The salutation of the first letter (2 Macc 1:1-1:1)

“The Jews in Jerusalem

And those in the land of Judea,

To their Jewish kindred in Egypt,

Greetings and true peace!”

The unknown author of this letter implies that there were Jews in Egypt. Beginning at the time of Alexander the Great, Jews began to live in Egypt in the new city of Alexandria in 332 BCE. Somehow during the 2nd century BCE many more Jews went to Egypt. The son of a high priest, Onias IV apparently built a temple at Leontopolis based on the Jerusalem Temple. The beginnings of Greek letters usually used the word “greetings” as in 1 Maccabees. However, the Jewish letters usually began with “peace” so that both are here in this salutation. Those Jews in Egypt were related to the Jews in Jerusalem and Judea. Notice that there is a distinction between Jerusalem and Judea. This letter may have come after the 2nd letter since it seems to have been written before this letter.

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