16John went up from Gazara and reported to his father Simon what Cendebeus had done. 2And Simon called in his two eldest sons Judas and John, and said to them: My brothers and I and my fathers house 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. 3But now I have grown old, and you by Heavens* mercy are mature in years. Take my place and my brothers, and go out and fight for our nation, and may the help that comes from Heaven be with you.
4 So John* chose out of the country twenty thousand warriors and cavalry, and they marched against Cendebeus and camped for the night in Modein. 5Early in the morning they started out and marched into the plain, where a large force of infantry and cavalry was coming to meet them; and a stream lay between them. 6Then he and his army lined up against them. He saw that the soldiers were afraid to cross the stream, so he crossed over first; and when his troops saw him, they crossed over after him. 7Then he divided the army and placed the cavalry in the centre of the infantry, for the cavalry of the enemy were very numerous. 8They sounded the trumpets, and Cendebeus and his army were put to flight; many of them fell wounded and the rest fled into the stronghold. 9At that time Judas the brother of John was wounded, but John pursued them until Cendebeus* reached Kedron, which he had built. 10They 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. He then returned to Judea safely.
11 Now Ptolemy son of Abubus had been appointed governor over the plain of Jericho; he had a large store of silver and gold, 12for he was son-in-law of the high priest. 13His 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. 14Now Simon was visiting the towns of the country and attending to their needs, and he went down to Jericho with his sons Mattathias and Judas, in the one hundred and seventy-seventh year,* in the eleventh month, which is the month of Shebat. 15The son of Abubus received them treacherously in the little stronghold called Dok, which he had built; he gave them a great banquet, and hid men there. 16When Simon and his sons were drunk, Ptolemy and his men rose up, took their weapons, rushed in against Simon in the banqueting-hall and killed him and his two sons, as well as some of his servants. 17So he committed an act of great treachery and returned evil for good.
18 Then Ptolemy 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 towns and the country. 19He sent other troops 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; 20and he sent other troops to take possession of Jerusalem and the temple hill. 21But 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. 22When he heard this, he was greatly shocked; 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 that he did, and the building of the walls that he completed, and his achievements, 24are written in the annals of his high-priesthood, from the time that he became high priest after his father.
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