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(1,097 words)

[German Version]

The name Maccabees denotes primarily a family of Jewish freedom fighters and leaders, also called the Hasmoneans (see below). It can also refer to a collection of postcanonical Jewish writings (Maccabees, Books of the), and in Christian traditions to a group of Jewish martyrs during the persecution under the Seleucid Antiochus IV. This persecution triggered the Maccabean revolt under the priest Mattathias and his five sons. Mattathias, who belonged to the priestly division of Jehoiarib (1 Chr 24:7), was ordered by Antiochus to offer sacrifi…

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van Henten, Jan Willem, “Maccabees”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 11 June 2023 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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