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The Maccabees (Hebrew word, plural Makabim) were a Jewish national liberation movement that fought for and won independence from Antiochus IV Epiphanes of the Hellenistic Seleucid dynasty, who was succeeded by his infant son Antiochus V Eupator. The Maccabees founded the Hasmonean royal dynasty and established Jewish independence in the Land of Israel for about one hundred years, from 164 BCE to 63 BCE.

The name Makabim is sometimes seen used as synonym for the entire Hasmonean Dynasty, but the Maccabees proper were Judah Maccabee and his four brothers. The name Makabim was a personal epithet of Judah, and the later generations were not his descendants. Although there is no definitive explanation of what the term means, one suggestion is that the name derives from the Aramaic maqqaba, "the hammer", in recognition of his ferocity in battle. It is also possible that the name Makabim is an acronym for the Torah verse "Mi kamocha ba'elim YHWH", "Who is like unto thee among the mighty, O Lord!" (Exodus 15:11).

The revolt itself involved many individual battles, in which the Maccabean forces gained infamy among the Syrian army for their use of guerilla tactics. After the victory, the Maccabees entered Jerusalem in triumph and ritually cleansed the Temple, re-establishing traditional Jewish worship there and installing Jonathan Maccabee as high priest. A large Syrian army was sent to quash the revolt, but returned to Syria on the death of Antiochus IV. Its commander Lysias, preoccupied with internal Syrian affairs, agreed to a political compromise that provided religious freedom.

Every year Jews celebrate Chanukkah in commemoration of Judah Maccabee's victory over the Seleucids and subsequent miracles (see Chanukkah).