Land of Kittim: Greece. The name referred originally to inhabitants of Kiti, capital of the isle of Cyprus, then to any Cypriots
(Is 23, 1; Jer 2, 10
), later to Greeks in general, and finally even to Romans. See note on Dn 11, 30
. Darius: Darius III, Codoman (336–331 B.C.).
Twelve years: 336–323 B.C.
The year one hundred and thirty‐seven: Antiochus IV seized the throne in September, 175 B.C. Dates are given in this book
according to the Seleucid era, which however was reckoned in two different ways. Antiochians considered this date to be October,
312 B.C. (Syrian calendar), while Babylonians and Jewish priests accepted April, 311 B.C. as the commencement of the era (temple
calendar). The author of 1 Mc dates political events by the Syrian calendar but religious events by the temple calendar. Accordingly,
the civil New Year occurred variously in September or October, the religious New Year in March or April.
Gymnasium: symbol and center of athletic and intellectual life, it was the chief instrument of Hellenistic propaganda. Jewish
youth were attracted by sports and encouraged to join youth clubs. They received training in military skills and in the duties
of citizens. Through participation in the intellectual life, many were gradually won over to paganism.
Elephants: an important part of Seleucid armament. About 300 B.C. Seleucus I, founder of the dynasty, procured five hundred
of them from India; cf 1 Mc 6, 34–37
Defeated Egypt in the year one hundred and forty‐three: 169 B.C. No mention is made in 1 Mc of the second expedition to Egypt
a year later, described in 2 Mc 5, 1. 11. Dn 11, 25. 29
City of David: not Mount Zion on the eastern hill of Jerusalem, which David captured from the Jebusites (2 Sm 5, 7
), but a new fortress built on the western hill and overlooking the temple and its courts on Mount Zion. It was occupied for
twenty‐six years by the Syro‐Macedonian garrison, together with apostate Jews, and was a continual threat to the temple and
the Jewish people (v 36
); cf 1 Mc 13, 49ff
Fifteenth day of the month Chislev in the year one hundred and forty‐five: early December, 167 B.C. Horrible abomination:
in the original Hebrew, a contemptuous pun on the title “Lord of heaven” given to the god Zeus Olympios, to whom an image
or perhaps an altar was erected upon the altar of holocausts in the temple of Jerusalem; cf Dn 9, 27; 11, 31
Scrolls of the law: one or more of the first five books of the Old Testament.
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