The response of Mattathias (1 Macc 2:19-2:22)

“However, Mattathias answered in a loud voice.

‘Even if all the nations

That live under the rule of the king obey him,

If everyone has chosen to do his commandments,

If everyone of them abandoning the religion of their ancestors,

I, my sons, and my brothers will continue to live

By the covenant of our ancestors.

Far be it for us to desert the law and the ordinances.

We will not obey the king’s words

By turning aside from our religion to the right hand or to the left.’”

Mattathias shouted out his response. Even if all the nations of the world choose to follow the king’s commandments by abandoning the religion of their ancestors, he, his brothers, and sons would continue to live under the covenant of their ancestors. They were not going to desert the Mosaic Law and ordinances. They would not obey the king’s words by deserting their religion to the right or to the left. There could be no misunderstanding about the words of Mattathias.