“The king’s officers who were enforcing the apostasy came to the city of Modein to make them offer sacrifice. Many from Israel came to them. Mattathias and his sons were assembled. Then the king’s officers spoke to Mattathias as follows.
‘You are a leader,
Honored and great in this city,
Supported by sons and brothers.
Now be the first to come.
Do what the king commands,
As all the gentiles
And the men of Judah
And those that are left in Jerusalem have done.
Then you and your sons
Will be numbered among the friends of the king.
You and your sons will be honored with silver, gold, and many gifts.’”
These inspectors of the king were zealous. They came to Modein to make sure that the Israelites there were offering the correct sacrifices. Mattathias and his sons were assembled there. These inspectors spoke specifically to Mattathias and his sons. They said that he and his sons were honored and great. They should be the first to follow the king’s command to sacrifice to the idols since everyone elsewhere had done the same. If they were to be first in Modein, they would become friends of the king, a special title that the Persian kings often used. They would be honored with silver, gold, and other gifts.