THE BOOKS CALLED APOCRYPHA
2 MACCABEES 2
1: It is also found in the records, that Jeremy the prophet commanded them that were carried away to take of the fire, as it hath been signified:
2: And how that the prophet, having given them the law, charged them not to forget the commandments of the Lord, and that they should not err in their minds, when they see images of silver and gold, with their ornaments.
3: And with other such speeches exhorted he them, that the law should not depart from their hearts.
4: It was also contained in the same writing, that the prophet, being warned of God, commanded the tabernacle and the ark to go with him, as he went forth into the mountain, where Moses climbed up, and saw the heritage of God.
5: And when Jeremy came thither, he found an hollow cave, wherein he laid the tabernacle, and the ark, and the altar of incense, and so stopped the door.
6: And some of those that followed him came to mark the way, but they could not find it.
7: Which when Jeremy perceived, he blamed them, saying, As for that place, it shall be unknown until the time that God gather his people again together, and receive them unto mercy.
8: Then shall the Lord shew them these things, and the glory of the Lord shall appear, and the cloud also, as it was shewed under Moses, and as when Solomon desired that the place might be honourably sanctified.
9: It was also declared, that he being wise offered the sacrifice of dedication, and of the finishing of the temple.
10: And as when Moses prayed unto the Lord, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the sacrifices: even so prayed Solomon also, and the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offerings.
11: And Moses said, Because the sin offering was not to be eaten, it was consumed.
12: So Solomon kept those eight days.
13: The same things also were reported in the writings and commentaries of Neemias; and how he founding a library gathered together the acts of the kings, and the prophets, and of David, and the epistles of the kings concerning the holy gifts.
14: In like manner also Judas gathered together all those things that were lost by reason of the war we had, and they remain with us,
15: Wherefore if ye have need thereof, send some to fetch them unto you.
16: Whereas we then are about to celebrate the purification, we have written unto you, and ye shall do well, if ye keep the same days.
17: We hope also, that the God, that delivered all his people, and gave them all an heritage, and the kingdom, and the priesthood, and the sanctuary,
18: As he promised in the law, will shortly have mercy upon us, and gather us together out of every land under heaven into the holy place: for he hath delivered us out of great troubles, and hath purified the place.
19: Now as concerning Judas Maccabeus, and his brethren, and the purification of the great temple, and the dedication of the altar,
20: And the wars against Antiochus Epiphanes, and Eupator his son,
21: And the manifest signs that came from heaven unto those that behaved themselves manfully to their honour for Judaism: so that, being but a few, they overcame the whole country, and chased barbarous multitudes,
22: And recovered again the temple renowned all the world over, and freed the city, and upheld the laws which were going down, the Lord being gracious unto them with all favour:
23: All these things, I say, being declared by Jason of Cyrene in five books, we will assay to abridge in one volume.
24: For considering the infinite number, and the difficulty which they find that desire to look into the narrations of the story, for the variety of the matter,
25: We have been careful, that they that will read may have delight, and that they that are desirous to commit to memory might have ease, and that all into whose hands it comes might have profit.
26: Therefore to us, that have taken upon us this painful labour of abridging, it was not easy, but a matter of sweat and watching;
27: Even as it is no ease unto him that prepareth a banquet, and seeketh the benefit of others: yet for the pleasuring of many we will undertake gladly this great pains;
28: Leaving to the author the exact handling of every particular, and labouring to follow the rules of an abridgement.
29: For as the master builder of a new house must care for the whole building; but he that undertaketh to set it out, and paint it, must seek out fit things for the adorning thereof: even so I think it is with us.
30: To stand upon every point, and go over things at large, and to be curious in particulars, belongeth to the first author of the story:
31: But to use brevity, and avoid much labouring of the work, is to be granted to him that will make an abridgment.
32: Here then will we begin the story: only adding thus much to that which hath been said, that it is a foolish thing to make a long prologue, and to be short in the story itself.