[Machabees was written about one hundred years before the birth of Jesus Christ and describes events that had recently transpired as Jews fought to resist the suppression of their faith, Judaism, by invaders].
Now the days drew near that Mathathias should die, and he said to his sons:
Now hath pride and chastisement gotten strength, and the time of destruction, and the wrath of indignation. Now therefore, O my sons, be ye zealous for the law, and give your lives for the covenant of your fathers.
And call to remember the works of the fathers, which they have done in their generations; and you shall receive great glory and an everlasting name.
Was not Abraham found faithful in temptation, and it was reputed to him unto justice?
Joseph in the time of his distress kept the commandment, and he was made lord of Egypt.
Phinees our father, by being fervent in the zeal of God, received the covenant of an everlasting priesthood.
Jesus [Josue], whilst he fulfilled the word, was made ruler in Israel.
Caleb, for bearing witness before the congregation, received an inheritance.
David by his mercy obtained the throne of an everlasting kingdom.
Elias, while he was full of zeal for the law, was taken up into heaven.
Ananias and Azarias and Misael by believing, were delivered out of the flame.
Daniel in his innocency was delivered out of the mouth of lions.
And thus consider through all generations, that none that trust in him fail in strength.
And fear not the words of a sinful man, for his glory is dung, and worms. Today he is lifted up, and tomorrow he shall not be found, because he is returned into his earth, and his thought is come to nothing.
You, therefore, my sons, take courage, and behave manfully in the law; for by it you shall be glorious.