Saturday, October 23, 2010

Understanding the Word 'Maccabee' and 'Maccabees'

Introduction to the Word(s) 'Maccabee' & 'Maccabees'

المكابيّ - マカバイ- מכבי - 繁體中文版 - المكابيّ - マカバイ- מכבי - 繁體中文版 - المكابيّ - マカバイ

Origins of the Word 'Maccabee'

(Greek Hoi Makkabaioi; Latin Machabei; most probably from Aramaic maqqaba="hammer")...The name Machabee (Maccabee) was originally the surname of Judas, the third son of Mathathias, but was later extended to all the descendants of Mathathias, and even to all who took part in the rebellion. It is also given to the martyrs mentioned in II Maccabees 7, 18:8. Of the various explanations of the word the one given above is the most probable. Machabee would accordingly mean "hammerer" or "hammer-like", and would have been given to Judas because of his valour in combating the enemies of Israel.

The Machabees, by Bechtel, F. The Catholic Encyclopedia (1910) (

المكابيّ - マカバイ- מכבי - 繁體中文版 - المكابيّ - マカバイ- מכבי - 繁體中文版 - المكابيّ - マカバイ

Translations of the Word 'Maccabee'

Eastern Europe
Маккавей: Belarusian
Machabeusza: Polish
Маккавей: Russian
маццабее: Serbian
Маккавей: Ukrainian
Makabejská: Czech

Western Europe
Maccabee: Standard English
Macabeo: Spanish
Macabeu: Catalan
Makkabäer: German
Maccabeo: Italian

体中文版: Simple Chinese
繁體中文版: Traditional Chinese
Makabe: Indonesian
Kedua Makabe: Malay

Middle East
Maqqaba: Aramaic
Makebet: Modern Hebrew
المكابيّ: Arabic
يهوداي مكابي: Farsi
מכבי: Hebrew
מאַקאַבי: Yiddish

المكابيّ - マカバイ- מכבי - 繁體中文版 - المكابيّ - マカバイ- מכבי - 繁體中文版 - المكابيّ - マカバイ

Definitions of the Word 'Maccabees'

Maccabees \Mac'ca*bees\
(n. pl.) The name given later times to the Asmonaeans, a family of Jewish patriots, who headed a religious revolt in the reign of Antiochus IV., 168-161 B. C., which led to a period of freedom for Israel.
(n. pl.) The name of two ancient historical books, which give accounts of Jewish affairs in or about the time of the Maccabean princes, and which are received as canonical books in the Roman Catholic Church, but are included in the Apocrypha by Protestants. Also applied to three books, two of which are found in some MSS. [manuscripts] of the Septuagint.

- Webster's Dictionary 1913

Mac·ca·bees (mak′ə bēz′) noun
1. family of Jewish patriots who, under Judas Maccabaeus, headed a successful revolt against the Syrians (175-164 ) & ruled Palestine until 37
2. Bible two books of the Old Testament Apocrypha that tell of this revolt: abbrev. M, Macc, or Mc

Origin: LL(Ec) Machabaei, pl. of Machabaeus, surname of Judas- Greek(Ec) Makkabaios, ? Aramaic maqqābā, hammer: hence, lit., the hammerer

- Webster's New World College Dictionary

Mac·ca·bees 1 (măk-ə-bēz)
A family of Jewish patriots of the second and first centuries B.C., active in the liberation of Judea from Syrian rule.
Mac·ca·bees 2 (măkə-bēz)
plural noun Abbr. M or Mc or Mac. or Macc.

Related Forms: Maccabean, Macca·be, an adjective

- The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language

late 14c., from L.L. Maccabæus, surname given to Judas, third son of Mattathias the Hasmonean, leader of the religious revolt against Antiochus IV, 175-166 B.C.E., usually connected with Heb. maqqabh "hammer," but Klein thinks it an inexact transliteration of Heb. matzbi "general, commander of an army."

- Online Etymology Dictionary

Mac·ca·bees: noun pl \ma-kə-bēz\
Definition of MACCABEES
1: a priestly family leading a Jewish revolt begun in 168 b.c. against Hellenism and Syrian rule and reigning over Palestine from 142 b.c. to 63 b.c.
2: singular in construction : either of two narrative and historical books included in the Roman Catholic canon of the Old Testament and in the Protestant Apocrypha
- Mac·ca·be·an\ma-kə-bē-ən\ adjective

Greek Makkabaioi, from plural of Makkabaios, surname of Judas Maccabaeus 2d century b.c. Jewish patriot
First Known Use: 1587

- Miriam-Webster On-line Dictionary

Mac·ca·bees, pronunciation: mae kə biz
part of speech: plural noun
definition: the members of a ruling Jewish family who defeated the Syrians in 167 B.C. and rededicated the temple in Jerusalem, these events being commemorated in the festival of Hanukkah.

