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2 Maccabees 13

1 In the hundred forty and ninth year it was told Judas that Antiochus Eupator was coming with a great power into Judea,
2 and with him Lysias, his protector and ruler of his affairs, either of them having a Grecian power of a hundred and ten thousand footmen, and horsemen five thousand and three hundred, and elephants two and twenty, and three hundred chariots armed with hooks.
3 Menelaus also joined himself with them, and with great dissimulation encouraged Antiochus, not for the safeguarding of the country, but because he thought to be made governor.
4 But the King of kings moved Antiochus' mind against this wicked wretch; and Lysias informed the king that this man was the cause of all evil, so that the king commanded to bring him unto Berea and to put him to death, in the manner of that place.
5 Now there was in that place a tower of fifty cubits high, full of ashes, and it had a round instrument which on every side hung down into the ashes.
6 And whosoever was condemned of sacrilege, or had committed any other grievous crime, there did all men thrust him unto death.
7 Such a death it happened that that wicked man died, not having so much as burial in the earth, and that most justly.
8 For inasmuch as he had committed many sins against the altar whose fire and ashes were holy, he received his death in ashes.
9 Now the king came with a barbarous and haughty mind to do far worse to the Jews than had been done in his father's time.
10 When Judas perceived these things, he commanded the multitude to call upon the Lord night and day that, if ever at any other time, He would now also help them, being at the point of being removed from their law, from their country, and from the holy temple,
11 and that He would not suffer the people, who had even now been but a little refreshed, to be in subjection to the blasphemous nations.
12 So when they had all done this together, and besought the merciful Lord with weeping and fasting, and lying flat upon the ground three days long, Judas, having exhorted them, commanded they should be in readiness.
13 And Judas, being apart with the elders, determined, before the king's host should enter into Judea and get the city, to go forth and try the matter in battle with the help of the Lord.
14 So when he had committed all to the Creator of the world, and exhorted his soldiers to fight manfully, even unto death, for the laws, the temple, the city, the country, and the commonwealth, he camped by Modin.
15 And having given the watchword to those who were about him, Victory is from God, with the most valiant and choice young men he went in into the king's tent by night, and slew in the camp about four thousand men, and the chiefest of the elephants, with all who were upon him.
16 And at last they filled the camp with fear and tumult, and departed with good success.
17 This was done at the break of the day, because the protection of the Lord had helped him.
18 Now when the king had taken a taste of the manliness of the Jews, he went about to take the strongholds by strategy,
19 and marched toward Beth-zur, which was a stronghold of the Jews; but he was put to flight, failed, and lost some of his men.
20 For Judas had supplied those who were in it such things as were necessary.
21 But Rhodocus, who was in the Jews' host, disclosed the secrets to the enemies; therefore he was sought out, and when they had gotten him, they put him in prison.
22 The king negotiated with them in Beth-zur the second time, gave his hand, took theirs, departed, fought with Judas, was overcome;
23 he heard that Philip, who was left in charge of the affairs in Antioch, was desperately bent; he was confounded, entreated the Jews, submitted himself and swore to all equitable conditions, agreed with them and offered sacrifice, honored the temple and dealt kindly with the place;
24 he well accepted Maccabeus and made him principal governor from Ptolemais unto Gerar;
25 he came to Ptolemais, and the people there were grieved about the covenants, for they stormed because they would make their covenants void.
26 Lysias went up to the judgment seat, said as much as could be in defense of the cause, persuaded, pacified, made them well-disposed, returned to Antioch. Thus it went concerning the king's coming and departing.
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