so that they would forget the law and change all the ordinances.
He added, "And whoever does not obey the command of the king shall die."
In such words he wrote to his whole kingdom. He appointed inspectors over all the people and commanded the towns of Judah to offer sacrifice, town by town.
Many of the people, everyone who forsook the law, joined them, and they did evil in the land;
they drove Israel into hiding in every place of refuge they had.
Now on the fifteenth day of Chislev, in the one hundred forty-fifth year, they erected a desolating sacrilege on the altar of burnt offering. They also built altars in the surrounding towns of Judah,
and offered incense at the doors of the houses and in the streets.
The books of the law that they found they tore to pieces and burned with fire.
Anyone found possessing the book of the covenant, or anyone who adhered to the law, was condemned to death by decree of the king.
They kept using violence against Israel, against those who were found month after month in the towns.
On the twenty-fifth day of the month they offered sacrifice on the altar that was on top of the altar of burnt offering.
According to the decree, they put to death the women who had their children circumcised,
and their families and those who circumcised them; and they hung the infants from their mothers' necks.
But many in Israel stood firm and were resolved in their hearts not to eat unclean food.
They chose to die rather than to be defiled by food or to profane the holy covenant; and they did die.
Very great wrath came upon Israel.