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1 Maccabees

  Chapters 9-16


The "First Book of Maccabees" is an important source for the history of the Jews at the time of the Maccabean Revolt, covering the period between about 175 and 134 B.C.   The RSV version of the book is shown here, with a few changes in spelling.   Click on the G symbols to go to the Greek text of each chapter.


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  Chapters:   9 -   10 -   11 -   12 -   13 -   14 -   15 -   16

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1 When Demetrius heard that Nicanor and his army had fallen in battle, he sent Bacchides and Alcimus into the land of Judah a second time, and with them the right wing of the army. 2 They went by the road which leads to Gilgal and encamped against Mesaloth in Arbela, and they took it and killed many people.  3 In the first month of the one hundred and fifty-second year { April/May 160 B.C. } they encamped against Jerusalem4 then they marched off and went to Berea with twenty thousand foot soldiers and two thousand cavalry.  

5 Now Judas was encamped in Elasa, and with him were three thousand picked men. 6 When they saw the huge number of the enemy forces, they were greatly frightened, and many slipped away from the camp, until no more than eight hundred of them were left.  

7 When Judas saw that his army had slipped away and the battle was imminent, he was crushed in spirit, for he had no time to assemble them. 8 He became faint, but he said to those who were left, "Let us rise and go up against our enemies. We may be able to fight them."  9 But they tried to dissuade him, saying, "We are not able. Let us rather save our own lives now, and let us come back with our brethren and fight them; we are too few."  10 But Judas said, "Far be it from us to do such a thing as to flee from them. If our time has come, let us die bravely for our brethren, and leave no cause to question our honour."  

11 Then the army of Bacchides marched out from the camp and took its stand for the encounter. The cavalry was divided into two companies, and the slingers and the archers went ahead of the army, as did all the chief warriors. 12 Bacchides was on the right wing. Flanked by the two companies, the phalanx advanced to the sound of the trumpets; and the men with Judas also blew their trumpets.  13 The earth was shaken by the noise of the armies, and the battle raged from morning till evening.  

14 Judas saw that Bacchides and the strength of his army were on the right; then all the stout-hearted men went with him, 15 and they crushed the right wing, and he pursued them as far as Mount Azotus16 When those on the left wing saw that the right wing was crushed, they turned and followed close behind Judas and his men.  17 The battle became desperate, and many on both sides were wounded and fell.  18 Judas also fell, and the rest fled.  

19 Then Jonathan and Simon took Judas their brother and buried him in the tomb of their fathers at Modein, 20 and wept for him. And all Israel made great lamentation for him; they mourned many days and said,  21 "How is the mighty fallen,   the saviour of Israel!" 22 Now the rest of the acts of Judas, and his wars and the brave deeds that he did, and his greatness, have not been recorded, for they were very many.  

23 After the death of Judas, the lawless emerged in all parts of Israel; all the doers of injustice appeared. 24 In those days a very great famine occurred, and the country deserted with them to the enemy.  25 And Bacchides chose the ungodly and put them in charge of the country.  26 They sought and searched for the friends of Judas, and brought them to Bacchides, and he took vengeance on them and made sport of them.  27 Thus there was great distress in Israel, such as had not been since the time that prophets ceased to appear among them.  

28 Then all the friends of Judas assembled and said to Jonathan, 29 "Since the death of your brother Judas there has been no one like him to go against our enemies and Bacchides, and to deal with those of our nation who hate us.  30 So now we have chosen you today to take his place as our ruler and leader, to fight our battle."  31 And Jonathan at that time accepted the leadership and took the place of Judas his brother.  

32 When Bacchides learned of this, he tried to kill him. 33 But Jonathan and Simon his brother and all who were with him heard of it, and they fled into the wilderness of Tekoa and camped by the water of the pool of Asphar.  34 Bacchides found this out on the sabbath day, and he with all his army crossed the Jordan.  

35 And Jonathan sent his brother as leader of the multitude and begged the Nabataeans, who were his friends, for permission to store with them the great amount of baggage which they had. 36 But the sons of Jambri from Medaba came out and seized John and all that he had, and departed with it.  

37 After these things it was reported to Jonathan and Simon his brother, "The sons of Jambri are celebrating a great wedding, and are conducting the bride, a daughter of one of the great nobles of Canaan, from Nadabath with a large escort." 38 And they remembered the blood of John their brother, and went up and hid under cover of the mountain.  39 They raised their eyes and looked, and saw a tumultuous procession with much baggage; and the bridegroom came out with his friends and his brothers to meet them with tambourines and musicians and many weapons.  40 Then they rushed upon them from the ambush and began killing them. Many were wounded and fell, and the rest fled to the mountain; and they took all their goods.  41 Thus the wedding was turned into mourning and the voice of their musicians into a funeral dirge.  42 And when they had fully avenged the blood of their brother, they returned to the marshes of the Jordan.  

43 When Bacchides heard of this, he came with a large force on the sabbath day to the banks of the Jordan. 44 And Jonathan said to those with him, "Let us rise up now and fight for our lives, for today things are not as they were before.  45 For look! the battle is in front of us and behind us; the water of the Jordan is on this side and on that, with marsh and thicket; there is no place to turn.  46 Cry out now to Heaven that you may be delivered from the hands of our enemies."  47 So the battle began, and Jonathan stretched out his hand to strike Bacchides, but he eluded him and went to the rear.  48 Then Jonathan and the men with him leaped into the Jordan and swam across to the other side, and the enemy did not cross the Jordan to attack them.  49 And about one thousand of Bacchides' men fell that day.  

50 Bacchides then returned to Jerusalem and built strong cities in Judaea: the fortress in Jericho, and Emmaus, and Beth-horon, and Bethel, and Timnath, and Pharathon, and Tephon, with high walls and gates and bars.   

51 And he placed garrisons in them to harass Israel. 52 He also fortified the city of Beth-zur, and Gazara, and the citadel, and in them he put troops and stores of food.  53 And he took the sons of the leading men of the land as hostages and put them under guard in the citadel at Jerusalem.  

54 In the one hundred and fifty-third year, in the second month { May 159 B.C. }, Alcimus gave orders to tear down the wall of the inner court of the sanctuary. He tore down the work of the prophets! 55 But he only began to tear it down, for at that time Alcimus was stricken and his work was hindered; his mouth was stopped and he was paralysed, so that he could no longer say a word or give commands concerning his house.  56 And Alcimus died at that time in great agony.  57 When Bacchides saw that Alcimus was dead, he returned to the king, and the land of Judah had rest for two years.  

