November 10, 2013, second Reading

Second macebes 2:16-3:5
2:16 And so, since we will be celebrating the purification, we wrote to you. Therefore, you will do well, if you keep these days.
2:17 But we hope that God, who has freed his people and has rendered to all the inheritance, and the kingdom, and the priesthood, and sanctification,
2:18 just as he promised in the law, will quickly have mercy on us and will gather us together from under heaven into the holy place. 2:19 For he has rescued us from great perils, and he has purged the place.
2:20 The truth about Judas Maccabeus, and his brothers, and the purification of the great temple, and the dedication of the altar, 2:21 and also about the battles, which pertain to Antiochus the illustrious, and his son, Eupator, 2:22 and about the illuminations, which came from heaven to those who acted on behalf of the Jews with fortitude, was such that they, though few, vindicated the entire region and put to flight a multitude of the barbarous,
2:23 and recovered the most famous temple in the whole world, and freed the city, and restored the laws that were abolished. For the Lord, with all tranquility, was acting favorably toward them.
2:24 And similar things as have been comprised in five books by Jason the Cyrenean, we have attempted to abridge into one volume.
2:25 For, considering the multitude of the books, and the difficulty that those who are willing to undertake the narrations of histories find, due to the multitude of events,
2:26 we have taken care, so that, indeed, those who are willing to read may have delights of the mind, and so that, in truth, the studious may more easily be able to commit it to memory, and also so that all readers may find it useful.
2:27 And indeed, we ourselves, who have taken up the task of abridging this work, have no easy labor. For, in truth, more correctly, we have assumed an activity full of vigilance and sweat.
2:28 Just as those who prepare a feast also seek to be attentive to the will of others, for the sake of the gratitude of many, we willingly undertake the labor.
2:29 Indeed, leaving to the authors the truths about particular details, we instead have been devoted to this form, striving to be brief.
2:30 For, just as the architect of a new house will have concern for the entire structure, and, in truth, he who takes care to paint it will seek out what is fitting to adorn it, so also should such things be considered by us.
2:31 Moreover, to collect knowledge, and to order words, and to discuss every particular point attentively, is the duty of the author of a history.
2:32 Yet truly, to pursue brevity of speech, and to shun the extension of matters, is conceded to an abbreviator.
2:33 Therefore, here we will begin the narration. Let so much be sufficient to say in preface. For it is foolish to go on and on before the account, when the account itself is succinct.

2 Maccabees 3

3:1 Therefore, when the holy city was inhabited with all peace, and also the laws were still being kept very well because of the piety of Onias, the high priest, and the hatred that his soul held for evil, 3:2 it happened that even the kings and princes themselves considered the place worthy of the highest honor, and so they glorified the temple with very great gifts,
3:3 so much so that Seleucus, king of Asia, furnished from his revenues all of the expenses for the ministry pertaining to the sacrifices.
3:4 But Simon, from the tribe of Benjamin, having been appointed as overseer of the temple, obstructed the chief priest, in order to undertake some kind of iniquity in the city.
3:5 But when he was not able to overcome Onias, he went to Apollonius, the son of Tarsus, who at that time was governor of Coelesyria and Phoenicia,


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