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HAYDOCK CATHOLIC BIBLE COMMENTARY ON THE OLD TESTAMENT



1 MACHABEES 10

 

CHAPTER X.

 

Ver. 1.  Illustrious.  He falsely asserted that he was the son of Epiphanes, being of very mean birth.  Just. xxxv.  W. --- Others say that he was illegitimate, and styled Ballas after his mother Bala, though the name in Syriac may denote "a worthless person."  In his medals he styles himself Deopator Euergetes, as if "God were his father," and himself "beneficent."  C.  Usher, A. 3851. --- At any rate the Romans and Egyptians acknowledged him, being glad to find a rival for Demetrius, who was become odious likewise to the Jews and Syrians.  Heraclides had been deprived of his government (C.) by the king, (C. vii. 8.) and in revenge (H.) took Alexander, and Laodicea, daughter of Epiphanes, to Rome, where he gained over many of the senators, who agreed to help them to recover the kingdom.  Heraclides then levied forces at Ephesus, and Ptolemais was delivered up to Alexander, whence he wrote to Jonathan.  Nothing contributed more than these divisions to secure the liberty of the Jews.

 

Ver. 3.  Magnify, "extol," or grant him fresh dignities.  Soter wished to gain over Janathas, to prevent his rival from receiving supplies from Egypt.  C.

 

Ver. 8.  Fear.  The Syrians in the castle would fear, while the Jews would rejoice, and particularly the hostages.  C. ix. 53.  H.

 

Ver. 11.  Did.  The wall built by Judas had been demolished.  C. iv. 60. and vi. 62.

 

Ver. 18.  Brother; the style used between kings, (3 K. ix. 13.) governors, (2 B. xi. 1.) and friends.  C.

 

Ver. 20.  Make.  The king could not make him high priest, as he was that already: but he acknowledged the title.  W. --- Crown: both the badges of kings, or granted by them.  v. 62.  Dan. v. 29.

 

Ver. 21.  Vestment, at the feast of tabernacles, A. 3852, seven years after the death of Alcimus, and nine since Judas fell.  It is not clear from Josephus, (xiii. 5. and xx. 7.) whether the people chose him high priest, or they rather pressed him to accept the king's offer.  C.

 

Ver. 23.  Prevented, by sending presents.  Demetrius had sent a letter and liberated the hostages, whom Jonathas might justly receive without declaring for the king.  M.

 

Ver. 25.  Jews.  He perhaps wished to set them at variance with Jonathan, to alone Alexander had addressed his letter.  H.

 

Ver. 26.  Heard.  He scruples not to tell a lie, for he had been informed of the contrary.  v. 22.  W. --- "He prudently chose rather to appear to find them innocent, than to make them so," (Grot.) by granting them pardon.

 

Ver. 29.  Salt, of which there were pits in the country.  C. xi. 35. --- Crowns.  Antiochus the great had before granted this exemption to the ministers of the temple.  Jos. Ant. xii. 3.  C. --- The Jews, after its ruin, used to present such to their patriarchs.  But the Roman emperors claimed them.  Grot.

 

Ver. 30.  Cities, or cantons.  Gr. "nomes," specified C. xi. 34.

 

Ver. 31.  Free; "an asylum" (Jos.) without any foreign troops, like Delphi.  Grotius --- Tyre was also "a sacred asylum."  Vaillant, A. 174.

 

Ver. 32.  Castle.  Yet Jonathas was afterwards forced to besiege it.  C.

 

Ver. 33.  Cattle, so that they shall not be forced to work for the public.  Jos.

 

Ver. 34.  Appointed "of lots," Judith, the dedication, &c.  These days were privileged, that the people might go to the temple without being molested, and carry what they would free of all taxes.

 

Ver. 36.  Let.  This is not required, but a proof of confidence.  C. --- Great king.  He assumes the titles of the Persian monarchs.  H.

 

Ver. 37.  Trust, to guard the king, (Jos.) or be in the treasury.  T. --- Laws.  He revokes the impious edicts of Epiphanes.

 

Ver. 39.  Ptolemais.  This was not a great  present, as it was in the hands of his rival.  But he wished the Jews to retake it.

 

Ver. 41.  Above.  He was not in a condition to force the  payment of these arrears, and is liberal of what he does not possess.  C.

 

Ver. 42.  They: former kings.  H. --- Bagoses exacted fifty drachmas for every lamb, before the daily sacrifice could be offered.  Jos. Ant. xi. 7.

 

Ver. 43.  Free.  Their persons and goods are protected in this asylum.  Even the king's debtors are not excluded.  C.

 

Ver. 46.  No credit.  Thus would all prudent people judge.  W. --- Alexander had moreover made the first offers, and was supported by the Romans.  The Jews had not to examine his title, which was admitted by many in Syria.

 

Ver. 50.  Day.  A. 3853.  C. --- The left wing proved stronger.  But the right, where Demetrius fought in person, was forced to yield; and the king plunging with horse into a bog, was pierced with arrows, fighting bravely.  He had reigned twelve years, and fell a victim to the surrounding kings, whom he had not conciliated.  Jos. Just. xxxv. &c.

 

Ver. 51.  Ptolemee, surnamed Philometor, (Ch.) by whose aid Alexander had obtained the victory.  C. --- This Philometor decided in favour of the Jews against the Samaritans, because the succession of priests was preserved among the former.  Jos. Ant. xiii. 6. --- Our Saviour also judged their cause preferable.  John iv. 22.  W.

 

Ver. 61.  Pestilent.  So the impious are styled.  Ps. i. 1. &c.  C.

 

Ver. 64.  Away.  When calumniators see the innocent honoured, they are afraid to persecute them.  W.

 

Ver. 65.  Dominion.  General of his armies, (Vat.) or in Judea.  Sacy.  M.

 

Ver. 67.  Son.  The king had sent his two sons, this Nicator and Sidetes, to Cnidus, that they might be out of danger.  The eldest being informed that Alexander had given himself up to debauchery, put himself at the head of an army which Lasthenes of Crete had raised.

 

Ver. 69.  Apollonius, who had deserted Alexander, A. 3856, though appointed governor of C┼ôlosyria by him.

 

Ver. 70.  Mountains.  I seem to be fighting with them.  Come out, and shew your valour.

 

Ver. 72.  Twice.  He alludes perhaps to the defeat of Azarias, and to that where Judas was slain.  C. --- This captain had also twice thought proper to retreat.  C. vi. 47. and vii. 32.  H.

 

Ver. 77.  Army.  Josephus says eight thousand foot, &c.

 

Ver. 80.  Army.  Lit. "camp," which the Vulg. puts for an army chiefly of foot.  Josephus intimates that Jonathas drew up his forces in the shape "of a tile," or phalanx, and ordered them to face about on every side.  C. --- Thus the enemy could only throw darts, but could not penetrate.  W.

 

Ver. 81.  Fatigued.  In the evening, Simon seeing the enemy's cavalry tired, fell upon the infantry.

 

Ver. 83.  And.  Et qui seems to be mistaken for equi, "the horsemen," as the Gr. Syr. and Jos. read. --- Bethdagon, "the house of Dagon." --- Temple.  This is the sense of the Greek.  C. --- Vulg. has literally, "their idols."  See Judg. xvi. 23.  H.

 

Ver. 89.  Buckle, to be worn on the shoulder.  S. Isid. --- This honour was very extraordinary.  2 B. xi. 35.  Alex. Genial. ii. 29. --- Blood.  Lit. "relations of kings."  H. --- The highest officers of the court of Persia bore this title.  C. xi. 31.  Est. xvi. 11.  Xen. Cyr. viii.

 

 








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