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Apocrypha

How does the book of II Maccabees end?

It ends with the Jews winning a decisive battle against Nicanor and his troops. Nicanor had been appointed by the king to be governor of Judah. “Nicanor and his troops advanced with trumpets and battle songs, but Judas and his troops met the enemy in battle with invocations to God and prayers. So, fighting with their hands and praying to God in their hearts, they laid low at least thirty-five thousand, and were greatly gladdened by God’s manifestation.” (NRSV, II Maccabees 15:25–26) When the battle was over, they cut off Nicanor’s head. Then they agreed by public vote to observe the day every year. The day became known as Nicanor’s Day, and was commemorated until 70 C.E., when the Romans sacked Jerusalem.



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