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1 Maccabees 6:43–46:43

43Now Eleazar, called Avaran, saw that one of the animals was equipped with royal armour. It was taller than all the others, and he supposed that the king was on it. 44So he gave his life to save his people and to win for himself an everlasting name. 45He courageously ran into the midst of the phalanx to reach it; he killed men right and left, and they parted before him on both sides. 46He got under the elephant, stabbed it from beneath, and killed it; but it fell to the ground upon him and he died. 47When the Jews* saw the royal might and the fierce attack of the forces, they turned away in flight.

The Siege of the Temple

48 The soldiers of the king’s army went up to Jerusalem against them, and the king encamped in Judea and at Mount Zion. 49He made peace with the people of Beth-zur, and they evacuated the town because they had no provisions there to withstand a siege, since it was a sabbatical year for the land. 50So the king took Beth-zur and stationed a guard there to hold it. 51Then he encamped before the sanctuary for many days. He set up siege-towers, engines of war to throw fire and stones, machines to shoot arrows, and catapults. 52The Jews* also made engines of war to match theirs, and fought for many days. 53But they had no food in storage,* because it was the seventh year; those who had found safety in Judea from the Gentiles had consumed the last of the stores. 54Only a few men were left in the sanctuary; the rest scattered to their own homes, for the famine proved too much for them.

Syria Offers Terms

55 Then Lysias heard that Philip, whom King Antiochus while still living had appointed to bring up his son Antiochus to be king, 56had returned from Persia and Media with the forces that had gone with the king, and that he was trying to seize control of the government. 57So he quickly gave orders to withdraw, and said to the king, to the commanders of the forces, and to the troops, ‘Daily we grow weaker, our food supply is scant, the place against which we are fighting is strong, and the affairs of the kingdom press urgently on us. 58Now then, let us come to terms with these people, and make peace with them and with all their nation. 59Let us agree to let them live by their laws as they did before; for it was on account of their laws that we abolished that they became angry and did all these things.’

60 The speech pleased the king and the commanders, and he sent to the Jews* an offer of peace, and they accepted it. 61So the king and the commanders gave them their oath. On these conditions the Jews* evacuated the stronghold. 62But when the king entered Mount Zion and saw what a strong fortress the place was, he broke the oath he had sworn and gave orders to tear down the wall all round. 63Then he set off in haste and returned to Antioch. He found Philip in control of the city, but he fought against him, and took the city by force.

Expedition of Bacchides and Alcimus

7In the one hundred and fifty-first year* Demetrius son of Seleucus set out from Rome, sailed with a few men to a town by the sea, and there began to reign. 2As he was entering the royal palace of his ancestors, the army seized Antiochus and Lysias to bring them to him. 3But when this act became known to him, he said, ‘Do not let me see their faces!’ 4So the army killed them, and Demetrius took his seat on the throne of his kingdom.

5 Then there came to him all the renegade and godless men of Israel; they were led by Alcimus, who wanted to be high priest. 6They brought to the king this accusation against the people: ‘Judas and his brothers have destroyed all your Friends, and have driven us out of our land. 7Now then, send a man whom you trust; let him go and see all the ruin that Judas* has brought on us and on the land of the king, and let him punish them and all who help them.’

8 So the king chose Bacchides, one of the king’s Friends, governor of the province Beyond the River; he was a great man in the kingdom and was faithful to the king. 9He sent him, and with him he sent the ungodly Alcimus, whom he made high priest; and he commanded him to take vengeance on the Israelites. 10So they marched away and came with a large force into the land of Judah; and he sent messengers to Judas and his brothers with peaceable but treacherous words. 11But they paid no attention to their words, for they saw that they had come with a large force.

12 Then a group of scribes appeared in a body before Alcimus and Bacchides to ask for just terms. 13The Hasideans were first among the Israelites to seek peace from them, 14for they said, ‘A priest of the line of Aaron has come with the army, and he will not harm us.’ 15Alcimus* spoke peaceable words to them and swore this oath to them, ‘We will not seek to injure you or your friends.’ 16So they trusted him; but he seized sixty of them and killed them in one day, in accordance with the word that was written,
17 ‘The flesh of your faithful ones and their blood
   they poured out all around Jerusalem,
   and there was no one to bury them.’
18Then the fear and dread of them fell on all the people, for they said, ‘There is no truth or justice in them, for they have violated the agreement and the oath that they swore.’

19 Then Bacchides withdrew from Jerusalem and encamped in Beth-zaith. And he sent and seized many of the men who had deserted to him,* and some of the people, and killed them and threw them into a great pit. 20He placed Alcimus in charge of the country and left with him a force to help him; then Bacchides went back to the king.

