The people prepare (2 Macc 15:17-15:19)

“The people were encouraged by the words of Judas Maccabeus. They were so noble and so effective in arousing the valor and awaking the courage in the souls of the young. Thus, they determined not to remain in camp, but to attack bravely. They would decide the matter, by fighting hand to hand with all courage, because the city, the sanctuary, and the temple were in danger. Their concern for their wives and children, and also for their brothers, sisters, and relatives, lay upon them less heavily. Their greatest and first fear was for the consecrated sanctuary. Those who had to remain in the city were in no little distress, being anxious over the encounter in the open country.”

Judas Maccabeus had encouraged the people to have courage, especially the young. Instead of staying in camp, they were willing to attack bravely. They wanted to fight hand to hand with courage. They were more worried about the city, the Temple, and sanctuary rather than their wives, children, brothers, sisters, or other relatives. Their greatest fear was for the consecrated sanctuary. The people who remained in the city were anxious about the battle encounter in the open country.

Nicanor sends friendly emissaries (2 Macc 14:18-14:19)

“Nevertheless Nicanor heard about the valor of Judas Maccabeus and his troops as well as their courage in battle for their country. He shrank from deciding the issue by bloodshed. Therefore he sent Posidonius, Theodotus, and Mattathias to give and receive pledges of friendship.”

Nicanor realized that Judas Maccabeus and his troops were courageous. He decided not to solve the issue by war. In 1 Maccabees, chapter 7, it clearly said that Nicanor was trying to deceive Judas Maccabeus. Here that is not said as 3 Seleucid military leaders, who were not mentioned in 1 Maccabees, were sent as friendly emissaries to Judas Maccabeus. One of them even has the name of Judas’ father, Mattathias.

Judas Maccabeus relies on the Lord (2 Macc 10:27-10:28)

“Rising from their prayer, they took up their arms. They advanced a considerable distance from the city. When they came near the enemy they halted. Just as dawn was breaking, the two armies joined battle. The one army had a pledge of success and victory, based not only on their valor but their reliance upon the Lord. However, the other army made their rage their leader in the fight.”

Having finished praying, the men of Judas Maccabeus took up their arms and marched into battle. The battle began at dawn. The army of Judas had a pledge of success and victory because they relied on the Lord. The other army was fighting out of rage and anger.

The army of Judas Maccabeus (2 Macc 8:5-8:7)

“As soon as Judas Maccabeus got his army organized, the gentiles could not withstand him. The wrath of the Lord had turned to mercy. Coming without warning, he would set fire to towns and villages. He captured strategic positions. He put to flight not a few of the enemy. He found the nights most advantageous for such attacks. Talk of his valor spread everywhere.”

Suddenly, the army of Judas Maccabeus was able to attack the gentiles. The anger of God turned to mercy. Judas Maccabeus and his group would set fire to towns and villages, the supposed strategic positions of the enemy. However, they were in Israel or Judah. The enemies were sent fleeing. He mostly attacked at night because it was easier then as talk of his exploits began to spread everywhere.