The Persians let the Jews practice their religion in peace. Then the Greeks rose to prominence …
… Alexander the Macedonian, [Alexander the Great] … defeated Darius, king of the Persians and … [Alexander] became king … 1 Macc 1:1
When he died … his officers took over his kingdom, … and … put on royal crowns, … There sprang from these a sinful offshoot, Antiochus Epiphanes, 1 Macc 1:8-10
… Antiochus … insolently invaded the sanctuary … He stripped off everything, Taking all … he went back to his own country, after he had spoken with great arrogance and shed much blood. … And there was great mourning for Israel, in every place where [the Jews] dwelt, 1 Macc 1:20-25
Then the king wrote to his whole kingdom that all should be one people, each abandoning his particular customs. 1 Macc 1:41-42
… the king erected [a] horrible abomination
(a statue of Baal!)
upon the altar of holocausts, and in the surrounding cities of Judah they built pagan altars. 1 Macc 1:54
Women who had had their children circumcised were put to death, … with the babies hung from their necks… 1 Macc 1:60-61
Many of Israel joined [the King], but Mattathias and his sons gathered in a group apart. Then the officers of the king addressed Mattathias: Come now … obey the king’s command But Mattathias answered … I and my sons and my kinsmen will keep to the covenant of our fathers. 1 Macc 2:16-20
…Judas Maccabeus, … shall be the leader of [our] army and direct the war against the nations. 1 Macc 2:66
Lysias … sent forty thousand men and seven thousand cavalry to invade the land of Judah and ravage it according to the king’s orders.1 Macc 3:38-39
… Judas [Maccabeus] appeared in the plain with three thousand men, who lacked such armor and swords as they would have wished.
(three thousand against forty-seven thousand!)
1 Macc 4:6
The battle was joined and the Gentiles were defeated … 1 Macc 4:14
However, unlike Joshua, The Maccabees did not rely on God alone.
… Judas (Maccabeus) … sent … to Rome to establish an alliance of friendship with them. 1 Macc 8:17 1 Macc 12:1 1 Macc 14:24
He did this to get rid of the yoke, for it was obvious that the kingdom of the Greeks was subjecting Israel to slavery. 1 Macc 8:18
There were lots more battles and negotiations and intrigue. You can read all about them in First and Second Maccabees. After years of struggle and many deaths
… they succeeded in driving the Gentiles out of their country, … 1 Macc 14:36
However, their troubles were not over. Their allies, the Romans, eventually took over, bringing their practice of crucifixion. So, finally, after thousands of years of preparation, the Jews, the Chosen People of God, were ready for Jesus.
Faith – belief in God.
Hope – well founded trust in God
Love – caring for God and for each other
[God had prepared His people] to welcome by stages the supernatural Revelation that [was] to culminate in the person and mission of the incarnate Word, Jesus Christ. # 53
That is the story of God’s loving plan of Revelation; Adam to Jesus
# 53 see also # 114