||Priests quit Jerusalem [166
||In those days (ca. 166
son of Johanan ben Simeon, a priest of the family of Joarib,
and settled in Modein.
||He had five sons: Johanan, who
was called Gaddi;
who was called Thassi;
who was called Maccabee;
||Eleazar, who was called Avaron;
who was called Apphus.
for the Torah
||The (Greek) king's [Antiochus
IV] men who were enforcing the apostasy (from the Torah) came
to the city of Modein
to make them sacrifice.
||Many Israelites came
to them; but Mattathias
and his sons were rounded up together.
||In the sight of all
a Jewish man came forward to offer a sacrifice on the (pagan)
altar of Modein in accordance with the king's edict.
saw this and was filled with zeal. Inside he was in turmoil;
and his righteous indignation was aroused. Dashing forward, he
slew the man on the altar.
||Then he also killed
the (Greek) king's man who was forcing them to sacrifice; and
he tore down the altar...
||Then Mattathias called out to
the city in a loud voice, saying:
"Let everyone who has zeal for the Torah
and who stands by the covenant follow me!"
||So he and his sons fled to the
mountain, leaving everything they had in the city.
||At that time many who sought
righteousness and justice were going out to settle in the wilderness
||they and their sons, their wives
and their cattle --- because they took the evils [of
Hellenization] so hard.
and his sons) were joined by a congregation of chasidim,
a strong army of Israelites, everyone of them a volunteer for
||And all those who
were fleeing from the disaster joined them. And they became
||They gathered a
force; and in their anger they struck at law-breakers and
sinners in their wrath. And the survivors of their raids fled
to the gentiles for safety.
||Mattathias and his
comrades went about and tore down their altars.
||And they circumcised
any uncircumcised boys they found within Israel's borders.
||They drove out the sons of
arrogance and their task prospered in their hands.
||They rescued the Torah from the
hands of gentiles and the (Greek) king; and they did not
permit the sinner to triumph.
plans attack on Jerusalem
||Now after this Judah
leaders over the people, commanders of thousands and hundreds
and fifties and tens.
||He proclaimed that
those who were building houses, and those who were about to be
married, and those who were planting vineyards and those who
were afraid should each return to this home, in accordance
with the Torah
||And the army moved
out and camped to the south of Emmaus.
"Arm yourselves and be brave! In the morning be prepared
to fight these gentiles who have gathered against us to
destroy us and our sanctuary.
||It is better for us
to die in battle than to see the evil deeds against us and our
||As it is willed by Heaven, so
let it be done!"
and his brothers said:
"See, our enemies have been crushed. Let's go up to
purify and rededicate the sanctuary."
||So the whole army
gathered and went up to Mount Zion.
||And they saw their temple
desolate and their altar desecrated,
the gates burnt and the courts overgrown with weeds as
"in a thicket" (Gen 22:1) or "on some
mountain" (Gen 22:2), and the priests chambers
||Judah appointed men
to attack those in the citadel, while he purified the
||So he appointed
unblemished priests, devoted to the Torah;
||And they purified the sanctuary
and carried the stones of the desecration to
an impure place.
||Then they debated what should be
done about the altar of burnt offerings which had be
||A good idea occurred to them: to
tear it down lest it be to their everlasting blame that the
gentiles had defiled it. So they tore down the altar.
||And they put the stones aside in
a suitable place on the temple mount, until a prophet came
to decide what to do with them.
||Then, in accordance with the
Torah, they took uncut stones and built a new altar like the
||They also rebuilt the sanctuary
and purified the courts and the things inside the Temple.