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HAYDOCK CATHOLIC BIBLE COMMENTARY ON THE OLD TESTAMENT



1 MACHABEES 8

 

CHAPTER VIII.

 

Ver. 1.  Romans.  Many historians, Livy, Plutarch, &c. record the same.  W. --- Things.  Gr. "people who join them."  H. --- They comply with their just requests.  M. --- The Scripture speaks of the fine times of the republic and gives this temporal reward to the virtues of the Romans, which they so greatly sought, and to which alone they were entitled.  C. --- "Hitherto, says Florus, the Roman people were beautiful, noble, pious, holy, and magnificent."  The Jews, first among the eastern nations, employed their friendship to secure their liberty.  Facile tunc Romanis de alieno lagrientibus, Just. xxxvi.

 

Ver. 2.  They heard, &c.  What is here set down of the history and character of the ancient Romans, is not an assertion, or affirmation of the sacred writer; but only a relation of what Judas had heard of them.  Ch. --- Fame generally magnifies. --- Galatia, over which Volso triumphed.  Livy xxxviii.  C. --- The Gauls near Narbonne were then tributary to the Romans.  Harduin.

 

Ver. 3.  Mines, for which Spain was most famous.  Pliny iii. 3.  Strabo iii. --- The place, or every place in the world.  M.

 

Ver. 4.  Earth, little known to the Jews, like Syphax, &c.

 

Ver. 5.  Ceteans.  That is, the Macedonians.  Ch. --- Flaminius subdued the former, and P. Emilius the latter.

 

Ver. 6.  Twenty.  Livy mentions only fifty-four.  Florus allows that elephants were on both sides of the army, consisting of 300,000 foot.  Appian admits but 70,000 men.  C. --- Polybius (5.) asserts that Antiochus had 102 elephants against Ptolemy.  In this war he might well have 120.  W.

 

Ver. 7.  Alive.  He was forced to submit to conditions, as hard as if he had been prisoner.  C. --- He was present with the ambassabors at Lysimachia, to see the conditions put in execution.  Polyd. xvii. --- Tribute.  He had to pay all the expenses of the war, 15,000 talents of Eubea, 350 to Eumenes, and 127 for wheat.  Twenty hostages were required to be exchanged every three years. --- Upon.  Gr. "the division," (C.) or all Europe, and from Halys as far as Mount Taurus.  All his elephants at Apamea, and his ships of war, were also ceded.  Livy xxxviii.

 

Ver. 8.  Indians.  So the Ionians and Carians might be styled, from the Indus or Kalbit, which flows through their country.  The Midæi dwelt in those regions.  Harduin. --- Some think the Ionians and Mysians should be put for the Indians and Medes, (Grot.) as they were given up to Eumenes.  Livy --- Yet the name of Indian was very vague, and denoted the Ethiopians, Arabs, &c.  C. --- Eumedes.  King of Pergamus.  Ch.

 

Ver. 9.  Greece, in league with Antiochus, (Grot.) or the Etolians, whom Glabrio conquered, may be meant.  Salien.

 

Ver. 13.  Reigned, like Masinissa, Prusias, Eumenes, Eupator, and Phiolmetor.

 

Ver. 14.  Crown, after the expulsion of the Tarquins.

 

Ver. 15.  Twenty.  These latter were people in office, the two consuls, pretors, and questors, the four ediles, and ten tribunes.  After Sylla the number of senators was augmented from 300 to 1000.  Alex. Genial iv. 11.  C.

 

Ver. 16.  To one man.  There were two consuls; but one only ruled at one time, each in his day.  Ch. --- Of this we have an example in the battle of Cannæ.  The first of the consuls wore the ornaments.  Livy --- It would have been more dreadful to have two than one ruler.  W. --- One of them governed at home; the other in the armies, and this latter alone was known to the Jews.  They might also be falsely informed that a dictator was chosen every year.  This was only done on great emergencies.  C. --- No envy, &c.  So Judas had heard; and it was so far true, with regard to the ancient Romans: that as yet no envy or jealousy had divided them into such open factions and civil wars, as they afterwards experienced in the time of Marius and Sylla, &c.  Ch. --- Before they seemed all bent on promoting the public good.  Sallust.  Catiline.

 

Ver. 21.  Sight.  The Romans expected they should soon be at war with Demetrius, and had heard of the exploits of Judas.

 

Ver. 26.  Shall they.  The Jews and Romans shall pay their own forces.  T.  M. --- Grotius explains it, as if the former were to give no aid to the enemies of Rome.

 

Ver. 28.  To them.  Grotius adds, "to the enemies and to them," &c. which is the sense of the Syr. and Arab. and the most natural.

 

Ver. 31.  Jews.  He and his predecessors had abused their power.  Yet Rupert and Peter of Blois (ep. 146.) disapprove of the Jews having recourse to the Romans: they might flee away.  It is not lawful to take arms against the sovereign.  God had, however, sufficiently evinced by miracles that the conduct of the Machabees was pleasing to him.  2 B. xv. 12.  C. --- The Jews were not properly subjects, though tributary to foreign kings, whose design was to exterminate them.  C. iii. 39.  Self-preservation dictated that they should call in the aid of others.  H. --- To die for religion was a great blessing.  C. --- But God would not have his people thus entirely destroyed.  The obligations of rulers and of the people are reciprocal.  All nations have asserted their right to seek redress under oppression.  Yet few have been treated so ill as the Jews.  Few have acted with equal zeal and justice.  H.

 

 








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