Maccabeus Friend to Enemy

Handwritten page from the second book of Maccabees chapter 14 verse 19 through 33.
2Macc 14:19-33

Synopsis     2Maccabees 14:19-33     5/6/2021 

Although King Demetrius ordered Judas’ death, Nicanor made a treaty with Maccabeus. Nicanor was impressed with the courage of the Jewish army. So, it made perfect sense to him to make peace rather than suffer a protracted war.  

As a result, together Nicanor and Maccabeus signed peace treaty. And the two men actually became friends. Of course, all of this irritated Alcimus. And so, he wrote to King Demetrius. In the letter, he reported that Nicanor had made a peace treaty with Maccabeus. Alcimus made a point of reminding the king of Nicanor’s orders.  

Upon reading the letter, Demetrius was enraged. He responded by writing a letter directing Nicanor to send Maccabeus to Antioch. His intent was to have the Jewish leader executed in his presence. And so, Nicanor prepared to fulfill the king’s command. 

However, Judas became aware of the situation. And so, he gathered up his men and fled to the mountains. Now, Nicanor was enraged. To fail the king’s order would bring death. And so, he went to the temple. Once there, he commanded the priests to turnover Maccabeus. And he threatened with the destruction of the temple if they failed to produce the wanted man.  

Maccabeus Friend to Enemy 

Nicanor came to deeply appreciate Judas Maccabeus as a friend. But, when the synthetic community demanded a grave injustice against Maccabeus, he went along.  

Friend to Enemy 

There is a proverb that reads, “Many say, ‘My loyal friend,’ but who can find someone worthy of trust?” (Prov 20:6) With men, it seems this is most often the nature of things. Misunderstanding leads to offense. And offense leads to a breach. And once something’s broken, it’s hard to put back together.  

But God is different. His offer of friendship is eternal and immutable.  

“Be strong and steadfast; have no fear or dread of them, for it is the LORD, your God, who marches with you; he will never fail you or forsake you.” Deut 31:6 

May 6, 2021

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