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
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 alive.
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.
11. In 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
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.
14. So they built a gymnasium
in Jerusalem, according to Gentile custom,
15. and removed the
marks of circumcision, and abandoned the holy
covenant. They joined with the Gentiles and
sold themselves to do evil.
16. When 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
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 off.
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 arrogance.
25. Israel mourned deeply in
26. rulers and elders groaned,
maidens and young men became
the beauty of women faded.
27. Every bridegroom took up
she who sat in the bridal
chamber was mourning.
28. Even the land shook for
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.
32. And they took captive the
women and children, and seized the cattle.
33. Then they fortified the
city of David with a great strong wall and strong towers, and it became their
34. And they stationed there a
sinful people, lawless men. These strengthened their position;
35. 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
37. On every side of the
sanctuary they shed innocent blood;
they even defiled the
38. Because of them the
residents of Jerusalem fled;
she became a dwelling of
she became strange to her
and her children forsook her.
39. Her sanctuary became
desolate as a desert;
her feasts were turned into
her sabbaths into a reproach,
her honor into contempt.
40. Her dishonor now grew as
great as her glory;
her exaltation was turned into
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
46. to defile the sanctuary
and the priests,
47. to build altars and sacred
precincts and shrines for idols, to sacrifice swine and unclean animals,
48. and to leave their sons
uncircumcised. They were to make themselves abominable by everything unclean and
49. so that they should forget
the law and change all the ordinances.
50. "And whoever does not
obey the command of the king shall die."
51. In 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 cities.
59. And on the twenty-fifth
day of the month they offered sacrifice on the altar which was upon the altar of
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
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 Modein.
2. He had five sons, John
3. Simon called Thassi,
4. Judas called Maccabeus,
5. Eleazar 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
8. Her temple has become like
a man without honor;
9. her glorious vessels have
been carried into captivity.
Her babes have been killed in
her youths by the sword of the
10. What nation has not
inherited her palaces
and has not seized her spoils?
11. All her adornment has been
no longer free, she has become
12. And behold, our holy
place, our beauty,
and our glory have been laid
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
16. Many from Israel came to
them; and Mattathias and his sons were assembled.
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 gifts."
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 fathers,
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 the ordinances.
22. We will not obey the
king's words by turning aside from our religion to the right hand or to the
23. When 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
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 with me!"
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,
30. they, their sons, their
wives, and their cattle, because evils pressed heavily upon them.
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
32. 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
35. Then the enemy hastened to
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 persons.
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
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.
44. They organized an army,
and struck down sinners in their anger and lawless men in their wrath; the
survivors fled to the Gentiles for safety.
45. And Mattathias and his
friends went about and tore down the altars;
46. 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
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.
51. "Remember 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?
53. Joseph 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.
57. 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 heaven.
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
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 perish.
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
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
Like a giant he put on his
he girded on his armor of war
and waged battles,
protecting the host by his
4. He was like a lion in his
like a lion's cub roaring for
5. He searched out and pursued
he burned those who troubled
6. Lawless men shrank back for
fear of him;
all the evildoers were
and deliverance prospered by
7. He embittered many kings,
but he made Jacob glad by his
and his memory is blessed for
8. He went through the cities
he destroyed the ungodly out of
thus he turned away wrath from
9. He was renowned to the ends
of the earth;
he gathered in those who were
10. But Apollonius gathered
together Gentiles and a large force from Samaria to fight against Israel.
11. 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."
15. And again a strong army of
ungodly men went up with him to help him, to take vengeance on the sons of
16. When he approached the
ascent of Beth-horon, Judas went out to meet him with a small company.
17. But 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
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
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,
35. 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 the place,
36. settle aliens in all their
territory, and distribute their land.
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
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 sanctuary."
44. And the congregation
assembled to be ready for battle, and to pray and ask for mercy and compassion.
45. Jerusalem was uninhabited
like a wilderness;
not one of her children went in
The sanctuary was trampled
and the sons of aliens held the
it was a lodging place for the
Joy was taken from Jacob;
the flute and the harp ceased
46. So they assembled and went
to Mizpah, opposite Jerusalem, because Israel formerly had a place of prayer in
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
52. And behold, the Gentiles
are assembled against us to destroy us;
thou knowest what they plot
53. How will we be able to
if thou dost not help us?"
