Maccabees 1 aka The First Book of Maccabees

Maccabees 1 Summary

Maccabees 1 is an integral part of the Bible apocrypha which means that although it is not a part of either the Old or New Testament. The title “Maccabee” is derived from Hebrew, and means “hammer”. The epithet discusses Judas the 1st leader of the revolt.  Judas was Mattathias’ 3rd.  His attacks were important and impactful.  This name was ultimately given to his brothers and therefore the title of the book. “Maccabee” is a Hebrew verse which is taken from Exodus that means “Who is like you from amongst the mighty, the Lord?”

According to theologians, The Maccabees 1 was written in Hebrew by a Jewish author after the restoration of an independent Jewish kingdom. The estimated period of its composition was more or less about the latter part of the 2nd century BC. The original Hebrew text of Maccabees 1 has been lost and the most important surviving version is in the Greek translation which has been preserved in the Septuagint.  The book of Maccabees 1 is considered a canonical scripture by the Catholic Church, Orthodox Church and Coptic Churches.  Maccabees 1 though is not considered a canonical scripture by Protestant followers. It is considered by the Protestants as mere apocryphal literature. In modern-day Judaism, the book is revered as a significant artifact which has great historical interest, but definitely no official religious status.

Comprising 64 chapters, Maccabees 1 is written in fluid prose, however it has seven poetic sections. This unique structure has a semblance with the classical Hebrew poetry. There are three separate sections in Maccabees 1 which in the tenet of classical literature can be called codices. The language in which the book was written was Hebrew but the extant form version of the book is in Septuagint.

The narrative in the first book of Maccabees or Maccabees 1 begins by unfolding the illustrious life of the eminent Greek ruler, Alexander of Macedonia. The story is an interesting phase of history, when Philip of Macedonias son Alexander went from Macedonia to attack Darius.  Darius was the king of Persia and Medina at the time. The book Maccabees 1 gives interesting facts about Alexander who extended the Greek Empire by fighting many battles, and capturing fortified cities. Throughout Alexanders invasions he brought pain and sorrow to thousands of people. In his indomitable spirit he lost his compassion and instead transformed into an arrogant and insensitive individual. He not only plundered rich kings but also extorted money from the poor in the form of taxes. But after a tryst with power for 12 years, he realized the insignificance of humans on his death bed.

The other story narrated in this book is about Antochius Epiphanes who was one of the wicked generals who descended Alexander. He attacked Egypt and also prosecuted the Hebrews. Finally he had to face the wrath of God. This book Maccabees 1, like any other biblical book, shows that men with vice pay their lives with a price.  Sign up now to receive Bible Quotes from Maccabees 1 or any other book of the bible.