The Maccabees are an important part of the rich history of the Jews. It was a time of persecution and rebellion. The heroes from this period are a family known as the Maccabees. The books speak about the rough times the Jews had to experience to finally be free. Every aspect about these books is fundamental for the Hebrew Scriptures, such as their history, who wrote them, where they were written, what they were written about, when they were written, and the Maccabees’ importance.
The Maccabees are written about the period when the Jews were being oppressed by the Seleucid kings that ruled at the time. After Alexander the Great’s death, his generals fought over land in the Middle East. Antigonus took Greece, Ptolemy took Egypt, and Seleucus…show more content… Apocrypha is scripture that is not inspired by God. There were originally five books written, however only two of them are in the Catholic bible. The books are mainly centered about the revolt against the Greeks (Brown). The first book of Maccabees was originally written in Aramaic or Hebrew, but now only the version translated from Greek exists. The first book is referred to by historians as a “historical record.” It recreates speeches, and gives exact numbers for battles. In the book I, none of the Maccabees success is attributed to God, which makes this very different from other biblical histories. Book II of the Maccabees is not as historical as book I (Brown). The book doesn’t speak much about the revolt itself, but rather the events leading up to the revolt. When it does talk about the revolt itself, the only hero acknowledged is Judas (Bard). The third book of the Maccabees talks about the persecution of Jews in Alexandria. A story is told of how all the Jews were assembled in the Hippodrome. Five hundred angry elephants were to be let loose. Instead of being trampled, the elephants turned against the persecutors, and the Jews escaped. The fourth book of Maccabees is not a history, but rather a homily (Blank). It is a sermon, that is most likely delivered to a Greek audience (Blank). The homily talks about the Martyrs in the Jewish revolt. The book was originally thought to have been written by Josephus…show more content… Antiochus started his mistreatment of the Jewish around 170 BCE. The building an altar to Zeus incident happened in 167 BCE, causing Matthias to start his revolt against the Greeks (Mays). However, Matthias died in 166 BCE. Since he died, and someone needed to continue the revolt, Judas stepped in (Ross). In 164 BCE, the Jews had regained control of their temple, and they dedicated it back to the God of Israel. This dedication of Israel is now celebrated during Hanukkah. The independence period of the Maccabeans lasted from 164 BCE until 63 BCE. In 63 BCE, the Romans took control of the Maccabeans land (Bergant). There was a bloody battle, and bad loss for the Maccabees. This marked the end of their