabic Book of Maccabees' (see next paragraph), and that the name Joseph ben Gorion (by mistake for Flavius Josephus) was attached later, after the additions from the Jewish War had been made. The chief sources of the book in its original form were 2 Macc, and a secondary (Latin) recension of the Jewish War of Josephus. The author, who seems to have written in Italy, sadly misuses his material, and adds a good deal of legendary matter of his own. As history, the hook is absolutely worthless. See, further, Wellh., I.c. ; and the literature in Schurer, 1:123-124 (ET 1:1, p. 165-166.).

3. The so-called Arabic Maccabees, or Arabic 2 Macc. , printed in the Paris Polyglot, vol. ix. , and in the London Polyglot, vol. iv. , with a Latin translation made by Gabriel Sionita. This work, which very closely re sembles the preceding, contains a history of the Jews beginning with the story of Heliodorus (2 Macc. 3), and continuing down to the end of the Hasmonasan house, in the time of Herod. According to Wellhausen (op. cit., 46-47), this book, the Arabic Josippus, and the Hebrew Gorionides, are to be regarded as three separate recensions of the same work ; the Arabic Mace. representing its original extent, in which form it was truly a Book of the Maccabees, though of no historical value.

An English translation of the work as '5 Macc.', 2 was given by Cotton in his Five Books of Maccabees, 1832 ; and a descrip tion of it under this same title is given in Bissell, 6:38+. In the Arabic text, from which alone the book is known to us, it bears the title '2 Macc'. A note at the end of chap. 16, mis understood by Sionita, who repeats his mistake in the preface to the book, says : 'Thus far the 2 Macc, of the Hebrews' (which, in fact, does end at that point). After chap. 19, with which the end of i Macc, is reached, the remaining chaps., 20-59, follow Josephus very closely. See the table in Bissell, Wellhausen, op. cit. ; and Ginsburg's article in Kitto's Bibl. Cycloptedia. The book deserves more attention than it has received.

[Among these later works we must probably include the in complete fragments of a Hebrew version of 1 Macc, published by Chwolson, and more recently by Schweizer, from a Paris manuscript of the second half of the twelfth century. The fragments in question cover chaps. 1-4, 7:27-9:22, 9:30, 9:73 and 6:1-15. Schweizer, in a critical discussion of the text (see below, end of 12) comes to the conclusion that it is based upon the original Hebrew from which all other versions have sprung. His view is probably too optimistic. The text may certainly prove to be here and there of some value for a criticism of the readings of the versions, but its general importance is only secondary. The style is too simple and the vocabulary too easy to be ancient, and the work as a whole resembles the paraphrastic compositions above mentioned.]

12. Literature.[edit]

i. Commentaries. J. D. Michaelis, Uebersetz. der i Mace. ntit Anmerkn., 1778 ; Grimm, Das erste Buch der Mace. (Kurzgefasstes exegetisches Handb. :u den Apokr., 3te Lieferung), 1853; Keil, Com- wentar iiber die [i. vnd it.} Biich. d. Makk., 1875; Rawlinson (i and 2 Mace.) in Wace, Apocr., ii. (1888); Fairweather and Black, First Bk. of Mace. (Cambr. Bible for Schools), 1897. Bissell s Apocr., 1880, contains a translation of 1-3 Mace, with comm. ; Zockler s Die Apokryphen des AT (KGK), 1891, the same, with the addition of a portion of 4 Mace, (see below, col. 2886, q). The comm. of Grimm, though partly out of date, is by far the best work of the kind that we have. Bissell s work is largely a translation of this. The comms. of Rawlinson and Zockler are very unsatisfactory. In Kautzsch, Apokr. u. Pseudepigr., i and 3 Mace, are treated by the general editor.

ii. Critical Investigations. Ewald, Gesch.W iv., 1864, pp. 603^7; Rosenthal, Das erste Makkabiierbuch. 1867; Noldeke, Die A T Lit., 1868 ; Schnedermann, Ueberdas Judenthum der beiden ersten Makkabaerbticher (ZKW, 1884, pp. 88-100); Niese, Kritik d. beiden Makkabderbiicher, 1900; and the text- books of OT Introduction which contain the Apocrypha (most recently, Strack, Konig, Cornill). See also Geiger, Urschrift, 1857, pp. 200-230 (i and 2 Mace.) ; Curtiss, The Name Machabee, 1876; Schiirer, GJl \ 26-33 (ET1 3 6 ff.) 2579-584 (ET 63-13); Wellhausen, IJG(*1 256^; Willrich, Juden u. Gritchtn, 1895 ; Bloch, Die QtielUn des Josephits, 1879 ; Des- tinon, Die Quellen des Josephus, 1882 ; Willrich, Judaica, 1900. A. Schweizer, Untersuchungen -iiber d. Restc e. heir. Textes vom I. Makkabiierbiich (Berlin, 1901).

iii. Modern. Translations. Hebrew translation in Fraenkel, Kethubim acharonitn, sive Hagiograplia posteriora, Leipsic, 1830. English translations of 1-4 Mace, in Cotton, Five Books of the Maccabees, 1832 ; Bagster s Apocrypha, Greek and English, 1882 ; Churton s Uncanon. and Apocr. Scriptures, 1884 ; Dyserinck, De apocriefe boeken des ouden verbonds, 1874, contains 1-3 Mace. ; so also Reuss, La Bible, vol. vii., 1879, and Das alte Testament, vol. vii., 1894. The best German trans. is that of Kautzsch in his Apoc. u. Pseudepigr., 1898.

Other literature, especially the older critical and exegetical works, in Grimm, p. xxxiv_/I ; Schiirer, 2584 (ET ii. 3 12 f.~).

C. C. T.

1 Gaster tries to make a very early date seem probable.

~ This title, 5 Mace., is also borne by a Syriac version of Josephus, Bell. Jud., vi., found in the cod. Ambrosianus of the Peshitta (ed. Ceriani). See Schiirer, 1 75.


1. Contents.[edit]

The book known as '2 Maccabees' {1} is a history of the Hasmonaean uprising, differing widely from 1 Macc, both in its general character and in its contents. The events with which it deals are all included in a period of hardly more than fifteen years, from a time shortly before the accession of Antiochus Epiphanes (175 B.C.) down to the year 161. It is thus in the main parallel to 1 Macc. 1-7. Prefixed to the history is an interesting supplement (1:1-2:18), consisting of two letters purporting to have been sent by the Jews of Palestine to the Jews of Egypt. As these letters are quite distinct from the main body of the book, and are plainly not the work of its author, they will be discussed separately (7).

The contents of the history proper, which begins at 2:19, are as follows :

  • Author's preface, announcing the subject of his work, the source from which he obtained his material, and the character and aim of his own labours (2:19-32).
  • Story of Heliodorus, whose attempt to plunder the temple at Jerusalem was miraculously thwarted (chap. 3).
  • Account of the intrigues by which the high-priesthood changed hands, especially the misdeeds of Simon, overseer of the temple, and the renegade high-priests Jason and Menelaus (chap. 4).
  • The calamities that came upon Jerusalem in 170. Jason captures the city and butchers many

of the inhabitants. Antiochus, returning from Egypt, makes a great slaughter in Jerusalem, and plunders the temple (chap. 5). Judas and his brethren flee to the mountains (5:27).

  • The persecution of the Jews begun in 168. Story of the martyrdom of Eleazar, and of the sevenyouths with their mother (chaps. 6-7).
  • The remainder of the book (chaps. 8-15) is taken up with the history of the wars waged by Judas Maccabseus. The correspondences with i Macc, (often of only a very general character) are the following: chap. 8=1 Macc. 3:1-4:27; 9=1 Macc. 6:1-16; 10:1-8 = 1 Macc. 4:36-59; 10:14-38=1 Macc. 5; 11 = 1 Macc. 4:26-35; {2} 12:10-45 = 1 Macc. 6:24-68 ; 13= 1 Macc. 6:17-63 ; 14-15 = 1 Macc. 7.
  • The book closes with the death of the hated Syrian leader, Nicanor, in the battle of Beth-horon, 161 B.C. Epilogue of the author (15:37-39).

1 It is first cited under this name by Eus., Prtep. e^>anf.,8g. The title 2 Macc. appears also in some of the oldest lists of OT books (see APOCRYPHA ; also 7 ; 8).

2 The account of this expedition is confused in 2 Macc, with that of the similar expedition described in chap. 13. Cp especi ally 11:31 with 1 Mace. 6:59, and see below, 2.

3 Some, indeed, have even found in the book a concealed polemic against 1 Macc. So especially Geiger, Urschr. 228 ; Kosters, Tk.Tlt 491-558. The evidence of this, however, is quite insufficient. See also below, 6, first note.

2. Sources.[edit]

According to the author's own statement (2:23+), 2 Macc, is merely an epitome of a larger work, consisting of five books, composed by one Jason of Cyrene. Beyond this statement nothing is known concerning this Jason or his work. His name is not mentioned elsewhere, and we possess no further evidence of the use of his history by other writers. The words of the epitomist plainly imply that his own labours consisted solely in abridging and popularising the work of Jason, upon which he relied for all the facts narrated. As the book itself contains no evidence to the contrary, it is only necessary to ask what were the sources used by the older writer in com piling his history.

It is evident, first, that Jason was not acquainted with 1 Macc. 3 This fact appears both from the frequent and very noticeable disagreement with that book, in order of events, chronology, and statements of fact ; and also from the absence of considerable interesting and important material contained in 1 Macc. , which could hardly have been thus omitted altogether in a work of this character, if it had been known to its author. For the same reasons, the supposition of a common written source (or sources) is to be rejected. There is, in fact, no passage common to the two books where the hypothesis of a single document underlying both accounts seems probable. Moreover, from the character of the narrative of 2 Macc. , most modern scholars have concluded that the sources at Jason s dis posal were mainly oral. 1 The account he gives is fre quently confused and even self-contradictory, though often bearing the marks that point to an eye-witness.

The first expedition of Lysias into Judaea, 165 B.C., is repre sented in 2 Macc, as having occurred after the death of Antiochus Epiphanes. The substantial identity of the account in chap. 11 with that given in 1 Macc. 4:26-35 is beyond question ; yet there is introduced into it an important feature belonging to the later expedition of Lysias in 163 B.C. viz., the concession of religious freedom to the Jews. The story of this second expedi tion (cp 1 Mace. 6:17-63) is then told in chap. 13, where the incident of the royal concessions is again narrated, with a refer ence (v. 22) to the former account. There can be no question that 1 Macc, gives the true history and chronology of these expeditions; the way in which they are confused in 2 Macc, is then best explained by supposing that Jason relied for his facts on the imperfect recollection of a number of men, not having written records at his disposal.

