The speech of Alcimus before King Demetrius I (2 Macc 14:6-14:10)

Alcimus answered.

‘Those of the Jews

Who are called Hasideans,

Whose leader is Judas Maccabeus,

They are keeping up the war.

They are stirring up sedition.

They will not let the kingdom attain tranquility.

Therefore I have laid aside my ancestral glory.

I refer to the high priesthood.

I have now come here.

First, I am genuinely concerned for the interests of the king.

Second, I have regard also for my compatriots.

Through the folly of those whom I have mentioned,

Our whole nation is now in no small misfortune.

Since you are acquainted,

O king,

With the details of this matter,

May it please you!

Take thought for our country!

Think of our hard-pressed nation with the gracious kindness

That you show to all.

As long as Judas lives,

It is impossible for the government to find peace.’”

Once again this is similar to 1 Maccabees, chapter 7. The Jerusalem high priest Alcimus blames the Hasideans for all the trouble. This is the first mention of these Hasideans in this book but they were important in 1 Maccabees, since they seem to be a group of ascetic scribes who were the early followers of Mattathias, the father of Judas Maccabeus. They may later have become the Essenes. Clearly Judas Maccabeus was their leader. Alcimus claimed that Judas Maccabeus and his group was preventing peace and leading a seditious revolt. As long as he lived there could be no peace. On the other hand, Alcimus explained that he was concerned about the king and his people. He wanted King Demetrius I to show compassion on his kingdom by getting rid of Judas Maccabeus.

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