August 1st. is the Feast Day of the seven holy Machabees who all suffered Martyrdom in the 2nd century before Christ. Even though I have already slightly mentioned them in when talking about the roots of Christendom in the Old Testament, (TC Christendom 3), they are such an important pre-figurement of what it means to have holy rulers forcefully enforce God’s rules. So I am going to relate their very fascinating history and tragic ending.
This father and 7 sons are the perfect example of God’s counter-revolutionaries who do warfare against those who have put new revolutionary laws into force. They do not cause revolutions, like the devil and his angels who revolted against God, but are like St. Michael the Archangel and his angeles, who only fight against the rebellion against God and those who unjustly impose evil on God’s people. We have seen this with the Vendees in France and the Cristeros in Mexico.
The king of Syria, Antiochus IV Epiphanes marched on Jerusalem in 168 B.C. and prohibited all Jewish rites under pain of death. He also enforced Greek worship of false gods. Jews were forced to eat pork and cover over the mark of circumcision. He also desecrated the altar in the Temple, allowed pagan orgies there and carried away the sacred vessels.
When the Machabees father and brothers, (of a priestly family), saw the kings ligate violently forcing Jews to violate God’s laws, they could not stand it. They slew the ligate, (and the Jews who were disobeying God’s laws), and tore down the altar. So under the leadership of the father Mathathias, they fled into the mountains and from there began a violent counter-revolution to free Israel.
I just wrote about another great Catholic counter-revolutionary, Charles Martel, (the Frank who stood up against the muslims who were desecrating churches and taking away the sacred vessels too), called the ‘Hammer’. Probably he got this name from the Machabees, whose name in Aramaic literally means ‘Hammer’.
The Machabees began to travel throughout Israel, destroying pagan altars, circumcising boys and driving away foreigners and apostate Jews. Mathathias, died in 166 B. C., but his five sons, John, Simon, Judas, Eleazar and Jonathan continued the battle for Jewish freedom. Judas became the military commander and Simon his advisor. After many miraculous victories, Judas re-occupied Jerusalem, cleansed the temple and rededicated it, 3 years after it had been profaned. Apostate Jews worshiping Greek gods to not be killed and to gain riches.
King Antiochus died in 164 B. C. and Lysias granted Jews freedom of worship. At battle, the brother Eleazar was killed. Lysias seiged Jerusalem again. Peace was obtained, but Judas would not lay down his arms till all foreigners were out of Israel. He asked Rome for help. But before receiving help, he died in the battle of Laisa, (161 B. C.).
Jonathan was then made leader of a few men faithful to Judas’ policies. In a battle, John dies. All seem hopeless, when God blessed Jonathan with followers and was able to rule most of Israel for four years.
Making treaties with the different leaders around him, he continued to be successful. But when one of the kings, (Tryphon), feared him, he imprisoned him and killed him and his two sons.
Simon was able to secure independence for Israel and exemption from taxes from Demetrius II. But his ambitious son-in-law had him murdered along with his two sons too.
We are so blessed to be traditional Catholics and to be able to live, work and suffer for Christendom where Jesus is King.
The original author of this blog passed away in July of 2016. RIP Father Carota.