Reading Acts

The book of 1 Maccabees clearly favors the revolution against the Seleucid and the Hasmonean dynasty. In fact, it is “a thoroughgoing pro-Hasmonean . . . perhaps even Sadducean, tendency interpenetrates the entire work” (Fischer, 4:441) and the “author of 1 Maccabees identifies unreservedly with the rebels and their leaders.” (Efron, 47; Sievers, 2).

judas-maccabeesThe Maccabean revolt was God’s will since the Hasmoneans liberated Judean from foreign rule. For example, in 5:62 the early Hasmoneans are described as “those men into whose hands salvation of Israel was given.” Those who disobey the Hasmoneans are killed in battle (5:55-62).

The founder of the dynasty, Matthias, is described as “burning with the zeal of Phineas” (2:26) when he first rallies people to rebel against the Seleucids. Phineas was the priest who killed a man and prostitute who dared to flaunt their sin before the tabernacle in Numbers 25:7. Even his last words…

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