- Wordsmyth Dictionary

MAC'CABEES, n. The name of two apocryphal books in the Bible.

- Webster's Dictionary, 1828 Edition

1. A family of Jewish patriots of the second and first centuries B.C., active in the liberation of Judea from Syrian rule.

- American Heritage Dictionary

1. A book of the Old Testament Apocrypha.
2. A Jewish liberation movement who fought for, and established independence in the Land of Israel during the second and first centuries BC.

- Wiktionary

Mac·ca·bees [ mákə beez ] plural noun
1. followers of Judas Maccabeus: the followers of Judas Maccabeus, who led the revolt of the Jews against Syria in 168 bc
2. books of Jewish history: four books of Jewish history, the first two of which are included in the Roman Catholic Bible and Protestant Apocrypha

[14th century. Via Latin Maccabaeus, Greek Makkabaios, epithet of Judas]
Mac·ca·be·an [ màkə be ən ] adjective

- Encarta World English Dictionary

(fl. 2nd century BC) Priestly family of Jews who organized a successful rebellion against Antiochus IV Epiphanes in Palestine and reconsecrated the defiled Temple of Jerusalem. The rebellion began under the leadership of the Jewish priest Mattathias after Antiochus sought to stamp out Judaism by forbidding all Jewish practices and desecrating the temple (167 BC). When Mattathias died (c. 166 BC), his son Judas Maccabaeus recaptured Jerusalem and reconsecrated the temple, an event celebrated in the holiday Hanukkah. After Judas's death, the war continued intermittently under his brothers Jonathan and Simon. The Maccabees formed the Hasmonean dynasty.

- Britannica Concise Encyclopedia

This word does not occur in Scripture. It was the name given to the leaders of the national party among the Jews who suffered in the persecution under Antiochus Epiphanes, who succeeded to the Syrian throne B.C. 175. It is supposed to have been derived from the Hebrew word (makkabah) meaning "hammer," as suggestive of the heroism and power of this Jewish family, who are, however, more properly called Asmoneans or Hasmonaeans, the origin of which is much disputed.

After the expulsion of Antiochus Epiphanes from Egypt by the Romans, he gave vent to his indignation on the Jews, great numbers of whom he mercilessly put to death in Jerusalem. He oppressed them in every way, and tried to abolish altogether the Jewish worship. Mattathias, an aged priest, then residing at Modin, a city to the west of Jerusalem, became now the courageous leader of the national party; and having fled to the mountains, rallied round him a large band of men prepared to fight and die for their country and for their religion, which was now violently suppressed. In 1 Macc. 2:60 is recorded his dying counsels to his sons with reference to the war they were now to carry on. His son Judas, "the Maccabee," succeeded him (B.C. 166) as the leader in directing the war of independence, which was carried on with great heroism on the part of the Jews, and was terminated in the defeat of the Syrians.

- Easton's Bible Dictionary 1897

(a hammer ), This title, which was originally the surname of Judas, one of the sons of Mattathias, was afterward extended to the heroic family of which he was one of the noblest representatives. Asmonaeans or Hasmonaeans is the Proper name of the family, which is derived from Cashmon, great grandfather of Mattathias. The Maccabees were a family of Jews who resisted the authority of Antiochus Epiphanes king of Syria and his successors who had usurped authority over the Jews, conquered Jerusalem, and strove to introduce idolatrous worship. The standard of independence was first raised by Mattathias, a priest of the course of Joiarih. He seems, however, to have been already advanced in years when the rising was made, and he did not long survive the fatigues of active service. He died B.C. 166, having named Judas --apparently his third son--as his successor in directing the war of independence. After gaining several victories over the other generals of Antiochus, Judas was able to occupy Jerusalem except the "tower," and purified the temple exactly three years after its profanation. Nicanor was defeated, first at Capharsalama, and again in a decisive battle at Adasa B.C. 161, where he was slain. This victory was the greatest of Judas successes, and practically decided the question of Jewish independence; but shortly after Judas fell at Eleasa, fighting at desperate odds against the invaders. After the death of Judas, Jonathan his brother succeeded to the command, and later assumed the high-priestly office. He died B.C. 144, and was succeeded by Simon the last remaining brother of the Maccabaean family, who died B.C. 135. The efforts of both brothers were crowned with success. On the death of Simon, Johannes Hyrcanus, one of his sons, at once assumed the government, B.C. 135, and met with a peaceful death B.C. 105. His eldest son, Aristobulus I., who succeeded him B.C. 105-101, was the first who assumed the kingly title, though Simon had enjoyed the fullness of the kingly power. Alexander Jannaeus was the next successor B.C. 104-78. Aristobulus II. and Hyrcanus III. engaged in a civil war On the death of their mother, Alexandra, B.C. 78-69, resulting in the dethronement of Aristobulus II., B.C. 69-69, and the succession of Hyrcanus under Roman rule but without his kingly title, B.C. 63-40. From B.C. 40 to B.C. 37 Antigonus, a son of Aristobulus II., ruled, and with his two grandchildren, Aristobulus and Mariurnne, the Asmonaean dynasty ended.

