Catholic Introduction To The Old Testament: The Second Book of Maccabees

Who are the Maccabees
Image by Museum of the Bible

The Second Book of the Maccabees is a condensation of a five-volume history by Jason of Cyrene. The book reports events in Jewish history from the time of the High Priest, Onias the Third (about 180 B.C.), to the death of Nicanor (161 B.C.), and parallels in part the events described in the early chapters of 1 Maccabees. There is a strong emphasis on loyalty to the law and on God's reward to martyrs who die for their faith.

Outline of Contents

Letters to the Jews of Egypt and Preface 1.1—2.32

Struggles for the high priesthood 3.1—4.50

Antiochus Epiphanes and the persecution of the Jews 5.1—7.42

The victories of Judas 8.1—15.39


  1. The Second Book of Maccabees. (1972). In Catholic (Ed.), May they be one Bible: Good news translation (2013 ed., p. 670). Philippine Bible Society.
  2. Museum of the Bible. (2022, December 29). Who are the Maccabees [Painting].

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