|6. Septuagint, 1 Maccabees, 3.16-3.19, 3.45-3.54, 4.28-4.33, 6.29-6.30, 6.43-6.46, 6.59, 7.1, 7.5, 7.8, 7.10-7.23, 7.26-7.30, 7.32-7.50, 9.19-9.22, 14.4, 14.13 (2nd cent. BCE - 2nd cent. BCE)
Tagged with subjects: • Hellenistic Kings/Rulers, Nicanor • Nicanor • Nicanor, Death of • Nicanor, Focal Villain • Nicanor, Seleucid general • Nicanor, Thrice-Accursed • Nicanors Day • temple motif, in the Nicanor legend
Found in books: Beyerle and Goff (2022), Notions of Time in Deuterocanonical and Cognate Literature, 212; Bickerman and Tropper (2007), Studies in Jewish and Christian History, 1055, 1091, 1129; Eckhardt (2011), Jewish Identity and Politics Between the Maccabees and Bar Kokhba: Groups, Normativity, and Rituals. 46; Feldman, Goldman and Dimant (2014), Scripture and Interpretation: Qumran Texts That Rework the Bible 302; Gera (2014), Judith, 36, 39, 55, 173, 189, 315, 317, 396, 404, 412, 432, 435; Moss (2012), Ancient Christian Martyrdom: Diverse Practices, Theologies, and Traditions, 40; Noam (2018), Shifting Images of the Hasmoneans: Second Temple Legends and Their Reception in Josephus and Rabbinic Literature, 32, 36, 37, 38, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 53, 54, 55; Schwartz (2008), 2 Maccabees, 9, 171, 324, 325, 394, 466, 467, 485, 496, 543
3.16 When he approached the ascent of Beth-horon, Judas went out to meet him with a small company. 3.17 But when they saw the army coming to meet them, they said to Judas, "How can we, few as we are, fight against so great and strong a multitude? And we are faint, for we have eaten nothing today." 3.18 Judas replied, "It is easy for many to be hemmed in by few, for in the sight of Heaven there is no difference between saving by many or by few. 3.19 It is not on the size of the army that victory in battle depends, but strength comes from Heaven.
3.45 Jerusalem was uninhabited like a wilderness;not one of her children went in or out. The sanctuary was trampled down,and the sons of aliens held the citadel;it was a lodging place for the Gentiles. Joy was taken from Jacob;the flute and the harp ceased to play. 3.46 So they assembled and went to Mizpah, opposite Jerusalem, because Israel formerly had a place of prayer in Mizpah. 3.47 They fasted that day, put on sackcloth and sprinkled ashes on their heads, and rent their clothes. 3.48 And they opened the book of the law to inquire into those matters about which the Gentiles were consulting the images of their idols. 3.49 They also brought the garments of the priesthood and the first fruits and the tithes, and they stirred up the Nazirites who had completed their days; 3.50 and they cried aloud to Heaven, saying, "What shall we do with these?Where shall we take them? 3.51 Thy sanctuary is trampled down and profaned,and thy priests mourn in humiliation. 3.52 And behold, the Gentiles are assembled against us to destroy us;thou knowest what they plot against us. 3.53 How will we be able to withstand them,if thou dost not help us?" 3.54 Then they sounded the trumpets and gave a loud shout.
4.28 But the next year he mustered sixty thousand picked infantrymen and five thousand cavalry to subdue them. 4.29 They came into Idumea and encamped at Beth-zur, and Judas met them with ten thousand men. 4.30 When he saw that the army was strong, he prayed, saying, "Blessed art thou, O Savior of Israel, who didst crush the attack of the mighty warrior by the hand of thy servant David, and didst give the camp of the Philistines into the hands of Jonathan, the son of Saul, and of the man who carried his armor. 4.31 So do thou hem in this army by the hand of thy people Israel, and let them be ashamed of their troops and their cavalry. 4.32 Fill them with cowardice; melt the boldness of their strength; let them tremble in their destruction. 4.33 Strike them down with the sword of those who love thee, and let all who know thy name praise thee with hymns."
6.29 And mercenary forces came to him from other kingdoms and from islands of the seas. 6.30 The number of his forces was a hundred thousand foot soldiers, twenty thousand horsemen, and thirty-two elephants accustomed to war.
6.43 And Eleazar, called Avaran, saw that one of the beasts was equipped with royal armor. It was taller than all the others, and he supposed that the king was upon it. 6.44 So he gave his life to save his people and to win for himself an everlasting name. 6.45 He courageously ran into the midst of the phalanx to reach it; he killed men right and left, and they parted before him on both sides. 6.46 He got under the elephant, stabbed it from beneath, and killed it; but it fell to the ground upon him and he died.
6.59 and agree to let them live by their laws as they did before; for it was on account of their laws which we abolished that they became angry and did all these things."
7.1 In the one hundred and fifty-first year Demetrius the son of Seleucus set forth from Rome, sailed with a few men to a city by the sea, and there began to reign.
7.5 Then there came to him all the lawless and ungodly men of Israel; they were led by Alcimus, who wanted to be high priest.
7.8 So the king chose Bacchides, one of the kings friends, governor of the province Beyond the River; he was a great man in the kingdom and was faithful to the king.
7.10 So they marched away and came with a large force into the land of Judah; and he sent messengers to Judas and his brothers with peaceable but treacherous words.
7.11 But they paid no attention to their words, for they saw that they had come with a large force.
7.12 Then a group of scribes appeared in a body before Alcimus and Bacchides to ask for just terms.
7.13 The Hasideans were first among the sons of Israel to seek peace from them,
7.14 for they said, "A priest of the line of Aaron has come with the army, and he will not harm us."
7.15 And he spoke peaceable words to them and swore this oath to them, "We will not seek to injure you or your friends."
7.16 So they trusted him; but he seized sixty of them and killed them in one day, in accordance with the word which was written,
7.17 "The flesh of thy saints and their blood they poured out round about Jerusalem,and there was none to bury them."
7.18 Then the fear and dread of them fell upon all the people, for they said, "There is no truth or justice in them, for they have violated the agreement and the oath which they swore."
7.19 Then Bacchides departed from Jerusalem and encamped in Beth-zaith. And he sent and seized many of the men who had deserted to him, and some of the people, and killed them and threw them into a great pit. 7.20 He placed Alcimus in charge of the country and left with him a force to help him; then Bacchides went back to the king. 7.21 Alcimus strove for the high priesthood, 7.22 and all who were troubling their people joined him. They gained control of the land of Judah and did great damage in Israel. 7.23 And Judas saw all the evil that Alcimus and those with him had done among the sons of Israel; it was more than the Gentiles had done.
