Volume. XXXIV, No. 3
Sunday, 21 July 2019

From the Pastor’s Heart: Jerusalem (5)

I ended the previous article while writing about Antiochus Epiphanes.  One of the best sources to learn about him is 1 Maccabees.  By reading a portion of it, we shall have a clear picture of him in Israel.  I’ll quote from 1:20-45 (Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition) as follows:


20 And he took the strong cities in the land of Egypt: and he took the spoils of the land of Egypt. 21 And after Antiochus had ravaged Egypt in the hundred and forty-third year, he returned and went up against Israel. 22 And he went up to Jerusalem with a great multitude. 23 And he proudly entered into the sanctuary, and took away the golden altar, and the candlestick of light, and all the vessels thereof, and the table of proposition, and the pouring vessels, and the vials, and the little mortars of gold, and the veil, and the crowns, and the golden ornament that was before the temple: and he broke them all in pieces. 24 And he took the silver and gold, and the precious vessels: and he took the hidden treasures which he found: and when he had taken all away he departed into his own country. 25 And he made a great slaughter of men, and spoke very proudly. 26 And there was great mourning in Israel, and in every place where they were. 27 And the princes, and the ancients mourned, and the virgins and the young men were made feeble, and the beauty of the women was changed. 28 Every bridegroom took up lamentation: and the bride that sat in the marriage bed, mourned: 29 And the land was moved for the inhabitants thereof, and all the house of Jacob was covered with confusion. 30 And after two full years the king sent the chief collector of his tributes to the cities of Juda, and he came to Jerusalem with a great multitude. 31 And he spoke to them peaceable words in deceit: and they believed him. 32 And he fell upon the city suddenly, and struck it with a great slaughter, and destroyed much people in Israel. 33 And he took the spoils of the city, and burnt it with fire, and threw down the houses thereof, and the walls thereof round about: 34 And they took the women captive, and the children, and the cattle they possessed. 35 And they built the city of David with a great and strong wall, and with strong towers, and made it a fortress for them: 36 And they placed there a sinful nation, wicked men, and they fortified themselves therein: and they stored up armour, and victuals, and gathered together the spoils of Jerusalem; 37 And laid them up there: and they became a great snare. 38 And this was a place to lie in wait against the sanctuary, and an evil devil in Israel. 39 And they shed innocent blood round about the sanctuary, and defiled the holy place. 40 And the inhabitants of Jerusalem fled away by reason of them, and the city was made the habitation of strangers, and she became a stranger to her own seed, and her children forsook her. 41 Her sanctuary was desolate like a wilderness, her festival days were turned into mourning, her sabbaths into reproach, her honours were brought to nothing. 42 Her dishonour was increased according to her glory, and her excellency was turned into mourning. 43 And king Antiochus wrote to all his kingdom, that all the people should be one: and every one should leave his own law. 44 And all nations consented according to the word of king Antiochus. 45 And many of Israel consented to his service, and they sacrificed to idols, and profaned the sabbath. 46 And the king sent letters by the hands of messengers to Jerusalem, and to all the cities of Juda: that they should follow the law of the nations of the earth,




We also need to read Josephus’ book, Antiquities of the Jews, Book XII, chapter 5, 4, as follows:


Now it came to pass, after two years, in the hundred forty and fifth year, on the twenty fifth day of that month which is by us called Chasleu, and by the Macedonians Apelleus; in the hundred and fifty third olympiad, that the King came up to Jerusalem: and, pretending peace, he got possession of the city by treachery. At which time he spared not so much as those that admitted him into it, on account of the riches that lay in the temple. But, led by his covetous inclination, (for he saw there was in it a great deal of gold, and many ornaments that had been dedicated to it of very 

