FIRST BOOK OF.
Alexander to Antiochus Epifanes.
happened after Alexander son of Philip the Macedonian, the first monarch in
Greece, came out of the land of Chettim having made many wars and taken
strongholds, he smote Darius king of the Persians and Medes and reigned in his
he slew yet other kings in other lands going through the earth taking spoils of
many nations with no-one able to withstand him, for he had an overwhelming army.
having taken the nations, he became proud, and fell into sickness, and knowing
he was to die he summoned all his servants that had grown up with him from his
youth, and made them princes while he was yet alive.
Alexander reigned twelve years and died, and his servants ruled in his place,
they put crowns on themselves and so did their sons after them for many years,
and evil multiplied in the earth.
5. Out of
these then came a wicked root, namely; Antiochus surnamed Epifanes, a son of
Antiochus the king, who had been held hostage at Rome.
He then reigned in the 137th year of the kingdom of the Greeks.
Israel falls to idolatry.
6. In these
days there were wicked men in Israel who persuaded many saying; Let us make a
covenant with the nations round about and accept their worship, for ever since
we departed from them we have had much sorrow.
device then pleased them, and certain of the people went to the king who
sanctioned them to do after the ordinance of the heathen, then they built of
exercise at Jerusalem according to the customs of the heathen.
8. And they
no longer kept the circumcision, and forsook the holy covenant joining
themselves to the heathens, selling themselves to perform mischief.
Antiochus takes Egypt.
therefore the kingdom was established to Antiochus, he thought to reign over
Egypt, so that he might have dominion over the two realms.
he entered Egypt with a great multitude, with chariots, elephants, horsemen, and
a great navy to make war against Ptolemy king of Egypt.
Ptolemy was afraid of him and fled, but many were wounded to death, and thus
they got the strong cities in the land of Egypt, taking also the spoils thereof.
after he had smitten Egypt he returned in the 143rd year going up against Israel
and Jerusalem with a great multitude and proudly entered the sanctuary.
where he took the golden altar, the candlestick and all the vessels, the table
of show-bread, the libation vessels, the vials, censers of gold, the veil, the
crowns, and the golden ornaments that were before the temple.
also the hidden treasures that he found, and having taken all he could he went
to his own land having made a great massacre and spoken proudly.
there was great mourning every-where in Israel; the whole land was in sorrow
because of the rage that had occurred, the whole house of Jacob being in
after two years the king sent his chief collector to Judah who arrived with a
great multitude before Jerusalem, and he spoke peaceably to not harm them if
they let him in.
17. But it
was deceit, for they believing him letting him enter, he fell on them
deceitfully killing many Israelites, and he plundered the city, and burned their
taking the women and children and cattle captive, he established the city of
David making it a stronghold for himself.
19. And they
put a sinful people therein who committed all sorts of wickedness, and stored it
with armor and victuals gathering all the spoils of Jerusalem.
they guarded the sanctuary preventing those who wished to come from worshipping
there, and so they shed much innocent blood at the sanctuary and defiled it.
people of Jerusalem then fled from them leaving only strangers, thus her own
children that were born in her had to leave her.
sanctuary thus became a wilderness, her feast were turned into mourning, her
Sabbaths into reproach, and her honor into contempt, for just as her glory had
been so now there was dishonor, her excellence turned into grief.
Jewish services terminated.
Antiochus commanded in all his kingdom that all should be one people, that
everyone should leave his laws to instead have only one worship.
heathen then agreed to this and also many of the Israelites, and they sacrificed
to idols and profaned the Sabbath.
king had sent letters by messengers to Jerusalem and the other cities of Judah
that they should follow this strange law of the land, and forbid burnt offerings
and sacrifices, and drink offerings in the temple.
they should profane the Sabbath and days of festivals, and pollute the
sanctuary, and set-up altars and groves of idols, and to sacrifice the flesh of
swine and other unclean beasts.
were to leave their children uncircumcised, and defile their souls with all
sorts of uncleanliness and profanity to the intend that they should forget the
law and ordinances.
whosoever would not do accordingly was by the king's command to be put to death,
and overseers were appointed commanding the people of Judah to sacrifice city by
of the people were gathered to them, namely; everyone that forsook the law, by
which they drove the true Israelites into secret places fleeing for safety.
30. On the
15th day of Kislev then in the 145th year, they setup this abomination of
desolation on the altar building idols throughout the cities of Judah, and
burning incense at the doors of their houses and in the streets.
whatever books they were able to find they burned, and anyone found with a book
was by the king's command to be put to death.
25th of that month then there were sacrificing on an idol altar putting some
women, who had caused their children to be circumcised, to death.
33. They hung
their infants by the necks, and robbed their houses, and killed those that had
34. But there
were still many in Israel that were fully resolved and determined not to eat
anything unclean, choosing rather to die than to be defiled with meats, not
wishing to profane the holy covenant. And
thus they died.
those days there was a priest named Mattathias, son of John, son of Simeon, a
priest of the sons of Joarid from Jerusalem, and he lived in Modin.
2. And he had five sons; Jannas, called; Caddis, Simon, called; Thassi, Judas who was called Maccabees, Eleazar, called; Aravan, and Jonathan, whose surname was Apphus.
seeing the blasphemies that were committed in Judah and Jerusalem he said;
""woe is me, why was I born to see this misery of my people and the
4. That I
have to sit here while the enemy commits its atrocities, with strangers having
the sanctuary, and the temple having become without honor, her glory is carried
away, her infants slain, and her young pierced with enemy swords.
kingdom has become a spoil for all the heathens, her ornaments are taken away,
from being a queen she has become a servant, our beauty, and our glory is now
profaned, why then shall I live any longer?"
then and his sons mourned very greatly tearing their clothes and putting on
therefore the enforcers of the king came to Modin to force the people, and many
people consented, but Mattathias and his sons did not.
officers of the king then said to Mattathias; "You are a ruler and a great
and honorable man in this city having many sons and friends, you should
therefore come forth first to fulfill the command of the king as they did in
every other place.
9. In that
way you and your sons will find the king to be merciful, and you will receive
gold and silver, and other rewards."
Mattathias answered him with a firm voice; "Even if all nations that are
under the king's domain obeyed him, falling away from the law of their fathers,
yet I and my sons will not depart.
forbid that we should forsake His law, wherefore we will not listen to the kings
command to depart from our law, not to the left nor to the right."
having said these words, one of the Jews came in the sight of all and sacrificed
on the idols altar, and Mattathias seeing this was hurt and inflamed with zeal,
his reins trembling.
he able to hide his anger, but he came and killed the man on the altar, and also
the king's commissioner who compelled them to sacrifice he killed, and overthrew
Mattathias was zealous for the law like Phinees did to Zambri the son of Salom,
and Mattathias cried throughout the city saying; Whosoever is zealous for the
law to maintain the covenant, let him follow me.
his sons then fled into the mountains leaving all that they ever had in the
city, and many that were just came down to live with them in the wilderness,
they with their wives their children and their cattle, for the oppression had
this was reported to the king's servants and to them that were at Jerusalem,
that certain men had broken the king's command and gone to secret places in the
wilderness, they pursued them with a great number.
having overtaken them they camped against them making war on them on the day of
the Sabbath, and they spoke to them saying; Let that which you have done to date
be sufficient, come now however and do according to the king's command, and you
18. But they
said; "We will not come forth, nor perform the king's command to profane
attacked them while the children of Israel would not defend themselves but said;
"We will die in our innocence, heaven and earth shall testify for us that
you have put us to death wrongfully".
and his friends however on hearing of this they mourned greatly, and said to one
an-other; "Shall we do like our brothers, not defending ourselves against
the heathens? If indeed we do they
shall quickly root us out of the earth."
they decreed: When they come against us on a Sabbath we will defend ourselves
that we do not all perish like our brothers that were murdered in their hiding
22. A great
company now had come to them of the Assideans, mighty men of Israel who remained
firm in the law, and everyone that fled from persecution joined themselves to
them, thus their strength increased.
23. And they
armed themselves, and killed many deserters and wicked men in their zeal and
wrath, while those who escaped fled to the heathens.
this, Mattathias and his friends went round about the land pulling down the
altars, and with force circumcised all the children they found which were not
25. So they
pursued after the wicked and prospered keeping the law against the might of the
heathens, not suffering the sinners to triumph.
Mattathias, having become very old, spoke to his sons; "There is great
pride and oppression come against us, be therefore zealous for the law my sons,
and give your lives for the covenant of our fathers.
what acts our fathers did in their time, that you also may receive great honor
and an everlasting name, was not Abraham found faithful in temptation, and was
it not counted to him for righteousness?
Joseph in the time of his distress kept the commandments and was made lord of
Egypt and Phinees our father being zealous and fervent obtained the covenant of
an everlasting priesthood.
Joshua (Jesus) for fulfilling the word was made Highest ruler in Israel.
And Caleb for bearing witness before the congregation received the
inheritance of the land. And David for being merciful possessed the throne for an
Elijah labored for the law and was taken up into heaven, and Annanias, Azarias,
and Michael by believing were saved out of the flame, and Daniel for his
innocence was delivered from the mouth of the lion.
31. And so
consider through the ages that no-one that put their trust in God shall be
overcome, do not therefore fear the words of sinful men, for their glory shall
be dung and worms.
32. Today he
is lifted up, but tomorrow he will not be found, and being returned into his
dust - his thoughts have come to nothing, be valiant therefore my sons and show
yourselves men on behalf of the law, for by it you shall obtain glory.
brother Simon is wise, give ear to him as a father, and Judas is strong, a brave
man from his youth already, let him be your captain and fight the battle of the
all that observe the law, and avenge the wrong done to our people, and reward
the heathen according to their deeds, and take heed to the commandments of the
speaking he blessed them, and he was gathered to his fathers, he died in the
146th year, and his sons buried him in the sepulcher of his fathers at Modin,
and all Israel made great lamentation for him.
Judas defeats Apollonias.
his son Judas, called Maccabees, rose up in his stead, and all his brothers, and
all that had held with his father committed themselves with him, and with
cheerfulness they fought the battle of Israel.
Judas obtained great honor for his people, for he put on his armor as a giant
and protected his people with the sword.
3. In his
acts he was like a lion and like a young lion roaring for his prey he pursued
the wicked seeking them out and burning those that vexed his people.
wicked therefore feared for him, and the workers of iniquity were troubled since
salvation prospered in his hand, he grieved many kings, but many of Jacob were
glad with his acts, and his memorial is blessed forever.
5. He went
through the cities of Judah destroying the ungodly, turning the wrath away from
Israel so that he became renowned to the ends of the earth, and he received all
the oppressed to himself.
