2 Maccabees 11:27


25 Accordingly, since we choose that this nation also should be free from disturbance, our decision is that their temple be restored to them and that they shall live according to the customs of their ancestors. 26 You will do well, therefore, to send word to them and give them pledges of friendship, so that they may know our policy and be of good cheer and go on happily in the conduct of their own affairs." 27 To the nation the king's letter was as follows: "King Antiochus to the senate of the Jews and to the other Jews, greetings. 28 If you are well, it is as we desire. We also are in good health. 29 Menelaus has informed us that you wish to return home and look after your own affairs.

Judith 4:8


6 The high priest, Joakim, who was in Jerusalem at the time, wrote to the people of Bethulia and Betomesthaim, which faces Esdraelon opposite the plain near Dothan, 7 ordering them to seize the mountain passes, since by them Judea could be invaded; and it would be easy to stop any who tried to enter, for the approach was narrow, wide enough for only two at a time to pass. 8 So the Israelites did as they had been ordered by the high priest Joakim and the senate of the whole people of Israel, in session at Jerusalem. 9 And every man of Israel cried out to God with great fervor, and they humbled themselves with much fasting. 10 They and their wives and their children and their cattle and every resident alien and hired laborer and purchased slave—they all put sackcloth around their waists.

 Notes and References

"... There was a group of “elders of Israel” who helped govern the Israelites from Moses onwards, through the monarchical period, in the Babylonian exile, and after the return from exile, and the composition and functions of the institution changed over time and place; see Reviv (1989) for a survey of biblical elders. Our author may have intended no more than a general reference to a larger governing body akin to those mentioned in the Bible, but “the council of elders of all the people of Israel” perhaps points to a more technical term and institution, found in Hellenistic times. Such a gerousia is mentioned in Seleucid documents, as well as Hasmonean ones; see Josesphus Antiquities 12.138, 142; 1 Maccabees 12:6 (where we find Jonathan the high priest, the gerousia, and the priests all mentioned together); 2 Maccabees 1:10; 11:27; see too 2 Maccabees 4:44; 3 Maccabees 1:8 ... We know very little of the composition and powers of the Hasmonean gerousia; indeed, some commentators attempt to learn more about this body from our text ..."

Gera, Deborah Levine Judith (p. 179) De Gruyter, 2014

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