Almsgiving (Sir 29:8-29:13)

“Be patient with someone

In humble circumstances.

Do not keep him waiting

For your alms.

Help the poor man

For the commandment’s sake.

In their need,

Do not send them away

Empty-handed.

Lose your silver

For the sake of a brother.

Lose your silver

For the sake of a friend.

Do not let your silver rust

Under a stone.

Do not let your silver be lost.

Lay up your treasure

According to the commandments

Of the Most High.

It will profit you

More than gold.

Store up almsgiving

In your treasury.

It will rescue you

From every disaster.

Better than a stout shield,

Better than a sturdy spear,

It will fight for you

Against the enemy.”

You should be patient with people in humble poor circumstances. You should not make them wait for your almsgiving gift. You are only following the commandments when you give to the poor. You should not send the needy away empty-handed. You should give your silver to a brother or a friend. Do not let your silver rust or get lost under a stone. Circulate money. Your treasure should be in the commandments of the Most High God that are more profitable than gold. Your treasury should be filled with almsgiving, so that it can rescue you from any disaster that might come your way. Almsgiving is better than a strong shield or spear in the fight against your enemy.

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Jonathan becomes the new leader (1 Macc 9:28-9:31)

“Then all the friends of Judas assembled. They said to Jonathan.

‘Since the death of your brother Judas

There has been no one like him

To go against our enemies and Bacchides,

To deal with those of our nation who hate us.

Now we have chosen you today

To take his place as our ruler and leader,

To fight our battle.’

Jonathan accepted the leadership at that time. He took the place of his brother Judas.”

The friends of Judas Maccabeus got together. They decided to make his brother Jonathan the new leader. There was no one who was leading the fight against their Hellenizing Jewish enemies and the Syrian General Bacchides. People hated them. They wanted Jonathan to lead them in battle and rule them. Jonathan accepted this title, rather than be self appointed, sometime around the year 160 BCE.