Apollonias brought a great army of heathens against him from Samaria, and Judas
perceiving this, went forth to meet him and battled with him, killing both him
and many with him while the rest fled.
7. And having taken the spoils he took the sword of Apollonias and kept it
all the days of his life.
Judas defeats Seron.
8. Now when
Serena, a prince of the army of Syria, heard that Judas had gathered a multitude
of the faithful to himself he said. "I
will go to get me a name and honor in the whole kingdom, in fighting Judas and
those that are with him that despise the king's command."
9. He thus
readied himself to go up, and with him was a mighty host of the ungodly to help
him to be avenged on the children of Israel.
they came near to Beth-horon Judas went forth to meet him with a small company,
and seeing the great host they said to Judas.
"How shall we be able to fight against such a great multitude with
the small company that we are, for in addition we are also worn out from fasting
all this day?"
11. And Judas
answered. "It is no hard
matter for many to be shut up in the hands of a few, for to God in heaven it is
all the same to deliver with a great multitude or to deliver with a small
company, for the victory is not in the multitude of men - but in the strength
from above, from heaven.
boast against us in great pride to murder our wives and our children and to
spoil us, but we fight for our lives and for our laws, therefore the Lord will
overthrow them before us, be therefore not afraid of them."
13. And no
sooner had he left off speaking or he ran forth upon them and drove Seron and
his host to flee, and he pursued them from Beth-horon to the plain, and slew
about 800 of them while the rest fled to the land of the Philistines.
14. And so
the fear of Judas became exceedingly great on the nations round about, and his
fame was reported to the king, for all nations talked of the battles of Judas.
Antiochus to battle with Israel.
15. And King
Antiochus hearing these things was full of indignation wherefore he sent to
gather all his forces from throughout his reign, a very great army.
16. And he
opened his treasure giving his soldiers wages for a year commanding them to be
ready whenever he should need them.
seeing that his treasure began failing - for the tributes in the countries were
small because of the dissension and plagues which he had brought on the land in
taking away the laws which had been of old.
feared that he would not be able to bear the charges any longer, nor to have
such gifts to give so liberally as he did before, for he had been more liberal
than all kings before him.
being greatly perplexed he determined to go into Syria to there take the
tributes of the countries, to gather much money. And he left Lysias, a nobleman one of royal blood, to oversee
the king's affair from the Euphrates to the borders of Egypt, and to raise his
son Antiochus until he should return.
20. And with
this Lysias he left half his forces and the elephants, and charged him
concerning them that dwelt in Judah and Jerusalem that he should sent an army
against them to destroy and root out the strength of Israel.
he should take away the remnant of Jerusalem to remove their memorial from that
place, and to place strangers in their stead, dividing also their land by lot.
king took half the forces and departed from Antioch his royal city in the 147th
year, and passing the river Euphrates he went through the high country.
then chose Ptolemy the son of Dorymenes, and Nicanor, and Gorgias, mighty men of
the king's friends, and with them sent 40.000 footmen and 7000 horsemen to go
into the land of Judah to destroy it as the king had commanded.
going forth with all their power came to pitch by Emmaus in the plain country.
And the merchants of the country hearing the fame of them came to meet
them with much silver and gold to buy the children of Israel from them as
slaves, and besides that more men of war came to them from Syria.
Judas readies for battle.
therefore Judas and his brothers saw that the oppression had multiplied, and
that the forces were encamped at their border, and had heard how the king had
commanded to destroy all Judah, they said to one another.
"Let us destroy the decayed state of our people fighting for them
and for the sanctuary."
gathered everyone together that they might be ready for battle and that they
might pray to ask for mercy and compassion of the Lord.
now at that time was void like a wilderness, none of her children went in or out
of her, and the sanctuary was trodden down heathen aliens keeping the
strongholds, thus the glory of Jacob had ceased and no harp nor flute was heard
Israelites therefore assembled themselves at Maspha, which is over against
Jerusalem, for it was in Maspha where in that time they prayed in Israel, there
they fasted and put on sackcloth and cast ashes on their heads and rent their
opened the books of the law which the heathen had sought to paint the likeness
of their images therein, and they brought the garments of the priests, and also
the first-fruits and tithes there.
stirred up the Zazarites to keep their appointed times, and cried with a loud
voice to heaven saying; What shall we do with these, and where shall we carry
them? For Thy sanctuary is trodden
down and profaned, and Thy priests are in heaviness and brought low.
31. And Lo,
the heathen are assembled against us to destroy us, and Thou does know what they
have in mind against us, how O Lord shall we be able to stand against them lest
Thou be our help?
Judas called the people together with the trumpets and ordained captains over
the people. And for such as were
building houses or had just been married or that were planting vineyards, or
them that were fearful, these he commanded to return every man to his house
according to the law.
this they pulled up and encamped on the south side of Emmaus, and Judas said;
"Arm yourself and be valiant and be ready for the morning that you may
fight with these nations that are assembled together to destroy us and our
For it is
better for us to die in battle than to behold the calamities of our people and
our sanctuary, and as the will of God in heaven is - so let Him do."
then by night took 5000 footmen and 1000 of the best horsemen and left the camp
to rush in on the camp of the Jews to smite them by surprise using as guides
some of those which were on the fortresses.
2. But Judas
had left earlier with his valiant men that he might smite the king's army while
they were yet dispersed from the camp, so it happen that when Gorgias arrived at
the camp of the Jews they found no-one there.
3. And he
went to seek them in the mountains presuming that they were fleeing from him,
but as soon as it was daylight Judas showed himself in the plain with three
thousand men who were without armor excepting their clothes and swords.
seeing how the army was well equipped, and with a strong cavalry, and that they
were men of war, Judas spoke to them saying.
Fear not their multitude nor be afraid of their might, but remember how
our fathers were delivered at the Red Sea when Pharaoh pursued them with his
5. But let
us call to heaven that the Lord may be gracious to us, and remember the covenant
with our father, and destroy this host which is before us this day that all the
heathens may know that it is the Lord who delivers and saves Israel.
heathens then when they saw Judas and his men coming - went up to battle, but as
Judas let the trumpets be sounded and attacked them - they fled out into the
hind-end however was killed with the sword for they pursued them to Dazera and
to the plains of Idumean and Azotus and Jamnia so that 3000 of them were slain.
8. And Judas
returning from the pursued said to the people; "Do not spoil them for there
is yet a battle before us, namely; Gorgias and his host which are here in the
mountains, remain therefore in your order and having overcome them you may
boldly take the spoils."
then having thus spoken - there appeared part of these men on the mountain.
And Gorgias seeing that the Jews had put his men to flight and the smoke
that went up that his camp was burning, and seeing Judas in the plain ready to
fight he became sorely afraid and fled into the land of the heathens.
Judas proceeded to take the spoils, which came to much gold, silver, blue silk,
and purple of the sea, and after this they went home singing songs of
thanksgiving, praising the Lord in heaven for He is good, for His mercy endures
thus had a great deliverance that day, and those of the heathen that had escaped
came to Lysias telling him what had happened, and Lysias was quite confounded
that the thing, which the king had commanded him, had not come to pass.
in the next year Lysias gathered 60.000 footmen and 5000 horsemen that he might
subdue the Jews and they came to Idumean and pitched their tents at Bethsura.
13. And Judas
met them with 10.000 men, and seeing the mighty army he prayed saying
"Blessed art Thou O Savior of Israel who quelled the violence of the mighty
men by the hand of Thy servant David.
gave a whole army of heathens into the hand of Jonathan, son of Saul, and his
armor bearer, I pray Thee shut up this army in the hand of Thy people Israel
that with all their might and cavalry they may be put to shame.
a fearful and fainting heart, destroy them O Lord by the sword of those that
love Thee that all who know Thee may praise Thee with thanksgiving."
this they joined battle and Lysias lost about 5000 men, and seeing that his men
were fleeing and that the Jews were unafraid, that they were ready to either
live with honor or die valiantly, he then abated.
17. And he
went back to Antioch and gathered a company of heathens greater than before to
again come up against Judea.
The cleansing of the temple.
18. But Judas
told his brothers; "Behold, our enemies are defeated, let us therefore go
and cleanse and dedicate the sanctuary."
the men came together and went up to Mount Zion and seeing how the sanctuary was
desolated and the altar profaned, the gates burned, and weeds growing tall in
the courts and the houses of the priests were torn down.
their clothes and made great lamentation and cast ashes on their heads, and they
bowed on their faces and blew an alarm with the trumpets crying to heaven.
appointed certain men to secure those that were in the fortresses while he
cleansed the sanctuary, and he choose priests of blameless conduct, which had
pleasure in the law, to cleanse the sanctuary, and to bring the defilement out
of it to an unclean place.
the altar of burnt offerings was profaned they consulted what to do with it and
thought it best to pull it down lest it should be a reproach to them, for the
heathen had defiled it.
they pulled it down and laid its stones on a mount by the house keeping them
until a prophet should come to show what to do with them.
24. And he
took uncut stones according to the law and built a new altar like the former,
and rebuilt the sanctuary and the interior of the house, and hallowed the
25. They also
made new holy vessels, candlestick, the altar of incense, and the table, and
brought them again within the temple and lighted the lamps so they might have
light in the temple.
placed bread on the table and hung the veils finishing all the work of the
The temple dedicated.
27. On the
25th of Kislev then in the 148th year they rose early and offered sacrifice on
the new altar according to the law, this was the first offering after the
heathen had profaned the former, and this was done with songs, harps, flutes,
28. Then all
the people bowed on their faces worshipping and praising the God of heaven who
had given them such good success, and they kept the dedication eight days
offering burnt offering with gladness and sacrificing the sacrifice of
deliverance with praise.
decorated the front of the temple with crowns and shields of gold, and renewed
the gates and living chambers, thus there was very great gladness among the
people, the reproach of the heathens having been put away.
30. And Judas
with his brothers with the whole congregation of Israel ordained that the days
of dedication of the altar should be kept in its season from year to year for
eight days from the 25th of Kislev with joy and gladness.
also built-up the walls and strong towers round about on mount Zion lest the
Gentiles should come to tread it down as they had done previously.
32. And they
set a garrison to keep it, and fortified Bethsura to preserve it that the people
might have a defense against Idumean.
Judas defeats Edom and Ammon.
when the nations round about heard that the altar was built again and the
sanctuary renewed, it displeased them very much and sought to destroy the
generation of Jacob, and starting at the borders they began to kill them.
