1: After Alexander son of Philip, the Macedonian,
who came from the land of Kittim, had defeated Darius, king of the Persians and
the Medes, he succeeded him as king. (He had previously become king of Greece.)
2: He fought many battles, conquered strongholds, and put to death
the kings of the earth.
3: He advanced to the ends of the earth, and
plundered many nations. When the earth became quiet before him, he was exalted,
and his heart was lifted up.
4: He gathered a very strong army and
ruled over countries, nations, and princes, and they became tributary to him.
5: After this he fell sick and perceived that he was dying.
6: So he summoned his most honored officers, who had been brought up
with him from youth, and divided his kingdom among them while he was still
7: And after Alexander had reigned twelve years, he died.
8: Then his officers began to rule, each in his own place.
9: They all put on crowns after his death, and so did their sons
after them for many years; and they caused many evils on the earth.
10: From them came forth a sinful root, Antiochus Epiphanes, son of
Antiochus the king; he had been a hostage in Rome. He began to reign in the one
hundred and thirty-seventh year of the kingdom of the Greeks.
those days lawless men came forth from Israel, and misled many, saying, "Let us
go and make a covenant with the Gentiles round about us, for since we separated
from them many evils have come upon us."
12: This proposal pleased
13: and some of the people eagerly went to the king. He
authorized them to observe the ordinances of the Gentiles.
they built a gymnasium in Jerusalem, according to Gentile custom,
and removed the marks of circumcision, and abandoned the holy covenant. They
joined with the Gentiles and sold themselves to do evil.
Antiochus saw that his kingdom was established, he determined to become king of
the land of Egypt, that he might reign over both kingdoms.
17: So he
invaded Egypt with a strong force, with chariots and elephants and cavalry and
with a large fleet.
18: He engaged Ptolemy king of Egypt in battle,
and Ptolemy turned and fled before him, and many were wounded and fell.
19: And they captured the fortified cities in the land of Egypt, and
he plundered the land of Egypt.
20: After subduing Egypt, Antiochus
returned in the one hundred and forty-third year. He went up against Israel and
came to Jerusalem with a strong force.
21: He arrogantly entered the
sanctuary and took the golden altar, the lampstand for the light, and all its
22: He took also the table for the bread of the Presence,
the cups for drink offerings, the bowls, the golden censers, the curtain, the
crowns, and the gold decoration on the front of the temple; he stripped it all
23: He took the silver and the gold, and the costly vessels; he
took also the hidden treasures which he found.
24: Taking them all,
he departed to his own land. He committed deeds of murder, and spoke with great
25: Israel mourned deeply in every community,
26: rulers and elders groaned, maidens and young men became faint,
the beauty of women faded.
27: Every bridegroom took up the lament;
she who sat in the bridal chamber was mourning.
28: Even the land
shook for its inhabitants, and all the house of Jacob was clothed with shame.
29: Two years later the king sent to the cities of Judah a chief
collector of tribute, and he came to Jerusalem with a large force.
30: Deceitfully he spoke peaceable words to them, and they believed
him; but he suddenly fell upon the city, dealt it a severe blow, and destroyed
many people of Israel.
31: He plundered the city, burned it with
fire, and tore down its houses and its surrounding walls.
they took captive the women and children, and seized the cattle.
Then they fortified the city of David with a great strong wall and strong
towers, and it became their citadel.
34: And they stationed there a
sinful people, lawless men. These strengthened their position;
they stored up arms and food, and collecting the spoils of Jerusalem they stored
them there, and became a great snare.
36: It became an ambush against
the sanctuary, an evil adversary of Israel continually.
37: On every
side of the sanctuary they shed innocent blood; they even defiled the sanctuary.
38: Because of them the residents of Jerusalem fled; she became a
dwelling of strangers; she became strange to her offspring, and her children
39: Her sanctuary became desolate as a desert; her
feasts were turned into mourning, her sabbaths into a reproach, her honor into
40: Her dishonor now grew as great as her glory; her
exaltation was turned into mourning.
41: Then the king wrote to his
whole kingdom that all should be one people,
42: and that each should
give up his customs.
43: All the Gentiles accepted the command of the
king. Many even from Israel gladly adopted his religion; they sacrificed to
idols and profaned the sabbath.
44: And the king sent letters by
messengers to Jerusalem and the cities of Judah; he directed them to follow
customs strange to the land,
45: to forbid burnt offerings and
sacrifices and drink offerings in the sanctuary, to profane sabbaths and feasts,
46: to defile the sanctuary and the priests,
47: to build
altars and sacred precincts and shrines for idols, to sacrifice swine and
48: and to leave their sons uncircumcised. They were
to make themselves abominable by everything unclean and profane,
so that they should forget the law and change all the ordinances.
"And whoever does not obey the command of the king shall die."
such words he wrote to his whole kingdom. And he appointed inspectors over all
the people and commanded the cities of Judah to offer sacrifice, city by city.
52: Many of the people, every one who forsook the law, joined them,
and they did evil in the land;
53: they drove Israel into hiding in
every place of refuge they had.
54: Now on the fifteenth day of
Chislev, in the one hundred and forty-fifth year, they erected a desolating
sacrilege upon the altar of burnt offering. They also built altars in the
surrounding cities of Judah,
55: and burned incense at the doors of
the houses and in the streets.
56: The books of the law which they
found they tore to pieces and burned with fire.
57: Where the book of
the covenant was found in the possession of any one, or if any one adhered to
the law, the decree of the king condemned him to death.
58: They kept
using violence against Israel, against those found month after month in the
59: And on the twenty-fifth day of the month they offered
sacrifice on the altar which was upon the altar of burnt offering.
60: According to the decree, they put to death the women who had
their children circumcised,
61: and their families and those who
circumcised them; and they hung the infants from their mothers' necks.
62: But many in Israel stood firm and were resolved in their hearts
not to eat unclean food.
63: They chose to die rather than to be
defiled by food or to profane the holy covenant; and they did die.
64: And very great wrath came upon Israel.
1: In those days Mattathias the son of John, son of
Simeon, a priest of the sons of Joarib, moved from Jerusalem and settled in
2: He had five sons, John surnamed Gaddi,
4: Judas called Maccabeus,
called Avaran, and Jonathan called Apphus.
6: He saw the blasphemies
being committed in Judah and Jerusalem,
7: and said, "Alas! Why was I
born to see this, the ruin of my people, the ruin of the holy city, and to dwell
there when it was given over to the enemy, the sanctuary given over to aliens?
8: Her temple has become like a man without honor;
glorious vessels have been carried into captivity. Her babes have been killed in
her streets, her youths by the sword of the foe.
10: What nation has
not inherited her palaces and has not seized her spoils?
11: All her
adornment has been taken away; no longer free, she has become a slave.
12: And behold, our holy place, our beauty, and our glory have been
laid waste; the Gentiles have profaned it.
13: Why should we live any
14: And Mattathias and his sons rent their clothes, put on
sackcloth, and mourned greatly.
15: Then the king's officers who were
enforcing the apostasy came to the city of Modein to make them offer sacrifice.
16: Many from Israel came to them; and Mattathias and his sons were
17: Then the king's officers spoke to Mattathias as
follows: "You are a leader, honored and great in this city, and supported by
sons and brothers.
18: Now be the first to come and do what the king
commands, as all the Gentiles and the men of Judah and those that are left in
Jerusalem have done. Then you and your sons will be numbered among the friends
of the king, and you and your sons will be honored with silver and gold and many
19: But Mattathias answered and said in a loud voice: "Even
if all the nations that live under the rule of the king obey him, and have
chosen to do his commandments, departing each one from the religion of his
20: yet I and my sons and my brothers will live by the
covenant of our fathers.
21: Far be it from us to desert the law and
22: We will not obey the king's words by turning
aside from our religion to the right hand or to the left."
he had finished speaking these words, a Jew came forward in the sight of all to
offer sacrifice upon the altar in Modein, according to the king's command.
24: When Mattathias saw it, be burned with zeal and his heart was
stirred. He gave vent to righteous anger; he ran and killed him upon the altar.
25: At the same time he killed the king's officer who was forcing
them to sacrifice, and he tore down the altar.
26: Thus he burned
with zeal for the law, as Phinehas did against Zimri the son of Salu.
27: Then Mattathias cried out in the city with a loud voice, saying:
"Let every one who is zealous for the law and supports the covenant come out
28: And he and his sons fled to the hills and left all that
they had in the city.
29: Then many who were seeking righteousness
and justice went down to the wilderness to dwell there,
their sons, their wives, and their cattle, because evils pressed heavily upon
31: And it was reported to the king's officers, and to the
troops in Jerusalem the city of David, that men who had rejected the king's
command had gone down to the hiding places in the wilderness.
Many pursued them, and overtook them; they encamped opposite them and prepared
for battle against them on the sabbath day.
33: And they said to
them, "Enough of this! Come out and do what the king commands, and you will
34: But they said, "We will not come out, nor will we do what
the king commands and so profane the sabbath day."
35: Then the enemy
hastened to attack them.
36: But they did not answer them or hurl a
stone at them or block up their hiding places,
37: for they said,
"Let us all die in our innocence; heaven and earth testify for us that you are
killing us unjustly."
38: So they attacked them on the sabbath, and
they died, with their wives and children and cattle, to the number of a thousand
39: When Mattathias and his friends learned of it, they
mourned for them deeply.
40: And each said to his neighbor: "If we
all do as our brethren have done and refuse to fight with the Gentiles for our
lives and for our ordinances, they will quickly destroy us from the earth."
41: So they made this decision that day: "Let us fight against every
man who comes to attack us on the sabbath day; let us not all die as our
brethren died in their hiding places."
42: Then there united with
them a company of Hasideans, mighty warriors of Israel, every one who offered
himself willingly for the law.
43: And all who became fugitives to
escape their troubles joined them and reinforced them.
organized an army, and struck down sinners in their anger and lawless men in
their wrath; the survivors fled to the Gentiles for safety.
Mattathias and his friends went about and tore down the altars;
they forcibly circumcised all the uncircumcised boys that they found within the
borders of Israel.
47: They hunted down the arrogant men, and the
work prospered in their hands.
48: They rescued the law out of the
hands of the Gentiles and kings, and they never let the sinner gain the upper
49: Now the days drew near for Mattathias to die, and he said
to his sons: "Arrogance and reproach have now become strong; it is a time of
ruin and furious anger.
50: Now, my children, show zeal for the law,
and give your lives for the covenant of our fathers.
the deeds of the fathers, which they did in their generations; and receive great
honor and an everlasting name.
52: Was not Abraham found faithful
when tested, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness?
in the time of his distress kept the commandment, and became lord of Egypt.
54: Phinehas our father, because he was deeply zealous, received the
covenant of everlasting priesthood.
55: Joshua, because he fulfilled
the command, became a judge in Israel.
56: Caleb, because he
testified in the assembly, received an inheritance in the land.
David, because he was merciful, inherited the throne of the kingdom for ever.
58: Elijah because of great zeal for the law was taken up into
59: Hannaniah, Azariah, and Mishael believed and were saved
from the flame.
60: Daniel because of his innocence was delivered
from the mouth of the lions.
61: "And so observe, from generation to
generation, that none who put their trust in him will lack strength.
62: Do not fear the words of a sinner, for his splendor will turn
into dung and worms.
63: Today he will be exalted, but tomorrow he
will not be found, because he has returned to the dust, and his plans will
64: My children, be courageous and grow strong in the law,
for by it you will gain honor.
65: "Now behold, I know that Simeon
your brother is wise in counsel; always listen to him; he shall be your father.
66: Judas Maccabeus has been a mighty warrior from his youth; he
shall command the army for you and fight the battle against the peoples.
67: You shall rally about you all who observe the law, and avenge the
wrong done to your people.
68: Pay back the Gentiles in full, and
heed what the law commands."
69: Then he blessed them, and was
gathered to his fathers.
70: He died in the one hundred and
forty-sixth year and was buried in the tomb of his fathers at Modein. And all
Israel mourned for him with great lamentation.
1: Then Judas his son, who was called Maccabeus,
took command in his place.
2: All his brothers and all who had joined
his father helped him; they gladly fought for Israel.
3: He extended
the glory of his people. Like a giant he put on his breastplate; he girded on
his armor of war and waged battles, protecting the host by his sword.
4: He was like a lion in his deeds, like a lion's cub roaring for
5: He searched out and pursued the lawless; he burned those who
troubled his people.