There are many other indications pointing in the same direction.

The important campaigns conducted by Judas in the years 164 and 163, described in 1 Macc. 5, are introduced in 2 Macc, in two places, 10:14-38 and 12:10-45. In both places the account is confused and fragmentary, in marked contrast to the narra tive of 1 Macc., which connects all the successive events of these campaigns in an orderly scheme whose general accuracy cannot be doubted. As in the case of the two campaigns of Lysias, so also here, events are narrated out of their proper place and order in Jason s work. The most striking example of this is found in the statements regarding the Syrian leader Timotheus. In 10:37, at the close of the former of the two passages mentioned, his death is narrated ; yet he appears again repeatedly in the similar campaigns described in chap. 12. It is to be observed, on the other hand, that the narrative in both passages contains such vivid touches especially in the narration of unimportant incidents as suggest the recollection of eye-witnesses. See for example 10:37, 12:35. Neither here nor elsewhere in the book does it seem likely that the author is reproducing various written sources.

In short, the character of the history of which 2 Macc, is the abridgment can best be explained by supposing that its author was a contemporary of men who had taken part in the Maccabaean struggle ; that he was obliged to depend mainly on oral accounts ; that he did not receive his information directly from those who had themselves taken part in these events, but only after it had passed through other hands ; and that he was often unequal to the task of criticising and arranging the material thus obtained. As for the 'letters' tran scribed in 9:19-27, 11:16-38, it is plain that they were manufactured entire.

The question to what extent the work before us is to be regarded as that of the epitomist is one of consider able difficulty. It seems probable, on the whole, that the method generally pursued by him in abridging the work of Jason was to omit large portions entire, and to write out others with little or no alteration. (See especially Grimm, 16+. ; Willrich, Juden u. Griechen, 66.)

The narratives actually preserved seem to be given in their original wording, rather than in a free abbreviation ; not even in 13:22-26 is it necessary to see an exception to this rule. It is not unlikely that even such passages as 6:12-17, 12:44-45, which might seem to belong to the writer of the preface 2:19+, are to be regarded as the words of the older writer.

1 So Grimm, Schiirer, Zockler, Willrich, Cornill, and others.

3. Historical value.[edit]

From what has just been said concerning the sources at Jason's disposal, and the way in which he used them, it is plain that 2 Macc, cannot take a high rank as trustworthy history. Moreover, any careful examination of the book leads to a decidedly unfavourable estimate of it in this regard. In the large part that runs parallel to 1 Macc., comparison affords an excellent basis for judgment as to the relative value of the two accounts.

In the cases where they disagree in statements of fact, it is generally beyond question that the representation in 2 Macc, is incorrect. The order of events in 2 Macc. , also, even in places where it might seem quite plausible if we had no means of testing it from without, is often shown by the clear and consistent account of i Macc, to be in reality sadly confused. 1 The careful chronology of the first book, moreover, has no parallel in the second. Events are indeed occasionally dated according to the Seleucid era, and on the whole correctly ; but the distorted order of events in the narrative has made even the correct dates mis leading (see Comms. on 11:33 and 14:14), so that many have been led to assume a peculiar way of reckoning the Seleucid era for the chronology of this book. 2 In 13:1 (1 Macc. 6:20) the date given is certainly incorrect.

The contrast in selection and treatment of material caused by the difference of aim in the two books is also strongly marked. The aim of the writer of 1 Macc, is simply that of a historian ; the epitomist of Jason, on the other hand, had in view primarily the edification and entertainment of his fellow-countrymen. So he himself informs us (2:25-29; cp 6:12+, etc.), and the fact is abundantly illustrated in the book. It may be partly due to this parenetic aim of the epitomist that certain incidents of minor importance receive so much space, and are so overdrawn ; the fact must be emphasised, however, that most of the exaggeration of statement and description which is so prominent a feature of 2 Macc, was probably due to the older work. It is plain that Jason was a zealous Jew, and that his book was intended chiefly for his Jewish brethren. It would seem that to him, as to the epitomist, the probability of a story was a matter of little importance, provided it were interesting and patriotic (see Willrich, 64 ff.}. Examples are plentiful.

Thus, the long description of the tortures and death of the martyrs, chap. 6-7, is quite incredible from beginning to end. The account of the death of the patriot Razis (14:37-46) is in the same vein ; so, too, is the story of the end of King Antiochus (chap. 9), who, before his death, offers to become a Jew (v. 17). See also such exaggerations as 12:16, 13:12. That the many numerical estimates contained in the book should show the same tendency to overstatement is certainly not surprising. For ex amples, see especially 8:24, 8:30, 10:23, 10:31, 12:23, 12:25, 12:28. [See also ONIAS, 7-8, 10, 12.]

As has already been shown, it is not only in such minor matters that the book is untrustworthy. See the incorrect statements (already referred to in 2) regarding Lysias and his expeditions ; the misleading accounts of the campaigns of Judas in chaps. 10 and 12 ; the narration of the death of Timotheus in the year 164 (chap. 10), although he is made to play an important part in subsequent events (chap. 12). The statement regarding Philip in 9:29 is flatly contradicted in 13:23, the matter in question being one of considerable importance, such as only a his torian who was neither well-informed nor careful could thus deal with. In 11:22+ we have a (spurious) letter written by Antiochus Eupator, the successor of Epiphanes, giving the officer Lysias instructions concerning his first campaign in Judaea (cp also 10:11). We know from 1 Macc. (4:28+), however, that this same expedition of Lysias was ended the year before the death of Epiphanes. In 10:3 it is stated that the rededication of the temple took place two years after its profanation ; it is plain, on the contrary, from 1 Macc. 4:52-54 (cp 1:54) that the length of the interval was three years (168-165 B.C.). In 15:31, 15:35 it is plainly assumed that the Acra was in the possession of the Jews at the time of the death of Nicanor. In reality, it was occupied by the Syrians until the time of Simon.

The passage 13:15-23 affords a striking example of perversion of the truth for the sake of glorifying the Jews. The successive defeats experienced by Judas and his allies in 163, as a result of which they were reduced to dire extremities (1 Macc. 6:47-54), appear in 2 Macc, as a succession of brilliant and decisive victories for the Jews.

1 See the examples given above, 2.

2 See Schurer, GJV\ 3 z/ ; ET I 4 s/

Still another feature of the hook, not calculated to increase confidence in its trustworthiness, is the prominent place given to miracles. See 3:24+, 3:33-34, 5:1-4, 10:29-30, 11:8, 12:22 (cp 15:27), 15:12-16. How far this feature may be due to the epitomist, rather than to Jason, is a legitimate question. It seems most probable, however, from what we know both of the taste and of the aim of Jason, and of the method of the epitomist, that all these miracles and apparitions formed a part of the older work. 1

When all has been said regarding the unhistorical and untrustworthy character of the book, the fact remains that its value as history is by no means inconsiderable. From the character of the sources used by Jason (2) it is evident that he must have preserved some valuable material. The fact that the book, although written quite inde pendently of i Macc. , agrees with it in a great many points is to be mentioned in its favour. In still other points its statements are confirmed by those of Josephus (Grimm, 13), 2 and from other sources (Rawlinson, 541 n. ). In many parts of the history concerning which we are already well informed, 2 Mace, adds interesting details, the correctness of which there is no reason to doubt. If used with great caution, it thus furnishes a welcome supplement to our other sources of information. There is hardly a chapter in the book that does not yield something that can be utilised. It is probable that too much confidence has been placed in chaps. 3+ by commentators and historians. The temptation to this is very strong, inasmuch as our information regarding the period just preceding the Maccaboean wars is almost entirely limited to the statements of this book. There is really no ground whatever (apart from this very lack of the means of correcting the statements of the writer) for supposing that the book is more trustworthy here than elsewhere. 3 It is, on the contrary, only with the greatest reserve that this portion may be used at all.

4. Literary character.[edit]

That our 2 Macc, was written in Greek is beyond question. The words of Jerome, The second book of Maccabees is Greek, which can be shown even linguistically, * must be echoed by all who read the book. Hebraisms are almost entirely wanting, 5 and there is no other sign that the book is a translation, but every kind of evidence to the contrary. It follows, in view of what has been said regarding the method of the epitomist (2), that the work of Jason of Cyrene must also have been written in Greek, as would, indeed, have seemed probable on other grounds. The language of 2 Macc, is, in general, similar to that found in the best Greek writers of the last centuries B.C., and the beginning of the Christian era, this remark applying as well to the passages cer tainly composed by the epitomist (2:19-32, 15:37-39) as to the main body of the book. The vocabulary is exten sive ; fi7ra Xe-y6/aera and words or phrases employed in an unusual way are frequently met with ; see Grimm, 7, and the list (compiled by Westcott) in Rawlinson, 540. The style is generally easy and flowing, idio matic, and well-balanced. Both in the construction of periods and in the use of the favourite rhetorical devices of the Alexandrine writers, a considerable degree of skill is shown. On the other hand, the most common faults of this school of writers, an overloaded and arti ficial style, and an ill-judged striving after rhetorical effect, are not absent. On the whole, the book occupies, in point of language and style, a position between 3 Macc, and 4 Macc. ; not attaining the high level of the latter, though far superior to the former. 6 An un pleasant peculiarity, which appears in all parts of the history, is the use of abusive epithets or phrases when enemies of the Jews, or others of whom the writer dis approves, are mentioned. See 8:34, 15:3. As a narrator, the writer displays no remarkable gifts. He is fond of exaggerating details, of painting scenes at undue length (see, e.g. , 3:15-22), and of introducing his own reflections, not content with simple statements of fact. The way in which the tortures of the martyrs are depicted at length, in chaps. 6-7 , is an especially unpleasant feature of the book to modern readers. There is occasionally a lack of connection between the parts of the narrative, and an appearance of awkwardness of composition, due in part no doubt to the omission of considerable portions of the original work. The arrangement of the material is purely chronological (the passage 10:1-8 seems, it is true, to have been intentionally removed from its proper place ; cp v. 9-10), and in our epitome, at least, there is no formal indication of successive divisions, except at 10:9-10 {l}

1 It is hardly permissible, however, to draw this conclusion from the words ras . . . e7ri(/><ii eias in 2:21.

2 Yet the disagreement of Jos. with 2 Macc, is even more noticeable than the agreement. See Willrich, 8:3+

3 Grimm's statement (16) is quite unjustified: Dpch scheint die fur den Abschnitt Cap. 3:1-6 n beniitzte Quelle viel lauterer geflossen zu sein als diejenigen, die fur die spiiteren Abschnitte zu Gebote standen.

