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The Battle of Emmausmarker took place in 166 BC between the Hasmonean forces of Judeamarker, led by Judas Maccabeus, also spelled Machabeus, or Maccabaeus, known to history as Judas the Hammer, and the third expedition of Greek forces given by Antiochus IV Epiphanes to Lysias. The generals for the expedition were Gorgias, Ptolemy the son of Dorymenes and Nicanor.


Gorgias established his base camp at the town of Emmausmarker, along the western border of Judea, while Judas Maccabeus' camp was located in the town of Mitzpah, north of Jerusalemmarker. Word reached Maccabeus that Gorgias was leading 5,000 troops on a march against his camp and was planning to surprise the Jewish rebels in a night-time attack, Judas abandoned his camp and led his forces to Emmausmarker, to attack the Hellenic base camp that remained there. Gorgias found the camp at Mizpah empty and deserted. The only obvious place in the area to hide was the mountains. So Gorgias and his men scoured the hills for Jewish soldiers. They were unsuccessful.

Judas Maccabeus organized his men, to attack the Emmausmarker, into units resembling a regular army, with units of 10, 50, 100, and 1,000. They set up a fortified camp on the south side of Emmausmarker. Judas addressed his men, urging them to fight valiantly, "for it is better for us to die in battle than to see the evils of our nation, and of the holies. Nevertheless, as it shall be the will of God in heaven, so be it done." Though he spoke these words, Judas Maccabeus was seeking victory, not death and glory through martyrdom.

Gorgias returned to Emmausmarker, only to find his camp destroyed with the rebel army in possession of the camp and in position against his troops. Gorgias did not give battle after the destruction of his base but fled to the coastal plains with Judas' pursuing his army. It was considered one of Judas Maccabeus' most important victories in the war for Judean independence.



External links

1 Maccabees

See also

Emmaus Nicopolismarker

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