58 Then all the lawless plotted and said, "See! Jonathan and his men are living in quiet and confidence. So now let us bring Bacchides back, and he will capture them all in one night." 59 And they went and consulted with him.  60 He started to come with a large force, and secretly sent letters to all his allies in Judaea, telling them to seize Jonathan and his men; but they were unable to do it, because their plan became known.  61 And Jonathan's men seized about fifty of the men of the country who were leaders in this treachery, and killed them.  

62 Then Jonathan with his men, and Simon, withdrew to Bethbasi in the wilderness; he rebuilt the parts of it that had been demolished, and they fortified it. 63 When Bacchides learned of this, he assembled all his forces, and sent orders to the men of Judaea.  64 Then he came and encamped against Bethbasi; he fought against it for many days and made machines of war.  

65 But Jonathan left Simon his brother in the city, while he went out into the country; and he went with only a few men. 66 He struck down Odomera and his brothers and the sons of Phasiron in their tents.  67 Then he began to attack and went into battle with his forces; and Simon and his men sallied out from the city and set fire to the machines of war.  68 They fought with Bacchides, and he was crushed by them. They distressed him greatly, for his plan and his expedition had been in vain.  69 So he was greatly enraged at the lawless men who had counselled him to come into the country, and he killed many of them. Then he decided to depart to his own land.  

70 When Jonathan learned of this, he sent ambassadors to him to make peace with him and obtain release of the captives. 71 He agreed, and did as he said; and he swore to Jonathan that he would not try to harm him as long as he lived.  72 He restored to him the captives whom he had formerly taken from the land of Judah; then he turned and departed to his own land, and came no more into their territory.  73 Thus the sword ceased from Israel. And Jonathan dwelt in Michmash. And Jonathan began to judge the people, and he destroyed the ungodly out of Israel. 

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1 In the one hundred and sixtieth year Alexander Epiphanes { 152 B.C. }, the son of Antiochus, landed and occupied Ptolemais. They welcomed him, and there he began to reign. 2 When Demetrius the king heard of it, he assembled a very large army and marched out to meet him in battle.  3 And Demetrius sent Jonathan a letter in peaceable words to honour him;  4 for he said, "Let us act first to make peace with him before he makes peace with Alexander against us,  5 for he will remember all the wrongs which we did to him and to his brothers and his nation."  6 So Demetrius gave him authority to recruit troops, to equip them with arms, and to become his ally; and he commanded that the hostages in the citadel should be released to him.  

7 Then Jonathan came to Jerusalem and read the letter in the hearing of all the people and of the men in the citadel. 8 They were greatly alarmed when they heard that the king had given him authority to recruit troops.  9 But the men in the citadel released the hostages to Jonathan, and he returned them to their parents.  

10 And Jonathan dwelt in Jerusalem and began to rebuild and restore the city. 11 He directed those who were doing the work to build the walls and encircle Mount Zion with squared stones, for better fortification; and they did so.  

12 Then the foreigners who were in the strongholds that Bacchides had built fled; 13 each left his place and departed to his own land.  14 Only in Beth-zur did some remain who had forsaken the law and the commandments, for it served as a place of refuge.  

15 Now Alexander the king heard of all the promises which Demetrius had sent to Jonathan, and men told him of the battles that Jonathan and his brothers had fought, of the brave deeds that they had done, and of the troubles that they had endured. 16 So he said, "Shall we find another such man? Come now, we will make him our friend and ally."  17 And he wrote a letter and sent it to him, in the following words:  

18 "King Alexander to his brother Jonathan, greeting. 19 We have heard about you, that you are a mighty warrior and worthy to be our friend.  20 And so we have appointed you today to be the high priest of your nation; you are to be called the king's friend" (and he sent him a purple robe and a golden crown) "and you are to take our side and keep friendship with us."  

21 So Jonathan put on the holy garments in the seventh month of the one hundred and sixtieth year { October 152 B.C. }, at the feast of tabernacles, and he recruited troops and equipped them with arms in abundance. 22 When Demetrius heard of these things he was grieved and said,  23 "What is this that we have done? Alexander has got ahead of us in forming a friendship with the Jews to strengthen himself.  24 I also will write them words of encouragement and promise them honour and gifts, that I may have their help."  25 So he sent a message to them in the following words: 

"King Demetrius to the nation of the Jews, greeting. 26 Since you have kept your agreement with us and have continued your friendship with us, and have not sided with our enemies, we have heard of it and rejoiced.  27 And now continue still to keep faith with us, and we will repay you with good for what you do for us.  28 We will grant you many immunities and give you gifts.  

29 "And now I free you and exempt all the Jews from payment of tribute and salt tax and crown levies, 30 and instead of collecting the third of the grain and the half of the fruit of the trees that I should receive, I release them from this day and henceforth. I will not collect them from the land of Judah or from the three districts added to it from Samaria and Galilee, from this day and for all time.  31 And let Jerusalem and her environs, her tithes and her revenues, be holy and free from tax.  32 I release also my control of the citadel in Jerusalem and give it to the high priest, that he may station in it men of his own choice to guard it.  33 And every one of the Jews taken as a captive from the land of Judah into any part of my kingdom, I set free without payment; and let all officials cancel also the taxes on their cattle.  

34 "And all the feasts and sabbaths and new moons and appointed days, and the three days before a feast and the three after a feast - let them all be days of immunity and release for all the Jews who are in my kingdom. 35 No one shall have authority to exact anything from them or annoy any of them about any matter.  

36 "Let Jews be enrolled in the king's forces to the number of thirty thousand men, and let the maintenance be given them that is due to all the forces of the king. 37 Let some of them be stationed in the great strongholds of the king, and let some of them be put in positions of trust in the kingdom. Let their officers and leaders be of their own number, and let them live by their own laws, just as the king has commanded in the land of Judah.  

38 "As for the three districts that have been added to Judaea from the country of Samaria, let them be so annexed to Judaea that they are considered to be under one ruler and obey no other authority but the high priest. 39 Ptolemais and the land adjoining it I have given as a gift to the sanctuary in Jerusalem, to meet the necessary expenses of the sanctuary.  40 I also grant fifteen thousand shekels of silver yearly out of the king's revenues from appropriate places.  41 And all the additional funds which the government officials have not paid as they did in the first years, they shall give from now on for the service of the temple.  42 Moreover, the five thousand shekels of silver which my officials have received every year from the income of the services of the temple, this too is cancelled, because it belongs to the priests who minister there.  43 And whoever takes refuge at the temple in Jerusalem, or in any of its precincts, because he owes money to the king or has any debt, let him be released and receive back all his property in my kingdom.  

