2 Maccabees 2

It is also found in the records, that Jeremiah the prophet commanded those who were carried away to take of the fire, as has been signified above: and how that the prophet charged those who were carried away, having given them the law, that they should not forget the statutes of the Lord, neither be led astray in their minds, when they saw images of gold and silver, and the adornment thereof. And with other such words exhorted he them, that the law should not depart from their heart.And it was contained in the writing, that the prophet, being warned of God, commanded that the tabernacle and the ark should follow with him,* when he went forth into the mountain where Moses went up and saw the heritage of God. And Jeremiah came and found† a chamber in the rock, and there he brought in the tabernacle, and the ark, and the altar of incense; and he made fast the door. And some of those that followed with him came there that they might mark the way, and could not find it. But when Jeremiah perceived it, he blamed them, saying, Yes and the place shall be unknown until God‡ gather the people again together, and mercy come:and then shall the Lord disclose these things, and the glory of the Lord shall be seen, and the§ cloud.
As also it was showed with Moses; as also Solomon implored that the place might be consecrated greatly, and it was also declared that he, having wisdom, offered a sacrifice of dedication, and of the finishing of the temple; so we would have it now. 10 As Moses prayed to the Lord, and fire came down out of heaven and consumed the sacrifice, even so prayed Solomon also, and the fire came down and consumed the burnt offerings; 11  *(and Moses said, Because the sin offering had not been eaten, it was consumed in like manner with the rest😉 12 and Solomon kept the eight days.
13 And the same things were related† both in the public archives and in‡ the records that concern Nehemiah; and how he, founding a library, gathered together the books about the kings and prophets, and the books of David, and letters of kings about sacred gifts. 14 And in like manner Judas also gathered together for us all those writings that had been scattered by reason of the war that befell, and they are still with us. 15 If therefore you° have need thereof, send some to fetch them to you.
16 Seeing then that we are about to keep the purification, we write to you; you° will therefore do well if you° keep the days. 17 Now God, who saved all his people, and restored the heritage to all, and the kingdom, and the priesthood, and the hallowing, 18 even as he promised through the law,— in God have we hope, that he will quickly have mercy upon us, and gather us together out of§ all the earth to the holy place: for he delivered us out of great evils, and purified the place.
19 Now the things concerning Judas Maccabaeus and his kindred, and the purification of the* great temple, and the dedication of the altar, 20 and further the wars against Antiochus Epiphanes, and Eupator his son, 21 and the manifestations that came from heaven to those that vied with one another in manful deeds for the religion of the Jews; so that, being but a few, they†rescued the whole country, and chased the barbarous multitudes, 22 and recovered again the temple renowned all the world over, and freed the city, and restored the laws which were like to be overthrown, seeing the Lord became‡ gracious to them with all forbearance: 23  these things, I say, which have been declared by Jason of Cyrene in five books, we will assay to abridge in one work. 24 For having in view the confused mass of the numbers, and the§difficulty which awaits those who would enter into the narratives of the history, by reason of the abundance of the matter, 25 we were careful that they who choose to read may be attracted, and that they who wish well to our causemay find it easy to recall* what we have written, and that all readers may have profit. 26 And although to us, who have taken upon us the painful labor of the abridgement, the task is not easy, but a matter of sweat and watching 27 (even as it is no light thing to him that prepares a banquet, and seeks the benefit of others); yet for the sake of the gratitude of the many we will gladly endure the painful labor, 28 leaving to the historian the exact handling of every particular, and again† having no strength to‡ fill in the outlines of our abridgement. 29 For as the masterbuilder of a new house must care for the whole§ structure, and again he that undertakes to* decorate and paint it must seek out the things fit for the adorning thereof; even so I think it is also with us. 30 To occupy the ground, and to† indulge in long discussions, and to be curious in particulars, becomes the first author of the history: 31 but to strive after brevity of expression, and to avoid a labored fullness in the treatment, is to be granted to him that would bring a writing into a new form. 32 Here then let’s begin the narration, only adding thus much to that which has been already‡ said; for it is a foolish thing to make a long prologue to the history, and to abridge the history itself.


*2:4 Gr. and when. The Greek text here is probably corrupt.

2:5 Gr. a cavernous chamber.

2:7 Gr. gather together a gathering of the people.

§2:8 Or, cloud, as…temple. As Moses

*2:11 See Leviticus 10:16 and 9:24.

2:13 Or, also

2:13 Or, Nehemiah’s records

§2:18 Gr. the earth under heaven.

*2:19 Gr. greatest.

2:21 Gr. took for a prey.

2:22 Gr. propitious.

§2:24 Or, weariness

*2:25 Or, the past

2:28 Or, making no effort

2:28 Or, enlarge on

§2:29 Gr. foundation.

*2:29 Gr. decorate in encaustic.

2:30 Or, provide a place for discussions

2:32 Or, spoken of



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