I’m sorry for the delay in posting the next part of our Maccabees Bible study but it has been very nice knowing so many of you are patiently awaiting the next part and learning along with me.
Chapter 12 we see Jonathan continue to seek peace with all of his surrounding kingdoms. He successfully does so with Rome and the Spartans. Then Jonathan meets Trypho, a man looking to take the throne, Jonathan perceives him as a righteous man and follows him into the city. There Jonathan is captured and his 1,000 soldiers are killed. When word reaches Israel, they fall into a deep state of mourning leaving themselves vulnerable to an attack, especially with their ruler in custody of the enemy.
Chapter 13 begins with Simon assuming the throne as leader of the Jewish people. Simon reassures them he knows the plan God has for him and will not turn away and uphold the family legacy of fighting for the law and temple. When Simon comes face to face with Trypho, Trypho offers a deal for the release of Jonathan. Simon does as he says and Trypho goes and doesn’t hold up his end having Jonathan killed. Simon and his soldiers matched all the moves of Trypho’s soldiers and eventually the battle was delayed because of the snow fall. Simon would go on to make peace with Demetrius and continue to rid the surrounding area of idols and impurity all while having great mercy on the people. Everything Simon did was for the glory of God. His greatest achievement came when he was able to rid the citadel of the gentiles and totally regain control of Judah.
The Maccabees family sets the example of an early missionary. They never looked upon the gentiles as enemies but rather as people who needed to be converted. Although they used force to rid people of their land, it was only for them to come in and purify it in accordance with the law. The more purified land they had, the more territory God would dwell over them on. All of us have neighbors or even relatives who do not follow God. Let us take the example of Simon and have mercy on all those who do not know the way that we may strive to show them the way.
Next part we will be discussing 1 Maccabees 14-16