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.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Offering of peace, Withdrawal of offer, reflection on 1 Maccabees 6:32-63

Judas marched away from the citadel and set up opposite the camp of the king. The king's army marched toward them. Elephants (aroused for battle by drinking wine) with high towers harnessed on them; army in phalanxes (wearing armor and carrying shields).

Judas and his army advanced. Six hundred of the king's army fell. Judas' brother Eleazar, called Avaran noticed that one of the elephants was equipped with armor and had a higher tower than the others. He concluded that this was the one that the king was riding on. He ran through a phlalanx to attack the animal, clearing a path by killing men right and left. He reached the elephant, stabbed it, and killed it. Unfortunately for Eleazar, when the animal died, it toppled over on him, killing him too.

The Jews seeing the large fierce army retreated.

The king's army went on to Jerusalem and camped in Judea and Mount Zion. The inhabitants left because they didn't have enough supplies to last out a siege. The king encamped before the sanctuary. He set up siege towers and war machines. The Jews also made engines of war and fought for many days. When they ran out of food, most abandoned the siege.

The reason given for their running out of food was that it was a sabbatical year. Some commentators ponder why the Jews had followed the custom of storing up double food in the sixth year (Leviticus 25:16-26).

Then Lysias found out that Philip, who had been appointed by the former king to be guardian of the young Antiochus, had returned from Persia and was trying to seize the control of the government. He determined that that threat was greater than the one posed by the Jews wanting to keep Jerusalem. The Jews accepted peace offer. When the king saw what a strong fortress they had built, he broke his oath of peace and had the wall torn down

Returning to Antioch, he took over the city from Philip.

Is it possible for the weak to trust the strong?

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