Judas fought against the children of Esau of Idumean at Arabattine where they had
besieged Israel, and he killed many of them and spoiled them.
He remembered the injury of the children of Bean who had been a snare and an
offense to the people laying in wait for them on the roads, and he encamped
against them and burned their towers with them in it.
he passed over to the children of Ammon where there were many warriors with a
captain named Timotheus, there he fought many battles till he gained victory,
and he took Jazar with the towns belonging to it, and returned again to Judea.
The Jews in Galilee ask for help.
5. Then the
heathen that were at Gilead assembled themselves against the Israelites that
were in their quarters to destroy them, but they fled to the fortress of Dathema
and sent letters to Judas and his brothers saying;
heathen that are round about us are assembled against us to destroy us, and they
are preparing to come and take the fortress to which we are fled, Timotheus
being captain of their host.
therefore and deliver us from their hands for we are few and the enemies have
killed many, in Tobie they put app. 1000 to death, and they have carried their
wives and children away as captives and also taken their belongings."
these letters then were being read - other messengers from Galilee with their
clothes rent reported saying "Those of Ptolemais, of Tyrus, of Sidon, and
of all Galilee of the Gentiles are assembled against us to destroy us."
then and the people hearing these words took counsel how they might help their
brothers in this need. And Judas
said to Simon his brother to choose men and to go to deliver his brothers that
were in Galilee, while Jonathan and I will go into the country of Galead.
10. He then
left Joseph and Azarias as captains of the people, of the remnant of the host of
Judea to keep it, saying to them, "Take charge of this people and see to it
that you do not war against the heathen until we return".
then were given 3000 men, and Judas had 8000 men for the country of Galead.
Simon and Judas free their brothers.
then fought many battles with the heathen in Galilee, and defeated them pursuing
them to the gates of Ptolemais slaying about 3000 men whose spoils he also took.
13. And he
went to his brothers that were in Galilee and in Arbattia and took them with
their wives and children bringing them to Judea with great joy.
14. And Judas
with his brother Jonathan crossed the Jordan and traveling three days into the
wilderness they were met by the Nabathites who received them peacefully.
told them what had happened to their brothers in the land of Galead, how many
were imprisoned in Bosora, Bosor, Alema, Cashpor, Maked, and Carnaim, and that
all these cities were strong and great, and that still others were imprisoned in
other cities in Galead.
therefore concluded that on the morning they would go forth against these strong
cities to take and destroy them. And
Judas turned back one-day's march and assaulted the city of Bosor before they
suspected it, and he slew all the males with the edge of the sword, and taking
their spoils he burned the city.
there he went by night till he came to the fortress where his brothers were
held-up, and arriving in the morning he beheld a great multitude bearing ladders
and other equipment of assault preparing to take the fortress.
therefore seeing that the battle had begun, and the cry of the city went up to
heaven, he with a great sound of the trumpets said to his host.
Fight this day for your brothers, and he went forth behind them in three
companies who sounded their trumpets, and the people prayed to God.
host of Timotheus seeing it was Maccabees behind them - they fled, yet about
8000 of them were slain that day.
this Judas went to Maspha, and assaulting it he took it and slew all the males
therein, and taking the spoils thereof he burned it with fire.
From there he went and took Casphor, Maked, Bosora, and the other cities
of the country of Galead.
Timotheus brought again a great army together and encamped against Raphon beyond
the brook, and Judas sent men to spy them out who brought him word saying;
22. All the
heathens round about are assembled to them, a very great host, and he has also
hired Arabians to help them, and they are pitched beyond the brook ready to
fight you. Then Judas went up to
Timotheus said to his host. "When
Judas and his host come near the brook - if he passes over before we do - we
shall not be able to withstand him, but if he shall be afraid and camp beyond
the river - we shall go over to him and prevail against him."
then coming to the brook commanded the officials to drive everyone over the
brook and let no one remain in the camp to stay behind.
when Judas came first over the water, the enemies cast away their weapons and
fled to a temple at Carnaim, but Judas took the city and burned the temple with
all that were in it. Thus Carnaim
was subdued, and they were no longer able to stand before Judas.
this Judas gathered all the Israelites that were in the country of Galead from
the least to the greatest, and their wives, their children, and their
belongings, to bring them to the land of Judea.
the way - having come to Ephron - they had to pass through it since there was no
way on either side to pass by, but the men of the city refused to allow them
through, and they fortified their gates with stones.
however sent peaceful words to them saying, "Let us pass through your land
to go into our own country and none of you shall be hurt, we will only pass
through on foot".
however would not open to him where-fore Judas commanded to proclaim throughout
the camp to assemble for battle, and all that day and that night they assaulted
the city and it was delivered in their hands.
30. He then
slew all the males with the edge of the sword, and taking the spoils he
destroyed the city passing through over the dead bodies of them that were slain.
this they went over the Jordan into the great plain before Bethsan, and Judas
drove those that came behind comforting them all the way till they came to the
land of Judea.
they went up to mount Zion with joy and gladness and offered burnt offerings for
the Lord had given them victory and had returned them to their homes in peace.
The defeat of Joseph and Azarias.
Judas and Jonathan were in Gilead and Simon in Galilee before Ptolemies, Joseph
and Azarias heard of the valiant acts that they had done, and they said; Let us
also obtain a name and fight the heathen that are around us.
gave charge to the garrison that was with them and went towards Jamnia from
where Gorgias and his men came out of the city to fight them, and Joseph and
Azarias were put to flight and pursued to the borders of Judea.
day there were slain of the men of Israel about 2000, this was a great defeat
among the children of Israel, and it happened because they were not obedient to
Judas and his brothers and had done this out of their own pride to gain honor.
they were not the chosen by God to give deliverance to Israel, but Judas and his
brothers were greatly renowned in the sight of all Israel and by all the
heathen, and wheresoever their names were mentioned they were praised.
Judas defeats the Edomites and Philistines.
37. And Judas
went with his brothers up against the children of Esau in the south where he
smote Hebron and the towns thereof, and pulled down the fortress thereof and
burned the towers.
there he went into the land of the Philistines passing through Samaria where
certain priests - desiring to show their valor - were slain in battle, for they
went to fight without counsel or command.
this Judas went to Ashdoth in the land of the Philistines and having pulled
their altars down, and burned their carved images, and spoiling their cities, he
returned to the land of Judea.
Antiochus Epifanes dies.
that time king Antiochus traveling through the high country heard that Elymain
in the country of Persia was a city renowned for riches in silver and gold.
2. And that
in it was a very rich temple with coverings of gold, with breastplates and
shield which Alexander, son of Philip the Macedonian king who reigned first
among the Greeks, had left there.
3. So he
came there and sought to take the city to spoil it, but those in the city had
been warned and stood up against him in battle, and defeated he departed from
there with great heaviness of heart returning to Babylon.
having come there he heard that the armies, which had gone against the land of
Judea, were put to flight, that Lysias - who had gone forth with great power -
was driven from the Jews.
5. And that
the Jews had become strong with the store of spoils and the armor which they had
obtained of the armies in their victory of them, and that they had removed the
abominations from Jerusalem and rededicated the temple and the altar, and built
the walls as before.
then on hearing this was sore troubled, and he laid himself on his bed and
became sick from grief, because it had not gone for him as he had looked for.
7. And there
he continued many days, his grief become more and more which weakened him so
much that he saw that he would die, for which reason then he called his friends
8. Sleep has
gone from my eyes and my heart fails because of care, for O how did I come into
such tribulations, how great a flood of miseries this is wherein I am now.
9. For I was
bountiful and beloved in my power, but now I remember the evils that I did at
Jerusalem, that I took all the vessels of gold and silver that were there, and
sent to destroy the inhabitants of Jerusalem without cause.
perceive therefore that for this cause these troubles are come on me, and
behold; I perish from great grief in a strange land.
called Philip, one of his friends, making him ruler over all his realm giving
him the crown the robe and his signet to the end that he would bring up his son
Antiochus to nourish him for the kingdom.
Antiochus died there in the 149th year, and Lysias hearing that the king was
dead, he set-up Antiochus, the son of Antiochus whom he had raised, to reign in
his father's stead, and called him Eupator.
Antiochus Eupator misled against the Jews.
at mount Zion the heathens that were in the towers round about were continually
seeking to hurt Israel wherefore Judas purposed to destroy them, and he called
the people together to besiege them.
came before them in the 150th year bringing all sorts of armor
and engines of war, but certain men from the besieged city, and also some
of Israel went to the king and said,
long will you excuse justice and not avenge our brothers, we have been willing
to serve your father and obeyed his commands, for which reason those of our
nation of which we are alienated now besiege the towers.
16. And they
have taken as many of us as they could and spoiled our inheritance, and not only
against us have they put out their hands, but also against all your borders.
17. And this
day they are attacking the tower at Jerusalem to take it, and they have
fortified the sanctuary and Bethsura, if therefore you do not prevent them
quickly they will do yet greater things, nor shall you be able to rule
18. The king
then hearing these things was very angry, and he gathered all his friends and
captains of his army with the cavalry and still other warriors that came to him
from the isles of the sea, so that the number of his army was 100.000 footmen
and 20.000 horsemen and 32 elephants trained in battle.
went through Idumean and pitched against Bethsura which they assaulted many days,
and they made engines of war, but the men of Bethsura came out and burned them
with fire fighting valiantly.
Judas went from the tower and pitched at Bathzacharias over against the king's
camp. And the king rising early in
the morning marched fiercely with his host towards Bathzacharias, and he
arranged them for battle and sounded the trumpets.
elephants then were provoked with wine and juice of mulberries to excite them,
and they were so arranged that with each elephant were 1000 footmen armed with
harness and helmets, and also 500 horsemen.
then the elephant went all them that were with it went, and every elephant wore
a wooden tower in which were warriors besides the Indian who guided the beast,
the rest of the horsemen were set on both sides of the flank to keep the men on
23. And when
the sun rose it shone on the gold and metal shields so that the mountain looked
as though it was on fire. Part of
the king's army then went down in the plain safely and in good order.
everyone who heard the noise of this multitude, and who beheld them with the
rattling of the harnesses - were impressed, for the army was great and mighty.
Judas and his host drew near entering the battle, and he slew 600 of the king's
men, and one named Eleazar surnamed Savaran, desiring to obtain a perpetual name
seeing one of the elephants higher than the rest - he supposed that the king was
26. And he
went courageously slaying those that were on the right and left, and he went
under the elephant and trusts him from under, and the elephant fell on him
crushing him under it.
The men of Israel retreat.
27. The rest
of the Jews however, seeing that the king's army was strong, they turned from
them, after which the king's army went up towards Jerusalem and there pitched
his tents in Judea against mount Zion.
