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.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Verbal attack, a reflection on 2 Maccabees 14:1-25

Demetrius with a strong army and fleet overcame Antiochus and Lysias and claimed the throne. The former high priest Alcimus realizing he had no hope of regaining his role sought support from Demetrius. After giving gifts to the King, he was invited to a meeting of the council and was asked about the attitude and intentions of the Jews.

He asserted that the Jews who supported Judas, who were called Hasideans, were stirring up dissent. The king's Friends, already hostile to Judas, added to the inflammatory talk. Demetrius appointed the army commander Nicanor as governor of Judea and sent him off with orders to kill Judas and scatter his troops. The gentiles of Judea joined Nicanor thinking that misfortune of the Jews would mean prosperity for themselves.

However, Nicanor, hearing of the strength and courage of Judas and his troops made peace with them. He kept Judas close to him; he was warmly attached to him. At his urging, Judas married and settled down.

(See 1 Maccabees 7).

According to the Oxford Bible Commentary, edited by Martin Goodman, Hasideans were clearly demarcated from Judas in 1 Maccabees 2:42; 7:13, but in this chapter are lumped together with him. The term, "Hasideans", means pious, faithful ones, is used here as a derogatory term much as people today use the term "fundamentalists.

Do we make important decisions based on the alliances that someone has?

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