7.26 Then the king sent Nicanor, one of his honored princes, who hated and detested Israel, and he commanded him to destroy the people. 7.27 So Nicanor came to Jerusalem with a large force, and treacherously sent to Judas and his brothers this peaceable message, 7.28 "Let there be no fighting between me and you; I shall come with a few men to see you face to face in peace." 7.30 It became known to Judas that Nicanor had come to him with treacherous intent, and he was afraid of him and would not meet him again.
7.32 About five hundred men of the army of Nicanor fell, and the rest fled into the city of David. 7.33 After these events Nicanor went up to Mount Zion. Some of the priests came out of the sanctuary, and some of the elders of the people, to greet him peaceably and to show him the burnt offering that was being offered for the king. 7.34 But he mocked them and derided them and defiled them and spoke arrogantly, 7.35 and in anger he swore this oath, "Unless Judas and his army are delivered into my hands this time, then if I return safely I will burn up this house." And he went out in great anger. 7.36 Then the priests went in and stood before the altar and the temple, and they wept and said, 7.37 "Thou didst choose this house to be called by thy name,and to be for thy people a house of prayer and supplication. 7.38 Take vengeance on this man and on his army,and let them fall by the sword;remember their blasphemies,and let them live no longer." 7.39 Now Nicanor went out from Jerusalem and encamped in Beth-horon, and the Syrian army joined him. 7.40 And Judas encamped in Adasa with three thousand men. Then Judas prayed and said, 7.41 "When the messengers from the king spoke blasphemy, thy angel went forth and struck down one hundred and eighty-five thousand of the Assyrians. 7.42 So also crush this army before us today; let the rest learn that Nicanor has spoken wickedly against the sanctuary, and judge him according to this wickedness." 7.43 So the armies met in battle on the thirteenth day of the month of Adar. The army of Nicanor was crushed, and he himself was the first to fall in the battle. 7.44 When his army saw that Nicanor had fallen, they threw down their arms and fled. 7.45 The Jews pursued them a days journey, from Adasa as far as Gazara, and as they followed kept sounding the battle call on the trumpets. 7.46 And men came out of all the villages of Judea round about, and they out-flanked the enemy and drove them back to their pursuers, so that they all fell by the sword; not even one of them was left. 7.47 Then the Jews seized the spoils and the plunder, and they cut off Nicanors head and the right hand which he so arrogantly stretched out, and brought them and displayed them just outside Jerusalem. 7.48 The people rejoiced greatly and celebrated that day as a day of great gladness. 7.49 And they decreed that this day should be celebrated each year on the thirteenth day of Adar.
7.50 So the land of Judah had rest for a few days.
9.19 Then Jonathan and Simon took Judas their brother and buried him in the tomb of their fathers at Modein, 9.20 and wept for him. And all Israel made great lamentation for him; they mourned many days and said, 9.21 "How is the mighty fallen,the savior of Israel!" 9.22 Now the rest of the acts of Judas, and his wars and the brave deeds that he did, and his greatness, have not been recorded, for they were very many.
14.4 The land had rest all the days of Simon. He sought the good of his nation;his rule was pleasing to them,as was the honor shown him, all his days.
14.13 No one was left in the land to fight them,and the kings were crushed in those days.' ' None
|7. Septuagint, 2 Maccabees, 1.5, 1.7, 1.8, 1.10, 2.14, 2.17, 2.19, 2.23, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6, 3.7, 3.8, 3.9, 3.10, 3.11, 3.12, 3.13, 3.14, 3.15, 3.16, 3.17, 3.18, 3.19, 3.20, 3.21, 3.22, 3.23, 3.24, 3.25, 3.26, 3.27, 3.28, 3.29, 3.30, 3.31, 3.32, 3.33, 3.34, 3.35, 3.36, 3.37, 3.38, 3.39, 3.40, 4.11, 4.21, 4.47, 5.16, 5.27, 6, 6.3, 6.18-7.42, 7, 7.11, 7.23, 7.33, 8.1, 8.2, 8.5, 8.6, 8.7, 8.8, 8.9, 8.10, 8.11, 8.14, 8.15, 8.16, 8.17, 8.18, 8.19, 8.20, 8.21, 8.22, 8.23, 8.24, 8.25, 8.26, 8.27, 8.28, 8.29, 8.30, 8.31, 8.34, 8.35, 8.36, 9.1, 9.2, 9.3, 9.4, 9.5, 9.6, 9.7, 9.8, 9.9, 9.10, 9.11, 9.12, 9.13, 9.14, 9.15, 9.16, 9.17, 9.18, 9.28, 9.29, 10.1, 10.2, 10.3, 10.4, 10.5, 10.6, 10.7, 10.8, 10.10, 10.29, 13.3, 13.4, 13.5, 14.1, 14.2, 14.3, 14.4, 14.5, 14.6, 14.7, 14.8, 14.9, 14.10, 14.11, 14.12, 14.13, 14.14, 14.15, 14.16, 14.17, 14.18, 14.19, 14.20, 14.21, 14.22, 14.23, 14.24, 14.25, 14.26, 14.27, 14.28, 14.29, 14.30, 14.31, 14.32, 14.33, 14.34, 14.35, 14.36, 14.37, 14.38, 14.39, 14.40, 14.41, 14.42, 14.43, 14.44, 14.45, 14.46, 15, 15.1, 15.2, 15.3, 15.4, 15.5, 15.6, 15.7, 15.8, 15.9, 15.10, 15.11, 15.12, 15.13, 15.14, 15.15, 15.16, 15.17, 15.18, 15.19, 15.20, 15.21, 15.22, 15.23, 15.24, 15.25, 15.26, 15.27, 15.28, 15.29, 15.30, 15.31, 15.32, 15.33, 15.34, 15.35, 15.36, 15.37 (2nd cent. BCE - 2nd cent. BCE)
Tagged with subjects: • Hellenistic Kings/Rulers, Nicanor • Nicanor • Nicanor, Character Unity • Nicanor, Death of • Nicanor, Focal Villain • Nicanor, Thrice-Accursed • Nicanor, governor of Judea • Nicanors Day
Found in books: Beyerle and Goff (2022), Notions of Time in Deuterocanonical and Cognate Literature, 212, 215, 216, 223, 231; Bickerman and Tropper (2007), Studies in Jewish and Christian History, 1091, 1129; Bremmer (2008), Greek Religion and Culture, the Bible, and the Ancient Near East, 199; Gera (2014), Judith, 317, 396, 412, 432, 435; Moss (2012), Ancient Christian Martyrdom: Diverse Practices, Theologies, and Traditions, 40, 42, 43; Noam (2018), Shifting Images of the Hasmoneans: Second Temple Legends and Their Reception in Josephus and Rabbinic Literature, 32, 36, 37, 38, 39, 44, 45, 54; Potter Suh and Holladay (2021), Hellenistic Jewish Literature and the New Testament: Collected Essays, 329; Salvesen et al. (2020), Israel in Egypt: The Land of Egypt as Concept and Reality for Jews in Antiquity and the Early Medieval Period, 189; Schwartz (2008), 2 Maccabees, 3, 8, 9, 10, 14, 17, 18, 62, 87, 171, 274, 323, 324, 325, 361, 379, 466, 467, 473, 474, 485, 495, 496, 514, 520, 526, 543, 544, 546, 551, 552, 556
1.5 May he hear your prayers and be reconciled to you, and may he not forsake you in time of evil.'" "
