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Besides the Aramaic version, there is also a Hebrew one; but this is only a late translation of the Aramaic text published by D. Slutzki, Warsaw, , with an introduction and amendments. Jellinek published a second manuscript Beit ha-Midrash , 6 2 , 4—8 , and J. Taprowera third Kevod ha-Levanon , 10, pt.

The most complete publication is that of M. Gaster, which is based on six manuscripts Transactions of the Ninth International Congress of Orientalists , 2 , 17—27 ; S. Wertheimer published another manuscript in Leket Midrashim Jerusalem, , 13b—18a; a facsimile edition of a European version by L.

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Nemoy, The Scroll of Antiochus New Haven, ; a critical edition, based upon Yemenite texts provided by super-linear vocalization, by M. The version given by J. Abrahams, ibid. Rosenthal, ibid.

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Krauss, in: REJ , 30 , —9; I. Wertheimer, in: Leket Midrashim Jerusalem, , 13b—18a; A.


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Jellinek, Beit ha-Midrash , 1 2 , xxv , —6; 6 2 , vii—ix, 4—8; S. Tedesche and S. Nemoy, The Scroll of Antiochus ; A. Shalit, in: Tarbut ve-Sifrut Dec. Download our mobile app for on-the-go access to the Jewish Virtual Library. The Hasmonaeans were priests, and had, as such, no right upon the royal position To this the Makkabaeans added another sin, no less heinous in the eyes of the orthodox, strict observers of the law. In the strife of parties which arose soon afterwards, they side with the Sadducaeans, persecuted the Pharisaeans, the orthodox upholders of the law Considering that the Pharisaeans represented the popular party, and that the legal prescriptions, liturgical forms and ceremonies are mostly fixed by them, one part of the mystery is cleared up.

ANTIOCHUS, SCROLL OF (Megillat Antiochus):

The staunch upholders of the law would not canonise That explains also to a certain extent why the allusions to the Makkabaeans are so scarce in the Talmud and Midrash. This literature is that of the Pharisaeans, and the Makkabaeans were their bitterest foes. To back this up, the Babylonian Talmud speaks of Yochanan the High Priest who served for eighty years and then became a Sadducee. But it is hard to know whether Antiochus and the reform group's interests were 'religious' or merely 'political'.

Early texts of Megillat Chanukah still exist and are in both Hebrew and Aramaic, but it appears as if the original text was in Western Middle Aramaic. This suggests it was probably written in Eretz Yisrael as opposed to Babylonia. The style is very similar to that of Targum Onkelos.

An original version is found in Baladi Yemenite siddurim dating back to the s. The first published version of the text was in , in Mantua, Italy. It then appeared in a printed siddur from Salonica in In the Megillat Chanukah was included in the Ashkenazi siddur, Avodat haShem , with the following ironic introduction:. He therefore saw fit to translate the German into the Holy Tongue Hebrew and bring it to press in Thus the original Aramaic got translated into Hebrew, which later got translated into German, which again got translated back to Hebrew. It would be interesting to compare both of those Hebrew translations.


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  5. According to some scholars, the original scroll is dated from around to CE. Sefaria suggests CE. Either way, it is first mentioned in the s by Shimon Kiara [8] who, also known as the Bahag , in his Baal Halachot Gedolot. He then translated it into Arabic. He based his publication on old manuscripts which he found in the Bodleian Library in Oxford.

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    This ignorance of the official name goes a long way to prove the antiquity of the chronicle. Similarly, according to R. The Baladi Yemenites also have a similar custom of reading the scroll on Chanukah. Isaiah Yitzchak? Why was that book condemned to oblivion? The book that tells the history of the greatest victory, the victory of the spirit and the might of the Jewish people — the Book of the Hasmoneans [he was not referring to the Book of Maccabees but to Megillat Chanukah] [15]. Interestingly, Bialik by carefully selecting the words ' spirit ' and ' might ' - seems to accept the legitimacy of both the ' light ' and the ' fight ' as equal components which ultimately determine the story of the Jewish people:.

    In commemoration of the victory, Jonathan has a pillar erected in the town, bearing the inscription "The Maccabean has killed strong men.

    Jonathan and his four brothers defeat Bagris, who escapes and returns to Antiochus. Judah Maccabee now appears in the story for the first time; and Jonathan, the third son of Mattathias, henceforth remains in the background. At the news of Bagris' approach, Judah proclaims a fast and calls for prayers in Mizpah cf. Now old Mattathias himself assumes command of the Jewish soldiers; the enemy is decisively defeated, and Bagris is taken prisoner and burned.

    When Antiochus is told the news, he boards a ship and tries to find refuge in some coastal town; but wherever he arrives he is greeted with the scornful cry: "See the runaway! At this same time, the Jews are reconsecrating their Temple; while searching for pure oil for the lamp, they find a vessel bearing the seal of the high priest and dating back to the time of the prophet Samuel.

    David Sedley here. It was originally written in Hebrew but only survived in Greek translation.

    Megillat Antiochus

    The most extreme claim for its antiquity was that of the tenth-century teacher Sa'adia Ga'on, who claimed that the scroll had been written down close to the time of the events that it recounts; i. An eighth-century compendium of Jewish law known as Halakhot Gedolot ascribed the work to the elders of the Houses of Shammai and Hillel, sometime in the first century C.

    In the absence of clear-cut evidence for the scroll's ancient origins, most historians have taken a cautious position, dating it to the early medieval era, close to the beginnings of the Arab empire. In order to explain why it should have been composed at this particular time, several scholars tried to draw conclusions from Sa'adia Ga'on's attitude towards it. It was in response to such charges that Sa'adia was impelled to make exaggerated claims about the scroll's antiquity and authority.

    In addition to the above-mentioned assertion about its early date, Sa'adia found many ways in which to treat the scroll as if it were a full-fledged biblical book, with a status similar to that of Esther. In one of his commentaries, he cites a proof-text from the Scroll of Antiochus as if it were a biblical verse. He also mentions that it was customary to copy the scroll with vowels and cantillation signs, and to divide it into parshiyot , practices that were rarely applied to texts outside the biblical canon.

    Sa'adia even composed an Arabic translation to it, complete with a learned preface, just as he did for the books of the Bible. Sa'adia's efforts on behalf of the Scroll of Antiochus led to its widespread acceptance by many Jewish communities, including those of Spain, Italy, Yemen and Persia.