TAPE NO. 110.......By Ella Rose Mast
The Books of the Maccabees were not included in the King James Version of our Bible, although they are in the Common Bible and in some other translations. Their time span was in between the Old Testament and the New, toward the end of that time span, and they describe the work of one family who fought to maintain a place for Israel in that old land until the birth of the Christ Child which they were looking forward to with much anticipation.
To understand these events which happened you will need to know who the people of the story are, just as you do when you read the rest of your Bible. The leader of this famous family was Mattathias who was (as the old book 1813 confirms) a Priest of Israel from the direct lineage of AARON. This was as you know an inherited Priesthood, thus his sons would also be Priests of Israel after the death of their father.
Mattathias had five sons who were:
1. John, surnamed Gaddi
2. Simon, called Thassi
3. Judas, called Maccabeus
4. Eleazar, called Avaran
5. Jonathan, called Apphus
In his time span then, Mattathias seeing the conditions in old Jerusalem moved his family to the city of Modine, to remove them from the temptations which had now taken over this old Hebrew city.
As we study this story we look backward into history and we remember another Aryan called Alexander the Great who marched eastward from Macedonia, in his search for the beginning of his race. He found the great passes of the HIGH HIMALAYAN Mountains which seemed almost to be impenetrable, but whether he found the sign installed by Ancient Aryans, now called Hindoo, carrying the symbol marking the pass to the High country we do not find recorded. This sign however according to the old book (1813) was erected by Aryans called Hindoos of Hindustan, carrying the symbol of an Eagle with outstretched Wings and talons, with the glowing countenance of a Cherub or young man. The understanding as that this sign and its symbol was erected so as to mark the pass leading onward to the Ancient Garden.
Here at the high pass, Alexander the Great is said to have turned back after conquering a great territory, as well as tracing the migration of his race back to the ancient high country far to the east, even of the land of Mesopotamia, the land of Abraham's beginning. The time of this conqueror was 320 years before the birth of the Christ Child. After the death of Alexander the Great, we find that his Empire stretched from Egypt to Greece, then to the norther parts of old India. And now this conquered land would be divided into different provinces under the command of his different Generals. In the coming years we would find that temptations, greed, and ego would cause tension between different rulers as they sought to rule there in the World Order, and war after war would come between the different factions of this area, made up of different races. There has always been some of Israel who could not resist the bowing to the World Order, so as to retain places of power, and so called prosperity as different Israelites in Jerusalem, especially, some Priests would not bow to the ways of the World Order, and then different kings would send armies to plunder the city.
Antiochus was such a ruler and his army plundered the city of Jerusalem and even took the city of David and made it a Citadel, and stored the spoils taken in the city of Jerusalem. The Books of 'The Law' as given to Moses were found and they tore these books in pieces, and burned the pieces. They put to death any of Israel who stood fast and would not leave their faith or their hopes in the Covenant.
Mattathias had watched the blaspheme being committed in Jerusalem and thus had moved his family from their city to Modine a small city, not far from their old home. However he then watched in horror as he saw a Jew offer a sacrifice here in Modine at the command of the king, and Mattathias ran forward and killed the man on the same altar. He then turned to the Israelites in the crowd and asked every one of them who wished to hold on to the Law and the Promises delivered to Israel...to come out of this city, and from under this administration which was also trying to set in place a 'One World Government' where the God of Israel and HIS Laws would be set aside.
Mattathias and his sons then fled into the countryside to make a stand for ISRAEL. The two Books entitled..The Maccabees..then describe the battles fought, and the help from the heavens which they received in their struggle to hold a portion of that old land until prophecy be fulfilled with the Birth of the Christ Child and then HIS Ministry, death, and Resurrection.
