© RMN-GRAND PALAIS/ART RESOURCE, NY
JUDAS MACCABEUS (d. 160 B.C.E.) led Judean rebels in the Maccabean Revolt against Seleucid rule and is credited with the liberation and cleansing of the Jerusalem Temple in 164 B.C.E. This 17th-century painting by Peter Paul Rubens portrays Judas as victorious in the Battle of Emmaus (1 Maccabees 3:38–4:25). When his brothers finally won full independence for Judea, they may have used the Torah to unify the newly established Judean state around a single “national” narrative and a codified set of officially sanctioned laws.