November 21, 2013, Reading

First Maccabees    2: 15-19

2:15 And those who had been sent from king Antiochus came to that place, to compel those who fled into the city of Modin to immolate, and to burn frankincense, and to depart from the law of God. 2:16 And many of the people of Israel consented and came to them. But Mattathias and his sons stood firm. 2:17 And those who had been sent from Antiochus, responding, said to Mattathias: “You are a ruler, and very splendid and great in this city, and you are adorned with sons and brothers. 2:18 Therefore, approach first, and carryout the order of the king, as all the nations have done, and the men of Judah, and those who remained in Jerusalem. And you and your sons will be among the friends of the king, and enriched with gold and silver and many gifts.” 2:19 And Mattathias responded, and he said with a loud voice: “Even if all nations obey king Antiochus, so that each one departs from the service of the law of his fathers and consents to his commandments, 2:20 I and my sons and my brothers will obey the law of our fathers. 2:21 May God be forgiving to us. It is not useful for us to abandon the law and the justices of God. 2:22 We will not listen to the words of king Antiochus, nor will we sacrifice, transgressing the commandments of our law, so as to set out on another way.” 2:23 And, as he ceased speaking these words, a certain Jew approached in the sight of all to sacrifice to the idols upon the altar in the city of Modin, according to the order of the king. 2:24 And Mattathias saw, and he grieved, and his temperament trembled, and his fury was enkindled according to the judgment of the law, and leaping up, he slaughtered him on the altar. 2:25 Moreover, the man whom king Antiochus had sent, who compelled them to immolate, he killed at the same time, and he destroyed the altar, 2:26 and he was zealous for the law, just as Phinehas did to Zimri, the son of Salomi. 2:27 And Mattathias exclaimed with a loud voice in the city, saying, “All who hold zeal for the law, maintaining the covenant, let them follow me.” 2:28 And he and his sons fled to the mountains, and they left behind whatever they had in the city. 2:29 Then many who sought judgment and justice went down into the desert. 

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