91About that time came Antiochus with dishonour out of the country of Persia
2For he had entered the city called Persepolis, and went about to rob the temple, and to hold the city; whereupon the multitude running to defend themselves with their weapons put them to flight; and so it happened, that Antiochus being put to flight of the inhabitants returned with shame.
3Now when he came to Ecbatane, news was brought him what had happened unto Nicanor and Timotheus.
4Then swelling with anger. he thought to avenge upon the Jews the disgrace done unto him by those that made him flee. Therefore commanded he his chariotman to drive without ceasing, and to dispatch the journey, the judgment of God now following him. For he had spoken proudly in this sort, That he would come to Jerusalem and make it a common burying place of the Jews.
5But the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, smote him with an incurable and invisible plague: for as soon as he had spoken these words, a pain of the bowels that was remediless came upon him, and sore torments of the inner parts;
6And that most justly: for he had tormented other men’s bowels with many and strange torments.
7Howbeit he nothing at all ceased from his bragging, but still was filled with pride, breathing out fire in his rage against the Jews, and commanding to haste the journey: but it came to pass that he fell down from his chariot, carried violently; so that having a sore fall, all the members of his body were much pained.
8And thus he that a little afore thought he might command the waves of the sea, (so proud was he beyond the condition of man) and weigh the high mountains in a balance, was now cast on the ground, and carried in an horselitter, shewing forth unto all the manifest power of God.
9So that the worms rose up out of the body of this wicked man, and whiles he lived in sorrow and pain, his flesh fell away, and the filthiness of his smell was noisome to all his army.
10And the man, that thought a little afore he could reach to the stars of heaven, no man could endure to carry for his intolerable stink.
11Here therefore, being plagued, he began to leave off his great pride, and to come to the knowledge of himself by the scourge of God, his pain increasing every moment.
12And when he himself could not abide his own smell, he said these words, It is meet to be subject unto God, and that a man that is mortal should not proudly think of himself, as if he were God.
13This wicked person vowed also unto the Lord, who now no more would have mercy upon him, saying thus,
14That the holy city (to the which he was going in haste to lay it even with the ground, and to make it a common buryingplace,) he would set at liberty:
15And as touching the Jews, whom he had judged not worthy so much as to be buried, but to be cast out with their children to be devoured of the fowls and wild beasts, he would make them all equals to the citizens of Athens:
16And the holy temple, which before he had spoiled, he would garnish with goodly gifts, and restore all the holy vessels with many more, and out of his own revenue defray the charges belonging to the sacrifices:
17Yea, and that also he would become a Jew himself, and go through all the world that was inhabited, and declare the power of God.
18But for all this his pains would not cease: for the just judgment of God was come upon him: therefore despairing of his health, he wrote unto the Jews the letter underwritten, containing the form of a supplication, after this manner:
19Antiochus, king and governor, to the good Jews his citizens wisheth much joy, health, and prosperity:
20If ye and your children fare well, and your affairs be to your contentment, I give very great thanks to God, having my hope in heaven.
21As for me, I was weak, or else I would have remembered kindly your honour and good will returning out of Persia, and being taken with a grievous disease, I thought it necessary to care for the common safety of all:
22Not distrusting mine health, but having great hope to escape this sickness.
23But considering that even my father, at what time he led an army into the high countries, appointed a successor,
24To the end that, if any thing fell out contrary to expectation, or if any tidings were brought that were grievous, they of the land, knowing to whom the state was left, might not be troubled:
25Again, considering how that the princes that are borderers and neighbours unto my kingdom wait for opportunities, and expect what shall be the event, I have appointed my son Antiochus king, whom I often committed and commended unto many of you, when I went up into the high provinces; to whom I have written as followeth:
26Therefore I pray and request you to remember the benefits that I have done unto you generally, and in special, and that every man will be still faithful to me and my son.
27For I am persuaded that he understanding my mind will favourably and graciously yield to your desires.
28Thus the murderer and blasphemer having suffered most grievously, as he entreated other men, so died he a miserable death in a strange country in the mountains.
29And Philip, that was brought up with him, carried away his body, who also fearing the son of Antiochus went into Egypt to Ptolemeus Philometor.
101Now Maccabeus and his company, the Lord guiding them, recovered the temple and the city:
2But the altars which the heathen had built in the open street, and also the chapels, they pulled down.
3And having cleansed the temple they made another altar, and striking stones they took fire out of them, and offered a sacrifice after two years, and set forth incense, and lights, and shewbread.