6: Lawless men shrank back for fear of him; all
the evildoers were confounded; and deliverance prospered by his hand.
7: He embittered many kings, but he made Jacob glad by his deeds, and
his memory is blessed for ever.
8: He went through the cities of
Judah; he destroyed the ungodly out of the land; thus he turned away wrath from
9: He was renowned to the ends of the earth; he gathered in
those who were perishing.
10: But Apollonius gathered together
Gentiles and a large force from Samaria to fight against Israel.
When Judas learned of it, he went out to meet him, and he defeated and killed
him. Many were wounded and fell, and the rest fled.
12: Then they
seized their spoils; and Judas took the sword of Apollonius, and used it in
battle the rest of his life.
13: Now when Seron, the commander of the
Syrian army, heard that Judas had gathered a large company, including a body of
faithful men who stayed with him and went out to battle,
14: he said,
"I will make a name for myself and win honor in the kingdom. I will make war on
Judas and his companions, who scorn the king's command."
again a strong army of ungodly men went up with him to help him, to take
vengeance on the sons of Israel.
16: When he approached the ascent of
Beth-horon, Judas went out to meet him with a small company.
when they saw the army coming to meet them, they said to Judas, "How can we, few
as we are, fight against so great and strong a multitude? And we are faint, for
we have eaten nothing today."
18: Judas replied, "It is easy for many
to be hemmed in by few, for in the sight of Heaven there is no difference
between saving by many or by few.
19: It is not on the size of the
army that victory in battle depends, but strength comes from Heaven.
20: They come against us in great pride and lawlessness to destroy us
and our wives and our children, and to despoil us;
21: but we fight
for our lives and our laws.
22: He himself will crush them before us;
as for you, do not be afraid of them."
23: When he finished speaking,
he rushed suddenly against Seron and his army, and they were crushed before him.
24: They pursued them down the descent of Beth-horon to the plain;
eight hundred of them fell, and the rest fled into the land of the Philistines.
25: Then Judas and his brothers began to be feared, and terror fell
upon the Gentiles round about them.
26: His fame reached the king,
and the Gentiles talked of the battles of Judas.
27: When king
Antiochus heard these reports, he was greatly angered; and he sent and gathered
all the forces of his kingdom, a very strong army.
28: And he opened
his coffers and gave a year's pay to his forces, and ordered them to be ready
for any need.
29: Then he saw that the money in the treasury was
exhausted, and that the revenues from the country were small because of the
dissension and disaster which he had caused in the land by abolishing the laws
that had existed from the earliest days.
30: He feared that he might
not have such funds as he had before for his expenses and for the gifts which he
used to give more lavishly than preceding kings.
31: He was greatly
perplexed in mind, and determined to go to Persia and collect the revenues from
those regions and raise a large fund.
32: He left Lysias, a
distinguished man of royal lineage, in charge of the king's affairs from the
river Euphrates to the borders of Egypt.
33: Lysias was also to take
care of Antiochus his son until he returned.
34: And he turned over
to Lysias half of his troops and the elephants, and gave him orders about all
that he wanted done. As for the residents of Judea and Jerusalem,
Lysias was to send a force against them to wipe out and destroy the strength of
Israel and the remnant of Jerusalem; he was to banish the memory of them from
36: settle aliens in all their territory, and distribute
37: Then the king took the remaining half of his troops
and departed from Antioch his capital in the one hundred and forty-seventh year.
He crossed the Euphrates river and went through the upper provinces.
38: Lysias chose Ptolemy the son of Dorymenes, and Nicanor and
Gorgias, mighty men among the friends of the king,
39: and sent with
them forty thousand infantry and seven thousand cavalry to go into the land of
Judah and destroy it, as the king had commanded.
40: so they departed
with their entire force, and when they arrived they encamped near Emmaus in the
41: When the traders of the region heard what was said to
them, they took silver and gold in immense amounts, and fetters, and went to the
camp to get the sons of Israel for slaves. And forces from Syria and the land of
the Philistines joined with them.
42: Now Judas and his brothers saw
that misfortunes had increased and that the forces were encamped in their
territory. They also learned what the king had commanded to do to the people to
cause their final destruction.
43: But they said to one another, "Let
us repair the destruction of our people, and fight for our people and the
44: And the congregation assembled to be ready for
battle, and to pray and ask for mercy and compassion.
was uninhabited like a wilderness; not one of her children went in or out. The
sanctuary was trampled down, and the sons of aliens held the citadel; it was a
lodging place for the Gentiles. Joy was taken from Jacob; the flute and the harp
ceased to play.
46: So they assembled and went to Mizpah, opposite
Jerusalem, because Israel formerly had a place of prayer in Mizpah.
47: They fasted that day, put on sackcloth and sprinkled ashes on
their heads, and rent their clothes.
48: And they opened the book of
the law to inquire into those matters about which the Gentiles were consulting
the images of their idols.
49: They also brought the garments of the
priesthood and the first fruits and the tithes, and they stirred up the
Nazirites who had completed their days;
50: and they cried aloud to
Heaven, saying, "What shall we do with these? Where shall we take them?
51: Thy sanctuary is trampled down and profaned, and thy priests
mourn in humiliation.
52: And behold, the Gentiles are assembled
against us to destroy us; thou knowest what they plot against us.
How will we be able to withstand them, if thou dost not help us?"
Then they sounded the trumpets and gave a loud shout.
55: After this
Judas appointed leaders of the people, in charge of thousands and hundreds and
fifties and tens.
56: And he said to those who were building houses,
or were betrothed, or were planting vineyards, or were fainthearted, that each
should return to his home, according to the law.
57: Then the army
marched out and encamped to the south of Emmaus.
58: And Judas said,
"Gird yourselves and be valiant. Be ready early in the morning to fight with
these Gentiles who have assembled against us to destroy us and our sanctuary.
59: It is better for us to die in battle than to see the misfortunes
of our nation and of the sanctuary.
60: But as his will in heaven may
be, so he will do."
1: Now Gorgias took five thousand infantry and a
thousand picked cavalry, and this division moved out by night
fall upon the camp of the Jews and attack them suddenly. Men from the citadel
were his guides.
3: But Judas heard of it, and he and his mighty men
moved out to attack the king's force in Emmaus
4: while the division
was still absent from the camp.
5: When Gorgias entered the camp of
Judas by night, he found no one there, so he looked for them in the hills,
because he said, "These men are fleeing from us."
6: At daybreak
Judas appeared in the plain with three thousand men, but they did not have armor
and swords such as they desired.
7: And they saw the camp of the
Gentiles, strong and fortified, with cavalry round about it; and these men were
trained in war.
8: But Judas said to the men who were with him, "Do
not fear their numbers or be afraid when they charge.
9: Remember how
our fathers were saved at the Red Sea, when Pharaoh with his forces pursued
10: And now let us cry to Heaven, to see whether he will favor
us and remember his covenant with our fathers and crush this army before us
11: Then all the Gentiles will know that there is one who
redeems and saves Israel."
12: When the foreigners looked up and saw
them coming against them,
13: they went forth from their camp to
battle. Then the men with Judas blew their trumpets
14: and engaged
in battle. The Gentiles were crushed and fled into the plain,
all those in the rear fell by the sword. They pursued them to Gazara, and to the
plains of Idumea, and to Azotus and Jamnia; and three thousand of them fell.
16: Then Judas and his force turned back from pursuing them,
17: and he said to the people, "Do not be greedy for plunder, for
there is a battle before us;
18: Gorgias and his force are near us in
the hills. But stand now against our enemies and fight them, and afterward seize
the plunder boldly."
19: Just as Judas was finishing this speech, a
detachment appeared, coming out of the hills.
20: They saw that their
army had been put to flight, and that the Jews were burning the camp, for the
smoke that was seen showed what had happened.
21: When they perceived
this they were greatly frightened, and when they also saw the army of Judas
drawn up in the plain for battle,
22: they all fled into the land of
23: Then Judas returned to plunder the camp, and
they seized much gold and silver, and cloth dyed blue and sea purple, and great
24: On their return they sang hymns and praises to Heaven,
for he is good, for his mercy endures for ever.
25: Thus Israel had a
great deliverance that day.
26: Those of the foreigners who escaped
went and reported to Lysias all that had happened.
27: When he heard
it, he was perplexed and discouraged, for things had not happened to Israel as
he had intended, nor had they turned out as the king had commanded him.
28: But the next year he mustered sixty thousand picked infantrymen
and five thousand cavalry to subdue them.
29: They came into Idumea
and encamped at Beth-zur, and Judas met them with ten thousand men.
30: When he saw that the army was strong, he prayed, saying, "Blessed
art thou, O Savior of Israel, who didst crush the attack of the mighty warrior
by the hand of thy servant David, and didst give the camp of the Philistines
into the hands of Jonathan, the son of Saul, and of the man who carried his
31: So do thou hem in this army by the hand of thy people
Israel, and let them be ashamed of their troops and their cavalry.
32: Fill them with cowardice; melt the boldness of their strength;
let them tremble in their destruction.
33: Strike them down with the
sword of those who love thee, and let all who know thy name praise thee with
34: Then both sides attacked, and there fell of the army of
Lysias five thousand men; they fell in action.
35: And when Lysias
saw the rout of his troops and observed the boldness which inspired those of
Judas, and how ready they were either to live or to die nobly, he departed to
Antioch and enlisted mercenaries, to invade Judea again with an even larger
36: Then said Judas and his brothers, "Behold, our enemies are
crushed; let us go up to cleanse the sanctuary and dedicate it."
So all the army assembled and they went up to Mount Zion.
they saw the sanctuary desolate, the altar profaned, and the gates burned. In
the courts they saw bushes sprung up as in a thicket, or as on one of the
mountains. They saw also the chambers of the priests in ruins.
Then they rent their clothes, and mourned with great lamentation, and sprinkled
themselves with ashes.
40: They fell face down on the ground, and
sounded the signal on the trumpets, and cried out to Heaven.
Judas detailed men to fight against those in the citadel until he had cleansed
42: He chose blameless priests devoted to the law,
43: and they cleansed the sanctuary and removed the defiled stones to
an unclean place.
44: They deliberated what to do about the altar of
burnt offering, which had been profaned.
45: And they thought it best
to tear it down, lest it bring reproach upon them, for the Gentiles had defiled
it. So they tore down the altar,
46: and stored the stones in a
convenient place on the temple hill until there should come a prophet to tell
what to do with them.
47: Then they took unhewn stones, as the law
directs, and built a new altar like the former one.
48: They also
rebuilt the sanctuary and the interior of the temple, and consecrated the
49: They made new holy vessels, and brought the lampstand,
the altar of incense, and the table into the temple.
50: Then they
burned incense on the altar and lighted the lamps on the lampstand, and these
gave light in the temple.
51: They placed the bread on the table and
hung up the curtains. Thus they finished all the work they had undertaken.
52: Early in the morning on the twenty-fifth day of the ninth month,
which is the month of Chislev, in the one hundred and forty-eighth year,
53: they rose and offered sacrifice, as the law directs, on the new
altar of burnt offering which they had built.
54: At the very season
and on the very day that the Gentiles had profaned it, it was dedicated with
songs and harps and lutes and cymbals.
55: All the people fell on
their faces and worshiped and blessed Heaven, who had prospered them.
56: So they celebrated the dedication of the altar for eight days,
and offered burnt offerings with gladness; they offered a sacrifice of
deliverance and praise.
57: They decorated the front of the temple
with golden crowns and small shields; they restored the gates and the chambers
for the priests, and furnished them with doors.
58: There was very
great gladness among the people, and the reproach of the Gentiles was removed.
59: Then Judas and his brothers and all the assembly of Israel
determined that every year at that season the days of dedication of the altar
should be observed with gladness and joy for eight days, beginning with the
twenty-fifth day of the month of Chislev.
60: At that time they
fortified Mount Zion with high walls and strong towers round about, to keep the
Gentiles from coming and trampling them down as they had done before.
61: And he stationed a garrison there to hold it. He also fortified
Beth-zur, so that the people might have a stronghold that faced Idumea.
1: When the Gentiles round about heard that the
altar had been built and the sanctuary dedicated as it was before, they became
2: and they determined to destroy the descendants of
Jacob who lived among them. So they began to kill and destroy among the people.
3: But Judas made war on the sons of Esau in Idumea, at Akrabattene,
because they kept lying in wait for Israel. He dealt them a heavy blow and
humbled them and despoiled them.
4: He also remembered the wickedness
of the sons of Baean, who were a trap and a snare to the people and ambushed
them on the highways.