44 "Let the cost of rebuilding and restoring the structures of the sanctuary be paid from the revenues of the king. 45 And let the cost of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem and fortifying it round about, and the cost of rebuilding the walls in Judaea, also be paid from the revenues of the king."  

46 When Jonathan and the people heard these words, they did not believe or accept them, because they remembered the great wrongs which Demetrius had done in Israel and how he had greatly oppressed them. 47 They favoured Alexander, because he had been the first to speak peaceable words to them, and they remained his allies all his days.  

48 Now Alexander the king assembled large forces and encamped opposite Demetrius. 49 The two kings met in battle, and the army of Demetrius fled, and Alexander pursued him and defeated them.  50 He pressed the battle strongly until the sun set, and Demetrius fell on that day.  

51 Then Alexander sent ambassadors to Ptolemy king of Egypt with the following message: 52 "Since I have returned to my kingdom and have taken my seat on the throne of my fathers, and established my rule - for I crushed Demetrius and gained control of our country;  53 I met him in battle, and he and his army were crushed by us, and we have taken our seat on the throne of his kingdom -  54 now therefore let us establish friendship with one another; give me now your daughter as my wife, and I will become your son-in-law, and will make gifts to you and to her in keeping with your position."  

55 Ptolemy the king replied and said, "Happy was the day on which you returned to the land of your fathers and took your seat on the throne of their kingdom. 56 And now I will do for you as you wrote, but meet me at Ptolemais, so that we may see one another, and I will become your father-in-law, as you have said."  

57 So Ptolemy set out from Egypt, he and Cleopatra his daughter, and came to Ptolemais in the one hundred and sixty-second year { 151/0 B.C. }. 58 Alexander the king met him, and Ptolemy gave him Cleopatra his daughter in marriage, and celebrated her wedding at Ptolemais with great pomp, as kings do.  

59 Then Alexander the king wrote to Jonathan to come to meet him. 60 So he went with pomp to Ptolemais and met the two kings; he gave them and their friends silver and gold and many gifts, and found favour with them.  61 A group of pestilent men from Israel, lawless men, gathered together against him to accuse him; but the king paid no attention to them.  62 The king gave orders to take off Jonathan's garments and to clothe him in purple, and they did so.  63 The king also seated him at his side; and he said to his officers, "Go forth with him into the middle of the city and proclaim that no one is to bring charges against him about any matter, and let no one annoy him for any reason."  64 And when his accusers saw the honour that was paid him, in accordance with the proclamation, and saw him clothed in purple, they all fled.  65 Thus the king honoured him and enrolled him among his chief friends, and made him general and governor of the province.  66 And Jonathan returned to Jerusalem in peace and gladness.  

67 In the one hundred and sixty-fifth year { 147 B.C. } Demetrius the son of Demetrius came from Crete to the land of his fathers. 68 When Alexander the king heard of it, he was greatly grieved and returned to Antioch69 And Demetrius appointed Apollonius the governor of Coele Syria, and he assembled a large force and encamped against Jamnia. Then he sent the following message to Jonathan the high priest:  

70 "You are the only one to rise up against us, and I have become a laughing-stock and reproach because of you. Why do you assume authority against us in the hill country? 71 If you now have confidence in your forces, come down to the plain to meet us, and let us match strength with each other there, for I have with me the power of the cities.  72 Ask and learn who I am and who the others are that are helping us. Men will tell you that you cannot stand before us, for your fathers were twice put to flight in their own land.  73 And now you will not be able to withstand my cavalry and such an army in the plain, where there is no stone or pebble, or place to flee."  

74 When Jonathan heard the words of Apollonius, his spirit was aroused. He chose ten thousand men and set out from Jerusalem, and Simon his brother met him to help him. 75 He encamped before Joppa, but the men of the city closed its gates, for Apollonius had a garrison in Joppa.  76 So they fought against it, and the men of the city became afraid and opened the gates, and Jonathan gained possession of Joppa.  

77 When Apollonius heard of it, he mustered three thousand cavalry and a large army, and went to Azotus as though he were going farther. At the same time he advanced into the plain, for he had a large troop of cavalry and put confidence in it. 78 Jonathan pursued him to Azotus, and the armies engaged in battle.  79 Now Apollonius had secretly left a thousand cavalry behind them.  80 Jonathan learned that there was an ambush behind him, for they surrounded his army and shot arrows at his men from early morning till late afternoon.  81 But his men stood fast, as Jonathan commanded, and the enemy's horses grew tired.  

82 Then Simon brought forward his force and engaged the phalanx in battle (for the cavalry was exhausted); they were overwhelmed by him and fled, 83 and the cavalry was dispersed in the plain. They fled to Azotus and entered Beth-dagon, the temple of their idol, for safety.  84 But Jonathan burned Azotus and the surrounding towns and plundered them; and the temple of Dagon, and those who had taken refuge in it he burned with fire.  85 The number of those who fell by the sword, with those burned alive, came to eight thousand men.  

86 Then Jonathan departed from there and encamped against Ascalon, and the men of the city came out to meet him with great pomp. 87 And Jonathan and those with him returned to Jerusalem with much booty.  88 When Alexander the king heard of these things, he honoured Jonathan still more;  89 and he sent to him a golden buckle, such as it is the custom to give to the kinsmen of kings. He also gave him Ekron and all its environs as his possession. 

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1 Then the king of Egypt gathered great forces, like the sand by the seashore, and many ships; and he tried to get possession of Alexander's kingdom by trickery and add it to his own kingdom. 2 He set out for Syria with peaceable words, and the people of the cities opened their gates to him and went to meet him, for Alexander the king had commanded them to meet him, since he was Alexander's father-in-law.  3 But when Ptolemy entered the cities he stationed forces as a garrison in each city.  

4 When he approached Azotus, they showed him the temple of Dagon burned down, and Azotus and its suburbs destroyed, and the corpses lying about, and the charred bodies of those whom Jonathan had burned in the war, for they had piled them in heaps along his route. 5 They also told the king what Jonathan had done, to throw blame on him; but the king kept silent.  6 Jonathan met the king at Joppa with pomp, and they greeted one another and spent the night there.  7 And Jonathan went with the king as far as the river called Eleutherus; then he returned to Jerusalem.  

8 So King Ptolemy gained control of the coastal cities as far as Seleuceia by the sea, and he kept devising evil designs against Alexander. 9 He sent envoys to Demetrius the king, saying, "Come, let us make a covenant with each other, and I will give you in marriage my daughter who was Alexander's wife, and you shall reign over your father's kingdom.  10 For I now regret that I gave him my daughter, for he has tried to kill me."  11 He threw blame on Alexander because he coveted his kingdom.  12 So he took his daughter away from him and gave her to Demetrius. He was estranged from Alexander, and their enmity became manifest.  