7 In the reign of Demetrius, in the one hundred and sixty-ninth year, we Jews wrote to you, in the critical distress which came upon us in those years after Jason and his company revolted from the holy land and the kingdom'" "
1.8 and burned the gate and shed innocent blood. We besought the Lord and we were heard, and we offered sacrifice and cereal offering, and we lighted the lamps and we set out the loaves.'" "
1.10 Those in Jerusalem and those in Judea and the senate and Judas,To Aristobulus, who is of the family of the anointed priests, teacher of Ptolemy the king, and to the Jews in Egypt,Greeting, and good health.'" "
2.14 In the same way Judas also collected all the books that had been lost on account of the war which had come upon us, and they are in our possession.'" "
7 It is God who has saved all his people, and has returned the inheritance to all, and the kingship and priesthood and consecration,'" "
2.19 The story of Judas Maccabeus and his brothers, and the purification of the great temple, and the dedication of the altar,'" "
2.23 all this, which has been set forth by Jason of Cyrene in five volumes, we shall attempt to condense into a single book.'" "
3.1 While the holy city was inhabited in unbroken peace and the laws were very well observed because of the piety of the high priest Onias and his hatred of wickedness,'" "
3.2 it came about that the kings themselves honored the place and glorified the temple with the finest presents,'" "
3.3 o that even Seleucus, the king of Asia, defrayed from his own revenues all the expenses connected with the service of the sacrifices.'" "
3.4 But a man named Simon, of the tribe of Benjamin, who had been made captain of the temple, had a disagreement with the high priest about the administration of the city market;'" 3.5 and when he could not prevail over Onias he went to Apollonius of Tarsus, who at that time was governor of Coelesyria and Phoenicia.'" "
6 He reported to him that the treasury in Jerusalem was full of untold sums of money, so that the amount of the funds could not be reckoned, and that they did not belong to the account of the sacrifices, but that it was possible for them to fall under the control of the king.'" "
7 When Apollonius met the king, he told him of the money about which he had been informed. The king chose Heliodorus, who was in charge of his affairs, and sent him with commands to effect the removal of the aforesaid money.'" "
3.8 Heliodorus at once set out on his journey, ostensibly to make a tour of inspection of the cities of Coelesyria and Phoenicia, but in fact to carry out the king's purpose.'" "
3.9 When he had arrived at Jerusalem and had been kindly welcomed by the high priest of the city, he told about the disclosure that had been made and stated why he had come, and he inquired whether this really was the situation.'" "
3.10 The high priest explained that there were some deposits belonging to widows and orphans,'" "
3.11 and also some money of Hyrcanus, son of Tobias, a man of very prominent position, and that it totaled in all four hundred talents of silver and two hundred of gold. To such an extent the impious Simon had misrepresented the facts.'"
3.12 And he said that it was utterly impossible that wrong should be done to those people who had trusted in the holiness of the place and in the sanctity and inviolability of the temple which is honored throughout the whole world."' "
3.13 But Heliodorus, because of the king's commands which he had, said that this money must in any case be confiscated for the king's treasury.'"
3.14 So he set a day and went in to direct the inspection of these funds.There was no little distress throughout the whole city."' "
15 The priests prostrated themselves before the altar in their priestly garments and called toward heaven upon him who had given the law about deposits, that he should keep them safe for those who had deposited them.'" "
6 To see the appearance of the high priest was to be wounded at heart, for his face and the change in his color disclosed the anguish of his soul.'" "
7 For terror and bodily trembling had come over the man, which plainly showed to those who looked at him the pain lodged in his heart.'"
3.18 People also hurried out of their houses in crowds to make a general supplication because the holy place was about to be brought into contempt."' "
3.19 Women, girded with sackcloth under their breasts, thronged the streets. Some of the maidens who were kept indoors ran together to the gates, and some to the walls, while others peered out of the windows.'" "
3.20 And holding up their hands to heaven, they all made entreaty.'"
3.21 There was something pitiable in the prostration of the whole populace and the anxiety of the high priest in his great anguish."' "
3.22 While they were calling upon the Almighty Lord that he would keep what had been entrusted safe and secure for those who had entrusted it,'"
3.23 Heliodorus went on with what had been decided."' "
3.24 But when he arrived at the treasury with his bodyguard, then and there the Sovereign of spirits and of all authority caused so great a manifestation that all who had been so bold as to accompany him were astounded by the power of God, and became faint with terror.'" "
3.25 For there appeared to them a magnificently caparisoned horse, with a rider of frightening mien, and it rushed furiously at Heliodorus and struck at him with its front hoofs. Its rider was seen to have armor and weapons of gold.'" "
6 Two young men also appeared to him, remarkably strong, gloriously beautiful and splendidly dressed, who stood on each side of him and scourged him continuously, inflicting many blows on him.'" "
7 When he suddenly fell to the ground and deep darkness came over him, his men took him up and put him on a stretcher'" "
3.28 and carried him away, this man who had just entered the aforesaid treasury with a great retinue and all his bodyguard but was now unable to help himself; and they recognized clearly the sovereign power of God.'" "
3.29 While he lay prostrate, speechless because of the divine intervention and deprived of any hope of recovery,'" "
3.30 they praised the Lord who had acted marvelously for his own place. And the temple, which a little while before was full of fear and disturbance, was filled with joy and gladness, now that the Almighty Lord had appeared.'"