5: They were shut up by him in their towers;
and he encamped against them, vowed their complete destruction, and burned with
fire their towers and all who were in them.
6: Then he crossed over
to attack the Ammonites, where he found a strong band and many people with
Timothy as their leader.
7: He engaged in many battles with them and
they were crushed before him; he struck them down.
8: He also took
Jazer and its villages; then he returned to Judea.
9: Now the
Gentiles in Gilead gathered together against the Israelites who lived in their
territory, and planned to destroy them. But they fled to the stronghold of
10: and sent to Judas and his brothers a letter which said,
"The Gentiles around us have gathered together against us to destroy us.
11: They are preparing to come and capture the stronghold to which we
have fled, and Timothy is leading their forces.
12: Now then come and
rescue us from their hands, for many of us have fallen,
13: and all
our brethren who were in the land of Tob have been killed; the enemy have
captured their wives and children and goods, and have destroyed about a thousand
14: While the letter was still being read, behold, other
messengers, with their garments rent, came from Galilee and made a similar
15: they said that against them had gathered together men of
Ptolemais and Tyre and Sidon, and all Galilee of the Gentiles, "to annihilate
16: When Judas and the people heard these messages, a great
assembly was called to determine what they should do for their brethren who were
in distress and were being attacked by enemies.
17: Then Judas said
to Simon his brother, "Choose your men and go and rescue your brethren in
Galilee; I and Jonathan my brother will go to Gilead."
18: But he
left Joseph, the son of Zechariah, and Azariah, a leader of the people, with the
rest of the forces, in Judea to guard it;
19: and he gave them this
command, "Take charge of this people, but do not engage in battle with the
Gentiles until we return."
20: Then three thousand men were assigned
to Simon to go to Galilee, and eight thousand to Judas for Gilead.
21: so Simon went to Galilee and fought many battles against the
Gentiles, and the Gentiles were crushed before him.
22: He pursued
them to the gate of Ptolemais, and as many as three thousand of the Gentiles
fell, and he despoiled them.
23: Then he took the Jews of Galilee and
Arbatta, with their wives and children, and all they possessed, and led them to
Judea with great rejoicing.
24: Judas Maccabeus and Jonathan his
brother crossed the Jordan and went three days' journey into the wilderness.
25: They encountered the Nabateans, who met them peaceably and told
them all that had happened to their brethren in Gilead:
26: "Many of
them have been shut up in Bozrah and Bosor, in Alema and Chaspho, Maked and
Carnaim" -- all these cities were strong and large --
27: "and some
have been shut up in the other cities of Gilead; the enemy are getting ready to
attack the strongholds tomorrow and take and destroy all these men in one day."
28: Then Judas and his army quickly turned back by the wilderness
road to Bozrah; and he took the city, and killed every male by the edge of the
sword; then he seized all its spoils and burned it with fire.
departed from there at night, and they went all the way to the stronghold of
30: At dawn they looked up, and behold, a large company,
that could not be counted, carrying ladders and engines of war to capture the
stronghold, and attacking the Jews within.
31: So Judas saw that the
battle had begun and that the cry of the city went up to Heaven with trumpets
and loud shouts,
32: and he said to the men of his forces, "Fight
today for your brethren!"
33: Then he came up behind them in three
companies, who sounded their trumpets and cried aloud in prayer.
And when the army of Timothy realized that it was Maccabeus, they fled before
him, and he dealt them a heavy blow. As many as eight thousand of them fell that
35: Next he turned aside to Alema, and fought against it and
took it; and he killed every male in it, plundered it, and burned it with fire.
36: From there he marched on and took Chaspho, Maked, and Bosor, and
the other cities of Gilead.
37: After these things Timothy gathered
another army and encamped opposite Raphon, on the other side of the stream.
38: Judas sent men to spy out the camp, and they reported to him,
"All the Gentiles around us have gathered to him; it is a very large force.
39: They also have hired Arabs to help them, and they are encamped
across the stream, ready to come and fight against you." And Judas went to meet
40: Now as Judas and his army drew near to the stream of water,
Timothy said to the officers of his forces, "If he crosses over to us first, we
will not be able to resist him, for he will surely defeat us.
if he shows fear and camps on the other side of the river, we will cross over to
him and defeat him."
42: When Judas approached the stream of water,
he stationed the scribes of the people at the stream and gave them this command,
"Permit no man to encamp, but make them all enter the battle."
Then he crossed over against them first, and the whole army followed him. All
the Gentiles were defeated before him, and they threw away their arms and fled
into the sacred precincts at Carnaim.
44: But he took the city and
burned the sacred precincts with fire, together with all who were in them. Thus
Carnaim was conquered; they could stand before Judas no longer.
Then Judas gathered together all the Israelites in Gilead, the small and the
great, with their wives and children and goods, a very large company, to go to
the land of Judah.
46: So they came to Ephron. This was a large and
very strong city on the road, and they could not go round it to the right or to
the left; they had to go through it.
47: But the men of the city shut
them out and blocked up the gates with stones.
48: And Judas sent
them this friendly message, "Let us pass through your land to get to our land.
No one will do you harm; we will simply pass by on foot." But they refused to
open to him.
49: Then Judas ordered proclamation to be made to the
army that each should encamp where he was.
50: So the men of the
forces encamped, and he fought against the city all that day and all the night,
and the city was delivered into his hands.
51: He destroyed every
male by the edge of the sword, and razed and plundered the city. Then he passed
through the city over the slain.
52: And they crossed the Jordan into
the large plain before Beth-shan.
53: And Judas kept rallying the
laggards and encouraging the people all the way till he came to the land of
54: So they went up to Mount Zion with gladness and joy, and
offered burnt offerings, because not one of them had fallen before they returned
55: Now while Judas and Jonathan were in Gilead and Simon
his brother was in Galilee before Ptolemais,
56: Joseph, the son of
Zechariah, and Azariah, the commanders of the forces, heard of their brave deeds
and of the heroic war they had fought.
57: So they said, "Let us also
make a name for ourselves; let us go and make war on the Gentiles around us."
58: And they issued orders to the men of the forces that were with
them, and they marched against Jamnia.
59: And Gorgias and his men
came out of the city to meet them in battle.
60: Then Joseph and
Azariah were routed, and were pursued to the borders of Judea; as many as two
thousand of the people of Israel fell that day.
61: Thus the people
suffered a great rout because, thinking to do a brave deed, they did not listen
to Judas and his brothers.
62: But they did not belong to the family
of those men through whom deliverance was given to Israel.
man Judas and his brothers were greatly honored in all Israel and among all the
Gentiles, wherever their name was heard.
64: Men gathered to them and
65: Then Judas and his brothers went forth and fought
the sons of Esau in the land to the south. He struck Hebron and its villages and
tore down its strongholds and burned its towers round about.
he marched off to go into the land of the Philistines, and passed through
67: On that day some priests, who wished to do a brave deed,
fell in battle, for they went out to battle unwisely.
68: But Judas
turned aside to Azotus in the land of the Philistines; he tore down their
altars, and the graven images of their gods he burned with fire; he plundered
the cities and returned to the land of Judah.
1: King Antiochus was going through the upper
provinces when he heard that Elymais in Persia was a city famed for its wealth
in silver and gold.
2: Its temple was very rich, containing golden
shields, breastplates, and weapons left there by Alexander, the son of Philip,
the Macedonian king who first reigned over the Greeks.
3: So he came
and tried to take the city and plunder it, but he could not, because his plan
became known to the men of the city
4: and they withstood him in
battle. So he fled and in great grief departed from there to return to Babylon.
5: Then some one came to him in Persia and reported that the armies
which had gone into the land of Judah had been routed;
6: that Lysias
had gone first with a strong force, but had turned and fled before the Jews;
that the Jews had grown strong from the arms, supplies, and abundant spoils
which they had taken from the armies they had cut down;
7: that they
had torn down the abomination which he had erected upon the altar in Jerusalem;
and that they had surrounded the sanctuary with high walls as before, and also
Beth-zur, his city.
8: When the king heard this news, he was
astounded and badly shaken. He took to his bed and became sick from grief,
because things had not turned out for him as he had planned.
lay there for many days, because deep grief continually gripped him, and he
concluded that he was dying.
10: So he called all his friends and
said to them, "Sleep departs from my eyes and I am downhearted with worry.
11: I said to myself, `To what distress I have come! And into what a
great flood I now am plunged! For I was kind and beloved in my power.'
12: But now I remember the evils I did in Jerusalem. I seized all her
vessels of silver and gold; and I sent to destroy the inhabitants of Judah
without good reason.
13: I know that it is because of this that these
evils have come upon me; and behold, I am perishing of deep grief in a strange
14: Then he called for Philip, one of his friends, and made
him ruler over all his kingdom.
15: He gave him the crown and his
robe and the signet, that he might guide Antiochus his son and bring him up to
16: Thus Antiochus the king died there in the one hundred
and forty-ninth year.
17: And when Lysias learned that the king was
dead, he set up Antiochus the king's son to reign. Lysias had brought him up as
a boy, and he named him Eupator.
18: Now the men in the citadel kept
hemming Israel in around the sanctuary. They were trying in every way to harm
them and strengthen the Gentiles.
19: So Judas decided to destroy
them, and assembled all the people to besiege them.
20: They gathered
together and besieged the citadel in the one hundred and fiftieth year; and he
built siege towers and other engines of war.
21: But some of the
garrison escaped from the siege and some of the ungodly Israelites joined them.
22: They went to the king and said, "How long will you fail to do
justice and to avenge our brethren?
23: We were happy to serve your
father, to live by what he said and to follow his commands.
this reason the sons of our people besieged the citadel and became hostile to
us; moreover, they have put to death as many of us as they have caught, and they
have seized our inheritances.
25: And not against us alone have they
stretched out their hands, but also against all the lands on their borders.
26: And behold, today they have encamped against the citadel in
Jerusalem to take it; they have fortified both the sanctuary and Beth-zur;
27: and unless you quickly prevent them, they will do still greater
things, and you will not be able to stop them."
28: The king was
enraged when he heard this. He assembled all his friends, the commanders of his
forces and those in authority.
29: And mercenary forces came to him
from other kingdoms and from islands of the seas.
30: The number of
his forces was a hundred thousand foot soldiers, twenty thousand horsemen, and
thirty-two elephants accustomed to war.
31: They came through Idumea
and encamped against Beth-zur, and for many days they fought and built engines
of war; but the Jews sallied out and burned these with fire, and fought
32: Then Judas marched away from the citadel and encamped
at Beth-zechariah, opposite the camp of the king.
33: Early in the
morning the king rose and took his army by a forced march along the road to
Beth-zechariah, and his troops made ready for battle and sounded their trumpets.
34: They showed the elephants the juice of grapes and mulberries, to
arouse them for battle.
35: And they distributed the beasts among the
phalanxes; with each elephant they stationed a thousand men armed with coats of
mail, and with brass helmets on their heads; and five hundred picked horsemen
were assigned to each beast.
36: These took their position beforehand
wherever the beast was; wherever it went they went with it, and they never left
37: And upon the elephants were wooden towers, strong and
covered; they were fastened upon each beast by special harness, and upon each
were four armed men who fought from there, and also its Indian driver.
38: The rest of the horsemen were stationed on either side, on the
two flanks of the army, to harass the enemy while being themselves protected by
39: When the sun shone upon the shields of gold and
brass, the hills were ablaze with them and gleamed like flaming torches.
40: Now a part of the king's army was spread out on the high hills,
and some troops were on the plain, and they advanced steadily and in good order.
41: All who heard the noise made by their multitude, by the marching
of the multitude and the clanking of their arms, trembled, for the army was very
large and strong.
42: But Judas and his army advanced to the battle,
and six hundred men of the king's army fell.
43: And Eleazar, called
Avaran, saw that one of the beasts was equipped with royal armor. It was taller
than all the others, and he supposed that the king was upon it.
So he gave his life to save his people and to win for himself an everlasting
45: He courageously ran into the midst of the phalanx to reach
it; he killed men right and left, and they parted before him on both sides.
46: He got under the elephant, stabbed it from beneath, and killed
it; but it fell to the ground upon him and he died.
47: And when the
Jews saw the royal might and the fierce attack of the forces, they turned away
48: The soldiers of the king's army went up to Jerusalem
against them, and the king encamped in Judea and at Mount Zion.
He made peace with the men of Beth-zur, and they evacuated the city, because
they had no provisions there to withstand a siege, since it was a sabbatical
year for the land.
