Two years later Antiochus sent a large army from Mysia against the towns of Judea. When the soldiers entered Jerusalem,
their commander spoke to the people, offering them terms of peace and completely deceiving them. Then he suddenly launched a fierce attack on the city, dealing it a major blow and killing many of the people.
He plundered the city, set it on fire, and tore down its buildings and walls.
He and his army took the women and children as prisoners and seized the cattle.
Then Antiochus and his forces built high walls and strong towers in the area north of the Temple, turning it into a fort.
They brought in a group of traitorous Jews and installed them there.
They also brought in arms and supplies and stored in the fort all the loot that they had taken in Jerusalem. This fort became a great threat to the city.
The fort was a threat to the Temple, a constant, evil menace for Israel.
Innocent people were murdered around the altar; the Holy Place was defiled by murderers.
The people of Jerusalem fled in fear, and the city became a colony of foreigners. Jerusalem was foreign to its own people, who had been forced to abandon the city.
Her Temple was as empty as a wilderness; her festivals were turned into days of mourning, her Sabbath joy into shame. Her honor became an object of ridicule.