  • [Machabseorum liber] sectindus Grsecus est, quod ex ipsa

quoque <t>pdo-ei probari potest (Prologus Gateatus).

8 Most of the examples cited by Grimm, 6, can hardly be called true Hebraisms.

6 The harsh estimate of the style of 2 Macc, in Rawlinson, 540, is much exaggerated.

5. Religious character and aim.[edit]

The aim of the book to edify and instruct the Greek-speaking Jews - an aim which seems to have characterised Jason's work as well as this epitome - has received mention already (3) . The writer wished to strengthen the faith of his fellows ; to glorify the Jews, as the chosen people under God s especial protection, and the temple at Jerusalem, as the holiest of all places ; to show how unfaithfulness to the national religion brought sure destruction (4:13-17, 12:39-42), and how through Judas Maccabasus, the leader of the faithful of the people and the instrument of God s providence, the deliverance of the nation was wrought. In all parts of the book this didactic purpose appears prominently in one form or another. The attitude of the writer is, in general, not that of a historian, but rather (and professedly) that of a religious teacher; see especially 3:1+, 4:15-17, 5:17-20, 6:12-17, 9:5-6, 12:43-45, 13:7-8, 15:7-10. The most interest ing feature of the religious teaching of the book is its expression of faith in the resurrection of the dead (cp ESCHATOLOGY, 69) ; see especially 12:43-45, and cp 7:9, 7:11, 7:14, 7:36, 14:46. In no other of the few passages in pre-Christian Jewish literature in which this belief appears is it so clearly and emphatically expressed. Some have thought to find in 2 Macc, a Pharisee party document (Bertholdt, Einl. 1813, p. 1069 ; Geiger, Urschr., 219 ff.}? arguing especially from 146, where Judas is represented as the leader of the Assideans, but also from the religious tone of the book, and from the ungentle way in which the priests are handled (contrast i Mace. ). It is beyond question that all the sympathies of the writer, both in religious and in political matters, must have been with the Pharisees ; but we are hardly justified in going beyond this general conclusion. There is no evidence of any polemic against the Sadducees (such as Bertholdt saw in 12:43-44); and the book, whatever else may be said of it, is cer tainly not a party document.

1 Any separation of the book into five divisions correspond ing to the five books of Jason of Cyrene (Zockler, 90) must be purely arbitrary.

2 Cp also Wellh., Ph. u. SticM., 82.

3 It may be remarked that there is no conclusive evidence that this aim was shared by Jason. It is perhaps most likely that in all the manifestations of it which are so noticeable in 2 Macc., the hand of the epitomist is to be recognised ; and that this is to be regarded as his one important contribution to the book.

One chief aim of the writer, beyond doubt, was to bring about a more perfect unity of the Jews by strengthening, especially among the Jews of Egypt, the feeling of national pride and of enthusiasm for the orthodox religion and worship ; in this way and in other ways he sought to keep them in close connection with their brethren of Palestine. 3 This purpose explains in the most satisfactory way the prefixing of the two letters to the book (see below, 7). It also accounts for another external peculiarity of 2 Macc. Many scholars since Ewald (GVI 4 606, n. ) have remarked the promin ence given in the plan of the book not only to the feast celebrating the death of Nicanor, with the institution of which the whole history comes to an end, but also to the feast of the rededication of the temple, the descrip- tion of which closes the first half of the book, the passage 10:1-8 apparently being removed for this purpose from its proper place. The account of the institution of the Nicanor feast would have been a most natural point for Jason to bring his book to a. close at, in any case. This would have been just the kind of ending best suited to his general purpose ; cp the ending of 3 Macc. (7:19-20), of Esther, and of Judith (Lat. Vulg. ). Theauthor saimnot being that of a historian, there was no need for him to go on and narrate the death of Judas ; his purpose was fully accomplished without that. The transposition of 10:1-8, however, is probably to be attributed to theepitomist, who saw how the plan of the book could thus be made sub servient to his more definite aim, increased significance being thereby given both to the Nicanor feast and to the feast of the Dedication. These were the two Mac- cabfran feasts, by the observance of which the Jews of the Diaspora could share, as in no other outward way, in the national glory of that struggle. 1 Further evidence of this same purpose may very likely be found in the manner in which the writer takes every opportunity to magnify the temple at Jerusalem ; see, for example, 2:19, 3:12, 5:15, 14:13, 14:31, 15:18, also 3:2-3, 6:17-20, 13:23, 15:32, etc. Thus to dwell upon the indisputable fact that the true centre of Judaism was at Jerusalem, was to emphasize the national unity, and the ground of it. That the purpose of the writer was to impress upon the Egyptian Jews the duty of worshipping at Jerusalem, or to dis parage the worship at the temple of Leontopolis (Raw- linson, 544 ; Willrich, 66), there seems to be no sufficient reason to suppose.

6. Author and Date.[edit]

There is good ground for believing that the epitomist lived and wrote in Alexandria. His mastery of the best Greek language and style of the time, and the evidence he gives of a thorough familiarity with the Greek rhetorical schools, would not, indeed, of themselves be sufficient to establish the conclusion. Such training, more or less thorough, was to be had in all parts of the 'Hellenistic' world. The presence of the letters addressed to the Jews of Egypt at the beginning of this book, however, combined with the fact that all the earliest allusions to 2 Macc, (see 8) come directly or indirectly from Alexandria, must be regarded as very strong evidence.

Regarding the date of the epitome, no very definite conclusion can be reached. It is, of course, not legiti mate to argue from 15:37, 'the city from that time on wards being in the hands of the Hebrews', that the abridg ment was completed before 133 (when Jerusalem was taken by Antiochus Sidetes) ; for these words are a mere flourish, designed to give the book a proper close. It is to be observed that in 15:36 there is a reference to the book of Esther, which was written probably not earlier than 130 B.C. (so Cornill, Kautzsch, Wellh. IJG ( 4) , 302/1 ). It follows that even the work of Jason (to which this verse certainly belonged) must have been written later than this. This conclusion, it may be added, is confirmed by the internal evidence of the book ; the author appearing everywhere as one who was at some distance, both in place and time, from the events he describes. On the other hand, our 2 Macc, was known both to Philo and to the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews (see 8), though unknown to Josephus. It seems therefore most probable, on the whole, that the epitomist put forth his work near the close of the last century B.C. The date of Jason's history, which seems to have been completely superseded by the epitome, may be conjecturally placed about a century earlier.

It is due to the fact of Jason's distance from the scene of the events he describes, as well as to his parenetic aim, that he shows so little interest in the family to which Judas belonged, and in its subsequent history. In 5:27, which contains apparently his whole account of the uprising at Modein, nothing is said of the brothers of Judas, and they are nowhere given any special prominence ; though there is no evidence of a wish to disparage them. 1 Mattathias is nowhere mentioned. The fact is, the fortunes of the Hasmonasan house were not in any way connected with the purpose of Jason s book, or with his own interests. The case of the writer of i Macc, affords a striking contrast in this respect, for he not only lived in Palestine, but also seems to have been a personal friend of the Hasmonaean leaders.

1 The feast of the Dedication was the more important of the two, and we have in the letters prefixed to 2 Macc, direct evidence that it was at least thought of as a bond of unity be tween the Jews of Palestine and those of Egypt. The emphas ising of this feast, however, was only a single feature (though a very prominent one) of the writer s general plan, and it is a dis torted view of 2 Macc, that pronounces it ein Chanukabrief (Willrich, 67).

7a. The prefixed letters.[edit]

It has already (s. 1) been noticed that there stands at the beginning of the book of 2 Macc. (1:1-2:18) what purports to be the copy of certain official letters sent by the Jews of Palestine to those of Egypt. The professed aim of these letters, as appears from 1:9, 1:18, 2:16 (cp 108), is to stir up the Egyptian Jews to observe the feast of the Dedication. The character of the Greek in which the letters are written shows that they cannot be attributed either to Jason of Cyrene or to the epitomist ; on the other hand, they are joined as closely as possible to the epitomist's prologue, 2:19 beginning with 'Now as con cerning Judas', etc. (Ta St Kara TOV lovSav, K.T.\. ), and making mention immediately of the purification of the great temple, and the dedication of the altar.

i. The first letter, 1:1-9 (regarding the precise point at which it ends, see next par. ), contains little more than the request that the feast be kept. 2 It is plain that the writer did not have in mind theyfrrf institution of this feast in Egypt. On the contrary, as is evident from v. 9, and from the fact that not a word is said about the observance of the feast in Palestine, those to whom the letter was addressed were supposed to be already familiar with the custom, and to have themselves observed it : the letter is merely a reminder. The real difficulty is with the interpretation of v. 7-8, especially the words 'We have written to you in the extremity', etc. (yeypd^auev v/j.iv tv rrj 0\ti//et, K.T. X. ). The extremity of tribulation that came upon the Jews of Jerusalem in consequence of the misdeeds of Jason and his party could hardly refer to anything else than the terrible distress under Antiochus Epiphanes ; and this probability is confirmed by v. 8, which evidently refers to the restoration of the worship of the temple in 165 B.C. In the reign of Demetrius (II.), in the (Seleucid) year 169 ( = 144-143 B.C.), these times were long past. Moreover, nothing is said about the contents of that former letter (on the supposition that yeypd(f>a/j.ei> is to be translated by a past tense, as is generally done). The reader who supposes that he is hearing about events of 143 B.C., suddenly finds himself back in the year 165, without knowing where the transition occurred.

1 The conclusion of Kosters, Th. T 12 491-558, that 2 Macc, is a polemic against the Hasmonaeans and against 1 Macc., does not seem to be justified.

