By Daniel R. Schwartz
2 Maccabees is a Jewish paintings composed through the second century BCE and preserved by means of the Church. Written in Hellenistic Greek and informed from a Jewish-Hellenistic viewpoint, 2 Maccabees narrates and translates the ups and downs of occasions that happened in Jerusalem sooner than and through the Maccabean rebellion: institutionalized Hellenization and the root of Jerusalem as a polis; the persecution of Jews through Antiochus Epiphanes, followed by means of recognized martyrdoms; and the uprising opposed to Seleucid rule by way of Judas Maccabaeus. 2 Maccabees is a crucial 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 frequently particularly diversified from these represented by means of its competitor, I Maccabees.
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Extra info for 2 Maccabees (Commentaries on Early Jewish Literature)
For the preparation of a short and rough version as a preparatory step prior to the composition of the final version, see Lucian, How to Write History, 47; Avenarius, Lukians Schrift, 85–104. Zeitlin, 2 Macc, 22–23. II. 73 Rather, the story in Chapter 13 definitely gives the impression that the author is embarrassed by the whole matter and is trying to finish it up and move on as fast as possible. It seems that this was the price he paid in return for the valuable material he picked up somewhere and turned into Chapters 10–11.
It seems obvious the latter hypothesis is more likely. That is, it seems that the epitomator indeed confined himself to making Jason’s work better, as he says at 2:23–31; but when he added in other material, to help the reader understand the story’s import, he allowed himself more freedom. – At 6:17 the author of the third set of reflections distinguishes between them and the real story, and at 2:32 the epitomator distinguishes between his preface and the real story; in both cases, the latter is termed δι γησι«.
However, the order of things in 1 Maccabees now seems to be wrong. , either autumn 163/2 or spring 162/1 (see above, p. 11, n. 24); it is this datum that led Bar-Kochva (JM, 543–551), as others, to date the second campaign to 162 BCE. , just as our own book does at 13:23, that the second campaign was broken off due to Philip’s arrival in Antioch; (2) we know from our book (9:29) that Philip accompanied Antiochus’ guardian; contrast 11:1 (on which see below) and 1 Macc 3:3–33. As we shall see, this incorrect picture of their relationship had consequences for the history of our book.