21 Alcimus struggled to maintain his high-priesthood, 22and all who were troubling their people joined him. They gained control of the land of Judah and did great damage in Israel. 23And Judas saw all the wrongs that Alcimus and those with him had done among the Israelites; it was more than the Gentiles had done. 24So Judas* went out into all the surrounding parts of Judea, taking vengeance on those who had deserted and preventing those in the city* from going out into the country. 25When Alcimus saw that Judas and those with him had grown strong, and realized that he could not withstand them, he returned to the king and brought malicious charges against them.

Nicanor in Judea

26 Then the king sent Nicanor, one of his honoured princes, who hated and detested Israel, and he commanded him to destroy the people. 27So Nicanor came to Jerusalem with a large force, and treacherously sent to Judas and his brothers this peaceable message, 28‘Let there be no fighting between you and me; I shall come with a few men to see you face to face in peace.’

29 So he came to Judas, and they greeted one another peaceably; but the enemy were preparing to kidnap Judas. 30It became known to Judas that Nicanor* had come to him with treacherous intent, and he was afraid of him and would not meet him again. 31When Nicanor learned that his plan had been disclosed, he went out to meet Judas in battle near Caphar-salama. 32About five hundred of the army of Nicanor fell, and the rest* fled into the city of David.

Nicanor Threatens the Temple

33 After these events Nicanor went up to Mount Zion. Some of the priests from the sanctuary and some of the elders of the people came out to greet him peaceably and to show him the burnt-offering that was being offered for the king. 34But he mocked them and derided them and defiled them and spoke arrogantly, 35and in anger he swore this oath, ‘Unless Judas and his army are delivered into my hands this time, then if I return safely I will burn up this house.’ And he went out in great anger. 36At this the priests went in and stood before the altar and the temple; they wept and said,
37 ‘You chose this house to be called by your name,
   and to be for your people a house of prayer and supplication.
38 Take vengeance on this man and on his army,
   and let them fall by the sword;
remember their blasphemies,
   and let them live no longer.’

The Death of Nicanor

39 Now Nicanor went out from Jerusalem and encamped in Beth-horon, and the Syrian army joined him. 40Judas encamped in Adasa with three thousand men. Then Judas prayed and said, 41‘When the messengers from the king spoke blasphemy, your angel went out and struck down one hundred and eighty-five thousand of the Assyrians.* 42So also crush this army before us today; let the rest learn that Nicanor* has spoken wickedly against the sanctuary, and judge him according to this wickedness.’

43 So the armies met in battle on the thirteenth day of the month of Adar. The army of Nicanor was crushed, and he himself was the first to fall in the battle. 44When his army saw that Nicanor had fallen, they threw down their arms and fled. 45The Jews* pursued them a day’s journey, from Adasa as far as Gazara, and as they followed they kept sounding the battle-call on the trumpets. 46People came out of all the surrounding villages of Judea, and they outflanked the enemy* and drove them back to their pursuers,* so that they all fell by the sword; not even one of them was left. 47Then the Jews* seized the spoils and the plunder; they cut off Nicanor’s head and the right hand that he had so arrogantly stretched out, and brought them and displayed them just outside Jerusalem. 48The people rejoiced greatly and celebrated that day as a day of great gladness. 49They decreed that this day should be celebrated each year on the thirteenth day of Adar. 50So the land of Judah had rest for a few days.

A Eulogy of the Romans

8Now Judas heard of the fame of the Romans, that they were very strong and were well disposed towards all who made an alliance with them, that they pledged friendship to those who came to them, 2and that they were very strong. He had been told of their wars and of the brave deeds that they were doing among the Gauls, how they had defeated them and forced them to pay tribute, 3and what they had done in the land of Spain to get control of the silver and gold mines there, 4and how they had gained control of the whole region by their planning and patience, even though the place was far distant from them. They also subdued the kings who came against them from the ends of the earth, until they crushed them and inflicted great disaster on them; the rest paid them tribute every year. 5They had crushed in battle and conquered Philip, and King Perseus of the Macedonians,* and the others who rose up against them. 6They also had defeated Antiochus the Great, king of Asia, who went to fight against them with one hundred and twenty elephants and with cavalry and chariots and a very large army. He was crushed by them; 7they took him alive and decreed that he and those who would reign after him should pay a heavy tribute and give hostages and surrender some of their best provinces, 8the countries of India, Media, and Lydia. These they took from him and gave to King Eumenes. 9The Greeks planned to come and destroy them, 10but this became known to them, and they sent a general against the Greeks* and attacked them. Many of them were wounded and fell, and the Romans* took captive their wives and children; they plundered them, conquered the land, tore down their strongholds, and enslaved them to this day. 11The remaining kingdoms and islands, as many as ever opposed them, they destroyed and enslaved; 12but with their friends and those who rely on them they have kept friendship. They have subdued kings far and near, and as many as have heard of their fame have feared them. 13Those whom they wish to help and to make kings, they make kings, and those whom they wish they depose; and they have been greatly exalted. 14Yet for all this not one of them has put on a crown or worn purple as a mark of pride, 15but they have built for themselves a senate chamber, and every day three hundred and twenty senators constantly deliberate concerning the people, to govern them well. 16They trust one man each year to rule over them and to control all their land; they all heed the one man, and there is no envy or jealousy among them.

