2 Maccabees

An account of the attempts to make Jews adopt Greek customs, the deaths of the Jewish martyrs, and the victories of Judas Maccabeus.

2 Maccabees begins with letters to the Jewish community in Egypt, inviting them to celebrate the purification of the Temple that was accomplished by the Maccabees. The book recounts the Syrian attempts to impose Greek customs on the Jews and the defilement of the Temple. Heroes of the story include Eleazar the priest, a mother and her seven sons, all of whom suffered death rather than violate the Jewish law. Judas Maccabeus led a campaign of military resistance that resulted in the Jews regaining control of the Temple. The purification of the Temple was commemorated by the festival of Hanukkah.


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