Living in the Two Hearts

My Spiritual Insights and Musings

Judas Maccabeus…Prayers and Alms for the Dead…

Third son of Mathathias of the tribe of Levi. On the death of his father he became the soul of religious revolt against the king of Syria (1 Mac. 2:4; 3:1). Maccabeus was given him as a surname; in the Hebrew it means one who hammers away until the work is done. Among his military exploits are the defeat and slaying of Apollonius, who had plundered. Jerusalem, and the victory over the Syrian forces under Seron, in an encounter at Bethbron (1 Mac. 3:10-24). Relying more on prayer and the help of God than on arms, he vanquished several other Syrian leaders among whom were Gorgas (1 Mac. 1), Nicanor (2 Mac. 14), Timotheus (2 Mac. 10:24-38).

After one of the battles he found idols on the persons of some of his fallen soldiers and sent money to Jerusalem to have sacrifices offered for them, a testimony to the Jewish practice of his day of prayer and sacrifices for the dead (2 Mac. 12:43).

Judas continued to fight for the independence of Israel against the kings of Syria and their armies, but his forces were finally overwhelmed. He died heroically in battle (1 Mac. 9:9-18).

Courteous of Welcome to the Catholic Church CD-ROM, Dictionary of the Bible. 2005.

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