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Maccabeus was a Jiralhanae Chieftain and one of the rare few Brute Ship Masters. He commanded the Covenant vessel, Rapid Conversion . He was honored and respected by his pack for his unshakable faith in the Forerunners. He was also the uncle to the future Chieftain of the Jiralhanae, Tartarus. Maccabeus was the first official representative of the Covenant to meet with the humans, however the talks went sour when some of the Grunts that came with him to the planet Harvest attacked some of the human militia present at the talks. Maccabeus is also known as the first Jiralhanae to use the vehicle known as the "Chopper", which was invented by the Huragok Lighter Than Some. Maccabeus was severely injured in a battle with Sergeant Johnson, and was dishonored in this way. After he had bungled the assault on Harvest, his nephew Tartarus challenged him to a duel since Maccabeus had disobeyed orders from the Prophets and had caused the deaths of several Jiralhanae. He was defeated, and Tartarus became the new Chieftain.
Maccabeus used the Fist of Rukt gravity hammer before Tarturus. His name may be a reference to the legendary Jewish military hero Judah Maccabee, who's last name is derived from the Aramaic word for hammer.
Maccabeus, during the Great Schism, sided with the Elites along with several other Brutes that remained loyal to him during the Third Battle of Earth.