28. But those
of Bethsura had come out since they had no victuals to endure the siege, for
also it was the year of the rest of the land, and the king made peace with them,
and set a garrison in it to keep it.
besieged the sanctuary many days, setting artillery to throw fire and stones,
and instruments to cast darts and slings.
in the sanctuary also made engines against their engines holding the battle many
days. Yet at last their stores of
food became depleted for it was the seventh year in Judea.
And many that had been delivered from the heathen having come had thus
consumed the residue of the stores.
31. And so
there were but few left in the sanctuary the famine prevailing against them, and
they had to disperse to their towns.
Peace between Israel and Antiochus.
32. At the
same time Lysias had heard that Philip whom Antiochus while he was yet alive had
appointed to bring up his son that he might be king, had returned from Persia
with the king's host, and that he sought to take to himself the ruling of the
went in haste to the king and the captains saying; "We suffer want and our
victuals are depleted and are losing much people, while the place we have under
siege is very strong.
34. And since
we have more urgent business at home to keep peace in the kingdom, let us make
peace with this people and suffer it that they keep their law as they have, for
it is for that reason in that we are trying to abolish their laws that they are
angry and fight so courageously."
then and the princes consented, and the sent to make peace, and they accepted
the peace, and the king and the princes made an oath wherefore they came out of
king entered into mount Zion, but seeing how strong the place was - he broke his
oath and commanded the walls to be pulled down round about.
37. Then he
departed in all haste returning to Antioch where he found Phillip to be master
of the city, and he fought against him taking the city by force.
Demetrius led to go up against Judas.
the 151st year then Demetrius, son of Seleucus, departed from Rome and came with
few men to the city by the sea coast and reigned there.
as he entered into the palace of his ancestors it came to pass that his forces
had taken Antiochus and Lysias and were bringing them to him.
3. But he
said; "Let me not see their faces". Demetrius thus killed them and having seated himself on the
throne of his kingdom, there came to him all the wicked and ungodly men of
Israel one of which was named Alcimus who desired to be high priest.
4. And they
accused the people of Israel before the king saying; "Judas and his
brothers have killed all your friends and driven us out of our land.
therefore someone whom you trust and let him see how they have wrought havoc
among us and in the king's land, and let him punish them inclusive all that give
6. Then the
king choose Bacchides, a friend in whom he trusted, who was captain of the
territory on this side of the Euphrates, this one he sent with that wicked
Alcimus whom he had made high priest and commanded him to punish the people of
7. So they
departed and came with a great army into the land of Judea where they sent
messengers to Judas and his brothers to talk of peace.
But it was deceit, nor did Judas believe them since they had come with a
8. But many
of the scribes went to Alcimus and Bacchides, and also many others of the people
of Israel who sought peace and expected only goodness from Alcimus.
9. For they
said, "Alcimus a priest of the seed of Aaron will do us no harm."
And Alcimus spoke to them of peace and made an oath saying "We shall
not harm you and your friends." And
they believed him.
however took 60 of them and slew them in one day like as it is written.
"The flesh of Thy holy ones they have cast out, and their blood they
have shed around Jerusalem, and there was none to bury them."
because of this a great fear came on all the people who said; there is neither
truth nor righteousness in Alcimus for he broke the covenant and the oath which
this, Bacchides went from Jerusalem and pitched his tents at Bezetrh where he
sent and took many of the men that had forsaken him, and he slew them and cast
them in a great pit. He then
committed the country and the men of war to Alcimus while he himself went to the
Alcimus contending for the high priesthood took all the deserters and traitors
in Israel to himself and took the land with force, doing much hurt to the people
and troubling them.
then seeing how Alcimus with the deserters of his people were doing more harm
than the heathens had done, he went round about the land of Judea to punish them
that had revolted from him, preventing them with fear that they no longer dared
to go back and forth in the country.
Alcimus seeing that Judas had again become mighty and gotten the upper hand, and
that he was unable to withstand him, he went to the king and spoke the worst
that he could of them.
Nicanor defeated and slain by Judas.
16. Then the
king sent Nicanor, one of his honorable princes, one who bore deadly hate
towards Israel, with the command to destroy the people.
Nicanor came to Jerusalem with a great force and deceitfully sent to Judas and
his brothers friendly words saying. "Let
there be no battle between you and me, I will come with a few men to see you in
came to Judas and they saluted one another peacefully, Nicanor however was
preparing to take Judas with force, but this became known to Judas so that he
did not go again to see him.
then seeing that his plan was discovered went out to fight Judas as Capharsalama, there however he lost about 5000 men with the rest fleeing to the
fortress of David.
this Nicanor went up to mount Zion, and certain of the priest and elders came
out of the sanctuary to salute him peacefully and to show that they offered
sacrifices for the king.
21. But he
mocked them laughing at them and abusing them shamefully, and speaking proudly
he swore in wrath saying; "Unless you deliver Judas and his host into my
hands I will burn this house if and when I return safely."
And with that he went out in great rage.
priest then entered the sanctuary and stood before the altar-weeping saying.
"Thou O Lord chose this house to be called by Thy name, to be a
house of prayer and petition for Thy people, be Thou avenged of this man and his
host, and let them fall by the sword, remember their blasphemies and suffer them
not to continue any longer."
now pitched his tents at Beth-horon where a host of Syrians met him, but Judas
pitched at Adasa with 3000 men, and there he prayed saying;
Lord when they that were sent from Sanherib blasphemed, Thy angel went out and
smote 185.000 of them, even so destroy now this host before us this day, that
the rest may know that he has spoken blasphemously against Thy sanctuary, and
judge him according to his wickedness."
25. And on
the 13th day of the month Adar the host joined battle, and the host of Nicanor
was defeated and himself was the first to be killed in the battle, his men then
seeing their leader was slain - they cast away their weapons and fled.
26. The men
of Judas however pursued them a day's journey, from Adasa to Gazera with Judas
sounding an alarm after them with trumpets so that all the people from all
around came and closed in the enemy to slay them all, and none were left.
they took the spoils and cut off Nicanor's head and his right hand, which he had
stretched out so proudly, and they brought them hanging them up towards
people then rejoiced greatly, and kept that day as a day of great gladness
ordaining it to keep it yearly, it being the 13th of Adar, and so the land of
Judah was in a little rest.
now had heard of the fame of the Romans that they were mighty and valiant men,
and that they gladly accepted strangers to them protecting them, and that they
kept their trust.
2. And it
was also told to him of their wars and the noble acts they had done among the
Galatians, how they conquered them and brought them under tribute, and of what
they had done in Spain taking the mines where silver and gold was mined.
3. And that
with counsel and endurance they had conquered many places, and had defeated many
kings who had come from far places and forced them to pay tribute every year.
4. And they
had defeated Philip in battle and Persues king of the Citims, and still others
that had lifted themselves against them, and how Antiochus had come against them
in battle with 120 elephants and cavalry and chariots, a very great army, and
were defeated by them.
5. And they
had forced Antiochus to pray for peace and levied a great tribute on him and his
descendants to grant each year to the Romans, and on top of that he had to award
him with hostages.
6. And they
took from him India, Media, and Lydia, the goodliest countries, and gave them to
king Eumenes, and also how the Greeks had determined to come up against them,
but they having knowledge thereof sent a certain captain who slew many of them.
7. And they
took possession of their land pulling down their cities and walls, and spoiling
them they took their wives and children captive making them servants to this
8. It was
also told to Judas how they destroyed and dominated all other kingdoms that
resisted them, but with their friends and such others who relied on them - they
9. So it was
said that they were mighty and feared in all countries, and whosoever they
helped - were protected, but whosoever they wished to punish they would unsettle
of land and people.
10. They thus
were very strong, and this virtue they had, that no one was king among them, nor
did they have a king, but a counsel in which there were 320 men who ruled well.
And that they committed their government by choosing one man each year to
rule over all their dominion, and they were all obedient to that one, nor was
there envy nor emulation among them.
Treaty between Judas and the Romans.
consideration of these things then Judas chose Eupolemus, the son of John, son
of Accos, and Jason, son of Eleazar, and sent these to Rome to make a treaty of
peace with them.
12. And to
ask them for help, for they saw that the kingdom of the Greeks wished to oppress
Israel with servitude, and thus they went to Rome, which was a very great
coming to the senate they said; "Judas Maccabees with his brothers and the
people of the Jews have sent us to you to make a treaty of peace with you, and
that you might protect us and be bond-members and friends with us.
pleased the Romans well, and they wrote the treaty on tables of brass that they
might be as a memorial of peace, and so sent them back to Jerusalem.
15. The copy
then reads as follows; Good success be to the Romans and to the people of the
Jews by sea and by land forever, let the sword and the enemy be far from them.
16. If however war comes upon Rome or any of their friends throughout their dominion the people of the Jews shall help them as the need may be, nor shall they aid any enemy of the Romans with any weapons, food, moneys, or ships.
17. This the
Romans demand of the Jews, and they shall be faithful to this without deceit,
and in the same manner if war comes on the nation of the Jews the Romans shall
help them as the need may be, nor shall any food, weapons, moneys or ships be
given to their enemies.
to these articles then the Romans made a covenant with the people of the Jews,
if however one or the other party shall wish to add or diminish anything, they
may do so at their pleasure, and whatsoever it be - it shall be ratified.
concerning the evils that Demetrius does to the Jews, we have written to him
saying; why have you make your yoke heavy on our friends and bonds-men the Jews?
If therefore they complain once more against you we will do them justice
fighting with you by sea and by land.
The defeat and death of Judas.
when Demetrius heard that Nicanor and his host were slain in battle, he sent
Bacchides and Alcimus into the land of Judea a second time with the best of his
2. And they
went forth by the way that leads to Galgala, and pitched their tents before
Masaloth which is in Arbela, and taking it they slew much people.
this in the 152 year in the first month, they came to Jerusalem, and from there
went to serea with 20.000 footmen and 200 men of cavalry.
then had pitched his tents at Elesa with 3000 chosen men, but they seeing the
multitude of the enemy - they became afraid and fled so that no more than 800
men remained with Judas.
then seeing how his host had slipped away while the battle pressed on him, he
was fearful in his mind and very much distressed for he had no time to gather
6. He then
said to those who remained. "Let
us arise and try us against the enemy if perhaps we may battle with them".