50: So the king took Beth-zur and stationed a
guard there to hold it.
51: Then he encamped before the sanctuary for
many days. He set up siege towers, engines of war to throw fire and stones,
machines to shoot arrows, and catapults.
52: The Jews also made
engines of war to match theirs, and fought for many days.
they had no food in storage, because it was the seventh year; those who found
safety in Judea from the Gentiles had consumed the last of the stores.
54: Few men were left in the sanctuary, because famine had prevailed
over the rest and they had been scattered, each to his own place.
Then Lysias heard that Philip, whom King Antiochus while still living had
appointed to bring up Antiochus his son to be king,
56: had returned
from Persia and Media with the forces that had gone with the king, and that he
was trying to seize control of the government.
57: So he quickly gave
orders to depart, and said to the king, to the commanders of the forces, and to
the men, "We daily grow weaker, our food supply is scant, the place against
which we are fighting is strong, and the affairs of the kingdom press urgently
58: Now then let us come to terms with these men, and make
peace with them and with all their nation,
59: and agree to let them
live by their laws as they did before; for it was on account of their laws which
we abolished that they became angry and did all these things."
The speech pleased the king and the commanders, and he sent to the Jews an offer
of peace, and they accepted it.
61: So the king and the commanders
gave them their oath. On these conditions the Jews evacuated the stronghold.
62: But when the king entered Mount Zion and saw what a strong
fortress the place was, he broke the oath he had sworn and gave orders to tear
down the wall all around.
63: Then he departed with haste and
returned to Antioch. He found Philip in control of the city, but he fought
against him, and took the city by force.
1: In the one hundred and fifty-first year
Demetrius the son of Seleucus set forth from Rome, sailed with a few men to a
city by the sea, and there began to reign.
2: As he was entering the
royal palace of his fathers, the army seized Antiochus and Lysias to bring them
3: But when this act became known to him, he said, "Do not
let me see their faces!"
4: So the army killed them, and Demetrius
took his seat upon the throne of his kingdom.
5: Then there came to
him all the lawless and ungodly men of Israel; they were led by Alcimus, who
wanted to be high priest.
6: And they brought to the king this
accusation against the people: "Judas and his brothers have destroyed all your
friends, and have driven us out of our land.
7: Now then send a man
whom you trust; let him go and see all the ruin which Judas has brought upon us
and upon the land of the king, and let him punish them and all who help them."
8: So the king chose Bacchides, one of the king's friends, governor
of the province Beyond the River; he was a great man in the kingdom and was
faithful to the king.
9: And he sent him, and with him the ungodly
Alcimus, whom he made high priest; and he commanded him to take vengeance on the
sons of Israel.
10: So they marched away and came with a large force
into the land of Judah; and he sent messengers to Judas and his brothers with
peaceable but treacherous words.
11: But they paid no attention to
their words, for they saw that they had come with a large force.
Then a group of scribes appeared in a body before Alcimus and Bacchides to ask
for just terms.
13: The Hasideans were first among the sons of Israel
to seek peace from them,
14: for they said, "A priest of the line of
Aaron has come with the army, and he will not harm us."
15: And he
spoke peaceable words to them and swore this oath to them, "We will not seek to
injure you or your friends."
16: So they trusted him; but he seized
sixty of them and killed them in one day, in accordance with the word which was
17: "The flesh of thy saints and their blood they poured out
round about Jerusalem, and there was none to bury them."
18: Then the
fear and dread of them fell upon all the people, for they said, "There is no
truth or justice in them, for they have violated the agreement and the oath
which they swore."
19: Then Bacchides departed from Jerusalem and
encamped in Beth-zaith. And he sent and seized many of the men who had deserted
to him, and some of the people, and killed them and threw them into a great pit.
20: He placed Alcimus in charge of the country and left with him a
force to help him; then Bacchides went back to the king.
strove for the high priesthood,
22: and all who were troubling their
people joined him. They gained control of the land of Judah and did great damage
23: And Judas saw all the evil that Alcimus and those with
him had done among the sons of Israel; it was more than the Gentiles had done.
24: So Judas went out into all the surrounding parts of Judea, and
took vengeance on the men who had deserted, and he prevented those in the city
from going out into the country.
25: When Alcimus saw that Judas and
those with him had grown strong, and realized that he could not withstand them,
he returned to the king and brought wicked charges against them.
Then the king sent Nicanor, one of his honored princes, who hated and detested
Israel, and he commanded him to destroy the people.
27: So Nicanor
came to Jerusalem with a large force, and treacherously sent to Judas and his
brothers this peaceable message,
28: "Let there be no fighting
between me and you; I shall come with a few men to see you face to face in
29: So he came to Judas, and they greeted one another
peaceably. But the enemy were ready to seize Judas.
30: It became
known to Judas that Nicanor had come to him with treacherous intent, and he was
afraid of him and would not meet him again.
31: When Nicanor learned
that his plan had been disclosed, he went out to meet Judas in battle near
32: About five hundred men of the army of Nicanor
fell, and the rest fled into the city of David.
33: After these
events Nicanor went up to Mount Zion. Some of the priests came out of the
sanctuary, and some of the elders of the people, to greet him peaceably and to
show him the burnt offering that was being offered for the king.
But he mocked them and derided them and defiled them and spoke arrogantly,
35: and in anger he swore this oath, "Unless Judas and his army are
delivered into my hands this time, then if I return safely I will burn up this
house." And he went out in great anger.
36: Then the priests went in
and stood before the altar and the temple, and they wept and said,
37: "Thou didst choose this house to be called by thy name, and to be
for thy people a house of prayer and supplication.
38: Take vengeance
on this man and on his army, and let them fall by the sword; remember their
blasphemies, and let them live no longer."
39: Now Nicanor went out
from Jerusalem and encamped in Beth-horon, and the Syrian army joined him.
40: And Judas encamped in Adasa with three thousand men. Then Judas
prayed and said,
41: "When the messengers from the king spoke
blasphemy, thy angel went forth and struck down one hundred and eighty-five
thousand of the Assyrians.
42: So also crush this army before us
today; let the rest learn that Nicanor has spoken wickedly against the
sanctuary, and judge him according to this wickedness."
43: So the
armies met in battle on the thirteenth day of the month of Adar. The army of
Nicanor was crushed, and he himself was the first to fall in the battle.
44: When his army saw that Nicanor had fallen, they threw down their
arms and fled.
45: The Jews pursued them a day's journey, from Adasa
as far as Gazara, and as they followed kept sounding the battle call on the
46: And men came out of all the villages of Judea round
about, and they out-flanked the enemy and drove them back to their pursuers, so
that they all fell by the sword; not even one of them was left.
Then the Jews seized the spoils and the plunder, and they cut off Nicanor's head
and the right hand which he so arrogantly stretched out, and brought them and
displayed them just outside Jerusalem.
48: The people rejoiced
greatly and celebrated that day as a day of great gladness.
they decreed that this day should be celebrated each year on the thirteenth day
50: So the land of Judah had rest for a few days.
1: Now Judas heard of the fame of the Romans, that
they were very strong and were well-disposed toward all who made an alliance
with them, that they pledged friendship to those who came to them,
and that they were very strong. Men told him of their wars and of the brave
deeds which they were doing among the Gauls, how they had defeated them and
forced them to pay tribute,
3: and what they had done in the land of
Spain to get control of the silver and gold mines there,
4: and how
they had gained control of the whole region by their planning and patience, even
though the place was far distant from them. They also subdued the kings who came
against them from the ends of the earth, until they crushed them and inflicted
great disaster upon them; the rest paid them tribute every year.
Philip, and Perseus king of the Macedonians, and the others who rose up against
them, they crushed in battle and conquered.
6: They also defeated
Antiochus the Great, king of Asia, who went to fight against them with a hundred
and twenty elephants and with cavalry and chariots and a very large army. He was
crushed by them;
7: they took him alive and decreed that he and those
who should reign after him should pay a heavy tribute and give hostages and
surrender some of their best provinces,
8: the country of India and
Media and Lydia. These they took from him and gave to Eumenes the king.
9: The Greeks planned to come and destroy them,
this became known to them, and they sent a general against the Greeks and
attacked them. Many of them were wounded and fell, and the Romans took captive
their wives and children; they plundered them, conquered the land, tore down
their strongholds, and enslaved them to this day.
11: The remaining
kingdoms and islands, as many as ever opposed them, they destroyed and enslaved;
12: but with their friends and those who rely on them they have kept
friendship. They have subdued kings far and near, and as many as have heard of
their fame have feared them.
13: Those whom they wish to help and to
make kings, they make kings, and those whom they wish they depose; and they have
been greatly exalted.
14: Yet for all this not one of them has put on
a crown or worn purple as a mark of pride,
15: but they have built
for themselves a senate chamber, and every day three hundred and twenty senators
constantly deliberate concerning the people, to govern them well.
They trust one man each year to rule over them and to control all their land;
they all heed the one man, and there is no envy or jealousy among them.
17: So Judas chose Eupolemus the son of John, son of Accos, and Jason
the son of Eleazar, and sent them to Rome to establish friendship and alliance,
18: and to free themselves from the yoke; for they saw that the
kingdom of the Greeks was completely enslaving Israel.
19: They went
to Rome, a very long journey; and they entered the senate chamber and spoke as
20: "Judas, who is also called Maccabeus, and his brothers
and the people of the Jews have sent us to you to establish alliance and peace
with you, that we may be enrolled as your allies and friends."
The proposal pleased them,
22: and this is a copy of the letter which
they wrote in reply, on bronze tablets, and sent to Jerusalem to remain with
them there as a memorial of peace and alliance:
23: "May all go well
with the Romans and with the nation of the Jews at sea and on land for ever, and
may sword and enemy be far from them.
24: If war comes first to Rome
or to any of their allies in all their dominion,
25: the nation of
the Jews shall act as their allies wholeheartedly, as the occasion may indicate
26: And to the enemy who makes war they shall not give or
supply grain, arms, money, or ships, as Rome has decided; and they shall keep
their obligations without receiving any return.
27: In the same way,
if war comes first to the nation of the Jews, the Romans shall willingly act as
their allies, as the occasion may indicate to them.
28: And to the
enemy allies shall be given no grain, arms, money, or ships, as Rome has
decided; and they shall keep these obligations and do so without deceit.
29: Thus on these terms the Romans make a treaty with the Jewish
30: If after these terms are in effect both parties shall
determine to add or delete anything, they shall do so at their discretion, and
any addition or deletion that they may make shall be valid.
concerning the wrongs which King Demetrius is doing to them we have written to
him as follows, `Why have you made your yoke heavy upon our friends and allies
32: If now they appeal again for help against you, we will
defend their rights and fight you on sea and on land.'"
1: When Demetrius heard that Nicanor and his army
had fallen in battle, he sent Bacchides and Alcimus into the land of Judah a
second time, and with them the right wing of the army.
2: They went
by the road which leads to Gilgal and encamped against Mesaloth in Arbela, and
they took it and killed many people.
3: In the first month of the one
hundred and fifty-second year they encamped against Jerusalem;
then they marched off and went to Berea with twenty thousand foot soldiers and
two thousand cavalry.
5: Now Judas was encamped in Elasa, and with
him were three thousand picked men.
6: When they saw the huge number
of the enemy forces, they were greatly frightened, and many slipped away from
the camp, until no more than eight hundred of them were left.
Judas saw that his army had slipped away and the battle was imminent, he was
crushed in spirit, for he had no time to assemble them.
8: He became
faint, but he said to those who were left, "Let us rise and go up against our
enemies. We may be able to fight them."
9: But they tried to dissuade
him, saying, "We are not able. Let us rather save our own lives now, and let us
come back with our brethren and fight them; we are too few."
Judas said, "Far be it from us to do such a thing as to flee from them. If our
time has come, let us die bravely for our brethren, and leave no cause to
question our honor."
11: Then the army of Bacchides marched out from
the camp and took its stand for the encounter. The cavalry was divided into two
companies, and the slingers and the archers went ahead of the army, as did all
the chief warriors.
12: Bacchides was on the right wing. Flanked by
the two companies, the phalanx advanced to the sound of the trumpets; and the
men with Judas also blew their trumpets.
13: The earth was shaken by
the noise of the armies, and the battle raged from morning till evening.
14: Judas saw that Bacchides and the strength of his army were on the
right; then all the stouthearted men went with him,
15: and they
crushed the right wing, and he pursued them as far as Mount Azotus.
