“Now the days drew near for Mattathias to die. He said to his sons.
‘Arrogance and scorn have now become strong.
It is a time of ruin and furious anger.
Now, my children,
Show zeal for the law.
Give your lives for the covenant of our ancestors.’”
This text does not indicate how old Mattathias was or what he was dying of. However, he called his 5 sons and righty said that arrogance and scorn had become common place. There was much anger at that time. However, he also was right to tell them to have zeal for the law and the covenant of their ancestors.