Friday, January 30, 2015

1 Maccabees, Chapter 5: Bite, bite, bite, fight, fight, fight, the Maccabee show!

The surrounding countries hear about the new altar and aren't happy about it. They invade and Judas handily defeats them. One of them is called Bean, which I'm confident is the result of foresight on the part of the translators. Judas, for his part, is done with taking prisoners and has just started burning his enemies once he defeats them. I can totally see why this guy is a hero.

After awhile, he returns to Israel, much to the discomfit of its occupants. One group, some heathens in a town called Galaad, attack the local Israelites, who shut themselves into a fort and write to Judas for help. While that letter is being read, a contingent arrives from Galilee to complain about similar attacks from their neighbours. But this time, rather than riding out with an army and burning the enemy to death, Judas decides to hold a conference to decide what to do. Eventually he tells his brother Simon to save the Galileans and rides off to Galaad with another brother called Jonathan. They leave someone named Joseph in charge of Judea, instructing him not to start any new wars until they get back.

Simon goes off to Galilee with 3000 men and somehow manages to kill 3000 heathens, whose houses he raids and whose wives and children he enslaves. Judas rides off into the wilderness for three days, where he meets with a group called the Nabathites, who tell them about the situation in Galaad, which is that the enemies are planning to attack the fort. So Judas goes into the city and kills all the men and takes all their stuff, then burns the city because he's a pyromaniac now.

That night he goes to the fort and finds more enemies in the process of attacking it. He kills another 8000 people and then goes off to kill, burn and rob all the enemy cities in celebration. He gets word that yet another army has gathered to attack and goes to meet them. He leaves the scribes behind, then goes off to fight. The enemy is afraid and runs into a temple, so Judas burns the city and the temple. Judas asks all the Israelites living nearby to come back to Judea with him. On the way, they arrive at Ephron, which they can't go over, can't go under, and can't go around, they have to go through it. He promises to do so in peace, but they won't open the gates. So Judas orders his army to pitch their tents and then they attack the city until it falls, then do their usual routine of killing, robbing and burning, which seems a lot more complicated than say, building a ring road.

When his cabal gets to Mount Sion, they have a feast and barbecue, and Simon also comes back. They sit down to discuss their exploits. A couple of army captains are listening in and decide to wage their own battle against the heathens so as to make a name for themselves. They go out and find our old friend Gorgias, then kill 2000 of his men. This sets off a whole trend of Israeites going out and attacking random foreigners. Even a group of priests attacks a city and gets its ass handed to it.  This leads to Judas having to go out and do even more valiant acts to stop the other Israelites from showing off

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