4When that was done, they fell flat down, and besought the Lord that they might come no more into such troubles; but if they sinned any more against him, that he himself would chasten them with mercy, and that they might not be delivered unto the blasphemous and barbarous nations.
5Now upon the same day that the strangers profaned the temple, on the very same day it was cleansed again, even the five and twentieth day of the same month, which is Casleu.
6And they kept the eight days with gladness, as in the feast of the tabernacles, remembering that not long afore they had held the feast of the tabernacles, when as they wandered in the mountains and dens like beasts.
7Therefore they bare branches, and fair boughs, and palms also, and sang psalms unto him that had given them good success in cleansing his place.
8They ordained also by a common statute and decree, That every year those days should be kept of the whole nation of the Jews.
9And this was the end of Antiochus, called Epiphanes.
10Now will we declare the acts of Antiochus Eupator, who was the son of this wicked man, gathering briefly the calamities of the wars.
11So when he was come to the crown, he set one Lysias over the affairs of his realm, and appointed him his chief governor of Celosyria and Phenice.
12For Ptolemeus, that was called Macron, choosing rather to do justice unto the Jews for the wrong that had been done unto them, endeavoured to continue peace with them.
13Whereupon being accused of the king’s friends before Eupator, and called traitor at every word because he had left Cyprus, that Philometor had committed unto him, and departed to Antiochus Epiphanes, and seeing that he was in no honourable place, he was so discouraged, that he poisoned himself and died.
14But when Gorgias was governor of the holds, he hired soldiers, and nourished war continually with the Jews:
15And therewithall the Idumeans, having gotten into their hands the most commodious holds, kept the Jews occupied, and receiving those that were banished from Jerusalem, they went about to nourish war.
16Then they that were with Maccabeus made supplication, and besought God that he would be their helper; and so they ran with violence upon the strong holds of the Idumeans,
17And assaulting them strongly, they won the holds, and kept off all that fought upon the wall, and slew all that fell into their hands, and killed no fewer than twenty thousand.
18And because certain, who were no less than nine thousand, were fled together into two very strong castles, having all manner of things convenient to sustain the siege,
19Maccabeus left Simon and Joseph, and Zaccheus also, and them that were with him, who were enough to besiege them, and departed himself unto those places which more needed his help.
20Now they that were with Simon, being led with covetousness, were persuaded for money through certain of those that were in the castle, and took seventy thousand drachms, and let some of them escape.
21But when it was told Maccabeus what was done, he called the governors of the people together, and accused those men, that they had sold their brethren for money, and set their enemies free to fight against them.
22So he slew those that were found traitors, and immediately took the two castles.
23And having good success with his weapons in all things he took in hand, he slew in the two holds more than twenty thousand.
24Now Timotheus, whom the Jews had overcome before, when he had gathered a great multitude of foreign forces, and horses out of Asia not a few, came as though he would take Jewry by force of arms.
25But when he drew near, they that were with Maccabeus turned themselves to pray unto God, and sprinkled earth upon their heads, and girded their loins with sackcloth,
26And fell down at the foot of the altar, and besought him to be merciful to them, and to be an enemy to their enemies, and an adversary to their adversaries, as the law declareth.
27So after the prayer they took their weapons, and went on further from the city: and when they drew near to their enemies, they kept by themselves.
28Now the sun being newly risen, they joined both together; the one part having together with their virtue their refuge also unto the Lord for a pledge of their success and victory: the other side making their rage leader of their battle.
29But when the battle waxed strong, there appeared unto the enemies from heaven five comely men upon horses, with bridles of gold, and two of them led the Jews,
30And took Maccabeus betwixt them, and covered him on every side with their weapons, and kept him safe, but shot arrows and lightnings against the enemies: so that being confounded with blindness, and full of trouble, they were killed.
31And there were slain of footmen twenty thousand and five hundred, and six hundred horsemen.
32As for Timotheus himself, he fled into a very strong hold, called Gawra, where Chereas was governor.
33But they that were with Maccabeus laid siege against the fortress courageously four days.
34And they that were within, trusting to the strength of the place, blasphemed exceedingly, and uttered wicked words.
35Nevertheless upon the fifth day early twenty young men of Maccabeus’ company, inflamed with anger because of the blasphemies, assaulted the wall manly, and with a fierce courage killed all that they met withal.
36Others likewise ascending after them, whiles they were busied with them that were within, burnt the towers, and kindling fires burnt the blasphemers alive; and others broke open the gates, and, having received in the rest of the army, took the city,
37And killed Timotheus, that was hid in a certain pit, and Chereas his brother, with Apollophanes.
