Judas Maccabeus Purifying and Dedicating the Temple with Music

Judas Maccabeus: sounded the signal on the trumpets, and cried out to Heaven and fought against those in the citadel until he had cleansed the sanctuary.

When Israel became a nation against God's will Jerusalem became the only place where animal sacrifices might be made. The altar, when polluted by the enemy, had to be purified. In the case of Hezekiah when the temple was purifited the people went throughout the city tearing down other altars or "church houses." Purification and dedication of king or temple was literal warfare as with Joash and Athaliah.

First Maccabees:

23 - When he had finished speaking these words, a Jew came forward in the sight of all to offer sacrifice upon the altar in Modein, according to the king's command.

24 - When Mattathias saw it, be burned with zeal and his heart was stirred. He gave vent to righteous anger; he ran and killed him upon the altar.

25 - At the same time he killed the king's officer who was forcing them to sacrifice, and he tore down the altar.

Their altar was "built upon the rock" of unhewn material and any effort to improve upon God's command met with disapproval.

Now, that Jerusalem has been recaptured the temple (as usual) was a pig sty. Those who polluted the altar and city were the "enemy" and had to be destroyed as the temple was restored. Therefore, the act of temple dedication was an act of warfare upon other national enemies in order for the "covenant of kingship" to be restored.

However, the people did not engage in "spiritual worship with instrumental music." Furthermore, the Christian now has an altar which cannot be polluted and therefore cannot be purified with instrumental music to accompany burnt offerings. Therefore, Paul warned us not to think of Christianity as a national system with a literal temple, altar and "worship ritual."

Be not carried about with divers and strange (from guest speakers: h3581 Cenos) doctrines: For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein. Hebrews 13:9

We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle. Hebrews 13:10

For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin,

are burned without the camp. Hebrews 13:11

Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. Hebrews 13:12

Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. Hebrews 13:13

Animal sacrifices could only be made in the city of Jerusalem at the temple. Jesus said that we don't "do" temple any more but we worship "in spirit" or our own mind and "in truth" as we read and meditate on the Word as did the common people in the synagogues:

For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come. Hebrews 13:14

By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually (not in "church"), that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to his name. Hebrews 13:15

But to do good and to communicate forget not:

for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. Hebrews 13:16

106 B.C. The government of the Maccabees begins in Palestine, (The priest Mattathias takes refuge in Modin with his five sons (The Maccabees). Mattathias gives the signal for the attack. The Hassidaeans join him. Judas Maccabaeus leads the revolt after Mattathias dies.) Janneus, King of the Jews.

1 Maccabees 1

11 - In those days lawless men came forth from Israel, and misled many, saying,

"Let us go and make a covenant with the Gentiles round about us, for since we separated from them many evils have come upon us."

12 - This proposal pleased them,

13 - and some of the people eagerly went to the king. He authorized them to observe the ordinances of the Gentiles.

14 - So they built a gymnasium in Jerusalem, according to Gentile custom,

Athenian There is a tradition or story, which has somehow crept about the world,

that Dionysus was robbed of his wits by his stepmother Hera,

and that out of revenge he inspires Bacchic furies and dancing madnesses in others;

for which reason he gave men wine.

Such traditions concerning the gods I leave to those who think that they may be safely uttered; I only know that no animal at birth is mature or perfect in intelligence; and in the intermediate period,

in which he has not yet acquired his own proper sense, he rages and roars without rhyme or reason;

and when he has once got on his legs he jumps about without rhyme or reason; and this, as you will remember,

has been already said by us to be the origin of music and gymnastic.

Athenian Is not the origin of gymnastics, too, to be sought in the tendency to rapid motion which exists in all animals; man, as we were saying,

having attained the sense of rhythm, created and invented dancing; and melody arousing and awakening rhythm, both united formed the choral art?

See First Maccabees for full story

1 Maccabees 4

1 -Now Gorgias took five thousand infantry and a thousand picked cavalry, and this division moved out by night

2 - to fall upon the camp of the Jews and attack them suddenly. Men from the citadel were his guides.

3 - But Judas Maccabeus heard of it, and he and his mighty men moved out to attack the king's force in Emmaus

4 - while the division was still absent from the camp.

5 - When Gorgias entered the camp of Judas Maccabeus by night, he found no one there, so he looked for them in the hills, because he said,

"These men are fleeing from us."

6 -At daybreak Judas appeared in the plain with three thousand men, but they did not have armor and swords such as they desired.

7 - And they saw the camp of the Gentiles, strong and fortified, with cavalry round about it; and these men were trained in war.

8 - But Judas Maccabeus said to the men who were with him,

"Do not fear their numbers or be afraid when they charge.

9 - Remember how our fathers were saved at the Red Sea, when Pharaoh with his forces pursued them.

10 - And now let us cry to Heaven, to see whether he will favor us and remember his covenant with our fathers and crush this army before us today.

The sons of Aaron, the priests, are to blow the trumpets.

This is to be a lasting ordinance for you and the generations to come. Numbers 10:8

When you go into battle in your own land against an enemy who is oppressing you,

sound a blast on the trumpets. Then you will be remembered by the LORD your God and rescued from your enemies. Numbers 10:9

11 - Then all the Gentiles will know that there is one who redeems and saves Israel."

