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2 Maccabees 2

1 "It is also found in the records that Jeremiah the prophet commanded those who were carried away to take some of the fire, as it hath been signified,
2 and that the prophet, having given them the law, charged them not to forget the commandments of the Lord, and that they should not err in their minds when they see images of silver and gold with their ornaments.
3 And with other such speeches exhorted he them, that the law should not depart from their hearts.
4 "It was also contained in the same writing that the prophet, being warned by God, commanded the tabernacle and the ark to go with him as he went forth onto the mountain, where Moses climbed up and saw the heritage of God.
5 And when Jeremiah came thither, he found a hollow cave wherein he laid the tabernacle and the ark and the altar of incense, and so stopped the door.
6 And some of those who followed him came to mark the way, but they could not find it.
7 When Jeremiah perceived this, he blamed them, saying, `As for that place, it shall be unknown until the time that God gather His people together again and receive them into mercy.
8 Then shall the Lord show them these things; and the glory of the Lord shall appear, and the cloud also, as it was shown under Moses, and as when Solomon desired that the place might be honorably sanctified.'
9 "It was also declared that he, being wise, offered the sacrifice for dedication and for the finishing of the temple.
10 And as when Moses prayed unto the Lord, the fire came down from heaven and consumed the sacrifices, even so prayed Solomon also, and the fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offerings.
11 And Moses said, `Because the sin offering was not to be eaten, it was consumed.'
12 So Solomon kept those eight days.
13 "The same things also were reported in the writings and commentaries of Nehemiah, and how he, founding a library, gathered together the acts of the kings and the prophets and of David, and the epistles of the kings concerning the holy gifts.
14 In like manner also Judas gathered together all those things that were lost by reason of the war we had, and they remain with us.
15 Therefore if ye have need thereof, send someone to fetch them for you.
16 "Whereas we then are about to celebrate the purification, we have written unto you; and ye shall do well if ye keep the same days.
17 We hope also that the God, who delivered all His people, and gave them all a heritage and the kingdom and the priesthood and the sanctuary,
18 as He promised in the law, will shortly have mercy upon us and gather us together out of every land under heaven into the holy place; for He hath delivered us out of great troubles, and hath purified the place."
19 Now concerning Judas Maccabeus and his brethren, and the purification of the great temple, and the dedication of the altar,
20 and the wars against Antiochus Epiphanes and Eupator his son,
21 and the manifest signs that came from heaven unto those who behaved themselves manfully to their honor for Judaism, so that, being but a few, they overcame the whole country, and chased barbarous multitudes,
22 and recovered again the temple renowned all the world over, and freed the city, and upheld the laws which were going down, the Lord being gracious unto them with all favor
23 all these things, I say, being declared by Jason of Cyrene in five books, we will attempt to abridge in one volume.
24 For considering the infinite number and the difficulty which those find who desire to look into the narrations of the story because of the variety of the matter,
25 we have taken care that those who will read might have delight, and that those who are desirous to commit to memory might have ease, and that all into whose hands it comes might have profit.
26 Therefore for us who have taken upon us this painful labor of abridging, it was not easy but a matter of sweat and sleeplessness,
27 even as it is no ease unto him that prepareth a banquet and seeketh the benefit of others. Yet for the pleasuring of many we will undertake gladly these great pains,
28 leaving to the author the exact handling of every particular, and laboring to follow the rules of an abridgment.
29 For as the master builder of a new house must care for the whole building, but he that undertaketh to embellish it and paint it must seek out fit things for the adorning thereof, even so I think it is with us.
30 To stand upon every point, and go over things at large, and to be meticulous in particulars, belongeth to the first author of the story.
31 But to use brevity and avoid much laboring of the work is to be granted to him that will make an abridgment.
32 Here, then, will we begin the story, only adding this much to that which hath been said, since it is a foolish thing to make a long prologue and to be short in the story itself.
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