2 Bruston, ZATW 10 iiojf. (1890), attempts to divide this letter at v. 7, making three letters in all.

These difficulties have been vastly increased by the custom now in vogue of joining the date at the end of v. 9 (otherwise the beginning of v. 10) to this first letter (so Grimm; Fritzsche, Apocr. Gr. ; Reuss, Das AT; English RV; Swete, OT in Greek; and most recent comms. ). In this way the Seleucid year 188 ( = 124 B.C. ) is made the date of the letter 1:1-9 ; that is to say, the writer reminds his readers of a letter sent to them nineteen years before, without characterising it, or showing that it stood in any connection with the present letter or with the institution of the Dedication feast ! The date must, however, on the contrary, be joined to the second letter, as is done by the well-nigh universal tradition of the early church, represented by the best Greek MSS, and the Syriac and Latin versions. (See further below. ) As for v. 7, the obvious solution of all the difficulties mentioned is to put a period after 'you' (vfuv). The verb (yeypd<f>- a.fj.fv) is to be translated in the only natural way, as epistolary perfect, 1 and the whole verse as far as 'you' (jla<Ti\tvot>Tos . . . vfjuv) is to be regarded as the date of the letter 1:1-9. With 'in the extremity' (iv r-g tfXii/ et) begins the real business of the letter ; the writer reminding his readers, in a few well-chosen words, of the circumstances under which this important feast was instituted. The whole document is thus perfectly com prehensible, and in every way well suited to its purpose.

ii. The second letter, 1:10-2:18, has generally seemed even more troublesome than the first. According to the accepted view, it purports to have been sent to the Jews of Egypt by Judas Maccabaeus and others in authority at Jerusalem, soon after the death of Antiochus Epi phanes, its purpose being to announce the institution of the Dedication feast. It thus becomes necessary at once to brand it as a shameless forgery, because of the many things it contains which are incongruous with the supposition of such an origin, and especially, because of the strange story of the death of Antiochus (1:13-16), which flatly contradicts all the other accounts of that event.

It may be doubted, however, whether the current view of this letter is correct. It is hardly less evident here than in the case of the first letter that the writer could not have had in mind the institution of the Hanukka in Egypt. There is no account given of the purification of the temple and the restoration of the wor ship by Judas ; there is nothing to indicate that a new feast is being instituted ; nothing definite is said about the particular manner of observing it. On the contrary, it is taken for granted (just as in the former letter) that the feast, and the mode of celebrating it, have long been known. Only on this supposition can we account for the fact that all mention of the celebration is confined to the two verses 1:18, 2:16, both of which have plainly the air of dealing with matters of course. The im pression naturally made by 2:14, besides, is that the war mentioned is a thing of the past ; Judas Maccabaeus is thought of as one who has already passed off the stage. As for the Antiochus of 1:13-16, it is quite incredible that Epiphanes should have been intended by the writer It is not likely that any story of the Maccabaean struggle was more widely familiar than that of the manner of Epiphanes death. It is a most significant fact, more over, that shortly before the date prefixed to this letter, 124 B.C., Antiochus VII. Sidetes, who had been a bitter enemy of the Jews (see Schurer, 1:200-208), had perished in an expedition against the Parthians. 2 Nor is this the only coincidence to be noted.

At the end of the year 125 B.C. (three years after the death of Antiochus Sidetes), the allies of Ptolemy Physkon triumphed at last in Palestine. Alexander Zabinas, who came to the throne at that time, had been introduced into the struggle by Ptolemy, and was himself an Egyptian. He at once made friends with John Hyrcanus and the Jews (Jos. Ant. xiii. 9:3). So the year 124 B.C. was a singularly appropriate one for the sending (or forging) of such a letter as this from the Jews of Palestine to those of Egypt. It would seem to be the reasonable hypothesis, therefore, that the writer (or forger) of this letter intended it as a reminder to the Egyptian Jews of the same kind as the preceding one ; and that he gave it the date (124 B.C. ) which corresponds exactly with its contents. It may be added as further proof, that the person who put these two letters together in their present order certainly re garded the second as belonging to a later date than the first. As for the names mentioned in 1:10, Aristobulus is probably the well-known Jewish sage, who flourished in the second century B.C. 1 We do not know, however, that he was in any sense the preceptor either of Ptolemy Philometor (181-146) or of Ptolemy Physkon (146-117). The 'Judas' in this verse is probably due to the blunder of a translator or scribe. What is re quired at this point is the council of the Jews (ij yepovffla rCiv lovdaiuv), as the Syriac actually reads (probably a fortunate conjecture). If our Greek letter is a translation from the Hebrew or the Aramaic, as seems not unlikely (see next col., begin.), the mistake would be very easy.

1 The necessity of this has often been felt and expressed. See esp. Ewald, Gesch. (3) 4 610 n.

2 For the literature bearing on this event, see Schurer, 1 208, n. 9.

This second letter is, moreover, from beginning to end a document of very considerable interest. Its several parts, a which seem at first sight to have little to do with one another or with the avowed purpose of the whole, are all found on closer examination to be written with the aim of showing the true importance of the Maccabaean feast of the Dedication. The writer sets himself the task of demonstrating at length its historical significance ; indicating at the same time in other ways the analogy between the Maccabaean period and the other principal epochs of the nation's life. In fact, the whole letter might well be entitled : The Antecedents of the Hanukka in Jewish Sacred History.

One feature of the writer s demonstration deserves especial notice : namely, the extent to which it is based on the conception of the Dedication (tyKa.ivHTfj.os) as a restoration of the sacred fire to the altar and the temple. 3 Evidently at that time this idea had a most prominent place (perhaps the central place) in current Jewish thought regarding the origin and meaning of this feast. Apparently, also, the writer could take it for granted that his readers were perfectly familiar with this feature of the restoration of the worship by Judas, as well as with the manner of observing the feast. In the passage 2:8-14 the nature of the writer s argument can best be seen as he attempts to establish the series : Moses, Solomon, Nehemiah, Judas Maccabasus ; each of whom was connected with the miraculous appearance or re newal of the sacred fire. See also 2:1, cp 1:19 (Jeremiah, Nehemiah, Judas). Another point in which Judas is the legitimate successor of Jeremiah and Nehemiah, namely, the preserving and handing down of the sacred writings, is emphasised in 2:2+, 2:13-14.

1 See Gfrorer, Philo . die jiidisch-alexandrinische Theo- sophie ft}, 271^; Dahne, Jiidisch - alexandrinische Religions- philosophic , lT$ff.\ Schurer, 2 760^

That is to say, those comprised in 1 is-2 18 ; 1 10-17 s merely introductory.

3 Cp also the Arabic 2 Mace. 9 ; Wellh. in Der arabische Josippus, 14.

7b. Their authenticity.[edit]

The question of the authenticity of the two letters is not easily answered. It has been shown in 7a that the contents of each correspond perfectly with their respective dates (143 B.C. for the first; 124 B.C. for the second), and with their avowed purpose. It can hardly be doubted, moreover, that the motive which produced these writings was felt as strongly in Jerusalem as in Egypt. There is nothing improbable in the supposition that many such letters were actually sent. Regarding the first letter, it must be said that its very common place character argues in its favour. It can best be understood on the supposition that it is in fact just what it professes to be. The second letter is for the most part a collection of incredible stories ; and this fact makes it less likely that it was official in any true sense. Still, it could hardly be claimed that all official writings of the Jerusalem Jews were worthy of credence ; or that a scribe with a thesis in religious history to prove, and a vivid imagination, always expressed the soberest views of those whom he represented. Perhaps the most that can be said of this letter is that it may well be genuine, in spite of the appearances against it ; and that it undoubtedly had been influential among the Jews of Egypt.

Scholars have generally agreed that the two letters are of diverse authorship (see Grimm, 24 ; Rosters, Th.T, 1898, p. 76); regarding the language in which each was written, on the other hand, there has been great difference of opinion. See Grimm, 23 f. ; Ewald, Gesch., 46:10. Whilst it has not been shown in the case of either letter that the character of the Greek necessi tates the conclusion that it is a translation, yet in view of the large number of Semitic idioms, and the fre quency of such obscure expressions as seem to suggest a careless translation, it is on the whole most probable that both were written in Aramaic or Hebrew. In 1:10 'and Judas' for 'of the Jews' has already been men tioned as possibly due to careless transcription of a Semitic text. In 16:9 KCU vvv was pronounced by Ewald (I.c. ) 'absichtliche Nachbildung der hebraischen Farbe'. In 1:16 'hewed in pieces' (fj.f\rj iroiriaavrfs) reminds us of the Aramaic phrase (j Din nay) in Dan. 2:5, 3:29. The difficulties in 1:18 are probably to be solved by making the verse end with the word 'feast of tabernacles' (<nc i >7i 07r?7 y cis), and taking the remaining words (KCLI TOV Trvpbs . . . Ovalas) as the superscription of the long discussion which occupies the remainder of the letter (so the Syr., quite correctly). 1 This and the following sentences have then a distinctly Semitic sound. See also the (doubtful) evidence of such passages as 1:7, 1:19, 1:23, 2:6 (connection of clauses), 2:17-18 Ewald (I.c.) regarded it as certain that the translator of the second letter was the epitomist himself. For a fuller discussion of this whole question, see ZATW 20:236-239.

There seems to be no good reason for doubting that it was the epitomist himself that prefixed these two letters to the book. It is of course possible to suppose that it was a later editor who at the same time inserted the conjunction (5^, EV now ) in 2:19. But the rest of v. 19 certainly belongs to the writer of what follows ; and its fitness to establish a connection between the letters and the history is very evident. When we take into account the tastes of the epitomist, his definite aim in all this work (5), the date and address of these letters compared with the probable date and place of com position of his book, and the fact that all copies and re censions of the work contain the letters in this position and order, it must be pronounced extremely probable that the epitomist himself prefixed them to 2 Macc.

8. Attestation. MSS and versions.[edit]

The earliest attestation of 2 Macc, is in Philo's work entitled Quod omnis probus liber, in which undoubted dependence on it may be recognised, as has been fully demonstrated by Lucius ( Essenismus, 37+). Evidence of its influence next appears in the Epistle to the Hebrews, 11:35-36, where the writer has in mind, beyond question, the narrative of 2 Macc. 6:18-7:42. The word 'tortured' (trvfj.iravLad^aa.i }, v. 35, is derived from 2 Macc. 6:19, 6:28 ; 'obtain a better resurrection' (tva Acpen-Tocos dvao-rdaeus rvxwffiv) strongly reminds us of 2 Macc. 7:9 ; and the word 'mockings' (t(jLir<uyfj.uv), v. 36, was very likely suggested by 2 Macc. 7:7, 7:10, where it stands in close proximity to the phrase just referred to. (See Bleek, St. u. Kr., 1853, P- 339-) Again, the author of 3 Macc, shows himself acquainted with the book (see next art., 6) ; whilst 4 Macc, is wholly based upon it (see col. 2882, 2). It is cited further by Clement of Alexandria (Strom, v. 1497), Hippolytus (De Christo et Antichristo, chap. 49), Origen (see reff. in Schurer, 741 f. ), and very frequently by later writers. The stories of the martyrs, especially, exercised an important influence among both Jews and Christians. For references to Jewish literature see Zunz, Gottesdienstliche Vortrdge, 123 ; and for the later Chris tian literature see Grimm, Comm. 133 f., and the refer ences in Schurer, 742 (ET ii.3:214-215). Josephus appears to have been unacquainted with the book.