Thus you are to remember that when YAHWEH calls there is always some who stand to do His Will. Here in this time of The Maccabees, the Israelites were being overrun in their own land, they would gradually lose control of their nation. Some of Israel would also be mislead and for various reasons would help the World Order thus bringing more disaster to the Israelites. Throughout the history of this race, always we see this happen..some will give their lives for God and country, while to others..the promise seems so far away..after all, they are here now, thus why not enjoy themselves rather than fight for something that seems like a lost cause at their time in History.
We also know that in our time and age another people are proclaiming they are those actors in these old books..THE MACCABEES, But from other old records we have established the lineage of this father and his sons, as being the true Priests of the Israelites, and we are thus interested in the part each of them played in this struggle as this father..Mattathias...outlined for each of his sons the part they should play in this struggle, and urged them to be strong in their Zeal for 'THE LAW' as delivered to Israel, and to give their lives for the Covenant of 'Their Fathers'. He recalls for his sons the deeds of Abraham, Joshua, Caleb, David, Elijah, and others as well as the deliverance of Daniel from the Lions Den. He stresses to his sons that always when any of our race put their trust in YAHWEH they never lack strength to do what they would be called on to accomplish.
This father, Mattathias, outlined the family responsibilities of his sons in case he would be called home to his rest. Judas the son called Maccabeus was to take over the control of the fighting forces of Israel as they were now gathering their forces, and to give their lives if necessary here in this old land as they became YAHWEH'S Battle Ax and Weapons of War, bringing back some of the Glory of His People which seemed to be slipping away.
In the second Book of the Maccabees, John the son of Judas Maccabeus reviews things in more detail filling in the story of this struggle more completely...He recalls how as Judas Maccabees took the leadership position that Jerusalem was then inhabited by aliens, and the sanctuary had even been trampled down. That sons of aliens now held the Citadel of Jerusalem and made it a lodging place for Gentiles (nations) not of Israel.
Judas moved the fighting forces of the Israelites following him to Mizpah which was opposite to Jerusalem, and formally a place of prayer. Here once more these children of YAHWEH, opened the Book of the 'Law' for study. They brought out once more the garments of the Priesthood and other possessions of Israel which they still possessed, and they cried aloud to YAHWEH asking:...'how could they survive unless help was sent from heaven.'
John in the second Book of the Maccabees is recalling things which have happened to this race in the past and he points out the difference in these Hebrew people now called Israelites, and the people of the World Order around them. He wrote to the Israelites in Egypt, asking them to remember YAHWEH'S Covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob his servants, praying that YAHWEH will give them a heart that will worship HIM, and cause them to do HIS WILL. He prays for those in the city of old Jerusalem, and asks for help from the heavens as they moved out on their mission.
As was the custom of old, as the Israelites under the leadership of Judas Maccabees prepared to fight for God and country they sounded the Trumpet. Those who were not prepared as soldiers were sent home according to law. This was, as it should be, only those, all volunteers, dedicated to fight to the death if necessary, now moved out to meet the enemy moving always after prayer, and asking for help from above. As the struggle continued, they would finally retake Jerusalem and as they did they were so distressed as they saw the destruction which had been wrought to the Sanctuary. First they thanked YAHWEH for his help in driving out the enemy from the Holy City, for removing those who would destroy the city. Judas then set the Priests to cleansing the Sanctuary. They took down the 'Altar of brunt sacrifice', which had been defiled by the aliens. They stored the Ancient stones in a convenient place on Temple Hill, and took unknown stones and built an altar.
