Meqabyan

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I, II, and III Meqabyan (Ge'ez: መቃብያን, sometimes spelled Makabian) are three books in the Ethiopian Orthodox Old Testament Biblical canon.

Although these books are completely different in content from the books of Maccabees in Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Bibles, they are sometimes referred to as Ethiopic Maccabees or Ethiopian Maccabees. The "Maccabees" described in these books are not those of the Hasmonean dynasty, and the "Five Holy Maccabean Martyrs" here do not correspond to the martyred "woman with seven sons", who were also referred to as "Maccabees" and are revered throughout Orthodoxy as the "Holy Maccabean Martyrs".

These three books long existed only in Ethiopic, but have recently been translated into standard English by Feqade Selassie.

  • The Book of First Meqabyan has 36 chapters. It begins: "In the days of the Moabites and Medes". It says that there was an idol-worshiping king of Media and Midian, named '"Tsirutsaydan". This was an actual nickname of the historical Seleucid king Antiochus IV Epiphanes, who sometimes held court at Tyre, after he began minting coins with the names "Tyre and Sidon" (Tsur u Tsaydan) stamped in Canaanite alongside his image. John Mason Harden, An Introduction to Ethiopic Christian Literature, 1926, p. 38; Ernst Hammerschmidt, Äthiopien: Christliches Reich zwischen gestern und morgen, 1967, p.......
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