Second Week of October

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℣. Let our evening prayer come up before thee, O Lord. ℟. And


let thy mercy come down upon us.

Ant. on Mag. The sun shone † upon the shields of gold, and the mountains were a-glitter therewith; * nonetheless, the forces of the heathen were discomfited.


October 5th or one of the next six days thereafter


From the Former Book of Maccabees

Lesson i Chap. 4. 36.

THEN said Judas and his brethren, Behold, our enemies are discomfited : let us go up to cleanse and dedicate the sanctuary. Upon this all the host assembled themselves together, and went up into Mount Sion. And they saw the sanctuary desolate, and the altar profaned, and the gates burned up, and shrubs growing in the courts as in a forest, or in one of the mountains, yea, and the priests' chambers pulled down ; they rent their clothes, and made great lamentation, and cast ashes upon their heads, and fell down flat to the ground upon their faces, and blew an alarm with the trumpets, and cried toward heaven.

Lesson ii

THEN Judas appointed certain men to fight against those that were in the fortress, until he had cleansed the sanctuary. So he chose priests of blameless conversation, such as had pleasure in the Law : who cleansed the sanctuary, and bare out the defiled stones into an unclean place. And they consulted what to do with the altar of burnt offerings, which was profaned, and they thought it best to pull it down, lest it

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should be a reproach to them, because the heathen had defiled it : wherefore they pulled it down, and laid up the stones in the mountain of the temple in a convenient place, until there should come a Prophet to shew what should be done with them.

Lesson iii

THEN they took whole stones according to the Law, and built a new altar according to the former ; and built up the sanctuary, and the things that were within the temple, and hallowed the courts. They made also new holy vessels, and into the temple they brought the candlestick, and the altar of burnt offerings, and of incense, and the table. And upon the altar they burned incense, and the lamps that were upon the candlestick they lighted, that they might give light in the temple. Furthermore they set the loaves upon the table, and spread out the veils, and finished all the works which they had begun to make.


From the Treatise on the City of God by St. Augustine the Bishop

Lesson iv Lib. i8, cap. 45

AFTER the Jewish people ceased to have Prophets, without doubt degeneration set in, just at the very time when they began to have hopes for a better future, namely, at the restoration of the Temple after the captivity in Babylon. For in this sense did that carnal people understand what was foretold by the Prophet Haggai, when he said : The glory of this latter House shall be greater than the glory of the former. However, the Prophet had in these words spoken concerning the New Covenant, as can be seen from the foregoing passage, where, plainly promising Christ, he saith : And I will shake all nations, and the Desire of all nations shall come, and I will fill this House with glory, saith the Lord of Hosts.

Lesson v

FOR the benefit of the elect among the Gentiles, there is now in building, from living stones through the New Covenant, a House of God far more glorious than was that Temple which was built by King Solomon, and restored after the captivity. For this reason, therefore, that nation had no Prophets from that time forward ; but was afflicted with many calamities by kings of alien race, and by the Romans themselves, lest it might be thought that this prophecy of Haggai had been fulfilled by that restoration of the Temple. For no long time after, the Jews were subdued at the coming of Alexander, when, although there was no devastation, (because they dared not resist him, and were thus easily subdued,) and they had received favourable terms, yet nevertheless the glory of that House was not so great as it was under the free dominion of their own kings.

Lesson vi

THEN Ptolemy, the son of Lagus, after the death of Alexander, carried many of them captive into Egypt ; whom his successor, Ptolemy Philadelphus, sent back again with all kindness ; and through him it came about that we have the version of the Scriptures called the Septuagint. After his time they were severely tried by the wars which are recounted in the Books of the Maccabees. Whereupon they were taken captive by Ptolemy, King of Alexandria, who was called Epiphanes. After that, they were compelled by

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many and most grievous persecutions under Antiochus to worship idols ; and the Temple itself was filled with the sacrilegious superstitions of the Gentiles. Then it was that their most valiant leader, Judas, who is also called Maccabeus, after he had defeated the generals of Antiochus, cleansed it from all that defilement of idolatry.

For the III Noct., Lessons from Part 2 of this section, with ℟℟ from Table 5.


From the Former Book of Maccabees

Lesson i Chap. 4. 52.

NOW on the five and twentieth day of the ninth month, which is called the month Chisleu, in the hundred forty and eighth year, they rose up betimes in the morning, and offered sacrifice according to the Law upon the new altar of burnt offerings, which they had made. Look! at what time and what day the heathen had profaned it, even in that was it dedicated with songs, and lutes, and harps, and cymbals. Then all the people fell upon their faces, worshipping and praising the God of heaven, who had given them good success.