For the Greek MSS containing 2 Macc. , and for the Syriac translation, see above, col. 2867, n, iii. Apart from the Old Latin version of the book, represented by the Vulgate, another Latin version is preserved in a single codex in the Biblioteca Ambrosiana at Milan. This has been edited by A. Peyron (Ciceroni* orationum pro Scauro, fro Tullio, . . . fragmenta, Stuttgart, 1824, pp. 71-125). It appears on closer examination to be merely a painfully literal rendering of the standard Greek text.

1 The Greek text of this verse in Fritzsche is an arbitrary reconstruction.

9. Literature.[edit]

See APOCRYPHA, 32, and above, col. 2868, 12. The following also are to be mentioned : C. Bertheau, De sec. lib. A face., Giittingen, 1829 (cited frequently by Grimm) ; W. H. Rosters, De polemiek van het tweede boek der Makkabeen (T/t. 7 12 491 558 [1878]); Schlatter, Jason von Cyrene, 1891 (see TLZ, 1893, P- 322) ; and on the letters : Gratz, L)as Sendschreiben der Palas- tinenser an die agyptisch -judaischen Gemeinden (ATGirj, 1877, pp. 1-16, 49-60); Bruston, Trois lettres des Juifs de Palestine (/.A TIV 10 110 ff. [1890]) ; Kosters, Strekking der brieven in 2 Makk. (Th. T, Jan. 1898, pp. 68-76); C. C. Torrey, Die Briefe 2 Makk. 1 i-2 18, ZA T\V 20 225^ [1900] ; B. Niese, KriiikdtrbtidtnMakkabAerbilcher. 1900. Jn Kau., Die Apokr. u. Pseutief-igr., 1898, 2 Mace, is translated, etc., by Kamphausen. On the historical contents cp A. Biichler, Die Tobiaden u. die Oniaden im II. Mukkabaerbuche, etc., 1899. c. C. T.


1. Title.[edit]

The title '3 Maccabees' is unfortunate, for the book professes to record events which occurred during the reign of Ptolemy (IV.) Philopator (222-204 B.C.). That it should have been classed as Maccabaean is due to its being a narrative of persecution of the Jews by a foreign king. 1

2. Contents.[edit]

The book is a religious novel having for its subject the triumph of the Jews over their enemies through divine intervention. Their persecutor is the Egyptian king, out of whose hands they are delivered by a series of marvellous occurrences. The narrative runs as follows :

  • After his victory over Antiochus the Great at Raphia (217 B.C.), Ptolemy visits Jerusalem, and tries to enter the temple, in spite of the frantic opposition of priests and people. Just as he is on the point of executing his purpose, he is stricken from heaven, and falls to the ground (1:1-2:24).
  • Returning to Alexandria, bent on revenge, he assembles all the Jews of Egypt and shuts them up in the great hippodrome, where they are to be butchered together. It is necessary, however, first to write down their names. This proves an endless task because of their immense number ; before it can be finished the supply of writing materials in Egypt is exhausted, and the Jews are saved for the present (2:25-4:21).
  • The king then devises a new plan. Five hundred elephants, made frantic with wine, are to be let loose upon the Jews in the hippodrome. The execution of this order is hindered in various ways. On the first day, the king oversleeps. On the second day, being caused by God to forget all that had happened, he suddenly calls the Jews his best friends, and reproves those who remind him of his decree. Finally, on the third day, as the sentence is about to be executed, two angels appear, terrifying the king and his officers, and causing the elephants to turn upon the men of his army and trample them to death (5:1-6:21).
  • The scale is now completely turned in favour of the Jews. They are set free at once ; the king provides for them a great banquet lasting seven days ; and a solemn proclamation in their favour is sent out. With the royal permission, they kill more than three hundred renegades of their nation, then return to their homes with great joy, after erecting a monument in memory of their deliverance, and setting apart the days on which it was effected to be celebrated henceforth (6:22-7:23).

It is plain from this synopsis that the book contains little more than a collection of the most incredible fables. Moreover, the details of the narrative are for the most part so absurd and so self-contradictory as to be merely grotesque. The story is not told with the skill that might give it, at least in part, the air of plausibility ; the author only heaps one exaggeration upon another.

1 Some have thought to find another title in the problematic ir-roAs^ou icd, which appears in connection with Maicica/Saiica /3i/3Ai a in the Synopsis of Athanasius. See below, 7.

3. The beginning lost.[edit]

The book as we have it is evidently not complete ; the beginning is missing. This appears not only from the opening words 'Now when Philopator' (6 ,,^ *A<*-lP). but also from distinct allusions to a preceding portion of narrative which the book no longer contains. The most striking examples are 1:1, 'from those who returned' ; 1:2, 'the [above mentioned] plot' ; 2:25, 'the boon companions already mentioned'. The character and extent of the missing portion can be inferred with probability from the indications afforded by the book in its present form. The story is concerned mainly with the triumph of the Jews over their persecutors. This part of the narrative seems to be complete ; there is nothing to indicate that any other tale of persecution had preceded, whilst the contrary impression is plainly given by 1:8+, 2:25+, etc. The missing portion was probably of the same general character as 1:1-7 - i.e., it formed with it the introduction to the story of the Jews.

It must have included some mention of the following items:

  • (1) Character of Ptolemy and his companions,
  • (2) Condition of the Jews in Egypt (probably).
  • (3) Antecedents of the war with Antiochus.
  • (4) The plot against Ptolemy's life.

All this might have been contained in a single short chapter ; and it is probable that this much, and no more, has been accidentally lost. On this supposition, the book, with its elaborate historical introduction, uniform contents, and impressive close, is seen to have been a well-rounded composition, complete in itself; not a fragment of a larger work. l

4. Language and style.[edit]

The original language of 3 Macc, was Greek, beyond question. Its author had at his command an unusually large vocabulary ( see the introduction in Grimm ) and considerable resources of rhetoric. Still, the result of his labours is far from pleasing. The style is bombastic and in flated to the last degree ; everything is embellished and exaggerated. The impression made by the literary form of the book is thus similar to that gained from its contents ; it is an insipid and wearisome production, with hardly any redeeming features.

5. Historical basis.[edit]

The question whether the narrative of 3 Macc, is to any considerable extent to be taken seriously can hardly arise. The beginning of the book sounds like history ; but the providing of some such introduction, or background, is a necessary feature of the construction of any historical romance. It is quite another question whether the principal narrative, dealing with the fortunes of the Jews, has any basis of fact. There is to be noticed especially the striking resemblance between the story of the Jews deliverance from the intoxicated elephants and the account given by Josephus (c. Ap. 2:5), of certain events of the reign of Ptolemy (VII.) Physcon. According to Josephus s account, which is very brief, the king assembled and bound all the Jews of Alex andria, and exposed them to be trampled upon by his elephants, which he had made drunk. The elephants, however, turned upon his own men and killed many of them. Moreover, the king saw a fearful apparition which caused him to cease from his purpose. It is added that the Jews of Alexandria have been accus tomed to celebrate this day of their deliverance. Obvi ously, we have here the same story, only reduced to its simplest form, and told of a different king. It must be remarked, also, that the fabulous character of the story is not done away with even in the form given by Josephus ; 2 and further, that it does not fit well into the setting he has given it. There is certainly a literary relationship of some kind between the two versions (notice especially the mention of the apparition in Josephus, corresponding to the angels of 3 Macc. ) ; and as Josephus was evidently unacquainted with 3 Macc., the explanation of the correspondence would seem to be this, that a current popular tale, already fixed in form, was used by both writers. Whether this tale had any basis of fact, it is useless to inquire. We cannot even be confident that such a day of deliver ance was actually observed in Egypt ; for this feature of both versions may well have been due to a mere fiction of the older tale. Cp Judith 16:31 (Lat. Vulg. ). There is thus no evidence that the statements of this book regarding the Jews and their history rest on a foundation of fact. 1

1 Ewald s theory (GVI 4:611-614), that 3 Macc, is a fragment of a historical work of considerable extent, is quite destitute of probability.

2 See, in defence of the version given by Josephus, Whiston, Authentick Records, Pt. i., vooff.

6. Author and date.[edit]

That the author of 3 Macc, was an Alexandrine Jew is made exceedingly probable both by the contents and by the evidence of language and style. The knowledge of Egyptian affairs displayed is also worthy of notice . (See Abrahams in JQff, Oct. 1896, 39+). Regarding the date of composition, no very definite conclusion is possible. To look for a historical occasion for the writing of an edifying story such as this is quite useless. 2 It is not at all necessary to suppose that the Jews of Egypt were in any especial need of comfort or encouragement at the time when 3 Macc, was composed. The author gives evidence of acquaintance with 2 Macc, (see the proof in Grimm, 214, 220), and once (66) cites the Book of Daniel in its later form, with the apocryphal additions. It is therefore quite unlikely that the book was written earlier than the last century B. C. ; on the other hand, i can hardly have been written later than the first century A. D.

7. Attestation.[edit]

The book 3 Macc. is found in most MSS of the LXX, including the two uncials A and V. It was also included in the Syriac translation of the Scriptures on the other hand, it seems to have been for a long time unknown in the Western church. There are no traces of any Latin version earlier than the one made for the Complutensian Polyglot (1517).

No early Jewish writer shows any sign of acquaintance with 3 Macc. The earliest witness to it in Christian literature is the catalogue of biblical books in the Codex Claromontanus (probably third cent.). 3

In the fourth century 3 Macc, is attested (here also indirectly) by Cod. K [aleph], which contains 1 Macc. and 4 Macc., but neither of the two intermediate books. It is next mentioned by Philostorgius (Photius' Epitome, 1:1) and Theodoret (Commt. in Dan. 11:7) ; the former pronouncing it unworthy of credence, the latter appealing to it as trustworthy history. The other in stances of its early attestation are in Eastern lists of the OT books (but never in any list originating in the Latin church). Thus it appears in canon 85 (or 76) of the Apostolic Canons (5th cent.);* in the Stichometry of Nicephorus ; in the list of the sixty canonical books ; and in the so-called Synopsis of Athanasius. 5

The Greek text of 3 Macc, has been printed repeatedly.

