I wonder if there isn’t beginning to be a major cautionary tale in the Maccabean story, which will set up the world of the New Testament and the major oppression the Jews live under then. It seems like the heroes of the Maccabees are seeking more and more glory for themselves and not attributing it to God when they gain a victory, and seeking their victories not through prayers of deliverance, but through political machinations and entangling alliances. I mean, it’s because of the Roman alliance that Palestine is eventually annexed by Rome and the Jews live under those oppressors instead of free. The canonical method of becoming a priest or the right lineage was not followed, nor was the priest supposed to be the king. This uncanonical arrangement was part of the disunity between the Sadducees and the Pharisees in Jesus’ time, and the fact that priests are now owning land (big no-no in the Torah) leads to all kinds of Jew-on-Jew financial oppression that Christ violently opposed. I think a lot of the later chapters of the Maccabees are not so rah-rah Israel, but rather Arrested Development “This did not go well for them”. What do you think?

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