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and lastly, his miserable death; for it is said, that he shall fall, and none shall help him,
We are also told, that they who had not the fear of God before their eyes, should be seduced from the outward profession of their religion by his flatteries, while those that did know their God should be strong and do exploits; which was partly fulfilled in the case of Eleazar, the seven sons and their mother, with many more who courageously suffered for the cause of God, but seems more particularly to refer to the exploits of Judas Maccabeus, a continuation of which you will have in my next. In the mean time I reman
Your affectionate aunt.
THE idea of exterminating the Jews did not die with Antiochus Epiphanes : Lysias, his general, pursued it, as soon as Antiochus Eupator, who was only nineteen years of age, was seated on the throne of his father. Lysias, hearing of the repeated successes of Judas against all who opposed him, was so mortified, that he determined by one bold effort to swallow up the Jews, root and branch, and fill their country with other people. He accordingly marched into Judea, with an army consisting of eighty thousand foot, all the cavalry of the king, dom, and fourscore elephants. Judas and the people, putting their trust in God, marched courageously out of Jerusalem, and threw themselves on the enemy, with a determination to conquer or die. Their success was equal to their fortitude, for they killed no less than twelve thousand six hundred, and put the rest to flight.
Lysias, now weary of the war, made a treaty with Judas and the Jewish nation, which Antiochus ratified, revoking the decree of his fạther, and granting them full liberty to live according to their own laws. But this peace did not continue long; for the kings of Syria always persisted in the same principles of policy, and continued to treat as an enemy, a nation, whose sole aim was to shake off their chains, and to support themselves in liberty of conscience, and the free exercise of their religion.
Timotheus; one of the king's generals; raised an army of about a hundred and twenty thousand foot, and two thousand five hundred horse, against which Judas, with his handful of men, marched forth, trusting in the God of armies. Nor was he disappointed in his expectations: for, notwithstanding the disparity of numbers, he attacked and defeated them; the general with difficulty escaping, with the loss of thirty thousand men. These repeated defeats, and the loss of such numbers of men, did not deter Antiochus from raising a fresh army, which he himself headed, accompanied with Lysias, and marched into Judea: it consisted of one hundred thousand foot, twenty thousand horse, thirty-two elephants, and three hundred chariots of war.
Judas, after reminding his troops that their strength lay in the almighty power of God, ex
horted them to fight valiantly for their liberties, and gave, for the watch-word, VICTORY IS OF GOD. They attacked the king's quarters in the night, slew four thousand men, and threw the whole army into confusion.
The king, however, was not dismayed. Confiding in the number of his troops, and placing much dependence on his elephants, he still flattered himself that he should obtain a decisive victory. He therefore prepared for a general engagement, and, setting his soldiers in battle array, marched towards the straits, where Judas was encamped. His elephants went, one by one, through the straits, for it was impossible for them to go in a square body. Each ele phant was attended by one thousand foot and five hundred horse. These elephants had high towers on their backs, filled with archers. The rest of the forces' marched two different ways, by the mountains, under the conduct of experienced generals. The king's command was, to charge their enemies with a shout, and to display their golden and brazen shields to the sun, that they might dazzle the eyes of the Jews Thus the mountains appeared as if covered with lamps of fire; at the same time re-echoing the shouts of the men, the rattling of the spears, and the prancing of the horses.
But Judas and his army, by no means intimidated, advanced with firmness, and killed vast numbers of the enemy. Eleazar, the brother of Judas, particularly distinguished himself; for, on observing one elephant larger than the rest, with superior trappings, he supposed the king was mounted thereou. He accordingly rushed forward with undaunted courage, killed many of the soldiers which were around the elephant, and dispersed the rest: then, thrusting his sword into the belly of the beast, he wounded him mortally; but the elephant falling before this valiant man could escapè, he was crushed to death.
At length, Judas and his men, being exhausted by fatigue, and overpowered by numbers, retired to the fortress of Bethsura, and from thence to Jeru. salem. Antiochus followed, and, having taken Bethsura, marched to Jerusalem, which the Jews nobly defended, till they were so reduced for want of provisions, that they also must have surrendered, if Providence had not interposed in their behalf, by throwing the king's affairs into confusion in another quarter; so that it became his interest to make peace with the Jews; which he did, on terms much to their advantage.
Lysias, finding the war so unsuccessful, accused Menelaus as the first instigator of it: upon which, the king ordered him to be cast headlong into a Lower of ashes, fifty cubits high, where he miserably perished. Thus was this vile wretch overtaken by the vengeance of God; receiving at length the just reward of those many atrocious acts of treachery, sacrilege, and murder, of which he had been guilty! This wicked man sustained the office of high-priest for the space of ten years; but, instead of enforcing the laws of God, he made the people transgress by the violation of them.
Onias, the son of Onias the Third, who was murs dered at Antioch, being disappointed at not obtain ing the high-priesthood after the death of his uncle Menelaus, retired into Egypt, where he found means lo ingratiate himself with Ptolemy Philométer, and Cleopatra his wife, who granted him many favours. After he had resided there some time, he petitioned the king and queen to permit him to build a teinple for the Jews in Egypt; alleging that the prophet Isaiah had foretold that there should be an altar to the Lord in Egypt. The king and queen, in a letier to Onias, made honourable mention of the law and the prophet Isaiah, and expressed a dread of sinning against God; at the same time granting his request, ånd a portion of land for the purpose, with an adequate revenue to support the same. The place chosen for building the temple was in Heliopolis, or the city of the sun. It was built after the model of the temple at Jerusalem, but not so large nor magnificent. Onias was made high-priest. Priests and levites were also appointed, and divine service performed as at Jerusalem.
Demetrius, son of Seleucus Philopater, and lawful heir to the throne of Syria, was an hostage at Rome at the time of his father's death, which gave his uncle Antiochus Epiphanes an opportunity of superseding him in the enjoyment of that dignity. His uncle being dead, Demetrius, with a view to assert his own right to the crown, secretly quitted Rome, and came into Syria, where he was well received. Antiochus and Lysias were delivered up to him by their own troops; upon which he caused them to be put to death, and ascended the throne of Syria, taking