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, July 29, 2015

Battle and Treaty, a reflection on 2 Maccabees 13

Judas gets word that coming toward his army is a Greek force, led by Antiochus along with his guardian, Lysias, of 110,00 infantry, 5,300 infantry, 22 elephants, and 300 chariots armed with scythes. The Greek-appointed high priest of Jerusalem, Menelaus, supported the invasion. (See 2 Maccabees 4:23-29). When Antiochus was told that Menelaus was to blame for all their trouble, he had him put to death by being pushed off a 75 foot tall tower.

When Judas heard that the large army was approaching, he ordered the people to pray day and night to help them retain the law, the country, and the temple. After weeping and fasting and lying prostrate for three days, they were exhorted to stand ready.

Committing the outcome to God, Judas lead an elite force to attack the Greek king's pavilion, killing as many as 2,000 men as well as the leading elephant and its rider. Having filled the camp with terror and confusion, they withdrew in triumph.

The king tried to attack a fortress held by the Jews but was turned back. When he attacked again, he was defeated. One of the Jews gave secret information to the Greeks but was found out and imprisoned. After the Greeks won a battle against Judas, they learned that Philip, who had been left in charge of the government, had granted rights to the Jews and honored their holy places.

Lysias tried to appease those disagreeing with this outcome.

(Compare with 1 Maccabees 6:55-63).

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