13 Then Ptolemy entered Antioch and put on the crown of Asia. Thus he put two crowns upon his head, the crown of Egypt and that of Asia. 14 Now Alexander the king was in Cilicia at that time, because the people of that region were in revolt.  15 And Alexander heard of it and came against him in battle. Ptolemy marched out and met him with a strong force, and put him to flight.  16 So Alexander fled into Arabia to find protection there, and King Ptolemy was exalted.  17 And Zabdiel the Arab cut off the head of Alexander and sent it to Ptolemy.  18 But King Ptolemy died three days later, and his troops in the strongholds were killed by the inhabitants of the strongholds.  19 So Demetrius became king in the one hundred and sixty-seventh year { 145 B.C. }.  

20 In those days Jonathan assembled the men of Judaea to attack the citadel in Jerusalem, and he built many engines of war to use against it. 21 But certain lawless men who hated their nation went to the king and reported to him that Jonathan was besieging the citadel.  22 When he heard this he was angry, and as soon as he heard it he set out and came to Ptolemais; and he wrote Jonathan not to continue the siege, but to meet him for a conference at Ptolemais as quickly as possible.  

23 When Jonathan heard this, he gave orders to continue the siege; and he chose some of the elders of Israel and some of the priests, and put himself in danger, 24 for he went to the king at Ptolemais, taking silver and gold and clothing and numerous other gifts. And he won his favour.  25 Although certain lawless men of his nation kept making complaints against him,  26 the king treated him as his predecessors had treated him; he exalted him in the presence of all his friends.  27 He confirmed him in the high priesthood and in as many other honours as he had formerly had, and made him to be regarded as one of his chief friends.  28 Then Jonathan asked the king to free Judaea and the three districts of Samaria from tribute, and promised him three hundred talents.  29 The king consented, and wrote a letter to Jonathan about all these things; its contents were as follows:  

30 "King Demetrius to Jonathan his brother and to the nation of the Jews, greeting. 31 This copy of the letter which we wrote concerning you to Lasthenes our kinsman we have written to you also, so that you may know what it says.  32 `King Demetrius to Lasthenes his father, greeting.  33 To the nation of the Jews, who are our friends and fulfil their obligations to us, we have determined to do good, because of the good will they show toward us.  34 We have confirmed as their possession both the territory of Judaea and the three districts of Aphairema and Lydda and Rathamin; the latter, with all the region bordering them, were added to Judaea from Samaria. To all those who offer sacrifice in Jerusalem, we have granted release from the royal taxes which the king formerly received from them each year, from the crops of the land and the fruit of the trees.  35 And the other payments henceforth due to us of the tithes, and the taxes due to us, and the salt pits and the crown taxes due to us - from all these we shall grant them release.  36 And not one of these grants shall be cancelled from this time forth for ever.  37 Now therefore take care to make a copy of this, and let it be given to Jonathan and put up in a conspicuous place on the holy mountain.'"  

38 Now when Demetrius the king saw that the land was quiet before him and that there was no opposition to him, he dismissed all his troops, each man to his own place, except the foreign troops which he had recruited from the islands of the nations. So all the troops who had served his fathers hated him. 39 Now Tryphon had formerly been one of Alexander's supporters. He saw that all the troops were murmuring against Demetrius. So he went to Imalcūe the Arab, who was bringing up Antiochus, the young son of Alexander,  40 and insistently urged him to hand Antiochus over to him, to become king in place of his father. He also reported to Imalcūe what Demetrius had done and told of the hatred which the troops of Demetrius had for him; and he stayed there many days.  

41 Now Jonathan sent to Demetrius the king the request that he remove the troops of the citadel from Jerusalem, and the troops in the strongholds; for they kept fighting against Israel. 42 And Demetrius sent this message to Jonathan, "Not only will I do these things for you and your nation, but I will confer great honour on you and your nation, if I find an opportunity.  43 Now then you will do well to send me men who will help me, for all my troops have revolted."  44 So Jonathan sent three thousand stalwart men to him at Antioch, and when they came to the king, the king rejoiced at their arrival.  

45 Then the men of the city assembled within the city, to the number of a hundred and twenty thousand, and they wanted to kill the king. 46 But the king fled into the palace. Then the men of the city seized the main streets of the city and began to fight.  47 So the king called the Jews to his aid, and they all rallied about him and then spread out through the city; and they killed on that day as many as a hundred thousand men.  48 They set fire to the city and seized much spoil on that day, and they saved the king.  49 When the men of the city saw that the Jews had gained control of the city as they pleased, their courage failed and they cried out to the king with this entreaty,  50 "Grant us peace, and make the Jews stop fighting against us and our city."  51 And they threw down their arms and made peace. So the Jews gained glory in the eyes of the king and of all the people in his kingdom, and they returned to Jerusalem with much spoil.  

52 So Demetrius the king sat on the throne of his kingdom, and the land was quiet before him. 53 But he broke his word about all that he had promised; and he became estranged from Jonathan and did not repay the favours which Jonathan had done him, but oppressed him greatly.  

54 After this Tryphon returned, and with him the young boy Antiochus who began to reign and put on the crown. 55 All the troops that Demetrius had cast off gathered around him, and they fought against Demetrius, and he fled and was routed.  56 And Tryphon captured the elephants and gained control of Antioch.  57 Then the young Antiochus wrote to Jonathan, saying, "I confirm you in the high priesthood and set you over the four districts and make you one of the friends of the king."  58 And he sent him gold plate and a table service, and granted him the right to drink from gold cups and dress in purple and wear a gold buckle.  59 Simon his brother he made governor from the Ladder of Tyre to the borders of Egypt.  

60 Then Jonathan set forth and travelled beyond the river and among the cities, and all the army of Syria gathered to him as allies. When he came to Ascalon, the people of the city met him and paid him honour. 61 From there he departed to Gaza, but the men of Gaza shut him out. So he besieged it and burned its suburbs with fire and plundered them.  62 Then the people of Gaza pleaded with Jonathan, and he made peace with them, and took the sons of their rulers as hostages and sent them to Jerusalem. And he passed through the country as far as Damascus.  

63 Then Jonathan heard that the officers of Demetrius had come to Kedesh in Galilee with a large army, intending to remove him from office. 64 He went to meet them, but left his brother Simon in the country.  65 Simon encamped before Beth-zur and fought against it for many days and hemmed it in.  66 Then they asked him to grant them terms of peace, and he did so. He removed them from there, took possession of the city, and set a garrison over it.  