54. 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
2. to 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
9. Remember how our fathers
were saved at the Red Sea, when Pharaoh with his forces pursued them.
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 today.
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,
15. and 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 the Philistines.
23. Then Judas returned to
plunder the camp, and they seized much gold and silver, and cloth dyed blue and
sea purple, and great riches.
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
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 armor.
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 army.
36. Then said Judas and his
brothers, "Behold, our enemies are crushed; let us go up to cleanse the
sanctuary and dedicate it."
37. So all the army assembled
and they went up to Mount Zion.
38. And 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.
39. Then they rent their
clothes, and mourned with great lamentation, and sprinkled themselves with
40. They fell face down on the
ground, and sounded the signal on the trumpets, and cried out to Heaven.
41. Then Judas detailed men to
fight against those in the citadel until he had cleansed the sanctuary.
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 courts.
49. They made new holy
vessels, and brought the lampstand, the altar of incense, and the table into the
50. Then they burned incense
on the altar and lighted the lamps on the lampstand, and these gave light in the
51. They placed the bread on
the table and hung up the curtains. Thus they finished all the work they had
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
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 very angry,
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 Dathema,
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
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 men there."
14. While the letter was still
being read, behold, other messengers, with their garments rent, came from
Galilee and made a similar report;
15. they said that against
them had gathered together men of Ptolemais and Tyre and Sidon, and all Galilee
of the Gentiles, "to annihilate us."
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
22. He pursued them to the
gate of Ptolemais, and as many as three thousand of the Gentiles fell, and he
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
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.
29. He departed from there at
night, and they went all the way to the stronghold of Dathema.
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.
34. 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 day.
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
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 them.
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.
41. But if he shows fear and
camps on the other side of the river, we will cross over to him and defeat
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
43. 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.
45. 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
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 in safety.
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
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.
63. The 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
66. Then he marched off to go
into the land of the Philistines, and passed through Marisa.
67. On that day some priests,
who wished to do a brave deed, fell in battle, for they went out to battle
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
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.
9. He 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
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 land."
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 be king.
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.
24. For 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
25. And not against us alone
have they stretched out their hands, but also against all the lands on their
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
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 it.
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 the phalanxes.
39. When the sun shone upon
the shields of gold and brass, the hills were ablaze with them and gleamed like
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.
44. So he gave his life to
save his people and to win for himself an everlasting name.
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
47. And when the Jews saw the
royal might and the fierce attack of the forces, they turned away in flight.
48. The soldiers of the king's
army went up to Jerusalem against them, and the king encamped in Judea and at
49. 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.
53. But 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.
55. 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."
60. The speech pleased the king
and the commanders, and he sent to the Jews an offer of peace, and they accepted
61. So the king and the
commanders gave them their oath. On these conditions the Jews evacuated the
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.
12. 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
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 written,
17. "The flesh of thy
saints and their blood
they poured out round about
and there was none to bury
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
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.
21. Alcimus strove for the high
22. and all who were troubling
their people joined him. They gained control of the land of Judah and did great
damage in Israel.
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.
26. 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
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.
34. 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
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
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 trumpets.
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
47. 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
48. The people rejoiced
greatly and celebrated that day as a day of great gladness.
49. And they decreed that this
day should be celebrated each year on the thirteenth day of Adar.
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
2. 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.
5. Philip, and Perseus king of
the Macedonians, and the others who rose up against them, they crushed in battle
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,
10. but 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.
16. 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
19. They went to Rome, a very
long journey; and they entered the senate chamber and spoke as follows:
20. "Judas, who is also
called Maccabeus, and his brothers and the people of the Jews have sent us to
you to establish alliance and peace with you, that we may be enrolled as your
allies and friends."
21. 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 to them.
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 people.
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
31. "And 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 the Jews?
32. If now they appeal again
for help against you, we will defend their rights and fight you on sea and on
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;
4. 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.
7. When Judas saw that his army
had slipped away and the battle was imminent, he was crushed in spirit, for he
had no time to assemble them.
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."
10. But 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.
17. The battle became
desperate, and many on both sides were wounded and fell.
18. Judas also fell, and the
19. Then Jonathan and Simon
took Judas their brother and buried him in the tomb of their fathers at Modein,
20. and wept for him. And all
Israel made great lamentation for him; they mourned many days and said,
21. "How is the mighty
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 them.
