It cames from Maccabees (in hebrew the group of these rebels its called maccabiim it ends with im because is the plural name, if you talk about a single male rebel of this group is called maccabi) who were were Jewish rebels who fought against the rule of 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 165 BCE to 63 BCE.
In 167 BCE, a Jewish priest, Mattathias, started the revolt against the Seleucid overlords of Judea by refusing to worship the Greek gods and slaying the hellenistic Jew who stepped up to worship the idol in place of Mattathias. He and his five sons fled to the wilderness. After Mattathias' death about one year later, his son Judas Maccabaeus led an army of Jewish dissidents to victory over the Seleucids. After the victory, he entered Jerusalem in triumph and religiously cleansed the Temple, reestablishing traditional Jewish worship there. Every year Jews celebrate Hanukkah in commemoration of Judas Maccabeus' victory over the Seleucids.
The story of the Maccabees can be found in the deuterocanonical books of 1 Maccabees and 2 Maccabees. Books of 3 Maccabees and 4 Maccabees also exist, though they are not directly related to the Maccabees.
The name "Maccabee" is sometimes seen used as synonym for the entire Hasmonean dynasty, but the Maccabees proper were Judas Maccabeus and his four brothers. The name Maccabee was a personal epithet of Judas, and the later generations were not descendants of him
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