, LXX.; Μωδέιμ
, Joseph.; Μηδεείμ
, Euseb.), the residence of Mattathias, the great grandson of Asamonaeus, and the father of Judas Maccabaeus and his four valiant brothers, who was however only a sojourner at Modin, being a native of Jerusalem, and a priest of the course of Joarib.
It was probably the native place of the sons, as it was also their burying-place. Here it was that the first opposition to the impious edict of Antiochus Epiphanes was made, when Mattathias slew with his own hand the renegade Jew who had offered idolatrous sacrifice, and demolished the altar. (Jos. Ant.
12.8. § § 1, 2.) Judas was buried there in the sepulchre of his father (Ib, 11.27); and subsequently on the death of Jonathan, Simon erected a monument of white polished marble over their graves, which he raised to a great height, so as to be conspicuous from afar, and surrounded with a monolithic colonnade.
In addition to this, he raised seven pyramids, one for each of the family, remarkable both for their size and beauty, which remained until the age of the historian (13.6.5, comp. 1 Macc, 13.27--30), as indeed Eusebius and S. Jerome affirm that the sepulchres of the Maccabees were shown there at their day. (Onomast. s. v.
) Josephus (12.6.1) simply calls it a village of Judaea; but the last-cited authors speak of it as a village near to Diospolis (Lydda
The author of the 1st Book of Maccabees writes that upon the pillars which were set about the pyramids, Simon “made all their armour for a perpetual memory, and by the armour ships carved, that they might be seen of all that sail on the sea.” (13.28, 29.)
This would imply that these pyramids were not very far distant from the sea, and so far confirm the report of Eusebius and S. Jerome, who place the sepulchres in the vicinity of Lydda,
and perhaps affords some countenance to the idea that the name “Maccabee” was derived from the root?? the final radicals of the names of the three patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, which the tribe of Dan, on whose borders Modin was situated, are said to have carried on their banner. (Reland, s. v. p. 901.)
A comparatively modern tradition has placed Modin on a remarkable conical hill, named Sôba,
2 1/2 hours from Jerusalem, on the left of the Jaffa road; but this is, as Dr. Robinson has remarked “several hours distant from the plain, upon the mountains, and wholly shut out from any view of the sea.” (Bib. Res.
vol. ii. p. 329.)
He suggests that it may have been at Lâtrôn,
which is also on the Jaffa road, on the very verge of the plain (Ibid. note 4, and vol. iii. p. 30, n. 4.)
But this is too far from Lydda, and so near to Nicopolis [EMMAUS
2] that Eusebius would doubtless have described it by its vicinity to that city, rather than to Diospolis. Its site has yet to be sought.