In Holmes and Parsons, VT Graecum, vol. 5 : Bagster's Apocrypha, Greek and English ; Tischendorfs LXX, vol. 2 ; Fritzsche, Libri apocr. VT ; Swete's LXX, vol. 3 (text of A, collated with V) ; and in most of the other editions of LXX or Apocrypha.

The Syriac translation, which is quite free, seems to have been the only old version of the book made from the Greek. Printed in the London Polyglot, vol. 4, and in Lagarde's Apocr. Syriace.

8. Literature.[edit]

Grimm, Drittes Buck tier Maccabder, 1857 (the one thorough commentary); the works on the Apocrypha (trans, and comm.) by Bissell, 1880, and Zockler, 1891 ; translations in Cotton, Bagster, Churton, Dyserihck, Reuss, and Kautzsch (see above, col. 2868, 12). See also Ewald, GV I V) 4511-614 ! Schiirer, GJV 2 743^ (ETii., 8216^); Abrahams, The Third Book of the Maccabees, JQK, Oct. 1896, pp. 39-58, 1897, pp. T,^ff. , Willrich, Juden u. Griechen, i^ff. , Deissmann, Bibelstudien, 1895, pp. 258 ff. ; and the text-books of Introduction which include the OT Apocrypha. c. C. T.

1 See, for an attempt to find some historical value in the book, Abrahams in \\\zJQR, Oct. 1896, pp. 39^! Cp also Deiss- mann, Bibelstudien, 189=;, pp. 258^

2 Regarding the attempts (especially that of Ewald) to find such an occasion, see Grimm, 2i6_/f ; Schiirer ( 2| , 2 744 f.

3 Through some accident the liber tertius has fallen out before the liber quartus ; but it is none the less attested. See Zahn, Gesch. i/es NT Kanons, 2 157^

4 Zahn, op. cit., 192 ; Funk, Apostol. Konstitutionen, 204,7? It has been customary to cite this as the earliest attestation of 3 Mace.

5 The text of this last passage is troublesome. See Credner, Zur Gesch. des Kanons (1847), p. 144, and Zahn, op. cit., 317. The reading is Ma<c:aauca. /3i/3Ai a S llroAcfiat ica. Credner wished to read <cal in place of S , and to regard llrcA. as referring t<> 3 Mace. Zahn, on the contrary, would retain the S and read 17-oAe/u.iica (1).


1. Title.[edit]

The so-called Fourth Book of Maccabees is a com position of homiletical character, receiving its title from the fact that the principal part of its material is based on the story of the Maccabasan martyrs told in 2 Macc. 6:18-7:42. By many early Christian writers (see 4) the work was attributed to the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus, in the manu scripts and editions of whose writings it is commonly included. It therefore frequently receives a correspond ing title, even in many manuscripts of LXX. 1 Finally, as it partakes of the nature of a treatise, and has a definitely stated subject (an unusual circumstance), it appears at an early date with the appropriate super scription Trepi avroKparopos \oyia fjLov, 2 On the 'Supreme Power of Reason' (see 2). The oldest form of the title, however, seems to have been simply Mct/cKa- fiaiuv d ; the form found in the oldest MSS of LXX (including the three uncials which contain the book), and attested by the list of the Cod. Claromont. , Eusebius (indirectly), 3 and Philostorgius.

2. Contents.[edit]

The author states his subject, or 'thesis', plainly at the start. He wishes to show that 'the pious reason is absolute master of the passions' (1:1, cp v. 13, 18:2, etc. ).

In a brief introductory passage, he indicates the scope of the question, and the nature of the chief illustration which he intends to use for his argument (1:1-11). He further states, in a single sentence (1:12), the general plan of his discourse ; first, a philosophical discussion of the main proposition (vn-oSetris) ; then, the illustration afforded by the history of the martyrs.

The remainder of the book thus falls into two parts,

  • (i) The philosophical discussion (1:13-3:18). The various terms are defined, and one after another the passions are considered, with the attempt to show that all are under the control of the reason.
  • (ii. ) The story of the martyrs, with the lessons to be learned from it (3:19-end). This part of the book is based on 2 Macc, chaps. 3-7. After a brief introduction (3:19-21), the narrative of 2 Macc, is reproduced, in much abridged form, as follows : 4:1-14 = 2 M. 3 {4}, 4:15-21 = 2 M. 4:1-17, 4:22-25 = 2 M. 5:1-6:11.

The discourse on the sufferings and triumph of the Jewish martyrs, constituting three-fourths of the whole book, to which the preceding is merely introductory, begins with chap. 5. Its frame-work is an expanded version of 2 Macc. 6:18-7:42.

The following divisions are more or less distinctly marked :

  • 1. Narrative of the trial and torture of the aged priest Eleazar (5:1-6:30).
  • 2. Lessons drawn by the author from this narrative (6:31-7:23).
  • 3. Description of the torture of the seven youths (8:1-12:20).
  • 4. Author's comments on their fortitude (13:1-14:10).
  • 5. Reflections on the sufferings and constancy of the mother (14:11-17:6).
  • 6. Conclusion (17:7-18:24).

1 On these various titles, see Grimm, Comm. z^if. , Freudenthal (see 9), 117-120.

2 So in both Euseb. and Jerome (see 6).

3 See the quotation in 8.

4 In the story of Heliodorus, the name Apollonius is substituted

3. Integrity.[edit]

The integrity of the last chapter has generally been called in question by scholars of the present century, for reasons which appear at first sight to be strong. The mother's exhortation, 18:6-19, seems to be a disconnected piece, joined neither to the preceding nor to what follows. It is, moreover, in some respects a repetition of the similar exhortation contained in 16:16-23. Accordingly, W. Lowth (see Hudson s Josephus ii. 14:11 [17:20]) and Dahne (see below, 9) concluded that the book originally ended with 18:5 [6a]. Others went farther. The contrasts and correspondences between 17:20-24 and 18:3-5 attracted attention. It was argued that the latter passage, so far as it is parallel in contents with the former, is superfluous, whilst the statement regarding Antiochus in 18:5 is not in keeping with that found in 17:23-24. It was further observed that in MSS and editions of Josephus the last chapter begins with 18:5, and that in fact with 182 a stopping-place seems to be reached. Accordingly, Hudson (Josephus ii. 14 n), Gfrorer (see below, 9), and Grimm, 1 followed in recent times by most of those who have discussed 4 Mac. , 2 regarded 18:2 as the original close of the book, and all that follows as a later addition.

The evidence is far from conclusive. 18:2 would make a weak and unsatisfactory ending for such a homily as this ; on the other hand, the passage 18:20-24, which is exactly in the style of our author, and against which no one has been able to raise any objection, is in every way suited to the place where it stands. 3 The incongruity between 17:20-24 and 18:3-5 is only apparent; both statements regarding Antiochus were useful for the author's argument, each in its place ; the one by no means excluding the other. The way in which the mention of the king's fate is terminated at 18:5 sounds abrupt ; but it must be borne in mind that the writer was addressing those who were perfectly familiar with the story of Antiochus's death in Persia ; the barest allusion to it would be sufficient. As for the mother's exhortation, 18:6-19, the lack of any connection on either hand must be admitted. It seems at first sight to be decidedly out of place, the more so in view of 16:16-23. 4 When the nature of the composition is borne in mind, however, it may appear that the very abrupt ness of transition in these closing paragraphs had its purpose. Having finished his argument, the author wished to construct a peroration that should be as impressive as possible. This he accomplished with skill, by causing to pass before the mind of his hearers, in the passage 18:6-19, a rapid panorama of the national heroes, combined with an ideal picture of their own family life. Having thus brought the lesson of his discourse home to them in a way that could hardly fail to stir them profoundly, he had prepared the way for the short but most effective paragraph with which the book ends.

4. Author and date.[edit]

That the author of 4 Mace, was a Jew, who is here addressing his countrymen, is everywhere manifest (see, e.g., 18:l, cp 1:11, 17:l9-23. etc). The opinion of many early writers, 8 that he was no other than Flavius Josephus, is certainly erroneous ; as appears not only from the lack of any resemblance to Josephus style, but also from the fact that 2 Mace. , which is here so extensively used, was plainly unknown to Josephus. The reason why the ascription was made can only be conjectured. 6 From the character of the language of 4 Macc, (see 6), the thorough acquaintance with the Greek rhetorical schools shown by its author, the emphasis laid by him (at least in appearance) on the study of philosophy (1:1 ; cp 5:6-11, etc.), and the training which he evidently presupposes in his hearers, it is possible to draw at least the conclusion, that it was written in some city where the Jews were for the most part completely Hellenised. It is most natural to think of Alexandria, especially in view of the importance given in the book to 2 Macc. , nearly or quite all of the earliest references to which come, directly or indirectly, from that city (Philo, 3 Macc. , Hebrews, Clem. Alex., Origen ; see above, col. 2874, 6). There is nothing in the book, however, that could be called specifically Alexandrine, and it is quite possible that its author lived and wrote in some other city.

As for the date of 4. Macc., the grounds for reaching a conclusion are the same as in the case of 3. Macc. (q. v. ). It was probably written either shortly before, or shortly after, the beginning of the Christian era.

1 See his arguments in the excursus at the end of his Comm..

2 Freudenthal (pp. cit., 155-159), arguing in ingenious but arbitrary fashion, concludes that 18:6-19 and 17:22-24 are inter polations, and that in these places considerable passages of the original have been lost.

3 So also Freudenthal.

4 It cannot be said, however, that the one passage makes the other superfluous. They differ from each other almost as widely as possible. It should also be observed (what some have overlooked) that neither is properly the fulfilment of the promise in 127.

5 Eusebius, Jerome, Philostorgius, and others ; besides the titles of a good many MSS. See below, 8 ; also Grimm, 29i_/C ; Freudenthal, 117 Jf.

6 Some (e.g., Kwald) have supposed the ascription to be a mistake due to the fact that the name of the author of 4 Mace. was Joseph.

