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HAYDOCK CATHOLIC BIBLE COMMENTARY ON THE OLD TESTAMENT



1 MACHABEES 4

 

CHAPTER IV.

 

Ver. 2.  Guides.  Several were apostates Judas was at or near Maspha.  C.

 

Ver. 3.  Rose up.  The vigilance of rulers and pastors preserves from the devil's stratagems.  W.

 

Ver. 4.  Camp, foraging, as they despised the forces of Judas, and supposed he was in the camp, or engaged with Gorgias.

 

Ver. 6.  Three.  We find seven thousand elsewhere.  He was at the head of three thousand, and set his three brothers over fifteen hundred each.  --- Who.  Some copies read, "because."   He could arm no more completely. --- Swords.  This is added in Greek and in some Latin copies.  Having already gained two victories, they must have had some swords, with which they slew the fugitives.  v. 15.  C. --- They were ill armed, through poverty (Jos.) chiefly, (H.) using slings.  Zac. ix. 15.  C. --- Confidence in God procureth his assistance, v. 8.  W.

 

Ver. 13.  Trumpet.  There were many priests in the army.

 

Ver. 15.  Gezeron, or Gazera, near Emmaus. --- Idumea.  Alex. MS. reads "Judea," which seems more probable.  The enemy fled on all sides, some among the Philistines; (C.) others to the southern parts of Juda, occupied by Edom.  H.

 

Ver. 23.  Sea.  This sort of purple was most esteemed.  The art of dying it is now lost.  The merchants' goods fell into the hands of the Jews.  The pursuit was interrupted by the sabbath.  At various times Bacchides and Timothy lost above 20,000; Phylarchus and Callisthenese perished; and Nicanor saved himself by flight.  The booty was laid up in places of security.  2 B. viii. 25. 30.

 

Ver. 24.  For ever.  This was the chorus of Ps. cxxxv. which was sung; (C.) or the cxvii. might be used on this occasion.  H.

 

Ver. 27.  Commanded.  See what followed, 2 Mac. viii. 8. to the end.  W.

 

Ver. 32.  Destruction.  Let them perish, or fall upon each other.

 

Ver. 38.  Burnt by Callisthenes, whom the Jews burnt in a house.  2 B. viii.  C. --- Chambers; (pastophoria.  Sept.) places for beds, veils, &c.  H. --- S. Jerom commonly prefers "the treasury," with Aquila, or "beds," as Sym. translates.  Chambers for the officers of the temple were common both among pagans and Christians.  Rufin, Hist. ii. 23.  Com. Apost. ii. 57.  Clem. pæd. iii. 2.  C. --- As it was the chief design of Judas to defend religion, so he presently purifies the temple.  W.

 

Ver. 41.  Fight, or to be ready, if the garrison should offer to molest them (C.) from the higher part of Sion, while they were performing what religion required of them.  H.

 

Ver. 42.  Blemish.  Legal uncleanness or immorality.  C.

 

Ver. 43.  Defiled.  Altars, temples, and statues of false gods made of stone, and set up in the temple, (C. i. 50.  W.) and before the houses, (2 B. x. 1.) were now demolished and thrown into the vale of Cedron.  2 Par. xxix. 16.

 

Ver. 44.  Profaned with impure victims, and with the altar of Jupiter erected above it.  C. i. 23.

 

Ver. 46.  Stones; rough, and covered with brass: (Ex. xx. 25.) though this latter circumstances is not certain with respect to the altar built by the captives. --- Prophet.  None was recognized after Malachias, as God prepared his people to pay more attention to the Messias.

 

Ver. 47.  Law.  Nothing was specified.  The altar in the desert was of wood.  At Sinai and Hebal, turf or rough stones were used; whence unhewed stones were judged most proper.

 

Ver. 48.  Up, or repaired the temple chambers, &c.

 

Ver. 51.  Veils, at the entrance of the holy of holies.  C.

 

Ver. 52.  Year.  The temple was purified a little more than two years after it had been profaned.  A. 145.  W. --- The sacrifices had been interrupted just three years.  The Second Book (x. 3.) specifies two years; whence some infer, that the temple was twice dedicated.  But these two years most probably refer to the administration of Judas.  S. Tho. or some other com.  Usher, A. 3840.  T.  C.  Salien.  M.

 

Ver. 57.  Excutcheons, or bucklers of gold, taken from the soldiers of Antiochus.  C. vi. 39.  Such ornaments were placed in temples, to testify the gratitude of the people.  They wished to restore as much as possible when had been taken away.  C. i. 23.  On this occasion the Jews carried branches in memory of what they had suffered in desert places for three years.  Hence they style it the feast of tabernacles of Casleu.  2 B. i. 9. and x. 6.  C.

 

Ver. 59.  Decreed.  Our Saviour observed this festival, which was appointed so long after Moses.  John x. 22.  W. --- It was styled Encœnia, and kept in winter while Solomon's temple was dedicated in Tisri, and Zorobabel's in Adar.  The Jews light lamps, (C.) to testify their joy.  Jos. Ant. xii. 11. --- The Rabbins add, that a small bottle of oil had been preserved by the high priest, which multiplied so as to supply the lamps during the whole octave.  Hence they still have lights at their windows on this festival.  Seld. Syn. iii. 13.

 

Ver. 61.  Bethsura, which might receive reinforcements from Sion; or rather, (C.) Gr. they "fortified Bethsura to keep it, (Sion) that," &c.  Grot.  Vat. --- Idumea.  The people of that country had seized many cities of Juda.  C. --- Read 2 B. x. 1.  W.

 

 








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