Battle of Adasa

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Battle of Adasa
Part of Maccabean Revolt
Date161 BC
LocationAdasa
Result Jewish victory
Belligerents
Jewish rebels Seleucid Empire
Commanders and leaders
Judah Maccabee Nicanor 

The Battle of Adasa was fought in 13th of the month Adar, 161 BC at Adasa (Hebrew: חדשה‎), near Beth-horon, between the Maccabees of Judah Maccabee and the Seleucid Empire, whose army was led by Nicanor. Maccabee won this battle, while Nicanor was killed. For a few years this day was celebrated as the "Day of Nicanor" (13th of Adar) to commemorate this victory. Despite the victory, within less than a year Judah Maccabee was defeated and killed, fighting the Seleucids at Elasa. The Maccabees however continued to execute authority over Judea and led to a complete expulsion of Seleucid forces from the region.

Nicanor Day[edit]

Nicanor proceeded to the region of Beth-horon, northwest of Jerusalem, a place situated favorably for the Jews, who were acquainted with the country; Judah encamped against him at Adasa. According to 2 Maccabees 15, Judah inspired his troops by relating to them a dream-vision he had experienced, wherein the Prophet Jeremiah presented a gold sword to him and said, "Accept this holy sword as a gift from God; with it you shall crush your adversaries." (2 Maccabees 15:15-16, NAB). The battle that ensued was desperate, and ended in a glorious victory for the Jews; Nicanor fell, and his troops to the number of 9,000 were put to flight. Judah appointed the 13th of Adar, the day of the victory (161 BC), as a feast-day, and it still has a place in the calendar of special days ("Megillat Ta'anit").