David C. Carson, 2007 - 428 páginas
The year is 167 BCE. The bloodthirsty Syrian king Antiochus IV has reneged on the promise of religious freedom made to the Jews by his forebear Alexander the Great. Antiochus sets out to abolish every semblance of Jewish religion and culture, replacing it with the revered ways of the Greeks. Hundreds are slaughtered in the courts of the temple as they resist the king s desecration of their altar. Antiochus changes the face of Jerusalem, erecting a gymnasium where the men follow the common Greek practice of exercising nude. Many of the young Jewish men betray their heritage by having their circumcisions surgically reversed to hide their distinction as Jews. One elderly priest determines it would be better to die than see their nation thus corrupted. With his five sons, Mattathias ben Hasmoneus launches a guerilla war against the hated Syrians. Judas, his middle son, proves to be the genius in battle and becomes known throughout Judea as the Maccabee, the hammer. As Judas leads the nation in the struggle for freedom, one of his continuing motivations is love for the woman promised him since childhood but who has been caught in the midst of the conflict. Only when Jerusalem is delivered from the Syrians can she become his. Maccabee draws extensively on the ancient writings of Josephus and the apocryphal works 1 and 2 Maccabees. An additional chapter has been placed at the end of Maccabee,Author s Historical Notes, for those interested in separating the fiction from the actual events.
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