3.31 Quickly some of Heliodorus\' friends asked Onias to call upon the Most High and to grant life to one who was lying quite at his last breath."' "
3.32 And the high priest, fearing that the king might get the notion that some foul play had been perpetrated by the Jews with regard to Heliodorus, offered sacrifice for the man's recovery.'" "
3.33 While the high priest was making the offering of atonement, the same young men appeared again to Heliodorus dressed in the same clothing, and they stood and said, 'Be very grateful to Onias the high priest, since for his sake the Lord has granted you your life.'" "
3.34 And see that you, who have been scourged by heaven, report to all men the majestic power of God.'Having said this they vanished.'" "
3.35 Then Heliodorus offered sacrifice to the Lord and made very great vows to the Savior of his life, and having bidden Onias farewell, he marched off with his forces to the king.'" "
6 And he bore testimony to all men of the deeds of the supreme God, which he had seen with his own eyes.'" "
7 When the king asked Heliodorus what sort of person would be suitable to send on another mission to Jerusalem, he replied,'" "
3.38 If you have any enemy or plotter against your government, send him there, for you will get him back thoroughly scourged, if he escapes at all, for there certainly is about the place some power of God.'" "
3.39 For he who has his dwelling in heaven watches over that place himself and brings it aid, and he strikes and destroys those who come to do it injury.'" "
3.40 This was the outcome of the episode of Heliodorus and the protection of the treasury."' "
4.11 He set aside the existing royal concessions to the Jews, secured through John the father of Eupolemus, who went on the mission to establish friendship and alliance with the Romans; and he destroyed the lawful ways of living and introduced new customs contrary to the law.'" "
4.21 When Apollonius the son of Menestheus was sent to Egypt for the coronation of Philometor as king, Antiochus learned that Philometor had become hostile to his government, and he took measures for his own security. Therefore upon arriving at Joppa he proceeded to Jerusalem.'" "
7 Menelaus, the cause of all the evil, he acquitted of the charges against him, while he sentenced to death those unfortunate men, who would have been freed uncondemned if they had pleaded even before Scythians.'" "
6 He took the holy vessels with his polluted hands, and swept away with profane hands the votive offerings which other kings had made to enhance the glory and honor of the place.'" "
7 But Judas Maccabeus, with about nine others, got away to the wilderness, and kept himself and his companions alive in the mountains as wild animals do; they continued to live on what grew wild, so that they might not share in the defilement.'"
6.3 Harsh and utterly grievous was the onslaught of evil."' "
7.11 and said nobly, 'I got these from Heaven, and because of his laws I disdain them, and from him I hope to get them back again.'" "
7.23 Therefore the Creator of the world, who shaped the beginning of man and devised the origin of all things, will in his mercy give life and breath back to you again, since you now forget yourselves for the sake of his laws.'" "
7.33 And if our living Lord is angry for a little while, to rebuke and discipline us, he will again be reconciled with his own servants.'" "
8.1 But Judas, who was also called Maccabeus, and his companions secretly entered the villages and summoned their kinsmen and enlisted those who had continued in the Jewish faith, and so they gathered about six thousand men.'" "
8.2 They besought the Lord to look upon the people who were oppressed by all, and to have pity on the temple which had been profaned by ungodly men,'" "
8.5 As soon as Maccabeus got his army organized, the Gentiles could not withstand him, for the wrath of the Lord had turned to mercy.'" "8.
6 Coming without warning, he would set fire to towns and villages. He captured strategic positions and put to flight not a few of the enemy.'" '8.
7 He found the nights most advantageous for such attacks. And talk of his valor spread everywhere."' "
8.8 When Philip saw that the man was gaining ground little by little, and that he was pushing ahead with more frequent successes, he wrote to Ptolemy, the governor of Coelesyria and Phoenicia, for aid to the king's government.'" "
8.9 And Ptolemy promptly appointed Nicanor the son of Patroclus, one of the king's chief friends, and sent him, in command of no fewer than twenty thousand Gentiles of all nations, to wipe out the whole race of Judea. He associated with him Gorgias, a general and a man of experience in military service.'" "
8.10 Nicanor determined to make up for the king the tribute due to the Romans, two thousand talents, by selling the captured Jews into slavery.'" "
8.11 And he immediately sent to the cities on the seacoast, inviting them to buy Jewish slaves and promising to hand over ninety slaves for a talent, not expecting the judgment from the Almighty that was about to overtake him.'" "
8.14 Others sold all their remaining property, and at the same time besought the Lord to rescue those who had been sold by the ungodly Nicanor before he ever met them,'" "
15 if not for their own sake, yet for the sake of the covets made with their fathers, and because he had called them by his holy and glorious name.'" "
6 But Maccabeus gathered his men together, to the number six thousand, and exhorted them not to be frightened by the enemy and not to fear the great multitude of Gentiles who were wickedly coming against them, but to fight nobly,'" "
7 keeping before their eyes the lawless outrage which the Gentiles had committed against the holy place, and the torture of the derided city, and besides, the overthrow of their ancestral way of life.'" "
8.18 For they trust to arms and acts of daring,'he said, 'but we trust in the Almighty God, who is able with a single nod to strike down those who are coming against us and even the whole world.'" "
8.19 Moreover, he told them of the times when help came to their ancestors; both the time of Sennacherib, when one hundred and eighty-five thousand perished,'" "
8.20 and the time of the battle with the Galatians that took place in Babylonia, when eight thousand in all went into the affair, with four thousand Macedonians; and when the Macedonians were hard pressed, the eight thousand, by the help that came to them from heaven, destroyed one hundred and twenty thousand and took much booty.'"
8.21 With these words he filled them with good courage and made them ready to die for their laws and their country; then he divided his army into four parts."' "
8.22 He appointed his brothers also, Simon and Joseph and Jonathan, each to command a division, putting fifteen hundred men under each.'" "
8.23 Besides, he appointed Eleazar to read aloud from the holy book, and gave the watchword, 'God's help'; then, leading the first division himself, he joined battle with Nicanor.'" "
8.24 With the Almighty as their ally, they slew more than nine thousand of the enemy, and wounded and disabled most of Nicanor's army, and forced them all to flee.'" "
8.25 They captured the money of those who had come to buy them as slaves. After pursuing them for some distance, they were obliged to return because the hour was late.'" "
6 For it was the day before the sabbath, and for that reason they did not continue their pursuit.'" "
7 And when they had collected the arms of the enemy and stripped them of their spoils, they kept the sabbath, giving great praise and thanks to the Lord, who had preserved them for that day and allotted it to them as the beginning of mercy.'" "
8.28 After the sabbath they gave some of the spoils to those who had been tortured and to the widows and orphans, and distributed the rest among themselves and their children.'" "
8.29 When they had done this, they made common supplication and besought the merciful Lord to be wholly reconciled with his servants.'" "
8.30 In encounters with the forces of Timothy and Bacchides they killed more than twenty thousand of them and got possession of some exceedingly high strongholds, and they divided very much plunder, giving to those who had been tortured and to the orphans and widows, and also to the aged, shares equal to their own.'" "
8.31 Collecting the arms of the enemy, they stored them all carefully in strategic places, and carried the rest of the spoils to Jerusalem.'" "
8.34 The thrice-accursed Nicanor, who had brought the thousand merchants to buy the Jews,'" "
8.35 having been humbled with the help of the Lord by opponents whom he regarded as of the least account, took off his splendid uniform and made his way alone like a runaway slave across the country till he reached Antioch, having succeeded chiefly in the destruction of his own army!'" "8.3
6 Thus he who had undertaken to secure tribute for the Romans by the capture of the people of Jerusalem proclaimed that the Jews had a Defender, and that therefore the Jews were invulnerable, because they followed the laws ordained by him.'" "
9.1 About that time, as it happened, Antiochus had retreated in disorder from the region of Persia.'" 9.2 For he had entered the city called Persepolis, and attempted to rob the temples and control the city. Therefore the people rushed to the rescue with arms, and Antiochus and his men were defeated, with the result that Antiochus was put to flight by the inhabitants and beat a shameful retreat.'" "
9.3 While he was in Ecbatana, news came to him of what had happened to Nicanor and the forces of Timothy.'" "
9.4 Transported with rage, he conceived the idea of turning upon the Jews the injury done by those who had put him to flight; so he ordered his charioteer to drive without stopping until he completed the journey. But the judgment of heaven rode with him! For in his arrogance he said, 'When I get there I will make Jerusalem a cemetery of Jews.'" "
9.5 But the all-seeing Lord, the God of Israel, struck him an incurable and unseen blow. As soon as he ceased speaking he was seized with a pain in his bowels for which there was no relief and with sharp internal tortures --'" "9.
