This was the family name of Mattathias, afterwards assumed by his descendants.
And Mattathias and his friends knew it, and they mourned over them exceedingly.
In a few months the aged Mattathias died and was succeeded by his son, Judas, who was known by the distinctive title of Maccabeus.
What did they demand of Mattathias, and what did they promise him?
It is now customary to apply it only to the sons and descendants of Mattathias.
In those days arose Mattathias, a priest of the sons of Joarib.
The result was a heroic uprising led by Mattathias and his sons, who are called the Maccabees.
Mattathias, fired by religious zeal, fell upon the apostate and slew him on the spot.
Mattathias was careful not to wage open war against the Syrians with his small band.
During this time, Mattathias who still remained concealed in the mountains, encouraged his brethren to remain firm in their cause.