67 Jonathan and his army encamped by the waters of Gennesaret. Early in the morning they marched to the plain of Hazor, 68 and behold, the army of the foreigners met him in the plain; they had set an ambush against him in the mountains, but they themselves met him face to face.  69 Then the men in ambush emerged from their places and joined battle.  70 All the men with Jonathan fled; not one of them was left except Mattathias the son of Absalom and Judas the son of Chalphi, commanders of the forces of the army.  71 Jonathan rent his garments and put dust on his head, and prayed.  72 Then he turned back to the battle against the enemy and routed them, and they fled.  73 When his men who were fleeing saw this, they returned to him and joined him in the pursuit as far as Kadesh, to their camp, and there they encamped.  74 As many as three thousand of the foreigners fell that day. And Jonathan returned to Jerusalem. 

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1 Now when Jonathan saw that the time was favourable for him, he chose men and sent them to Rome to confirm and renew the friendship with them. 2 He also sent letters to the same effect to the Spartans and to other places.  3 So they went to Rome and entered the senate chamber and said, "Jonathan the high priest and the Jewish nation have sent us to renew the former friendship and alliance with them."  4 And the Romans gave them letters to the people in every place, asking them to provide for the envoys safe conduct to the land of Judah.  

5 This is a copy of the letter which Jonathan wrote to the Spartans: 6 "Jonathan the high priest, the senate of the nation, the priests, and the rest of the Jewish people to their brethren the Spartans, greeting.  7 Already in time past a letter was sent to Onias the high priest from Areius, who was king among you, stating that you are our brethren, as the appended copy shows.  8 Onias welcomed the envoy with honour, and received the letter, which contained a clear declaration of alliance and friendship.  9 Therefore, though we have no need of these things, since we have as encouragement the holy books which are in our hands,  10 we have undertaken to send to renew our brotherhood and friendship with you, so that we may not become estranged from you, for considerable time has passed since you sent your letter to us.  11 We therefore remember you constantly on every occasion, both in our feasts and on other appropriate days, at the sacrifices which we offer and in our prayers, as it is right and proper to remember brethren.  12 And we rejoice in your glory.  13 But as for ourselves, many afflictions and many wars have encircled us; the kings round about us have waged war against us.  14 We were unwilling to annoy you and our other allies and friends with these wars,  15 for we have the help which comes from Heaven for our aid; and we were delivered from our enemies and our enemies were humbled.  16 We therefore have chosen Numenius the son of Antiochus and Antipater the son of Jason, and have sent them to Rome to renew our former friendship and alliance with them.  17 We have commanded them to go also to you and greet you and deliver to you this letter from us concerning the renewal of our brotherhood.  18 And now please send us a reply to this."  

19 This is a copy of the letter which they sent to Onias: 20 "Areius, king of the Spartans, to Onias the high priest, greeting.  21 It has been found in writing concerning the Spartans and the Jews that they are brethren and are of the family of Abraham22 And now that we have learned this, please write us concerning your welfare;  23 we on our part write to you that your cattle and your property belong to us, and ours belong to you. We therefore command that our envoys report to you accordingly."  

24 Now Jonathan heard that the commanders of Demetrius had returned, with a larger force than before, to wage war against him. 25 So he marched away from Jerusalem and met them in the region of Hamath, for he gave them no opportunity to invade his own country.  26 He sent spies to their camp, and they returned and reported to him that the enemy were being drawn up in formation to fall upon the Jews by night.  27 So when the sun set, Jonathan commanded his men to be alert and to keep their arms at hand so as to be ready all night for battle, and he stationed outposts around the camp.  28 When the enemy heard that Jonathan and his men were prepared for battle, they were afraid and were terrified at heart; so they kindled fires in their camp and withdrew.  29 But Jonathan and his men did not know it until morning, for they saw the fires burning.  30 Then Jonathan pursued them, but he did not overtake them, for they had crossed the Eleutherus river.  31 So Jonathan turned aside against the Arabs who are called Zabadaeans, and he crushed them and plundered them.  32 Then he broke camp and went to Damascus, and marched through all that region.  

33 Simon also went forth and marched through the country as far as Ascalon and the neighbouring strongholds. He turned aside to Joppa and took it by surprise, 34 for he had heard that they were ready to hand over the stronghold to the men whom Demetrius had sent. And he stationed a garrison there to guard it.  

35 When Jonathan returned he convened the elders of the people and planned with them to build strongholds in Judaea, 36 to build the walls of Jerusalem still higher, and to erect a high barrier between the citadel and the city to separate it from the city, in order to isolate it so that its garrison could neither buy nor sell.  37 So they gathered together to build up the city; part of the wall on the valley to the east had fallen, and he repaired the section called Chaphenatha.  38 And Simon built Adida in the Shephelah; he fortified it and installed gates with bolts.  

39 Then Tryphon attempted to become king in Asia and put on the crown, and to raise his hand against Antiochus the king. 40 He feared that Jonathan might not permit him to do so, but might make war on him, so he kept seeking to seize and kill him, and he marched forth and came to Beth-shan41 Jonathan went out to meet him with forty thousand picked fighting men, and he came to Beth-shan.  42 When Tryphon saw that he had come with a large army, he was afraid to raise his hand against him.  43 So he received him with honour and commended him to all his friends, and he gave him gifts and commanded his friends and his troops to obey him as they would himself.  44 Then he said to Jonathan, "Why have you wearied all these people when we are not at war?  45 Dismiss them now to their homes and choose for yourself a few men to stay with you, and come with me to Ptolemais. I will hand it over to you as well as the other strongholds and the remaining troops and all the officials, and will turn round and go home. For that is why I am here."  

46 Jonathan trusted him and did as he said; he sent away the troops, and they returned to the land of Judah. 47 He kept with himself three thousand men, two thousand of whom he left in Galilee, while a thousand accompanied him.  48 But when Jonathan entered Ptolemais, the men of Ptolemais closed the gates and seized him, and all who had entered with him they killed with the sword.  

49 Then Tryphon sent troops and cavalry into Galilee and the Great Plain to destroy all Jonathan's soldiers. 50 But they realised that Jonathan had been seized and had perished along with his men, and they encouraged one another and kept marching in close formation, ready for battle.  51 When their pursuers saw that they would fight for their lives, they turned back.  52 So they all reached the land of Judah safely, and they mourned for Jonathan and his companions and were in great fear; and all Israel mourned deeply.  53 And all the nations round about them tried to destroy them, for they said, "They have no leader or helper. Now therefore let us make war on them and blot out the memory of them from among men." 

