The Maccabean Revolt
by Jacob Reinholtz
An old man named Mattathias and his five sons became the standard leaders of the revolt. Many people believed that the revolt would be a hopeless effort and would not succeed. At the time, it did seem like a hopeless revolt considering that Greece was the single most powerful empire. People joined the revolt anyway because martyrdom was a better option than being unfaithful to God.
When fighting started, the Jews actually started gaining back territory. Judas Maccabeus was the most gifted soldier for the revolt, in which he had great success against the enemy army. The Jews were able to win these battles because they had their great trust in God.
End of the Rebellion
Even after the death of Judas Maccabeus, many great victories were gained other the leadership of his brothers. Since most of Judah had been reconquered by the Maccabees, the kings were obliged to come to terms with the Jews. Even after the peace terms with the Greeks, the Jews conquered most of what was David's kingdom. Israel was finally an independent power again, 125 years before the birth of Christ.
Because of the revolt, the Temple was purified and rededicated to God. The dedication and purification of the Temple is still celebrated today. This eight day celebration is a Jewish holiday known as Hanukkah.
The Maccabean Revolt - Chuck MIssler