Tag: Maccabees

The Biblical Churchill, Part 3

The Biblical Churchill, Part 3

“Arm yourselves, and be ye men of valour…”

Con­tin­ued from Part 2…

On 19 June 1940, Churchill made his first broad­cast as Prime Min­is­ter, a speech which lift­ed the hearts even of his for­mer and cur­rent crit­ics. “A tremen­dous bat­tle is rag­ing in France and Flan­ders,” he said, adding forth­right­ly that the Ger­mans, “by a remark­able com­bi­na­tion of air bomb­ing and heav­i­ly armoured tanks, have bro­ken through the French defences.”

In assur­ing his lis­ten­ers that Britain would fight on, Churchill chose a majes­tic coda, an obscure Bib­li­cal allu­sion, for the first and only time in all his writ­ings and speech­es.…

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The Biblical Churchill, Part 1

The Biblical Churchill, Part 1

“In my Father’s house are many man­sions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to pre­pare a place for you.” —St. John 14:2[1]

“Arm your­selves, and be valiant men, and see that ye be in readi­ness against the morning…For it is bet­ter for us to die in bat­tle, than to behold the calami­ties of our peo­ple and our sanc­tu­ary. Nev­er­the­less, as the will of God is in heav­en, so let him do.” —I Mac­cabees 3:58-60[2]

“More than to any oth­er book or group of books, Churchill alludes to the King James Bible,” wrote Dar­rell Hol­ley in Churchill’s Lit­er­ary Allu­sions:

It is for him the pri­ma­ry source of inter­est­ing illus­tra­tions, descrip­tive images, and stir­ring phras­es.…

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