6 and that very justly, for he had tortured the bowels of others with many and strange inflictions.'" "9.
7 Yet he did not in any way stop his insolence, but was even more filled with arrogance, breathing fire in his rage against the Jews, and giving orders to hasten the journey. And so it came about that he fell out of his chariot as it was rushing along, and the fall was so hard as to torture every limb of his body.'" "
9.8 Thus he who had just been thinking that he could command the waves of the sea, in his superhuman arrogance, and imagining that he could weigh the high mountains in a balance, was brought down to earth and carried in a litter, making the power of God manifest to all.'" "
9.9 And so the ungodly man's body swarmed with worms, and while he was still living in anguish and pain, his flesh rotted away, and because of his stench the whole army felt revulsion at his decay.'"
9.10 Because of his intolerable stench no one was able to carry the man who a little while before had thought that he could touch the stars of heaven."' "
9.11 Then it was that, broken in spirit, he began to lose much of his arrogance and to come to his senses under the scourge of God, for he was tortured with pain every moment.'" "
9.12 And when he could not endure his own stench, he uttered these words: 'It is right to be subject to God, and no mortal should think that he is equal to God.'" "
9.13 Then the abominable fellow made a vow to the Lord, who would no longer have mercy on him, stating'" "
9.14 that the holy city, which he was hastening to level to the ground and to make a cemetery, he was now declaring to be free;'" "
15 and the Jews, whom he had not considered worth burying but had planned to throw out with their children to the beasts, for the birds to pick, he would make, all of them, equal to citizens of Athens;'" "
6 and the holy sanctuary, which he had formerly plundered, he would adorn with the finest offerings; and the holy vessels he would give back, all of them, many times over; and the expenses incurred for the sacrifices he would provide from his own revenues;'" 9.1
7 and in addition to all this he also would become a Jew and would visit every inhabited place to proclaim the power of God."' "
9.18 But when his sufferings did not in any way abate, for the judgment of God had justly come upon him, he gave up all hope for himself and wrote to the Jews the following letter, in the form of a supplication. This was its content:'" "
9.28 So the murderer and blasphemer, having endured the more intense suffering, such as he had inflicted on others, came to the end of his life by a most pitiable fate, among the mountains in a strange land.'" "
9.29 And Philip, one of his courtiers, took his body home; then, fearing the son of Antiochus, he betook himself to Ptolemy Philometor in Egypt.'" "
10.1 Now Maccabeus and his followers, the Lord leading them on, recovered the temple and the city;'" "
10.2 and they tore down the altars which had been built in the public square by the foreigners, and also destroyed the sacred precincts.'" "
10.3 They purified the sanctuary, and made another altar of sacrifice; then, striking fire out of flint, they offered sacrifices, after a lapse of two years, and they burned incense and lighted lamps and set out the bread of the Presence.'" "
10.4 And when they had done this, they fell prostrate and besought the Lord that they might never again fall into such misfortunes, but that, if they should ever sin, they might be disciplined by him with forbearance and not be handed over to blasphemous and barbarous nations.'" "
10.5 It happened that on the same day on which the sanctuary had been profaned by the foreigners, the purification of the sanctuary took place, that is, on the twenty-fifth day of the same month, which was Chislev.'" "10.
6 And they celebrated it for eight days with rejoicing, in the manner of the feast of booths, remembering how not long before, during the feast of booths, they had been wandering in the mountains and caves like wild animals.'" "10.
7 Therefore bearing ivy-wreathed wands and beautiful branches and also fronds of palm, they offered hymns of thanksgiving to him who had given success to the purifying of his own holy place.'" 10.8 They decreed by public ordice and vote that the whole nation of the Jews should observe these days every year."' "
10.10 Now we will tell what took place under Antiochus Eupator, who was the son of that ungodly man, and will give a brief summary of the principal calamities of the wars.'" "
10.29 When the battle became fierce, there appeared to the enemy from heaven five resplendent men on horses with golden bridles, and they were leading the Jews.'" "1
3.3 Menelaus also joined them and with utter hypocrisy urged Antiochus on, not for the sake of his country's welfare, but because he thought that he would be established in office.'" "1
3.4 But the King of kings aroused the anger of Antiochus against the scoundrel; and when Lysias informed him that this man was to blame for all the trouble, he ordered them to take him to Beroea and to put him to death by the method which is the custom in that place.'" "1
3.5 For there is a tower in that place, fifty cubits high, full of ashes, and it has a rim running around it which on all sides inclines precipitously into the ashes.'" "
14.1 Three years later, word came to Judas and his men that Demetrius, the son of Seleucus, had sailed into the harbor of Tripolis with a strong army and a fleet,'" "
14.2 and had taken possession of the country, having made away with Antiochus and his guardian Lysias.'" "
14.3 Now a certain Alcimus, who had formerly been high priest but had wilfully defiled himself in the times of separation, realized that there was no way for him to be safe or to have access again to the holy altar,'" "
14.4 and went to King Demetrius in about the one hundred and fifty-first year, presenting to him a crown of gold and a palm, and besides these some of the customary olive branches from the temple. During that day he kept quiet.'" 14.5 But he found an opportunity that furthered his mad purpose when he was invited by Demetrius to a meeting of the council and was asked about the disposition and intentions of the Jews. He answered:"' "14.
6 Those of the Jews who are called Hasideans, whose leader is Judas Maccabeus, are keeping up war and stirring up sedition, and will not let the kingdom attain tranquillity.'" "14.
