Menelaus Priest of Ambition

Handwritten page from the second book of Maccabees chapter 4 verse 26 through 39.
2Macc 4:26-39

Synopsis     2Maccabees 4:26-39     3/29/2021 

Jason outbid his brother Onias to become the High Priest. Later, when it was time for Jason to pay tribute, he sent Menelaus to the king. Menelaus was his ambassador.  

However, Menelaus was ambitious. And so, while he was with the king, he outbid Jason for the high priesthood. As a result, Jason sought asylum with the Ammonites. After this, Menelaus commissioned Lysimachus as his ambassador.   

But Menelaus failed to pay the king the promised amount. So, through a series of mishaps, Menelaus and Lysimachus stole gold articles from the temple. And then, Onias discovered the theft and reported it.  

In order to stop Onias, Menelaus persuaded one of the king’s friends to kill Onias. However, when the king heard of the assassination, he grieved. So in response, King Antiochus executed the assassin.  

Despite all of this, Menelaus and Lysimachus continued to steal from the temple.  

Menelaus Priest of Ambition 

In all Israelite history, selfish ambition was never so raw as Menelaus. Not content with the high priesthood, he used his position to increase his wealth and power. But even this was not enough. Instead, he deliberately worked to undermine and destroy Judaism. 

Selfish Ambition 

Selfish ambition blinds me like no other force. When I reign solo as the king of my own little universe, I legitimize a billion other universes to do the same.  

“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the way of sinners, nor sit in company with scoffers.” Psa 1:1 

March 30, 2021

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