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1 Simon heard that Tryphon had assembled a large army to invade the land of Judah and destroy it, 2 and he saw that the people were trembling and fearful. So he went up to Jerusalem, and gathering the people together  3 he encouraged them, saying to them, "You yourselves know what great things I and my brothers and the house of my father have done for the laws and the sanctuary; you know also the wars and the difficulties which we have seen.  4 By reason of this all my brothers have perished for the sake of Israel, and I alone am left.  5 And now, far be it from me to spare my life in any time of distress, for I am not better than my brothers.  6 But I will avenge my nation and the sanctuary and your wives and children, for all the nations have gathered together out of hatred to destroy us."  

7 The spirit of the people was rekindled when they heard these words, 8 and they answered in a loud voice, "You are our leader in place of Judas and Jonathan your brother.  9 Fight our battles, and all that you say to us we will do."  10 So he assembled all the warriors and hastened to complete the walls of Jerusalem, and he fortified it on every side.  11 He sent Jonathan the son of Absalom to Joppa, and with him a considerable army; he drove out its occupants and remained there.  

12 Then Tryphon departed from Ptolemais with a large army to invade the land of Judah, and Jonathan was with him under guard. 13 And Simon encamped in Adida, facing the plain.  14 Tryphon learned that Simon had risen up in place of Jonathan his brother, and that he was about to join battle with him, so he sent envoys to him and said,  15 "It is for the money that Jonathan your brother owed the royal treasury, in connection with the offices he held, that we are detaining him.  16 Send now a hundred talents of silver and two of his sons as hostages, so that when released he will not revolt against us, and we will release him."  

17 Simon knew that they were speaking deceitfully to him, but he sent to get the money and the sons, lest he arouse great hostility among the people, who might say, 18 "Because Simon did not send him the money and the sons, he perished."  19 So he sent the sons and the hundred talents, but Tryphon broke his word and did not release Jonathan.  

20 After this Tryphon came to invade the country and destroy it, and he circled around by the way to Adora. But Simon and his army kept marching along opposite him to every place he went. 21 Now the men in the citadel kept sending envoys to Tryphon urging him to come to them by way of the wilderness and to send them food.  22 So Tryphon got all his cavalry ready to go, but that night a very heavy snow fell, and he did not go because of the snow. He marched off and went into the land of Gilead23 When he approached Baskama, he killed Jonathan, and he was buried there.  24 Then Tryphon turned back and departed to his own land.  

25 And Simon sent and took the bones of Jonathan his brother, and buried him in Modein, the city of his fathers. 26 All Israel bewailed him with great lamentation, and mourned for him many days.  27 And Simon built a monument over the tomb of his father and his brothers; he made it high that it might be seen, with polished stone at the front and back.  28 He also erected seven pyramids, opposite one another, for his father and mother and four brothers.  29 And for the pyramids he devised an elaborate setting, erecting about them great columns, and upon the columns he put suits of armour for a permanent memorial, and beside the suits of armour carved ships, so that they could be seen by all who sail the sea.  30 This is the tomb which he built in Modein; it remains to this day.  

31 Tryphon dealt treacherously with the young king Antiochus; he killed him 32 and became king in his place, putting on the crown of Asia; and he brought great calamity upon the land.  33 But Simon built up the strongholds of Judaea and walled them all around, with high towers and great walls and gates and bolts, and he stored food in the strongholds.  34 Simon also chose men and sent them to Demetrius the king with a request to grant relief to the country, for all that Tryphon did was to plunder.  35 Demetrius the king sent him a favourable reply to this request, and wrote him a letter as follows,  36 "King Demetrius to Simon, the high priest and friend of kings, and to the elders and nation of the Jews, greeting.  37 We have received the gold crown and the palm branch which you sent, and we are ready to make a general peace with you and to write to our officials to grant you release from tribute.  38 All the grants that we have made to you remain valid, and let the strongholds that you have built be your possession.  39 We pardon any errors and offences committed to this day, and cancel the crown tax which you owe; and whatever other tax has been collected in Jerusalem shall be collected no longer.  40 And if any of you are qualified to be enrolled in our bodyguard, let them be enrolled, and let there be peace between us."  

41 In the one hundred and seventieth year { 142/1 B.C. } the yoke of the Gentiles was removed from Israel, 42 and the people began to write in their documents and contracts, "In the first year of Simon the great high priest and commander and leader of the Jews."  

43 In those days Simon encamped against Gazara and surrounded it with troops. He made a siege engine, brought it up to the city, and battered and captured one tower. 44 The men in the siege engine leaped out into the city, and a great tumult arose in the city.  45 The men in the city, with their wives and children, went up on the wall with their clothes rent, and they cried out with a loud voice, asking Simon to make peace with them;  46 they said, "Do not treat us according to our wicked acts but according to your mercy."  47 So Simon reached an agreement with them and stopped fighting against them. But he expelled them from the city and cleansed the houses in which the idols were, and then entered it with hymns and praise.  48 He cast out of it all uncleanness, and settled in it men who observed the law. He also strengthened its fortifications and built in it a house for himself.  

49 The men in the citadel at Jerusalem were prevented from going out to the country and back to buy and sell. So they were very hungry, and many of them perished from famine. 50 Then they cried to Simon to make peace with them, and he did so. But he expelled them from there and cleansed the citadel from its pollutions.  51 On the twenty-third day of the second month, in the one hundred and seventy-first year { May 141 B.C. }, the Jews entered it with praise and palm branches, and with harps and cymbals and stringed instruments, and with hymns and songs, because a great enemy had been crushed and removed from Israel.  52 And Simon decreed that every year they should celebrate this day with rejoicing. He strengthened the fortifications of the temple hill alongside the citadel, and he and his men dwelt there.  53 And Simon saw that John his son had reached manhood, so he made him commander of all the forces, and he dwelt in Gazara. 

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1 In the one hundred and seventy-second year { 141/0 B.C. } Demetrius the king assembled his forces and marched into Media to secure help, so that he could make war against Tryphon. 2 When Arsaces the king of Persia and Media heard that Demetrius had invaded his territory, he sent one of his commanders to take him alive.  3 And he went and defeated the army of Demetrius, and seized him and took him to Arsaces, who put him under guard.  
  4 The land had rest all the days of Simon.
  He sought the good of his nation;
  his rule was pleasing to them,
  as was the honour shown him, all his days. 
  5 To crown all his honours he took Joppa for a harbour,
  and opened a way to the isles of the sea. 
  6 He extended the borders of his nation,
  and gained full control of the country. 
  7 He gathered a host of captives;
  he ruled over Gazara and Beth-zur and the citadel,
  and he removed its uncleanness from it;
  and there was none to oppose him. 
  8 They tilled their land in peace;
  the ground gave its increase,
  and the trees of the plains their fruit. 
  9 Old men sat in the streets;
  they all talked together of good things;
  and the youths donned the glories and garments of war. 
  10 He supplied the cities with food,
  and furnished them with the means of defence,
  till his renown spread to the ends of the earth. 
  11 He established peace in the land,
  and Israel rejoiced with great joy. 
  12 Each man sat under his vine and his fig tree,
  and there was none to make them afraid. 
  13 No one was left in the land to fight them,
  and the kings were crushed in those days. 
  14 He strengthened all the humble of his people;
  he sought out the law,
  and did away with every lawless and wicked man. 
  15 He made the sanctuary glorious,
  and added to the vessels of the sanctuary. 

