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HAYDOCK CATHOLIC BIBLE COMMENTARY ON THE OLD TESTAMENT



CHAPTER IV.

 

Ver. 1.  Evils.  Thus traitors generally calumniate good governors.  The best remedy on such occasions is to apply to those in higher power, rather than to the people, who are but too often prone to favour the factious.  W.

 

Ver. 2.  To the.  Gr. "of the affairs, who was the benefactor of the city."  H.

 

Ver. 3.  Friends.  He had gone to Apollonius.

 

Ver. 4.  King.  Philopator, (M.) who knew the real state of the matter.

 

Ver. 7.  Antiochus Epiphanes, who usurped the crown.  C. i. 11.

 

Ver. 8.  Sixty.  We find 3660 in 4 Mac. which sum is quite exorbitant.

 

Ver. 9.  Youth, under fourteen, to exercise.  Vitruv. v. 11. --- Men did the like naked in the gymnasium, as women did apart at Lacedemon.  Jason wished to make his countrymen adopt the pagan customs, which tended to corrupt their morals.  v. 12.  C. --- Antiochians, to please the vanity of Antiochus, (Serar.) or that they might enjoy the like privileges.  Salien.  M.

 

Ver. 10.  Rule, as high priest.  v. 21. and 50.

 

Ver. 11.  Alliance, afterwards under Judas.  1 B. viii. 17.  C. --- John had procured real advantages for the city.  M.

 

Ver. 12.  Houses.  Gr. "he led them under the cap;" petasus, sacred to Mercury, or rather to Bacchus, and the emblem of liberty.  C.

 

Ver. 13.  Now.  Gr. "Thus it was the height of hellenism, and the increase of foreign customs through," &c. --- No priest.  He did not deserve the title, though he was really a descendant of Aaron.  Gr. "not high priest."  H.

 

Ver. 14.  Temple.  Where true religion is abolished, most people follow none; but rather apply themselves to vanity and worse sins.  W. --- Allowance.  They contributed money, (Grot.) or rather strove to obtain the prize.  C. --- Discus: "a round stone, with a hole in the middle."  Prot. marg.  H. --- People threw it as high or as far as they could, having one foot up and the other  under something resembling a pine-apple.  This game was very ancient.  Odys. q.  Metam. x. --- Gr. "after the invitation of the discus:" the prize was placed in the midst to excite emulation.

 

Ver. 15.  Glories; the honour of being gymnasiarch, or agonothete.  C. --- They sought after corruptible crowns, while many pay no regard to heaven.  1 Cor. ix. 25.  H.

 

Ver. 16.  Dangerous.  Gr. "misery, and those whose institutes they zealously adopted, and whom in all they wished to resemble, the same they found their enemies and chastisers."  H. --- God thus punished (C.) their perfidy.  H.

 

Ver. 18.  Fifth; perhaps in imitation of the Olympic games, (M.) first instituted at Elea, and afterwards at Alexandria, Athens, &c.  Grot.  C.

 

Ver. 19.  Sinful.  Gr. "spectators, being Antiochians, to carry 300 drachmas.  H. --- Didrachmas, or double drachmas of Alexandria, which amount only to one Roman.  Hence Greek interpreters generally express thus the half sicle. --- Silver, or money; (C.) gold.  M. --- Thus the value would be fourteen times greater.  C. --- In a MS. of Arundel, 3300 occurs, (Usher.) as well as in the Syr.  C. --- Necessary.  Lit. and Gr. "proper."  Grabe supplies this as far as but, v. 20.  H.

 

Ver. 20.  Galleys, or adorning them for the sports.  The deputies were ashamed to comply with Jason's order; or they judged this use of the money more agreeable to the king.  C. --- Go to 1 B. i. 17.  W.

 

Ver. 21.  Treat.  Gr. "when king Ptolemy Philometor ascended the throne;" prwtoklisia.  H. --- Grotius would substitute prwtokouria, "the first hair cutting," which was a great festival, the hair being presented to some deity.  Apollonius was sent under the pretence of honouring Philometor, but in reality to sound the dispositions of the nobility respecting the claims of Epiphanes to be the king's tutor.  Cleopatra died this year, A. 3831.  The regents of Egypt demanded Celosyria, her portion, and war commenced.  C. --- Epiphanes pretended to defend Philometor against his younger brother, (Livy xliv.) but he wished to seize the kingdom.  1 B. i. 17.  W.

 

Ver. 22.  Lights, usual in testimony of joy.  C. --- The roofs at Athens were all illuminated when Anthony entered; (Plut.) and Cæsar ascended the capitol, while forty elephants on each side bore torches.  Sueton. xxxvii.

 

Ver. 23.  Brother, and of course a Benjamite, so that the usurpation was doubly criminal.  T. --- But S. Tho. Petau, &c. suppose that he resembled Simon in guilt, or was his brother-in-law.  Josephus informs us that Menelaus was brother of Onias and of Jason; though his authority is not great, as he contradicts himself, (Ant. xii. 6. and xv.  see C. i. 7.  C.) though not in this point.  H. --- By the law, those of the tribe of Benjamin could not be priests.  Thus the succession was broken and restored in Mathathias.  1 B. ii.  W.

 

Ver. 29.  Succeeding to the high priesthood, (Gr.  H.) after the death of Menalaus.  Jos. --- Yet some think he was only his "vicar," diadocon, (Grot.  Usher) and he seems never to have been recognised.  C. --- Was.  Gr. "left Crates, who was over the Cyprians," to act for him, while he sent to arraign Menelaus, or to testify that he had demanded the money in vain.  H.

 

Ver. 30.  Mallos, in Cilicia.  The Greek cities were more delicate in this respect than those of Persia, which were frequently given to the king's wives or friends.

 

Ver. 32.  Temple.  He was no longer there, but Lysimachus complied with his orders, (C.) v. 39. or Menelaus had taken the vessels with him.  H.

 

Ver. 33.  Daphne.  This was a famous asylum, to which Onias retreated without worshipping Apollo.  He had gone to Antioch to answer the calumnies of Simon; and though Jason got his place, (C.) the king could not help respecting him, (H.) and wept at his death.  This it the highest praise of Onias, as even such a monster acknowledged his merit.  C. --- Cæsar wept when the head of Pompey was shewn to him.  V. Max. i. 5.

 

Ver. 35.  Man.  The people, (W.) and even the king, admired his solid piety.  Thus (H.) the Tyrians buried the innocent.  v. 49.  W.

 

Ver. 40.  Tyrannus.  One of this name occurs Acts xix. 9.  Gr. "Auransu," (H.) or one from Auran, near Damascus.

 

Ver. 41.  Ashes.  Gr. adds, "lying there," (H.) in the temple, near the altar, or in the place assigned for them.  Lev. i. 16.  C.

 

Ver. 45.  Ptolemee, the son of Dorymenus, a favourite of the king, (Ch.) whose perfidy had procured him the government of Celosyria.  C. x. 3. and 1 B. iii. 38.

 

Ver. 46.  Court.  Gr. "peristyle," or gallery supported by pillars.  C.

 

 








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