The English used in this article may not be easy for everybody to understand. (April 2012)
The book of the 3 Maccabees is found in most Orthodox Bibles. However, the book actually has nothing to do with the Maccabees. It does not have anything to do with their revolt against the Seleucid Empire, either (as described in 1 Maccabees and 2 Maccabees). Instead, it tells the story of persecution of the Jews under Ptolemy IV Philopator (222-205 BC). The name of the book seems to come from the similarities between this book and the stories of the martyrdom of Eleazar and the Maccabeean youths in 2 Maccabees. The High Priest Shimon is also mentioned.