Although the Jews had retaken possession of the sanctuary, they were under threat by the Greek army. So, Judas decided to attack the citadel. Some from the besieged citadel escaped and went to the king to ask for help in the defense against the Israelites. We are told that some of the Israelites went with them. The king was enraged. He assembled an army including some mercenary forces from other kingdoms and from islands of the sea. The number of his forces was 120,000 plus 32 elephants.
The Jews met the attack of the sanctuary with fire and courage.
A sanctuary is not really safe if it is vulnerable to attack. Potential attackers don't feel safe as long as they feel vulnerable. Did the Jews in the sanctuary have alternatives to attack on the citadel? What alternatives did the king have other than sending a really big army to attack the sanctuary?