2 Maccabees (Commentaries on Early Jewish Literature) by Daniel R. Schwartz

By Daniel R. Schwartz

2 Maccabees is a Jewish paintings composed in the course of the second century BCE and preserved by means of the Church. Written in Hellenistic Greek and informed from a Jewish-Hellenistic viewpoint, 2 Maccabees narrates and translates the ups and downs of occasions that happened in Jerusalem ahead of and through the Maccabean insurrection: institutionalized Hellenization and the root of Jerusalem as a polis; the persecution of Jews via Antiochus Epiphanes, observed via well-known martyrdoms; and the uprising opposed to Seleucid rule by way of Judas Maccabaeus. 2 Maccabees is a vital resource either for the occasions it describes and for the values and pursuits of the Judaism of the Hellenistic diaspora that it displays - that are frequently relatively diversified from these represented via its competitor, I Maccabees.

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68 See for example Niese, Kritik, 74 and Laqueur, Untersuchungen, 3, 32. For the importance of Laqueur’s observation that the only letter in Ch. ” 34 Introduction Although we have argued that this could not have been the original intent, as those documents are not “covenants,” we see that readers who are not sticklers about terminology have been willing to accept this transition from Chapter 11 to Chapter 12 without difficulty; perhaps our author too thought it appropriate. Second, the documents of Chapter 11 are dated to Xanthicus (Nisan, early spring) of 148 SE, and since Chapter 12 reports battles before and after Pentecost (12:31–32), a holiday which comes about two months later, it would have seemed reasonable, for this reason too, to have Chapter 12 come after Chapter 11.

Thus, as we have noted, at 10:11 it is Eupator (not Epiphanes, as at 1 Macc 3:32–33) who appoints Lysias, and he appoints him to be “head of state;” in this formal statement nothing is said of him being the king’s guardian,63 just as there had been no mention of Lysias throughout Nicanor’s campaign of Chapter 8, although 1 Maccabees 3:38 has Lysias in fact mandating that campaign and appointing its generals. Our author’s position that Lysias is a totally new character who first appears after Antiochus Epiphanes’ death is plain in his introduction of him as “one Lysias” (Λψσ αν τιν ) at 10:11.

27 – μολψσμο ),45 and that 6:3 ( π στασι« τ « κακ α«) plays with 5:22 ( πιστ τα« το κακο ν), it becomes even more certain that 6:1–11 are from the same hand as Chapters 3–5, 8, and 14–15. Skipping for the moment over the next six verses (12–17), in which the first-person singular is used to address readers and encourage them to draw the proper theological conclusions from the story, we come now to the martyrdom stories of 6:18–32 (Eleazar) and Chapter 7 (the mother and her seven sons). It appears that with respect to these it must be concluded that although they do constitute part of the book, their origin is different from the rest; that is, they reflect the use of a source.

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