16 It was heard in Rome, and as far away as Sparta, that Jonathan had died, and they were deeply grieved. 17 When they heard that Simon his brother had become high priest in his place, and that he was ruling over the country and the cities in it,  18 they wrote to him on bronze tablets to renew with him the friendship and alliance which they had established with Judas and Jonathan his brothers.  19 And these were read before the assembly in Jerusalem.  

20 This is a copy of the letter which the Spartans sent: "The rulers and the city of the Spartans to Simon the high priest and to the elders and the priests and the rest of the Jewish people, our brethren, greeting. 21 The envoys who were sent to our people have told us about your glory and honour, and we rejoiced at their coming.  22 And what they said we have recorded in our public decrees, as follows, `Numenius the son of Antiochus and Antipater the son of Jason, envoys of the Jews, have come to us to renew their friendship with us.  23 It has pleased our people to receive these men with honour and to put a copy of their words in the public archives, so that the people of the Spartans may have a record of them. And they have sent a copy of this to Simon the high priest.'"  

24 After this Simon sent Numenius to Rome with a large gold shield weighing a thousand minas, to confirm the alliance with the Romans.   

25 When the people heard these things they said, "How shall we thank Simon and his sons? 26 For he and his brothers and the house of his father have stood firm; they have fought and repulsed Israel's enemies and established its freedom."  27 So they made a record on bronze tablets and put it upon pillars on Mount Zion

This is a copy of what they wrote: "On the eighteenth day of Elul, in the one hundred and seventy-second year { September 140 B.C. }, which is the third year of Simon the great high priest, 28 in Asaramel, in the great assembly of the priests and the people and the rulers of the nation and the elders of the country, the following was proclaimed to us:  

29 "Since wars often occurred in the country, Simon the son of Mattathias, a priest of the sons of Joarib, and his brothers, exposed themselves to danger and resisted the enemies of their nation, in order that their sanctuary and the law might be preserved; and they brought great glory to their nation. 30 Jonathan rallied the nation, and became their high priest, and was gathered to his people.  31 And when their enemies decided to invade their country and lay hands on their sanctuary,  32 then Simon rose up and fought for his nation. He spent great sums of his own money; he armed the men of his nation's forces and paid them wages.  33 He fortified the cities of Judaea, and Beth-zur on the borders of Judaea, where formerly the arms of the enemy had been stored, and he placed there a garrison of Jews.  34 He also fortified Joppa, which is by the sea, and Gazara, which is on the borders of Azotus, where the enemy formerly dwelt. He settled Jews there, and provided in those cities whatever was necessary for their restoration.  

35 "The people saw Simon's faithfulness and the glory which he had resolved to win for his nation, and they made him their leader and high priest, because he had done all these things and because of the justice and loyalty which he had maintained toward his nation. He sought in every way to exalt his people. 36 And in his days things prospered in his hands, so that the Gentiles were put out of the country, as were also the men in the city of David in Jerusalem, who had built themselves a citadel from which they used to sally forth and defile the environs of the sanctuary and do great damage to its purity.  37 He settled Jews in it, and fortified it for the safety of the country and of the city, and built the walls of Jerusalem higher.  

38 "In view of these things King Demetrius confirmed him in the high priesthood, 39 and he made him one of the king's friends and paid him high honours.  40 For he had heard that the Jews were addressed by the Romans as friends and allies and brethren, and that the Romans had received the envoys of Simon with honour.  

41 "And the Jews and their priests decided that Simon should be their leader and high priest for ever, until a trustworthy prophet should arise, 42 and that he should be governor over them and that he should take charge of the sanctuary and appoint men over its tasks and over the country and the weapons and the strongholds, and that he should take charge of the sanctuary,  43 and that he should be obeyed by all, and that all contracts in the country should be written in his name, and that he should be clothed in purple and wear gold.  

44 "And none of the people or priests shall be permitted to nullify any of these decisions or to oppose what he says, or to convene an assembly in the country without his permission, or to be clothed in purple or put on a gold buckle. 45 Whoever acts contrary to these decisions or nullifies any of them shall be liable to punishment."  

46 And all the people agreed to grant Simon the right to act in accord with these decisions. 47 So Simon accepted and agreed to be high priest, to be commander and ethnarch of the Jews and priests, and to be protector of them all.  48 And they gave orders to inscribe this decree upon bronze tablets, to put them up in a conspicuous place in the precincts of the sanctuary,  49 and to deposit copies of them in the treasury, so that Simon and his sons might have them. 

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1 Antiochus, the son of Demetrius the king, sent a letter from the islands of the sea to Simon, the priest and ethnarch of the Jews, and to all the nation; 2 its contents were as follows: "King Antiochus to Simon the high priest and ethnarch and to the nation of the Jews, greeting.  3 Whereas certain pestilent men have gained control of the kingdom of our fathers, and I intend to lay claim to the kingdom so that I may restore it as it formerly was, and have recruited a host of mercenary troops and have equipped warships,  4 and intend to make a landing in the country so that I may proceed against those who have destroyed our country and those who have devastated many cities in my kingdom,  5 now therefore I confirm to you all the tax remissions that the kings before me have granted you, and release from all the other payments from which they have released you.  6 I permit you to mint your own coinage as money for your country,  7 and I grant freedom to Jerusalem and the sanctuary. All the weapons which you have prepared and the strongholds which you have built and now hold shall remain yours.  8 Every debt you owe to the royal treasury and any such future debts shall be cancelled for you from henceforth and for all time.  9 When we gain control of our kingdom, we will bestow great honour upon you and your nation and the temple, so that your glory will become manifest in all the earth."  

10 In the one hundred and seventy-fourth year { 139/8 B.C. } Antiochus set out and invaded the land of his fathers. All the troops rallied to him, so that there were few with Tryphon. 11 Antiochus pursued him, and he came in his flight to Dor, which is by the sea;  12 for he knew that troubles had converged upon him, and his troops had deserted him.  13 So Antiochus encamped against Dor, and with him were a hundred and twenty thousand warriors and eight thousand cavalry.  14 He surrounded the city, and the ships joined battle from the sea; he pressed the city hard from land and sea, and permitted no one to leave or enter it.  

