1 Maccabees - Chapter 4
1 Maccabees Chapters
2 with the object of attacking the Jewish position and dealing them an unexpected blow; the men from the Citadel were there to guide him.
5 Hence, when Gorgias reached Judas' camp, he found no one and began looking for the Jews in the mountains. 'For', he said, 'we have got them on the run.'
9 Remember how our ancestors were delivered at the Red Sea when Pharaoh was pursuing them in force.
11 then all the nations will know for certain that there is One who ransoms and saves Israel.'
12 The foreigners looked up and, seeing the Jews advancing against them,
14 and engaged them. The gentiles were defeated and fled towards the plain
15 and all the stragglers fell by the sword. The pursuit continued as far as Gezer and the plains of Idumaea, Azotus and Jamnia, and the enemy lost about three thousand men.
17 and said to the people, 'Never mind the booty, for we have another battle ahead of us.
18 Gorgias and his troops are still near us in the mountains. First stand up to our enemies and fight them, and then you can safely collect the booty.'
24 On their return, the Jews chanted praises to Heaven, singing, 'He is kind and his love is everlasting!'
26 Those of the foreigners who had escaped came and gave Lysias an account of all that had happened.
28 The next year he mobilised sixty thousand picked troops and five thousand cavalry with the intention of finishing off the Jews.
30 When he saw their military strength he offered this prayer, 'Blessed are you, Saviour of Israel, who shattered the mighty warrior's attack at the hand of your servant David, and delivered the Philistine camp into the hands of Jonathan son of Saul, and his armourbearer.
32 Sow panic in their ranks, confound the confidence they put in their numbers and send them reeling in defeat.
33 Overthrow them by the sword of those who love you, and all who acknowledge your name will sing your praises.'
35 Seeing the rout of his army and the courage of Judas' troops and their readiness to live or die nobly, Lysias withdrew to Antioch, where he recruited mercenaries for a further invasion of Judaea in even greater strength.
36 Judas and his brothers then said, 'Now that our enemies have been defeated, let us go up to purify the sanctuary and dedicate it.'
38 There they found the sanctuary deserted, the altar desecrated, the gates burnt down, and vegetation growing in the courts as it might in a wood or on some mountain, while the storerooms were in ruins.
43 to purify the sanctuary and remove the stones of the 'Pollution' to some unclean place.
46 and deposited the stones in a suitable place on the hill of the Dwelling to await the appearance of a prophet who should give a ruling about them.
47 They took unhewn stones, as the Law prescribed, and built a new altar on the lines of the old one.
50 They burned incense on the altar and lit the lamps on the lamp-stand, and these shone inside the Temple.
53 and offered a lawful sacrifice on the new altar of burnt offering which they had made.
56 For eight days they celebrated the dedication of the altar, joyfully offering burnt offerings, communion and thanksgiving sacrifices.
57 They ornamented the front of the Temple with crowns and bosses of gold, renovated the gates and storerooms, providing the latter with doors.
58 There was no end to the rejoicing among the people, since the disgrace inflicted by the gentiles had been effaced.
59 Judas, with his brothers and the whole assembly of Israel, made it a law that the days of the dedication of the altar should be celebrated yearly at the proper season, for eight days beginning on the twenty-fifth of the month of Chislev, with rejoicing and gladness.
60 They then proceeded to build high walls with strong towers round Mount Zion, to prevent the gentiles from coming and riding roughshod over it as in the past.
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Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 130:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8
Gospel, Matthew 5:20-26
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