5. Literary character.[edit]

In form, as in contents, 4 Macc, is a sermon, or homily. The attitude of its author is everywhere that of one who is delivering a formal address to an audience. In the opening words, he speaks of himself in the first person and of his hearers in the second person, and continues to do this in the sequel. In 18:1 he addresses his hearers, men of Israel, in the vocative. Rhetorical devices and turns of expression such as belong properly to an oration are frequent e.g., 3:19, 7:6+, 15:1, 15:4, 15:13, 17:2+, etc. Moreover, it is plain from the words of 1:12, 'I will now speak . . . as I have been wont to do' that the author at least wishes to represent himself as before those whom he is accustomed to address in this same formal way. It is quite evident from the manner and tone of the whole composition that the object aimed at was less to gain intellectual assent to a proposition than to give a religious impulse. In short, we have before us the discourse of a Jewish preacher, who was a man of culture, and (apparently) one accustomed to speak with authority. It is not, however, a 'homily' of the kind made familiar to us by Philo and the early Christian fathers, consisting chiefly of a running com mentary on some portion of Scripture. It differs, in fact, from all such compositions, Jewish or Christian, that have come down to us, in the manner in which it combines Greek and Jewish literary forms. 1 It is indeed based on Scripture (2 Macc, was certainly regarded by the author as belonging to the national sacred literature), as its true foundation ; but at the same time, the formal subject is a philosophical proposition, laid down at the beginning and kept in view throughout, after the manner of a Greek rhetorical exercise. As both the Jewish and the Greek elements appear at their best, and are handled in a masterly manner, we may regard the book as a characteristic product of Hellenistic culture of the best type. Whether it may be taken as a specimen of sermons actually delivered in the synagogue is a question that cannot be answered with certainty, because of our very meagre knowledge of Greek-Jewish customs in this regard. We know of nothing to forbid the supposition, however ; and the writing before us must be regarded as furnishing very strong evidence for the affirmative.

The plan of the discourse is carefully thought out, and follows in general the rules of the Greek rhetori cians. 2 The literary skill and taste shown by the writer deserve in the main high praise. He writes with dignity, and an evident consciousness of mastery. The rhetorical power which he exhibits is very considerable. The one great blemish in the book, from the modern point of view, is its detailed description (exaggerated far beyond the bounds of reason ) of the horrible tortures to which the martyrs were subjected. Though such descriptions were doubtless in accordance with the taste of that day (cp especially the abundant examples of the kind in the early Christian literature), they are quite intolerable now ; and as a considerable part of the book is thus occupied, the defect is fatal.

1 The nearest parallel in many respects a striking one is the Epistle to the Hebrews.

2 See especially Freudenthal, i*& ff., and the lit. referred to in Kautzsch, Apocr. u. Pseudep. 2 156. Cp also von Soden on the Epistle to the Hebrews (Holtzmann s Hand-komientar\-\ (6+).

6. Language and Style.[edit]

In literary style and use of language, the writer of 4 Macc, shows himself a master. Of all the specimens of Hellenistic Greek that have been preserved, this stands among the very foremost in point of excellence. The style is well suited to the matter, simple in the narrative portions, and rhetorical where this quality is in place. It is smooth, flowing, and vigorous, always highly finished, and rarely overloaded. Well constructed periods abound. In the use of classical constructions (e.g. , the optative mood), 1 the writer stands almost alone among Jewish Greek authors. His style and diction do not seem to have been influenced by the LXX, though he occasionally quotes from it (2:5, 2:19, 17:19); Hebraisms are almost totally wanting ; #-7ra \ey6fJLfva are unusually abundant (see the list in Grimm, 287 ; supplemented by Freudenthal, 28, n. ).

7. Philosophical and religious character.[edit]

It has already been observed that 4 Macc, partakes of the nature of a philosophical treatise. It has for its starting-point a formal thesis, stated and defined in more or less technical language at the outset, and kept in view throughout the whole composition. Both in its general plan and in its phraseology it shows plainly the influence of the Greek schools. Moreover, its author consciously assumes the attitude of a champion of the study of philosophy (1:1), and it is plain that he wishes to make prominent the philo sophical side of his discourse, though aiming primarily at giving religious instruction. See, for example, 1:1, 5:6-11, 7:18, etc. The decidedly Stoic colouring of his philosophy is worthy of notice, moreover. See especially the four cardinal virtues (<ppovr]<Tis, Si/ccuocrwr?, dvSpeia, ffu(f>poavvTj, 1:18; cp 1:2-6, 2:23, 5:22-23, 15:7), and for further evidence, the thorough discussion in Freudenthal, 37+. On the other hand, it is plain that 4 Macc, is far from representing any particular school ; nor does its author appear as the advocate of any system made up from combined Greek and Jewish elements. His philosophy is merely a part of his general culture ; his faith is not essentially modified by it. The religion which he preaches here is Judaism of the most thorough going type, somewhat enriched from Greek thought, but none the less loyal. His chief aim in this discourse is to inspire his hearers by the example of the constancy and devotion of the Maccaboean martyrs. In drawing the lesson he displays the most ardent patriotism, and a zeal for the ceremonial law worthy of any Pharisee. The motive that actuated these heroes was not so much the hope of gaining eternal life as the purpose to perform their duty (12:12; cp 5:16+, 6:14+, 7:7, 9:15, 13:16). They died in behalf of a cause, in support of the law, in obedience to God ; by their death, more over, they wrought deliverance for their nation (In 17:19-23, 18:4). In this connection the writer gives expression to a doctrine which is one of the most interesting features in the book on the side of its theology : namely the belief that the death of a martyr is in some way an expiatory offering for his people (6:29, 17:21; cp 2 Macc. 7:37-38 ).

The eschatology of the book is also of especial interest. As was of course to be expected, the doctrine of the immortality of the soul is given a prominent place. What is emphasised by the writer, however, is not the belief in the resurrection from the dead, as in 2 Macc., but rather the doctrine that all souis, whether righteous or wicked, exist for ever after death. The good shall be in eternal happiness together (17:18), with the fathers of Israel (6:37), and with God (9:8, 17:18). The wicked shall be in eternal torment (9g lOii 12i2 13is), burning in eternal fire (9:9, 12:12). Cp ESCHATOLOGY, 77.

The personal earnestness and enthusiasm of the writer are manifest at every point. He is a true preacher, not a mere rhetorician, and the present dis course is something very different from a formal exercise. He shows himself thoroughly acquainted with the Hebrew scriptures, and assumes that his hearers are. The reference in 18:8 to the serpent, the evil spirit (cp Wisd. 2:24) of Gen. 3, is worthy of notice ; so also is the expression 'the rib that was built up' (referring to the story of Eve), in 18:7. The whole passage 18:6+. gives us very interesting glimpses of Jewish family life of the writer's own day.

The verdict of Freudenthal, who thought to find in 4 Macc, a good many Christian interpolations, has created a somewhat erroneous impression of it in this respect. As a matter of fact, the only apparent instances of the kind worthy of notice are 7:19, 16:25 (cp, however, 15:3) and 13:17 (three words). These seem to be mere expansions of the text by Christian scribes, without importance of their own and adding nothing to the teaching of the book.

1 See Grimm, 287-288

8. Attestation, Text and Versions.[edit]

Eusebius, in speaking of the works of the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus, mentions 4 Macc, in the following words: TreTTOiryrai 6e xai aAAo OUK a.yevvk<i <jTrovSa.iru.aL T(? ivSp i [viz. Josephus] fy oAmtodro^o, AoyioyioC, o rices Mafoca/Sac icbi/ tTre ypai^ap r V TOVS aywi-as rill ev TOIS oiira) KaAoujixeVois MaKKa/Jaiicois ervyypaju(xa<rt virep Trjs fis TO 0eio eixre/Si a? ai/Spio-a^ieVwi K/3patW jrepte x* 1 " (Hist. eccles. iii. 10:6). Jerome, De viris illustr., chap. 13 (Josephus), speaks of it in very similar terms: Alius quoque liber ejus, qui inscribitur Trepl auTO/cparopos Aoytauov valde elegans habetur, in quo et Machabseorum sunt digesta martyria. Again, contra Pelagianos, 26, he quotes 4 Macc. 3:5 ; this time also naming Josephus as the author of the book. Gregory Naz. , Hontil. in Aiacc., cites the book as 17 $i /3Ao? Trepi TOU auroKparopa eli/ai Ttav TraOtav TOV \oyt<rfj.bv (f>i\ocro<j)OV(ra. In Photius Kpitome of Philostorgius, chap. 1, occur the words : TO /uei> TtYapTOi/ TO>I MaKKa/BaiKwc /3i/3At oi> VTCO IwarJTrou yeypatpSai (cat atiTOS [Philostorgius] <rui 0^oAo yu/ oi^ MTTOptai /uoAAoi TJ tyK<ufjiLOi> flvaC <t>ir]cri. TO Trepi TOJ> EAea^ apoi /cat TOU? CTTTO. Tratfiay TOVS Majc/caj3ai ov Sojyov ju.ei oi .

The book appears as 4 Macc. (see 1) in the list of the Cod. Claromontanus (original of the third century V), the Catalogue of the sixty Canonical Books, and the so-called Synopsis of Athanasius (see above, 7), and is contained in the Greek uncials N, A, and V.

For information regarding the MSS containing the book MSS both of the LXX and of Josephus works see Grimm, 294+, and especially Freudenthal, 120-127.

The first printed text of the book, that of the Strasburg LXX of 1526, was based on a single very poor MS (Freudenthal, 127-128). It became nevertheless the basis of the 'vulgar text', printed in many Greek Bibles of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and in many editions of Josephus ; e.g., that of Basel, 1544; those of Lloyd (Luidus), Oxford, 1590; Hudson, 1720; and the later editions based on the Hudson text (Din- dorf [1845-47], and especially Bekker [1855-56], improved it con siderably). A recension differing from this, based on the Alex andrine Cod., was represented by the LXX editions of Grabe, 1719, and Grabe-Breitinger, 1731 ; and by Apel, Apocr. yT", 1837. More recently, the book has been printed in Bagster s Apocrypha Greek and English (1882) ; in Fritzsche s Libriapocr. VT, 1871 (a decided improvement on all preceding editions of 4 Macc.) ; and in Swete's LXX (Cod. A, with variants of N and V). The text of the book is still in a very unsatisfactory con dition, however. Much remains to be done, by collating new MSS (only a comparatively small number of those available having thus far been used), by making use of the Syriac version (see below), and by conjectural emendation.

