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HAYDOCK CATHOLIC BIBLE COMMENTARY ON THE OLD TESTAMENT



1 MACHABEES 13

 

CHAPTER XIII.

 

Ver. 1.  Simon, the fourth high priest and prince of his family, who was judged by his father to be the most prudent.  C. ii. 65.  He endeavoured to defend the nation.  W.

 

Ver. 11.  Jonathan, his friend, (Jos.) brother of Mathathias, mentioned C. xi. 70.

 

Ver. 12.  Custody: tied to a soldier, like S. Paul.  Acts xviii. 16.

 

Ver. 13.  Plain; Sephala, (C. xii. 38.) above Eleutheropolis, by which road Jerusalem wa most easily attacked.  C. vi. 31.  C.

 

Ver. 19.  Talents.  If he had refused, he might have been suspected of avarice or of ambition.  M. --- Jonathan would most probably have been slain, and the people would have revolted.  S. Tho.  W.

 

Ver. 20.  Ador, called Adoraim, (2 Par. ii. 9.) near Marissa; or perhaps Eder, a southern city of Juda, may be meant.  Tryphon attempted in vain to cross the mountains.  C.

 

Ver. 22.  But.  Gr. "and that very night there was very much snow; and he came not on account of the snow; and he rose, and went into," &c.  H. --- He gave this out, or intended to go, but went back along the Jordan.

 

Ver. 23.  Bascama; perhaps Besech.  1 K. xi. 8.  C.

 

Ver. 28.  Pyramids.  In such the kings of Egypt were buried.  Lucan viii. 998. --- Simon enclosed the pyramids with porticoes, supported by pillars all of one piece of marble.  Josephus and S. Jerom saw the sepulchres.  C. --- One was probably designed by Simon for himself.  H.

 

Ver. 29.  Arms, to denote their victories or solicitude for the people's welfare both by sea and land.  The Machabees had repaired the port of Joppe, by which they traded with the Mediterranean.  C. x. 75. and xiv. 5.  Trophies of arms, in reality or in sculpture, were commonly placed on the tombs of great generals.  Ezec. xxxii. 27.  Virg.  C. -- Simon promoted not vain but true glory, exciting others to imitate the virtuous.  W. --- The humble desire honour in God; proud men will be honoured more than God.  S. Aug. c. Secund. xvii. --- How many epitaphs record the ambition and vices of men!  Those which praise real virtues extend the glory of God, who is the author of them all.  W.

 

Ver. 31.  Slew him.  He hired surgeons to cut him, pretending it was for the stone.  Epit.  Liv. lv.  Just. xxxvi. --- Antiochus was only ten years old.  A. 3861.

 

Ver. 32.  Crown.  The soldiers declared for him, in hopes of great rewards which he had promised.  He assumed the name of Tryphon, "wearing a helmet," or "addicted to pleasure."  His medals have always a helmet; and the tyrant styles himself, (C.) "king Tryphon, the autocrat," (H.) or generalissimo.  He sent a golden statue of victory to Rome, but the senate inscribed the name of the young Antiochus upon it.  The first conquest of Tryphon was Apamea, where he was born.

 

Ver. 34.  Demetrius, who still possessed a great part of Syria.  Jonathas adhered to his competitor.  But Simon preferred him before Tryphon, on condition that he granted the immunities which Soter had promised.  C. x. 29.

 

Ver. 37.  Palm; bahem, "a precious chain."  W. --- Gr. bainen, which Grotius thinks is derived from bais, a palm branch.  C.  John xii. 13. --- It was probably of gold, (M.) like that offered by Alcimus.  2 B. xiv. 4.  Some suppose that a collar or garment, adorned with gold and representations of palm branches, may be meant; such as that which was presented by the Romans to Masinissa.  Livy iii. B. x. --- Syriac translates, "a robe."

 

Ver. 38.  Force.  He grants all Simon's requests, which he had offered to do at the beginning of  his reign.  C. xi. 37.

 

Ver. 39.  Oversight.  All sins in some sense proceed from ignorance.

 

Ver. 41.  Israel, A. 3861, B.C. 143.  C. --- Thus, after a hard struggle, the independence of the Jews was acknowledged.  H.

 

Ver. 42.  Public.  Gr. "contracts."  M. --- This became a new era.  H.

 

Ver. 43.  Gaza.  It had revolted.  C. xi. 61. --- Engines.  Gr. elepo leiV, denoting engines of a great size, invented by Demetrius at the siege of Rhodes, who was thence styled "the city taker."  C. --- Its top was covered with mortar, (Marcellin xxiii. 9.) and the sides with raw hides and iron bars, so that fire or stones made no impression upon it, while people within moved it to batter the walls by means of wheels.  When a breach was made, they jumped into the city, v. 44.  See Vitruv. x. 22.

 

Ver. 47.  Idols, of a domestic kind.  The city had been assigned to Juda, and must be purified.  Jos. xv. 47.  Deut. vii. 25.  C. --- Mercy is most pleasing to God and men, provided justice and religion be not injured.  W.

 

Ver. 48.  Habitation sometimes, to guard against Egypt.

 

Ver. 50.  Castle.  It had been occupied by the Syrians, from A. 3836 to 3861.

 

Ver. 52.  Days; the octave, or the 23rd of the second month, annually.  H. --- This was like one of the days appointed.  C. x. 34.  The festival was observed perhaps only during his reign.  Josephus takes no notice of it: but informs us (C.) that Simon reflecting on the miseries inflicted on the city by this castle, and fearing lest it should fall again into the hands of the enemy, advised the people to level it to the ground; which they did in the space of three years.  Ant. xiii. 11.  They did not commence immediately, as Sidetes reclaimed it three years hence.  C.

 

Ver. 53.  Fortified.  This work employed them six years.  Jos.

 

Ver. 54.  John.  Hyrcan, who defended the country, (C. xvi.  W.) and succeeded Simon. --- Gazara; perhaps Gadara, (C.) which the Jews seized, (Strabo xvi.) or Gaza.  M.

 

 








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