Understanding the Maccabean Revolt 167 to 63 BCE guides the reader through the main players and battles of this historic conflict. Antiochus Epiphanes IV's harsh decrees against the Jews had the opposite of his intended effect, as it accelerated Jewish resistance to being assimilated into Greek culture and religion. In his belief that the Jewish nation was ready for Hellenization, he had forbidden Jewish religious practice and had dedicated the Jewish Temple to a Greek deity. This and other acts of religious persecution led to the beginning of the Maccabean revolt in 167 BCE.
The Greek Seleucids had counted on Mattathias, son of John and a leader of the community, to accept the king's rulings, but he refused. After seeing one of his own people offer a pagan sacrifice, he killed the blasphemer, thus starting the Jewish struggle for freedom that lasted for over two decades and ushered in the Hasmonean kingdom. Understanding the Maccabean Revolt 167 to 63 BCE tells this thrilling story with forty pages of clear text and full color maps, illustrations, and photographs.