38When this was done, they praised the Lord with psalms and thanksgiving, who had done so great things for Israel, and given them the victory.
111Not long after this, Lysias the king’s protector and cousin, who also managed the affairs, took sore displeasure for the things that were done.
2And when he had gathered about fourscore thousand with all the horsemen, he came against the Jews, thinking to make the city an habitation of the Gentiles,
3And to make a gain of the temple, as of the other chapels of the heathen, and to set the high priesthood to sale every year:
4Not at all considering the power of God but puffed up with his ten thousands of footmen, and his thousands of horsemen, and his fourscore elephants.
5So he came to Judea, and drew near to Bethsura, which was a strong town, but distant from Jerusalem about five furlongs, and he laid sore siege unto it.
6Now when they that were with Maccabeus heard that he besieged the holds, they and all the people with lamentation and tears besought the Lord that he would send a good angel to deliver Israel.
7Then Maccabeus himself first of all took weapons, exhorting the other that they would jeopard themselves together with him to help their brethren: so they went forth together with a willing mind.
8And as they were at Jerusalem, there appeared before them on horseback one in white clothing, shaking his armour of gold.
9Then they praised the merciful God all together, and took heart, insomuch that they were ready not only to fight with men, but with most cruel beasts, and to pierce through walls of iron.
10Thus they marched forward in their armour, having an helper from heaven: for the Lord was merciful unto them.
11And giving a charge upon their enemies like lions, they slew eleven thousand footmen, and sixteen hundred horsemen, and put all the other to flight.
12Many of them also being wounded escaped naked; and Lysias himself fled away shamefully, and so escaped.
13Who, as he was a man of understanding, casting with himself what loss he had had, and considering that the Hebrews could not be overcome, because the Almighty God helped them, he sent unto them,
14And persuaded them to agree to all reasonable conditions, and promised that he would persuade the king that he must needs be a friend unto them.
15Then Maccabeus consented to all that Lysias desired, being careful of the common good; and whatsoever Maccabeus wrote unto Lysias concerning the Jews, the king granted it.
16For there were letters written unto the Jews from Lysias to this effect: Lysias unto the people of the Jews sendeth greeting:
17John and Absolom, who were sent from you, delivered me the petition subscribed, and made request for the performance of the contents thereof.
18Therefore what things soever were meet to be reported to the king, I have declared them, and he hath granted as much as might be.
19And if then ye will keep yourselves loyal to the state, hereafter also will I endeavour to be a means of your good.
20But of the particulars I have given order both to these and the other that came from me, to commune with you.
21Fare ye well. The hundred and eight and fortieth year, the four and twentieth day of the month Dioscorinthius.
22Now the king’s letter contained these words: King Antiochus unto his brother Lysias sendeth greeting:
23Since our father is translated unto the gods, our will is, that they that are in our realm live quietly, that every one may attend upon his own affairs.
24We understand also that the Jews would not consent to our father, for to be brought unto the custom of the Gentiles, but had rather keep their own manner of living: for the which cause they require of us, that we should suffer them to live after their own laws.
25Wherefore our mind is, that this nation shall be in rest, and we have determined to restore them their temple, that they may live according to the customs of their forefathers.
26Thou shalt do well therefore to send unto them, and grant them peace, that when they are certified of our mind, they may be of good comfort, and ever go cheerfully about their own affairs.
27And the letter of the king unto the nation of the Jews was after this manner: King Antiochus sendeth greeting unto the council, and the rest of the Jews:
28If ye fare well, we have our desire; we are also in good health.
29Menelaus declared unto us, that your desire was to return home, and to follow your own business:
30Wherefore they that will depart shall have safe conduct till the thirtieth day of Xanthicus with security.
31And the Jews shall use their own kind of meats and laws, as before; and none of them any manner of ways shall be molested for things ignorantly done.
32I have sent also Menelaus, that he may comfort you.
33Fare ye well. In the hundred forty and eighth year, and the fifteenth day of the month Xanthicus.
34The Romans also sent unto them a letter containing these words: Quintus Memmius and Titus Manlius, ambassadors of the Romans, send greeting unto the people of the Jews.
35Whatsoever Lysias the king’s cousin hath granted, therewith we also are well pleased.
36But touching such things as he judged to be referred to the king, after ye have advised thereof, send one forthwith, that we may declare as it is convenient for you: for we are now going to Antioch.
37Therefore send some with speed, that we may know what is your mind.
38Farewell. This hundred and eight and fortieth year, the fifteenth day of the month Xanthicus.