Lesson ii

AND so they kept the dedication of the altar eight days, and offered burnt offerings with gladness, and sacrificed the sacrifice of deliverance and praise. They decked also the forefront of the temple with crowns of gold, and with shields ; and the gates and the chambers they renewed, and hanged doors upon them. Thus was there very great gladness among the people, for that the reproach of the heathen was put away. Moreover Judas and his brethren with the whole congregation of Israel ordained, that the days of the dedica-

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tion of the altar should be kept in their season from year to year by the space of eight days, from the five and twentieth day of the month Chisleu, with mirth and gladness.

Lesson iii

AT that time also they builded up the Mount Sion with high walls and strong towers round about, lest the Gentiles should come and tread it down, as they had done before. And they set there a garrison to keep it, and fortified Beth-sur to preserve it ; that the people might have a defence against Idumea.


From the Former Book of Maccabees

Lesson i Chap. 5. I.

NOW when the nations round about heard that the altar was built, and the sanctuary renewed as before, it displeased them very much. Wherefore they thought to destroy the generation of Jacob that was among them, and thereupon they began to slay and destroy the people. Then Judas fought against the Children of Esau in Idumea at Akrabattine, because they besieged Israel : and he gave them a great overthrow, and abated their courage, and took their spoils. Also he remembered the injury of the Children of Bean, who had been a snare and an offence unto the people, in that they lay in wait for them in the ways. He shut them up therefore in the towers, and encamped against them, and destroyed them utterly, and burned the towers of that place with fire, and all that were therein.

Lesson ii

AFTERWARD he passed over to the Children of Ammon, where

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he found a mighty power, and much people, with Timotheus their captain. So he fought many battles with them, till at length they were discomfited before him ; and he smote them. And when he had taken Jazer, with the towns belonging thereto, he returned unto Judaea.

Lesson iii

THEN the heathen that were in Gilead assembled themselves together against the Israelites that were in their quarters, to destroy them ; but they fled to the fortress of Dathema, and sent letters unto Judas and his brethren, to wit : The heathen that are round about us are assembled together against us to destroy us : and they are preparing to come and take the fortress whereunto we are fled, Timotheus being captain of their host. Come now therefore, and deliver us from their hands, for many of us are slain. Yea, all our brethren that were in the places of Tob are put to death : their wives and their children also they have carried away captives, and borne away their stuff ; and they have destroyed there about a thousand men.


From the Former Book of Maccabees

Lesson i Chap. 5. 55. NOW what time as Judas and Jonathan were in the land of Gilead, and Simon his brother in Galilee before Ptolemais, Joseph the son of Zacharias, and Azarias, captains of the garrisons, heard of the valiant acts and warlike deeds which they had done. Wherefore they said, Let us also get us a name, and go fight against the heathen that are round about us. So when they had given

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charge unto the garrison that was with them, they went toward Jamnia.

Lesson ii

THEN came Gorgias and his men out of the city to fight against them. And so it was, that Joseph and Azarias were put to flight, and pursued unto the borders of Judaea : and there were slain that day of the people of Israel about two thousand men. Thus was there a great overthrow among the Children of Israel, because they were not obedient unto Judas and his brethren, but thought to do some valiant act. Moreover these men came not of the seed of those, by whose hand deliverance was given unto Israel.

Lesson iii

HOWBEIT the man Judas and his brethren were greatly renowned in the sight of all Israel, and of all the heathen, wheresoever their name was heard of ; insomuch as the people assembled unto them with joyful acclamations. Afterward went Judas forth with his brethren, and fought against the Children of Esau in the land toward the south, where he smote Hebron, and the towns thereof, and pulled down the fortress of it, and burned the towers thereof round about. From thence he removed to go into the land of the Philistines, and passed through Samaria. At that time certain priests, desirous to shew their valour, were slain in battle, for that they went out to fight unadvisedly.


From the Former Book of Maccabees

Lesson i Chap. 6. i.

ABOUT that time King Antiochus travelling through the high countries heard say, that in Elymais

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in the country of Persia was a city greatly renowned for riches, silver, and gold ; and that there was in it a very rich temple, wherein were coverings of gold, both breastplates, and shields, which Alexander, son of Philip, the Macedonian King, who reigned first among the Greeks, had left there. Wherefore he came and sought to take the city, and to spoil it ; but he was not able, because they of the city, having had warning thereof, rose up against him in battle : so he fled, and departed thence with great heaviness, and returned to Babylon.

