It took a year to read the Bible, then almost 9 months to read the Apocrypha. Now, I'm going to try to offer reflections on the Narrative Lectionary. But, I won't be posting daily--at least, for a while.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Down but not Out, a reflection on 1 Maccabees 9:23-49

The small force that had remained with Judas was able to stand off the army of Baccchides for a day, but could prevail. Judas was killed, and the rest of his army fled.

After the death of Judas, renegades and wrongdoers rose up among them. A great famine occurred. The country responded to all these bad things by going over to Bacchides. Those who had been supporters of Judas were sought out and punished.

We are told that the distress in Israel was greater than it had been since the time that prophets ceased to appear among them. Does this mean that they were expecting a prophet or that they had given up hope of hearing the words of one?

The friends of Judas assembled and chose Jonathan, a brother of Judas, to succeed him. When Bacchides learned of this, he sent a force to kill Jonathan. Jonathan sent his brother John to seek help from the Nabateans, who he thought were his friends. Instead they killed John and took all the goods he had brought with him. Jonathan and his brother Simon responded by attacking a wedding party. Many were killed, and the rest fled to the mountains. The Jews took all their goods.

In response, Bacchides came with a large force on the sabbath day. Jonathan called on his army to fight for their lives. They were able to drive back the enemy that day.

When it is acceptable to do something on the sabbath?

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