2 Maccabees - Chapter 10
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2 Maccabees Chapters
1 Maccabaeus and his companions, under the Lord's guidance, restored the Temple and the city,
3 They purified the sanctuary and built another altar; then, striking fire from flints and using this fire, they offered the first sacrifice for two years, burning incense, lighting the lamps and setting out the loaves.
4 When they had done this, prostrating themselves on the ground, they implored the Lord never again to let them fall into such adversity, but if they should ever sin, to correct them with moderation and not to deliver them over to blasphemous and barbarous nations.
6 They kept eight festal days with rejoicing, in the manner of the feast of Shelters, remembering how, not long before at the time of the feast of Shelters, they had been living in the mountains and caverns like wild beasts.
8 They also decreed by public edict, ratified by vote, that the whole Jewish nation should celebrate those same days every year.
10 Our task now is to unfold the history of Antiochus Eupator, son of that godless man, and briefly to relate the evil effects of the wars.
13 Denounced, in consequence, to Eupator by the Friends of the King, he heard himself called traitor at every turn: for having abandoned Cyprus, which had been entrusted to him by Philometer, for having gone over to Antiochus Epiphanes, and for having shed no lustre on his illustrious office: he committed suicide by poisoning himself.
14 Gorgias now became general of the area; he maintained a force of mercenaries and a continual state of war with the Jews.
15 At the same time, the Idumaeans, who controlled important fortresses, were harassing the Jews, welcoming outlaws from Jerusalem and endeavouring to maintain a state of war.
17 Vigorously pressing home their attack, they seized possession of these vantage points, beating off all who fought on the ramparts; they slaughtered all who fell into their hands, accounting for no fewer than twenty thousand.
19 whereupon, Maccabaeus left Simon and Joseph, with Zacchaeus and his forces, in sufficient numbers to besiege them, and himself went off to other places requiring his attention.
24 Timotheus, who had been beaten by the Jews once before, now assembled an enormous force of mercenaries, mustering cavalry from Asia in considerable numbers, and soon appeared in Judaea, expecting to conquer it by force of arms.
26 Prostrating themselves on the terrace before the altar, they begged him to support them and to show himself the enemy of their enemies, the adversary of their adversaries, as the Law clearly states.
28 As the first light of dawn began to spread, the two sides joined battle, the one having as their pledge of success and victory not only their own valour but their recourse to the Lord, the other making their own ardour their mainstay in the fight.
29 When the battle was at its height, the enemy saw five magnificent men appear from heaven on horses with golden bridles and put themselves at the head of the Jews;
30 surrounding Maccabaeus and screening him with their own armour, they kept him unscathed, while they rained arrows and thunderbolts on the enemy until, blinded and confused, they scattered in complete disorder.
35 At daybreak on the fifth day, twenty young men of Maccabaeus' forces, fired with indignation at the blasphemies, manfully assaulted the wall, with wild courage cutting down everyone they encountered.
36 Others, in a similar scaling operation, took the defenders in the rear, and set fire to the towers, lighting pyres on which they burned the blasphemers alive. The first, meanwhile, breaking open the gates, let the rest of the army in and, at their head, captured the town.
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Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 40:5, 7-8, 8-9, 10
Gospel, Matthew 22:1-14
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