121Now when Jonathan saw that time served him, he chose certain men, and sent them to Rome, for to confirm and renew the friendship that they had with them.
2He sent letters also to the Lacedemonians, and to other places, for the same purpose.
3So they went unto Rome, and entered into the senate, and said, Jonathan the high priest, and the people of the Jews, sent us unto you, to the end ye should renew the friendship, which ye had with them, and league, as in former time.
4Upon this the Romans gave them letters unto the governors of every place that they should bring them into the land of Judea peaceably.
5And this is the copy of the letters which Jonathan wrote to the Lacedemonians:
6Jonathan the high priest, and the elders of the nation, and the priests, and the other of the Jews, unto the Lacedemonians their brethren send greeting:
7There were letters sent in times past unto Onias the high priest from Darius, who reigned then among you, to signify that ye are our brethren, as the copy here underwritten doth specify.
8At which time Onias entreated the ambassador that was sent honourably, and received the letters, wherein declaration was made of the league and friendship.
9Therefore we also, albeit we need none of these things, that we have the holy books of scripture in our hands to comfort us,
10Have nevertheless attempted to send unto you for the renewing of brotherhood and friendship, lest we should become strangers unto you altogether: for there is a long time passed since ye sent unto us.
11We therefore at all times without ceasing, both in our feasts, and other convenient days, do remember you in the sacrifices which we offer, and in our prayers, as reason is, and as it becometh us to think upon our brethren:
12And we are right glad of your honour.
13As for ourselves, we have had great troubles and wars on every side, forsomuch as the kings that are round about us have fought against us.
14Howbeit we would not be troublesome unto you, nor to others of our confederates and friends, in these wars:
15For we have help from heaven that succoureth us, so as we are delivered from our enemies, and our enemies are brought under foot.
16For this cause we chose Numenius the son of Antiochus, and Antipater the son of Jason, and sent them unto the Romans, to renew the amity that we had with them, and the former league.
17We commanded them also to go unto you, and to salute and to deliver you our letters concerning the renewing of our brotherhood.
18Wherefore now ye shall do well to give us an answer thereto.
19And this is the copy of the letters which Oniares sent.
20Areus king of the Lacedemonians to Onias the high priest, greeting:
21It is found in writing, that the Lacedemonians and Jews are brethren, and that they are of the stock of Abraham:
22Now therefore, since this is come to our knowledge, ye shall do well to write unto us of your prosperity.
23We do write back again to you, that your cattle and goods are our’s, and our’s are your’s We do command therefore our ambassadors to make report unto you on this wise.
24Now when Jonathan heard that Demebius’ princes were come to fight against him with a greater host than afore,
25He removed from Jerusalem, and met them in the land of Amathis: for he gave them no respite to enter his country.
26He sent spies also unto their tents, who came again, and told him that they were appointed to come upon them in the night season.
27Wherefore so soon as the sun was down, Jonathan commanded his men to watch, and to be in arms, that all the night long they might be ready to fight: also he sent forth centinels round about the host.
28But when the adversaries heard that Jonathan and his men were ready for battle, they feared, and trembled in their hearts, and they kindled fires in their camp.
29Howbeit Jonathan and his company knew it not till the morning: for they saw the lights burning.
30Then Jonathan pursued after them, but overtook them not: for they were gone over the river Eleutherus.
31Wherefore Jonathan turned to the Arabians, who were called Zabadeans, and smote them, and took their spoils.
32And removing thence, he came to Damascus, and so passed through all the country,
33Simon also went forth, and passed through the country unto Ascalon, and the holds there adjoining, from whence he turned aside to Joppa, and won it.
34For he had heard that they would deliver the hold unto them that took Demetrius’ part; wherefore he set a garrison there to keep it.
35After this came Jonathan home again, and calling the elders of the people together, he consulted with them about building strong holds in Judea,
36And making the walls of Jerusalem higher, and raising a great mount between the tower and the city, for to separate it from the city, that so it might be alone, that men might neither sell nor buy in it.
37Upon this they came together to build up the city, forasmuch as part of the wall toward the brook on the east side was fallen down, and they repaired that which was called Caphenatha.
38Simon also set up Adida in Sephela, and made it strong with gates and bars.
39Now Tryphon went about to get the kingdom of Asia, and to kill Antiochus the king, that he might set the crown upon his own head.
40Howbeit he was afraid that Jonathan would not suffer him, and that he would fight against him; wherefore he sought a way how to take Jonathan, that he might kill him. So he removed, and came to Bethsan.
41Then Jonathan went out to meet him with forty thousand men chosen for the battle, and came to Bethsan.
