2 Maccabees 4

Geneva(i) 1 This Simon nowe, of whom we spake afore, being a bewrayer of the money and of his owne naturall countrey, reported euill of Onias, as though he had mooued Heliodorus vnto this, and had bene the inuenter of the euill. 2 Thus was he bolde to call him a traitour that was so beneficiall to the citie, and a defender of his nation, and so zealous of the Lawes. 3 But when his malice increased so farre, that through one that belonged to Simon, murthers were committed, 4 Onias considering the danger of this contention, and that Apollonius, as hee that was the gouernour of Coelosyria and Phenice, did rage, and increased Simons malice, 5 He went to the King not as an accuser of the citizens, but as one that intended the common wealth both priuately and publikely. 6 For he sawe it was not possible except the King tooke order to quiet the matters, and that Simon would not leaue off his follie. 7 But after the death of Seleucus, when Antiochus, called Epiphanes, tooke the kingdome, Iason the brother of Onias laboured by vnlawfull meanes to be hie Priest. 8 For he came vnto the King, and promised him three hundreth and threescore talents of siluer, and of an other rent, fourescore talents. 9 Besides this, he promised him an hundreth and fiftie, if he might haue licence to set vp a place for exercise, and a place for the youth, and that they would name them of Ierusalem Antiochians. 10 The which thing when the King had graunted, and he had gotten the superioritie, he beganne immediatly to drawe his kinsemen to the customes of the Gentiles, 11 And abolished the friendly priuiledges of the Kings, that the Iewes had set vp by Iohn, the father of Eupolemus, which was sent ambassadour vnto Rome, to become friends and confederates: he put downe their Lawes and policies, and brought vp newe statutes, and contrary to the Lawe. 12 For he presumed to builde a place of exercise vnder the castell, and brought the chiefe yong men vnder his subiection, and made them weare hattes. 13 So there beganne a great desire to followe the maners of the Gentiles, and they tooke vp the fashions of strange nations by the exceeding wickednesse of Iason, not the hie Priest, but the vngodly person, 14 So that the Priestes were nowe no more diligent about the seruice of the altar, but despised the Temple, and regarded not the sacrifices, but made haste to be partakers of the wicked expences at the play after the casting of the stone. 15 For they did not set by the honour of their fathers, but liked the glory of the Gentiles best of all. 16 By reason whereof great calamitie came vpon them: for they had them to be their enemies and punishers, whose custome they followed so earnestly, and desired to be like them in all things. 17 For it is not a light thing to transgresse against the Lawes of God, but the time following shall declare these things. 18 Now when the games that were vsed euery fiue yeere, were played at Tyrus, the King being present, 19 This wicked Iason sent from Ierusalem men to looke vpon them, as though they had bene Antiochians, which brought three hundreth drachmes of siluer for a sacrifice to Hercules: albeit they that caried them, desired they might not be bestowed on the sacrifice (because it was not comely) but to be bestowed for other expenses. 20 So he that sent them, sent them for the sacrifice of Hercules: but because of those that brought them, they were giuen to the making of galleies. 21 Now Apollonius the sonne of Menestheus was sent into Egypt because of the coronation of King Ptolemeus Philometor: but when Antiochus perceiued that he was euill affectioned towarde his affaires, he sought his owne assurance, and departed from thence to Ioppe, and so came to Ierusalem, 22 Where he was honourably receiued of Iason, and of the citie, and was brought in with torchlight, and with great showtings, and so he went with his hoste vnto Phenice. 23 Three yeere afterward Iason sent Menelaus, the foresaid Simons brother, to beare the money vnto the King, and to bring to passe certaine necessarie affaires, whereof he had giuen him a memoriall. 24 But he, being commended to the King, magnified him for the appearance of his power, and turned the Priesthood vnto himselfe: for he gaue three hundreth talents of siluer more then Iason. 