Then Judas Maccabeus, and those who were with him, went privily into the towns and called their kinsfolk together, and took unto them all such as continued in the Jews' religion, and assembled about six thousand men.
And they called upon the Lord, that He would look upon the people who were trodden down by all, and also pity the temple profaned by ungodly men,
and that He would have compassion upon the city sorely defaced and ready to be made even with the ground, and hear the blood that cried unto Him,
and remember the wicked slaughter of harmless infants and the blasphemies committed against His name, and that He would show His hatred against the wicked.
Now when Maccabeus had his company about him, he could not be withstood by the heathen; for the wrath of the Lord was turned into mercy.
Therefore he came at them unawares, and burned up towns and cities and got into his hands the most commodious places, and overcame and put to flight no small number of his enemies.
But especially took he advantage of the night for such secret attempts, insomuch that the report of his manliness was spread everywhere.
So when Philip saw that this man increased little by little, and that things prospered with him still more and more, he wrote unto Ptolemy, the governor of Coelesyria and Phoenicia, to yield more aid to the king's affairs.
Then forthwith, choosing Nicanor the son of Patroclus, one of his special friends, he sent him with no fewer than twenty thousand of all nations under him to root out the whole generation of the Jews; and with him he joined also Gorgias, a captain who in matters of war had great experience.
So Nicanor undertook to make so much money from the captive Jews, that it should defray the tribute of two thousand talents, which the king was to pay to the Romans.
Therefore immediately he sent to the cities upon the seacoast, proclaiming a sale of the captive Jews and promising that they would have fourscore and ten bodies for one talent, not expecting the vengeance that was to follow upon him from the Almighty God.
Now when word was brought unto Judas of Nicanor's coming, and he had imparted unto those who were with him that the army was at hand,
those who were fearful and distrusted the justice of God fled, and conveyed themselves away.
Others sold all that they had left, and thereupon besought the Lord to deliver them, being sold by the wicked Nicanor before they met together,
and if not for their own sakes, yet for the covenants He had made with their fathers and for His holy and glorious name's sake by which they were called.
So Maccabeus called his men together unto the number of six thousand, and exhorted them not to be stricken with terror by the enemy, nor to fear the great multitude of the heathen who came wrongly against them, but to fight manfully,
and to set before their eyes the injury that they had unjustly done to the holy place, and the cruel handling of the city, whereof they made a mockery, and also the taking away of the government of their forefathers.
For they, said he, trust in their weapons and boldness; but our confidence is in the Almighty, who at a beck can cast down both those who come against us and also all the world.
Moreover, he recounted unto them what help their forefathers had found and how they were delivered, when under Sennacherib a hundred fourscore and five thousand perished.
And he told them of the battle that they had in Babylon with the Galatians, how they came but eight thousand in all to the business, with four thousand Macedonians; and that, the Macedonians being perplexed, the eight thousand destroyed a hundred and twenty thousand, because of the help that they had from heaven, and so received a great booty.
Thus when he had made them bold with these words, and ready to die for the laws and the country, he divided his army into four parts
and joined with himself his own brethren, leaders of each band, to wit, Simon and Joseph and Jonathan, giving each one fifteen hundred men.
Also he appointed Eleazar to read the holy book. And when he had given them this watchword, The help of God, leading the first band himself, he joined battle with Nicanor.
And by the help of the Almighty, they slew above nine thousand of their enemies, and wounded and maimed the most part of Nicanor's host, and so put all to flight,
and took the money of those who came to buy them, and pursued them far. But lacking time, they returned;
for it was the day before the Sabbath, and therefore they would no longer pursue them.
So when they had gathered their enemies' arms together and despoiled their enemies, they occupied themselves about the Sabbath, yielding exceeding praise and thanks to the Lord, who had preserved them unto that day, which was the beginning of mercy distilling upon them.
And after the Sabbath, when they had given part of the spoils to the maimed and the widows and orphans, the residue they divided among themselves and their servants.
When this was done and they had made a common supplication, they besought the merciful Lord to be reconciled with His servants for ever.
Moreover, of those who were with Timothy and Bacchides, who fought against them, they slew above twenty thousand, and very easily got high strongholds, and divided amongst themselves many more spoils, and made the maimed, orphans, widows, yea, and the aged also, equal in spoils with themselves.
And when they had gathered their arms together, they laid them all up carefully in suitable places, and the remnant of the spoils they brought to Jerusalem.
They slew also Philarches, that wicked person who was with Timothy and had annoyed the Jews many ways.
Furthermore, at such time that they kept the feast for the victory in their country, they burned Callisthenes, who had set fire upon the holy gates, who had fled into a little house; and so he received a reward meet for his wickedness.
As for that most ungracious Nicanor, who had brought a thousand merchants to buy the Jews,
he was, through the help of the Lord, brought down by those of whom he made least account; and, putting off his glorious apparel and discharging his company, he came like a fugitive servant through the midland unto Antioch, having very great dishonor, for his host was destroyed.
Thus he that took upon him to make good the tribute for the Romans by means of captives in Jerusalem, told abroad that the Jews had God to fight for them, and therefore they could not be hurt because they followed the laws that He gave them.