I would like to know if any Orthodox publisher has put out a version of the book(s) of the Maccabees.

4 Answers 4


Daat and tsel are both religious websites - I don't know if you count them as "publishers". Maccabees I

Maccabees II - http://www.daat.ac.il/daat/hasfarim/hashmonaim-b-2.htm

They're all based on "Ketuvim Achronim" by Yitzchak Frankel. I'm having a hard time digging up information on Frankel, but the publisher is Levin-Epstein, (which existed until recently and republished the book a few times). They started off as a publisher of primarily Jewish religious books, but they grew (for economic reasons) to publish more literary works too. It's hard to pin them down to a specific ideology, especially as the labels "orthodox", "conservative" and "reform" barely existed when the book was published.

More recently there have also been editions done by Abraham Kahana (1937) and Uriel Rappaport (Yad Ben Tzvi, 2004), however both of those qualify more as "academic" than "Orthodox".

So in other words, the simple answer depends how you define "orthodox" and how you define "publisher", but I've provided all the information I have and will let you make up your own mind.


Long ago, before Artscroll ruled the earth, there was a siddur called the Birnbaum Siddur used in orthodox circles. It contains the book (or books) of Macabees.

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    According to the WP article on Megillat Antiochus, it's that, and not the Book of Maccabees, that's included in the Birnbaum Siddur.
    – Isaac Moses
    Nov 7, 2014 at 19:42
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    There is a tradition in some Orthodox communities to recite Megillat Antiochus during Channukah.
    – JJLL
    Nov 7, 2014 at 22:23
  • There was a thread right here on Mi Yodeya judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/33/…. That discusses Macabees. I'd suggest asking an orthodox rabbi if it is forbidden to read the books (there's several volumes.) If not, you should use your judgement in choosing the numerous web sites that have the books online. Sacred Texts contains a massage library of holy books from many, many, many different religions.
    – JJLL
    Nov 7, 2014 at 22:30
  • Since I still use the Birnbaum, I can confirm what @IsaacMoses said - the Birnbaum includes megillat antiochus not the books of the Maccabees. Dec 17, 2014 at 4:20

I suggest "Five Glorious Brothers" by Rabbi Pinchas Stolper. It's an English translation of the apocryphal books of First and Second Maccabees. The author includes a fine introduction and epilogue clearing up the real story of Chanukah as we know it versus the contents of the books.

  • Uh. The "real story?" That's a bold claim
    – Aaron
    Oct 7, 2021 at 18:06
  • @Aaron Perhaps, but it is known that not all the details of the Books of Maccabees add up
    – ezra
    Oct 8, 2021 at 3:07
  • The same can be said of Tanakh
    – Aaron
    Oct 8, 2021 at 13:48

Sefaria has a copy of each: Maccabees I and Maccabees II. It’s not a publisher, per se, but it’s a Hebrew copy of it by an Orthodox distributed.


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