15 Then Numenius and his companions arrived from Rome, with letters to the kings and countries, in which the following was written: 16 "Lucius, consul of the Romans, to King Ptolemy, greeting.  17 The envoys of the Jews have come to us as our friends and allies to renew our ancient friendship and alliance. They had been sent by Simon the high priest and by the people of the Jews,  18 and have brought a gold shield weighing a thousand minas19 We therefore have decided to write to the kings and countries that they should not seek their harm or make war against them and their cities and their country, or make alliance with those who war against them.  20 And it has seemed good to us to accept the shield from them.  21 Therefore if any pestilent men have fled to you from their country, hand them over to Simon the high priest, that he may punish them according to their law."  

22 The consul wrote the same thing to Demetrius the king and to Attalus and Ariarathes and Arsaces, 23 and to all the countries, and to (?) Sampsames, and to the Spartans, and to Delos, and to Myndus, and to Sicyon, and to Caria, and to Samos, and to Pamphylia, and to Lycia, and to Halicarnassus, and to Rhodes, and to Phaselis, and to Cos, and to Side, and to Aradus and Gortyna and Cnidus and Cyprus and Cyrene24 They also sent a copy of these things to Simon the high priest.  

25 Antiochus the king besieged Dor anew, continually throwing his forces against it and making engines of war; and he shut Tryphon up and kept him from going out or in. 26 And Simon sent to Antiochus two thousand picked men, to fight for him, and silver and gold and much military equipment.  27 But he refused to receive them, and he broke all the agreements he formerly had made with Simon, and became estranged from him.  28 He sent to him Athenobius, one of his friends, to confer with him, saying, "You hold control of Joppa and Gazara and the citadel in Jerusalem; they are cities of my kingdom.  29 You have devastated their territory, you have done great damage in the land, and you have taken possession of many places in my kingdom.  30 Now then, hand over the cities which you have seized and the tribute money of the places which you have conquered outside the borders of Judaea31 or else give me for them five hundred talents of silver, and for the destruction that you have caused and the tribute money of the cities, five hundred talents more. Otherwise we will come and conquer you."  

32 So Athenobius the friend of the king came to Jerusalem, and when he saw the splendour of Simon, and the sideboard with its gold and silver plate, and his great magnificence, he was amazed. He reported to him the words of the king, 33 but Simon gave him this reply: "We have neither taken foreign land nor seized foreign property, but only the inheritance of our fathers, which at one time had been unjustly taken by our enemies.  34 Now that we have the opportunity, we are firmly holding the inheritance of our fathers.  35 As for Joppa and Gazara, which you demand, they were causing great damage among the people and to our land; for them we will give you a hundred talents." Athenobius did not answer him a word,  36 but returned in wrath to the king and reported to him these words and the splendour of Simon and all that he had seen. And the king was greatly angered.  

37 Now Tryphon embarked on a ship and escaped to Orthosia. 38 Then the king made Cendebaeus commander-in-chief of the coastal country, and gave him troops of infantry and cavalry.  39 He commanded him to encamp against Judaea, and commanded him to build up Kedron and fortify its gates, and to make war on the people; but the king pursued Tryphon.  40 So Cendebaeus came to Jamnia and began to provoke the people and invade Judaea and take the people captive and kill them.  41 He built up Kedron and stationed there horsemen and troops, so that they might go out and make raids along the highways of Judaea, as the king had ordered him. 

[16]     G 

1 John went up from Gazara and reported to Simon his father what Cendebaeus had done. 2 And Simon called in his two older sons Judas and John, and said to them: "I and my brothers and the house of my father have fought the wars of Israel from our youth until this day, and things have prospered in our hands so that we have delivered Israel many times.  3 But now I have grown old, and you by His mercy are mature in years. Take my place and my brother's, and go out and fight for our nation, and may the help which comes from Heaven be with you."  

4 So John chose out of the country twenty thousand warriors and horsemen, and they marched against Cendebaeus and camped for the night in Modein. 5 Early in the morning they arose and marched into the plain, and behold, a large force of infantry and horsemen was coming to meet them; and a stream lay between them.  6 Then he and his army lined up against them. And he saw that the soldiers were afraid to cross the stream, so he crossed over first; and when his men saw him, they crossed over after him.  7 Then he divided the army and placed the horsemen in the midst of the infantry, for the cavalry of the enemy were very numerous.  8 And they sounded the trumpets, and Cendebaeus and his army were put to flight, and many of them were wounded and fell; the rest fled into the stronghold.  9 At that time Judas the brother of John was wounded, but John pursued them until Cendebaeus reached Kedron, which he had built.  10 They also fled into the towers that were in the fields of Azotus, and John burned it with fire, and about two thousand of them fell. And he returned to Judaea safely.  

11 Now Ptolemaeus the son of Abūbus had been appointed governor over the plain of Jericho, and he had much silver and gold, 12 for he was son-in-law of the high priest.  13 His heart was lifted up; he determined to get control of the country, and made treacherous plans against Simon and his sons, to do away with them.  14 Now Simon was visiting the cities of the country and attending to their needs, and he went down to Jericho with Mattathias and Judas his sons, in the one hundred and seventy-seventh year, in the eleventh month, which is the month of Shebat { Jan./Feb. 134 B.C. }15 The son of Abūbus received them treacherously in the little stronghold called Dok, which he had built; he gave them a great banquet, and hid men there.  16 When Simon and his sons were drunk, Ptolemaeus and his men rose up, took their weapons, and rushed in against Simon in the banquet hall, and they killed him and his two sons and some of his servants.  17 So he committed an act of great treachery and returned evil for good.  

18 Then Ptolemaeus wrote a report about these things and sent it to the king, asking him to send troops to aid him and to turn over to him the cities and the country. 19 He sent other men to Gazara to do away with John; he sent letters to the captains asking them to come to him so that he might give them silver and gold and gifts;  20 and he sent other men to take possession of Jerusalem and the temple hill.  21 But someone ran ahead and reported to John at Gazara that his father and brothers had perished, and that "he has sent men to kill you also."  22 When he heard this, he was greatly shocked; and he seized the men who came to destroy him and killed them, for he had found out that they were seeking to destroy him.  

23 The rest of the acts of John and his wars and the brave deeds which he did, and the building of the walls which he built, and his achievements, 24 behold, they are written in the chronicles of his high priesthood, from the time that he became high priest after his father. 


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