American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- A family of Jewish patriots of the second and first centuries B.C., active in the liberation of Judea from Syrian rule.
- n. See Table at Bible.
- n. Plural form of Maccabee.
- n. biblical A book of the Old Testament Apocrypha.
- n. history A Jewish liberation movement who fought for, and established, independence in the Land of Israel during the second and first centuries BC.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. The name given in later times to the Asmonæans, 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. 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. of the Septuagint.
“The political resurrection of the Jews under the Maccabees is the starting-point of transition to the literal resurrection about to follow the destruction of Antichrist by Christ's coming in glory.”
“Second Maccabees is accepted as inspired scripture by the Catholics, Orthodox and Oriental Christians, and accepted as semi-inspired by Anglicans*, of which I am one.”
“As a work of history, 1 Maccabees is probably one of the best in the Bible, but it is also one of the driest and densest books in the Bible.”
“Josephus's work keeps going in this vein after 1 Maccabees is finished.”
“I’m not aware that anyone - Jew, Protestant, or whatever - denies that Second Maccabees is reasonably valid as history.”
“They were led by the Hasmonean family, who with their band of guerrilla warriors known as the Maccabees, drove the hated Seleucids and their Greek ways from Jerusalem and reinstated Temple worship—an event still celebrated by the feast of Hanukkah.”
“So the truth about the Maccabees is a slippery one.”
“So the truth about the Maccabees was a bit different than what I had thought.”
“Hanukkah celebrates the expulsion from Jerusalem of Syrian-Greek occupiers by freedom fighters called Maccabees in 168 BC.”
“As most Jews know, the holiday isn't of monumental religious significance -- it celebrates a relatively minor miracle from the Book of Maccabees, which is in the non-canonical, relatively obscure Apocrypha of the Bible.”
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