7 Therefore I have laid aside my ancestral glory -- I mean the high priesthood -- and have now come here,'" "
14.8 first because I am genuinely concerned for the interests of the king, and second because I have regard also for my fellow citizens. For through the folly of those whom I have mentioned our whole nation is now in no small misfortune.'" "
14.9 Since you are acquainted, O king, with the details of this matter, deign to take thought for our country and our hard-pressed nation with the gracious kindness which you show to all.'" "
14.10 For as long as Judas lives, it is impossible for the government to find peace.'" "1
4.11 When he had said this, the rest of the king's friends, who were hostile to Judas, quickly inflamed Demetrius still more.'" "
14.12 And he immediately chose Nicanor, who had been in command of the elephants, appointed him governor of Judea, and sent him off'" "
14.13 with orders to kill Judas and scatter his men, and to set up Alcimus as high priest of the greatest temple.'" "
14.14 And the Gentiles throughout Judea, who had fled before Judas, flocked to join Nicanor, thinking that the misfortunes and calamities of the Jews would mean prosperity for themselves.'" "
15 When the Jews heard of Nicanor's coming and the gathering of the Gentiles, they sprinkled dust upon their heads and prayed to him who established his own people for ever and always upholds his own heritage by manifesting himself.'" "
6 At the command of the leader, they set out from there immediately and engaged them in battle at a village called Dessau.'" "
7 Simon, the brother of Judas, had encountered Nicanor, but had been temporarily checked because of the sudden consternation created by the enemy.'" "
14.18 Nevertheless Nicanor, hearing of the valor of Judas and his men and their courage in battle for their country, shrank from deciding the issue by bloodshed.'"
14.19 Therefore he sent Posidonius and Theodotus and Mattathias to give and receive pledges of friendship."' "
14.20 When the terms had been fully considered, and the leader had informed the people, and it had appeared that they were of one mind, they agreed to the covet.'" '1
4.21 And the leaders set a day on which to meet by themselves. A chariot came forward from each army; seats of honor were set in place;"
14.22 Judas posted armed men in readiness at key places to prevent sudden treachery on the part of the enemy; they held the proper conference."' "
14.23 Nicanor stayed on in Jerusalem and did nothing out of the way, but dismissed the flocks of people that had gathered.'"
14.24 And he kept Judas always in his presence; he was warmly attached to the man."' "
14.25 And he urged him to marry and have children; so he married, settled down, and shared the common life.'" "
6 But when Alcimus noticed their good will for one another, he took the covet that had been made and went to Demetrius. He told him that Nicanor was disloyal to the government, for he had appointed that conspirator against the kingdom, Judas, to be his successor.'" "
7 The king became excited and, provoked by the false accusations of that depraved man, wrote to Nicanor, stating that he was displeased with the covet and commanding him to send Maccabeus to Antioch as a prisoner without delay.'" "
14.28 When this message came to Nicanor, he was troubled and grieved that he had to annul their agreement when the man had done no wrong.'" "
14.29 Since it was not possible to oppose the king, he watched for an opportunity to accomplish this by a stratagem.'" "
14.30 But Maccabeus, noticing that Nicanor was more austere in his dealings with him and was meeting him more rudely than had been his custom, concluded that this austerity did not spring from the best motives. So he gathered not a few of his men, and went into hiding from Nicanor.'" "
14.31 When the latter became aware that he had been cleverly outwitted by the man, he went to the great and holy temple while the priests were offering the customary sacrifices, and commanded them to hand the man over.'" "
14.32 And when they declared on oath that they did not know where the man was whom he sought,'" "
14.33 he stretched out his right hand toward the sanctuary, and swore this oath: 'If you do not hand Judas over to me as a prisoner, I will level this precinct of God to the ground and tear down the altar, and I will build here a splendid temple to Dionysus.'" "
14.34 Having said this, he went away. Then the priests stretched forth their hands toward heaven and called upon the constant Defender of our nation, in these words:'" "
14.35 O Lord of all, who hast need of nothing, thou wast pleased that there be a temple for thy habitation among us;'" "
6 o now, O holy One, Lord of all holiness, keep undefiled for ever this house that has been so recently purified.'" "
7 A certain Razis, one of the elders of Jerusalem, was denounced to Nicanor as a man who loved his fellow citizens and was very well thought of and for his good will was called father of the Jews.'" "
14.38 For in former times, when there was no mingling with the Gentiles, he had been accused of Judaism, and for Judaism he had with all zeal risked body and life.'" "
14.39 Nicanor, wishing to exhibit the enmity which he had for the Jews, sent more than five hundred soldiers to arrest him;'" "
14.40 for he thought that by arresting him he would do them an injury."' "
14.41 When the troops were about to capture the tower and were forcing the door of the courtyard, they ordered that fire be brought and the doors burned. Being surrounded, Razis fell upon his own sword,'"
14.42 preferring to die nobly rather than to fall into the hands of sinners and suffer outrages unworthy of his noble birth."' "
14.43 But in the heat of the struggle he did not hit exactly, and the crowd was now rushing in through the doors. He bravely ran up on the wall, and manfully threw himself down into the crowd.'" "
14.44 But as they quickly drew back, a space opened and he fell in the middle of the empty space.'" "
14.45 Still alive and aflame with anger, he rose, and though his blood gushed forth and his wounds were severe he ran through the crowd; and standing upon a steep rock,'" "
6 with his blood now completely drained from him, he tore out his entrails, took them with both hands and hurled them at the crowd, calling upon the Lord of life and spirit to give them back to him again. This was the manner of his death.'"
15.1 When Nicanor heard that Judas and his men were in the region of Samaria, he made plans to attack them with complete safety on the day of rest.'" "
15.2 And when the Jews who were compelled to follow him said, 'Do not destroy so savagely and barbarously, but show respect for the day which he who sees all things has honored and hallowed above other days,'" "
15.3 the thrice-accursed wretch asked if there were a sovereign in heaven who had commanded the keeping of the sabbath day."' "
15.4 And when they declared, 'It is the living Lord himself, the Sovereign in heaven, who ordered us to observe the seventh day,'" "
15.5 he replied, 'And I am a sovereign also, on earth, and I command you to take up arms and finish the king's business.'Nevertheless, he did not succeed in carrying out his abominable design.'" 15.
6 This Nicanor in his utter boastfulness and arrogance had determined to erect a public monument of victory over Judas and his men."
