The guard is set at the tomb (Mt 27:65-27:66)

“Pilate said to them.

‘You have a guard

Of soldiers.

Go!

Make it as secure

As you can!’

So,

They went

With the guard.

They made the tomb

Secure

By sealing the stone.”

 

ἔφη αὐτοῖς ὁ Πειλᾶτος Ἔχετε κουστωδίαν· ὑπάγετε ἀσφαλίσασθε ὡς οἴδατε.

οἱ δὲ πορευθέντες ἠσφαλίσαντο τὸν τάφον σφραγίσαντες τὸν λίθον μετὰ τῆς κουστωδίας.

 

This is unique to Matthew, who remarked that Pilate said to them (ἔφη αὐτοῖς ὁ Πειλᾶτος), the chief priests and the Pharisees, that they had a guard of soldiers or custodians (Ἔχετε κουστωδίαν·).  They could make this tomb as secure as they knew how or could (ὑπάγετε ἀσφαλίσασθε ὡς οἴδατε).  Thus, these Jewish leaders secured the tomb (οἱ δὲ πορευθέντες ἠσφαλίσαντο τὸν τάφον) by sealing the stone (σφραγίσαντες τὸν λίθον) that was in front of the tomb and setting up a custodial guard (μετὰ τῆς κουστωδίας).  Thus, it was not a Roman guard but a Jewish guard at the sealed tomb.

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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.

Menelaus become the high priest (2 Macc 4:23-4:29)

“After a period of three years, Jason sent Menelaus, the brother of the previously mentioned Simon, to carry money to the king. He sent him to complete the records of essential business. But Menelaus, when presented to the king, extolled him with an air of authority. He secured the high priesthood for himself, outbidding Jason by three hundred talents of silver. After receiving the king’s orders he returned. He possessed no qualification for the high priesthood. He had the hot temper of a cruel tyrant and the rage of a savage wild beast. So Jason, who after supplanting his own brother, was supplanted by another man. He was driven as a fugitive into the land of Ammon. Menelaus held the office, but he did not pay regularly any of the money promised to the king. Sostratus, the captain of the citadel kept requesting payment, since the collection of the revenue was his responsibility. Two of them were summoned by the king on account of this issue. Menelaus left his own brother Lysimachus as deputy in the high priesthood, while Sostratus left Crates as the commander of the Cyprian troops.”

In 172 BCE, 3 years later, Jason the high priest and brother of Onias III sent Menelaus, a Benjaminite brother of Simon, the brother-in-law of Onias III, to King Antiochus IV with money on official business. However, this Menelaus decided that he was going to outbid Jason for the position of high priest by offering 300 talents of silver, about $180,000 USA. Although he was not qualified to be a high priest since he was not a Levite, the king gave him orders to become the high priest in Jerusalem. Obviously the position of high priest went to the highest bidder. Menelaus was cruel and full of rage. Jason was then driven into the land of Ammon, east of the Jordan River. Menelaus never kept his financial promise to the king, although he ruled as high priest for 10 years from 172-162 BCE. Meanwhile, Sostratus, the captain of the citadel troops was not getting any money. The king then called Sostratus and Menelaus to settle this money issue. In the meantime, Lysimachus, the brother of Menelaus, was the deputy high priest in Jerusalem, and Crates became the commander of the citadel troops.