Maccabee Information and History

Maccabee Facts about St. Judas Maccabaeus

The Life of St. Judas Maccabeus
PLACE OF BIRTH: Modi'in, Judea
PLACE OF DEATH: Elasa (160 BC), near modern day Ramallah
MILITARY SERVICE: Rebel leader and commander of the Maccabees
BATTLES/WARS: Revolt of the Maccabees
LEGACY: Military hero, Defender of Judaism, Founder of Hanukkah
PRESTIGE: One of the Nine Worthies, which include nine of the greatest Judeo-Christian warriors of all time
JUDAISM: Seen as one of greatest Jewish warriors in history, alongside Joshua, Gideon and David
ESTABLISHMENT: Founded the holiday of Hanukkah and the Hasmonean Dynasty of Israel

The Faith of St. Judas Maccabaeus
RELIGION: Temple Judaism
FAITH: Devout, traditional
BIBLE: Book of the Maccabees I and II
APOCRYPHA: Book of the Maccabees III, IV, and V
OTHER BOOKS: Book of the Maccabees VI, VII, VIII, and the three Ethiopian books of Meqabyan
TRADITION: One of the only actual Judeo-Christian heroes in history
JUDAISM: Founder of the festival of Hanukkah (Dedication), an official holiday of Judaism
CHRISTIANITY: Considered a Saint residing in the Christian Kingdom of Heaven
RECOGNITION: Honored by Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodox, Ethiopian and Coptic Christianity
CHURCHES: I. St. Mary and St. Shmuni Church, in Sinstorf (Hamburg, Germany), II. Chapel of the Maccabees, in Saint-Pierre, (Geneva, Switzerland), III. St. Maccabees Church, in Cologne, (Germany), IV. Church of St. Maccabees Brothers in Lady, (Poland)

Ancestry of St. Judas Maccabaeus
ROYAL LINE: Hasmonean Dynasty
FAMILY HOUSE: House of Asamoneus
PRIESTHOOD: Seven Watchtowers of Joarib
FATHER: Mattathias the Hasmonean
BIRTH ORDER: 3rd-born Son
BROTHERS: John Gaddis, Simon Thassi, Eleazar Avaran, Jonathan Apphus (By Birth Order)
FAMILY TOMB: Modi'in, Israel

Various Names of St. Judas Maccabaeus
STANDARD: Judas Maccabeus, Judas Maccabaeus
TITLE: The Hammer, the Hammer of God, the Hammerer
JEWISH: Judah Maccabee, Judah the Maccabee
YIDDISH: Yehudah HaMakabi
LITERAL ENGLISH: Judah the Hammer
HEBREW: יהודה המכבי
ORIGIN: From the Aramaic 'maqqabba', or 'makebet' in modern Hebrew
ALTERNATIVE SPELLINGS: Machabeus, Maccabeus,

The Eternal Laws of St. Judas Maccabaeus
GOD: I. You will accept death over idolatry.
LIFE: II. You will accept death over murder.
SEXUALITY: III. You will accept death over sexual perversion.

St. Judas Maccabaeus in Literature
Old English Homilies on The Maccabees, by Aelfric (c. 1000) edited by Stuart D. Lee
El Maccabeo, by Miguel de Silveyra. (Naples, 1638)
La chevalerie de Judas Macabe, by Pierre du Ryer (1600-1658)
Judas Machabaeus, (Rome 1695)
Judas Makkabaeus, by Josef Eduard Konrad Bischoff (Germany 1885)
The Hammer, by Alfred J. Church and Richmond Seeley (1890)
Alilot Gibbor ha-Yehudim Yehudah ha-Makkabi le-Veit ha-Hashmona'im, by Jacob Benjamin Katznelson (1922)
Judas Makkabaeus, ein Kleinvolk kaempft um Glaube und Heimat, by Karl Boxler (1943)
My Glorious Brothers, by Howard Fast (1948)
Yehudah ha-Makkabi in A Layter tsu der Zun, by Moses Schulstein (1954)
Yehudah ha-Makkabi in Sippurim le-Mofet, by Jacob Fichmann (1954)

St. Judas Maccabaeus in Theatre
Judas Maccabeaus, by William Houghton (1601)
Giuda Maccabeo, ossia la morte di Nicanore, an Oratorio adapted by Vallicella (1839)
Judas Maccabaeus, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1872)