John recalls this 'Feast of Fire' celebrated as Nehemiah who was at this time in charge of rebuilding the Temple, and offering the sacrifice at that time in history. He recalls how the 'fathers' of Judea were led captive to Persia. He tells of how the Priests of that time had taken some of the fire from that altar, and secretly hid it, in a dry cistern, and so secret was this place that it remained unknown. Thus after some of these Israelites had returned from captivity, then Nehemiah sent the descendants of those Priests who had hidden the Sacred Fire, to find it. They reported back that they had not found the Fire...instead only a thick liquid. Nehemiah ordered them to bring some of this Liquid. After the material was laid for the sacrifice, the Priests were ordered to sprinkle the liquid on the wood now laid. It was remembered that as the clouds passed over, then the sun came out and shown brightly, then all of a sudden a great Fire blazed up and all marveled at the work of YAHWEH. A Great Prayer was then offered:...'Oh! YAHWEH...Almighty God, creator of all things, who art awe inspiring and strong, just and merciful, who along art King, and art kind, who alone art bountiful; who alone art just, Almighty and Eternal, who dost rescue Israel from every evil, who didst choose the 'fathers' and consecrate them...accept now this sacrifice on behalf of all thy people Israel, and preserve thy portion and make it Holy. Gather together thy scattered people, set free those who are slaves among the Gentiles, look upon those who are rejected, and despised, and let the Gentile (nations) know that thou art our God. Afflict those who oppress, and are insolent with pride. Plant thy people in thy Holy Place.'
At that time the Priests sang hymns, and as the materials of the sacrifice was consumed, Nehemiah ordered that the liquid left should be poured upon some large stones. When this was done, a flame blazed up; but when the Light from the Altar shone back...the Fire on the stones went out.
As John is recalling events in the past he remembers that Jeremiah in his time received an Oracle, and was ordered to take the Tent (of the Tabernacle in the Wilderness) and the Ark of the Covenant, and the Altar of Incense, and go into the mountain which Moses had ascended, and find a cave. After leaving the articles in a cave, Jeremiah was said to have sealed up the entrance for some had been following him to try to find where he hid the treasures of Israel. They were not allowed to find the entrance of this cave and Jeremiah would rebuke them saying that:..the place should be unknown until YAHWEH gathers His people together and shows His Mercy. Then YAHWEH-YAHSHUA will disclose these things and show His Mercy. When the LORD and the Cloud will appear, as were shown in the case of Moses, and as Solomon asked, that the place should be especially consecrated.
It was also recalled that in the Memoir's of Nehemiah a Library was found. Collected here were the Books about the Kings and the Prophets, as well as the writings of David. These were also recovered by Judas Maccabeus, thus again they were for study.
It seems that Jacon of Cyrene had written 5 volumes which John was trying to summarize, and now give the highlights of this struggle leading up to, and continuing now with the work of the Maccabees in their time in history. This group of Israelites under the leadership of the Maccabees would thus regain their Temple which was famous throughout the world; and they would free the city of Jerusalem and restore the 'Law' which had been given to them, and which was about to be destroyed by the enemy, and now they had proved that their God had smiled on them.
The Israelites here under the leadership of Judas Maccabeus thus after retaking the Sanctuary would consecrate the courts, burn their Incense, and light the Lamps on the Lamp stand, and they also placed the Bread once more on the Table and hung the Curtain before the HOLY OF HOLIES. It was on the 25th., day of September 148 B.C., that these Israelites offered their sacrifice as 'the Law' directed, on this new Altar of Burnt offering. They dedicated it with songs, prayers, harps, flutes and symbols. All the people fell on their faces as they worshiped YAHWEH...their great God of the Heavens who had so prospered them. For 8 days their celebration lasted. Then they set to work and restored the quarters of the Priests, restored the gates of the city, and fortified Mount Zion. They built high walls and towers the better to defend their city.
As the work progressed and Jerusalem was once more secured then Judas Maccabeus stationed a garrison of troops here to protect what they had restored, and set out to rescue the other portions of their land. He fortified Beth-zur so as to have a stronghold that faced Idumea, where the descendants of Esau and his Cainanite wives lived, for they seemed determined to try to destroy these descendants of Jacob now called Israelites. The Edomites had been killing the Israelites of the countryside, and Judas Maccabees was moving to try to stop this massacre. It is true that Judas and his army dealt a heavy blow to the Edomites at that time and they retreated into their own territory. Then Judas turned his army against the Ammonites, now a mixed race group of people who were also harassing the Israelites.
