The book Of The Bible 1 Maccabees
The historical setting of 1 Maccabees is about a century after the conquest of Judea by the Greeks under Alexander the Great. Alexander’s empire was divided at this point, and Judea was part of the Greek Seleucid Empire. First Maccabees narrates how the Greek ruler Antiochus IV Epiphanes attempted to suppress the practice of the Jewish law, resulting in a Jewish revolt against Seleucid rule. The book covers the revolt beginning in 167 BCE and underscores how the salvation of the Jewish people in this crisis came from God through Mattathias’s family, particularly his sons Judas, Jonathan, and Simon.
The book teaches that fidelity to God’s law leads to continued divine support and action on behalf of the people of Israel. Selected passages from 1 Maccabees are read at the liturgy on Monday through Saturday of the Thirty-Third Week of Year I. Also, the passage from 1 Maccabees on the occasion of the rededication of the altar is offered as a choice in the Roman Missal to be read at the Mass of the Dedication of a Church (4.52-59). The Jewish feast of Hanukkah is established with this text as well.