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HAYDOCK CATHOLIC BIBLE COMMENTARY ON THE OLD TESTAMENT



1 MACHABEES 2

 

CHAPTER II.

 

Ver. 1.  Joarib.  This family was the most distinguished, as Josephus, who sprung from it, asserts, (H.) being the first of the twenty-four families of priests.  1 Par. xxiv. 7. 19.  M. --- Mathathias was probably a descendant of Phinees, (v. 54.) and was officiating when the impious orders arrived.  Whereupon he retired to Modin, (C.) near Diospolis.  S. Jer. --- Many say he was chosen high priest; and therefore decided the question about fighting on the sabbath.  But any other, in similar emergencies, might have given that decision.  C. --- Judas was chosen, (Josephus) and Jonathas exercised the functions.  Ant. xx. 8. --- To verify the prediction of Jacob, some have concluded that the Machabees were allied to the tribe of Juda by the mother's side.  S. Jer.  S. Aug. c. Faust. i. 72. --- Yet this is not proved, nor requisite.  They were called Asmoneans, either from the town of Asamon, (Jos. xv. 27.) or from Assamoneus, great grandfather of Mathathias.  Jos. Ant. xii. 8. --- This family ruled till Herod, 128 years.  C. --- Here an account is given of their wars, and more fully in the eight last chapters of the second Book.  W. --- Perhaps John, Mathathias, &c. were chosen high priests by the people, while the king sent others.  Selden.

 

Ver. 2.  Gaddis, "a troop, fortunate, or a heap of wheat."  C.

 

Ver. 3.  Thasi, in Syr. "ardent," or feeble, (C.) or a destroyer.  Pagn.

 

Ver. 4.  Machabeus.  The common etymology has been given.  H. --- But Judas had then no banners, and there is no proof that the Jews used such abbreviations, (C.) though moderns write Rambam, for "R. Moses, son  of Maimon," Moce-bie, (H.) "conquering in God," (equivalent to Nicator, the title of Sedeucus) seems better, particularly as the word is written Machabee.  C. --- Yet this is liable to the objection of c being placed instead of k, which occurs invariably in the Chal. and Syr.  H.

 

Ver. 5.  Abaron, "passing," undaunted, (C.) or "potent." --- Apphus, "the wrath or flying of counsel," (Pagn.) "fainting, abundant, or dissipating."  C. --- This small help, of great importance, was foretold by Daniel, xi. 34.  W.

 

Ver. 7.  Ruin.  S. Polycarp used a similar expression.  Eus. v. 19.

 

Ver. 14.  Lamentation.  By voluntary mortification, he sought to appease God's indignation.  M.

 

Ver. 18.  They.  Josephus mentions Apelles.  Persecutors have thus frequently attempted to delude the faithful; first by flattery, and then by torments.

 

Ver. 21.  Profitable.  But quite the reverse both for this world and for the next.  It is a dreadful crime.

 

Ver. 22.  Way.  Gr. "to the right or to the left."  H.

 

Ver. 24.  Law.  Deut. xi. 6. M. and xiii. 9.  Those who attempted to introduce the worship of idols, were to be slain without farther trial.  C. --- Mathathias was then judge and high priest.  W. --- He acted not though private revenge.  S. Cyp. exhort. 5.  S. Bern. ep. 158.  W.

 

Ver. 29.  And justice.  The ceremonial and moral law, (C.) or to live piously.  M.

 

Ver. 34.  Sabbath.  By sacrificing to idols, or by coming forth to fight.  H. --- They were of opinion that the latter was unlawful, and their ignorance might be excused.  M.

 

Ver. 37.  Innocency.  Lit. "simplicity," has often this sense.  Their piety was not, however, enlightened, as the ceremonial law gives way on such occasions.  C. --- Their simplicity is commended by S. Ambrose, Of. i. 40.  Yet they had not the prudence of serpents, which is also requisite.  The Church remains.  W.

 

Ver. 41.  Come up.  They say not that they will attack.  C. --- Pompey perceived this, and made his advances and works on the sabbath, without opposition.  Jos. Bel. i. 5. --- Pompey I had thus taken Jerusalem.  Jos. Ant. xii. 1. --- The Samaritans will not more on that day.  Ex. xvi. 29. ep. 2. ad Scaliger --- The Jews now take care of the sick, but will not help a beast out of the ditch on the sabbath, though in our Saviour's time they did just the reverse.  Lu. xiv. 5.  The law has thus been variously explained.  The Machabees judged with prudence.  Yet superstition had again gained ground, when Josephus (vita) would not fight of assemble his forces on the sabbath, as being contrary to the law.  In a storm, a Jewish pilot abandoned the helm till the danger was evident.  Synes. ep. iv.

 

Ver. 42.  The Assideans.  A set of men that led a religious life; and were zealous for the law and worship of God.  Ch. --- They fought like the knights of Malta.  A. Lapide --- Esidim (H.) means "the pious."  Eccli. xliv. 10.  Many think they were the same with the Cinites, Rechabites, and Essenes.  From them spring the Pharisees.  C. --- The society was intent on adorning the temple, (Scal.) by which they swore.  Mat. xxiii. 6.  C. --- They were like monks in the old law.  Simon.  M. --- These Essenes followed piety, avoiding the hypocrisy and error of the Pharisees and Sadducees.  W.  Jos. Bel. ii. 12.

 

Ver. 44.  Sinners.  Apostate Jews.  C.

 

Ver. 48.  Horn.  That is, they suffered not the power of Antiochus, that man of sin, to abolish the law and religion of God.  Ch.

 

Ver. 53.  Lord, next to the king.  Gen. xli. 40.

 

Ver. 54.  Everlasting, as long as the old law should subsist.  C.

 

Ver. 55.  Jesus; i.e. Josue.  Ch. --- He and Caleb alone gave a true relation.  H.

 

Ver. 57.  Mercy.  This virtue was characteristic.  C.

 

Ver. 66.  People.  Order is peculiarly requisite in all things, so here the proper persons are chosen, to whom each must submit in their sphere.  W. --- Mathathias speaks as chief of the nation.  C. --- Judas was his eldest son, and Simon the fourth.  Jos. seder. &c.

 

Ver. 70.  Year.  Not of his age, but of the Greeks, (M.) after being at the head about twelve months.  A. 3838.  C.

 

 








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