Mattathias appoints his two sons (1 Macc 2:65-2:68)

“Here is your brother Simeon

Who I know is wise in counsel.

Always listen to him.

He shall be your father.

Judas Maccabeus has been a mighty warrior from his youth.

He shall command the army for you.

He shall fight the battle against the peoples.

You shall rally around you

All those who observe the law

You shall avenge the wrong done to your people.

Pay back the gentiles in full.

Obey the command of the law.”

John, his son, was the oldest, but there is no mention of him here. Here it is the 2nd son Simeon, and the 3rd son Judas, who was called Maccabeus. Simeon was to be like the father to them because of his wise counsel, while Judas was to lead the army. He wanted them to rally around those who follow the law. However, he wanted them to pay back the gentiles just as the law had commanded.

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