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HAYDOCK CATHOLIC BIBLE COMMENTARY ON THE OLD TESTAMENT



1 MACHABEES 7

 

CHAPTER VII.

 

Ver. 1.  Rome.  He had been a hostage instead of Epiphanes, who usurped his throne.  C. i. 11.  After the death of the latter, the senate sent three legates to administer the kingdom, during the minority of Eupator.  One of them was slain.  The king and Lysias sent to exculpate themselves, but received no satisfactory answer.  Demetrius thought this a proper opportunity for regaining the throne.  He consulted the historian, Polybius, who advised him to depart privately.  He, however, addressed the senate for leave, and being refused, fled with eight attendants to Tripoli, and thence to Apamea.  His rivals durst not attack him, as he pretended to be sent by the Romans.  The army of Eupator seized their king and Lysias, and put them to death.  Polyb. cxiv. and cxxii.  Jos.   C. --- Seleucus and Epiphanes were brothers; and of course Demetrius was cousin to Eupator, (W.) and the lawful heir of Seleucus.  H.

 

Ver. 5.  Alcimus.  He occupied the place of Menalaus, and would be high priest, but that office was held by the Machabees.  W. --- Eupator had slain Menalaus, as being to turbulent.  Onias IV. ought to have been recognized; (C.) but he fled into Egypt, and there built a temple.  Lysias advised the king to select one from a family of less power.  Alcimus was such, though of the posterity of Aaron.  v. 14.  Jos. Ant. xii. 5. and xiii. 6. and xx. 8. --- He had fallen under Epiphanes, and the Jews would not receive him.

 

Ver. 6.  Thy friends, and the apostates, who obeyed the decree of the king's uncle.  This was true, and the glory of Judas.  See 2 B. xiv. 3.  C. --- They gained the king's favour by presents, and falsely accused Judas and the people.  W.

 

Ver. 8.  River, as governor of Mesopotamia, (Jos.  Usher.  C.) instead of Heraclides and Timarchus, who had abused their power.  Hence Demetrius obtained the title of Soter, or "saviour."  Appian. --- Faithful.  The chief man under the king.  H.

 

Ver. 12.  Scribes.  They were both civil and military officers.  C.

 

Ver. 13.  Assideans.  These were first consulted, as being most learned and pious.  C. ii. 42.  W. --- They held no office.  C. --- Alcimus deceived them, and cruelly murdered 60, (W.) some scribes.

 

Ver. 17.  Them.  The Ps. lxxviii. alludes to the Assideans, (v. 2.) and is explained by many, as relating to this massacre.

 

Ver. 19.  Bethzecha.  Gr. "Beseth," or Bethsetta, near the great plain.  Hence Bacchides intended to return.

 

Ver. 25.  Crimes.  He made the king some presents, of what he had probably stolen from the temple, and after waiting for some time in silence, began to accuse the people.  2 B. xiv.  C. --- See what is there related to v. 12.

 

Ver. 26.  Enemy.  He was one of the most terrible: yet Judas at last slew him.  v. 43. and 2 Mac. xv. 28.  W. --- Nicanor was high in the king's favour, and had fled with him from Rome.  Jos. Ant. xii. 17. --- He first sent three ambassadors to Judas, in answer to what Simon had proposed; and peace was concluded.  Alcimus hereupon accused Nicanor, and the king sent him an order to seize Judas.  While he was endeavouring to comply, Judas escaped.  He was again much exposed; (v. 29.) and therefore collected his army, and fought near Jerusalem.  2 B. xiv. 15.  Usher, A. 3842.  C.

 

Ver. 31.  Capharsalama, "the field of peace," concluded perhaps with Eupator, (C. vi. 62.  H.) near Jerusalem.

 

Ver. 32.  Thousand.  Some Gr. copies have "hundred."  Others think that these were Jews: but the contrary seems to be the case, though Judas was again (C. vi. 47.) forced to retreat to the temple, which he left shortly after.  2 B. xiv. 31.

 

Ver. 33.  King.  The Jews observed the laudable custom of praying for their rulers, as Christians do.  C. xii. 11.  Bar. i. 10. and 1 Tim. ii. 1.  C. --- Sacrificamus pro salute Imperatoris sed Deo nostro et ipsius.  Tert. ad Scap. ii.

 

Ver. 34.  Abused.  Lit. "polluted them," or grated their ears (H.) with his "blasphemies."  Jos. --- On such occasions, the Jews stopped their ears.  Acts vii. 56.  C.

 

Ver. 38.  Longer.  Read 2 B. xiv. 11.  The last battle with Nicanor is described, C. xv. and here.  v. 39.  W.

 

Ver. 40.  Adarsa, in Ephraim, four miles from the lower Bethoron.

 

Ver. 41.  Sennacherib.  Some copies omit this name.

 

Ver. 45.  Gazara, distant a day's journey from Adarsa.  v. 40.  C. v. 8. --- Signals, to admonish all.  Gr. "with the trumpets for signals," used for that purpose by the priests.

 

Ver. 46.  Horns, like bulls, (C.) or they surrounded them with the wings of the army.  Grot.  Judith xv. 6.

 

Ver. 47.  Jerusalem, and the temple, without the walls.  His tongue was given to the birds.  2 B. xv. 33.  C.

 

Ver. 49.  Thirteenth.  The day before the feast of Purim, (H.) or "lots."  It was observed in the time of Josephus.  C.

 

Ver. 50.  Time.  While Judas settles religious matters, Demetrius prepares for war.  Read 2 B. xv. 1.  W.

 

 








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