42Now when Tryphon saw Jonathan came with so great a force, he durst not stretch his hand against him;
43But received him honourably, and commended him unto all his friends, and gave him gifts, and commanded his men of war to be as obedient unto him, as to himself.
44Unto Jonathan also he said, Why hast thou brought all this people to so great trouble, seeing there is no war betwixt us?
45Therefore send them now home again, and choose a few men to wait on thee, and come thou with me to Ptolemais, for I will give it thee, and the rest of the strong holds and forces, and all that have any charge: as for me, I will return and depart: for this is the cause of my coming.
46So Jonathan believing him did as he bade him, and sent away his host, who went into the land of Judea.
47And with himself he retained but three thousand men, of whom he sent two thousand into Galilee, and one thousand went with him.
48Now as soon as Jonathan entered into Ptolemais, they of Ptolemais shut the gates and took him, and all them that came with him they slew with the sword.
49Then sent Tryphon an host of footmen and horsemen into Galilee, and into the great plain, to destroy all Jonathan’s company.
50But when they knew that Jonathan and they that were with him were taken and slain, they encouraged one another; and went close together, prepared to fight.
51They therefore that followed upon them, perceiving that they were ready to fight for their lives, turned back again.
52Whereupon they all came into the land of Judea peaceably, and there they bewailed Jonathan, and them that were with him, and they were sore afraid; wherefore all Israel made great lamentation.
53Then all the heathen that were round about then sought to destroy them: for said they, They have no captain, nor any to help them: now therefore let us make war upon them, and take away their memorial from among men.
131Now when Simon heard that Tryphon had gathered together a great host to invade the land of Judea, and destroy it,
2And saw that the people was in great trembling and fear, he went up to Jerusalem, and gathered the people together,
3And gave them exhortation, saying, Ye yourselves know what great things I, and my brethren, and my father’s house, have done for the laws and the sanctuary, the battles also and troubles which we have seen.
4By reason whereof all my brethren are slain for Israel’s sake, and I am left alone.
5Now therefore be it far from me, that I should spare mine own life in any time of trouble: for I am no better than my brethren.
6Doubtless I will avenge my nation, and the sanctuary, and our wives, and our children: for all the heathen are gathered to destroy us of very malice.
7Now as soon as the people heard these words, their spirit revived.
8And they answered with a loud voice, saying, Thou shalt be our leader instead of Judas and Jonathan thy brother.
9Fight thou our battles, and whatsoever, thou commandest us, that will we do.
10So then he gathered together all the men of war, and made haste to finish the walls of Jerusalem, and he fortified it round about.
11Also he sent Jonathan the son of Absolom, and with him a great power, to Joppa: who casting out them that were therein remained there in it.
12So Tryphon removed from Ptolemaus with a great power to invade the land of Judea, and Jonathan was with him in ward.
13But Simon pitched his tents at Adida, over against the plain.
14Now when Tryphon knew that Simon was risen up instead of his brother Jonathan, and meant to join battle with him, he sent messengers unto him, saying,
15Whereas we have Jonathan thy brother in hold, it is for money that he is owing unto the king’s treasure, concerning the business that was committed unto him.
16Wherefore now send an hundred talents of silver, and two of his sons for hostages, that when he is at liberty he may not revolt from us, and we will let him go.
17Hereupon Simon, albeit he perceived that they spake deceitfully unto him yet sent he the money and the children, lest peradventure he should procure to himself great hatred of the people:
18Who might have said, Because I sent him not the money and the children, therefore is Jonathan dead.
19So he sent them the children and the hundred talents: howbeit Tryphon dissembled neither would he let Jonathan go.
20And after this came Tryphon to invade the land, and destroy it, going round about by the way that leadeth unto Adora: but Simon and his host marched against him in every place, wheresoever he went.
21Now they that were in the tower sent messengers unto Tryphon, to the end that he should hasten his coming unto them by the wilderness, and send them victuals.
22Wherefore Tryphon made ready all his horsemen to come that night: but there fell a very great snow, by reason whereof he came not. So he departed, and came into the country of Galaad.
23And when he came near to Bascama he slew Jonathan, who was buried there.
24Afterward Tryphon returned and went into his own land.
25Then sent Simon, and took the bones of Jonathan his brother, and buried them in Modin, the city of his fathers.
26And all Israel made great lamentation for him, and bewailed him many days.
27Simon also built a monument upon the sepulchre of his father and his brethren, and raised it aloft to the sight, with hewn stone behind and before.
28Moreover he set up seven pyramids, one against another, for his father, and his mother, and his four brethren.
