The king also sent messengers with a decree to Jerusalem and all the towns of Judea, ordering the people to follow customs that were foreign to the country.
He ordered them not to offer burnt offerings, grain offerings, or wine offerings in the Temple, and commanded them to treat Sabbaths and festivals as ordinary work days.
They were even ordered to defile the Temple and the holy things in it.
They were commanded to build pagan altars, temples, and shrines, and to sacrifice pigs and other unclean animals there.
They were forbidden to circumcise their sons and were required to make themselves ritually unclean in every way they could,
so that they would forget the Law which the Lord had given through Moses and would disobey all its commands.
The penalty for disobeying the king's decree was death.
The king not only issued the same decree throughout his whole empire, but he also appointed officials to supervise the people and commanded each town in Judea to offer pagan sacrifices.
Many of the Jews were ready to forsake the Law and to obey these officials. They defiled the land with their evil,
and their conduct forced all true Israelites to hide wherever they could.
On the fifteenth day of the month of Kislev in the year 145, King Antiochus set up "The Awful Horror" on the altar of the Temple, and pagan altars were built in the towns throughout Judea. 1