- Smith's Bible Dictionary 1901

SOURCE(S) (1) Webster's New World College Dictionary. © 2010 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio. (
(2) The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th edition © 2010 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.(
(3) 1913 Webster's Dictionary, (
(4) Online Etymology Dictionary,
(5) Miriam-Webster On-line Dictionary, (
(6) Wordsmyth Dictionary, Advanced Dictionary. (
(7) Webster's Dictionary, 1828 Edition. (
(8) Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary. at Free, a On-line Dictionary. (
(9) American Heritage Dictionary & Wiktionary, at, (Maccabees Definition,
(10) Encarta® World English Dictionary [North American Edition] © & (P)2009 Microsoft Corporation. (
(11) For more information on Maccabees, visit Britannica Concise Encyclopedia. Copyright © 1994-2008 Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. - The Free, an on-line Dictioary, (
(12) Smith, William, Dr. "Entry for 'Maccabees'". 1901. Smith's Bible Dictionary, (

المكابيّ - マカバイ- מכבי - 繁體中文版 - المكابيّ - マカバイ- מכבי - 繁體中文版 - المكابيّ - マカバイ

The Word 'Maccabees' in Different Languages

In Western European Languages
Makkabæerbog: Danish
Maccabees: English
Makkabilaiskirja: Finnish
Maccabées: French
Macabeu: Galician
Makkabäer: German
Makkabeeën: Afrikaans
Macabeus: Catalan
Maccabei: Italian
Macabeu: Portuguese
Macabeos: Spanish
Makkabeeën: Dutch
όακκαβαίοι: Greek
oakkavaioi: Greek (Latin)

In Eastern European Languages
Knyga Machabejska: Lithuanian
Makkabeusok: Hungarian
Knjiga o Makabejcima: Croatian
Makabejská: Czech
Makkabeerbok: Norwegian
Macabei: Romanian
Макабејаца: Serbian
Makabejská: Slovak
Маккавей: Ukrainian
Маккавеи: Russian
Makkavei: Russki
Makkabeusok: Hungarian

In Middle Eastern Languages
مكابيين: Arabic
خانواده میهن پرستان مکابی یهود: Persian
המכבים: Hebrew
מאַקקאַבעעס: Yiddish

In Asian Languages

加比: Chinese Simplified
馬加比: Chinese Traditional
Makabe: Indonesian
マカバイ: Japanese
Kedua Makabe: Malay
加比家族: Chinese Simplified
馬加比家族: Chinese Traditional
Makkabeusok: Magyar

In Rare Languages
Mathagaccathagabathagees: Athag
Magaccagabagees: Double Dutch
Makabeoj: Esperanto
//./\((/\|3&&5: Leet
Mopaccopabopees: Oppish
Accabeesmay: Pig Latin
Makkabeuso: Terran B
Mubaccubabubees: Ubbi Dubbi

In Other Languages

4D 61 63 63 61 62 65 65 73: Hexadecimal
-- .- -.-. -.-. .- -... . . ... : Morse Code
01001101 01100001 01100011 01100011 01100001 01100010 01100101 01100101 01110011: Binary Code
HTML CodeM a c c a b e e &#115: HTML Code
004D 0061 0063 0063 0061 0062 0065 0065 0073: ISO 10646
476769696768717185: Encryption (substitution cypher)

May the LORD God bless you in the name of St. Judas Maccabaeus.

Jason Nicholas Korning