By Daniel R. Schwartz
2 Maccabees is a Jewish paintings composed through the second century BCE and preserved through the Church. Written in Hellenistic Greek and advised from a Jewish-Hellenistic point of view, 2 Maccabees narrates and translates the ups and downs of occasions that came about in Jerusalem sooner than and through the Maccabean riot: institutionalized Hellenization and the root of Jerusalem as a polis; the persecution of Jews through Antiochus Epiphanes, observed through well-known martyrdoms; and the uprising opposed to Seleucid rule through 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 usually fairly diversified from these represented by means of its competitor, I Maccabees.
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Extra resources for 2 Maccabees (Commentaries on Early Jewish Literature)
II. Sources and Development 31 1. Only in these chapters do angels participate in battles (10:29–30; 11:8). 2. Only in these chapters does the enemy “gather” (σψνα ρο ζ ) soldiers before attacking (10:24; 11:2 – the only occurrences of this verb in our book). 3. Only in these chapters do the opposing forces “draw near” (σψνεγγ ζ ) one another (10:25, 27; 11:5; in the entire Septuagint the verb appears only once more – Sir 35:17). 4. Only in these chapters do soldiers “take up” ( ναλαμβ ν ) arms (10:27; 11:7; this verb appears another 3–4 times in our book but never in connection with weapons).
54 – Eleazar’s fear, at 6:24, is that if he dissembles submission to the decrees in order to save his life it will be thought that he has “gone over to foreignism;” “foreignism” ( λλοφψλισμ «) is a very rare word but one that is centerpieced by our book at 4:13. – Such a mistaken impression, he fears, will lead others “to go astray” (πλανη σι – v. 25), just as 7:18 has the sixth son warn Antiochus not to “go astray” (μ πλαν ) due to his own successes. – Eleazar’s thought is said, at 6:23, to be “honorable,” lit.
2–4, that caused God’s anger to turn to mercy, ignore 6:18–7:42. ” Here again we have “reconciled” and “servants” – the latter appearing elsewhere in our book only in the biblical citation at 7:6 and in 7:33! ” In the latter, building upon the contrast between π ργισται (5:17) and π ργισται (7:33), I detail the subtle progression from portraying God as taking vengeance upon His sinning people (4:16–17) and turning His face aside from them, thus allowing Gentiles to hurt them (ibid. and 5: 16//Deut 32:20), to a God who faces His sinning people and punishes them face-to-face as a father edifies his son (7:34//Deut 8:5).
2 Maccabees (Commentaries on Early Jewish Literature) by Daniel R. Schwartz