Lesson ii

MOREOVER there came one who brought him tidings into Persia, that the armies, which went against the land of Judaea, were put to flight : and that Lysias, who went forth first with a great power, was driven away of the Jews ; and that they were made strong by the armour, and power, and store of spoils, which they had gotten of the armies, whom they had destroyed : also that they had pulled down the abomination, which he had set up upon the altar in Jerusalem, and that they had compassed about the sanctuary with high walls, as before, and his city Beth-sur. Now when the King heard these words, he was astonished and sore moved : whereupon he laid him down upon his bed, and fell sick for grief, because it had not befallen him as he looked for. And there he continued many days : for his grief was ever more and more, and he made account that he should die.

Lesson iii

WHEREFORE he called for all his friends, and said unto them, The sleep is gone from mine eyes, and my heart faileth for very care.

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And I thought with myself, Into what tribulation am I come, and how great a flood of misery is it, wherein now I am! for I was bountiful and beloved in my power. But now I remember the evils that I did at Jerusalem, and that I took all the vessels of gold and silver that were therein, and sent to destroy the inhabitants of Judaea without a cause. I perceive therefore that for this cause these troubles are come upon me, and, behold, I perish through great grief in a strange land.


From the Former Book of Maccabees

Lesson i Chap. 7. I.

IN the hundred and one and fiftieth year Demetrius the son of Seleucus departed from Rome, and came up with a few men unto a city of the sea coast, and reigned there. Now when Demetrius was set upon the throne of his kingdom, there came unto him all the wicked and ungodly men of Israel, having Alcimus, who was desirous to be high priest, for their captain : and they accused the people to the King, saying, Judas and his brethren have slain all thy friends, and driven us out of our own land. Now therefore send some man whom thou trustest, and let him go and see what havock he hath made among us, and in the King's land, and let him punish them with all them that aid them.

Lesson ii

THEN the King chose Bacchides, a friend of the King, who ruled beyond the River, and was a great man in the kingdom, and faithful to the King. And him he sent with that wicked Alcimus, whom he made high priest, and commanded that he

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should take vengeance of the Children of Israel. So they departed, and came with a great power into the land of Judaea, where they sent messengers to Judas and his brethren with peaceable words deceitfully. But they gave no heed to their words ; for they saw that they were come with a great power.

Lesson iii

THEN did there assemble unto Alcimus and Bacchides a company of Scribes, to require justice. Now the Assideans were the first among the Children of Israel that sought peace of them : for said they, One that is a priest of the seed of Aaron is come with this army, and he will do us no wrong. So he spake unto them peaceably, and sware unto them, saying, We will procure the harm neither of you nor your friends. Whereupon they believed him : howbeit he took of them threescore men, and slew them in one day, according to the words which the Psalmist wrote, The flesh of thy saints have they cast out, and their blood have they shed round about Jerusalem, and there was none to bury them.


From the Former Book of Maccabees

Lesson i Chap. 8. i.

NOW Judas had heard of the fame of the Romans, that they were mighty and valiant men, and such as would lovingly accept all that joined themselves unto them, and make a league of friendship with all that came unto them ; and that they were men of great valour. It was told him also of their wars and noble acts which they had done among the Galatians, and how they had con-

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quered them, and brought them under tribute ; and what they had done in the country of Spain, for the winning of the mines of the silver and gold which are there : and that by their policy and patience they had conquered all the place, though it were very far from them ; and the kings also that came against them from the uttermost part of the earth, till they had discomfited them, and given them a great overthrow, so that the rest did give them tribute every year.

Lesson ii

IN consideration of these things, Judas chose Eupolemus the son of John, the son of Accos, and Jason the son of Eleazar, and sent them to Rome, to make a league of friendship and confederacy with them, and to intreat them that they would take the yoke from them ; for they saw that the kingdom of the Greeks did oppress Israel with servitude. They went therefore to Rome, which was a very great journey, and came into the senate, where they spake and said, Judas Maccabeus with the brethren, and the people of the Jews, have sent us unto you, to make a confederacy and peace with you, and that we might be registered your confederates and friends. So that matter pleased the Romans well.

Lesson iii

AND this is the copy of the epistle which the Senate wrote back again on tablets of brass, and sent to Jerusalem, that there they might have by them a memorial of peace and confederacy : Good success be to the Romans, and to the people of the Jews, by sea and by land for ever : the sword also and enemy be far from them. If there come first any war upon the Romans or any of their

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confederates throughout all their dominion, the people of the Jews shall help them, as the time shall be appointed, with all their heart : neither shall they give any thing unto them that make war upon them, or aid them with victuals, weapons, money, or ships, as it hath seemed good unto the Romans ; but they shall keep their covenants without taking any thing therefore. In the same manner also, if war come first upon the nation of the Jews, the Romans shall help them with all their heart, according as the time shall be appointed them.