Saturday, January 7, 2017

The Time Between Testaments-Bait and Switch Battle

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

photo by Mary Vee
The Syrians rule Judea.

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 led by a man named Judah of the Macabee family rallied the Jews to fight for the right to worship God. His band of fighters attacked small groups of soldiers. 

The victories encouraged them to attack one of Antiochus IV's armies. When they won they took their weapons.

Antiochus IV chose his great general Seron to lead a second army to wipe out the annoying Jewish rebellion. Scroll down to the last post to read about that battle. The result, Judah, leader of the Jewish rebellion won again.

To say Antiochus IV was furious would hardly describe him. He had to leave on an errand, but first chose the most cunning leader in his army, Lysias, and sent him to rid the planet of the rebellion. 

Lysis drew up an amazing plan. Judah's spies made their way to learn what Lysis wanted to do then made their way back up to the safety of their mountain hideaway. They told Judah, "He plans to split his army and send half the soldiers to attack at night while we sleep. The other half will be waiting to attack any of us who flee."

"Well done." A plan popped into Judah's mind. "I know exactly what to do. Gather all the men around."

Judah had hundreds of fighters. They didn't have weapons other than the ones they took from the Syrian army or the training of the Syrians, but they had a strong heart and desire for a freedom to worship God the way Moses had taught them.

The Jewish fighters circled Judah. "Listen. Set up the fires and tents as if you are sleeping. Make everything look as if we are here. Half the Syrian army will be here to attack our empty camp soon. Be exceptionally quiet and follow me to where the other half will be in hiding."

Judah's men worked quickly and followed him, staying hidden from view. Their advantage, they knew the mountains and could move easily in the dark, the Syrians did not. They moved close enough to see this half of the Syrian army slept, apparently resting for a first-light battle.

Dawn would soon brighten the sky. Judah's army sat quietly, watching the half army sleep. He gave the signal. The rebellion fighters crept into the sleeping camp and attacked the unprepared soldiers, conquering this half.

Judah had left spies to watch the other half army. The general leading the attacking army arrived at the Jew's fake sleeping camp. They rummaged through the tents. "They must have seen us coming and fled. Hah! They won't stand a chance against our men waiting for them.The general lead his army victoriously back to their camp to celebrate.

To his surprise, he found the camp in ruins and the other half of his army dead. The Jewish rebellion had outsmarted him. He lead his surviving half of the army back to the battle leader, Lysias.

He went into Lysias meeting tent not wanting to tell the news. "I have a report."

Lysias had a triumphant look on his face. "Tell me, General Gorgias, did the Jewish rebellion fighters cry for mercy?"

"Not really. We never found them. The army split in two as you ordered. I led my half and found the Jews' camp. It was setup as if they were asleep, but none were there. I assumed they heard us coming and fled into the arms of the rest of our army and had been killed. When I returned to the camp, I found everything in ruins and every soldier dead."

"What!" Lysias threw the table over. "Must I do everything myself? Antiochus IV ordered us to wipe them out." He paced. "Get out!"

Come back next time to see what happens.

This is the history, the events that happened to real people during the time between the Old and New Testaments. 


*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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