Wednesday, December 21, 2016

A Time Between Time-The Rebellion and A Reason to Fight

By Mary Vee
Between the Old and New Testament

From the Historical records

The time in between time. 

Four hundred years are in the process of passing since God last spoke through a prophet to His people.

Remember we are counting backwards to year 0. The year is around 143 BC. (before Christ)

    400 BC                           300 BC                        200 BC                        100 BC                          Birth of Christ

The Syrians ruled Judea.

These soldiers were equipped with the best, newest, and powerful weapons of the day: rams to break through strong city gates, bows and arrows, javelins, spears, armor, elephants, and military siege engines shaped like large crossbows having better accuracy than a catapult. What small army would dare fight them? 

A Jewish remnant did. 

This group of Jewish soldiers didn't even have the support of their entire nation. Many Jews chose to do as they were told by their captors, giving up the right to worship God and the laws He gave for living.

Last week, on his death bed, the priest Mattathias appointed his sons Simon and Judah to lead the rebellion in his place. Simon, his second son for his wisdom in judgement and Judah his third son for his courage and strength.

In a short time, three thousand Jews became frustrated with losing their freedom of worship. They joined Judah in a campaign against the Syrians and their leader Antiochus IV. Judah had brilliant battle plans. Attack a small group of Syrians here and there. Sneak up on a Syrian meeting and attack. He kept the attacks small, within their reach. Judah's men used rocks and farm tools for weapons and their strongest weapons: a knowledge of the hills, caves, and mountains and a desire to worship God. 

Judah and his men had one more huge advantage. A reason to fight.

The Syrian soldiers followed the orders of Antiochus IV. Their country had not been invaded.  They were not protecting their families or land. They were dominating a county they had conquered. The only reward these men had was the show of their power.

Judah and his men's reason to fight was to regain the control of the Temple in Jerusalem. The freedom of worship. Prior to this time the Jews had not rebelled against their captors. Those captors let them worship as God commanded. The reign of the Antiochus throne took away that freedom.

With so many men joining the rebellion, a problem rose. Where would they hide all of them in the hills? Judah devised another phase of his plan. Jewish soldiers would live at their homes, farm their land, and listen. Listen for Syrian activity. When they heard important information, they sent messengers to Judah. It was like having spies throughout the country.

The small Jewish army surprised Syrian soldiers, won the skirmish then quickly retreated to the hills. Antiochus hated these annoying outbursts. He made stronger rules against the Jews for their punishment.

Antiochus ordered his general to march into the area where the remnant soldiers hid. The general gathered a large army, armed with powerful weapons, and marched. With the eyes and ears of soldier farmers, Judah heard about the coming attack. He formulated an ambush while the Syrian soldiers still marched. The rebellion won the battle, killing most of the Syrian soldiers. Judah's army took the Syrian's powerful weapons, including the sword of the general. 

When news of the defeat reached Antiochus he became even more angry.

Who will win in the end? Come back next time to read the next events.

The timing of this story is very crucial. God sent His son, Jesus, to save and protect. 


*New International Version, New King James Version. 
*My Bible College training.
*My notes and walk through classes I've taught in Children's church. Answers to student questions, etc.
*Pastoral sermons on this time
*Matthew Henry Commentary
*F. LaGard Smith Commentary
*The Hanukkah Book by Marilyn Burns, Four Winds Press, Macmillan Publishing Company, 1981

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