St. Judas Maccabaeus in Art
The illustrated manuscript Libri Maccabaeorum (900s AD)
Josephus, illustrations by Jean Fouquet
Chapel of the Dead, in Tournai Cathedral, by Rubens
Illustrated English Bible, illustrated by Paul Gustave Dore
Nine Heroes Tapestries, at the Metropolitan Museum (South Netherlandish, ca. 1400-1410)
The Triumph of Judas Maccabeus, by Gerrit van Honthorst

St. Judas Maccabaeus in Music
Judas Maccabaeus, an Oratorio, by George Frideric Handel (1746)
Song of Judas Maccabeus Before the Battle of Maspha, by Rebekah Hyneman (1816-1875)
The Battle-Cry of the South, by James R. Randall (1860s)

St. Judas Maccabaeus Briefly Mentioned in...
The classic saga called the Divine Comedy, by Dante
The classic play called Love's Labour's Lost, by Shakespeare
The song Hanukkah in Santa Monica, by Tom Lehrer
The song Jerusalem, by Mirah
The book Treatise on Twelve Lights, Ch. 5 (Recourse to the Sword), by Robert Struble (2007-08)

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

SOURCE(S): - Judas Maccabaeus, Wikipedia. (, Judas Maccabaeus on the web, by Tim Spalding. (, Books of the Maccabees, Wikipedia.(, Category: Holy Maccabees Churches, Wikimedia. (

The Seven Holy Maccabee Martyrs
I. St. Abim
II. St. Antonius
III. St. Guriah
IV. St. Eleazar
V. St. Eusebon
VI. St. Alimus
VII. St. Marcellus

Their Mother: St. Solomonia
Their Teacher: St. Eleazar

Hanukkah, the Maccabee Holiday

NAME: Hanukkah, which means 'Dedication', 'Establishing', or 'Consecration' in Hebrew.
HEBREW NAME: חֲנֻכָּה or חנוכה.
TITLE: Festival of Lights, Festival of Dedication.
DEFINITION: An eight-day Jewish Holiday celebrated every year during the winter.
HOLIDAY: A joyous, family-centered Jewish religious festival pre-dating Christianity by nearly 200 years.
RELIGION: Ancient Holiday of Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform Judaism.
FOUNDER: Judas Maccabaeus and his fellow Maccabee brothers.
RECOGNITION: A perpetual, yearly celebration marking the retaking, purification, and rededication of the Temple of Jerusalem by the rebel Jewish forces of the Maccabees after defeating the Pagan Greek military occupation.
BEGINNING: First established and celebrated in Jerusalem on the 25th of Kislev, 165 BC.
DATES: Always begins on the 25th of Kislev and ends on the 2nd or 3rd of Tevet (Hebrew Calendar).
DURATION: Lasts for eight days with an additional candle being lit after sunset for each passing day.
LONGETIVITY: Annually observed by Jews from around the world for the past 2,175 years.
TRADITIONS: Ritual candle lighting, religious singing, specific prayers, gifts of money and games.
MEANING: Sometimes religious freedom must be defended by violent, armed revolution.
MIRACLE: When it came time to light the Temple Menorah, there was only enough holy oil left for a single day, yet somehow God was able to cause the oil to last and burn for a miraculous eight entire days.
WORDS: Hallel, Al-ha-Nissim, Hanukkah addition (Prayers), Brachot (Blessing), Ma'oz Tzur, Hanerot Halalu (Hymns), and Psalms 30, 67, 91, Numbers 6:22 through 8:4, Zechariah 2:14-4:7, I Kings 7:40-50 (Readings).
SIGNIFICANCE: Represents one of the most miraculous, statistically impossible, and highly implausible series of military victories in the history of the world.
BIBLE: Book ot the Maccabees I (4:36-59), Book of the Maccabees II (10:1-8)
TALMUD: The Babylonian Talmud, Sabbath 21-24a, 45a, and 118, Sotah 41a, Gittin 57b,
REFERENCE: 1) Antiquities of the Jews, Book XII, Ch. 5-11, by Flavius Josephus, 2) The Scroll of Antiochus, (Megillat Antiochus), 3) The Gospel of John, mentioned in John 10:22

SOURCE: Hanukkah, Wikipedia. (

Maccabee Introduction

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)