16: When those on the left wing saw that the right wing was crushed,
they turned and followed close behind Judas and his men.
battle became desperate, and many on both sides were wounded and fell.
18: Judas also fell, and the rest fled.
19: Then Jonathan
and Simon took Judas their brother and buried him in the tomb of their fathers
20: and wept for him. And all Israel made great
lamentation for him; they mourned many days and said,
21: "How is the
mighty fallen, the savior of Israel!"
22: Now the rest of the acts of
Judas, and his wars and the brave deeds that he did, and his greatness, have not
been recorded, for they were very many.
23: After the death of Judas,
the lawless emerged in all parts of Israel; all the doers of injustice appeared.
24: In those days a very great famine occurred, and the country
deserted with them to the enemy.
25: And Bacchides chose the ungodly
and put them in charge of the country.
26: They sought and searched
for the friends of Judas, and brought them to Bacchides, and he took vengeance
on them and made sport of them.
27: Thus there was great distress in
Israel, such as had not been since the time that prophets ceased to appear among
28: Then all the friends of Judas assembled and said to
29: "Since the death of your brother Judas there has been
no one like him to go against our enemies and Bacchides, and to deal with those
of our nation who hate us.
30: So now we have chosen you today to
take his place as our ruler and leader, to fight our battle."
Jonathan at that time accepted the leadership and took the place of Judas his
32: When Bacchides learned of this, he tried to kill him.
33: But Jonathan and Simon his brother and all who were with him
heard of it, and they fled into the wilderness of Tekoa and camped by the water
of the pool of Asphar.
34: Bacchides found this out on the sabbath
day, and he with all his army crossed the Jordan.
35: And Jonathan
sent his brother as leader of the multitude and begged the Nabateans, who were
his friends, for permission to store with them the great amount of baggage which
36: But the sons of Jambri from Medeba came out and seized
John and all that he had, and departed with it.
37: After these
things it was reported to Jonathan and Simon his brother, "The sons of Jambri
are celebrating a great wedding, and are conducting the bride, a daughter of one
of the great nobles of Canaan, from Nadabath with a large escort."
38: And they remembered the blood of John their brother, and went up
and hid under cover of the mountain.
39: They raised their eyes and
looked, and saw a tumultuous procession with much baggage; and the bridegroom
came out with his friends and his brothers to meet them with tambourines and
musicians and many weapons.
40: Then they rushed upon them from the
ambush and began killing them. Many were wounded and fell, and the rest fled to
the mountain; and they took all their goods.
41: Thus the wedding was
turned into mourning and the voice of their musicians into a funeral dirge.
42: And when they had fully avenged the blood of their brother, they
returned to the marshes of the Jordan.
43: When Bacchides heard of
this, he came with a large force on the sabbath day to the banks of the Jordan.
44: And Jonathan said to those with him, "Let us rise up now and
fight for our lives, for today things are not as they were before.
45: For look! the battle is in front of us and behind us; the water
of the Jordan is on this side and on that, with marsh and thicket; there is no
place to turn.
46: Cry out now to Heaven that you may be delivered
from the hands of our enemies."
47: So the battle began, and Jonathan
stretched out his hand to strike Bacchides, but he eluded him and went to the
48: Then Jonathan and the men with him leaped into the Jordan
and swam across to the other side, and the enemy did not cross the Jordan to
49: And about one thousand of Bacchides' men fell that
50: Bacchides then returned to Jerusalem and built strong cities
in Judea: the fortress in Jericho, and Emmaus, and Beth-horon, and Bethel, and
Timnath, and Pharathon, and Tephon, with high walls and gates and bars.
51: And he placed garrisons in them to harass Israel.
He also fortified the city of Beth-zur, and Gazara, and the citadel, and in them
he put troops and stores of food.
53: And he took the sons of the
leading men of the land as hostages and put them under guard in the citadel at
54: In the one hundred and fifty-third year, in the second
month, Alcimus gave orders to tear down the wall of the inner court of the
sanctuary. He tore down the work of the prophets!
55: But he only
began to tear it down, for at that time Alcimus was stricken and his work was
hindered; his mouth was stopped and he was paralyzed, so that he could no longer
say a word or give commands concerning his house.
56: And Alcimus
died at that time in great agony.
57: When Bacchides saw that Alcimus
was dead, he returned to the king, and the land of Judah had rest for two years.
58: Then all the lawless plotted and said, "See! Jonathan and his men
are living in quiet and confidence. So now let us bring Bacchides back, and he
will capture them all in one night."
59: And they went and consulted
60: He started to come with a large force, and secretly
sent letters to all his allies in Judea, telling them to seize Jonathan and his
men; but they were unable to do it, because their plan became known.
61: And Jonathan's men seized about fifty of the men of the country
who were leaders in this treachery, and killed them.
Jonathan with his men, and Simon, withdrew to Bethbasi in the wilderness; he
rebuilt the parts of it that had been demolished, and they fortified it.
63: When Bacchides learned of this, he assembled all his forces, and
sent orders to the men of Judea.
64: Then he came and encamped
against Bethbasi; he fought against it for many days and made machines of war.
65: But Jonathan left Simon his brother in the city, while he went
out into the country; and he went with only a few men.
66: He struck
down Odomera and his brothers and the sons of Phasiron in their tents.
67: Then he began to attack and went into battle with his forces; and
Simon and his men sallied out from the city and set fire to the machines of war.
68: They fought with Bacchides, and he was crushed by them. They
distressed him greatly, for his plan and his expedition had been in vain.
69: So he was greatly enraged at the lawless men who had counseled
him to come into the country, and he killed many of them. Then he decided to
depart to his own land.
70: When Jonathan learned of this, he sent
ambassadors to him to make peace with him and obtain release of the captives.
71: He agreed, and did as he said; and he swore to Jonathan that he
would not try to harm him as long as he lived.
72: He restored to him
the captives whom he had formerly taken from the land of Judah; then he turned
and departed to his own land, and came no more into their territory.
73: Thus the sword ceased from Israel. And Jonathan dwelt in
Michmash. And Jonathan began to judge the people, and he destroyed the ungodly
out of Israel.
1: In the one hundred and sixtieth year Alexander
Epiphanes, the son of Antiochus, landed and occupied Ptolemais. They welcomed
him, and there he began to reign.
2: When Demetrius the king heard of
it, he assembled a very large army and marched out to meet him in battle.
3: And Demetrius sent Jonathan a letter in peaceable words to honor
4: for he said, "Let us act first to make peace with him before
he makes peace with Alexander against us,
5: for he will remember all
the wrongs which we did to him and to his brothers and his nation."
6: So Demetrius gave him authority to recruit troops, to equip them
with arms, and to become his ally; and he commanded that the hostages in the
citadel should be released to him.
7: Then Jonathan came to Jerusalem
and read the letter in the hearing of all the people and of the men in the
8: They were greatly alarmed when they heard that the king
had given him authority to recruit troops.
9: But the men in the
citadel released the hostages to Jonathan, and he returned them to their
10: And Jonathan dwelt in Jerusalem and began to rebuild and
restore the city.
11: He directed those who were doing the work to
build the walls and encircle Mount Zion with squared stones, for better
fortification; and they did so.
12: Then the foreigners who were in
the strongholds that Bacchides had built fled;
13: each left his
place and departed to his own land.
14: Only in Beth-zur did some
remain who had forsaken the law and the commandments, for it served as a place
15: Now Alexander the king heard of all the promises which
Demetrius had sent to Jonathan, and men told him of the battles that Jonathan
and his brothers had fought, of the brave deeds that they had done, and of the
troubles that they had endured.
16: So he said, "Shall we find
another such man? Come now, we will make him our friend and ally."
17: And he wrote a letter and sent it to him, in the following words:
18: "King Alexander to his brother Jonathan, greeting.
We have heard about you, that you are a mighty warrior and worthy to be our
20: And so we have appointed you today to be the high priest
of your nation; you are to be called the king's friend" (and he sent him a
purple robe and a golden crown) "and you are to take our side and keep
friendship with us."
21: So Jonathan put on the holy garments in the
seventh month of the one hundred and sixtieth year, at the feast of tabernacles,
and he recruited troops and equipped them with arms in abundance.
When Demetrius heard of these things he was grieved and said,
"What is this that we have done? Alexander has gotten ahead of us in forming a
friendship with the Jews to strengthen himself.
24: I also will write
them words of encouragement and promise them honor and gifts, that I may have
25: So he sent a message to them in the following words:
"King Demetrius to the nation of the Jews, greeting.
26: Since you
have kept your agreement with us and have continued your friendship with us, and
have not sided with our enemies, we have heard of it and rejoiced.
27: And now continue still to keep faith with us, and we will repay
you with good for what you do for us.
28: We will grant you many
immunities and give you gifts.
29: "And now I free you and exempt all
the Jews from payment of tribute and salt tax and crown levies,
and instead of collecting the third of the grain and the half of the fruit of
the trees that I should receive, I release them from this day and henceforth. I
will not collect them from the land of Judah or from the three districts added
to it from Samaria and Galilee, from this day and for all time.
And let Jerusalem and her environs, her tithes and her revenues, be holy and
free from tax.
32: I release also my control of the citadel in
Jerusalem and give it to the high priest, that he may station in it men of his
own choice to guard it.
33: And every one of the Jews taken as a
captive from the land of Judah into any part of my kingdom, I set free without
payment; and let all officials cancel also the taxes on their cattle.
34: "And all the feasts and sabbaths and new moons and appointed
days, and the three days before a feast and the three after a feast -- let them
all be days of immunity and release for all the Jews who are in my kingdom.
35: No one shall have authority to exact anything from them or annoy
any of them about any matter.
36: "Let Jews be enrolled in the king's
forces to the number of thirty thousand men, and let the maintenance be given
them that is due to all the forces of the king.
37: Let some of them
be stationed in the great strongholds of the king, and let some of them be put
in positions of trust in the kingdom. Let their officers and leaders be of their
own number, and let them live by their own laws, just as the king has commanded
in the land of Judah.
38: "As for the three districts that have been
added to Judea from the country of Samaria, let them be so annexed to Judea that
they are considered to be under one ruler and obey no other authority but the
39: Ptolemais and the land adjoining it I have given as
a gift to the sanctuary in Jerusalem, to meet the necessary expenses of the
40: I also grant fifteen thousand shekels of silver yearly
out of the king's revenues from appropriate places.
41: And all the
additional funds which the government officials have not paid as they did in the
first years, they shall give from now on for the service of the temple.
42: Moreover, the five thousand shekels of silver which my officials
have received every year from the income of the services of the temple, this too
is canceled, because it belongs to the priests who minister there.
43: And whoever takes refuge at the temple in Jerusalem, or in any of
its precincts, because he owes money to the king or has any debt, let him be
released and receive back all his property in my kingdom.
the cost of rebuilding and restoring the structures of the sanctuary be paid
from the revenues of the king.
45: And let the cost of rebuilding the
walls of Jerusalem and fortifying it round about, and the cost of rebuilding the
walls in Judea, also be paid from the revenues of the king."
Jonathan and the people heard these words, they did not believe or accept them,
because they remembered the great wrongs which Demetrius had done in Israel and
how he had greatly oppressed them.
47: They favored Alexander,
because he had been the first to speak peaceable words to them, and they
remained his allies all his days.
48: Now Alexander the king
assembled large forces and encamped opposite Demetrius.
49: The two
kings met in battle, and the army of Demetrius fled, and Alexander pursued him
and defeated them.
50: He pressed the battle strongly until the sun
set, and Demetrius fell on that day.
51: Then Alexander sent
ambassadors to Ptolemy king of Egypt with the following message:
"Since I have returned to my kingdom and have taken my seat on the throne of my
fathers, and established my rule -- for I crushed Demetrius and gained control
of our country;
53: I met him in battle, and he and his army were
crushed by us, and we have taken our seat on the throne of his kingdom --
54: now therefore let us establish friendship with one another; give
me now your daughter as my wife, and I will become your son-in-law, and will
make gifts to you and to her in keeping with your position."
Ptolemy the king replied and said, "Happy was the day on which you returned to
the land of your fathers and took your seat on the throne of their kingdom.
56: And now I will do for you as you wrote, but meet me at Ptolemais,
so that we may see one another, and I will become your father-in-law, as you
57: So Ptolemy set out from Egypt, he and Cleopatra his
daughter, and came to Ptolemais in the one hundred and sixty-second year.
58: Alexander the king met him, and Ptolemy gave him Cleopatra his
daughter in marriage, and celebrated her wedding at Ptolemais with great pomp,
as kings do.