An Alliance with Rome

17 So Judas chose Eupolemus son of John son of Accos, and Jason son of Eleazar, and sent them to Rome to establish friendship and alliance, 18and to free themselves from the yoke; for they saw that the kingdom of the Greeks was enslaving Israel completely. 19They went to Rome, a very long journey; and they entered the senate chamber and spoke as follows: 20‘Judas, who is also called Maccabeus, and his brothers and the people of the Jews have sent us to you to establish alliance and peace with you, so that we may be enrolled as your allies and friends.’ 21The proposal pleased them, 22and this is a copy of the letter that they wrote in reply, on bronze tablets, and sent to Jerusalem to remain with them there as a memorial of peace and alliance:

23 ‘May all go well with the Romans and with the nation of the Jews at sea and on land for ever, and may sword and enemy be far from them. 24If war comes first to Rome or to any of their allies in all their dominion, 25the nation of the Jews shall act as their allies wholeheartedly, as the occasion may indicate to them. 26To the enemy that makes war they shall not give or supply grain, arms, money, or ships, just as Rome has decided; and they shall keep their obligations without receiving any return. 27In the same way, if war comes first to the nation of the Jews, the Romans shall willingly act as their allies, as the occasion may indicate to them. 28And to their enemies there shall not be given grain, arms, money, or ships, just as Rome has decided; and they shall keep these obligations and do so without deceit. 29Thus on these terms the Romans make a treaty with the Jewish people. 30If after these terms are in effect both parties shall determine to add or delete anything, they shall do so at their discretion, and any addition or deletion that they may make shall be valid.

31 ‘Concerning the wrongs that King Demetrius is doing to them, we have written to him as follows, “Why have you made your yoke heavy on our friends and allies the Jews? 32If now they appeal again for help against you, we will defend their rights and fight you on sea and on land.”

Bacchides Returns to Judea

9When 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. 2They went by the road that leads to Gilgal and encamped against Mesaloth in Arbela, and they took it and killed many people. 3In the first month of the one hundred and fifty-second year* they encamped against Jerusalem; 4then 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. 6When 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. 8He became faint, but he said to those who were left, ‘Let us get up and go against our enemies. We may have the strength to fight them.’ 9But they tried to dissuade him, saying, ‘We do not have the strength. Let us rather save our own lives now, and let us come back with our kindred and fight them; we are too few.’ 10But 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 kindred, and leave no cause to question our honour.’

The Last Battle of Judas

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. 12Bacchides 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. 13The earth was shaken by the noise of the armies, and the battle raged from morning until 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, 15and they crushed the right wing, and he pursued them as far as Mount Azotus. 16When those on the left wing saw that the right wing was crushed, they turned and followed close behind Judas and his men. 17The battle became desperate, and many on both sides were wounded and fell. 18Judas also fell, and the rest fled.

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

Jonathan Succeeds Judas

23 After the death of Judas, the renegades emerged in all parts of Israel; all the wrongdoers reappeared. 24In those days a very great famine occurred, and the country went over to their side. 25Bacchides chose the godless and put them in charge of the country. 26They made inquiry and searched for the friends of Judas, and brought them to Bacchides, who took vengeance on them and made sport of them. 27So 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. 30Now therefore we have chosen you today to take his place as our ruler and leader, to fight our battle.’ 31So Jonathan accepted the leadership at that time in place of his brother Judas.

The Campaigns of Jonathan

32 When Bacchides learned of this, he tried to kill him. 33But Jonathan and his brother Simon 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. 34Bacchides found this out on the sabbath day, and he with all his army crossed the Jordan.

35 So Jonathan* sent his brother as leader of the multitude and begged the Nabateans, who were his friends, for permission to store with them the great amount of baggage that they had. 36But the family of Jambri from Medeba came out and seized John and all that he had, and left with it.