But they said; "We cannot, we are not able, but let us rather save
our lives and return later after having gathered our brothers, for we are but
Judas said, "God forbid that I should do this thing - to flee from them, if
our time is come then let us die manfully for our brothers and not stain our
8. And with
that the host of Bacchides came out of their tents and stood over against them
their cavalry divided in two troops with the archers and slingers ahead, and
they which marched at the front were all mighty men.
himself then was on the right wing, and so they drew near sounding the trumpets
and those of Judas also sounded the trumpets so that the earth shook at the
noise of the armies.
10. And the
battle continued from morning till night, and Judas perceiving that Bacchides
and the strength of his army was on the right side, he took with him the hardy
men and defeated the right wing and pursued them to mount Azotus.
11. But when
the men on the left wing saw that those of the right were defeated, they
followed Judas and those with him on their very heels, and there arose a battle
in which many were slain on both sides, and Judas also was killed, and the rest
12. Simon and
Jonathan then took their brother Judas and buried him in the sepulcher of his
fathers in Modin, and all Israel bewailed him making great lamentation mourning
many days saying; How is the valiant man fallen that delivered Israel!
13. And as
for the other things concerning Judas, his wars and noble acts which he did, and
his greatness, these are because of their multitude not written.
Jonathan succeeds Judas.
14. After the
death of Judas then the wicked became strong in all the land of Israel, and in
these days a great famine arose for which reason the people gave themselves over
Bacchides chose wicked men making them lords of the country, and they searched
for all the friends of Judas to bring them before Bacchides who took vengeance
on them using them despitefully.
there was a great affliction in Israel the likes of which had not been since
there was a prophet among them, and for this cause Judas friends came together
and said to Jonathan'
your brother Judas died we have no man like him to go forth against our enemies
and against Bacchides who persecutes us, we choose you therefore this day as our
prince and captain in his stead that you may fight our battles.
Jonathan then took the governance on himself.
Bacchides getting knowledge thereof sought to slay him, and Jonathan with Simon
his brother and all that were with them - perceiving this, they fled into the
wilderness of Thecoa pitching their tents by the water of the pool Asphar.
Bacchides getting wind of this, came near to the Jordan with his entire host,
meanwhile Jonathan had sent his brother John to ask of his friends the
Nabathites if he might store his supplies with them.
20. But the
children of Jamri came out of Medaba and took John and all that he had, and went
word came to Jonathan and Simon that the children of Jamri were making a great
marriage and bringing a bride from Nadabatha with much people, she being the
daughter of one of the great princes of Chanaan.
remembered their brother John, thinking they had killed him, and they hid
themselves under the cover of the mountain and beheld the children of Jamri as
the bride came forth.
this came with many friends, with drums, with flutes, and with many weapons,
then Jonathan and they that were with him fell on them from their place of ambush and
made a slaughter of them killing many while the remnant fled into the mountains,
but they took their spoils.
marriage turned into mourning and the sound of their melody into lamentation, in
this way they avenged the murder of their brother, and turning again they went
to the Jordan.
then hearing thereof came out on the Sabbath on the banks of the Jordan with
great power, and Jonathan said to his company; "Rise and let us fight for
our lives, for we cannot now lay still as before.
26. For the
enemy is near and we must defend ourselves, nor can we escape since we have
enemies in front and behind us, and also the river is on one side and swamps and
mountains on the other side, you therefore must call to heaven that you may be
delivered of your enemies."
that they joined battle, and Jonathan reached forth to slay Bacchides, but he
turned back from him, then Jonathan and his friends went into the water of
Jordan swimming to the other side.
28. But those
of Bacchides were not so brave to cross the Jordan, and so there were slain of
the men of Bacchides that day about 1000 men.
Bacchides reinforces the cities.
Bacchides, returning to Jerusalem, repaired the strong cities in Judea namely
the forts in Jericho, Emmnas, Bethhoron, Bethel, Thamnatha, Phatathoni, and
Taphon, these he strengthened with high walls and gates with bars.
30. And he
put garrisons in them so they might work malice on Israel, and he also fortified
the cities of Bethsura and Gazara, and the fortress at Jerusalem placing forces
and stores of food therein.
31. Aside of
that he took the children of the chief men of the country as hostages placing
them to be kept in the towers of Jerusalem.
32. In the
153rd year then in the second month, Alcimus commanded the walls of the inner
court, which the holy prophets had caused to be built, to be pulled down.
But having begun this work God punished him with Palsy so that he could
not speak any longer to give orders, and the work was hindered.
33. And so he
died in great torments, and Bacchides, seeing that Alcimus was dead, he returned
to the king, and the land of Judea had rest for two years.
34. But the
ungodly in the land held counsel saying; Behold, Jonathan and his company are at
ease dwelling without care, let us therefore bring back Bacchides to take them
all in one night.
35. So they
went and told him their counsel, and Bacchides rose up and came with a great
host, and he secretly sent letters to his adherents in Judea that they should
take Jonathan and them that were with him.
Jonathan was told of it for which reason it failed, and he captured 50 of these
authors of mischief and slew them.
Jonathan and Simon and their company went into the wilderness to a place called
Bethbasi - which they rebuilt making it strong.
Bacchides getting knowledge of it gathered his host together with them of Judea
and laid siege against Bethbasi for some time making engines for war.
then left the city to his brother Simon and went forth and smote Odonarkes and
his brothers the children of Pharison in their tents. And while doing so more came to him so that he became still
Simon and his company came out also and burned the engines of war, and fought
with Bacchides who was defeated before them.
Bacchides was very displeased that his plan had failed, and he was angry with
the Jews who had counseled him to come to Judea, and he slew many of them and
prepared himself to return to his country.
then coming to know this, sent ambassadors to him to bid peace with him, and to
return the prisoners, which Bacchides accepted doing as Jonathan had bid him,
and he swore to him that he would never again do harm to him all the days of his
therefore restored the prisoners and returned to his own land, nor did he come
anymore into the land of Judea, so the sword ceased from Israel, and Jonathan
dwelt at Machmas and governed the people, and destroyed the ungodly men out of
Demetrius seeks friendship with Jonathan.
the 160th year then, Alexander son of Antiochus surnamed Epifanes, went and took
Ptolemais and ruled there.
2. Then king
Demetrius hearing this gathered an exceedingly great host and went forth to
drive him out of there, and he wrote to Jonathan promising peace to him.
3. For he
thought; it is better that I first make peace with him to bring him to my side
before he might join Alexander, for perhaps he might recall all the evils that I
did to him and his people.
4. It was
therefore that Demetrius wrote to Jonathan giving him authority to gather men of
war, and to make weapons so he might aid him in battle, and he commanded the
hostages that were in the tower to be released.
then went to Jerusalem and read these letters in the hearing of all the people
and of them that were in the tower. And
they hearing that the king had given him authority to gather men for war and
make weapons, they feared greatly and released the hostages, which Jonathan
returned to their families.
then settled in Jerusalem and began to repair the city, he caused the walls to
be raised and built mount Zion with square stones, and thus Jerusalem was being
caused the heathen that were in the fortresses that Bacchides had built, to flee
away into their own country, except at Bethsura where all the deserters went to
as a place of refuge.
Alexander attempts to gain Jonathanís
Alexander now hearing what promises were sent to Jonathan by Demetrius, and
concerning the valiant acts which were done by Jonathan and his brothers, he
said; Where shall we find another such man?
Let us therefore write to him to be our friend and comrade.
9. So he
sent saying; "King Alexander to his brother Jonathan, greetings, we have
heard that you are a man of great power, and we wish to be your friend, we
therefore ordain you this day to high priest of your people and to be called the
10. And with
this we sent to you a purple robe and a golden crown, be therefore faithful to
us and be our friend."
11. In the
seventh month therefore of the 160th year, at the feast of tabernacles Jonathan
put on the robe and gathered forces and made much armor.
Demetrius offers still more.
however was grieved on hearing that Alexander had turned the Jews away from him
thereby strengthening himself, and he decided to speak friendly to them offering
goods and honor to gain their support for him.
13. He thus
wrote, King Demetrius to the people of the Jews, greetings.
We rejoice that you have kept the covenant with us and continued in our
friendship not joining with our enemies.
therefore in our continuing friendship wish to reward you for the things which
you do on our behalf granting you immunity and rewards.
therefore for your sakes release all the Jews from tributes and from the customs
of salt and from taxes, and from that which attains unto the third part of the
seed, and half of the fruit of the trees.
this day I release you that they may not be taken out of the land of Judea, nor
of the three territories which are added thereto from the country of Samaria and
Jerusalem be holy and free from all burdens, tributes, and tenths, and I yield
up my authority over the tower at Jerusalem which shall be given to the high
priest to set men in it as he chooses.
18. And all
prisoners in my territory shall be set at liberty, and my officers will remit
them the tributes of their cattle.
there will be freedom in my entire kingdom for their Sabbath's, their new moons,
and other solemn days. And no man
shall have authority to meddle with them, nor to molest them in any matter.
20. Let then
30.000 men be chosen in Judea to be enrolled in the king's army to be placed in
the king's strong cities for which they will be paid.
And some will be given to be high counselors to the king, and all the
Jews shall have their own officers so they may keep their laws.
21. And the
three territories added to Judea, from the country of Samaria shall not be
subordinate to anyone but to the high priest to reckon him the authority.
22. And as
for Ptolemais and the land pertaining to it, I grant it as gift for the
sanctuary at Jerusalem for its expenses, and I grant each year 15.000 shekels of
silver of the king's account from the most convenient places.
23. And all
that my officers formerly owed for the temple shall from now on be given
together with the 5000 shekels of silver which my officers withheld from the
income of the temple shall be given to the priests yearly.
24. And this
liberty shall also be to the temple, that anyone who deserves to be punished in
all of my kingdom, and that flees to the temple or what pertains thereto, shall
be safe there with life and goods.
25. And for
the building of the walls of Jerusalem, and for the fortifications, the expenses
thereof shall be given of the king's account.
Jonathan keeps himself to Alexander.
however and his people when they heard these words did not trust them, for they
recalled how unfaithful he was and the evils he had done in Israel.
And they decided to help Alexander who previously had sought friendship
and peace with them, and these they gave their help all their days.
Alexander and Demetrius then gathered against each other the kings joining
battle, the army of Demetrius fled, but Alexander pursued them and prevailed
against them, the battle lasted from morning to sunset, and Demetrius was slain
in that day.
Alexander sent messengers to Ptolemy king of Egypt saying; "Since I have
again come into my realm and am seated on the throne having overthrown Demetrius
recovering our country, I desire to make peace with you.
29. I entreat
you therefore that you will give your daughter to be my wife, and I will be your
son in law, and grant to you and her gifts worthy of your dignity."
then wished him happiness that he had again come into his country and he
promised to do as he had requested, and bid him to come to Ptolemais to behold
each other and to consummate the marriage.