59: Then Alexander the king wrote to Jonathan to come to
60: So he went with pomp to Ptolemais and met the two
kings; he gave them and their friends silver and gold and many gifts, and found
favor with them.
61: A group of pestilent men from Israel, lawless
men, gathered together against him to accuse him; but the king paid no attention
62: The king gave orders to take off Jonathan's garments and
to clothe him in purple, and they did so.
63: The king also seated
him at his side; and he said to his officers, "Go forth with him into the middle
of the city and proclaim that no one is to bring charges against him about any
matter, and let no one annoy him for any reason."
64: And when his
accusers saw the honor that was paid him, in accordance with the proclamation,
and saw him clothed in purple, they all fled.
65: Thus the king
honored him and enrolled him among his chief friends, and made him general and
governor of the province.
66: And Jonathan returned to Jerusalem in
peace and gladness.
67: In the one hundred and sixty-fifth year
Demetrius the son of Demetrius came from Crete to the land of his fathers.
68: When Alexander the king heard of it, he was greatly grieved and
returned to Antioch.
69: And Demetrius appointed Apollonius the
governor of Coelesyria, and he assembled a large force and encamped against
Jamnia. Then he sent the following message to Jonathan the high priest:
70: "You are the only one to rise up against us, and I have become a
laughingstock and reproach because of you. Why do you assume authority against
us in the hill country?
71: If you now have confidence in your
forces, come down to the plain to meet us, and let us match strength with each
other there, for I have with me the power of the cities.
72: Ask and
learn who I am and who the others are that are helping us. Men will tell you
that you cannot stand before us, for your fathers were twice put to flight in
their own land.
73: And now you will not be able to withstand my
cavalry and such an army in the plain, where there is no stone or pebble, or
place to flee."
74: When Jonathan heard the words of Apollonius, his
spirit was aroused. He chose ten thousand men and set out from Jerusalem, and
Simon his brother met him to help him.
75: He encamped before Joppa,
but the men of the city closed its gates, for Apollonius had a garrison in
76: So they fought against it, and the men of the city became
afraid and opened the gates, and Jonathan gained possession of Joppa.
77: When Apollonius heard of it, he mustered three thousand cavalry
and a large army, and went to Azotus as though he were going farther. At the
same time he advanced into the plain, for he had a large troop of cavalry and
put confidence in it.
78: Jonathan pursued him to Azotus, and the
armies engaged in battle.
79: Now Apollonius had secretly left a
thousand cavalry behind them.
80: Jonathan learned that there was an
ambush behind him, for they surrounded his army and shot arrows at his men from
early morning till late afternoon.
81: But his men stood fast, as
Jonathan commanded, and the enemy's horses grew tired.
82: Then Simon
brought forward his force and engaged the phalanx in battle (for the cavalry was
exhausted); they were overwhelmed by him and fled,
83: and the
cavalry was dispersed in the plain. They fled to Azotus and entered Beth-dagon,
the temple of their idol, for safety.
84: But Jonathan burned Azotus
and the surrounding towns and plundered them; and the temple of Dagon, and those
who had taken refuge in it he burned with fire.
85: The number of
those who fell by the sword, with those burned alive, came to eight thousand
86: Then Jonathan departed from there and encamped against
Askalon, and the men of the city came out to meet him with great pomp.
87: And Jonathan and those with him returned to Jerusalem with much
88: When Alexander the king heard of these things, he honored
Jonathan still more;
89: and he sent to him a golden buckle, such as
it is the custom to give to the kinsmen of kings. He also gave him Ekron and all
its environs as his possession.
1: Then the king of Egypt gathered great forces,
like the sand by the seashore, and many ships; and he tried to get possession of
Alexander's kingdom by trickery and add it to his own kingdom.
set out for Syria with peaceable words, and the people of the cities opened
their gates to him and went to meet him, for Alexander the king had commanded
them to meet him, since he was Alexander's father-in-law.
3: But when
Ptolemy entered the cities he stationed forces as a garrison in each city.
4: When he approached Azotus, they showed him the temple of Dagon
burned down, and Azotus and its suburbs destroyed, and the corpses lying about,
and the charred bodies of those whom Jonathan had burned in the war, for they
had piled them in heaps along his route.
5: They also told the king
what Jonathan had done, to throw blame on him; but the king kept silent.
6: Jonathan met the king at Joppa with pomp, and they greeted one
another and spent the night there.
7: And Jonathan went with the king
as far as the river called Eleutherus; then he returned to Jerusalem.
8: So King Ptolemy gained control of the coastal cities as far as
Seleucia by the sea, and he kept devising evil designs against Alexander.
9: He sent envoys to Demetrius the king, saying, "Come, let us make a
covenant with each other, and I will give you in marriage my daughter who was
Alexander's wife, and you shall reign over your father's kingdom.
For I now regret that I gave him my daughter, for he has tried to kill me."
11: He threw blame on Alexander because he coveted his kingdom.
12: So he took his daughter away from him and gave her to Demetrius.
He was estranged from Alexander, and their enmity became manifest.
13: Then Ptolemy entered Antioch and put on the crown of Asia. Thus
he put two crowns upon his head, the crown of Egypt and that of Asia.
14: Now Alexander the king was in Cilicia at that time, because the
people of that region were in revolt.
15: And Alexander heard of it
and came against him in battle. Ptolemy marched out and met him with a strong
force, and put him to flight.
16: So Alexander fled into Arabia to
find protection there, and King Ptolemy was exalted.
17: And Zabdiel
the Arab cut off the head of Alexander and sent it to Ptolemy.
But King Ptolemy died three days later, and his troops in the strongholds were
killed by the inhabitants of the strongholds.
19: So Demetrius became
king in the one hundred and sixty-seventh year.
20: In those days
Jonathan assembled the men of Judea to attack the citadel in Jerusalem, and he
built many engines of war to use against it.
21: But certain lawless
men who hated their nation went to the king and reported to him that Jonathan
was besieging the citadel.
22: When he heard this he was angry, and
as soon as he heard it he set out and came to Ptolemais; and he wrote Jonathan
not to continue the siege, but to meet him for a conference at Ptolemais as
quickly as possible.
23: When Jonathan heard this, he gave orders to
continue the siege; and he chose some of the elders of Israel and some of the
priests, and put himself in danger,
24: for he went to the king at
Ptolemais, taking silver and gold and clothing and numerous other gifts. And he
won his favor.
25: Although certain lawless men of his nation kept
making complaints against him,
26: the king treated him as his
predecessors had treated him; he exalted him in the presence of all his friends.
27: He confirmed him in the high priesthood and in as many other
honors as he had formerly had, and made him to be regarded as one of his chief
28: Then Jonathan asked the king to free Judea and the three
districts of Samaria from tribute, and promised him three hundred talents.
29: The king consented, and wrote a letter to Jonathan about all
these things; its contents were as follows:
30: "King Demetrius to
Jonathan his brother and to the nation of the Jews, greeting.
This copy of the letter which we wrote concerning you to Lasthenes our kinsman
we have written to you also, so that you may know what it says.
`King Demetrius to Lasthenes his father, greeting.
33: To the nation
of the Jews, who are our friends and fulfil their obligations to us, we have
determined to do good, because of the good will they show toward us.
34: We have confirmed as their possession both the territory of Judea
and the three districts of Aphairema and Lydda and Rathamin; the latter, with
all the region bordering them, were added to Judea from Samaria. To all those
who offer sacrifice in Jerusalem, we have granted release from the royal taxes
which the king formerly received from them each year, from the crops of the land
and the fruit of the trees.
35: And the other payments henceforth due
to us of the tithes, and the taxes due to us, and the salt pits and the crown
taxes due to us -- from all these we shall grant them release.
And not one of these grants shall be canceled from this time forth for ever.
37: Now therefore take care to make a copy of this, and let it be
given to Jonathan and put up in a conspicuous place on the holy mountain.'"
38: Now when Demetrius the king saw that the land was quiet before
him and that there was no opposition to him, he dismissed all his troops, each
man to his own place, except the foreign troops which he had recruited from the
islands of the nations. So all the troops who had served his fathers hated him.
39: Now Trypho had formerly been one of Alexander's supporters. He
saw that all the troops were murmuring against Demetrius. So he went to Imalkue
the Arab, who was bringing up Antiochus, the young son of Alexander,
40: and insistently urged him to hand Antiochus over to him, to
become king in place of his father. He also reported to Imalkue what Demetrius
had done and told of the hatred which the troops of Demetrius had for him; and
he stayed there many days.
41: Now Jonathan sent to Demetrius the
king the request that he remove the troops of the citadel from Jerusalem, and
the troops in the strongholds; for they kept fighting against Israel.
42: And Demetrius sent this message to Jonathan, "Not only will I do
these things for you and your nation, but I will confer great honor on you and
your nation, if I find an opportunity.
43: Now then you will do well
to send me men who will help me, for all my troops have revolted."
44: So Jonathan sent three thousand stalwart men to him at Antioch,
and when they came to the king, the king rejoiced at their arrival.
45: Then the men of the city assembled within the city, to the number
of a hundred and twenty thousand, and they wanted to kill the king.
46: But the king fled into the palace. Then the men of the city
seized the main streets of the city and began to fight.
47: So the
king called the Jews to his aid, and they all rallied about him and then spread
out through the city; and they killed on that day as many as a hundred thousand
48: They set fire to the city and seized much spoil on that day,
and they saved the king.
49: When the men of the city saw that the
Jews had gained control of the city as they pleased, their courage failed and
they cried out to the king with this entreaty,
50: "Grant us peace,
and make the Jews stop fighting against us and our city."
they threw down their arms and made peace. So the Jews gained glory in the eyes
of the king and of all the people in his kingdom, and they returned to Jerusalem
with much spoil.
52: So Demetrius the king sat on the throne of his
kingdom, and the land was quiet before him.
53: But he broke his word
about all that he had promised; and he became estranged from Jonathan and did
not repay the favors which Jonathan had done him, but oppressed him greatly.
54: After this Trypho returned, and with him the young boy Antiochus
who began to reign and put on the crown.
55: All the troops that
Demetrius had cast off gathered around him, and they fought against Demetrius,
and he fled and was routed.
56: And Trypho captured the elephants and
gained control of Antioch.
57: Then the young Antiochus wrote to
Jonathan, saying, "I confirm you in the high priesthood and set you over the
four districts and make you one of the friends of the king."
he sent him gold plate and a table service, and granted him the right to drink
from gold cups and dress in purple and wear a gold buckle.
his brother he made governor from the Ladder of Tyre to the borders of Egypt.
60: Then Jonathan set forth and traveled beyond the river and among
the cities, and all the army of Syria gathered to him as allies. When he came to
Askalon, the people of the city met him and paid him honor.
there he departed to Gaza, but the men of Gaza shut him out. So he beseiged it
and burned its suburbs with fire and plundered them.
62: Then the
people of Gaza pleaded with Jonathan, and he made peace with them, and took the
sons of their rulers as hostages and sent them to Jerusalem. And he passed
through the country as far as Damascus.
63: Then Jonathan heard that
the officers of Demetrius had come to Kadesh in Galilee with a large army,
intending to remove him from office.
64: He went to meet them, but
left his brother Simon in the country.
65: Simon encamped before
Beth-zur and fought against it for many days and hemmed it in.
Then they asked him to grant them terms of peace, and he did so. He removed them
from there, took possession of the city, and set a garrison over it.
67: Jonathan and his army encamped by the waters of Gennesaret. Early
in the morning they marched to the plain of Hazor,
68: and behold,
the army of the foreigners met him in the plain; they had set an ambush against
him in the mountains, but they themselves met him face to face.
Then the men in ambush emerged from their places and joined battle.
70: All the men with Jonathan fled; not one of them was left except
Mattathias the son of Absalom and Judas the son of Chalphi, commanders of the
forces of the army.
71: Jonathan rent his garments and put dust on
his head, and prayed.
72: Then he turned back to the battle against
the enemy and routed them, and they fled.
73: When his men who were
fleeing saw this, they returned to him and joined him in the pursuit as far as
Kadesh, to their camp, and there they encamped.
74: As many as three
thousand of the foreigners fell that day. And Jonathan returned to Jerusalem.
1: Now when Jonathan saw that the time was
favorable for him, he chose men and sent them to Rome to confirm and renew the
friendship with them.
2: He also sent letters to the same effect to
the Spartans and to other places.