12 -When the foreigners looked up and saw them coming against them,

13 - they went forth from their camp to battle. Then the men with Judas Maccabeus blew their trumpets

14 - and engaged in battle. The Gentiles were crushed and fled into the plain,

15 - and all those in the rear fell by the sword. They pursued them to Gazara, and to the plains of Idumea, and to Azotus and Jamnia; and three thousand of them fell.

16 - Then Judas and his force turned back from pursuing them,

17 - and he said to the people, "Do not be greedy for plunder, for there is a battle before us;

18 - Gorgias and his force are near us in the hills. But stand now against our enemies and fight them, and afterward seize the plunder boldly."

19 -Just as Judas was finishing this speech, a detachment appeared, coming out of the hills.

20 - They saw that their army had been put to flight, and that the Jews were burning the camp, for the smoke that was seen showed what had happened.

21 - When they perceived this they were greatly frightened, and when they also saw the army of Judas drawn up in the plain for battle,

22 - they all fled into the land of the Philistines.

23 - Then Judas Maccabeus returned to plunder the camp, and they seized much gold and silver, and cloth dyed blue and sea purple, and great riches.

24 - On their return they sang hymns and praises to Heaven,

for he is good, for his mercy endures for ever.

25 - Thus Israel had a great deliverance that day.

26 -Those of the foreigners who escaped went and reported to Lysias (Syrian General) all that had happened.

27 - When he heard it, he was perplexed and discouraged, for things had not happened to Israel as he had intended, nor had they turned out as the king had commanded him.

28 - But the next year he mustered

sixty thousand picked infantrymen and

five thousand cavalry to subdue them.

29 - They came into Idumea and encamped at Beth-zur, and

Judas met them with ten thousand men.

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.

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.

32 - Fill them with cowardice; melt the boldness of their strength; let them tremble in their destruction.

33 - Strike them down with the sword of those who love thee, and let all who know thy name praise thee with hymns."

34 -Then both sides attacked, and there fell of the army of Lysias five thousand men; they fell in action.

35 - And when Lysias saw the rout of his troops and observed the boldness which inspired those of Judas, and how ready they were either to live or to die nobly,

he departed to Antioch and enlisted mercenaries, to invade Judea again with an even larger army.

36 -Then said Judas and his brothers,

"Behold, our enemies are crushed; let us go up to cleanse the sanctuary and dedicate it."

37 - So all the army assembled and they went up to Mount Zion.

38 - And they saw the sanctuary desolate, the altar profaned, and the gates burned. In the courts they saw bushes sprung up as in a thicket, or as on one of the mountains. They saw also the chambers of the priests in ruins.

39 - Then they rent their clothes, and mourned with great lamentation, and sprinkled themselves with ashes.

Trumpets To Sound Defeat

40 - They fell face down on the ground, and

sounded the signal on the trumpets, and cried out to Heaven.

41 - Then Judas detailed men to

fight against those in the citadel until he had cleansed the sanctuary.

42 -He chose blameless priests devoted to the law,

43 - and they cleansed the sanctuary and

removed the defiled stones to an unclean place.

44 - They deliberated what to do about the altar of burnt offering, which had been profaned.

45 - And they thought it best to tear it down, lest it bring reproach upon them, for the Gentiles had defiled it. So they tore down the altar,

46 - and stored the stones in a convenient place on the temple hill until there should come a prophet to tell what to do with them.

47 - Then they took unhewn stones, as the law directs, and built a new altar like the former one.

48 - They also rebuilt the sanctuary and the interior of the temple, and consecrated the courts.

49 - They made new holy vessels, and brought the lampstand, the altar of incense, and the table into the temple.

50 - Then they burned incense on the altar and lighted the lamps on the lampstand, and these gave light in the temple.

51 - They placed the bread on the table and hung up the curtains. Thus they finished all the work they had undertaken.

52 -Early in the morning on the twenty-fifth day of the ninth month, which is the month of Chislev, in the one hundred and forty-eighth year,

53 - they rose and offered sacrifice, as the law directs, on the new altar of burnt offering which they had built.

David's Instruments to Signal Dedication

54 - At the very season and on the very day that the Gentiles had profaned it,

it was dedicated with songs and harps and lutes and cymbals.

55 - All the people fell on their faces and worshiped and blessed Heaven, who had prospered them.

56 - So they celebrated the dedication of the altar for eight days, and offered burnt offerings with gladness; they offered a sacrifice of deliverance and praise.

57 - They decorated the front of the temple with golden crowns and small shields; they restored the gates and the chambers for the priests, and furnished them with doors.

58 - There was very great gladness among the people, and the reproach of the Gentiles was removed.

59 -Then Judas and his brothers and all the assembly of Israel determined that every year at that season the days of dedication of the altar should be observed with gladness and joy for eight days, beginning with the twenty-fifth day of the month of Chislev.

60 -At that time they fortified Mount Zion with high walls and strong towers round about, to keep the Gentiles from coming and trampling them down as they had done before.

61 - And he stationed a garrison there to hold it. He also fortified Beth-zur, so that the people might have a stronghold that faced Idumea.

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1 Maccabees, First Maccabees, Judas Maccabeus: Instruments were to gain attention during purification or dedication ceremonies. They were not used as "musical worship."