Security in the foreign temples (Bar 6:18-6:19)

“Just as the gates

Are shut

On every side

Against anyone

Who has offended a king,

As though under sentence

Of death,

So the priests make

Their temples secure

With doors,

With locks,

With bars,

So that they may not be

Plundered

By robbers.

They light more lamps

For them

Than they light for themselves,

Even though their gods

Can see none of them.”

In an interesting bit of irony, this author points out that the foreign temples have a lot of security, as if the temples were in prison. These temples are like someone who has offended a king. They have gates on all sides of them, as if they are awaiting a death sentence. Their temple priests have secured their temples with doors, locks, and bars because they are afraid that robbers will come into the temple and steal things from it. They have so much light in the temple for themselves, rather than for their gods who cannot see anything anyway, with or without light.

Jonathan rallies the troops (1 Macc 9:43-9:46)

“When Bacchides heard of this, he came with a large force on the Sabbath day to the banks of the Jordan River. Jonathan said to those with him.

‘Let us rise up now.

Let us fight for our lives.

Today things are not as they were before.

Look!

The battle is in front of us and behind us.

The water of the Jordan is on this side and on that,

With marsh and thicket.

There is no place to turn.

Cry out now to Heaven!

Cry that you may be delivered from the hands of our enemies.’”

Once again, Bacchides came on the Sabbath day to the banks of the Jordan River. Jonathan rallied his men to rise up and fight for their lives. The battle was on all sides of them and they were at the water’s edge. He wanted them to cry out to heaven to be delivered from their enemies. His speech was a pep talk and prayer at the same time.