28. Then all the friends of
Judas assembled and said to Jonathan,
29. "Since the death of
your brother Judas there has been no one like him to go against our enemies and
Bacchides, and to deal with those of our nation who hate us.
30. So now we have chosen you
today to take his place as our ruler and leader, to fight our battle."
31. And Jonathan at that time
accepted the leadership and took the place of Judas his brother.
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.
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 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 rear.
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 attack them.
49. And about one thousand of
Bacchides' men fell that day.
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.
52. He also fortified the city
of Beth-zur, and Gazara, and the citadel, and in them he put troops and stores
53. And he took the sons of
the leading men of the land as hostages and put them under guard in the citadel
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
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
59. And they went and
consulted with him.
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
61. And Jonathan's men seized
about fifty of the men of the country who were leaders in this treachery, and
62. Then Jonathan with his
men, and Simon, withdrew to Bethbasi in the wilderness; he rebuilt the parts of
it that had been demolished, and they fortified it.
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
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
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
3. And Demetrius sent Jonathan
a letter in peaceable words to honor him;
4. for he said, "Let us
act first to make peace with him before he makes peace with Alexander against
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
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 parents.
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.
19. We have heard about you,
that you are a mighty warrior and worthy to be our friend.
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.
22. When Demetrius heard of
these things he was grieved and said,
23. "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 their
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,
30. 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.
31. 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
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 high priest.
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 sanctuary.
40. I also grant fifteen
thousand shekels of silver yearly out of the king's revenues from appropriate
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.
44. "Let 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."
46. When 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
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:
52. "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
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."
55. 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 have said."
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 meet him.
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 to them.
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
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
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
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 men.
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 booty.
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
2. He 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
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
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.
10. 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.
18. 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
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 friends.
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.
31. 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.
32. `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.
36. 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
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
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
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 men.
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."
51. And 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
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."
58. And 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.
59. Simon 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.
61. From 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.
66. 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.
69. 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
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 friendship.
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
11. We 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 your
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 this."
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 country.
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.
31. So Jonathan turned aside
against the Arabs who are called Zabadeans, and he crushed them and plundered
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.
35. When Jonathan returned he
convened the elders of the people and planned with them to build strongholds in
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 nor sell.
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 called Chaphenatha.
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.
41. Jonathan went out to meet
him with forty thousand picked fighting men, and he came to Beth-shan.
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.
44. Then he said to Jonathan,
"Why have you wearied all these people when we are not at war?
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.
50. 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 for battle.
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 men."
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
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.
5. And 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
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 and said,
15. "It is for the money
that Jonathan your brother owed the royal treasury, in connection with the
offices he held, that we are detaining him.
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 Jonathan.
20. After this Trypho came to
invade the country and destroy it, and he circled around by the way to Adora.
But Simon and his army kept marching along opposite him to every place he went.
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 there.
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
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 day.
31. Trypho dealt treacherously
with the young king Antiochus; he killed him
32. and became king in his
place, putting on the crown of Asia; and he brought great calamity upon the
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
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
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 Israel,
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."
47. So 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 famine.
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 pollutions.
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
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
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
and gained full control of the
7. He gathered a host of
he ruled over Gazara and
Beth-zur and the citadel,
and he removed its uncleanness
and there was none to oppose
8. They tilled their land in
the ground gave its increase,
and the trees of the plains
9. Old men sat in the streets;
they all talked together of
and the youths donned the
glories and garments of war.
10. He supplied the cities
and furnished them with the
means of defense,
till his renown spread to the
ends of the earth.
11. He established peace in
and Israel rejoiced with great
12. Each man sat under his
vine and his fig tree,
and there was none to make them
13. No one was left in the
land to fight them,
and the kings were crushed in
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
and added to the vessels of the
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 brothers.
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
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?
26. 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 sanctuary,
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 punishment."
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, greeting.
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 time.
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.
11. Antiochus 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
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 enter it.
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
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,
23. and 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.
24. They also sent a copy of
these things to Simon the high priest.
25. 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 in.
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 Judea;
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 king,
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 angered.
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.
39. He 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
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
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.
11. Now 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 high priest.
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.
16. When 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 temple hill.
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.