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HAYDOCK CATHOLIC BIBLE COMMENTARY ON THE OLD TESTAMENT



1 MACHABEES 5

 

CHAPTER V.

 

Ver. 1.  Nations.  They were always ready to oppress the Jews.  Thus God punished or tried his people.  C. --- Judas, or his brethren, here gains eight victories over them.  W.

 

Ver. 3.  Idumea.  Alexandrian MS. has, "Judea."  Both may be right.  The country had been wrested from Juda by the Idumeans. --- Acrabathane is "the ascent of scorpions," (hakrabim) which were probably numerous, to the south of the Dead Sea.  Num. xxxiv. 4.  Deut. viii. 15.

 

Ver. 4.  Bean; perhaps Beon, near the sea of Sodom, (C.) or Bathaner, beyond the Jordan.  Serar.

 

Ver. 5.  Destruction.  Sometimes the people were spared.  All depended on the wording of the vow.  Lev. xxvii. 28.  Num. xxi. 1.  See other particulars, 2 B. x. 16. to 23.  C.

 

Ver. 8.  Gazer, in Ephraim.  But Jazer, in the tribe of Gad, seems to be meant, as the Greek expresses it.  M. --- Towns.  Lit. "daughters," or dependant (H.) villages.  W. --- Afterwards Judas returned and defeated Timotheus.  2 B. x. 24.

 

Ver. 9.  Galaad.  Most of the towns had been seized by the Ammonites, &c.  After the return of the captives, they were probably driven out.  They attempted to regain possession, when Epiphanes declared against the Jews. --- Datheman; Petra, (C.) or perhaps Rathma.  Num. xxxiii. 18.  Drus.

 

Ver. 11.  Timotheus.  Another of this name had been slain the preceding year, 3840, at Gazara.  2 B. x. 37.

 

Ver. 13.  Tubin, or Tob, to the south of Gad.  Judg. xi. 3.  C.

 

Ver. 15.  Is filled.  Gr. Alex. "All Galilee of the Gentiles to destroy us."  H. --- This part of Galilee was occupied by pagans, who were excited by Epiphanes to fall upon the Jews.  2 B. vi. 8.

 

Ver. 23.  Arbatis.  Arboth means "deserts" uncultivated, here probably denoting the valley of Jezrahel.  Simon wisely concentrated the people, as Judas did in Galaad.  v. 45.

 

Ver. 24.  Desert; probably from Bethsan to Bosor, marching with all secrecy.

 

Ver. 25.  Nabutheans; descendants of Ismael's eldest son, whose capital was Petra.  They continued friends to the Jews.

 

Ver. 26.  Barasa; probably the Bozra of Moab.  Gr. "Bosorra."  Jos. --- Bosor means a fortress.  It is not wonderful that there should be many places of this name in Arabia, to defend the people from robbers. --- Alima; Elim, or Almon.  Is. xv. 8. --- Casphor, or rather Casbon, (v. 36.) the famous Hesebon.  Num. xxi. 26.  C. --- Mageth, or Machati; (Grot.) though it seems too far off.  Deut. iii. 14. --- Carnaim, "horns," being sacred to the moon, (C.) called Astaroth.  Gen. xiv. 5.  H. --- Strabo styles it Carna.

 

Ver. 29.  Fortress of Datheman.  v. 9.

 

Ver. 36.  Bosor, or Bosra.  v. 26.  Bosor was taken before.  v. 28.

 

Ver. 37.  After.  Judas had in the mean time defeated Lysias.  2 B. xi. 1. &c.  C. --- Raphon, or Raphana; (Grot.) or as that was too remote, probably Saphon.  Num. xxxii. 35.  C.

 

Ver. 41.  Afraid.  He interpreted the delay in this sense, which was very precarious, (H.) as nothing could be more superstitious.  Jonathan begged for a similar proof of God's favour.  But Timotheus consulted only himself.  1 K. xiv. 9.  C.

 

Ver. 42.  Scribes; tribunes, who kept a register of the soldiers.  M. --- They were officers of great power.

 

Ver. 44.  Temple of Atergata, or Astarte.  Judas slew 55,000.  Timotheus was spared.  2 B. xii. 20. 26.

 

Ver. 46.  Ephron, beyond the Jordan.  The situation is unknown.  With regard to the right which Judas had to treat it with such severity, see Num. xx. 18.  Judg. viii. 5.  C. --- It probably belonged to God's people, and was unjustly detained.  H.

 

Ver. 52.  Plain, extending beyond Jezrahel.

 

Ver. 53.  Hindmost: the place of danger.  C. --- A good general takes care of the weakest, and exhorts all to behave valiantly.  W.

 

Ver. 54.  Not one.  The 12,000 who defeated the Madianites, were preserved by God in like manner.  Num. xxxi. 49.  H.

 

Ver. 56.  And Azarias.  These two are known only for the disobedience and misconduct.  In holy wars, God does not favour those who are actuated by base motives.  v. 18. 60.  C. --- Men who depend on themselves, and who are not properly authorized, receive not assistance from above; so these failed, as they were not chosen like those who were to save Israel, (W.) of the family of the Machabees.  M.

 

Ver. 58.  Jamnia, a maritime city of the Philistines near Joppe.  Gorgias, an experienced warrior, had retired thither.  C. iv. 5. and 2 B. viii. 9.  C.

 

Ver. 62.  Israel.  The late Rev. Robert Bannister applied this to Protestant writers of sermons, to dissuade young divines from applying to such authors as Tillotson, &c.  It  may also shew the reason why heretics succeed so ill in their foreign missions.  H. --- They know how to pervert Catholics, not how to convert infidels.  Tert.

 

Ver. 63.  Men.  Gr. "man, Judas, and his brethren were," &c.  H. --- See a similar expression Ex. xiv. 3. respecting Moses.

 

Ver. 65.  Chebron, or Hebron, which the Idumeans had seized.  Judas retook it after he had defeated Gorgias.  2 B. xii. 32.

 

Ver. 66.  Aliens; Philistines, v. 68. --- Samaria.  This seems too remote.  Some substitute Saraia; (Jos. xv. 35.) others Maresa, (2 B. xii. 35.) Marissa, (Jos.) the same as Ressa.  Num. xxxiii. 21.

 

Ver. 67.  Desiring.  They were only too brave.  This quality was not incompatible with the priesthood.  Gr. Alex. has, "while he (Judas) was desiring," &c.  Others have, "priests of the cities, while they," &c.  The Rom. edit. agrees with us, (C.) and Grabe prints accordingly.  H.

 

 








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