29And in these he made cunning devices, about the which he set great pillars, and upon the pillars he made all their armour for a perpetual memory, and by the armour ships carved, that they might be seen of all that sail on the sea.
30This is the sepulchre which he made at Modin, and it standeth yet unto this day.
31Now Tryphon dealt deceitfully with the young king Antiochus, and slew him.
32And he reigned in his stead, and crowned himself king of Asia, and brought a great calamity upon the land.
33Then Simon built up the strong holds in Judea, and fenced them about with high towers, and great walls, and gates, and bars, and laid up victuals therein.
34Moreover Simon chose men, and sent to king Demetrius, to the end he should give the land an immunity, because all that Tryphon did was to spoil.
35Unto whom king Demetrius answered and wrote after this manner:
36King Demetrius unto Simon the high priest, and friend of kings, as also unto the elders and nation of the Jews, sendeth greeting:
37The golden crown, and the scarlet robe, which ye sent unto us, we have received: and we are ready to make a stedfast peace with you, yea, and to write unto our officers, to confirm the immunities which we have granted.
38And whatsoever covenants we have made with you shall stand; and the strong holds, which ye have builded, shall be your own.
39As for any oversight or fault committed unto this day, we forgive it, and the crown tax also, which ye owe us: and if there were any other tribute paid in Jerusalem, it shall no more be paid.
40And look who are meet among you to be in our court, let then be enrolled, and let there be peace betwixt us.
41Thus the yoke of the heathen was taken away from Israel in the hundred and seventieth year.
42Then the people of Israel began to write in their instruments and contracts, In the first year of Simon the high priest, the governor and leader of the Jews.
43In those days Simon camped against Gaza and besieged it round about; he made also an engine of war, and set it by the city, and battered a certain tower, and took it.
44And they that were in the engine leaped into the city; whereupon there was a great uproar in the city:
45Insomuch as the people of the city rent their clothes, and climbed upon the walls with their wives and children, and cried with a loud voice, beseeching Simon to grant them peace.
46And they said, Deal not with us according to our wickedness, but according to thy mercy.
47So Simon was appeased toward them, and fought no more against them, but put them out of the city, and cleansed the houses wherein the idols were, and so entered into it with songs and thanksgiving.
48Yea, he put all uncleanness out of it, and placed such men there as would keep the law, and made it stronger than it was before, and built therein a dwellingplace for himself.
49They also of the tower in Jerusalem were kept so strait, that they could neither come forth, nor go into the country, nor buy, nor sell: wherefore they were in great distress for want of victuals, and a great number of them perished through famine.
50Then cried they to Simon, beseeching him to be at one with them: which thing he granted them; and when he had put them out from thence, he cleansed the tower from pollutions:
51And entered into it the three and twentieth day of the second month in the hundred seventy and first year, with thanksgiving, and branches of palm trees, and with harps, and cymbals, and with viols, and hymns, and songs: because there was destroyed a great enemy out of Israel.
52He ordained also that that day should be kept every year with gladness. Moreover the hill of the temple that was by the tower he made stronger than it was, and there he dwelt himself with his company.
53And when Simon saw that John his son was a valiant man, he made him captain of all the hosts; and he dwelt in Gazera.
141Now in the hundred threescore and twelfth year king Demetrius gathered his forces together, and went into Media to get him help to fight against Tryphone.
2But when Arsaces, the king of Persia and Media, heard that Demetrius was entered within his borders, he sent one of his princes to take him alive:
3Who went and smote the host of Demetrius, and took him, and brought him to Arsaces, by whom he was put in ward.
4As for the land of Judea, that was quiet all the days of Simon; for he sought the good of his nation in such wise, as that evermore his authority and honour pleased them well.
5And as he was honourable in all his acts, so in this, that he took Joppa for an haven, and made an entrance to the isles of the sea,
6And enlarged the bounds of his nation, and recovered the country,
7And gathered together a great number of captives, and had the dominion of Gazera, and Bethsura, and the tower, out of the which he took all uncleaness, neither was there any that resisted him.
8Then did they till their ground in peace, and the earth gave her increase, and the trees of the field their fruit.
9The ancient men sat all in the streets, communing together of good things, and the young men put on glorious and warlike apparel.
10He provided victuals for the cities, and set in them all manner of munition, so that his honourable name was renowned unto the end of the world.
11He made peace in the land, and Israel rejoiced with great joy:
12For every man sat under his vine and his fig tree, and there was none to fray them:
13Neither was there any left in the land to fight against them: yea, the kings themselves were overthrown in those days.
14Moreover he strengthened all those of his people that were brought low: the law he searched out; and every contemner of the law and wicked person he took away.
