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HAYDOCK CATHOLIC BIBLE COMMENTARY ON THE OLD TESTAMENT



2 MACHABEES 8

 

CHAPTER VIII.

 

Ver. 1.  Towns.  Lit. "castles."  Gr. "villages."  It also means a town or village; and at this time, Judas chiefly dwelt in the deserts.  H. --- Many particulars of this war are found 1 B. iii.  C.

 

Ver. 2.  Lord.  Prayer is particularly requisite before battle.  W.

 

Ver. 3.  Blood of the Jews justly slain.  M. --- The voice of Abel's and of Christ's blood is very different.  Gen. iv. 10.  Heb. xii. 24.

 

Ver. 8.  Philip seeing, &c.  The governor of Jerusalem found himself unable to contend with Judas, especially after the victories he had obtained over Apollonius and Seron.  1 Mac. iii.  Ch. --- He was left two years before (C.) to afflict the Jews.  W.

 

Ver. 9.  Twenty thousand.  The whole number of the forces sent at that time into Judea, was 40,000 footmen and 7,000 horsemen; (1 Mac. iii. 30.) but only 20,000 are here taken notice of, because there were no more with Nicanor at that time of the battle.  Ch.

 

Ver. 10.  Talents.  So much the king was in arrear, owing to his prodigality.  For which reason he was gone beyond the Euphrates to raise money.  His father had to pay the Romans 15,000 talents in twelve years.

 

Ver. 11.  Ninety.  Often (C.) a talent was paid for one slave.  Jos. Ant. xii. 4.

 

Ver. 13.  Justice.  Gr. dikhn, "vengeance" (H.) against the enemies.  C.

 

Ver. 15.  Covenant.  A just and religious cause is the best help in war.  W.

 

Ver. 16.  Seven thousand.  In the Greek it is six thousand.  But then three thousand of them had no arms.  1 Mac. iv. 6.  Ch. --- If the army was divided into four companies of 1,500, there would be only 6,000.  But if Judas had with him 3,000, it would consist of 7,500.  C. --- Reconciled.  Gr. "consternated at," &c.  H.

 

Ver. 20.  Galatians.  That is, the Gauls, who having ravaged Italy and Greece, poured themselves in upon Asia in immense multitudes, where also they founded the kingdom of Galatia, or Gallo-Græcia.  Ch. --- This battle is no where else recorded in Scripture.  But it seems to allude to the aid given to Soter by the Jews, (W.) when he repulsed the Galatians.  Appian. --- Antiochus the great rewarded them for their valour shewn in behalf of his father.  Joseph. xii. 3.  W. --- Six.  Gr. "8,000." --- When.  Gr. "with 4,000 Macedonians; when the Macedonians being at a stand, the 6,000 (Grabe substitutes 8,000) slew twelve myriads," &c.  H. --- Historians have not specified this irruption, as it had no farther consequences.  The Galatians were very powerful under Antiochus the great, and sided with him.  The consul, Manlius, made them promise to keep within their own territories.  But they did not observe this agreement, since they attacked Eumenes while Epiphanes persecuted the Jews.  It is not agreed when they made the invasion of Babylonia, then defended by Jewish and Macedonian troops under the king of Syria.

 

Ver. 22.  Joseph; perhaps the same with John Gaddis, or simply a relation.

 

Ver. 23.  Esdras.  Gr. and Syr. "Eleazar;" probably the brother of Judas.  Grotius thinks that the latter read the account of the death of Eleazar, which must be understood of the martyr, (C. v.) as the brother of Judas was slain under Eupator.  Perhaps the law regarding people going to fight was read; (Deut. xx. 6. and 1 B. iii. 56.) or as Judas prepared for battle by prayer and fasting, some portions of Scripture might be selected while they were at Maspha. --- Help.  So he specifies the victory of God.  C. xiii. 15.  C.

 

Ver. 24.  Above nine thousand, viz. including the three thousand slain in the pursuit.  Ch. --- Three thousand fell on the field of battle.  1 B. iv. 15.

 

Ver. 26.  Time.  They wished to be in the camp before the sabbath, having designed to collect the spoils.

 

Ver. 28.  Widows.  Judas follows the spirit rather than the letter of the law.  Num. xxxi. 27.  Deut. xiv. 29.

 

Ver. 30.  Timotheus.  C. x. 24.  The particulars of this war are not given.  It seems to have taken place after the temple was purified.  v. 31.  We must distinguish this first war from another mentioned.  C. x. 24. and 1 B. v. 5.  Judas defeated another Timotheus beyond the Jordan.  C. xii. 10. and 1 Mac. v. 11. 34. 37.

 

Ver. 31.  Jerusalem.  They had taken all but he citadel.  C. x. 1.

 

Ver. 35.  Apparel, as a general.  C. --- Fleeing.  Gr. "like a fugitive, having rendered himself destitute, he came through the midland country to Antioch above all being fortunate himself in," &c.  H. --- He was too happy in having escaped.  The Rom. ed. and Syr. agree with us, "being very unhappy," &c. (C.) which is substituted by Grabe.  H.

 

 








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