Victory for Israel

By: Brittany Segalla and Elizabeth Seiler; 8th Hour

Invasion of the Greeks

Alexander the Great conquered Persia, which put the Jews under Greek rule. The influence of Greek culture in the conquered areas became known as Hellenism. Some of the Jews chose to follow Greek ways, and faithful Jews were offended by them. However, they were still allowed to practice their own religion...until Antiochus IV that is.

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The Beginning of a Rebellion

The Seleucid king, Antiochus IV "Epiphanes", took Hellenism to the extreme by forcing his people to adopt Greek ways instead of letting them choose. (In other words, the Jews could no longer worship God.)

Everyone had to live by the Greeks' rules and traditions, and if you did not wish to practice their traditions, you would be in great danger (Antiochus resorted to murder and torture as means to enforce his point).

The Greeks even turned the Temple into the temple of Olympian Zeus and introduced Greek styles of worship that were full of immoralities that shocked the faithful remnant of Israel.

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The Maccabean Revolt

Mattathias and his family organized the Jews into a resistance against the Greeks. It was unlikely for them to succeed because they were going up against the world's greatest empire, but when they started to believe and trust in God, they started to succeed by winning back territory. They were soon able to purify the Temple.

Judas, the most talented soldier, and his four brothers became known as the Maccabees, and they eventually conquered most of the territory that had been part of the Davidic Kingdom (after Judas' death, though).

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Hanukkah: A New Jewish Holiday

Hanukkah was instituted by Judas Maccabeus and celebrates the rededication of the Temple in 164 BC; the celebration lasts for eight days.

Hanukkah is celebrated on Kislev 25 (From 2 Maccabees 10:5).


The Maccabees allied themselves with Sparta and Rome, which would have strengthened their rebellion and made it easier for them to gain their freedom.

Israel was finally restored after the revolt and became an independent power in 125 BC.

The Books of Maccabees

The Books of Maccabees show us what Jewish life was like before the Incarnation. There are a few Jewish beliefs in the book that Christians also follow. They are: "Israel" is the faithful remnant, the saints who die will rise again to an eternal reward, martyrdom is preferable to apostasy, God judges his people as a father judges his children, and it is good and wise to pray for the dead.

The Maccabeats - All About That Neis - Hanukkah