As the record of history reminds us, greed is always in the picture whenever things seem to be going quite well. This has always been a problem for Israel, as the 'grass seems to look greener on the side of the fence.'
Here in old Jerusalem a man from the tribe of Benjamin did to much talking. It was reported that there was a considerable amount of money now in the treasury of Jerusalem. This knowledge came to the ears of the king of the greater lands, and of course he was determined that the money should be his. He sent a man by the name of Heliodorus to Jerusalem to remove this money. As the emissary arrived in Jerusalem, he was welcomed by the High Priest, as was the custom. When Heliodorus asked about the money in the treasury, he was told that yes there was some deposits in the treasury but they belonged to widows and orphans, and some belonged to Hyrcanus, the son of Tobias, a man of very prominent position, that this sum totaled in all, 400 talents of silver, and 200 of gold, that was being stored for this man. Heliodorus was also told that it would be totally wrong to violate the inviolability of the Temple which is honored throughout the whole world, and take this money. But Heliodorus had been given a command by the king, and he dare not disobey. he thus set a day, and went in to direct the inspection of these funds. The people of the city were very disturbed. The Priests prostrated themselves before the altar, calling on YAHWEH who had given this Law concerning such deposits. They cried to HIM to keep them safe for those who had deposited them.
There seemed something pitiable in the grief of the populace of this city, as well as the anxiety of the High Priest. But Heliodorus went on with what he considered he must do. However as he and his bodyguards came to the Treasury..behold!..there appeared before them a magnificent Horse which rushed at Heliodorus and struck at him with its front hoofs. The rider of this horse had an armor, and weapons of gold. Two young men also appeared, one on each side of Heliodorus, and scourged him continually until he fell to the ground. Then the two young men and the horse and its rider disappeared.
As the bodyguards recovered from their fear, they gathered up Heliodorus and carried him away. Heliodorus and his men recognized the Sovereign power of the Almighty YAHWEH, and with trembling and in awe, they would testify of His Power. The Temple, which just before been so full of fear, was now filled with joy...The Almighty YAHWEH had responded!
Heliodorus lay for a while prostrate, and speechless, and there was fear for his life. His friends then appealed to the High Priest, Onias, to call upon the Most High, and to ask for this man's life. Fearing that the king might think there was foul play on the part of the Israelites, the High Priest went in prayer to YAHWEH. It was then reported that as the High Priest was still in prayer that the same young men appeared to Heliodorus...'They stood before him and said: Be grateful to Onias, for his sake, YAHWEH hath granted your life. See that you report to all men the Majestic Power of YAHWEH!' The two then vanished and Heliodorus offered sacrifice to YAHWEH, and made great vows to the Savior of his life. He then went back with his forces to report to the king, and to bear testimony to all men of this great power of the God of Israel. He warned that any who would move against the Treasury of Jerusalem would meet the power of God.
Yet as history tells us, people are prone to soon forget and as Jason the brother of Onias later obtained the office of High Priest by promising the king a huge sum of money he immediately began to set aside the work of his brother, and changed the lawful ways of living.
The Maccabees under the leadership of Judas were very successful in the other country, but again inside the city of Jerusalem things were going very wrong. Jason set aside the Laws of God, in his effort to please certain individuals, and built a gymnasium right under the Citadel, and was influencing the young men to take on strange ways. Thus the Priesthood was now being bought and sold, one outbidding another Onias, the good High Priest of Israel, was murdered.
A messenger came from the north asking for help, and Judas sent Simon to help the brethren in Galilee, while he and Jonathan went to Gilead. He left Joseph the son of Zachariah and Azariah in Judea to guard the nation at home as he began to round up the Israelites and send them into Judea where they would be more safe, or so he thought. He did not realize that inside the very heart of the nation somewhere at work trying again to destroy all that he was hoping to accomplish. Always remember that YAHWEH did not choose the nation of Judea for the sake of the PLACE, but He chose the PLACE for the sake of the nations; therefore the PLACE itself shared in the misfortune which befell the nation; and afterwards also participated in its benefit; and what was forsaken in the Wrath of the Almighty will be restored again in its Glory when the Great God of Israel becomes reconciled.
