New Defender's Study Bible Notes
11:32 do know their God. These blasphemous acts of Antiochus Epiphanes stirred the faithful Jews to revolt. Led by an aged priest, Mattathias, and his sons—especially Judas—a successful war of independence was waged against Antiochus, ending in 165 B.C., a date still commemorated annually in the Jewish feast of Hanukkah. These men became known as the Maccabees (a word meaning “hammer”) and their descendants ruled Israel until it was conquered by the Romans in 65 B.C.