Judas Maccabeus (also known as Judah Maccabee and other spelling of his last name) was born to a Jewish priest by the name of Mattathias. Judas was the third son and would later grow to accept the position of leading the Maccabean revolt against the Seleucid Empire, which took place between 167 BCE and 160 BCE. Throughout Jewish history, Maccabeus is known as one of the best warriors , joining Gideon, Joshua, and David (two of which were made “Nine Worthies” as well).
Eight Facts About Judas Maccabeus
1) Judas’ father was known as Mattathias the Hasmonean , a Jewish priest who dwelled in the village of Modiin.
2) Mattathias and his sons (Judas, Eleazar, Simon, Jonathan, and Jochanan) became involved in a revolt led against the Selucid ruler named Antiochus IV Epiphanes. All of this took place in 167 BCE because they could no longer take the decrees that Epiphanes would issue that prevented Jewish from practicing their religion , all of which had been going on since 175 BCE.
3) After Mattathias passed away in 166 BCE, it was Judas that took over the position of leader in regards to the revolt. This was the wish of his father, who uttered his final desires on his deathbed.
4) If you read the First Book of Maccabees, you will encounter praise bestowed upon Judas in regards to his valor and military skills. After reading this text, there is no doubt that he possessed the qualities that would prove helpful as a new commander of the revolt.
5) In 161 BCE, it is Judas that establishes the Roman-Jewish Treaty with the Roman Republic. This is told in 1 Maccabees and Josephus. This agreement would mark the first contract that was recorded between the Jewish people and the Romans.
6) Maccabee died in 160 BCE, which played a role in the Jews newfound reason to pursue conflict. Additional years of war would follow , led by two of Matthathias’ other sons (named Simon and Jonathan). In the end, the Jew finally accomplished the independence that they wanted, as well as the right to worship in the manner that they saw fit.
7) Judas Maccabeus was known for turning his nose up at the athletic games and other competitions, which he viewed as an example of Greek culture. His enemies introduced this practice in Jerusalem, but he was able to do away with the games once he assumed control of the city. However, in later years , one of the major sports federations created during Israeli contemporary times was named after Judas , called Maccabi.
8) In the literary world, Judas served as the inspiration for numerous writers, as his role as a “war hero and national liberator” provided the meat for numerous publications. His spirit is mentioned in Dante’s “the Divine Comedy,” while Shakespeare chose to poke fun that he shared the same name with Judas Iscariot , who is known for his betrayal of Jesus.
Other works that Judas Maccabeus appears throughout the medieval period and includes text penned by William Houghton and French dramatist , Pierre du Ryer (1600 , 1658).During the 19th century, Judas makes an appearance in a tragedy consisting of five-act verses by Henry Longfellow. In the 20th century, many works (including several poems and children’s plays) were devoted to his memory, as well as mention the Maccabeean Revolt.