7 But Maccabeus did not cease to trust with all confidence that he would get help from the Lord."' "
15.8 And he exhorted his men not to fear the attack of the Gentiles, but to keep in mind the former times when help had come to them from heaven, and now to look for the victory which the Almighty would give them.'" "
15.9 Encouraging them from the law and the prophets, and reminding them also of the struggles they had won, he made them the more eager.'" "
15.10 And when he had aroused their courage, he gave his orders, at the same time pointing out the perfidy of the Gentiles and their violation of oaths.'" "
15.11 He armed each of them not so much with confidence in shields and spears as with the inspiration of brave words, and he cheered them all by relating a dream, a sort of vision, which was worthy of belief.'" "
15.12 What he saw was this: Onias, who had been high priest, a noble and good man, of modest bearing and gentle manner, one who spoke fittingly and had been trained from childhood in all that belongs to excellence, was praying with outstretched hands for the whole body of the Jews.'" "
15.13 Then likewise a man appeared, distinguished by his gray hair and dignity, and of marvelous majesty and authority.'" "
15.14 And Onias spoke, saying, 'This is a man who loves the brethren and prays much for the people and the holy city, Jeremiah, the prophet of God.'" "
15 Jeremiah stretched out his right hand and gave to Judas a golden sword, and as he gave it he addressed him thus:'" "1
6 Take this holy sword, a gift from God, with which you will strike down your adversaries.'" "
7 Encouraged by the words of Judas, so noble and so effective in arousing valor and awaking manliness in the souls of the young, they determined not to carry on a campaign but to attack bravely, and to decide the matter, by fighting hand to hand with all courage, because the city and the sanctuary and the temple were in danger.'" "
15.18 Their concern for wives and children, and also for brethren and relatives, lay upon them less heavily; their greatest and first fear was for the consecrated sanctuary.'" "
15.19 And those who had to remain in the city were in no little distress, being anxious over the encounter in the open country.'" "
15.20 When all were now looking forward to the coming decision, and the enemy was already close at hand with their army drawn up for battle, the elephants strategically stationed and the cavalry deployed on the flanks,'" "
15.21 Maccabeus, perceiving the hosts that were before him and the varied supply of arms and the savagery of the elephants, stretched out his hands toward heaven and called upon the Lord who works wonders; for he knew that it is not by arms, but as the Lord decides, that he gains the victory for those who deserve it.'" "
15.22 And he called upon him in these words: 'O Lord, thou didst send thy angel in the time of Hezekiah king of Judea, and he slew fully a hundred and eighty-five thousand in the camp of Sennacherib.'" "
15.23 So now, O Sovereign of the heavens, send a good angel to carry terror and trembling before us.'" "
15.24 By the might of thy arm may these blasphemers who come against thy holy people be struck down.'With these words he ended his prayer.'"
15.25 Nicanor and his men advanced with trumpets and battle songs;"
6 and Judas and his men met the enemy in battle with invocation to God and prayers."' "1
7 So, fighting with their hands and praying to God in their hearts, they laid low no less than thirty-five thousand men, and were greatly gladdened by God's manifestation.'" "
15.28 When the action was over and they were returning with joy, they recognized Nicanor, lying dead, in full armor.'" "
15.29 Then there was shouting and tumult, and they blessed the Sovereign Lord in the language of their fathers.'"
15.30 And the man who was ever in body and soul the defender of his fellow citizens, the man who maintained his youthful good will toward his countrymen, ordered them to cut off Nicanor's head and arm and carry them to Jerusalem.'" "
15.31 And when he arrived there and had called his countrymen together and stationed the priests before the altar, he sent for those who were in the citadel.'" "
15.32 He showed them the vile Nicanor's head and that profane man's arm, which had been boastfully stretched out against the holy house of the Almighty;'"
15.33 and he cut out the tongue of the ungodly Nicanor and said that he would give it piecemeal to the birds and hang up these rewards of his folly opposite the sanctuary."' "
15.34 And they all, looking to heaven, blessed the Lord who had manifested himself, saying, 'Blessed is he who has kept his own place undefiled.'" "
15.35 And he hung Nicanor's head from the citadel, a clear and conspicuous sign to every one of the help of the Lord.'" "
6 And they all decreed by public vote never to let this day go unobserved, but to celebrate the thirteenth day of the twelfth month -- which is called Adar in the Syrian language -- the day before Mordecai's day.'" "
7 This, then, is how matters turned out with Nicanor. And from that time the city has been in the possession of the Hebrews. So I too will here end my story.'" "" None
|15. Babylonian Talmud, Taanit, None (3rd cent. CE - 6th cent. CE)
Tagged with subjects: • Nicanor • Nicanor, Focal Villain
Found in books: Noam (2018), Shifting Images of the Hasmoneans: Second Temple Legends and Their Reception in Josephus and Rabbinic Literature, 36, 53, 55; Schwartz (2008), 2 Maccabees, 485
|18b מותרין בהספד ותענית אימת אילימא בני חמיסר וקא קרו ליה בארביסר ומי שרי,והכתיב במגילת תענית יום ארבעה עשר בו ויום חמשה עשר בו יומי פוריא אינון דלא למיספד בהון ואמר רבא לא נצרכא אלא לאסור את של זה בזה ואת של זה בזה,ואלא בני ארביסר וקא קרי ליה בתליסר יום ניקנור הוא ואלא בני ארביסר וקא קרי ליה בתריסר יום טוריינוס הוא,אלא לאו דקא קרו ליה בחדיסר וקתני מותר בהספד ובתענית,לא בני ארבעה עשר וקא קרו ליה בתריסר ודקאמרת יום טריינוס הוא יום טריינוס גופיה בטולי בטלוהו הואיל ונהרגו בו שמעיה ואחיה אחיו כי הא דרב נחמן גזר תעניתא בתריסר אמרו ליה רבנן יום טוריינוס הוא אמר להו יום טוריינוס גופיה בטולי בטלוהו הואיל ונהרגו בו שמעיה ואחיה אחיו,ותיפוק ליה דהוה ליה יום שלפני ניקנור אמר רב אשי השתא איהו גופיה בטלוהו משום יום ניקנור ניקום ונגזר,מאי ניקנור ומאי טוריינוס דתניא ניקנור אחד מאפרכי יוונים היה ובכל יום ויום היה מניף ידו על יהודה וירושלים ואומר אימתי תפול בידי וארמסנה וכשגברה מלכות בית חשמונאי ונצחום קצצו בהונות ידיו ורגליו ותלאום בשערי ירושלים ואמרו פה שהיה מדבר בגאוה וידים שהיו מניפות על ירושלים תעשה בהם נקמה,מאי טוריינוס אמרו כשבקש טוריינוס להרוג את לולינוס ופפוס אחיו בלודקיא אמר להם אם מעמו של חנניה מישאל ועזריה אתם יבא אלהיכם ויציל אתכם מידי כדרך שהציל את חנניה מישאל ועזריה מיד נבוכדנצר אמרו לו חנניה מישאל ועזריה צדיקים גמורין היו וראויין היו ליעשות להם נס ונבוכדנצר מלך הגון היה וראוי ליעשות נס על ידו,ואותו רשע הדיוט הוא ואינו ראוי ליעשות נס על ידו ואנו נתחייבנו כליה למקום ואם אין אתה הורגנו הרבה הורגים יש לו למקום והרבה דובין ואריות יש לו למקום בעולמו שפוגעין בנו והורגין אותנו אלא לא מסרנו הקדוש ברוך הוא בידך אלא שעתיד ליפרע דמינו מידך,אעפ"כ הרגן מיד אמרו לא זזו משם עד שבאו דיופלי מרומי ופצעו את מוחו בגיזרין:,אין גוזרין תענית על הצבור בתחלה בחמישי כו\' אין גוזרין תענית בראשי חדשים כו\': וכמה הויא התחלה רב אחא אמר שלש רבי אסי אמר אחת,אמר רב יהודה אמר רב זו דברי רבי מאיר שאמר משום רבן (שמעון בן) גמליאל אבל חכמים אומרים מתענה ומשלים דרש מר זוטרא משמיה דרב הונא הלכה מתענה