15He beautified the sanctuary, and multiplied vessels of the temple.
16Now when it was heard at Rome, and as far as Sparta, that Jonathan was dead, they were very sorry.
17But as soon as they heard that his brother Simon was made high priest in his stead, and ruled the country, and the cities therein:
18They wrote unto him in tables of brass, to renew the friendship and league which they had made with Judas and Jonathan his brethren:
19Which writings were read before the congregation at Jerusalem.
20And this is the copy of the letters that the Lacedemonians sent; The rulers of the Lacedemonians, with the city, unto Simon the high priest, and the elders, and priests, and residue of the people of the Jews, our brethren, send greeting:
21The ambassadors that were sent unto our people certified us of your glory and honour: wherefore we were glad of their coming,
22And did register the things that they spake in the council of the people in this manner; Numenius son of Antiochus, and Antipater son of Jason, the Jews’ ambassadors, came unto us to renew the friendship they had with us.
23And it pleased the people to entertain the men honourably, and to put the copy of their ambassage in publick records, to the end the people of the Lacedemonians might have a memorial thereof: furthermore we have written a copy thereof unto Simon the high priest.
24After this Simon sent Numenius to Rome with a great shield of gold of a thousand pound weight to confirm the league with them.
25Whereof when the people heard, they said, What thanks shall we give to Simon and his sons?
26For he and his brethren and the house of his father have established Israel, and chased away in fight their enemies from them, and confirmed their liberty.
27So then they wrote it in tables of brass, which they set upon pillars in mount Sion: and this is the copy of the writing; The eighteenth day of the month Elul, in the hundred threescore and twelfth year, being the third year of Simon the high priest,
28At Saramel in the great congregation of the priests, and people, and rulers of the nation, and elders of the country, were these things notified unto us.
29Forasmuch as oftentimes there have been wars in the country, wherein for the maintenance of their sanctuary, and the law, Simon the son of Mattathias, of the posterity of Jarib, together with his brethren, put themselves in jeopardy, and resisting the enemies of their nation did their nation great honour:
30(For after that Jonathan, having gathered his nation together, and been their high priest, was added to his people,
31Their enemies prepared to invade their country, that they might destroy it, and lay hands on the sanctuary:
32At which time Simon rose up, and fought for his nation, and spent much of his own substance, and armed the valiant men of his nation and gave them wages,
33And fortified the cities of Judea, together with Bethsura, that lieth upon the borders of Judea, where the armour of the enemies had been before; but he set a garrison of Jews there:
34Moreover he fortified Joppa, which lieth upon the sea, and Gazera, that bordereth upon Azotus, where the enemies had dwelt before: but he placed Jews there, and furnished them with all things convenient for the reparation thereof.)
35The people therefore sang the acts of Simon, and unto what glory he thought to bring his nation, made him their governor and chief priest, because he had done all these things, and for the justice and faith which he kept to his nation, and for that he sought by all means to exalt his people.
36For in his time things prospered in his hands, so that the heathen were taken out of their country, and they also that were in the city of David in Jerusalem, who had made themselves a tower, out of which they issued, and polluted all about the sanctuary, and did much hurt in the holy place:
37But he placed Jews therein. and fortified it for the safety of the country and the city, and raised up the walls of Jerusalem.
38King Demetrius also confirmed him in the high priesthood according to those things,
39And made him one of his friends, and honoured him with great honour.
40For he had heard say, that the Romans had called the Jews their friends and confederates and brethren; and that they had entertained the ambassadors of Simon honourably;
41Also that the Jews and priests were well pleased that Simon should be their governor and high priest for ever, until there should arise a faithful prophet;
42Moreover that he should be their captain, and should take charge of the sanctuary, to set them over their works, and over the country, and over the armour, and over the fortresses, that, I say, he should take charge of the sanctuary;
43Beside this, that he should be obeyed of every man, and that all the writings in the country should be made in his name, and that he should be clothed in purple, and wear gold:
44Also that it should be lawful for none of the people or priests to break any of these things, or to gainsay his words, or to gather an assembly in the country without him, or to be clothed in purple, or wear a buckle of gold;
45And whosoever should do otherwise, or break any of these things, he should be punished.
46Thus it liked all the people to deal with Simon, and to do as hath been said.
47Then Simon accepted hereof, and was well pleased to be high priest, and captain and governor of the Jews and priests, and to defend them all.
48So they commanded that this writing should be put in tables of brass, and that they should be set up within the compass of the sanctuary in a conspicuous place;
49Also that the copies thereof should be laid up in the treasury, to the end that Simon and his sons might have them.