Asimov's Guide to the Bible: The New Testament by Isaac Asimov

By Isaac Asimov

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He took Jerusalem without resistance. Josephus describes the high priest of Jerusalem emerging from the city in full priestly regalia to meet Alexander and protect the city. Alexander is then described as having said he had seen just such a man in a dream, so that he pro- ceeded to treat Jerusalem with respect. This may or may not be true; there is no evidence for it outside Josephus. C. C. Alexander left Egypt and advanced eastward into Bab ylonia, where he defeated the Persians in a third great battle.

Cdtar ... To enforce the new policy,,Autiochus ordered copies of the Jewish Scriptures to be destroyed, forbade circumcision and the Jewish dietary regulations, then executed those caught clinging to the old ways. For a time it looked as though Judaism would be destroyed and that those who held out uncompromisingly against Antiochus IV would die as martyrs* Nehemiah 8:4. And 6m the kood upon

But it was more than mere conquest. The Maccabeans eventually enforced Judaism on the conquered Idumeans; doing as they would not be done by. The case of a religious minority that becomes an oppressor as soon as it is in power has been seen numerous times in history. Consider, for instance, the Puritans who fled oppression in England and came to America for the sake of religions liberty and who then proved most teen in refusing it to others than themselves. The usual excuse, in all times, is that the victors are merely exalting Truth over Falsehood, and are selflessly saving the souls of the losers.

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