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The Whole Revised and Diligently Compared with
the Latin Vulgate by Bishop Richard Challoner
THE FIRST BOOK OF MACHABEES
These books are so called, because they contain the history of the
people of God under the command of Judas Machabeus and his brethren: and
he, as some will have it, was surnamed Machabeus, from carrying in his
ensigns, or standards, those words of Exodus 15.11, Who is like to thee
among the strong, O Lord: in which the initial letters, in the Hebrew,
are M. C. B. E. I. It is not known who is the author of these books. But
as to their authority, though they are not received by the Jews, saith
St. Augustine, (lib. 18, De Civ. Dei, c. 36,) they are received by the
church: who, in settling her canon of the scriptures, chose rather to be
directed by the tradition she had received from the apostles of Christ,
than by that of the scribes and Pharisees. And as the church has
declared these two Books canonical, even in two general councils, viz.,
Florence and Trent, there can be no doubt of their authenticity.
1 Machabees Chapter 1
The reign of Alexander and his successors: Antiochus rifles and profanes
the temple of God: and persecutes unto death all that will not forsake
the law of God, and the religion of their fathers.
1:1. Now it came to pass, after that Alexander the son of Philip the
Macedonian, who first reigned in Greece, coming out of the land of
Cethim, had overthrown Darius, king of the Persians and Medes:
1:2. He fought many battles, and took the strong holds of all, and slew
the kings of the earth:
1:3. And he went through even to the ends of the earth: and took the
spoils of many nations: and the earth was quiet before him.
1:4. And he gathered a power, and a very strong army: and his heart was
exalted and lifted up:
1:5. And he subdued countries of nations, and princes; and they became
tributaries to him.
1:6. And after these things, he fell down upon his bed, and knew that he
1:7. And he called his servants, the nobles that were brought up with
him from his youth: and he divided his kingdom among them, while he was
Divided his kingdom, etc... This is otherwise related by Q. Curtius;
though he acknowledges that divers were of that opinion, and that it had
been delivered by some authors, lib. 10. But here we find from the
sacred text, that he was in error.
1:8. And Alexander reigned twelve years, and he died.
1:9. And his servants made themselves kings, every one in his place:
1:10. And they all put crowns upon themselves after his death, and their
sons after them, many years; and evils were multiplied in the earth.
1:11. And there came out of them a wicked root, Antiochus the
Illustrious, the son of king Antiochus, who had been a hostage at Rome:
and he reigned in the hundred and thirty-seventh year of the kingdom of
Antiochus the Illustrius... Epiphanes, the younger son of Antiochus the
Great, who usurped the kingdom, to the prejudice of his nephew
Demetrius, son of his elder brother Seleucus Philopater.-Ibid. Of the
kingdom of the Greeks... Counting, not from the beginning of the reign
of Alexander, but from the first year of Seleucus Nicator.
1:12. In those days there went out of Israel wicked men, and they
persuaded many, saying: Let us go and make a covenant with the heathens
that are round about us: for since we departed from them, many evils
have befallen us.
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