37 After these things it was reported to Jonathan and his brother Simon, ‘The family 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.’ 38Remembering how their brother John had been killed, they went up and hid under cover of the mountain. 39They looked out and saw a tumultuous procession with a great amount of baggage; and the bridegroom came out with his friends and his brothers to meet them with tambourines and musicians and many weapons. 40Then they rushed on them from the ambush and began killing them. Many were wounded and fell, and the rest fled to the mountain; and the Jews* took all their goods. 41So the wedding was turned into mourning and the voice of their musicians into a funeral dirge. 42After 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. 44And Jonathan said to those with him, ‘Let us get up now and fight for our lives, for today things are not as they were before. 45For 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. 46Cry out now to Heaven that you may be delivered from the hands of our enemies.’ 47So the battle began, and Jonathan stretched out his hand to strike Bacchides, but he eluded him and went to the rear. 48Then Jonathan and the men with him leapt into the Jordan and swam across to the other side, and the enemy* did not cross the Jordan to attack them. 49And about one thousand of Bacchides’ men fell that day.

Bacchides Builds Fortifications

50 Then Bacchides* returned to Jerusalem and built strong cities in Judea: the fortress in Jericho, and Emmaus, and Beth-horon, and Bethel, and Timnath, and* Pharathon, and Tephon, with high walls and gates and bars. 51And he placed garrisons in them to harass Israel. 52He also fortified the town of Beth-zur, and Gazara, and the citadel, and in them he put troops and stores of food. 53And 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, Alcimus gave orders to tear down the wall of the inner court of the sanctuary. He tore down the work of the prophets! 55But 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. 56And Alcimus died at that time in great agony. 57When Bacchides saw that Alcimus was dead, he returned to the king, and the land of Judah had rest for two years.

The End of the War

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.’ 59And they went and consulted with him. 60He started to come with a large force, and secretly sent letters to all his allies in Judea, telling them to seize Jonathan and his men; but they were unable to do it, because their plan became known. 61And 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. 63When Bacchides learned of this, he assembled all his forces, and sent orders to the men of Judea. 64Then he came and encamped against Bethbasi; he fought against it for many days and made machines of war.

65 But Jonathan left his brother Simon in the town, while he went out into the country; and he went with only a few men. 66He struck down Odomera and his kindred and the people of Phasiron in their tents. 67Then he* began to attack and went into battle with his forces; and Simon and his men sallied out from the town and set fire to the machines of war. 68They fought with Bacchides, and he was crushed by them. They pressed him very hard, for his plan and his expedition had been in vain. 69So he was very angry at the renegades who had counselled him to come into the country, and he killed many of them. Then he decided to go back 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. 71He agreed, and did as he said; and he swore to Jonathan* that he would not try to harm him as long as he lived. 72He restored to him the captives whom he had taken previously from the land of Judah; then he turned and went back to his own land, and did not come again into their territory. 73Thus the sword ceased from Israel. Jonathan settled in Michmash and began to judge the people; and he destroyed the godless out of Israel.

Revolt of Alexander Epiphanes

10In the one hundred and sixtieth year* Alexander Epiphanes, son of Antiochus, landed and occupied Ptolemais. They welcomed him, and there he began to reign. 2When King Demetrius heard of it, he assembled a very large army and marched out to meet him in battle. 3Demetrius sent Jonathan a letter in peaceable words to honour him; 4for he said to himself, ‘Let us act first to make peace with him* before he makes peace with Alexander against us, 5for he will remember all the wrongs that we did to him and to his brothers and his nation.’ 6So 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 those in the citadel. 8They were greatly alarmed when they heard that the king had given him authority to recruit troops. 9But those in the citadel released the hostages to Jonathan, and he returned them to their parents.

10 And Jonathan took up residence in Jerusalem and began to rebuild and restore the city. 11He 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; 13all of them left their places and went back to their own lands. 14Only in Beth-zur did some remain who had forsaken the law and the commandments, for it served as a place of refuge.

15 Now King Alexander heard of all the promises that Demetrius had sent to Jonathan, and he heard 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. 16So he said, ‘Shall we find another such man? Come now, we will make him our friend and ally.’ 17And he wrote a letter and sent it to him, in the following words:

Jonathan Becomes High Priest

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

21 So Jonathan put on the sacred vestments in the seventh month of the one hundred and sixtieth year,* at the festival of booths,* and he recruited troops and equipped them with arms in abundance. 22When Demetrius heard of these things he was distressed and said, 23‘What is this that we have done? Alexander has overtaken us in forming a friendship with the Jews to strengthen himself. 24I also will write them words of encouragement and promise them honour and gifts, so that I may have their help.’ 25So he sent a message to them in the following words:

A Letter from Demetrius to Jonathan

‘King Demetrius to the nation of the Jews, greetings. 26Since 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. 27Now continue still to keep faith with us, and we will repay you with good for what you do for us. 28We will grant you many immunities and give you gifts.

29 ‘I now free you and exempt all the Jews from payment of tribute and salt tax and crown levies, 30and 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. 31Jerusalem and its environs, its tithes and its revenues, shall be holy and free from tax. 32I release also my control of the citadel in Jerusalem and give it to the high priest, so that he may station in it men of his own choice to guard it. 33And everyone 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 livestock.

