Try out the new BibleStudyTools.com. Click here!

2 Maccabees 4:23-50 (Common English Bible w/ Apocrypha)

View In My Bible

Menelaus as high priest

23 Three years later, Jason sent Menelaus (brother of the previously mentioned Simon) to bring funds to the king and settle the accounts of some urgent business matters. 24 When he was introduced to the king, he honored him with an air of authority and bought the high priesthood for himself, outbidding Jason by three hundred talents of silver. 25 When he received the king's assent, he turned up holding no qualifications of the high priesthood but instead displaying the temper of a cruel tyrant and the wrath of a savage beast. 26 So Jason, who had replaced his brother in an unjust manner, was now displaced by another and forced to escape to Ammonitis. 27 Menelaus took authority but didn't send any of the promised money to the king. 28 Sostratus the commander of the elevated fortressa demanded settlement of the debt, for he had the responsibility of collecting payment. Finally, the two were summoned by the king. 29 Menelaus left behind as deputy of the high priesthood his own brother Lysimachus, and Sostratus left Crates, who was commander of the troops from Cyprus. 30 While these things were happening, the people of Tarsus and Mallus rebelled when their cities were given as a gift to Antiochis, the king's secondary wife. 31 The king swiftly set off to restore order to the situation, leaving Andronicus, one of his high-ranking officials, as his deputy. 32 Menelaus recognized an opportunity, seized some of the temple's gold equipment, and made them a gift to Andronicus, though he had already sold some of them in Tyre and the surrounding cities. 33 When he became aware of what was happening, Onias made accusations against Menelaus after arriving at a safe haven in Daphne near Antioch. 34 So Menelaus took Andronicus aside and urged him to do away with Onias. Andronicus came to Onias and b persuaded him by deception, extending his strong hand with solemn pledges,c to come out of safety despite his fear. Then with no regard for justice, he did away with him on the spot. 35 For this reason, not only Jews but also many other people were grieved and angry over the wicked murder of this man. 36 When the king had returned from the region of Cilicia, the Jews in the city and some Greeks, feeling hatred for the senseless killing of Onias, obtained an audience with him. 37 Antiochus was deeply grieved, moved to pity and tears, because of the modest behavior and good conduct of the dead man. 38 Burning with anger, he immediately stripped off Andronicus' purple robe, tore off his clothes, and dragged him around the whole city to the place where he had wrongfully killed Onias. There he rid the world of the murderer, giving him the punishment he deserved from the Lord. 39 With Menelaus' approval, Lysimachus committed many sacrilegious acts against the city. There was a report that he had transported much gold equipment abroad, so the populace gathered together against Lysimachus. 40 Because the crowds were aroused and furious, Lysimachus armed three thousand men and incited cruel force under the leadership of a certain Auranus, a man as senseless as he was old. 41 When the people saw Lysimachus' assault, they grabbed stones and blocks of wood—some even took handfuls of ashes—and they hurled these at Lysimachus' men, causing great confusion. 42 In the end, they wounded many, killed some, and forced all of them to flee. They overpowered and killed the temple plunderer Lysimachus near the treasury. 43 The people brought charges against Menelaus regarding these matters. 44 When the king arrived in Tyre, the council of elders sent three men to present the case before him. 45 But Menelaus, without an ally, promised enough money to Ptolemy, Dorymenes' son, to gain the king's support. 46 So Ptolemy took the king aside into a royal porch area, as though to get some fresh air. He convinced the king to change his mind. 47 So Menelaus, the cause of all the evil, was allowed to leave court acquitted of all charges, but the wretched envoys, who would have been found innocent even had they pleaded their case before Scythians, were falsely condemned to death. 48 As a result, these men, who had spoken in defense of the city, the people, and the temple equipment, were abruptly subjected to an unjust penalty. 49 For this reason, to show their hatred at such twisted justice, even the Tyrians gave generously so that the men could have an impressive funeral. 50 But, through the greed of those in power, Menelaus remained in office and persisted in evil as a great conspirator against the citizens.
Link Options
More Options
[X]