162nd year therefore Ptolemy went out of Egypt with his daughter Cleopatra and
came to Ptolemais where Alexander met them giving his daughter into marriage
with great royal proceedings.
Alexander then had also invited Jonathan, and he went to Ptolemais with great
glory to meet the two kings, and he gave them and their friend's costly gifts of
gold and silver, and found favor in their sight.
time certain debased men of Israel went and accused Jonathan before the king,
but he would not hear of it, but instead commanded that Jonathan's garment be
changed to put on him a purple robe, and he be led through the city making
proclamation that no man make any complaint against him of any matter.
accusers then seeing the king honored him so highly, counting him among his
highest friends, making him ride with him in royal proceedings, they fled.
Afterwards Jonathan returned to Jerusalem with peace and gladness.
Jonathan resists Demetrius the 2nd.
165th year Demetrius, son of Demetrius, came out of Crete to the land of his
fathers, and Alexander in fear returned to Antioch.
then obtained Appolonius governor of Celesyria, as his general who gathered a
great host and camped in Jamnia, and he sent to Jonathan the high priest saying;
resists us except you, and for your sake I am reproached, you may vaunt yourself
in the mountains, but if you have any trust in your power come then into the
plain and let us try each other.
me is the power of the cities, and if you care to ask how strong we are, I and
those with me, they will tell you that you will not be able to stand up to them
before whom your fathers have twice been put to flight in your land.
therefore will you be able to stand in the open plain against our might on foot
and horseback where there are no mountains and rocks to flee to."
then at hearing this was angry and he gathered 10.000 men and went out of
Jerusalem and Simon his brother met him, and they pitched their tents before
men of Joppe did not let them in, for there was a garrison of Appolonius there,
then Jonathan assaulted the city, and the men for fear of him opened to him, and
thus he took Joppe.
Jonathan defeats Appolonius.
then on hearing this took a cavalry of 3000 men with a great host on foot and
acted as though he wished to go to Ashdoth to so draw Jonathan in the open
plain, for he had a great cavalry in which he trusted.
Jonathan followed after him to Ashdoth where the armies joined battle,
Appolonius however had placed 1000 horsemen in ambush.
Jonathan discovering that an ambush was placed behind him, and that they had
surrounded him, he held still with his people, and they cast darts at them from
morning till evening till the horses tired.
Simon put forth his host, and the enemy being wearied, were spread out, and fled
to Ashdoth where they went into the temple of dagon for safety.
Jonathan set fire to Ashdoth and the cities round about it, and took their
spoils, and he burned the temple with all that had fled in it, and the number of
the slain and burned were about 8.000.
there Jonathan went to Askalon where the men of the city came out meeting him
with great pomp, afterwards he returned to Jerusalem with much spoils.
48. Alexander then hearing of this honored Jonathan yet more, and sent him a golden girdle which only such receive as are of the blood of kings, and he gave him Ekron with what pertained to it.
Ptolemy's deceit against Alexander.
king of Egypt now gathered a host like the sand of the seashore and many ships,
and he went through the kingdom of Alexander to join it to his own.
therefore went with deceit to Syria as if he came as a friend, and they opened
the cities to him since Alexander had commanded them so, he being his father in
3. But in
every city in which he came he left a garrison. And coming to Ashdoth they showed him the burned temple of
dagon and the burned city, and all that Jonathan had done together with the dead
bodies which they had cast on a heaps for him on the wayside.
4. They also
told him whatsoever Jonathan had done in order to assert the king's disapproval
against him, but the king held his peace.
Jonathan met the king at Joppe where they lodged that night, and Jonathan
accompanied the king to the river Eleutherus, after which he returned to
Ptolemy therefore having obtained the cities by the sea up to Selucia thought to
drive out Alexander, and he sent ambassadors to Demetrius the 2nd saying.
"Come let us make a league and I will give you my daughter whom
Alexander has, and you shall reign in your father's kingdom, for now it grieves
me that I gave my daughter to him, for he sought to slay me."
7. Thus did
he slander Alexander because he wanted his kingdom, and he took his daughter
from him and gave her to Demetrius, so he forsook Alexander, and their hatred
was openly known.
Ptolemy having come in Antioch, he set both crowns on his head, the crown of
Asia and of Egypt.
Alexander meanwhile was in Cilicia, for those that lived there had revolted
against him, and on hearing these events Alexander brought his host up in war
Ptolemy met him with a mighty power, and Alexander fled to Arabia for safety,
but Ptolemy was exalted, for Zabdiel the Arabian, cut off the head of Alexander
and sent it to Ptolemy.
11. And three
days afterwards King Ptolemy also died, and the men in the garrison in the
cities were slain by the people thereof, and so Demetrius reigned in the 167th
Jonathan consoles himself with Demetrius.
12. In these
days Jonathan gathered them that were in Judea to take the tower that was in
Jerusalem, and he made engines of war against it.
certain ungodly persons who hated their own people went to the king telling him
that Jonathan besieged the tower.
king being angry went to Ptolemais and wrote Jonathan not to lay siege to the
tower, and to come to him in haste for he had matters to discuss with him.
however on hearing this did not abandon the siege but chose certain elders and
priests to go with him, and he went taking a chance against his life.
16. And he
took with him costly things of silver and gold and raiment's and other various
presents, and went to Ptolemais to the king where he found favor in his sight.
though certain ungodly men of the people made complaints against him, the king
nonetheless held him in honor as he had been before and honored him before all
his friends and confirmed him in his high priesthood and all the honors he had
Jonathan desired of the king that he would free Judea and the three territories
from tribute, and promised him 300 talents of gold, and the king consented and
put it in writing saying;
Demetrius to his brother Jonathan and to the nation of the Jews, greetings, we
are sending you a copy of the letter which we wrote to our cousin Lasthenes
concerning you that you might see it.
Demetrius to his cousin Lasthenes, greetings, we are determined to do good to
the people of the Jews who are our friends, and to keep covenant with them
because of their good will towards us.
21. We have
ratified that all of Judea with the three territories Apherema, Lydda, and
Ramathem, and all things pertaining thereto shall be owned to all of them that
sacrifice at Jerusalem.
forfeit all of the payments and tributes which before time the king received of
them, and we discharge them of all of the fruit of the trees, the tithes,
customs, salt, crown taxes, and all other.
freedom shall be to them for all time, see therefore that you give this copy to
Jonathan that he may set it on the holy mountain in a public place."
Jonathan helps Demetrius against his
Demetrius then seeing that his kingdom was quiet, that no resistance was made
against him, he let his men of war go to their homes each to their own city,
except the strangers which he had gathered from the various isles.
And for this reason the people of the inland areas became angry with him.
25. There was
then a man named Tryphon who had been a friend of Alexander, and he perceiving
that they harbored hatred against Demetrius he went to Simalcus the Arabian who
had brought up the son of Alexander.
reasoned with him to grant him the young Antiochus so that he might place him in
his father's stead, and he told him what all Demetrius had done and why the
people hated him, and so he remained with him for some time.
meanwhile requested from King Demetrius that he would command those who were
holding the tower at Jerusalem to forfeit it, for they were causing harm to
then sent to Jonathan saying. "Not
only will I do this for you and your people, but I will greatly honor you and
your people as soon as I am able, but at the moment I am in great need.
You do well therefore if you sent me men to help me, for all my men have
left me and are against me."
Jonathan sent him 3000 strong men that came to the king at Antioch, and the king
was very glad in seeing them.
in the city however gathered themselves together to a number of 120.000 men, and
they would have slain the king, but he fled into his court.
31. Then the
people took to the streets planning to assault the court.
The King then called for the Jews to help him, and they coming all at
once, dispersing themselves in the streets throughout the city, in that day slew
100.000 of these men, and set fire to the city and took the spoils, thus they
delivered the king.
remainder of the people then seeing that the Jews had gained their hand on the
city, their courage was abated and they called on the king for peace so that the
Jews would not kill all of them and lay their city to ruins.
33. And so
peace was made, and the men of Israel withheld their swords, and they were
highly honored by the king and by all that were in his realm, and they returned
to Jerusalem with great spoils.
then being safely on his throne again, and the land having rest, he did not keep
his word to Jonathan in none of what he had promised him, but turned away from
Him, being very ungrateful acting deceitfully against him.
Jonathan supports Antiochus.
thereafter Tryphon came with the young Antiochus, and this Antiochus was crowned
king, and to him gathered all the men of war whom Demetrius had sent away.
36. And they
fought against Demetrius who fled before them, and so Tryphon took the elephants
that time the young Antioch wrote to Jonathan saying; "I confirm you in
your high priesthood, and appoint you ruler over the four governments as one of
the king's friends".
38. And he
sent him golden vessels from which to drink, and clothing of purple to wear, and
a golden girdle with which to gird himself, and his brother Simon he made
captain of the land from Tyrus to the borders of Egypt.
then passing over the Euphrates coming to the cities beyond there gathered to
him all the forces of Syria to help him.
coming to Askalon they of the city came out to meet him with honor, from there
he went to Gaza, but they shut him out wherefore he laid siege to the city and
burned the suburbs thereof and spoiling them.
41. Then the
men of Gaza sued for peace, and Jonathan made peace with them, but he took the
children of their chief men as hostages sending them to Jerusalem, then he
passed on through the country to Damascus.
Jonathan then heard that the princes of Demetrius were come to Cades in Galilee
with a great power intending to hinder him, he went out to meet them leaving his
brother Simon in charge in the land.
then encamped against Bethsura and besieged it a long while, and they not daring
to attack him asked for peace, which then he granted, and he let them go freely,
but he took the city and placed a garrison in it.
44. As for
Jonathan and his host, they pitched at the water of Gennesar from where in the
morning they went to the plain of Nasor.
heathen then came up against them in the open field, and many were in ambush in
the mountains, when Jonathan then attacked those in the field the rest that were
in ambush also came to join battle.
men of Jonathan fled, so many in fact that only the captains were left namely;
Mattathias the son of Absalom, and Judas the son of Calphi.
Jonathan rent his clothes and threw dirt on his head, and he prayed and turned
attacking his enemies driving them to flee before him.
48. And his
men who had fled, when they saw this they turned again to him to help Jonathan,
and they pursued them to Cades to their own tents, and there Jonathan also
were slain of the heathens in that day about 3000 men, and Jonathan returned
again to Jerusalem.
renews the covenant with Rome.
when Jonathan saw that time was at his hand to serve him, he chose certain men
sending them to Rome to confirm and renew the friendship that they had with
2. And also
to the Lacedemonians and to other places he sent letters for the same purpose,
and the men that were sent to Rome having come before the senate said;
the high priest and the people of the Jews sent us to you to renew the
friendship which we had with you, and the Romans gave them letters giving them a
peaceful journey home again.