34 ‘All the festivals and sabbaths and new moons and appointed days, and the three days before a festival and the three after a festival—let them all be days of immunity and release for all the Jews who are in my kingdom. 35No 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. 37Let 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 Judea from the country of Samaria, let them be annexed to Judea so that they may be considered to be under one ruler and obey no other authority than the high priest. 39Ptolemais and the land adjoining it I have given as a gift to the sanctuary in Jerusalem, to meet the necessary expenses of the sanctuary. 40I also grant fifteen thousand shekels of silver yearly out of the king’s revenues from appropriate places. 41And all the additional funds that 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.* 42Moreover, the five thousand shekels of silver that 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. 43And all who take refuge at the temple in Jerusalem, or in any of its precincts, because they owe money to the king or are in debt, let them be released and receive back all their 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. 45And let the cost of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem and fortifying it all round, and the cost of rebuilding the walls in Judea, also be paid from the revenues of the king.’

Death of Demetrius

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

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

Treaty of Ptolemy and Alexander

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 ancestors, and established my rule—for I crushed Demetrius and gained control of our country; 53I 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— 54now 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 ancestors and took your seat on the throne of their kingdom. 56And 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 his daughter Cleopatra, and came to Ptolemais in the one hundred and sixty-second year.* 58King Alexander met him, and Ptolemy* gave him his daughter Cleopatra in marriage, and celebrated her wedding at Ptolemais with great pomp, as kings do.

59 Then King Alexander wrote to Jonathan to come and meet him. 60So 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. 61A group of malcontents from Israel, renegades, gathered together against him to accuse him; but the king paid no attention to them. 62The king gave orders to take off Jonathan’s garments and to clothe him in purple, and they did so. 63The king also seated him at his side; and he said to his officers, ‘Go out 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.’ 64When his accusers saw the honour that was paid him, in accordance with the proclamation, and saw him clothed in purple, they all fled. 65Thus the king honoured him and enrolled him among his chief* Friends, and made him general and governor of the province. 66And Jonathan returned to Jerusalem in peace and gladness.

Apollonius Is Defeated by Jonathan

67 In the one hundred and sixty-fifth year* Demetrius son of Demetrius came from Crete to the land of his ancestors. 68When King Alexander heard of it, he was greatly distressed and returned to Antioch. 69And Demetrius appointed Apollonius the governor of Coelesyria, and he assembled a large force and encamped against Jamnia. Then he sent the following message to the high priest Jonathan:

70 ‘You are the only one to rise up against us, and I have fallen into ridicule and disgrace because of you. Why do you assume authority against us in the hill country? 71If 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. 72Ask and learn who I am and who the others are that are helping us. People will tell you that you cannot stand before us, for your ancestors were twice put to flight in their own land. 73And 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 his brother Simon met him to help him. 75He encamped before Joppa, but the people of the city closed its gates, for Apollonius had a garrison in Joppa. 76So they fought against it, and the people 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. 78Jonathan* pursued him to Azotus, and the armies engaged in battle. 79Now Apollonius had secretly left a thousand cavalry behind them. 80Jonathan learned that there was an ambush behind him, for they surrounded his army and shot arrows at his men from early morning until late afternoon. 81But his men stood fast, as Jonathan had 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, 83and the cavalry was dispersed in the plain. They fled to Azotus and entered Beth-dagon, the temple of their idol, for safety. 84But 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. 85The number of those who fell by the sword, with those burned alive, came to eight thousand.

86 Then Jonathan left there and encamped against Askalon, and the people of the city came out to meet him with great pomp.

87 He and those with him then returned to Jerusalem with a large amount of booty. 88When King Alexander heard of these things, he honoured Jonathan still more; 89and he sent to him a golden buckle, such as it is the custom to give to the King’s Kinsmen. He also gave him Ekron and all its environs as his possession.

Ptolemy Invades Syria

11Then 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. 2He set out for Syria with peaceable words, and the people of the towns opened their gates to him and went to meet him, for King Alexander had commanded them to meet him, since he was Alexander’s* father-in-law. 3But when Ptolemy entered the towns he stationed forces as a garrison in each town.