Antioch the king then came from the east and carried off 1800 talents from the Temple in Jerusalem and hurried away. This king had a good opinion of himself, for he thought he was so great that he could sail on land, and walk on water. Yet he hurried away from the scene of his destruction, and left men in the area with orders to slay all the grown men, and to sell the women and boys as slaves. These troops waited until the Sabbath day then put to the sword all who came out of Jerusalem to see them. The king then sent a senator to Jerusalem to forsake the Laws of God, to call the Temple in Jerusalem...'the Temple of Zeus'.
As you read this old history you find that actually these calamities were not designed to destroy completely, but to discipline these Israelite people. To punish them immediately..is a sign of kindness, for in this way they still remember they still remember why they are being punished. YAHWEH does not deal with His people in the same way that He does with the World Order. With His children He punishes them immediately, whereas with others He waits until their sins have reached their fullness. Therefore by this method He never forsakes His own people, and His people at that time seemed to understand this.
Judas Maccabeus still moved to rescue Israelites who were to be sold as slaves, and he filled his troops with courage, by recalling for them as to how YAHWEH had helped their ancestors in times of great trouble. His brothers Simon, Joseph, and Jonathan as commanders of different divisions also moved into battle in this same way, believing that the Almighty YAHWEH was their ally. For the sake of their Covenant made with their fathers, and because He had called them by His Holy Name...these Maccabees fought on here in the old land.
Then came the Day when Judas Maccabeus was killed. It seemed that the World Order was attempting to destroy this portion of Israel. Now the Edomites from Idumea were once more coming against them. They came with their Elephants trained in Warfare. A wooden tower was upon each of the beasts and in this battle Judas fell, giving his life for God and Country. Simon and Jonathan came to bury their brother in the tomb of their father at Modine. All Israel now wept for this fallen leader, and then turned to Jonathan who would replace his brother Judas as leader of all Israel, and the battle would go on. Under the leadership of Jonathan they would once more take control of Jerusalem, and would rebuild the fortifications at Beth-basi in hopes of holding that area.
Nicanor the leader of the enemy who had sought to put all Israel into slavery would be humbled with the help of the Almighty. The Maccabees then took the money his army carried to buy Israelites as slaves, and used it to rebuild the fortifications destroyed. Nicanor removed his uniform and made his way like a runaway slave, alone back to Antioch after seeing his army virtually destroyed. He proclaimed that these Israelites of Judea had a defender...when they followed the laws ordained by HIM who was invincible.
Even Antiochus the king, who had retreated with his forces back to Persia, would come again saying he was determined to make Jerusalem a cemetery for those Israelites. However he also would be stopped in his tracks by the GOD of ISRAEL, and for some reason fell out of his chariot. He would then drop his arrogance and utter these words:..'it is right to be subject to GOD, no mortal should think that he is equal to this God of Israel...' In fact he went so far as to declare that Israel was now free from him, and this proved true as he was soon laid to rest. Yet his son took his place and the harassment of Israel continued.
After the death of Judas Maccabeus, then Jonathan assumed command, and Peace reigned in Israel a little while, as under the leadership of Jonathan the Israelites began once more to restore and rebuild the old city of Jerusalem. Jonathan we are told sent Ambassadors to the Roman Senate. He sent certain papers showing that the Romans and the Israelites were one and the same people, that the Spartans of Rome and the Israelites of Judea were of the family of Abraham. The Romans acknowledged the message and the messenger whom they returned safely. However before the Romans could respond more positively, then Jonathan would die in battle. Simon his brother would take his body to the city of Modine, to the tomb of his father and brother.