4. And this
is the copy of the letter which Jonathan wrote to the Lacedemonians;
"Jonathan the high priest and the elders of the nation, the priests and the
other people of the Jews to the Lacedemonians our brothers, greetings.
5. In times
passed letters were sent to the high priest Onias from Darius who then reigned
among you that you were our brothers, and Onias accepted the ambassador with
honor, and accepted the declaration of friendship in the nature of the letters.
though we have no need of the help of others at this time, for we have the holy
scriptures, the word of God for our comfort, we nevertheless are sending to you
for a renewal of our friendship lest we should become strangers, for it has been
a long time since you sent to us.
7. We at all
times both in our feasts and offerings remember you in the sacrifices and in the
prayers, which we offer as it becomes brothers to remember one another.
8. And your
honor and prosperity is gladness to us, we however have had much trouble and war
with the kings on all sides, but we do not wish to trouble you nor our other
friends in these wars.
9. For we
have had help from heaven in these wars, the Lord our God delivering us from our
enemies, and our enemies were brought under foot.
10. And while
we choose Numenius the son of Antioch, and Antipater the son of Jason sending
them to the Romans to renew the amity that we had with them, we commanded them
also to go to you and to salute you and to deliver to you our letters concerning
the renewal of our friendship. We therefore request an answer.
11. And this
is the copy of the letter which Onarius sent; Areus king of the Lacedemonians to
Onias the high priest, greetings.
12. It is
found in the writings that the Lacedemonians and the Jews are brothers, both
being of the stock of Abraham, and since this is come to our knowledge, we
entreat you to write to us regarding your prosperity.
13. And if it
pleases you, our cattle and our goods shall be as were it yours, and your goods
as were they ours, this we commanded our ambassadors to tell you.
Jonathan and Simon pass through the
this Jonathan heard that the princes of Demetrius had again come with a greater
might to come up against him, and he went from Jerusalem and them in the land of
Amathis, for he did not wish to wait till they had gone as far as to enter his
having sent spies to their camp they reported that they were ready to attack
them during the night, Jonathan therefore commanded his men to be at watch and
at arms at all times that whole night ready to fight, and placed guards all
around the camp.
adversaries then when they took notice that Jonathan and his men were ready for
battle, fear took hold of them and they broke up and departed leaving fires in
the camp to hide their departure.
reason Jonathan did not know they had departed until the morning, seeing the
fires burning, he then pursued after them but did not overtake them for they had
gone over the river Eleutherus.
Jonathan turned to the Arabians, the Zabadeans, and smote them and took their
spoils, and from there went to Damascus passing through all the countryside.
however went to Askalon and to the strongholds there about, and turned aside to
Joppe, for he had obtained knowledge that they were ready to give themselves to
the princes of Demetrius, thus he forename that and placed a garrison in it.
Jonathan went home again and held counsel with the elders to build strongholds
in Judea, and to make the walls of Jerusalem higher, and to raise a great wall
between the tower and the city to separate it.
21. This was
so that it might be independent and those of the tower could not fall on the
city nor even sell or buy in it.
people then came together and built, while the wall on the other side of the
brook in the east was not renewed, thus they repaired that which was called
Casphenatha, and Simon set up Adida in Sehela making it strong with gates and
Jonathan taken prisoner.
now went about-to obtain the kingdom of Asia and to kill Antiochus to set the
crown on his own head, he however was afraid of Jonathan that he would not allow
it, wherefore he sought to take Jonathan to kill him.
24. So he
came to Bethsan, and Jonathan went out to meet him with 40.000 men ready for
battle, but Tryphon seeing how Jonathan came with a great force was afraid to
take him on openly.
instead he received him with honors and gifts, and commanded his men to be
obedient to him as to himself, and to Jonathan he said; "Why do you trouble
these people seeing there is no war between us?
26. Send them
therefore home again and choose only a few men to wait on you, and come with me
to Ptolemais which I will give to you and also the rest of the strongholds and
also the forces, that you have charge of them, for as for me I will depart and
return since this was my reason for coming."
then believing him did as he bade him sending his host away to the land of Judea
retaining only 3000 men with himself of whom he sent 2000 into Galilee and 1000
28. But as
soon as Jonathan entered Ptolemais they shut the gate and took him prisoner
while they killed the men that were with him.
then sent a host of footmen and cavalry to Galilee to destroy the rest of his
men in the plain, but they becoming aware of the fact that Jonathan had been
taken, and his men slain, they encouraged one another and boldly came up against
30. Then the
men of Tryphon seeing Jonathan's men were ready to fight for their lives - they
turned back, and the men of Judea came safely home, and there they bewailed
Jonathan and them that had been with him with great lamentation in all of
the heathen that were round about sought to destroy them, for they said; They
have no captain, nor any help to them, let us therefore make war on them and
take away their memorial among men.
Simon hearing that Tryphon had gathered a great host to invade Judea to destroy
it, and beholding the people in fear and trembling, he went up to Jerusalem, and
gathering the people he exhorted them saying;
know what great things I and my brothers and my father have done for the law and
the sanctuary, and you have seen the need in which all of Israel has been for
which reason, for the sake of Israel, my brothers have died, and I alone am
3. It be far
from me however that I should spare myself in any time of trouble, for I am no
better than my brothers. But I will
rather avenge my nation and the sanctuary, and our wives and children, for all
the heathen are gathered to destroy us out of malice.
people then hearing these words revived in their spirit and said; "You
shall be our leader instead of Judas and Jonathan your brothers, fight our
battles, and whatsoever you command - we shall do".
5. He then
gathered all the men of war, and hasted to finish the walls of Jerusalem
fortifying it round about, and he sent Jonathan son of Absolon, with a great
power to Joppe who threw out the enemies there.
Simon attempts to rescue Jonathan.
then removed himself from Ptolemais width a great army to invade the land of
Judea, and took Jonathan as prisoner with him, but Simon went up and pitched his
tents at Adida over against the plain.
Tryphon discovering that Simon had risen up in the place of Jonathan, and meant
to join battle with him, he sent messengers saying. "It is for the sum of money owing to the king's treasure
that we hold Jonathan your brother, sent therefore 100 talents of silver, and
two of his sons for hostages, so that when he is again at liberty that he will
not revolt against us, and we will let him go."
however realizing they spoke deceitfully, did nonetheless sent them the money
and the children for sake of the people that would come to have hate him, saying
It is because he did not sent the money and the children that now Jonathan is
therefore sent the children and the silver, but Tryphon did not keep his word,
Jonathan thus did not go free.
Jonathan's death and burial.
he went forth invading the land going alongside the countryside on a way that
leads to Adora, but Simon and his men marched with him all along the way, and
wherever he attempted to invade - he resisted them.
11. And those
that were in the tower sent to Tryphon that he should come up to them through
the wilderness before Simon could get knowledge- of it, and they would sent them
therefore made his cavalry ready to come to them, but that night a very heavy
snow fell for which reason they were unable to come, so he departed and came in
the country of Galead.
having come near Bascama, he slew Jonathan, and was buried there.
Then Tryphon returned and went to his own land.
then took up the bones of his brother and buried him on Modin in the city of his
fathers, and all Israel made great lamentation for him bewailing him many days.
also built a monument on the sepulcher of his father and brothers raising it
high with cut stones, and set-up seven pyramids, one next to the other for his
father, mother, and his four brothers.
16. And he
caused great pillars to be set around it on which he hung their harnesses for an
perpetual memorial, and above the harnesses he had ships carved which were
visible from the sea, and this sepulcher at Modin stands there yet to this day.
Simon binds with Demetrius.
then dealt deceitfully with the young king Antiochus, and slew him, and reigned
in his stead crowning himself king of Asia, and troubled Israel sorely.
18. But Simon
rebuilt the strongholds in Judea fencing them with high towers and great walls,
with gates and bars, and laid up victuals.
19. And he
sent to king Demetrius to give immunity to the land, for Tryphon did nothing but
rob and spoil the land, Demetrius then answered in this manner saying;
Demetrius to Simon the high priest and friend of kings, and to the elders of the
nation of the Jews, greetings.
21. We have
received the golden crown and the scarlet robe, which you sent to us, and we are
ready to have steadfast peace with you, and to write to our officers the
immunity, which we have granted.
whatever covenant we have made with you will stand, and the strongholds, which
you have built, shall be your own. And
we forgive you for any fault committed to us, and if any other tribute is paid
in Jerusalem, it shall no more be paid, and whosoever are fit to serve in our
guard, let them be enrolled, so let there be peace between us."
23. Thus the
yoke of the heathen was taken away from Israel in the year 170.
And the people began to write in their records, "In the first year
of Simon, the high priest, governor and leader of the Jews".
then camped against Gaza closing it round about, and making engines of war he
battered a certain tower and took it, and the men of that tower leaped into the
25. Then the
people of the city lost heart to such extend that they rent their clothing and
went on the walls with their wives and children praying Simon to spare their
26. Deal not
with us according to our wickedness, but according to your mercy."
And Simon having compassion towards them fought no more there, but put
them out of the city, and cleansed the houses in which they had set-up idols.
27. And he
put the uncleanliness out of the city, and placed men in it that would keep the
law, and made it stronger than before, and built a house in it for himself.
28. And those
who were in the tower at Jerusalem were besieged so they could neither buy nor
sell, and came into great distress for want of food, and a great number died for
29. And they
cried to Simon asking for peace, giving themselves over, which thing he granted
them, and putting them out, he cleansed the tower from pollution.
entered it the 23rd day of the 2nd month on the 171st year with thanksgiving and
palm branches, harps, cymbals, violins, and with hymns and song, for a great
enemy was destroyed from out of Israel.
31. He also
ordained that it should be kept every year with gladness, and he built the hill
by the temple that was under the tower making it stronger than it had been, and
there he dwelt with his company.
32. And Simon
seeing that his son John was a valiant man, he made him captain of the host, and
he lived at Gazara.
the 172nd year Demetrius gathered his forces and went to Media to obtain help
for war against Tryphon, but Arcases, king of Persia and Media, hearing that
Demetrius had entered his borders, he sent his princes to take him alive.
2. And they
smote the men of Demetrius, and took him and brought him to Arcases where they
put him under guard.
3. And the
land of Judea had rest enjoying peace all the days that Simon lived, for he
ruled the land well doing much good, so that they gladly had him for a leader.
