2 Maccabees, 4
1. But the aforementioned Simon, who was a betrayer of the money and of his nation, spoke evil about Onias, as if he had instigated Heliodorus to do these things and as if he had been the inciter of evils.
2. And he dared to say that he was a traitor to the kingdom, though he provided for the city, and defended his people, and was zealous for the law of God.
3. But when the hostilities had proceeded to such an extent that even murders were committed by certain close associates of Simon,
4. Onias, considering the peril of this contention, and Apollonius to be mad, though he was governor of Coelesyria and Phoenicia, which only augmented the malice of Simon, he brought himself before the king,
5. not so as to be an accuser of a citizen, but in view of his own consideration for the common good of the entire multitude.
6. For he saw that, without royal providence, it would be impossible to provide peace to events, nor would Simon ever cease from his foolishness.
7. But after the life of Seleucus expired, when Antiochus, who was called the illustrious, had assumed the kingdom, Jason, the brother of Onias, was ambitions for the high priesthood.
8. He went to the king, promising him three hundred and sixty talents of silver, and from other revenues eighty talents,
9. and beyond these, he promised also one hundred and fifty more, if he would be granted the authority to establish a sports arena, and a school for boys, and to enroll those who were at Jerusalem as Antiochians.
10. When the king had assented, and he had obtained the leadership, he immediately began to transfer his subjects to the rituals of the heathens.
11. And taking away those things that had been established by the kings, by reason of the humanitarianism of the Jews, through John, the father of Eupolemus, who formed a friendship and alliance with the Romans, he discharged the legitimate legislations, voiding the oaths of the citizens, and he sanctioned depraved customs.
12. For he even had the audacity to set up, below the very stronghold, a sports arena, and to place all of the best adolescent boys in brothels.
13. Now this was not the beginning, but a certain increase and progression of heathenism and foreign practices, due to the nefarious and unheard of wickedness of the impious non-priest Jason,
14. so much so that now the priests were not devoted to the concerns of services at the altar, but, despising the temple and neglecting the sacrifices, they hurried to become participants of the wrestling school, and of its prohibited injustices, and of the training of the discus.
15. And, even holding the honors of their fathers to be nothing, they esteemed the glories of the Greeks as best.
16. For the sake of these, they held a dangerous competition, and were imitators of their practices, and so, in all things, they desired to be similar to those who had been their enemies and destroyers.
17. But acting impiously against the divine laws does not go unpunished, as these subsequent events will reveal.
18. But when the competition that was celebrated every fifth year was at Tyre, the king being present,
19. the villainous Jason sent sinful men from Jerusalem, carrying three hundred didrachmas of silver for the sacrifice of Hercules. But those who transported it asked that it might not be paid out for the sacrifices, because it was not needed, but might be used for other expenses.
20. So, even though this was offered by him who sent it for the sacrifice of Hercules, it was instead given over to the manufacture of Greek warships, because of those presenting it.
21. Then Apollonius, the son of Menestheus, was sent into Egypt because of the nobles of king Philometor of Ptolemy. But when Antiochus realized that he had been effectively alienated from the affairs of the kingdom, consulting his own interests, he started out from there and came to Joppa, and from there to Jerusalem.
22. And he was received magnificently by Jason and the city, and he entered with the lights of little torches and with praises. And from there he turned back with his army to Phoenicia.
23. And, after three years, Jason sent Menelaus, the brother of the above mentioned Simon, carrying money to the king, and bearing responses about essential matters.
24. And he, being recommended to the king, when he had magnified the appearance of his power, usurped the high priesthood for himself, outbidding Jason by three hundred talents of silver.
25. And so, having received orders from the king, he returned, holding nothing at all worthy of the priesthood, in truth, having the soul of a cruel tyrant and the rage of a wild beast.
26. And indeed, Jason, who had taken captive his own brother, was himself deceived, and was expelled to become a fugitive in the region of the Ammonites.
27. Then Menelaus, indeed, obtained the principality, but truly, concerning the money that he had promised to the king, nothing was done. Although Sostratus, who was first over the stronghold, attempted to collect it,
28. since the collection of certain taxes pertained to him. For this reason, they were both called before the king.
29. And Menelaus was removed from the priesthood, being succeeded by Lysimachus, his brother. Then Sostratus was appointed over the Cyprians.
30. And while these things were occurring, it happened that those from Tarsus and Mallus incited a sedition, because they had been given as a gift to Antiochidi, the concubine of the king.
31. And so, the king hurried to come and calm them, leaving behind Andronicus, one of his associates, as his deputy.
32. Then Menelaus, believing that he had reached an opportune time, having stolen certain gold vessels out of the temple, gave them to Andronicus, along with others he had gained at Tyre and throughout the neighboring cities.
33. But when Onias had realized this with certainty, he accused him, keeping himself in a safe place at Antioch beside Daphne.
34. Meanwhile, Menelaus met with Andronicus, asking him to execute Onias. So he then went to Onias, and he gave him his right hand with an oath, and, even though he was suspicious of him, he persuaded him to venture out of asylum, and he immediately killed him, with no respect for justice.
35. For this reason, not only the Jews, but also the other nations, were indignant and bore much grief for the unjust killing of so great a man.
36. But when the king returned from the places of Cilicia, the Jews at Antioch, and similarly the Greeks, went to him, complaining of the iniquitous killing of Onias.
37. And so Antiochus was grieved in his mind because of Onias, and, being moved to compassion, he shed tears, remembering the sobriety and modesty of the deceased.
38. And, being inflamed in soul, he ordered the purple to be torn from Andronicus, and that he be led around, throughout the entire city, and that, in the same place where he had committed the impiety against Onias, the sacrilegious man should be deprived of his life, as his fitting punishment rendered by the Lord.
39. But when many sacrileges were committed by Lysimachus in the temple through the counsel of Menelaus, and the news was divulged, the multitude gathered together against Lysimachus, though a great quantity of gold had been exported already.
40. But when the multitude stirred up an insurrection, and their minds were filled with anger, Lysimachus armed about three thousand, who began to act with hands of iniquity. A certain tyrant was their leader, a man advanced both in age and in madness.
41. But when they perceived the attempt of Lysimachus, some took hold of stones, others strong clubs, and, in truth, certain ones threw ashes upon Lysimachus.
42. And indeed, many were wounded, and some were struck down; however, all were put to flight. And, as for the sacrilegious man, they executed him beside the treasury.
43. Therefore, about these things, a judgment began to be stirred up against Menelaus.
44. And when the king had arrived at Tyre, three men were sent from the elders to bring the matter to him.
45. But when Menelaus was overcome, he promised to give much money to Ptolemy to persuade the king.
46. And so, Ptolemy went to the king in a certain court where he was, as if merely to refresh himself, and he influenced him away from the sentence.
47. And so Menelaus, though indeed guilty of all malice, was absolved of the crimes. Moreover, these pitiable men, who, even if they had pleaded their case before Scythians, would have been judged innocent, he condemned to death.
48. Therefore, those who brought the case on behalf of the city, and the people, and the sacred vessels were quickly given an unjust punishment.
49. For this reason, even the Tyrians, being indignant, proved to be very liberal toward their burial.
50. Thus, because of the greed of those who were in power, Menelaus remained in authority, increasing in malice, to the betrayal of the citizens.