ומשלים:,||18b as the Sages decreed that in certain places one may read the Scroll of Esther on the eleventh, twelfth, or thirteenth of Adar, nevertheless, it is permitted to eulogize and fast on these days. The Gemara clarifies: When does this ruling apply? If we say that it applies to those in walled cities, who normally read the scroll on the fifteenth of Adar and yet this year they read it on the fourteenth, a day on which they normally are permitted to fast and eulogize, but this cannot be the case, as are they permitted to fast and eulogize at all on these days?,But isn’t it written in Megillat Ta’anit: The day of the fourteenth of Adar and the day of the fifteenth of Adar are the days of Purim, on which eulogizing is prohibited. And Rava said: Since these days are already mentioned in the Bible (Esther 9:18–19), it is necessary to state this halakha in Megillat Ta’anit only to prohibit those living in these walled cities from fasting and eulogizing on this date, the fourteenth, and those living in these non-walled cities from fasting and eulogizing on this date, the fifteenth.,The Gemara continues its explanation of the difficulty. But rather, the mishna must be referring to those who normally read on the fourteenth of Adar, but who read the Scroll of Esther early, on the thirteenth. However, it is already prohibited to fast on the thirteenth, as it is Nicanor’s Day, which is a commemorative day in its own right. But rather, you will say that the mishna is referring to those residents of cities who normally read on the fourteenth, but who read it early that year, on the twelfth; however, the twelfth of Adar is also a commemorative day, as it is Trajan’s Day.,Rather, isn’t the mishna referring to a case where they read the Scroll of Esther on the eleventh of Adar, and nevertheless that mishna teaches that it is permitted to eulogize and fast on this day, despite the fact that it is the day before Trajan’s Day? The opinion in this unattributed mishna is not in accordance with that of Rabbi Yosei, which means that there is a contradiction between the two statements of Rabbi Yoḥa.,The Gemara answers: No; the mishna is actually referring to those who normally read on the fourteenth, but who read it that year on the twelfth of Adar. And with regard to that which you said, that it is Trajan’s Day, Trajan’s Day itself was annulled and is no longer celebrated, since Shemaya and his brother Aḥiya were killed on that day. We learn this as in the incident when Rav Naḥman decreed a fast on the twelfth of Adar and the Sages said to him: It is Trajan’s Day. He said to them: Trajan’s Day itself was annulled, since Shemaya and his brother Aḥiya were killed on that day.,The Gemara asks: And let him derive that fasting on the twelfth is prohibited in any case, as it is the day before Nicanor’s Day. Rav Ashi said: Now that with regard to Trajan’s Day itself, they annulled it, will we then arise and issue a decree not to fast on this date due to the following day, Nicanor’s Day?,In relation to the above, the Gemara inquires: What is the origin of Nicanor’s Day and what is the origin of Trajan’s Day? As it is taught in a baraita: Nicanor was one of the generals iparkhei in the Greek army, and each and every day he would wave his hand over Judea and Jerusalem and say: When will this city fall into my hands, and I shall trample it? And when the Hasmonean monarchy overcame the Greeks and emerged victorious over them, they killed Nicanor in battle, cut off his thumbs and big toes, and hung them on the gates of Jerusalem, saying: The mouth that spoke with pride, and the hands that waved over Jerusalem, may vengeance be taken against them. This occurred on the thirteenth of Adar.,What is the origin of Trajan’s Day? They said in explanation: When Trajan sought to kill the important leaders Luleyanus and his brother Pappas in Laodicea, he said to them: If you are from the nation of Haiah, Mishael, and Azariah, let your God come and save you from my hand, just as He saved Haiah, Mishael, and Azariah from the hand of Nebuchadnezzar. Luleyanus and Pappas said to him: Haiah, Mishael, and Azariah were full-fledged righteous people, and they were worthy that a miracle should be performed for them, and Nebuchadnezzar was a legitimate king who rose to power through his merit, and it is fitting that a miracle be performed through him.,But this wicked man, Trajan, is a commoner, not a real king, and it is not fitting that a miracle be performed through him. Luleyanus and Pappas continued: And we are not wholly righteous, and have been condemned to destruction by the Omnipresent for our sins. And if you do not kill us, the Omnipresent has many other executioners. And if men do not kill us, the Omnipresent has many bears and lions in His world that can hurt us and kill us. Instead, the Holy One, Blessed be He, placed us into your hands only so that He will avenge our blood in the future.,Even so, Trajan remained unmoved by their response and killed them immediately. It is said that they had not moved from the place of execution when two officials diyoflei arrived from Rome with permission to remove Trajan from power, and they split his skull with clubs. This was viewed as an act of divine retribution and was established as a commemorative day.,§ The mishna taught: One may not decree a fast on the community starting on a Thursday, so as not to cause prices to rise. Furthermore, one may not decree a fast on New Moons, on Hanukkah, or on Purim. However, if one began a set of fasts, one does not interrupt the sequence for these days. The Gemara asks: And how many fasts are considered a beginning? Rav Aḥa said: If one fasted three fasts before the festive day. Rabbi Asi said: Even if one fasted one fast before it.,Rav Yehuda said that Rav said: This halakha of the mishna that a fast that occurs on a festival is not observed, is the statement of Rabbi Meir, who said it in the name of Rabban Gamliel. However, the Rabbis say: If a communal fast occurs on one of these days, one must fast and complete the fast until nightfall. Mar Zutra taught in the name of Rav Huna: The practical halakha is in accordance with the opinion of the Rabbis, that one fasts and completes his fast until nightfall.,,The order of these fasts of increasing severity, as explained in Chapter One, is stated only in a case when the first rainfall has not materialized. However, if there is vegetation that grew and its appearance changed due to disease, the court does not wait at all; they cry out about it immediately. And likewise, if rain ceased for a period of forty days between one rainfall and another, they cry out about it because it is a plague of drought.,If sufficient rain fell for the vegetation but not enough fell for the trees; or if it was enough for the trees but not for the vegetation; or if sufficient rain fell for both this and that, i.e., vegetation and trees, but not enough to fill the cisterns, ditches, and caves with water to last the summer, they cry out about it immediately. And likewise, if there is a particular city upon which it did not rain, while the surrounding area did receive rain, this is considered a divine curse, as it is written: “And I caused it to rain upon one city, but caused it not to rain upon another city; one piece was rained upon, and the portion upon which it did not rain withered” (Amos 4:7).'' None|