6King Antiochus was going through the upper provinces when he heard that Elymais in Persia was a city famed for its wealth in silver and gold. 2Its temple was very rich, containing golden shields, breastplates, and weapons left there by Alexander son of Philip, the Macedonian king who first reigned over the Greeks. 3So he came and tried to take the city and plunder it, but he could not because his plan had become known to the citizens 4and they withstood him in battle. So he fled and in great disappointment left there to return to Babylon.
5 Then someone came to him in Persia and reported that the armies that had gone into the land of Judah had been routed; 6that Lysias had gone first with a strong force, but had turned and fled before the Jews;* that the Jews* had grown strong from the arms, supplies, and abundant spoils that they had taken from the armies they had cut down; 7that they had torn down the abomination that he had erected on the altar in Jerusalem; and that they had surrounded the sanctuary with high walls as before, and also Beth-zur, his town.
8 When the king heard this news, he was astounded and badly shaken. He took to his bed and became sick from disappointment, because things had not turned out for him as he had planned. 9He lay there for many days, because deep disappointment continually gripped him, and he realized that he was dying. 10So he called all his Friends and said to them, Sleep has departed from my eyes and I am downhearted with worry. 11I said to myself, To what distress I have come! And into what a great flood I now am plunged! For I was kind and beloved in my power. 12But now I remember the wrong I did in Jerusalem. I seized all its vessels of silver and gold, and I sent to destroy the inhabitants of Judah without good reason. 13I know that it is because of this that these misfortunes have come upon me; here I am, perishing of bitter disappointment in a strange land.
The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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10 February 2011