3: So they went to Rome and entered
the senate chamber and said, "Jonathan the high priest and the Jewish nation
have sent us to renew the former friendship and alliance with them."
4: And the Romans gave them letters to the people in every place,
asking them to provide for the envoys safe conduct to the land of Judah.
5: This is a copy of the letter which Jonathan wrote to the Spartans:
6: "Jonathan the high priest, the senate of the nation, the priests,
and the rest of the Jewish people to their brethren the Spartans, greeting.
7: Already in time past a letter was sent to Onias the high priest
from Arius, who was king among you, stating that you are our brethren, as the
appended copy shows.
8: Onias welcomed the envoy with honor, and
received the letter, which contained a clear declaration of alliance and
9: Therefore, though we have no need of these things,
since we have as encouragement the holy books which are in our hands,
10: we have undertaken to send to renew our brotherhood and
friendship with you, so that we may not become estranged from you, for
considerable time has passed since you sent your letter to us.
therefore remember you constantly on every occasion, both in our feasts and on
other appropriate days, at the sacrifices which we offer and in our prayers, as
it is right and proper to remember brethren.
12: And we rejoice in
13: But as for ourselves, many afflictions and many wars
have encircled us; the kings round about us have waged war against us.
14: We were unwilling to annoy you and our other allies and friends
with these wars,
15: for we have the help which comes from Heaven for
our aid; and we were delivered from our enemies and our enemies were humbled.
16: We therefore have chosen Numenius the son of Antiochus and
Antipater the son of Jason, and have sent them to Rome to renew our former
friendship and alliance with them.
17: We have commanded them to go
also to you and greet you and deliver to you this letter from us concerning the
renewal of our brotherhood.
18: And now please send us a reply to
19: This is a copy of the letter which they sent to Onias:
20: "Arius, king of the Spartans, to Onias the high priest, greeting.
21: It has been found in writing concerning the Spartans and the Jews
that they are brethren and are of the family of Abraham.
22: And now
that we have learned this, please write us concerning your welfare;
23: we on our part write to you that your cattle and your property
belong to us, and ours belong to you. We therefore command that our envoys
report to you accordingly."
24: Now Jonathan heard that the
commanders of Demetrius had returned, with a larger force than before, to wage
war against him.
25: So he marched away from Jerusalem and met them
in the region of Hamath, for he gave them no opportunity to invade his own
26: He sent spies to their camp, and they returned and
reported to him that the enemy were being drawn up in formation to fall upon the
Jews by night.
27: So when the sun set, Jonathan commanded his men to
be alert and to keep their arms at hand so as to be ready all night for battle,
and he stationed outposts around the camp.
28: When the enemy heard
that Jonathan and his men were prepared for battle, they were afraid and were
terrified at heart; so they kindled fires in their camp and withdrew.
29: But Jonathan and his men did not know it until morning, for they
saw the fires burning.
30: Then Jonathan pursued them, but he did not
overtake them, for they had crossed the Eleutherus river.
Jonathan turned aside against the Arabs who are called Zabadeans, and he crushed
them and plundered them.
32: Then he broke camp and went to Damascus,
and marched through all that region.
33: Simon also went forth and
marched through the country as far as Askalon and the neighboring strongholds.
He turned aside to Joppa and took it by surprise,
34: for he had
heard that they were ready to hand over the stronghold to the men whom Demetrius
had sent. And he stationed a garrison there to guard it.
Jonathan returned he convened the elders of the people and planned with them to
build strongholds in Judea,
36: to build the walls of Jerusalem still
higher, and to erect a high barrier between the citadel and the city to separate
it from the city, in order to isolate it so that its garrison could neither buy
37: So they gathered together to build up the city; part of
the wall on the valley to the east had fallen, and he repaired the section
38: And Simon built Adida in the Shephelah; he
fortified it and installed gates with bolts.
39: Then Trypho
attempted to become king in Asia and put on the crown, and to raise his hand
against Antiochus the king.
40: He feared that Jonathan might not
permit him to do so, but might make war on him, so he kept seeking to seize and
kill him, and he marched forth and came to Beth-shan.
went out to meet him with forty thousand picked fighting men, and he came to
42: When Trypho saw that he had come with a large army, he
was afraid to raise his hand against him.
43: So he received him with
honor and commended him to all his friends, and he gave him gifts and commanded
his friends and his troops to obey him as they would himself.
Then he said to Jonathan, "Why have you wearied all these people when we are not
45: Dismiss them now to their homes and choose for yourself a
few men to stay with you, and come with me to Ptolemais. I will hand it over to
you as well as the other strongholds and the remaining troops and all the
officials, and will turn round and go home. For that is why I am here."
46: Jonathan trusted him and did as he said; he sent away the troops,
and they returned to the land of Judah.
47: He kept with himself
three thousand men, two thousand of whom he left in Galilee, while a thousand
48: But when Jonathan entered Ptolemais, the men of
Ptolemais closed the gates and seized him, and all who had entered with him they
killed with the sword.
49: Then Trypho sent troops and cavalry into
Galilee and the Great Plain to destroy all Jonathan's soldiers.
But they realized that Jonathan had been seized and had perished along with his
men, and they encouraged one another and kept marching in close formation, ready
51: When their pursuers saw that they would fight for
their lives, they turned back.
52: So they all reached the land of
Judah safely, and they mourned for Jonathan and his companions and were in great
fear; and all Israel mourned deeply.
53: And all the nations round
about them tried to destroy them, for they said, "They have no leader or helper.
Now therefore let us make war on them and blot out the memory of them from among
1: Simon heard that Trypho had assembled a large
army to invade the land of Judah and destroy it,
2: and he saw that
the people were trembling and fearful. So he went up to Jerusalem, and gathering
the people together
3: he encouraged them, saying to them, "You
yourselves know what great things I and my brothers and the house of my father
have done for the laws and the sanctuary; you know also the wars and the
difficulties which we have seen.
4: By reason of this all my brothers
have perished for the sake of Israel, and I alone am left.
now, far be it from me to spare my life in any time of distress, for I am not
better than my brothers.
6: But I will avenge my nation and the
sanctuary and your wives and children, for all the nations have gathered
together out of hatred to destroy us."
7: The spirit of the people
was rekindled when they heard these words,
8: and they answered in a
loud voice, "You are our leader in place of Judas and Jonathan your brother.
9: Fight our battles, and all that you say to us we will do."
10: So he assembled all the warriors and hastened to complete the
walls of Jerusalem, and he fortified it on every side.
11: He sent
Jonathan the son of Absalom to Joppa, and with him a considerable army; he drove
out its occupants and remained there.
12: Then Trypho departed from
Ptolemais with a large army to invade the land of Judah, and Jonathan was with
him under guard.
13: And Simon encamped in Adida, facing the plain.
14: Trypho learned that Simon had risen up in place of Jonathan his
brother, and that he was about to join battle with him, so he sent envoys to him
15: "It is for the money that Jonathan your brother owed
the royal treasury, in connection with the offices he held, that we are
16: Send now a hundred talents of silver and two of
his sons as hostages, so that when released he will not revolt against us, and
we will release him."
17: Simon knew that they were speaking
deceitfully to him, but he sent to get the money and the sons, lest he arouse
great hostility among the people, who might say,
18: "Because Simon
did not send him the money and the sons, he perished."
19: So he sent
the sons and the hundred talents, but Trypho broke his word and did not release
20: After this Trypho came to invade the country and
destroy it, and he circled around by the way to Adora. But Simon and his army
kept marching along opposite him to every place he went.
21: Now the
men in the citadel kept sending envoys to Trypho urging him to come to them by
way of the wilderness and to send them food.
22: So Trypho got all
his cavalry ready to go, but that night a very heavy snow fell, and he did not
go because of the snow. He marched off and went into the land of Gilead.
23: When he approached Baskama, he killed Jonathan, and he was buried
24: Then Trypho turned back and departed to his own land.
25: And Simon sent and took the bones of Jonathan his brother, and
buried him in Modein, the city of his fathers.
26: All Israel
bewailed him with great lamentation, and mourned for him many days.
27: And Simon built a monument over the tomb of his father and his
brothers; he made it high that it might be seen, with polished stone at the
front and back.
28: He also erected seven pyramids, opposite one
another, for his father and mother and four brothers.
29: And for the
pyramids he devised an elaborate setting, erecting about them great columns, and
upon the columns he put suits of armor for a permanent memorial, and beside the
suits of armor carved ships, so that they could be seen by all who sail the sea.
30: This is the tomb which he built in Modein; it remains to this
31: Trypho dealt treacherously with the young king Antiochus; he
32: and became king in his place, putting on the crown of
Asia; and he brought great calamity upon the land.
33: But Simon
built up the strongholds of Judea and walled them all around, with high towers
and great walls and gates and bolts, and he stored food in the strongholds.
34: Simon also chose men and sent them to Demetrius the king with a
request to grant relief to the country, for all that Trypho did was to plunder.
35: Demetrius the king sent him a favorable reply to this request,
and wrote him a letter as follows,
36: "King Demetrius to Simon, the
high priest and friend of kings, and to the elders and nation of the Jews,
37: We have received the gold crown and the palm branch
which you sent, and we are ready to make a general peace with you and to write
to our officials to grant you release from tribute.
38: All the
grants that we have made to you remain valid, and let the strongholds that you
have built be your possession.
39: We pardon any errors and offenses
committed to this day, and cancel the crown tax which you owe; and whatever
other tax has been collected in Jerusalem shall be collected no longer.
40: And if any of you are qualified to be enrolled in our bodyguard,
let them be enrolled, and let there be peace between us."
41: In the
one hundred and seventieth year the yoke of the Gentiles was removed from
42: and the people began to write in their documents and
contracts, "In the first year of Simon the great high priest and commander and
leader of the Jews."
43: In those days Simon encamped against Gazara
and surrounded it with troops. He made a siege engine, brought it up to the
city, and battered and captured one tower.
44: The men in the siege
engine leaped out into the city, and a great tumult arose in the city.
45: The men in the city, with their wives and children, went up on
the wall with their clothes rent, and they cried out with a loud voice, asking
Simon to make peace with them;
46: they said, "Do not treat us
according to our wicked acts but according to your mercy."
Simon reached an agreement with them and stopped fighting against them. But he
expelled them from the city and cleansed the houses in which the idols were, and
then entered it with hymns and praise.
48: He cast out of it all
uncleanness, and settled in it men who observed the law. He also strengthened
its fortifications and built in it a house for himself.
49: The men
in the citadel at Jerusalem were prevented from going out to the country and
back to buy and sell. So they were very hungry, and many of them perished from
50: Then they cried to Simon to make peace with them, and he
did so. But he expelled them from there and cleansed the citadel from its
51: On the twenty-third day of the second month, in the
one hundred and seventy-first year, the Jews entered it with praise and palm
branches, and with harps and cymbals and stringed instruments, and with hymns
and songs, because a great enemy had been crushed and removed from Israel.
52: And Simon decreed that every year they should celebrate this day
with rejoicing. He strengthened the fortifications of the temple hill alongside
the citadel, and he and his men dwelt there.
53: And Simon saw that
John his son had reached manhood, so he made him commander of all the forces,
and he dwelt in Gazara.
1: In the one hundred and seventy-second year
Demetrius the king assembled his forces and marched into Media to secure help,
so that he could make war against Trypho.
2: When Arsaces the king of
Persia and Media heard that Demetrius had invaded his territory, he sent one of
his commanders to take him alive.
3: And he went and defeated the
army of Demetrius, and seized him and took him to Arsaces, who put him under
4: The land had rest all the days of Simon. He sought the good
of his nation; his rule was pleasing to them, as was the honor shown him, all
5: To crown all his honors he took Joppa for a harbor, and
opened a way to the isles of the sea.
6: He extended the borders of
his nation, and gained full control of the country.
7: He gathered a
host of captives; he ruled over Gazara and Beth-zur and the citadel, and he
removed its uncleanness from it; and there was none to oppose him.
They tilled their land in peace; the ground gave its increase, and the trees of
the plains their fruit.
9: Old men sat in the streets; they all
talked together of good things; and the youths donned the glories and garments
10: He supplied the cities with food, and furnished them with
the means of defense, till his renown spread to the ends of the earth.
11: He established peace in the land, and Israel rejoiced with great
12: Each man sat under his vine and his fig tree, and there was
none to make them afraid.
13: No one was left in the land to fight
them, and the kings were crushed in those days.
14: He strengthened
all the humble of his people; he sought out the law, and did away with every
lawless and wicked man.
