Become bald (Mic 1:16-1:16)

Make yourselves bald!

Cut off your hair

For your pampered children!

Make yourselves

As bald

As the eagle!

They have gone

From you

Into exile.”

Being bald was a sign of mourning.  Yahweh, via Micah wanted the Israelites to become bald, by cutting off their hair.  They should be as bald as a bald eagle, because they were going to go into exile.

Preserve my life (Ps 143:11-143:12)

“Yahweh!

For your name’s sake,

Preserve my life!

In your righteousness,

Bring me out of trouble!

In your steadfast love

Cut off my enemies!

Destroy all my adversaries!

I am your servant.”

This psalm ends with a request to save the life of David. In his righteous and steadfast love, Yahweh was to bring him out of trouble by cutting off his adversaries. In fact, he wanted Yahweh to destroy all his adversaries because he was the true servant of Yahweh.

Thanksgiving for the punishment to King Antiochus IV (2 Macc 1:11-1:17)

‘Having been saved by God,

Out of grave dangers.

We thank him greatly

For taking our side against the king.

God drove out those who fought against the holy city.

When the leader reached Persia

With a force that seemed irresistible,

They were cut to pieces in the temple of Nanea

By a deception employed by the priests of Nanea.

On the pretext of intending to marry her,

Antiochus came to the place together with his friends,

To secure most of its treasures as a dowry.

When the priests of the temple of Nanea

Had set out the treasures,

Antiochus had come with a few men

Inside the wall of the sacred precinct,

They closed the temple as soon as he entered it.

Opening the secret door in the ceiling,

They threw stones.

They struck down the leader and his men,

They dismembered them.

They cut off their heads.

They threw them to the people outside.

Blessed in every way be our God,

Who has brought judgment

Upon those who have behaved impiously.”

They were thankful that God had taken King Antiochus IV in 164 BCE. He had brought great dangers to Jerusalem by his attack as in 1 Maccabees, chapter 1. He died about the same time of the writing of this letter, according to 1 Maccabees, chapter 5. However, there was no indication there on how he died, but this story in 2 Maccabees is very explicit. Here the king died at the hands of the Nanea priests, since Nanea was some kind of Syrian goddess. Perhaps King Antiochus IV was trying to take money from the temple. This story shows how the king suffered a brutal death with stones dropped on him and his men. Then they dismembered him, cutting off his head, and throwing him outside the temple.   All this they did because he had acted impiously. However, in 1 Maccabees, chapter 6, King Antiochus IV had repentance for what he had done. However, there is no mention of that here. Remember that this same King Antiochus IV had invaded Egypt also. He had received his just reward.