4 When he* approached Azotus, they showed him the burnt-out temple of Dagon, 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. 5They also told the king what Jonathan had done, to throw blame on him; but the king kept silent. 6Jonathan met the king at Joppa with pomp, and they greeted one another and spent the night there. 7And 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 Seleucia by the sea, and he kept devising wicked designs against Alexander. 9He sent envoys to King Demetrius, 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. 10I now regret that I gave him my daughter, for he has tried to kill me.’ 11He threw blame on Alexander* because he coveted his kingdom. 12So 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 on his head, the crown of Egypt and that of Asia. 14Now King Alexander was in Cilicia at that time, because the people of that region were in revolt. 15When Alexander heard of it, he came against him in battle. Ptolemy marched out and met him with a strong force, and put him to flight. 16So Alexander fled into Arabia to find protection there, and King Ptolemy was triumphant. 17Zabdiel the Arab cut off the head of Alexander and sent it to Ptolemy. 18But King Ptolemy died three days later, and his troops in the strongholds were killed by the inhabitants of the strongholds. 19So Demetrius became king in the one hundred and sixty-seventh year.*

Jonathan’s Diplomacy

20 In those days Jonathan assembled the Judeans to attack the citadel in Jerusalem, and he built many engines of war to use against it. 21But certain renegades who hated their nation went to the king and reported to him that Jonathan was besieging the citadel. 22When he heard this he was angry, and as soon as he heard it he set out and came to Ptolemais; and he wrote to order 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. He chose some of the elders of Israel and some of the priests, and put himself in danger, 24for he went to the king at Ptolemais, taking silver and gold and clothing and numerous other gifts. And he won his favour. 25Although certain renegades of his nation kept making complaints against him, 26the king treated him as his predecessors had treated him; he exalted him in the presence of all his Friends. 27He confirmed him in the high-priesthood and in as many other honours as he had formerly had, and caused him to be reckoned among his chief* Friends. 28Then Jonathan asked the king to free Judea and the three districts of Samaria* from tribute, and promised him three hundred talents. 29The king consented, and wrote a letter to Jonathan about all these things; its contents were as follows:

30 ‘King Demetrius to his brother Jonathan and to the nation of the Jews, greetings. 31This copy of the letter that we wrote concerning you to our kinsman Lasthenes we have written to you also, so that you may know what it says. 32“King Demetrius to his father Lasthenes, greetings. 33We have determined to do good to the nation of the Jews, who are our friends and fulfil their obligations to us, because of the goodwill they show towards us. 34We have confirmed as their possession both the territory of Judea and the three districts of Aphairema and Lydda and Rathamin; the latter, with all the region bordering them, were added to Judea from Samaria. To all those who offer sacrifice in Jerusalem we have granted release from* the royal taxes that the king formerly received from them each year, from the crops of the land and the fruit of the trees. 35And 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. 36And not one of these grants shall be cancelled from this time on for ever. 37Now 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.”

The Intrigue of Trypho

38 When King Demetrius saw that the land was quiet before him and that there was no opposition to him, he dismissed all his troops, all of them to their own homes, except the foreign troops that he had recruited from the islands of the nations. So all the troops who had served under his predecessors hated him. 39A certain Trypho had formerly been one of Alexander’s supporters; he saw that all the troops were grumbling against Demetrius. So he went to Imalkue the Arab, who was bringing up Antiochus, the young son of Alexander, 40and insistently urged him to hand Antiochus* over to him, to become king in place of his father. He also reported to Imalkue* what Demetrius had done and told of the hatred that the troops of Demetrius* had for him; and he stayed there for many days.

41 Now Jonathan sent to King Demetrius the request that he remove the troops of the citadel from Jerusalem, and the troops in the strongholds; for they kept fighting against Israel. 42And Demetrius sent this message back 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. 43Now then, you will do well to send me men who will help me, for all my troops have revolted.’ 44So 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 people of the city assembled within the city, to the number of a hundred and twenty thousand, and they wanted to kill the king. 46But the king fled into the palace. Then the people of the city seized the main streets of the city and began to fight. 47So the king called the Jews to his aid, and they all rallied around him and then spread out through the city; and they killed on that day about one hundred thousand. 48They set fire to the city and seized a large amount of spoil on that day, and saved the king. 49When the people 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.’ 51And they threw down their arms and made peace. So the Jews gained glory in the sight of the king and of all the people in his kingdom, and they returned to Jerusalem with a large amount of spoil.

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

Trypho Seizes Power

54 After this Trypho returned, and with him the young boy Antiochus who began to reign and put on the crown. 55All the troops that Demetrius had discharged gathered around him; they fought against Demetrius,* and he fled and was routed. 56Trypho captured the elephants* and gained control of Antioch. 57Then 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 king’s Friends.’ 58He also 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. 59He appointed Jonathan’s* brother Simon governor from the Ladder of Tyre to the borders of Egypt.