great value;) and in order to plunder its wealth, he ventured to break the league he had made. So he left the temple bare; and took away the golden candlesticks, and the golden altar [of incense,] and table [of shew bread,] and the altar [of burnt-offering:] and did not abstain from even the veils, which were made of fine linen and scarlet. He also emptied it of its secret treasures: and left nothing at all remaining: and by this means cast the Jews into great lamentation. For he forbad them to offer those daily sacrifices which they used to offer to God, according to the law. And when he had pillaged the whole city, some of the inhabitants he slew, and some he carried captive, together with their wives and children: so that the multitude of those captives that were taken alive amounted to about ten thousand. He also burnt down the finest buildings: and when he had overthrown the city walls, he built a citadel in the lower part of the city; for the place was high, and overlooked the temple. On which account he fortified it with high walls, and towers; and put into it a garrison of Macedonians. However, in that citadel dwelt the impious and wicked part of the [Jewish] multitude: from whom it proved that the citizens suffered many and sore calamities. And when the King had built an idol altar upon God’s altar he slew swine upon it, and so offered a sacrifice neither according to the law, nor the Jewish religious worship in that country. He also compelled them to forsake the worship which they paid their own God, and to adore those whom he took to be Gods; and made them build temples, and raise idol altars in every city and village; and offer swine upon them every day. He also commanded them not to circumcise their sons: and threatened to punish any that should be found to have transgressed his injunction. He also appointed overseers, who should compel them to do what he commanded. And indeed many Jews there were who complied with the King’s commands; either voluntarily, or out of fear of the penalty that was denounced. But the best men, and those of the noblest souls did not regard him; but did pay a greater respect to the customs of their country, than concern, as to the punishment which he threatened to the disobedient. On which account they every day underwent great miseries, and bitter torments. For they were whipped with rods; and their bodies were torn to pieces, and were crucified, while they were still alive, and breathed. They also strangled those women and their sons whom they had circumcised, as the King had appointed: hanging their sons about their necks as they were upon the crosses. And if there were any sacred book, or the law found, it was destroyed: and those with whom they were found miserably perished also.




The above citation is from http://penelope.uchicago.edu/josephus/ant-12.html. I sincerely hope that you have been able to catch some things out of these quotes.  I’ll briefly tell you what you should have seen while reading them. 



Your Pastor

More Lively Hope



  • Welcome to our Pulpit: Rev Mark Chen.
  • Greetings to GAPPI Filadelfia (Filadelfia B-P Church, Batam) on her 15th Anniversary today.
  • Today’s Music Seminar session is only for choir & musicians.
  • Missions trips to Batam & Phnom Penh in Jan 2020. If interested to go, please see Eld Michael D Lee or any Missions Committee member.
  • Annual Congregation Meeting: All members are expected to attend. Proxy forms available at the Foyer for those unable to attend.
  • Candidates for the 9th Session Election: Pastor Okman Ki, Elders David Yeo & Colin Gan; Deacons Wittawat Atijatuporn, Kevin Low, Sung Hyun Ma, Aaron Tan, John Wong & Wai Kin Wong; Bro Jason Tan.
  • IF Retreat forms available in the Foyer. Please complete & return with exact payment to Bros Daniel Volvricht or Danny Chu.
  • Lunch Duty: This week: YAF. Next week: Neighbourhood Groups.  


Praise & Thanksgiving

  • Visitors & church activities in the past week.
  • God’s daily provision, guidance & protection.
  • Journey mercies: Rev & Mrs Mark Chen & family; & others who have travelled.



  • Healing: Pastor Ki; Rev George van Buuren; Rev Edward & Mrs Lehia Paauwe; & others in affliction.
  • Missions – Batam Missions: Sis Ang Liang Phoa’s request for funds for 6 computers for Primary School computer lab & school fence repairs (A$3,500); Rev Pong Sen Yiew (Malaysia, Batam).
  • GAPPI Filadelfia (Filadelfia B-P Church, Batam) 15th Anniversary Thanksgiving today.
  • ACM & Session Election.
  • Journey mercies: Those who are travelling.







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