By Daniel R. Schwartz
2 Maccabees is a Jewish paintings composed throughout the 2d century BCE and preserved by means of the Church. Written in Hellenistic Greek and advised from a Jewish-Hellenistic viewpoint, 2 Maccabees narrates and translates the ups and downs of occasions that came about in Jerusalem sooner than and through the Maccabean rebellion: institutionalized Hellenization and the root of Jerusalem as a polis; the persecution of Jews via Antiochus Epiphanes, observed via well-known martyrdoms; and the uprising opposed to Seleucid rule via Judas Maccabaeus. 2 Maccabees is a vital resource either for the occasions it describes and for the values and pursuits of the Judaism of the Hellenistic diaspora that it displays - that are usually really diverse from these represented via its competitor, 1 Maccabees.
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Extra info for 2 Maccabees (Commentaries on Early Jewish Literature)
28 Introduction 6. The telegraphic style of several verses in Chapter 13, beginning with the battle at Modein, is puzzling; see esp. v. 14 and then from v. 19 until the end of the chapter. The style is extremely staccato and asyndetic – nouns and verbs are piled up without benefit of conjunctions, subordination, or participles (on the latter characteristic of our book’s style, see below, p. 73). Although the book was formed, to a large degree, by epitomizing a longer account, it was done with an eye to making the book more readable; these verses in Chapter 13 serve anything but that purpose, and hence require an explanation.
73). Although the book was formed, to a large degree, by epitomizing a longer account, it was done with an eye to making the book more readable; these verses in Chapter 13 serve anything but that purpose, and hence require an explanation. There is no other instance in the book of such a sequence of verses as here, and, indeed, only two other cases of such style in the whole book (14:21, 25). 7. Another problem in Chapter 13: vv. 3–8, on the death of Menelaus, not only interrupt the main story of the new invasion (vv.
For the Menelaus story is based on the premise (v. 4) that the king and Lysias recognized that Menelaus was “the cause of all the troubles” and we therefore are entitled to assume that with that realization and the execution of Menelaus the invasion will be called off. Instead, however, v. 9 reports, without any explanation, that “the king, becoming barbaric in his intentions, began to display himself toward the Jews in ways as bad as the worst which had happened in his father’s days …” One needs no exaggerated suspicion or hypercriticism to imagine that the verses on Menelaus’ death are a secondary insertion.