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.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Successful resistance, a reflection on 1 Maccabees 7:26-50

The Seleucid (Syrian) king sent Nicanor, one of his honored princes, who hated and detested Israel, to destroy its people. Nicanor sent a message to Jerusalem that he was coming in peace. Since Judas had been informed that Nicanor was really preparing to kidnap him, he refused to meet. Nicanor responded by attacking. Suffering losses, his army fled to the citadel.

Not everyone in Jerusalem was opposed. Some of the priests and elders approached Nicanor seeking accommodation. He reacted negatively and arrogantly, "Either Judas and his army was surrender or I will destroy the temple." Hearing this, the priests went to the altar of the temple and prayed to the Lord to avenge them.

Judas prayed, reminding the Lord, "Your angel struck down 185,000 Assyrians for us one time. Now crush this army that is a threat to us today." The Jews crushed the attacking army. Nicanor was the first to fall. When they saw that their general was dead, they fled. The Jews pursued them and were joined by others from the surrounding villages. The Jews seized the spoils and the plunder, displayed Nicanor's head and his right hand that he had so arrogantly stretched out.

What motivates the oppressed to accommodation? What changes their minds?

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