4. Aside of
other honorable deeds, he took the city of Joppe and the entrance of the sea,
and he enlarged the bounds of his nation and delivered many that were oppressed
or taken prisoner.
5. Gaza was
under his dominion, and Bethsura, and the tower out of which he took all the
unclean, nor was there any that resisted him.
6. Thus they
tilled their land in peace, and the earth gave her increase and the trees of the
field her fruit, the old men sat in the streets talking with each other of the
good things, and the young men put on glorious and warlike apparel.
provided food for the cities, and all manner of munitions so that his name was
renowned to the ends of the world, he made peace in the land of Israel and
rejoiced with great joy, for every man sat under his vine and fig tree.
8. For they
had nothing to fear, since no man stood up against them, the kings being
overthrown in those days.
9. And he
strengthened those of his people who were brought low, and searched out the law,
and every contender of the law and wicked person he took away, he beautified the
sanctuary, and multiplied the vessels of the temple.
10. At Rome
then, when they had heard that Jonathan was dead, they were grieved.
But hearing that Simon his brother was made high priest and ruled in his
stead - they wrote to him in tablets of brass to renew the friendship and bond
which they had made with Judas and Jonathan.
this writing was read before the congregation at Jerusalem, and also the
Lacedemonians wrote to Simon, and this is the copy thereof.
Letter of the Lacedemonians.
counsel and people of Lacedeminia to Simon the high priest, and to the elders
and the priest and people of the Jews our brothers, greetings.
ambassadors have come to us and told us that you have brought your enemies down
with great honor, and now enjoy peace, which is of great joy to us.
14. We have
also caused to be recorded in our public counsel what your ambassadors desired,
which came to renew the friendship between us and the Jews.
15. And we
concurred that these ambassadors be received with honor, and that their speech
be recorded in our public record for a perpetual memorial.
Simon again send Numenius to Rome to bring a golden shield that weighed a
thousand pounds to confirm the renewal.
people then said; "What thanks shall we give Simon and his sons, for he and
his brothers of the house of his father have established Israel, and chased the
enemies confirming their liberty."
18. So they
wrote in tables of brass to be set on pillars in mount Zion, and this is the
copy of the writing;
Letter of Rome.
19. The 18th
day of the month Ellul, in the 172nd year, the third year of Simon at Saremel,
in the great congregation of the elders, the priests, and the people of the
whole land of Judea, the following things were notified to us, to wit;
times there have been wars in the country to keep the law and the sanctuary, for
which Simon and his brothers, the sons of Mattathias, put themselves in jeopardy
resisting the enemy, and honoring their nation.
Jonathan again brought the people together accepting the head, and becoming high
priest, but being gathered to his people, the enemies came again attempting to
destroy the land, and to profane the sanctuary.
22. But Simon
rose up and fought for his nation, he armed the valiant men and paid them wages,
and fortified the cities of Judea together with Bethsura that lies at the
borders of Judea, where before there had been the arm of the enemy, but he
placed a garrison of Jews there.
23. He also
fortified Joppe which lies near the sea, and Cazara that borders to Azotus where
before the enemy had dwelled, and there also he placed Jews furnishing them with
all things needed for the repairs thereof.
people therefore seeing the acts of Simon, and into what glory he had brought
his nation, and for the justice and faith, which he kept, made him governor and
heathen were taken out of the land, and out of Jerusalem, for all things
prospered in his hand, and king Demetrius also confirmed him in the high
priesthood, and made him one of his friends honoring him with great honor.
26. For he
had heard that the Romans had called the Jews their friends, and honored their
ambassadors, and that also the Jews were well pleased that Simon should be their
governor and high priest forever until there should rise a faithful Prophet.
would be their Captain taking charge of the sanctuary, and set them over their
work and all things, and that every man would obey him, and that all writing
should be made in His name.
28. That He
should be clothed in purple, and wear gold, and that it should be unlawful for
any person or priest to break any of these things, or to gainsay His word.
Or, to gather an assembly, or be clothed in purple or wear a golden
girdle without Him, and that whosoever would do otherwise be punished.
people therefore were happy to have Simon, and to do as he said, and Simon
accepted the same, and was well pleased to be high priest, to defend them all.
30. So they
commanded that this writing be placed in brass, and be set by the sanctuary in a
public place, and copies be laid up in the treasury to the end that Simon and
his sons might have them.
of Antiochus of Syria.
king Antiochus, son of Demetrius also sent letters from the isles of the sea to
Simon the high priest, the copy of which is
Antiochus to Simon the high priest and prince of his nation, and to all the
people of the Jews, greetings.
certain rioters have taken the kingdom of my fathers, it is my purpose to
challenge them, to restore the kingdom to its former state, and to that end I
have gathered a multitude of foreign soldiers and prepared ships of war.
4. So that I
may be avenged on them that destroy the land and desolate the cities, I
therefore confirm the oblations, which were, granted you by the kings before me,
and also whatsoever other gifts they granted you.
5. I give
you leave to coin your own money for your country with your own stamp, and
Jerusalem and the sanctuary shall be free, and the armor which you have made,
and let the fortresses remain yours
6. And if
anything is owing to the king, let it be forgiven you from henceforth, and when
we have obtained our kingdom we will honor you and your nation and your temple,
with great honor, so that your honor shall be known throughout the world.
8. In the
174th year then Antiochus came into the land of his fathers, and the majority of
the men of war of Tryphon came over to Antiochus so that very few were left to
Tryphon. And he fled to Dora by the
seaside, for he realized that this was the end for him, since his forces forsook
however pursued him and camped over against Dora with a might of 120.000 men on
foot, and a cavalry of 8000 men enclosing the city both by land and sea so that
none could go in or out.
10. About the
same time Numenius and his company came from Rome with letters
to the kings and countries in which the following was written;
consul of the Romans to King Ptolemy, greetings. The ambassadors of our friends the Jews being sent to us by
Simon the high priest and the people of the Jews, came to us to renew the
friendship and league, and they brought a shield of gold that weighed a thousand
therefore though it good to write to the kings and countries that they should do
them no harm, for we have accepted the gold shield from them.
therefore there is any traitors that have fled from their country to you,
deliver them to Simon the high priest, that he may punish them according to
their own law.
14. The same
things were also written to Demetrius, Attalus, Ariarathus, and Arsatus, and to
all the countries.
Antiochus breaks with Simon.
thus as he had camped against Dora making engines of war assaulting it
continually by which means Tryphon was shut in, Simon at that time sent him 2000
men to aid him, and also silver, gold, and much armor.
16. Antiochus would not receive them, breaking the covenant which he had made
earlier, and he sent one of his friends, Athenobius, to say;
have taken Joppe and Cazara and the tower that is at Jerusalem which are cities
of my realm, and you have desolated the country there, taking what belongs to
therefore again these cities to me together with the tributes thereof, or else
give me 500 talents of silver for these cities, and for the tributes another 500
talents of silver, and if not we will come in battle against you.
therefore Athenobius came to Jerusalem and saw the glory of Simon, and the glory
of silver and gold, and his great attendance, he was astonished, but told him
the king's message.
Simon answered; "The land which we have taken is our inheritance of our
fathers which for a time was wrongfully in the hands of enemies, we therefore
brought again to ourselves what was ours, taking nothing from anyone.
concerning Joppe and Gazara, they did us great harm, nevertheless we will give
you a hundred talents for them."
however did not give him an answer, but in rage returned to the king, and told
him Simon's reply, and also of all his glory, for which the king became very
meanwhile escaped by sea to Orthosias, then the king made Condebeus captain of
the sea coast, and gave him a host of footmen and cavalry ordering him to go up
against Judea, and to built-up Cedren for war against the people, he himself
however pursued Tryphon.
then having come to Jamnia provoked the people, invading Judea, killing many and
taking prisoners, and when he had fortified Cedron he put cavalry in it, and a
garrison on foot, so they might attack the borders and roads leading to Judea,
as the king had commanded.
sons defeat the king's captain.
John the son of Simon, went up from Gazara and told his father what Condebeus
had done, and Simon said to his eldest sons Judas and John
and my brothers and my fathers house have from our youth fought against the
enemies of Israel, and things have prospered in our hands so that Israel was
often times delivered.
3. But now I
am old, while you by the grace of God are of the right age, stand therefore in
the place of me and my brothers, and fight for our nation, and let God be with
4. He then
chose 20.000 men of war of the nation with cavalry also, and he went out against
Condebeus resting that night at Modin.
rising early, they went into the plain, a mighty host of men on foot and
cavalry, there then was a brook of water between them, and John pitched over by
the water against them.
6. But when
he saw that the people were afraid to cross the water, he went himself first,
and the men beholding him, they followed.
7. He then
divided his men, cavalry with the footmen, but the cavalry of the enemy was very
great. When however they sounded
the trumpets, Condebeus and his men became afraid and fled, so that many were
slain, and the rest went to the stronghold.
the brother of John, at that time was wounded, but John followed after them
until he came to Cedron, was Condebeus had fortified, and they having also fled
into the towers and into the fields of Azotus, which John burned with fire so
that about 2000 men were slain. After
this he returned to the land of Judea.
Simon deceitfully murdered.
9. In the
land of Jericho now there was a captain named Prolemuus, a man of Abulus, who
was very rich, and the high priest Simon had given him a daughter in marriage.
lifted himself up attempting to become lord in the country, and he sought to
slay Simon and his sons with deceit.
Simon then was traveling through the country with his two sons Mattathias and
Judas, to care for the good order thereof, he came to Jericho in the year 177,
in the 11th month called Shebath, wherein the sons of Adubus received him at the
12. And he
arranged a banquet, but it was deceit, for he had hid men of war there.
So when Simon and his sons were at ease, and had drunk much, Prolemuus men rose up with their weapons and came to Simon at the banquet place, and slew
him and his two sons, and certain of his servants.
abominable treachery did this Ptolemais in Israel rewarding evil for good, and
he wrote to the king that he should sent a host to aid him, for which he would
deliver him the cities and the country.
John follows in his father's stead.
14. He also
sent to Gazara to kill John, and letters to the tribunes that they should come
to him, and he would pay them silver and gold and other rewards.
15. And still
others he sent to Jerusalem to take it and the temple, but a messenger got to
Gazara before them which told John that his father and brothers were slain, and
that he intends to kill you also.
on hearing this was very grieved, and he took them that had come to slay him,
and slew them.
17. And the
rest of the acts of John and his wars and worthy deeds which he did, they are
written in another book in the chronicles of his priesthood from the time
onwards that he was made high priest after his father.