1 Maccabees 2:46


41 So they made this decision that day: "Let us fight against anyone who comes to attack us on the sabbath day; let us not all die as our kindred died in their hiding places." 42 Then there united with them a company of Hasideans, mighty warriors of Israel, all who offered themselves willingly for the law. 43 And all who became fugitives to escape their troubles joined them and reinforced them. 44 They organized an army, and struck down sinners in their anger and renegades in their wrath; the survivors fled to the Gentiles for safety. 45 And Mattathias and his friends went around and tore down the altars; 46 they forcibly circumcised all the uncircumcised boys that they found within the borders of Israel. 47 They hunted down the arrogant, and the work prospered in their hands.

Galatians 5:12

New Testament

6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision carries any weight—the only thing that matters is faith working through love. 7 You were running well; who prevented you from obeying the truth? 8 This persuasion does not come from the one who calls you! 9 A little yeast makes the whole batch of dough rise! 10 I am confident in the Lord that you will accept no other view. But the one who is confusing you will pay the penalty, whoever he may be. 11 Now, brothers and sisters, if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been removed. 12 I wish those agitators would go so far as to castrate themselves! 13 For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity to indulge your flesh, but through love serve one another.

 Notes and References

"... Paul gives further description to his former way of life in verse 13 by saying that on the one hand he persecuted exceedingly the assembly of God, no do because he believed it to be beyond the pale, an apostate community and no doubt Torah-true Jewish one, not the assembly of God at all, and on the other hand he himself was heading in the opposite direction from the assembly of God hand advancing and progressing in Judaism beyond most of his Jewish contemporaries. The key to both the negative and positive behavior of Paul was what he describes in verse 14 as his exceedingly great zeal for the traditions of hie ancestors. The verbs [he uses] are both in the imperfect and refer to past repeated actions, not one time aberrations from a person's normal conduct. The two verbs must be interpreted together with the latter making more explicit what is implicit in the former. These are political terms, with the latter regularly used to refer to the sacking or destroying or devastating of a city, and the former in this sort of context referring to persecution, not mere pursuit (compare Josephus The Jewish Wars 4.534 and 1 Maccabees 2:47; 3:5 where in a close parallel it refers to the pursuit and persecution of apostate Jews) ..."

Witherington, Ben Grace in Galatia: A Commentary on St. Paul’s Letter to the Galatians (p. 100) William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1998

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