3 Maccabees

An account of the persecution of the Jews in the third century B.C.

The Egyptian King Ptolemy IV threatened to desecrate the Temple in Jerusalem. Simon the high priest prayed for divine help, and God prevented the desecration. Returning to Egypt, the king took revenge by forcing the Egyptian Jews to join the cult of Dionysus.  The Jews resisted, but they were to be forcibly registered in the pagan cult, then tortured and executed. God intervened again by cutting short the supply of writing materials so that the registration could not be completed. The king then determined to kill the Jews by trampling them with war elephants, but God intervened once more. King Ptolemy repented and became a supporter of the Jews, allowing them to return to their homes.


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