2 Maccabees

    Geneva(i) 1 The brethren the Iewes, which be at Ierusalem, and they that are in the countrey of Iudea, vnto the brethren ye Iewes, that are throughout Egypt, send salutation, and prosperitie. 2 God be gratious vnto you & remember his couenant made with Abraham, and Isaac, and Iacob his faithfull seruants, 3 And giue you al an heart, to worship him, and to doe his will with a whole heart and with a willing minde, 4 And open your hearts in his Lawe, and commandements, and send you peace, 5 And heare your praiers, and be reconciled with you, and neuer forsake you in time of trouble. 6 Thus nowe we praie here for you. 7 When Demetrius reigned, in the hundreth, threescore and ninth yere, we Iewes wrote vnto you in the trouble, and violence that came unto vs in those yeeres, after that Iason, and his companie departed out of the holy land and kingdome, 8 And burnt the porch, & shed innocent blood. Then we praied vnto the Lorde, and were heard: we offered sacrifices and fine flowre, and lighted the lampes, and set foorth the bread. 9 Nowe therefore keepe ye the daies of ye feast of the Tabernacles in the moneth Chasleu. 10 In the hundreth, fourescore & eight yeere, the people that was at Ierusalem, and in Iudea, and the counsell and Iudas, vnto Aristobulus King Ptolemeus master, which is of the stocke of the anointed Priestes, and to the Iewes that are in Egypt, sendeth greeting and health. 11 In so much as God hath deliuered vs from great perils, wee thanke him highly, as though wee had ouercome the King. 12 For he brought them into Persia by heapes, that fought against the holy citie. 13 For albeit the captaine, and the armie, that was with him, seemed inuincible, yet they were slaine in the Temple of Nanea, by the deceit of Naneas Priests. 14 For Antiochus, as though hee would dwell with her, came thither, he, and his friends with him, to receiue money vnder the title of a dowrie. 15 But when the Priests of Nanea had laide it foorth, and hee was entred with a small companie within the Temple, they shut the Temple, when Antiochus was come in, 16 And by opening a priuie doore of the vaute, they cast stones, as it were thunder, vpon the captaine and his, and hauing bruised them in pieces, they cut off their heads and threwe them to those that were without. 17 God be blessed in all things, which hath deliuered vp the wicked. 18 Whereas we are nowe purposed to keepe the purification of the Temple vpon the fiue and twentie day of the moneth Chasleu, we thought it necessarie to certifie you thereof, that yee also might keepe the feast of the Tabernacles, and of the fire which was giuen vs when Neemias offered sacrifice, after that he had built the Temple, and the altar. 19 For when as our fathers were led away vnto Persia, the Priests, which sought the honor of God, tooke the fire of the altar priuilie, and hid it in an hollowe pit, which was drie in the bottome, and therein they kept it, so that ye place was vnknowen vnto euery man. 20 Nowe after many yeres when it pleased God that Neemias shoulde be sent from the king of Persia, he sent of the posteritie of those Priestes, which had hid it to fetche the fire, and as they tolde vs, they found no fire, but thicke water. 21 Then commaunded he them to drawe it vp, and to bring it: and when the things apperteining to the sacrifices were brought, Neemias commaunded the Priests to sprinkle the woode, and the things laide thereupon with water. 22 When this was done, and the time came that the sunne shone, which afore was hid in the cloud, there was a great fire kindled, so that euery man marueiled. 23 Nowe the Priests, and all praied, while the sacrifice was consuming: Ionathan began, and the other answered thereunto. 24 And the praier of Neemias was after this maner, O Lord, Lord God maker of all things, which art feareful, and strong, and righteous, and merciful, and the onely and gratious king, 25 Onely liberall, onely iust and almightie and euerlasting, thou that deliuerest Israel from al trouble, & hast chosen the fathers, and sanctified them, 26 Receiue the sacrifice for thy whole people of Israel, and preserue thine owne portion, and sanctifie it. 27 Gather those together, that are scattered from vs: deliuer them that serue among the heathen: looke vpon them which are despised, and abhorred, that ye heathen may knowe that thou art our God. 28 Punish them that oppresse vs, and with pride doe vs wrong. 29 Plant thy people againe in thine holy place as Moyses hath spoken. 30 And the Priests sang Psalmes thereunto. 31 Now when the sacrifice was consumed, Neemias commanded the great stones to be sprinkled with the residue of the water. 32 Which when it was done, there was kindeled a flame, which was consumed by the light, that shined from the altar. 33 So when this matter was knowen, it was told the King of Persia, that in the place where the Priests, which were led away, had hid fire, there appeared water, wherewith Neemias and his companie had purified the sacrifices. 34 The King tried out the thing, and closed the place about, and made it holy. 35 And to them that the King fauoured, he gaue and bestowed many gifts. 36 And Neemias called the same place Ephthar, which is to say, purification: but many men call it Nephthar.