Campaigns of Jonathan and Simon

60 Then Jonathan set out and travelled beyond the river and among the towns, and all the army of Syria gathered to him as allies. When he came to Askalon, the people of the city met him and paid him honour. 61From there he went to Gaza, but the people of Gaza shut him out. So he besieged it and burned its suburbs with fire and plundered them. 62Then 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 Kadesh in Galilee with a large army, intending to remove him from office. 64He went to meet them, but left his brother Simon in the country. 65Simon encamped before Beth-zur and fought against it for many days and hemmed it in. 66Then they asked him to grant them terms of peace, and he did so. He removed them from there, took possession of the town, 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, 68and there in the plain the army of the foreigners met him; they had set an ambush against him in the mountains, but they themselves met him face to face. 69Then the men in ambush emerged from their places and joined battle. 70All the men with Jonathan fled; not one of them was left except Mattathias son of Absalom and Judas son of Chalphi, commanders of the forces of the army. 71Jonathan tore his clothes, put dust on his head, and prayed. 72Then he turned back to the battle against the enemy* and routed them, and they fled. 73When 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. 74As many as three thousand of the foreigners fell that day. And Jonathan returned to Jerusalem.

Alliances with Rome and Sparta

12Now 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. 2He also sent letters to the same effect to the Spartans and to other places. 3So they went to Rome and entered the senate chamber and said, ‘The high priest Jonathan and the Jewish nation have sent us to renew the former friendship and alliance with them.’ 4And 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 that Jonathan wrote to the Spartans: 6‘The high priest Jonathan, the senate of the nation, the priests, and the rest of the Jewish people to their brothers the Spartans, greetings. 7Already in time past a letter was sent to the high priest Onias from Arius,* who was king among you, stating that you are our brothers, as the appended copy shows. 8Onias welcomed the envoy with honour, and received the letter, which contained a clear declaration of alliance and friendship. 9Therefore, though we have no need of these things, since we have as encouragement the holy books that are in our hands, 10we have undertaken to send to renew our family ties 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. 11We therefore remember you constantly on every occasion, both at our festivals and on other appropriate days, at the sacrifices that we offer and in our prayers, as it is right and proper to remember brothers. 12And we rejoice in your glory. 13But as for ourselves, many trials and many wars have encircled us; the kings around us have waged war against us. 14We were unwilling to annoy you and our other allies and friends with these wars, 15for we have the help that comes from Heaven for our aid, and so we were delivered from our enemies, and our enemies were humbled. 16We therefore have chosen Numenius son of Antiochus and Antipater son of Jason, and have sent them to Rome to renew our former friendship and alliance with them. 17We have commanded them to go also to you and greet you and deliver to you this letter from us concerning the renewal of our family ties. 18And now please send us a reply to this.’

19 This is a copy of the letter that they sent to Onias: 20‘King Arius of the Spartans, to the high priest Onias, greetings. 21It has been found in writing concerning the Spartans and the Jews that they are brothers and are of the family of Abraham. 22And now that we have learned this, please write us concerning your welfare; 23we on our part write to you that your livestock and your property belong to us, and ours belong to you. We therefore command that our envoys* report to you accordingly.’

Further Campaigns of Jonathan and Simon

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

33 Simon also went out and marched through the country as far as Askalon and the neighbouring strongholds. He turned aside to Joppa and took it by surprise, 34for he had heard that they were ready to hand over the stronghold to those 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 Judea, 36to 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. 37So they gathered together to rebuild the city; part of the wall on the valley to the east had fallen, and he repaired the section called Chaphenatha. 38Simon also built Adida in the Shephelah; he fortified it and installed gates with bolts.

Trypho Captures Jonathan

39 Then Trypho attempted to become king in Asia and put on the crown, and to raise his hand against King Antiochus. 40He 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 out and came to Beth-shan. 41Jonathan went out to meet him with forty thousand picked warriors, and he came to Beth-shan. 42When Trypho saw that he had come with a large army, he was afraid to raise his hand against him. 43So 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. 44Then he said to Jonathan, ‘Why have you put all these people to so much trouble when we are not at war? 45Dismiss 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 around 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. 47He kept with himself three thousand men, two thousand of whom he left in Galilee, while one thousand accompanied him. 48But when Jonathan entered Ptolemais, the people of Ptolemais closed the gates and seized him, and they killed with the sword all who had entered with him.

49 Then Trypho sent troops and cavalry into Galilee and the Great Plain to destroy all Jonathan’s soldiers. 50But they realized 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. 51When their pursuers saw that they would fight for their lives, they turned back. 52So 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. 53All the nations around 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 humankind.’

