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The Catholic Study Bible A special version of the New American Bible, with a wealth of background information useful to Catholics.

Chapter 4

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1Now Gorgias took five thousand infantry and a thousand picked cavalry, and this detachment set out at night 2in order to attack the camp of the Jews and take them by surprise. Some men from the citadel were their guides. 3Judas heard of it, and himself set out with his soldiers to attack the king's army at Emmaus, 4while the latter's forces were still scattered away from the camp. 5During the night Gorgias came into the camp of Judas, and found no one there; so he began to hunt for them in the mountains, saying, “They are fleeing from us.”

6But at daybreak Judas appeared in the plain with three thousand men, who lacked such armor and swords as they would have wished. 7They saw the army of the Gentiles, strong and breastplated, flanked with cavalry, and made up of expert soldiers. 8Judas said to the men with him: “Do not be afraid of their numbers or dread their attack. 9Remember how our fathers were saved in the Red Sea, when Pharaoh pursued them with an army. p Ex 14, 21ff . 10So now let us cry to Heaven in the hope that he will favor us, remember his covenant with our fathers, and destroy this army before us today. q 1 Mc 2, 21 . 11All the Gentiles shall know that there is One who redeems and delivers Israel.”

12When the foreigners looked up and saw them marching toward them, 13they came out of their camp for battle, and the men with Judas blew the trumpet. 14The battle was joined and the Gentiles were defeated and fled toward the plain. 15Their whole rearguard fell by the sword, and they were pursued as far as Gazara* and the plains of Judea, to Azotus and Jamnia. About three thousand of their men fell.

16When Judas and the army returned from the pursuit, 17he said to the people: “Do not be greedy for the plunder, for there is a fight ahead of us, 18and Gorgias and his army are near us on the mountain. But now stand firm against our enemies and overthrow them. Afterward you can freely take the plunder.”

19As Judas was finishing this speech, a detachment appeared, looking down from the mountain. 20They saw that their army had been put to flight and their camp was being burned. The smoke that could be seen indicated what had happened. 21When they realized this, they were terrified; and when they also saw the army of Judas in the plain ready to attack, 22they all fled to Philistine territory.*

23Then Judas went back to plunder the camp, and his men collected much gold and silver, violet and crimson cloth, and great treasure. 24As they returned, they were singing hymns and glorifying Heaven, “for he is good, for his mercy endures forever.” r Ps 118, 1ff. 29 . 25Thus Israel had a great deliverance that day.

Victory over Lysias. 26 s 26–35: 2 Mc 11, 1–12 . But those of the foreigners who had escaped went and told Lysias all that had occurred. 27When he heard it he was disturbed and discouraged, because things in Israel had not turned out as he intended and as the king had ordered.

28So the following year he gathered together sixty thousand picked men and five thousand cavalry, to subdue them. 29They came into Idumea and camped at Beth‐zur,* and Judas met them with ten thousand men. 30Seeing that the army was strong, he prayed thus:

“Blessed are you, O Savior of Israel, who broke the rush of the mighty one by the hand of your servant David and delivered the camp of the Philistines into the hand of Jonathan, the son of Saul, and his armor‐bearer. t 1 Sm 17, 48ff . 31Give this army into the hands of your people Israel; make them ashamed of their troops and their cavalry. 32Strike them with fear, weaken the boldness of their strength, and let them tremble at their own destruction. 33Strike them down by the sword of those who love you, that all who know your name may hymn your praise.”

34Then they engaged in battle, and about five thousand of Lysias' men fell in hand‐to‐hand fighting. 35When Lysias saw his ranks beginning to give way, and the increased boldness of Judas, whose men were ready either to live or to die bravely, he withdrew to Antioch and began to recruit mercenaries so as to return to Judea with greater numbers.*

Purification of the Temple. 36 u 36–59: 2 Mc 10, 1–8 . Then Judas and his brothers said, “Now that our enemies have been crushed, let us go up to purify the sanctuary* and rededicate it.” 37So the whole army assembled, and went up to Mount Zion. 38They found the sanctuary desolate, the altar desecrated, the gates burnt, weeds growing in the courts as in a forest or on some mountain, and the priests' chambers demolished. v Ps 74, 2–7 . 39Then they tore their clothes and made great lamentation; they sprinkled their heads with ashes 40and fell with their faces to the ground. And when the signal was given with trumpets, they cried out to Heaven.

41Judas appointed men to attack those in the citadel, while he purified the sanctuary. 42He chose blameless priests, devoted to the law; 43these purified the sanctuary and carried away the stones of the Abomination to an unclean place. 44They deliberated what ought to be done with the altar of holocausts that had been desecrated. w 1 Kgs 8, 64 . 45The happy thought came to them to tear it down, lest it be a lasting shame to them that the Gentiles had defiled it; so they tore down the altar. x 1 Mc 6, 7 . 46They stored the stones in a suitable place on the temple hill, until a prophet should come and decide what to do with them. 47Then they took uncut stones, according to the law, and built a new altar like the former one. y Ex 20, 25 . 48They also repaired the sanctuary and the interior of the temple and purified the courts. 49They made new sacred vessels and brought the lampstand, the altar of incense, and the table into the temple. z Ex 25, 23–39; 30, 1–6 . 50Then they burned incense on the altar and lighted the lamps on the lampstand, and these illuminated the temple. a Ex 30, 7ff . 51They also put loaves on the table and hung up the curtains. Thus they finished all the work they had undertaken.

52Early in the morning on the twenty‐fifth day of the ninth month, that is, the month of Chislev, in the year one hundred and forty‐eight,* 53they arose and offered sacrifice according to the law on the new altar of holocausts that they had made b 53. 56: Ex 30, 10; Ez 43, 18–27 . 54On the anniversary of the day on which the Gentiles had defiled it, on that very day it was reconsecrated with songs, harps, flutes, and cymbals. 55All the people prostrated themselves and adored and praised Heaven, who had given them success.

56For eight days they celebrated the dedication of the altar and joyfully offered holocausts and sacrifices of deliverance and praise. 57They ornamented the façade of the temple with gold crowns and shields; they repaired the gates and the priests' chambers and furnished them with doors. 58There was great joy among the people now that the disgrace of the Gentiles was removed. 59Then Judas and his brothers and the entire congregation of Israel decreed that the days of the dedication* of the altar should be observed with joy and gladness on the anniversary every year for eight days, from the twenty‐fifth day of the month Chislev. c Jn 10, 22 .

60At that time they built high walls and strong towers around Mount Zion, to prevent the Gentiles from coming and trampling over it as they had done before. 61Judas also placed a garrison there to protect it, and likewise fortified Beth‐zur, that the people might have a stronghold facing Idumea.

Notes:

p: Ex 14, 21ff .

q: 1 Mc 2, 21 .

r: Ps 118, 1ff. 29 .

s: 26–35: 2 Mc 11, 1–12 .

t: 1 Sm 17, 48ff .

u: 36–59: 2 Mc 10, 1–8 .

v: Ps 74, 2–7 .

w: 1 Kgs 8, 64 .

x: 1 Mc 6, 7 .

y: Ex 20, 25 .

z: Ex 25, 23–39; 30, 1–6 .

a: Ex 30, 7ff .

b: 53. 56: Ex 30, 10; Ez 43, 18–27 .

c: Jn 10, 22 .

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