Only Simon now remained of the Maccabee brothers since the others were also laid to rest. Simon is now the High Priest and he would lead some of Israel back to the 'Ancient Law' and promises. But the World Order seeing the Glory returning to Israel would again demand tribute and send armies to collect. Simon called his sons to his side, telling them that he had grown old, his brothers, their uncles, were gone and now the time had come for his sons to take his place and stand and fight for their God and Country. As we noticed, the sons of Simon were named for their grandfathers and uncles, as was the custom of the other Maccabee brothers, thus you need to establish which one you are talking about as you unravel history. The sons of Simon thus were:.......
3. and John
Always, as we have before suggested, greed came into the picture once more. Ptolemy, the son of Abubus was appointed governor over the plain of Jericho. He was the son-in-law of Simon, and he had much gold and silver, but he was determined to gain control of the whole country. he had invited Simon and his sons to come for a visit, and Simon, Mattathias and Judas went to Jericho, where treachery then occurred and Simon Maccabees and his sons were killed. This left only one son, by the name of John to carry on the fight, with the sons of the other Maccabee brothers. The struggle thus would go on in old Judea so that some of Israel would be in the old land when the Savior is born in Bethlehem. They would lose control of their country, and the Temple in Jerusalem would also be governed by aliens but still they would fight on as was their destiny.
This, remember was an inherited Priesthood, established by YAHWEH Himself, and these people kept their records and recorded the successions as...'The son of' no last names were recorded. The enemy now at this stage of the age was the Idumeans who had also always been a problem for Israel. Thus the biggest enemy which Israelites faced at this time were the Edomites and the struggle thus was between the Children of Light, and the Children of Darkness, for Esau had joined himself to the Children of Darkness and now they were rising to try to...as we are told in Psalms 83...blot out the Name of Israel so that it will be remembered no more.' 'Come, let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.'
Today, the Jewish Publication place their people in Edom. It is thus only the blind Leaders of Israel who do otherwise, leading the people into the World Order, hopefully into the One World Order. Much of the problem lies with the interpreters of Biblical history, as the 'Bind leads the blind.' According to the old book 1813., Josephus who is classified as a Jewish Historian, was also from the direct Priest line of Aaron, as was the Maccabees. Thus many things become more clear as you learn these old facts.
Continuing with the history of the 'time' then it was the grandsons of Mattathias who would continue the struggle in old Judea, and they would also face the same difficulties as their fathers and grandfathers, as they sought to hold Israelites into the one worship of YAHWEH which protected them. In one instance as the men of Israel went to bury their 'sacred' tokens to the Idol Jamnia, which the Law of Israel forbid them to wear. It then became clear why these men fell in battle. This is the lesson Israel had to learn so many times, and so soon forgot, thus went once more under punishment, or chastisement. This leader of the Israelites would then send a collection to Jerusalem to provide a sin offering. If he had not expected those who had fallen would rise again, however he was looking toward the reward that is laid up for those who fall asleep, he therefore made atonement for the dead as was the custom, that they might be delivered from their sins.
Now; the Israelites of the Maccabees were also called..Hasideans, according to the old book. This was a family name, but these family names were now well recorded. We are also reminded that Jeremiah had given a Golden Sword to Judas saying:...'Take this Holy Sword as a gift from YAHWEH, with which you will strike down your adversaries.' Perhaps this was why he was so successful for a time in protecting Israel as he fulfilled his time of service to his God and his Country.
We would have you remember that your 'time' is the most important thing which you have...for it will not return. Thus in the service of your Heavenly Father you do the best you can, in your Allotted time span.
We would thus hope that the time will soon come for the sounding of 'The Alarm...In MY HOLY MOUNTAIN (nation)'. When no longer will our people give away their inheritance. For more about the situation in Old Judea at the time of The Christ Child, and through His Ministry, we would refer you to the booklets from the Swift Ministry, since even to understand events of today, you must understand the people of the story, and the events.
Until next time, May YAHWEH Bless