2 Maccabees, 14
1. Three years later, Judas and his men were informed that Demetrius, son of Seleucus, had landed in Tripoli with a fleet and a powerful army,
2. and had taken control of the kingdom, killing Antiochus and his tutor Lysias.
3. A certain Alcimus, who had been High Priest before, but was disgraced during the time of the rebellion, realized that there was no way for him to be restored to the ministry at the sacred altar.
4. So, he went to King Demetrius in about the year one hundred and fifty-one, and offered him a golden crown, a palm and even some olive branches from the Temple as usual. On that day, he did not ask for anything.
5. But he found a proper occasion for his evil designs when he was called to a meeting of the king's council. When he was asked with what disposition and spirit the Jews were to be confronted, he answered,
6. "There exists a party called Hasideans among the Jews, headed by Judas Maccabeus, that keeps up war and rebellion, and hinders the reestablishment of peace and order in the land.
7. Because of them, I have been deprived of the dignity of my ancestors, that is, the office of High Priest. And I came here,
8. concerned for the king's interests above everything else, but for my compatriots as well, since the fanaticism of those men has plunged our people into great misery.
9. O King, look upon our land and nation which is hard pressed on all sides, with that same kindness you have for all.
10. For as long as Judas lives, it is impossible for the State to find peace."
11. When Alcimus had said this, the rest of the King's Friends who were hostile to Judas, quickly incited Demetrius against him.
12. And the king immediately chose Nicanor, who commanded the squadron of elephants, and appointed him military commissioner of Judea
13. with orders to kill Judas, disperse his men and restore Alcimus as priest of the great Temple.
14. The pagans who had earlier escaped from Judea for fear of Judas, flocked in great number to Nicanor, thinking that the misfortunes and defeat of the Jews would mean victory for them.
15. When the men of Judas learned about the coming of Nicanor and the invasion of Nicanor was coming and about the invasion of the pagans, they sprinkled dust upon their heads, and called on Him who had established his people forever, and had each time protected his people by wonderful manifestations.
16. Then, at their leader's command they set out to march, and the battle began near Dessau.
17. Simon, the brother of Judas, had attacked Nicanor, but his men were suddenly confounded by the enemies, suffering a slight setback.
18. However, as Nicanor had heard of the courage of Judas and his men and of how bravely they fought for their country, he feared resolving the situation by bloodshed.
19. So, he sent Posidonius, Theodotus and Mattathias to arrange for peace.
20. After a thorough consideration of the conditions, he communicated this to his troops and it seemed that they were unanimous about it. The treaty of peace was accepted.
21. So they set the date on which the leaders should meet. A chariot came forward from each side and they prepared seats of honor.
22. Judas positioned armed men in strategic places, in case of sudden treachery on the part of the enemy. But their meeting went well.
23. Nicanor spent some time in Jerusalem without doing any harm, and even dismissed the people that had gathered around him.
24. He always had Judas with him, for he had a high regard for him.
25. He advised him to get married and have children, so Judas got married and enjoyed a peaceful life.
26. When Alcimus saw the good understanding between the two, he secured a copy of the signed accord and went to Demetrius, accusing Nicanor of acting against the interests of the State, inasmuch as he had appointed Judas, the enemy of the kingdom, as his minister.
27. The king was infuriated and stirred up by the slanders of that wicked man. He wrote Nicanor telling him how indignant he was over the treaty and ordering him to put Maccabeus in chains and to send him to Antioch at once.
28. Nicanor was dismayed to learn that he was asked to break the treaty with Judas who had done nothing wrong.
29. But he could not go against the king's orders, so he sought an occasion to carry this out by deceit.
30. Maccabeus noticed that Nicanor had become more reserved towards him and more unpleasant in their usual meetings, so he understood that this did not promise well. He began to gather some of his men, but did not make this known to Nicanor.
31. When the latter became aware that Judas had escaped without being disloyal, he appeared in the holy Temple while the priests were offering the ritual sacrifices, and demanded that they hand Judas over to him.
32. The priests declared on oath that they did not know where he was to be found.
33. Then, he stretched out his hand to the sanctuary and made this oath: "If you do not hand Judas over to me in chains, I shall raze this place consecrated to God, destroy the altar, and right here build a splendid temple to Dionysus."
34. And after saying this, he left. The priests stretched forth their hands to heaven and called on him who had unceasingly defended our nation, saying
35. "O Lord of the universe, though you do not need anything, it has pleased you to put among us this temple as your dwelling place.
36. So now, keep undefiled forever this house that has just been purified."
37. Razis, one of the elders of Jerusalem, was denounced to Nicanor as being a very patriotic man, well known as "father of the Jews" because of his kindness.
38. In the time before the rebellion, he had been accused of Judaism and with much enthusiasm he had totally given himself to the defense of Judaism.
39. Now then, Nicanor, wishing to show his hatred towards the Jews, ordered more than five hundred soldiers to take him prisoner.
40. He thought that by putting him in prison, he would deal a great blow to the Jews.
41. When the soldiers were about to capture the tower and were breaking the door of the courtyard (they had already ordered that fire be brought to burn the door), Razis, surrounded on all sides, struck his belly with his own sword.
42. He preferred to die bravely rather than fall into the hands of foreigners and suffer insults unworthy of his noble birth.
43. But when he fell upon his sword, he did not hit exactly, so when he saw the troops were now rushing in through the gates, he gathered enough strength to climb to the top of the tower, and manfully threw himself down upon the soldiers.
44. But they quickly withdrew, so he fell into an empty space.
45. Still alive, and aflame with valor, he stood up in spite of the blood that gushed forth and the wounds he had, and came running through the soldiers.
46. He stood on a steep rock and there, with his blood almost completely drained from him, he took hold of his intestines with both hands and hurled them at the crowd. Then calling upon the name of the Lord of life and spirit to give them back to him again one day, he left this life.