Simon Takes Command

13Simon heard that Trypho had assembled a large army to invade the land of Judah and destroy it, 2and he saw that the people were trembling with fear. So he went up to Jerusalem, and gathering the people together 3he encouraged them, saying to them, ‘You yourselves know what great things my brothers and I and the house of my father have done for the laws and the sanctuary; you know also the wars and the difficulties that my brothers and I have seen. 4By reason of this all my brothers have perished for the sake of Israel, and I alone am left. 5And now, far be it from me to spare my life in any time of distress, for I am not better than my brothers. 6But 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, 8and they answered in a loud voice, ‘You are our leader in place of Judas and your brother Jonathan. 9Fight our battles, and all that you say to us we will do.’ 10So he assembled all the warriors and hurried to complete the walls of Jerusalem, and he fortified it on every side. 11He sent Jonathan son of Absalom to Joppa, and with him a considerable army; he drove out its occupants and remained there.

Deceit and Treachery of Trypho

12 Then Trypho left Ptolemais with a large army to invade the land of Judah, and Jonathan was with him under guard. 13Simon encamped in Adida, facing the plain. 14Trypho learned that Simon had risen up in place of his brother Jonathan, 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 your brother Jonathan owed the royal treasury, in connection with the offices he held, that we are detaining him. 16Send now one 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, so that he would not arouse great hostility among the people, who might say, 18‘It was because Simon* did not send him the money and the sons, that Jonathan* perished.’ 19So he sent the sons and the hundred talents, but Trypho* broke his word and did not release Jonathan.

20 After this Trypho 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. 21Now the men in the citadel kept sending envoys to Trypho urging him to come to them by way of the wilderness and to send them food. 22So Trypho 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 Gilead. 23When he approached Baskama, he killed Jonathan, and he was buried there. 24Then Trypho turned and went back to his own land.

Jonathan’s Tomb

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

Judea Gains Independence

31 Trypho dealt treacherously with the young King Antiochus; he killed him 32and became king in his place, putting on the crown of Asia; and he brought great calamity on the land. 33But Simon built up the strongholds of Judea and walled them all round, with high towers and great walls and gates and bolts, and he stored food in the strongholds. 34Simon also chose emissaries and sent them to King Demetrius with a request to grant relief to the country, for all that Trypho did was to plunder. 35King Demetrius 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, greetings. 37We have received the gold crown and the palm branch that 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. 38All the grants that we have made to you remain valid, and let the strongholds that you have built be your possession. 39We pardon any errors and offences committed to this day, and cancel the crown tax that you owe; and whatever other tax has been collected in Jerusalem shall be collected no longer. 40And 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* the yoke of the Gentiles was removed from Israel, 42and 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.’

The Capture of Gazara by Simon

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. 44The men in the siege-engine leapt out into the city, and a great tumult arose in the city. 45The men in the city, with their wives and children, went up on the wall with their clothes torn, and they cried out with a loud voice, asking Simon to make peace with them; 46they said, ‘Do not treat us according to our wicked acts but according to your mercy.’ 47So 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 located, and then entered it with hymns and praise. 48He removed all uncleanness from it, and settled in it those who observed the law. He also strengthened its fortifications and built in it a house for himself.

Simon Regains the Citadel at Jerusalem

49 Those who were in the citadel at Jerusalem were prevented from going in and out to buy and sell in the country. So they were very hungry, and many of them perished from famine. 50Then 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. 51On the twenty-third day of the second month, in the one hundred and seventy-first year,* 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. 52Simon* 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 lived there. 53Simon saw that his son John had reached manhood, and so he made him commander of all the forces; and he lived at Gazara.

Capture of Demetrius

14In the one hundred and seventy-second year* King Demetrius assembled his forces and marched into Media to obtain help, so that he could make war against Trypho. 2When King Arsaces of Persia and Media heard that Demetrius had invaded his territory, he sent one of his generals to take him alive. 3The general* went and defeated the army of Demetrius, and seized him and took him to Arsaces, who put him under guard.

Eulogy of Simon


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 put on splendid military attire.
10 He supplied the towns with food,
   and furnished them with the means of defence,
   until his renown spread to the ends of the earth.
11 He established peace in the land,
   and Israel rejoiced with great joy.
12 All the people sat under their own vines and fig trees,
   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 gave help to all the humble among his people;
   he sought out the law,
   and did away with all the renegades and outlaws.
15 He made the sanctuary glorious,
   and added to the vessels of the sanctuary.

Diplomacy with Rome and Sparta

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

20 This is a copy of the letter that the Spartans sent:

‘The rulers and the city of the Spartans to the high priest Simon and to the elders and the priests and the rest of the Jewish people, our brothers, greetings. 21The envoys who were sent to our people have told us about your glory and honour, and we rejoiced at their coming. 22We have recorded what they said in our public decrees, as follows, “Numenius son of Antiochus and Antipater son of Jason, envoys of the Jews, have come to us to renew their friendship with us.


For copyright reasons, a maximum of 467 verses may be displayed. A further 129 verses have been omitted.

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From the oremus Bible Browser http://bible.oremus.org v2.2.8 14 July 2018.