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GREEKS & MACCABEES

By: Evelyn Pointer


INTRODUCTION

By: Evelyn Pointer

The Greek empire was the third of the four nations that ruled over the world, as shown to King Nebuchadnezzar in a dream The Greeks were harsh and cruel The worst of the Grecian kings was King Antiochus who brought about the Abomination of Desolation, which was the sacrificing of swine’s flesh upon an idol altar, which was placed upon the altar of God 2


MACCABEES God raised up a family of warrior priests who would fight against him and the other Greek kings on behalf of their nation, Israel They were the Hasmoneans but are most commonly known as the Maccabees. This presentation shares their story of great courage to stand up for God’s law and the temple 3

during the Greek Empire

By: Evelyn Pointer


ALEXANDER THE GREAT Alexander the Great defeated Darius, the Persian king, in battle and took over the Empire. He died without an heir when he was 34 years old. His kingdom was divided by his four generals. Seleucus was over Syria and Palestine. 4

By: Evelyn Pointer


ONIAS THE PRIEST

By: Evelyn Pointer

The children of Israel were ruled by governors and the High Priest. Onias was the High Priest during the reign of Seleucus. Onias was righteous and hated wickedness. He was a good ruler. Because of his goodness, the Greek kings allowed Israel to continue to keep their laws and traditions. Seleucus even paid for things necessary for the sacrificial offerings 5


SIMON THE GOVENOR

By: Evelyn Pointer

As usual, Israel was troubled because of its own wicked rulers. Onias was good, but Simon the governor of the temple wanted the power for himself. He lied against Onias, conspiring against him for his own greed for power, and told the governor of the city that the temple was full of great riches. The governor told the king, who demanded that they give him the money. He sent his treasurer to collect it. There was no great wealth or riches there, but he entered into the temple anyway. 6


SIMON THE GOVERNOR God punished him immediately with a vision of angels that were beating him and he passed out and had to be taken out. But Onias prayed for him that he would recover for fear that the king would think that they had done something to him. When he recovered he praised and acknowledged God. II Maccabees 7

3:35-40.

By: Evelyn Pointer


SIMON THE GOVERNOR Simon continued to slander and fight against Onias. He flattered and tried to impress the king for gain. He got license from the king to train the young men in the Greek traditions and exercises. The people began to prefer the ways of the heathen to the ways 8

of God and they began to forsake the temple.

By: Evelyn Pointer


DIVISION IN ISRAEL

There was great division and fighting among the factions in Israel. There were uprisings among the people. When Onias had been put to death without cause, the people rose up in protest, but the Greeks thought it was a

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rebellion.

By: Evelyn Pointer


ANTIOCHUS IV Because of this, Antiochus came to Jerusalem to stamp out the rebels. He decided that the Jews must be made to obey the law through force. He decreed that they must give up their own God and their own traditions and embrace the Greek ways. He forced the people to participate in the Greek sacrifices and to eat 10

food sacrificed to idols.

By: Evelyn Pointer


ANTIOCHUS IV On the 15th day of the ninth month he set up the Abomination of Desolation. He set up altars and groves and commanded that the baby boys be left uncircumcised. Whoever disobeyed would die. He commanded that the cities in Juda all sacrifice to idols. Many of the Israelites agreed to this and gathered to his officers. Those who did not agree hid themselves in the secret places. 11

They burnt the books of the law.

By: Evelyn Pointer


ANTIOCHUS IV

By: Evelyn Pointer

On the 25th day of the ninth month they sacrificed on the idol altar that he had put on the altar of God. He commanded that everyone must leave the law. They even put to death certain women who had circumcised their babies.

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MACCABEES

By: Evelyn Pointer

Mattathias was a priest with five sons. Their family name was Hasmonean, but most of us refer to them as Maccabees. We think of them as Maccabees because of Judas Maccabeus He was one of the sons of Mattathias and a great warrior. Judas Maccabeus led the people to fight against the Greeks and 13

to reclaim the temple.


MATTAHIAS

By: Evelyn Pointer

He also cleansed the altar and restored the worship. He had no fear. He trusted solely in God. In the beginning, it was his father Mattathias who rebelled against the Greeks. When Mattathias saw the blasphemies committed in Judah and Jerusalem it grieved his heart. 14


MATTATHIAS

By: Evelyn Pointer

“Then Mattathias answered and spake with a loud voice, Though all the nations that are under the kings dominion obey him, and fall away everyone from the religion of their fathers, and give consent to his commandments: Yet will I and my sons and my brethren walk in the covenant of our fathers. God forbid that we should forsake the law and the ordinances. We will not hearken to the king’s words, to go from our religion, either on the right hand or the left.” 15


MATTAHIAS When he saw one of the Jews sacrificing on the altar he could not contain himself and killed him as well as the king’s commissioner. Then he cried out, “Whosoever is zealous of the law, and maintaineth the covenant, let him follow me!” So Mattathias and his group ran to the mountains. Many people joined them there. Others fled to the secret places in the wilderness to 16

hide.

By: Evelyn Pointer


A REVOLT When the Greeks fought against them on the Sabbath they would not fight and were all killed. But those with Mattathias in the mountains decided they would fight for their lives even on the Sabbath. Many people began to join Mattathias and they rebelled against Antiochus, pulling down the altars of the idols and circumcising the baby boys. 17

By: Evelyn Pointer


A REVOLT They also fought against the wicked and recovered the law out of their hands. I Maccabees 2:45-48. When Mattathias was ready to die he encouraged his sons to fight the battles of the Lord. He told them that Judas Maccabeus had been mighty and strong from his youth and for him to be their captain. 18

By: Evelyn Pointer


MORE BATTLES Judas was the greatest and the strongest of his brothers and a fearless leader in battle. The Greek kings were constantly fighting each other. Israel became a pawn in their battles. One king would say he would give them freedom, and then another king would come in and refuse all of the promises made before. 19

Israel was caught in the middle

By: Evelyn Pointer


COURAGEOUS LEADER

By: Evelyn Pointer

The heathens would come against them with great numbers and elephants and Judas had few men with him. But Judas encouraged his men saying, “It is no hard matter for many to be shut up in the hands of a few; and with the God of heaven it is all one, to deliver with a great multitude of an host; but strength cometh from heaven.� 20


CLEANSING THE TEMPLE

By: Evelyn Pointer

Judas’ strength, bravery and accomplishments were well known to the heathen, because he defeated them in battle. Now when the enemy was discomfited they went up to cleanse and dedicate the sanctuary. Judas called for priests who were blameless in the law to cleanse the sanctuary and bare out the defiled stones. Now three years later on the exact same day that it had been polluted they dedicated the temple and the altar on the 25th day of the ninth month. 21


A LESSON OF INSPIRATION

By: Evelyn Pointer

The story of the Maccabees is one of courage during extreme tribulation. They all fought the battles of the Lord, but every last one of the sons of Mattathias that led the people against the Greeks were martyred one by one. They all died for the cause. But they were instrumental in defeating the Greeks. In fact they weakened the Greek kings and their ability to hold their power. They made a league with another great people, the Romans. Eventually Rome took over as the fourth kingdom that king Nebuchadnezzar dreamed about. 22


SPECIAL THANKS

By: Evelyn Pointer

This presentation was based on class written by Evelyn C. Pointer including.... “The Greeks & the Maccabees”

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QUESTIONS?

By: Evelyn Pointer

For questions regarding this presentation please contact us via email at info@householdofisrael.org or by phone at 219.949.9308

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The Greeks & the Maccabees