Nothing is known of any old Latin version of 4 Macc., or even of the sources used by Erasmus in making his Latin paraphrase, which differs so widely from our Greek text. See Grimm, 296 ; Freudenthal, 133 ; Churton, 564. The old Syriac translation is contained in the Peshitta, Cod. AntbrosianvS (published by Ceriani, 1876-83), and has recently been edited from nine MSS in Bensly s The Fourth Book of Maccabees and Kindred Documents in Syriac, 1895. This translation, which is generally faithful and well executed, is seen to agree with ft rather than with A (Bensly, 14) ; but its more exact relation to the Greek texts has yet to be determined.

9. Literature.[edit]

The only commentary on the whole book is that of Grimm, 1857 ; an excellent piece of work. Zockler s Apokryphen, 396- 402, gives a translation, with commentary, of the introductory part of the book, 1 i-3 ia Bissell (6377*;) furnishes only a brief intro duction. English translations in Cotton, Bagster, and Churton (see above, col. 2868, 12). German translations in the Biblio- thek der griechischen 11. romischen Schrifts teller fiber Juden- tlium u. Juden, vol. ii. (1867), and (by Deissmann, with many useful notes) in Kautzsch s Apocr. u. Pseudepig. A very thorough monograph by Freudenthal, Die Fl. Josephus bci- gelegte Schrift iiber die Herrschaft der I ernuti/t (1869).

See also Gfrorer, Philo und die alexandrinische Theosophie, 2173-200 (1831); Dahne, Die jiidisch- alexandrinische Re- ligions-philosophie, 2190-199, (1834); Ewald, (TF/I 3 ), \dyiff. , Gratz, MGIVJ (1877), pp. 454^. ; Zeller, Die Philosophic der GriechenP), 82(1881), pp. 275-277 ; Bensly, The Fourth Book of Mace, in Syriac, 1895 ; and the text-books of Introduction.


See i MACCABEES, 11.

C. C. T.


(MAKCAON i <\, Acts 16 1012 etc. Combined with mention of Achaia Acts 1!) 21 Rom. 15 26 2 Cor. 9 2 1 Thess. 1 7 f. The ethnic is MajctStav - Acts 16 9 19 29 272 2 Cor. .4 i Mace. 1 i l>2 2 Mace. 820; applied to Haman in Esth. 924 16 10 <B).

1. Earlier history.[edit]

The Macedonians were of Greek stock, as their traditions and remains of their language prove. In its original sense, Macedonia was simply the plains of the lower Haliacmon (Kara-Su) and Axius (Vardar), on the N. and NW. of the Thermaic Gulf (Gulf of Salonica). The old capital was Edessa, or /Egce, on a terrace above the river Lydias, overlooking the sea. Gradually the Macedonians extended their power westward and northward over the hill-tribes of Illyrian race, the Orestians, Lyncestians, etc. The key to early Macedonian history lies in this absence of community of tradition and race between the Highlanders and the lowlanders (see brilliant sketch by Hogarth, Philip and Alexander, 8-9). Not until the accession of Philip II. (359 H.C. ) was the unification of Macedonia effected ; the conquest of the Greek cities of the Chalcidic peninsula opened the door of the ^Egean and made her a factor in Greek politics. The supremacy of Macedonia over Greece was realised during Philip s lifetime ; whilst that of his son saw the Macedonian kingdom converted into a world -wide empire (cp the sketch of the achievements of Alexander the Great with which the history of the years 175-135 opens, i Mace, li). Macedonia came at last into conflict with Rome. The battle of Cynoscephalse (197 B.C.) broke the power of Philip V., and that of Pydna (168 B.C.), in which his son Perseus was defeated, brought the Macedonian kingdom to an end (ref. in 1 Macc. 8:5).

The 'Macedonians' of 2 Macc. 8:20 are probably the Mace donians in the service of the Seleucid kings. Perhaps the word came to be applied to the soldiers of the phalanx, with which the Macedonian conquests were so closely associated.

2. NT times.[edit]

The 'Macedonia' of the NT is the Roman province of that name. This was not constituted immediately after the victory at Pydna ; the country was for a time allowed to retain a certain degree of independence. It was broken up into four divisions:

  • (1) Macedonia Prima: between the Nestus and the Strymon - capital, Amphipolis.
  • (2) M. Secunda : between the Strymon and the Axius - capital, Thessalonica.
  • (3) M. Tertia : between the Axius and the Peneius in Thessaly - capital, Pella.
  • (4) M. Quarta : the mountain lands on the W. - capital, Pelagonia (cp Livy, 4529/1 ; for details, see Mommsen, Hist. Rom. ET2302/. ; silver and bronze coins MAKEAOXON ZIPOTHS, etc., Head, Hist. .\um. 208 /. ).

In 146 B.C. Macedonia received a provincial organisation. It is not clear that the fourfold division was entirely abolished ; 1 but the country was henceforth under the control of a resident official, whose headquarters were in Thessa- lonica. The province included Thessaly, and in the other direction extended to Thrace and the river Nestus. East and west it ran from sea to sea, for that part of Illyria which lay between the Drilo (Drin] and the Aous fell to it, so that the ports of Dyrrhachium and Apollonia were Macedonian. The province also contained the most important artery of communication in the empire the Via Egnatia, which connected those ports with Thessalonica and Amphipolis.

In the partition of the provinces (27 B.C.) Macedonia fell to the Senate (Str. 840, Dio Cass. 53:12) ; but in 15 A.D. it was handed over to the emperor (Tac. Ann. 1:76), and so continued until in 44 A.D. Claudius restored it to the Senate (Suet. Clmtd. 25, Dio Cass. 60:24). As a senatorial province it was governed by a pro consul of praetorian rank. Such was Macedonia when Paul entered it (in 50 A.D.?; cp CHRONOLOGY, 71).

1. See Leake, Northern Greece, 3:487-488 and cp the expression used in Acts 16:12. See PHILLIPI.

3. Paul.[edit]

The entrance into Macedonia and the visit to Rome are the two most important stages in Paul s missionary career ; hence, looking back in the afternoon of his life, he can speak of his work in Macedonia as the beginning of the gospel (Phil. 4:15). The account of this breaking of new ground on the second journey is given in great detail in Acts 16:9-10. A new meaning is given to the phrase a 'man of Macedonia' (dvrjp Ma/ce5wc) which had sounded like a knell in the ears of the greatest Greek orator (cp Demosth. Phil. 1:43). If we accept Ramsay s conjecture that Luke himself was the man seen in his vision by Paul (St. Paul the Traveller, 202 f.), this explains also the emphasis laid on the passage to Macedonia, for which Rarnsay thinks it is not easy to account on strictly historical grounds (op. cit. 198 /. ). It is hardly true to assert that a broad distinction between the two opposite sides of the Hellespont as belonging to two different continents had no existence in the thought of those who lived in the AEgean lands. In the second place, it was the after events that unfolded the importance of the step now taken ; and Lk. writes with these results in his mind. Lastly, if Luke himself was the instrument used to direct Paul upon his new path, we can see how even at the moment the incident at Troas might seem the climax of the whole journey and the entry into Macedonia bulk largely in the writer s mind.

Paul visited Macedonia many times. Five or six years after the foundation of the churches he revisits them twice, as he goes and as he returns, on his third mission ary tour (Acts 19:21, 20:1-3, 1 Cor. 16:5, 2 Cor. 1:26, 2:13, 7:5, 8:1, 9:24). Perhaps he saw them immediately after his first Roman imprisonment (cp Philem. 22 Phil. 224), and yet again, before he came to Nicopolis (i Tim. 1 3). He was surrounded by representatives sent by the three Macedonian churches Aristarchus and Secundus from Thessalonica, Gaius (Acts 19:29, 20:4, 27:2), Sopater from Beroea (Acts 20:4), Epaphroditus from Philippi(Phil. 2:25). The distinguishing mark of the Macedonians is their loyalty to Paul's teaching, and their intense affection for himself (1 Thess. 1:3 8, 3:6, 4:9, 2 Thess. 1:3, 2 Cor. 11:9, Phil. 4:1, 4:15-16). A characteristic of Macedonia, as of Asia Minor, is the prominence of women (cp the story of Lydia, Acts 16:13-14, at Philippi ; also at Beroea and Thessalonica women are specially mentioned among the converts, Acts 17:4, 17:12, Phil. 4:2-3, those women which laboured with me in the gospel. ) vv. j. w.


(M&x&ipoyc- in Talm -or, according to the \4riich, 1330 ; but Jastrow [Dict. of Targ. etc. 781] disputes the identification), 1 the most southern point of the dominions of Antipas the Tetrarch, on the E. of the Dead Sea ; according to Pliny (HN\. 1672), the strongest Jewish castle next to Jeru salem. It had been fortified by Alexander Jannaeus (106-79 B.C.), and afterwards by Herod the Great, who there built a city. There the suspicious Antipas con fined JOHN THE BAPTIST [?..]. and there the great prophet was executed.

In the year 70 A.D. the town seems to have harboured, irrespective of the Jewish garrison, a population of at least 2000 men, besides women and children (see Jos. /?/vii. 64^: cp ii. 186 lovJatW TO TrATJOos). It is the modern Mkaur (3675 ft. above the level of the Dead Sea, and 2382 ft. above that of the Mediterranean), where extensive ruins are still to be seen. See ZERETH-SHAHAR, and cp Keim, Jesus o/ Na.za.ra, ~336jf. ; Schiir. Hist. i. 2 wff. ; GAS HG^f.; also Gautier, Autonrde la Mer Morte, 1901.

1 We. CCA, 1889, no. 8, p. 606 /., suggests the identification of the name with the Moabite nine (MIi /. 14).

2 BK may derive from -j^p and ,133 (cp BENAIAH hl.TJs), or is it a corrupt repetition of Mishmannah (in ?. 10)? These two could be easily confused in the older script (S. A. Cook).


RV Machbannai (^3330), one of David s warriors; i Ch. 12i3t (/vxeAx^BANNAi [B], -NNe&" [N], M&X&BANAi [A], -NCI [14 Pesh. reads Shephatiah ). See DAVID, n, n. c.


RV Machbena (X333O). i Ch. 249t- See CABBON, and cp MEKONAH.


(30; MAK[X]I [B b AL], MAKOCI [B ab ]. [F]), father of Geuel ; Nu. ISisf. Read prob ably Machir i.e. , Jerahmeel (Che.).