Read the rest. Especially part about Jeremiah.
As for this fragment:
<40 And they found under the coats of the slain some of the donaries of the idols of Jamnia, which the law forbiddeth to the Jews: so that all plainly saw, that for this cause they were slain.
Of the donaries, &c. That is, of the votive offerings, which had been hung up in the temples of the idols, which they had taken away when they burnt the port of Jamnia, (v. 9.) contrary to the prohibition of the law. Deut. vii. 25.
All such things should have been destroyed, (Jos. vii. and 1 K. xv. W.) or melted down. Perhaps the soldiers intended to bring them to Judas. He excused them charitably, and hoped that their temporal chastisement might have served to expiate their fault.
<41 Then they all blessed the just judgment of the Lord, who had discovered the things that were hidden.
<42 And so betaking themselves to prayers, they besought him, that the sin which had been committed might be forgotten. But the most valiant Judas exhorted the people to keep themselves from sin, forasmuch as they saw before their eyes what had happened, because of the sins of those that were slain.
Some copies, "that they might not, on account of the sin committed, be entirely blotted out."
They were convinced that some sins might be forgiven in the other world, particularly when the living interceded.
The Jews began to pray for the dead after the captivity, when the prophets had more clearly explained what took place after death.
Yet the doctrine and practice might still be as ancient as the world.
If it had not prevailed before, Judas would never have entertained such sentiments.
The Jews admit a sort of purgatory for "the prevaricators of Israel," which differs from hell only in duration. They assert that the damned of their nation are exempt from suffering on the sabbath.
Excommunication might be taken off from the deceased. Post too long. Click here to view the full text.