25 So he gate the Kings letters patentes, albeit he had nothing in himselfe worthie of the hie Priesthood, but bare the stomacke of a cruell tyrant, and the wrath of a wilde beast. 26 Then Iason, which had deceiued his owne brother, being deceiued by another, was compelled to flee into the countrey of the Ammonites. 27 So Menelaus gate the dominion: but as for the money that he had promised vnto the King, he tooke none order for it, albeit Sostratus the ruler of the castell required it. 28 For vnto him apperteyned the gathering of the customes: wherefore they were both called before the King. 29 Nowe Menelaus left his brother Lysimachus in his steade in the priesthood, and Sostratus left Crates which was gouernour of the Cyprians. 30 Whiles these things were in doing, ye Tharsians and they of Mallot made insurrection, because they were giuen to the Kings concubine called Antiochis. 31 Then came the King in all haste, to appease the busines, leauing Andronicus a man of authoritie to be his lieutenant. 32 Now Menelaus, supposing that he had gotten a conuenient time, stole certaine vessels of gold out of the Temple, and gaue certeyne of them to Andronicus: and some he solde at Tyrus and in the cities thereby. 33 Which when Onias knewe of a suretie, he reproued him, and withdrewe himselfe into a Sanctuarie at Daphne by Antiochia. 34 Wherefore Menelaus, taking Andronicus apart, prayed him to slaye Onias: so when he came te Onias, he counseled him craftily, giuing him his right hand with an othe: (howbeit he suspect him, and persuaded him to come out of the Sanctuarie) so he slewe him incontinently without any regarde of righteousnesse. 35 For the which cause not onely the Iewes, but many other nations also were grieued, and tooke it heauily for the vnrighteous death of this man. 36 And when the king was come againe from the places about Cilicia, the Iewes that were in the citie, and certeine of the Greeks that abhorred the fact also, complained because Onias was slaine without cause. 37 Therefore Antiochus was sorie in his minde, and he had compassion, and wept because of the modestie and great discretion of him that was dead. 38 Wherefore being kindled with anger, he tooke away Andronicus garment of purple, and rent his clothes, and commaunded him to be led throughout the citie, and in the same place where hee hadcommitted the wickednesse against Onias, hee was slaine as a murtherer. Thus the Lord rewarded him his punishment, as he had deserued. 39 Nowe when Lysimachus had done many wicked deedes in the citie through the counsell of Menelaus, and the bruit was spred abroad, the multitude gathered them together against Lysimachus: for he had caried out nowe much vessell of golde. 40 And when the people arose, and were full of anger, Lysimachus armed about three thousande, and began to vse vnlawfull power, a certaine tyrant being their captaine, who was no lesse decaied in wit then in age. 41 But when they vnderstoode the purpose of Lysimachus, some gate stones, some great clubs, and some cast handfuls of dust, which lay by, vpon Lysimachus men, and those that inuaded them. 42 Whereby many of them were wounded, some were slaine, and all the other chased away: but the wicked Churchrobber himselfe, they killed be sides the treasurie. 43 For these causes an accusation was laide against Menelaus. 44 And whe the king came to Tyrus, three men sent from the Senate pleaded the cause before him. 45 But Menelaus, being now conuinced, promised to Ptolemeus the sonne of Dorimenes much money, if he would perswade the king. 46 So Ptolemeus went to ye king into a court, where as he was to coole himselfe, and turned the kings minde. 47 In so much that hee discharged Menelaus from the accusations (notwithstanding he was the cause of all mischiefe) and codemned those poore men to death, which if they had tolde their cause, yea, before the Scythians, they should haue beene heard as innocent. 48 Thus were they soone punished vniustly, which followed vpon the matter for the citie, and for the people, and for the holy vessels. 49 Wherefore they of Tyrus hated that wickednes, and ministred all things liberally for their buriall. 50 And so through the couetousnesse of them that were in power, Menelaus remained in authoritie, increasing in malice, and declared himselfe a great traitour to the citizens.