15: He made the sanctuary glorious, and added
to the vessels of the sanctuary.
16: It was heard in Rome, and as far
away as Sparta, that Jonathan had died, and they were deeply grieved.
17: When they heard that Simon his brother had become high priest in
his place, and that he was ruling over the country and the cities in it,
18: they wrote to him on bronze tablets to renew with him the
friendship and alliance which they had established with Judas and Jonathan his
19: And these were read before the assembly in Jerusalem.
20: This is a copy of the letter which the Spartans sent: "The rulers
and the city of the Spartans to Simon the high priest and to the elders and the
priests and the rest of the Jewish people, our brethren, greeting.
21: The envoys who were sent to our people have told us about your
glory and honor, and we rejoiced at their coming.
22: And what they
said we have recorded in our public decrees, as follows, `Numenius the son of
Antiochus and Antipater the son of Jason, envoys of the Jews, have come to us to
renew their friendship with us.
23: It has pleased our people to
receive these men with honor and to put a copy of their words in the public
archives, so that the people of the Spartans may have a record of them. And they
have sent a copy of this to Simon the high priest.'"
24: After this
Simon sent Numenius to Rome with a large gold shield weighing a thousand minas,
to confirm the alliance with the Romans.
25: When the people heard
these things they said, "How shall we thank Simon and his sons?
For he and his brothers and the house of his father have stood firm; they have
fought and repulsed Israel's enemies and established its freedom."
27: So they made a record on bronze tablets and put it upon pillars
on Mount Zion. This is a copy of what they wrote: "On the eighteenth day of
Elul, in the one hundred and seventy-second year, which is the third year of
Simon the great high priest,
28: in Asaramel, in the great assembly
of the priests and the people and the rulers of the nation and the elders of the
country, the following was proclaimed to us:
29: "Since wars often
occurred in the country, Simon the son of Mattathias, a priest of the sons of
Joarib, and his brothers, exposed themselves to danger and resisted the enemies
of their nation, in order that their sanctuary and the law might be perserved;
and they brought great glory to their nation.
30: Jonathan rallied
the nation, and became their high priest, and was gathered to his people.
31: And when their enemies decided to invade their country and lay
hands on their sanctuary,
32: then Simon rose up and fought for his
nation. He spent great sums of his own money; he armed the men of his nation's
forces and paid them wages.
33: He fortified the cities of Judea, and
Beth-zur on the borders of Judea, where formerly the arms of the enemy had been
stored, and he placed there a garrison of Jews.
34: He also fortified
Joppa, which is by the sea, and Gazara, which is on the borders of Azotus, where
the enemy formerly dwelt. He settled Jews there, and provided in those cities
whatever was necessary for their restoration.
35: "The people saw
Simon's faithfulness and the glory which he had resolved to win for his nation,
and they made him their leader and high priest, because he had done all these
things and because of the justice and loyalty which he had maintained toward his
nation. He sought in every way to exalt his people.
36: And in his
days things prospered in his hands, so that the Gentiles were put out of the
country, as were also the men in the city of David in Jerusalem, who had built
themselves a citadel from which they used to sally forth and defile the environs
of the sanctuary and do great damage to its purity.
37: He settled
Jews in it, and fortified it for the safety of the country and of the city, and
built the walls of Jerusalem higher.
38: "In view of these things
King Demetrius confirmed him in the high priesthood,
39: and he made
him one of the king's friends and paid him high honors.
40: For he
had heard that the Jews were addressed by the Romans as friends and allies and
brethren, and that the Romans had received the envoys of Simon with honor.
41: "And the Jews and their priests decided that Simon should be
their leader and high priest for ever, until a trustworthy prophet should arise,
42: and that he should be governor over them and that he should take
charge of the sanctuary and appoint men over its tasks and over the country and
the weapons and the strongholds, and that he should take charge of the
43: and that he should be obeyed by all, and that all
contracts in the country should be written in his name, and that he should be
clothed in purple and wear gold.
44: "And none of the people or
priests shall be permitted to nullify any of these decisions or to oppose what
he says, or to convene an assembly in the country without his permission, or to
be clothed in purple or put on a gold buckle.
45: Whoever acts
contrary to these decisions or nullifies any of them shall be liable to
46: And all the people agreed to grant Simon the right
to act in accord with these decisions.
47: So Simon accepted and
agreed to be high priest, to be commander and ethnarch of the Jews and priests,
and to be protector of them all.
48: And they gave orders to inscribe
this decree upon bronze tablets, to put them up in a conspicuous place in the
precincts of the sanctuary,
49: and to deposit copies of them in the
treasury, so that Simon and his sons might have them.
1: Antiochus, the son of Demetrius the king, sent a
letter from the islands of the sea to Simon, the priest and ethnarch of the
Jews, and to all the nation;
2: its contents were as follows: "King
Antiochus to Simon the high priest and ethnarch and to the nation of the Jews,
3: Whereas certain pestilent men have gained control of the
kingdom of our fathers, and I intend to lay claim to the kingdom so that I may
restore it as it formerly was, and have recruited a host of mercenary troops and
have equipped warships,
4: and intend to make a landing in the
country so that I may proceed against those who have destroyed our country and
those who have devastated many cities in my kingdom,
5: now therefore
I confirm to you all the tax remissions that the kings before me have granted
you, and release from all the other payments from which they have released you.
6: I permit you to mint your own coinage as money for your country,
7: and I grant freedom to Jerusalem and the sanctuary. All the
weapons which you have prepared and the strongholds which you have built and now
hold shall remain yours.
8: Every debt you owe to the royal treasury
and any such future debts shall be canceled for you from henceforth and for all
9: When we gain control of our kingdom, we will bestow great
honor upon you and your nation and the temple, so that your glory will become
manifest in all the earth."
10: In the one hundred and seventy-fourth
year Antiochus set out and invaded the land of his fathers. All the troops
rallied to him, so that there were few with Trypho.
pursued him, and he came in his flight to Dor, which is by the sea;
12: for he knew that troubles had converged upon him, and his troops
had deserted him.
13: So Antiochus encamped against Dor, and with him
were a hundred and twenty thousand warriors and eight thousand cavalry.
14: He surrounded the city, and the ships joined battle from the sea;
he pressed the city hard from land and sea, and permitted no one to leave or
15: Then Numenius and his companions arrived from Rome,
with letters to the kings and countries, in which the following was written:
16: "Lucius, consul of the Romans, to King Ptolemy, greeting.
17: The envoys of the Jews have come to us as our friends and allies
to renew our ancient friendship and alliance. They had been sent by Simon the
high priest and by the people of the Jews,
18: and have brought a
gold shield weighing a thousand minas.
19: We therefore have decided
to write to the kings and countries that they should not seek their harm or make
war against them and their cities and their country, or make alliance with those
who war against them.
20: And it has seemed good to us to accept the
shield from them.
21: Therefore if any pestilent men have fled to you
from their country, hand them over to Simon the high priest, that he may punish
them according to their law."
22: The consul wrote the same thing to
Demetrius the king and to Attalus and Ariarathes and Arsaces,
to all the countries, and to Sampsames, and to the Spartans, and to Delos, and
to Myndos, and to Sicyon, and to Caria, and to Samos, and to Pamphylia, and to
Lycia, and to Halicarnassus, and to Rhodes, and to Phaselis, and to Cos, and to
Side, and to Aradus and Gortyna and Cnidus and Cyprus and Cyrene.
They also sent a copy of these things to Simon the high priest.
Antiochus the king besieged Dor anew, continually throwing his forces against it
and making engines of war; and he shut Trypho up and kept him from going out or
26: And Simon sent to Antiochus two thousand picked men, to fight
for him, and silver and gold and much military equipment.
27: But he
refused to receive them, and he broke all the agreements he formerly had made
with Simon, and became estranged from him.
28: He sent to him
Athenobius, one of his friends, to confer with him, saying, "You hold control of
Joppa and Gazara and the citadel in Jerusalem; they are cities of my kingdom.
29: You have devastated their territory, you have done great damage
in the land, and you have taken possession of many places in my kingdom.
30: Now then, hand over the cities which you have seized and the
tribute money of the places which you have conquered outside the borders of
31: or else give me for them five hundred talents of silver,
and for the destruction that you have caused and the tribute money of the
cities, five hundred talents more. Otherwise we will come and conquer you."
32: So Athenobius the friend of the king came to Jerusalem, and when
he saw the splendor of Simon, and the sideboard with its gold and silver plate,
and his great magnificence, he was amazed. He reported to him the words of the
33: but Simon gave him this reply: "We have neither taken
foreign land nor seized foreign property, but only the inheritance of our
fathers, which at one time had been unjustly taken by our enemies.
34: Now that we have the opportunity, we are firmly holding the
inheritance of our fathers.
35: As for Joppa and Gazara, which you
demand, they were causing great damage among the people and to our land; for
them we will give you a hundred talents." Athenobius did not answer him a word,
36: but returned in wrath to the king and reported to him these words
and the splendor of Simon and all that he had seen. And the king was greatly
37: Now Trypho embarked on a ship and escaped to Orthosia.
38: Then the king made Cendebeus commander-in-chief of the coastal
country, and gave him troops of infantry and cavalry.
commanded him to encamp against Judea, and commanded him to build up Kedron and
fortify its gates, and to make war on the people; but the king pursued Trypho.
40: So Cendebeus came to Jamnia and began to provoke the people and
invade Judea and take the people captive and kill them.
41: He built
up Kedron and stationed there horsemen and troops, so that they might go out and
make raids along the highways of Judea, as the king had ordered him.
1: John went up from Gazara and reported to Simon
his father what Cendebeus had done.
2: And Simon called in his two
older sons Judas and John, and said to them: "I and my brothers and the house of
my father have fought the wars of Israel from our youth until this day, and
things have prospered in our hands so that we have delivered Israel many times.
3: But now I have grown old, and you by His mercy are mature in
years. Take my place and my brother's, and go out and fight for our nation, and
may the help which comes from Heaven be with you."
4: So John chose
out of the country twenty thousand warriors and horsemen, and they marched
against Cendebeus and camped for the night in Modein.
5: Early in the
morning they arose and marched into the plain, and behold, a large force of
infantry and horsemen was coming to meet them; and a stream lay between them.
6: Then he and his army lined up against them. And he saw that the
soldiers were afraid to cross the stream, so he crossed over first; and when his
men saw him, they crossed over after him.
7: Then he divided the army
and placed the horsemen in the midst of the infantry, for the cavalry of the
enemy were very numerous.
8: And they sounded the trumpets, and
Cendebeus and his army were put to flight, and many of them were wounded and
fell; the rest fled into the stronghold.
9: At that time Judas the
brother of John was wounded, but John pursued them until Cendebeus reached
Kedron, which he had built.
10: They also fled into the towers that
were in the fields of Azotus, and John burned it with fire, and about two
thousand of them fell. And he returned to Judea safely.
Ptolemy the son of Abubus had been appointed governor over the plain of Jericho,
and he had much silver and gold,
12: for he was son-in-law of the
13: His heart was lifted up; he determined to get
control of the country, and made treacherous plans against Simon and his sons,
to do away with them.
14: Now Simon was visiting the cities of the
country and attending to their needs, and he went down to Jericho with
Mattathias and Judas his sons, in the one hundred and seventy-seventh year, in
the eleventh month, which is the month of Shebat.
15: The son of
Abubus received them treacherously in the little stronghold called Dok, which he
had built; he gave them a great banquet, and hid men there.
Simon and his sons were drunk, Ptolemy and his men rose up, took their weapons,
and rushed in against Simon in the banquet hall, and they killed him and his two
sons and some of his servants.
17: So he committed an act of great
treachery and returned evil for good.
18: Then Ptolemy wrote a report
about these things and sent it to the king, asking him to send troops to aid him
and to turn over to him the cities and the country.
19: He sent other
men to Gazara to do away with John; he sent letters to the captains asking them
to come to him so that he might give them silver and gold and gifts;
20: and he sent other men to take possession of Jerusalem and the
21: But some one ran ahead and reported to John at
Gazara that his father and brothers had perished, and that "he has sent men to
kill you also."
22: When he heard this, he was greatly shocked; and
he seized the men who came to destroy him and killed them, for he had found out
that they were seeking to destroy him.
23: The rest of the acts of
John and his wars and the brave deeds which he did, and the building of the
walls which he built, and his achievements,
24: behold, they are
written in the chronicles of his high priesthood, from the time that he became
high priest after his father.