Preparing for the battle of Beth-horon (1 Macc 3:16-3:22)

“When Seron approached the ascent of Beth-horon, Judas went out to meet him with a small company. But when they saw the army coming to meet them, they said to Judas.

‘How can we?

Few as we are,

How can we fight against so great and so strong a multitude?

We are faint,

We have eaten nothing today.’

Judas replied.

‘It is easy for many to be hemmed in by a few,

In the sight of heaven,

There is no difference between saving by many or by few.

It is not on the size of the army that victory in battle depends,

But strength comes from heaven.

They come against us in great insolence and lawlessness.

They want to destroy us, our wives, and our children.

They want to despoil us.

However, we fight for our lives and our laws.

He himself will crush them before us.

As for you,

Do not be afraid of them.’”

This is like a pep talk before the battle. Beth-horon was in the northwest corner of the Benjamin territory that might have close to the town of Modein since it was about 12 miles northwest of Jerusalem. Judas’ men said that they were too few to fight a battle against so many Syrian troops. They said that they were hungry and faint. Judas Maccabeus responded that there was no difference between a big army and a small army because strength comes from heaven. They were insolent and lawless. They wanted to destroy us, our wives, and our children. They wanted to get rid of us. However, we fight for our lives and our laws. They should not be afraid because the God of heaven in on their side.

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