165 BC

- נ י ת -

Judeas Defeats Gorgias at Emmaus

165 BC

1 Maccabees 3:10

Following Seron’s defeat, Gorgias is sent to suppress the Judean revolt. Under Gorgias’ command is an infantry unit that includes 40,000 warriors and thousands of horsemen. Judas’ small yet effective units – numbering at about 6,000 soldiers – gather at Mizpah. Gorgias plans to advance with 5,000 warriors to launch a surprise attack against the Jewish insurgents. However, when Judas becomes aware of this, he and his men abandon Mizpah at night, leaving behind burning bonfires to make it seem like they have fled. Gorgias falls into their trap and begins chasing the rebels into the hill country. At the same time, Judas flanks the enemy’s camp in Emmaus, near Latrun, and storms it by sunrise. Many of the startled Seleucid soldiers are killed or run away. When he returns from his failed chase, Gorgias sees what the rebels have done at Emmaus and leaves the country.

Judas uses tricks and mind games to successfully deceive his enemy’s tremendous army. He manages to deliver a severe blow and decisively defeat them. Though the Seleucid forces are superior in terms of warriors and weapons, Judas Maccabeus nevertheless possesses the upper hand, thanks to his unwavering belief in a supreme power. When we are absolutely certain that negative forces will be defeatedthey will be. 

“Now Gorgias took five thousand infantry and one thousand picked cavalry, and this division moved out by night 2 to fall upon the camp of the Jews and attack them suddenly. Men from the citadel were his guides. 3 But Judas heard of it, and he and his warriors moved out to attack the king’s force in Emmaus 4 while the division was still absent from the camp. 5 When Gorgias entered the camp of Judas by night, he found no one there, so he looked for them in the hills, because he said, “These men are running away from us.” 6 At daybreak Judas appeared in the plain with three thousand men, but they did not have armor and swords such as they desired. 7 And they saw the camp of the nations, strong and fortified, with cavalry all around it, and these men were trained in war. 8 But Judas said to those who were with him, “Do not fear their numbers or be afraid when they charge. 9 Remember how our ancestors were saved at the Red Sea, when Pharaoh with his forces pursued them. 10 And now, let us cry to heaven to see whether he will favor us and remember his covenant with our ancestors and crush this army before us today” (1 Maccabees 3:10)

Mental strengths are the inner resources providing us with the strength necessary to face obstacles and challenges.